Life expectancy is the years that a person can expect to live if the circumstances of mortality remain the same. Fortunately, life expectancy estimates have been less than the real years that people live. The better understanding of the longevity of populations by actuaries has made it possible to incorporate dynamic mortality and survival tables in the calculations to reduce possible deviations.
In 2020, life expectancy for girls born in Spain will be 85.10 years and for boys 79.70 years. Mathematics helps to understand, in this case, through formal language, the logic of the average years that a person will live. It should be remembered that for those born in 1960, the life expectancy for women is 14 years less and men 13 years. It is also very interesting to know that life expectancy on the African continent is 58 years; the well-being of a society has necessarily increased the years of life of its population.
The Col.legi d´Actuaris de Catalunya, included in its website a simulator https://actuaris.org/calculadora01/ which, considering various parameters, is able to give the results of this calculation. Technology has made it possible to process a large amount of data from reinsurance entities, which together with mathematical advances, are able to refine which factors are or are not relevant, to calculate life expectancy.
The solution of the Spanish public pension system has changed a lot since at its beginning, in 1967, life expectancy was 70 years. It is not the same to pay public retirement pensions for the population of workers who retire at 65 and on average will live 5 years longer, than to pay pensions for a period 3 times longer. This problem is the main reason for all the reforms of the public pension system, to make it sustainable.
The great advantage that the insurance industry has allowed is to provide a solution for the population to supplement their retirement pensions, through insurance contracts and/or pension plans. The individual possibility of finding an answer to their economic needs, to live a life with financial freedom, has been the success of the Western world to the great challenge of longevity.
With the information available to everyone, it should be everyone’s responsibility to plan their retirement well in advance so that they can continue to live a full and satisfying life.
The actuary and economist Jaume Quibus holds a master’s degree in Financial Economics and Accounting, a degree in Actuarial and Financial Sciences, a degree in Economic and Business Studies from the University of Barcelona and has completed the Management Development Programme at the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra. He is a full member of the following associations: the Catalan Actuarial Association, the Spanish Actuarial Association, the Catalan Economists Association, the International Actuarial Association, the Catalan Association of Accounting and Management and also a member of the IESE Business School Alumni. He was a founding partner in 1998 of the actuarial company Quibus, and is corporate member number 6 in the Catalan Actuarial Association.