The big unknown for retirement savers is how long they are likely to live and how much money they will need to fund a comfortable lifestyle.
The question is now partly answered by new statistics released by the official Public Health England (PHE).
Men can now expect to live to an extra 19 years after the 65th birthday, according to the research.
At 75, they can live an average 12 years longer, six years at 85 years old and three years at 95.
Women live longer – 21 years at 65, 13 at the age of 75, seven years at 85 and three at age 95.
Quality of life
The figures only apply to England and vary between the regions and even local authority areas.
However, life expectancy has increased in every UK region except the North East.
Professor John Newton, the PHE chief knowledge officer, said: “Life expectancy in England has reached the highest ever and future reports are likely to show further increases.
“Although people are living longer, the quality of their life in later years is important, but the evidence shows many are in poor health.
“The report is a timely reminder that improving diet and exercising even in middle age and later will help to improve health for many people as they age. Stopping smoking is one important aspect of this.”
For expats, comparison figures with European Union countries show life expectancy increased for men at all ages and women at 75 years old, but the increases were lower than the EU average.
These figures can help pension planning.
One of the variables that is unpredictable is how long an average person is likely to live into their retirement.
Using these statistics, men and women can estimate their average lifespan. Men should live until they are 84 and women until 86 years old.
The other unknown is health.
According to the statistics, many people aged 80 plus are in ill-health, so factoring the cost of long term care into a retirement saving strategy is also a good idea.
How much money is required for a comfortable retirement really depends on the saver – some people would define ‘comfortable’ as needing less money than others.