February 26, 2016 11 am eastern time

Life expectancy was addressed today in a new Statistics Canada report. Life expectancy is, of course, a major factor in retirement planning and in the solvency calculations of pensions.  One fact that is sometimes forgotten or not understood is that a 65 year old can expect, on average, to die at an older age than say a 35 year old. That’s because the 65 year old has already gotten from 35 to 65 without dying, something which not all 35 year olds will achieve. Also  an average  93 year old person obviously has a much higher chance of reaching 94 than does a typical 65 year old since they have already managed to make it through their 80’s and early 90’s without dying.

“In 2009–2011, 65-year-old men were expected to live until they were 83.8, while 65-year-old women were expected to live until the age of 86.7.”

These figures are only averages. Obviously those active 65 year olds in good health and with no family history of dying unusually young can expect to live longer than the average 65 year old.

In planning for retirement, one of the key benefits of most pension plans is that the plan can fund for average life expectancy of the plan members where as individuals funding their own retirements should plan for the maximum age that they might expect to live to.


Markets are generally moderately positive this morning. However, Stantec is down 2.8% in further reaction to its earnings release. I added a small amount to my position on the basis that Stantec is still going to grow significantly over the years even if its profit declines in 2016 due to the energy patch woes.

Bombardier is down 5.6% on the news that its largest C-Series customer is entering bankruptcy. However this development was expected. A silver lining here is that Bombardier can perhaps now sell these earlier production slots to new customers. That is, the first several years of production has been spoken for and so any new order was going to be for delivery in say three to five years down the road. This development might open up much more timely slots if a major airline is interested in making a purchase. I suppose there will also be a battle now in that Bombardier likely is holding substantial deposit money from the bankrupt customer. Bombardier could argue that it is a creditor in the sense that the airline has contracted for the planes. But I suspect that kind of obligation ranks far down on the priority list in bankruptcy and I suspect that the other creditors will argue for Bombardier to pay back the deposits. The Bankrupt airline may also have the option to sell its C-Series production slots to another airline, if there happens to be an interested buyer.