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Living Longer - A BBC Breakfast Special

1st July 2016 written by in

This short informative BBC film looks at the chances of us living longer and examines the likelihood of living until 100. It also makes some startling predictions such as that by the end of this century 1.5 million people will be over 100 and that 1 in 3 people alive today will live to be 100 years old.

You can watch the BBC Breakfast Special here.

According to a study by the Office for National Statistics in 2015, there were estimated to be 14,450 centenarians (people aged 100 or over) living in the UK in 2014 - a rise of 72% in the last decade.

The growing number of centenarians has led the Queen to take on more staff to deal with demand for 100th birthday telegrams. In 2015, Her Majesty advertised a job as her “assistant anniversaries officer”, to help her deal with events including diamond wedding anniversaries and birthdays, which have more than tripled since the start of her reign.

In the BBC Breakfast Special, Dr Tom Kirkwood argues, “It is humanity’s greatest success that in the course of 200 years we have doubled the average length of a human life.”

He goes on to offer a refreshing counterpoint to the prevailing doom and gloom attitude to the idea of an ageing population by stating, “People talk all the time about an aging society as if this is some terrible doom that hangs over all of us. We just have to change the way we see these issues. It’s entirely possible to have a highly successful society provided that of those 100 years most of them are good years.”

The film also shows a short interview with a woman of 104 named Kitty Stredder who, when asked what lesson she’d like to pass on, said, “Just be happy. Try to make other people happy. And be content with what you’ve got.”

Kitty’s advice rings true at any age, but it is particularly relevant as we transition into retirement.  Retirement could be the start of a long and happy chapter of your life – potentially the next 30 or 40 years if we are to believe Dr Kirkwood! 

To find out how to plan for, and make the most of this new chapter, work your way through the Vision Guide of this programme.


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