In the last 150 years, dramatic improvements have been made in life expectancy. Some developments such as immunizations for smallpox, polio and measles created quantum improvements, while the proliferation of better lifestyles, clean water and more nutritious diets provided gradual and continuing change. While most historical life expectancy developments resulted from improvement in children’s mortality, in the 20th century, mortality rates declined significantly for older ages.
While this is a tremendous success for humanity as a whole, it changes the economics of working and retiring, of earning and spending and of living in general. It impacts the employers who provide pensions, governments that provide social insurance and public assistance and (re)insurers that provide annuities, disability protection, long term care, critical illness and other lifestyle protection coverages.