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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Long life and happiness?

Fewer than half of people are prepared to become celibate if it means they can live to 100, according to a survey by Bupa. The Ipsos Mori research found that just 40% of 1,003 people questioned would sacrifice sex to prolong their lives. 48% of women and 42% of men say they would sacrifice travelling if it ensured they lived to 100.

The poll found that people aspire to live to 85 on average and 49% believe that scientists should continue to keep trying to prolong lifespan. 64% think it is more important to live sensibly and prolong your life than live fast and die young.

The research was commissioned for a Bupa health debate which took place at the Royal College of Physicians in London recently. Medical director Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen says: ‘Britain is facing an ageing timebomb, with major challenges presented by retirement, the desire to live longer, and the increasing burden of caring for older people. However, can society cope, with only one in three believing that an ageing population brings more benefits than problems?’