The rise in life expectancy – corresponding rise in subjective life expectancy?

  • Dorly Deeg Dorly Deeg
  • Fanny Janssen Fanny Janssen
  • Henrike Galenkamp Henrike Galenkamp
  • Maaike van der Noordt Maaike van der Noordt
  • Martijn Huisman Martijn Huisman
  • Noelle Sant Noelle Sant

Changes over the period 1999-2016

We test the hypothesis that subjective remaining life expectancy (SRLE) increased concomitantly with the rise in actuarial remaining life expectancy (ARLE) over the period 1999-2016. As earlier evidence shows the relevance of SRLE for the intention of older workers to continue working, we focus on people aged 64-67 years. We also examine the influence of personal characteristics on the trend in SRLE. We select data from six measurement waves (n=1,967 observations) of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, which is representative for people aged 55 and over in the Netherlands. SRLE is derived from a ‘lifeline’ on which participants indicated where they stood in life at the moment of participation. We find no change over time in SRLE for men; for women, in contrast, we find a significant increase in SRLE, greater than the increase in ARLE. Among the personal characteristics, a poorer self-rated health (men), chronic diseases (women), and, unexpectedly, a higher level of education and better cognitive functioning (both genders) are associated with a shorter SRLE. For women, preference for a fixed retirement age of 65 or lower is associated with a longer SRLE. We discuss implications for the willingness of people aged 64-67 to extend working life.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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