65 — It Could Happen to You

Product: Financial planning
Date: 1927

Most of us expect — barring unfortunate and unforeseen circumstance — to live to a ripe old age. To at least 80, maybe 90. Heck, some financial planners caution us to plan on living 100 years or more.

We know that our retirement years will probably start around 65. And we all know the drill about saving now to sustain ourselves financially during those years.

But saving for retirement hasn’t always been a given.

This ad from 1927 plainly shows that many people didn’t plan for retirement because they didn’t think they’d be alive past 65.

What if YOU live to age 65?

Yet things were beginning to change, and the financial services companies were urging people to consider the statistics:

Sixty-three per cent of the 40-year-old men of today will be living at age 65.

To provide for yourself if you live to old age is as necessary as to provide an estate for your family. (emphasis from the ad)

If you lived to old age. A 63% survival rate as surprising. Old age at 65.

What a tremendous shift in cultural thinking from then to now. Improved nutrition, access to medicine, and a myriad of other blessings, big and small, have extended our life expectancies by more than a third in less than 100 years. Mind-boggling.

1927 retirement planning ad

Click to enlarge.

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2 Responses to “65 — It Could Happen to You”

  1. Ross Slater on October 4th, 2008 4:46 pm

    Wow – what a change in such a short time. The ad is a wonderful juxtaposition between what people thought then and what think now as cultural norms. Personally I’m looking to live to be 155 – which is a “crazy” thought for the current cultural norms. It just shows what technology can do – think of all the things we as human beings have created in the last 90 years: sulfur drugs, antibiotics, in-vitro surgery, and now on to nanotechnology. What will the future bring that we’re not open enough to imagine so that even 200+ is likely! Quite the “financial planning” challenge.

  2. Fluffnight on April 7th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Found this blog while searching for pictures from the 50′s for a school project.
    This entry was at the top of the page and just captured me! I can’t stop going through this site! It’s fascinating.

    As Mr. Slater stated before me, it’s crazy how times have changed. I don’t believe I’m as optimistic as him, since I hope to hit 100 if I’m lucky, but nonetheless, it’s pretty amazing how far times have come.

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