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How much time do I have left? [ClearOnMoney]
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Commentary

How much time do I have left?

23 Apr 2012 by Jim Fickett.

A person retiring at 65 might be expected to live another 19 years or so, on average, but should expect to be healthy enough to carry on normal activities for only another 9 years.

Most people, I suppose, live day-to-day, and don't think much about any strategic questions of what might be accomplished in the rest of their remaining time. For those that do think ahead, probably most think in terms of expected lifespan. There are, of course, good data on how long one may expect to live, given any current age (see How long are you likely to live?).

Eurostat presented last week a somewhat different perspective – how long can one expect to remain healthy enough to carry on normal activities?

Healthy life years measure the number of years that a person can expect to live in a healthy condition1. When considering the population aged 65 years, life expectancy is provisionally estimated at 21.0 years for women and 17.4 years for men in the EU27 in 2010. As regards healthy life years, women at the age of 65 in the EU27 in 2010 were expected to live a further 8.8 years in a healthy condition, and men 8.7 years. …

1 A healthy condition is defined by the absence of limitations in functioning/disability, measured by a self-perceived question asking for the extent of any limitations in activities people usually do caused by a health problem (for at least the past six months). The indicator of healthy life years measures the number of years that a person of a specific age is expected to live without any severe or moderate health problems, which means that the respondent can maintain usual activities.

So, in brief, a person retiring at 65 might be expected to live another 19 years or so, but should expect to be healthy enough to carry on normal activities for only another 9 years. Sobering.

[Of course these are European statistics, but probably similar results apply in other developed economies.]