What is the probability of reaching 100 in good health?

What is the probability of reaching 100 in good health?

My last blog spoke to the actuarial probability of living a long life.  It is often assumed that with long life is excellent health.   Recently, I attended a funeral for a dear friend who passed away at age 92.  She had a long life, but she suffered with a variety of ailments including osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and for the last 10 years, the creeping in of dementia.  This morning, at another community event, I visited with another elderly friend, who at age 81, was on the wait list for a knee replacement.  His wife was in care with Alzheimerā€™s disease.  A relative of mine commented recently that having oneā€™s cataracts removed is now considered a ā€œbadge of honorā€ because it speaks to oneā€™s longevity!

Frank Vettese, former chief actuary of Morneau Shepell, wrote 2 articles in the Globe and Mail (April 4 and April 11, 2023), that focused on the probably of contracting a serious or critical illness.  For the purposes of definition, there are 14 classifications of these illnessā€™s listed in the Canadian Pensionerā€™s Mortality (CPM) Table.  The major critical illnesses are heart attacks, life-threatening cancers, stroke, and Alzheimerā€™s disease.   

Of 1,000 women aged 65:

173 or 17% will still be alive and in good health at 90.

357 or 36% will have a critical illness at age 90.

9 or 0.90% will make it to 100 without contracting a critical illness.

Of 1,000 men aged 65:

500 +/- will survive until age 90.

961 or 96% will have contracted a critical illness or serious illness by age 90.

100% of all men alive at age 100 will have suffered a critical illness.

 In a conversation with Rhiannon Tutty, Sun Life advisor in Invermere, B.C., she commented that 80% of the claims that she has dealt with were due to heart attack, stroke, life threatening cancer and bypass surgery.  For a complete list of illnesses covered, please reach out to your life insurance agent, or contact Rhiannon Tutty at [email protected].

Here is list of most illnesses covered by most insurers.  They include life threatening cancers, stroke, coronary bypass surgery, dementia/Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, Parkinsonā€™s disease, paralysis, major organ transplant, bacterial meningitis, coma, heart valve replacement/repair, deafness, and motor neuron disease.

So, what should we do with information?  It has been my observation that it is very expensive to get and stay sick.  Be prudent in your retirement planning to have a ā€œhealth accountā€ as part of your planning.  Also, many financial planners offer Long Term Care Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance as part of their offering.  The premiums for these plans are quite reasonable if you are under age 60 and healthy.  Pre-existing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking will be taken into consideration when applying for these types of coverages, but when one considers the probability of a claim, before age 90, wise people should at least investigate this type of coverage.