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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

90-year-old women twice as likely to reach 100 as men

Women represent an increasingly large proportion of the very elderly in the UK, and are almost twice as likely as men to reach the age of 100 once they are 90.

Women twice as likely to reach 100 ©iStock
Women almost twice as likely to reach 100 ©iStock

That is according to analysis of data by longevity specialists Just Group, which found that around 6.9% of women in the UK live to 100 after reaching 90, compared with 3.7% of men.

As a result, the findings show that 64% of people aged 90 in the UK are women, rising to 82% for 100-year-olds.

“Longevity is still nudging higher, so it is crucial that people bear this in mind when establishing later-life financial plans.” Just Group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said.

“On average, women will enter retirement with less savings, and so they should think through their options given they are much likelier to live longer than men.”

Of the 57,000 90-year-old women recorded in 2008, around 3,930 turned 100 last year, compared with just 890 out of 24,000 men.

Based on the data from the Office for National Statistics, the analysis also shows that women represent a far higher proportion of the elderly single and widowed population.

From the age of 70 upwards, there are about one million more widowed women than men, with females accounting for seven in 10 single adults over the age of 70.

And of the retirees in the lowest income groups, 45% are single women, 38% couples and 17% single men.

This comes after the Equity Release Council revealed that women took out more than double the number of new equity release plans as men in the first half of this year.

“We foresee more growth in equity release as women seek to supplement their incomes in later life, enabling them to stay in their homes and communities," Lowe continued.

“Everybody heading into retirement needs to think about the ‘what ifs’ of later life, and make plans to keep sufficient income flowing for as long as it is likely to be needed.

“Our view is that equity release works best when people have considered their housing wealth as part of their wider pension and retirement planning."

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