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Introducing the LemonFools Personal Finance Calculators

Retirement Age vs Life Span

Including Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE)
GeoffF100
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Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132430

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 7:53 am

Monevator gives a link to this article:

https://www.financialsamurai.com/ideal-age-to-retire/

The interesting bit is an actuarial study of life span versus age at retirement by Boeing Aerospace:

Age at       Ave Age
Retirement at Death

49.9 86.0
51.2 85.3
52.5 84.6
53.8 83.9
55.1 83.2
56.4 82.5
57.2 81.4
58.3 80.0
59.2 78.5
60.1 76.8
61.0 74.5
62.1 71.8
63.1 69.3
64.1 67.9
65.2 66.8

This type of study does not prove cause and effect, and the older retirees at Boeing appear to have an unusually short life span. Nonetheless, a twenty year difference in life span between those who retire at 50 and those who retired at 65 is striking.

swill453
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132439

Postby swill453 » April 16th, 2018, 8:16 am

The Boeing "study" has been doing the rounds on the internet for years, but is simply not true, according to this BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18952037

Scott.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132447

Postby argoal » April 16th, 2018, 8:58 am

At first glance the table from the study looks very spurious.

It seems incredibly unlikely that on average employees retiring at 65.2 would be dead 18 months later.

It would only require a small percentage of outliers living into their 90s to to make the median lifespan for that cohort about 12 months. Hmmm.

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132456

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 9:26 am

The BBC article is interesting. I thought that the Boeing data was most likely explained by the social classes of the people who retired at different ages. The like expectancy is said to be 30 years more on one side of Glasgow than the other. Nonetheless, the BBC article says that the ONS statistics suggest that life expectancy is only weakly affected by the job you do.

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132479

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 10:03 am

On reflection, I have a suspicion that the oft repeated table is just fake news.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132482

Postby Watis » April 16th, 2018, 10:10 am

I recall when I worked for an engineering company back in the 80's & 90's, how many men (it was always men) - died suddenly and unexpectedly - either just as they were approaching retirement or in the year after retiring.

Watis

swill453
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132488

Postby swill453 » April 16th, 2018, 10:34 am

Watis wrote:I recall when I worked for an engineering company back in the 80's & 90's, how many men (it was always men) - died suddenly and unexpectedly - either just as they were approaching retirement or in the year after retiring.

But then people approaching and getting just beyond retirement would be the oldest people you would encounter in the course of your job, so it's natural that cohort would be the most likely to die.

Scott.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132495

Postby vrdiver » April 16th, 2018, 11:04 am

swill453 wrote:
Watis wrote:I recall when I worked for an engineering company back in the 80's & 90's, how many men (it was always men) - died suddenly and unexpectedly - either just as they were approaching retirement or in the year after retiring.

But then people approaching and getting just beyond retirement would be the oldest people you would encounter in the course of your job, so it's natural that cohort would be the most likely to die.

Scott.

It's also more memorable, as it underlines our own fear of early death, as well as being more noticeable, in that that group (about to and just retired) are probably the most widely connected individuals in the organisation (compared to their peers in the same roles). As the retirees survive each year of retirement, they become less and less "connected" with their previous employer, such that even relatively young deaths are not widely noted after a few years.

I think there was a study that demonstrated "sudden retirement mortality" for those who had a sudden switch of lifestyle, especially if their sense of identity was embedded in their job, and not redirected after retirement, but it's confounded by lots of other factors (retirees retiring due to failing health, rather than health failing due to retiring). Could have been a myth 'though.

In any case, I recommend retiring with a purpose, unless that purpose is to watch daytime TV...

VRD

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132498

Postby Longtermyieldman » April 16th, 2018, 11:17 am

I agree that there are flaws in the Boeing study, not least the probability that those who retired early were more affluent than those who did so later.

However, there are arguments in the other direction. For instance, many people who retire early do so in part because of ill health, or because they've experienced illness in the family or with a partner, both of which may correlate with an expectation of truncated longevity for themselves. Also, a person can only retire at a fine old age if he or she lives that long. Thus the cohort that retired aged say 50 contains some people claimed by the grim reaper in the following 15 years, whereas the group that quit aged 65 does not. Put simply, the longer you live, the longer you are likely to live.

Thus, while I accept the study is flawed, I think there may be some truth to the notion that retiring early can help boost longevity.

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132511

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 12:12 pm

Does anyone have a reference to the Boeing study in a reputable journal?

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132512

Postby swill453 » April 16th, 2018, 12:17 pm

GeoffF100 wrote:Does anyone have a reference to the Boeing study in a reputable journal?

Not sure you'll find one. If the BBC is to be believed, Boeing have said it's simply not true.

Scott.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132517

Postby SalvorHardin » April 16th, 2018, 12:45 pm

This study is absolute cobblers. The average 65 year old newly retired person in the developed world does not have a life expectancy of just over 18 months. Just look at some Actuarial tables.

If they did there would be no pension deficit problem. Indeed, advising people to join a final salary scheme would be bad advice. 18 months is unfortunately one of these figures which has become fairly well known amongst some groups of people, notably teachers. I know several teachers who used to believe this garbage - I convinced themselves otherwise.

As others have posted these figures may be more relevant for ill-health retirees. However, I find it hard to believe that late 40s ill-health retirees have a life expectancy equal to the rest of the population. Back when I worked as an Actuary most final salary schemes would only grant ill-health retirement to someone with a serious health condition which reduced life expectancy. I seriously doubt if this has changed in the past decade.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132535

Postby argoal » April 16th, 2018, 2:05 pm

I wrote:

At first glance the table from the study looks very spurious.


But...

This study is absolute cobblers.


That was the exact phrase I was looking for :lol:

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132622

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 6:47 pm

Clearly, the life spans would not make any sense at all if they included people who retired early due to ill health. The context of the linked article was people voluntarily retiring early, who would have been the better off ones. The life span at age 65 would make sense only if an overwhelming majority of the Boeing employees concerned had exceptionally bad health, for reasons that are not at all clear. However, since Boeing has denied that it ever conducted the study, I think we can safely assume that it never happened.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132642

Postby Lootman » April 16th, 2018, 7:49 pm

GeoffF100 wrote:Clearly, the life spans would not make any sense at all if they included people who retired early due to ill health. The context of the linked article was people voluntarily retiring early, who would have been the better off ones.

Yes, assuming the effect is true when you discount those who are already in ill health, then this may really just indicate a correlation between wealth and longevity, and that is fairly logical.

Someone who has the means to cease the stress of working and commuting at age 50 could easily live longer than someone who has to keep on working into his sixties because he is broke.

And perhaps more so at an industrial plant where the work is physical (for many anyway).

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132649

Postby GeoffF100 » April 16th, 2018, 8:21 pm

If the numbers were from an asbestos factory, and excluded employees who retired due to ill health, they might make some sort of sense. Even then, there would be office workers retiring at 65 who would have been less exposed. I do not believe that the numbers make much sense, whatever assumptions are made.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132671

Postby Lanark » April 16th, 2018, 10:01 pm

I dont have a link but I read something years ago where they calculated that retiring early WITH A DECENT PENSION was correlated with a longer lifespan, however stopping work early due to e.g. illness or redundancy was correlated with a shorter lifespan.

Lifespan at all ages is strongly related to wealth, so this is not really a surprise, as always the takeaway is "Don't be poor"

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132672

Postby vrdiver » April 16th, 2018, 10:02 pm

If we follow the study to its logical conclusion, we should be seeing longer and longer life spans in deprived areas where, for example, three generations of the same family have never worked.

The rest of us, meanwhile, are being literally taxed to death...

VRD

GeoffF100
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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132726

Postby GeoffF100 » April 17th, 2018, 9:08 am

At an individual level, it depends very much on what you retire from and what you retire to. If you retire from sitting behind a desk, with a fat belly, to spending your time in the gym, and in your kitchen preparing modest quantities of healthy food, that is likely to be good. If you retire to sit in front of the telly eating crisps, that is not likely to be good.

I am glad I retired at 50. I am sure it has improved my health prospects. If I had carried on working, I would probably be at least a £million better off, but that would just be another £million that I would never spend. The things that are likely to increase your life span do not cost much, if anything.

Of course, you could also downsize your job to something more healthy.

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Re: Retirement Age vs Life Span

#132826

Postby ap8889 » April 17th, 2018, 2:43 pm

As a newly qualified trainee, a distinguished and somewhat elderly operator took me under his wing in order that I didn't screw up. This was a noble gesture, (though I now realise he had a vested interest in not having to revisit and correct my errors!).

He told me the mortality and morbidity experience of his colleagues who retired at 60 was vastly better than those retiring at 65.

He had passed 65 by a considerable margin...


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