Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?

 

How old is old?

 

The adage goes that you are only as old as you feel.

 

We could determine old by agreeing on chronological age, but that concept seems to be changing. T

 

he Office for National Statistics (ONS) has started an interesting debate around what constitutes old age. It seems there may be a better way of determining this than merely choosing a birthday.

 

Age 65 has ceased to be the traditional retirement age for many people.

 

As state pension age changes kick in, 65 will no longer be the typical state pension age for most people.

 

Alongside this, a healthier longer-lived population will continue to make the concept of a fixed retirement age redundant. Many will swap a fixed retirement point for a more flexible approach of, “did I tell you I have retired? I’ve got a new job working in a local café!”

 

Perhaps we will even change the word retirement and replace it with change.

 

As a population, we are living longer, healthier lives.

 

In 2018 a 65-year-old man could expect to live another 18.6 years, while a woman of the same age could expect a further 21 years of life expectancy. That’s 1/5th and ¼ of their lives, respectively.

 

There are now over 11.9 million people in our country aged over 65, and that’s 18% of the population. Compare that to the 5.3m aged over 65, representing 10.8% of the people in the year 1950.

 

How might we bring this subject to life?

 

Various smartphone apps show you what you might look like as you grow older. It’s not just entertaining; it’s claimed that we pay more attention to future financial planning if we can visualise what old age looks like.

 

The lyrics of The Beatles song “When I’m 64” may very well represent an old fashioned view of what old age is really about.

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