Touching on the role of longevity in retirement planning, a recent Aegon study emphasizes how health plays a daily role when planning for the future, and sometimes, is even more important than wealth.
The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2019 relates health with retirement readiness through the Aegon Retirement Readiness Index (ARRI), a score that ranks the level of readiness employees feel as they near retirement. Workers who believed they are in good or excellent health achieved a higher score than those who said they are in fair or poor health, at 6 for those in “Good” shape and a 7.1 for those in “Excellent” shape, while those who indicated they are in “Fair” health reached a 5.5 ranking, and those who concluded their health as “Poor” scored a 5.1 ranking. Each high index score was rated on a scale between 0 to 10.
Additionally, the study finds the healthier a worker is, the more positive their attitude will be when it comes to retirement. Those who stated they have “Good” or “Excellent” health had significantly higher scores than those in “Poor” or “Fair” shape.
While Aegon does disclose how several factors can influence both health and retirement readiness, including age, sex and income, results show positive correlations between the two.
The white paper stresses the importance of healthy lifestyles during an employee’s working life, citing the benefits employers reap from a healthy work force. Because it can be difficult for sedentary and inactive individuals to achieve long-term behavioral changes when it comes to adopting a new diet or exercise regime, the study suggests plan sponsors incorporate smaller changes and benefits to encourage workers on making conscious healthy choices, such as sit-to-stand desks, and healthy challenges with colleagues, noting that a workplace’s social environment could encourage healthy behavior.
More information on the study can be found here.