Planning for a longer and healthy life

As your financial advisors, we often prompt you to envision your future. We project three years ahead, reflecting on the achievements you’d like to see. This foresight can help us set financial goals and establish a roadmap to reach them. But what if we extended this vision even further? What if we peered ahead, past age 70 or 90 and even beyond?

This is no longer as fantastical as it might seem. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly relevant as we enter a new era of longevity. Pioneering scientists like Dr. David Sinclair are making groundbreaking strides in understanding the aging process, and how we can not only slow it down but potentially reverse it. Sinclair, a leading longevity researcher, suggests that living to 120 or beyond could become the norm in the not-too-distant future.

This will have profound implications for financial planning. Traditionally, we’ve planned for retirements that span 20 or 30 years. But what if our retirements extended to 50 years or more? It’s a question we need to start incorporating into our financial discussions and strategies with clients.

Here are a few thought-starters that can help you plan for a longer, healthier life:

  1. 1. Embrace longevity in planning: When crafting a financial plan with your advisor, consider the possibility that you might live to 100 or beyond. This might mean saving more, investing differently or considering financial products like life annuities or tontines that can provide income for life.
  2. 2. Prioritize healthspan: As Peter Attia, another longevity expert, points out, it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living healthier for longer. This concept, known as healthspan, emphasizes the importance of maintaining good health and functionality as we age. This means investing in your health now to prevent chronic diseases later may be just as important as investing your money — after all, what good will your hard-earned wealth be if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?
  3. 3. Stay active and maintain muscle mass: Maintaining good health could mean regular exercise, particularly strength training, can help preserve muscle mass and prevent falls, two areas that can lead to significant health problems in older age. As Attia suggests, we should all have a list of activities we want to be able to do at age 95 and work towards maintaining the ability to do them.
  4. 4. Be open to future health technologies: Sinclair predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in personalized health in the future. We’ll delve into some of these technologies in a future article but here’s just one thought starter: imagine having a mini dispensary on your countertop, tailoring your vitamins and medications to your individual needs based on your activities on any given day.
  5. 5. Never stop learning: Organizations like Knowledge Makes Cents are teaching kids about money, but we can benefit from continued financial education at any age. The more we understand about our finances, the better prepared we’ll be for the future — especially a really long one.

Healthspan or longevity planning is here and it’s reshaping the way we need to think about our health and our finances. As your advisors, we look forward to guiding you through this new landscape and helping you plan for a future that may be longer and healthier than you ever imagined. Reach out to us anytime.