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31 Oct 2017

The old age question, over 100 years on

Generations-image2.jpg

Imagine stepping into a DeLorean and travelling back over 100 years to 1908, what was life like in the UK?

Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, Edward VII, is on the throne.

The Olympics are being held in London and the first ever official England national football team is about to win gold. England has also beaten Australia by one wicket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

In the kitchen - Bisto Gravy has just entered our lives and the Toblerone chocolate bar has just been created in Switzerland, but you won’t find an electric toaster or a can of beer...

Suffragettes are facing jail time for campaigning for the right to vote and if you’re a woman, you’re also likely to wash your hair only once a month.

The first Ford cars are in development and computers don’t yet exist. If you’re amongst the lucky few, you may have a bath in the home and if you’re really fortunate, a telephone!

1908 was also the year that the first state pension was introduced in the UK. Named the Old-Age Pensions Act, it offered eligible over 70 year olds five shillings a week (the equivalent of 25p today), or just over 7 shillings (62p) for a married man. However, as fewer than one in ten people in the UK reached the age of 75, only 596,038 pensions had been granted by the end of the year. In fact, life expectancy during this time was 48 for men and 52 for women.

Fast forward over 100 years

Living conditions have vastly improved and there have been significant advances in medicine and understanding of public health and diseases, meaning the many causes of death in 1908 would be considered preventable now. Penicillin, the first antibiotic, became widely available after the Second World War.

Thanks to developments in modern science and technology, life expectancy has dramatically increased by over 30 years (79 for men and 82 for women)*. While we enjoy our extra 30 years, we face many life questions that our ancestors didn’t have the luxury to concern themselves with. Such as: should I follow my children on Instagram? Who’s going to win Strictly? Can we treat ourselves to a take-away this weekend?

And then there are the more important questions: will I have enough money to support myself after retirement? What will I be able to leave my children or grandchildren when I die? Do I want to be buried or cremated? What song would I like for my send-off? Will I be leaving any debt after I pass away?

I plan to stick around for a while, how can I plan ahead?

As we live longer, it’s also worth considering how our extra years will affect life insurance. Over 50s life insurance is one of the most predictable forms of life insurance; as morbid as it sounds, it’s guaranteed to pay-out to your loved ones when you die. On the other hand, until scientific advances give us the power to predict how long we’re going to live, there’s no way of knowing how many years you’ll be paying into your life insurance policy for.

We all want to avoid paying in more than our loved ones will receive back, which is often the case with over 50s life insurance simply due to the cover ending when you die. This is best demonstrated by war hero Dennis, who paid £4,896 on life insurance and only received back £1,757 because he was lucky to live another 17 years up to the grand age of 95, paying £24 a month into his policy.

A pay-out that matches what you pay in

For added reassurance today you could opt to go for British Seniors® Over 50s Life Insurance with the Lifetime Payback Guarantee® which is designed to ensure that, you’ll never pay in more than is paid out after you die. Your loved ones will either receive the total amount of premiums that have been paid into your policy, or the original benefit amount, whichever is more.

So if you were to opt for a policy that pays out £5,000, with monthly payments of £33.66 from the age of 65, and you’re lucky enough to reach 95 like Dennis, your loved ones would receive over £12,000 back; £7,000 more than the original policy amount.

If this sounds relevant to you, remember the Lifetime Payback Guarantee® is exclusive to British Seniors. Find out more about the policy here, and to learn about our traditional over 50s life insurance policy, click here.

*World Health Organisation