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Would you invest $1000 per week to live longer?

Money can’t buy happiness – but it can buy Longevity;  this updated report from UBS identifies that investors are re-thinking where they invest their wealth.

In what it claims is the “largest survey of wealthy investors in the world,” a UBS Investor Watch survey shows that investors would sacrifice wealth for an extra ten years of healthy life.

Longevity.Technology: UBS surveyed more than 5,000 high net worth investors (with at least $1 million in investable assets); the report, which is based on data recorded in 2018, was revised earlier this year, a timely decision given how the COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on healthspan and lifespan. We are glad to see many investors embracing the concept of Longevity as a longer, healthier, life, extending not only the number of years you get, but living those years as well as possible, slowing the onset of age-related diseases.

Accruing a century was once a rare milestone, but 53% of the HNWs surveyed expect to live to the age of 100 – clear blue water between the 80-year life expectancy in most developed countries. This expectation of Longevity means that significant changes to financial outlook and plans for wealth are in motion.

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Here are our top takeaways from the UBS Investor Watch:

  • The prospect of affording a 100-year life is concerning. 52% of investors surveyed worry about rising medical expenses. Other concerns including having reduced wealth to pass on after death and the need to work longer to fund a longer life with a lifestyle they desire;
  • A knock-on effect of affording a longer life is an awareness of career extension, both to provide an income, but also to enjoy the benefits that an active working life provides. UBS found that 77% believe that working has positive effects on health;
  • 90% of HNWs said that investing in their health is more important than wealth accumulation, but there was an awareness (92%) that it is existing wealth that allows for living a healthier life;
  • As we have found at Longevity.Technology, there is a growing interest in preventative measures, including gyms, fitness coaches, dieticians and supplements. As the wearable tech industry continues to expand, with devices that track and suggest adjustments to personal health and IoT platforms that combine different agetech data and feedback to clinicians, this interest will continue to grow;
  • The UBS survey reports that 9 in 10 investors are already adjusting their financial plans and spending habits to accommodate a hoped-for life expectancy and possible associated care costs. The top three asset classes for long-term investing are real estate, equities and cash;
  • The wealthiest HNWs surveyed were willing to trade nearly half their wealth for an extra, healthy, decade. Those in the $1M – $2M segment were also willing to sacrifice wealth for health, but only up the tune of approximately one-third of their wealth for an additional 10 years of healthy life; so approximately c.$50k per annum over 10 years (c.$1000 per week);

João Pedro de Magalhães, PhD, Professor at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease at the University of Liverpool called the report “fascinating,” adding that “clearly investors need to focus on anti-aging biotech!”

A follow-up survey that looked at investment in a post-COVID world spoke to more than 3,750 investors across 15 markets globally and found that 88% of those surveyed see staying healthy as their top priority.

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Image credit: Lenscap Photograph / Shutterstock
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.
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