Death By Numbers: Life Expectancy In Canada

Death is fact of life, and among the many unknowns surrounding 'death' is the question; when will I die? And while no one can say definitively when, that doesn't stop us from wondering about it. That's where life expectancy comes in and tries to answer the question, "How long can I expect to live?"

According to the Statistics Canada's Death report (released July 2012) which looked at deaths-and life expectancies-in Canada for 2007-2009, a child born in Canada could expect to live 81.1 years.

Where you live affects how long you'll live

Where you live within Canada matters, because even though the national life expectancy is 81.1 years, life expectancy in British Columbia is the longest at 81.7 and in the three territories is the shortest, at 75.1. That's a swing of 6.6 years!

Gender inequality

Women still outlive the men. Currently, the national life expectancy is 78.8 years for boys born in 2007, 2008 or 2009 and 83.3 for girls. That's a difference of 4.5 years. But again, the difference varies on where you live. For example, based on provincial life expectancy, Ontario women can expect to outlive their male counterparts by 4.4 years; whereas women from the three territories can expect to live 5.7 years longer.

Reality and your expectations don't always coincide

No doubt about it, knowing your life expectancy is handy. It can help you with your retirement planning for one. But, because we all expect to live to 81.1 years old we often neglect to plan for the "what if I die prematurely?" So while planning for your retirement is a great idea, planning ahead with life insurance coverage is also sound advice. This is especially true for people who are:

  • Married
  • Have children
  • Have parents and/or other family members who depend on your income
  • Have a mortgage
  • Concerned their retirement savings or other accounts won't adequately support loved ones
  • Self-employed
  • Have debts like car loans or credit cards which would be a financial burden to survivors if they didn't receive financial support

Plan ahead with life insurance; tips to help you save.

The following are five money-saving and shopping tips for life insurance to get you started.

  • Compare quotes.
    Compare the life insurance policies and prices of competing insurers because every company prices their policies differently. A real easy way to do this, without having to listen to a sales pitch is to compare premiums and policies online. It's a great way to compare prices and see what different companies have to offer.
  • Consider term life insurance.
    Term life insurance typically offers you the most coverage for the least amount of money, and although there is no investment or saving component, there are many who would tell you to "Buy term, and invest the difference."
  • Pay once a year, instead of monthly.
    Save money by paying your annual premium all at once, instead of setting up a monthly payment plan. Almost all life insurance companies will charge you a little extra to cover the cost of administering your payments every month.
  • Consider a two-in-one policy.
    If you're looking to get life insurance for yourself and your spouse or partner, then consider buying one joint policy, instead of two individual policies. The premium is usually about 15 per cent less for a joint life insurance policy than two single life insurance policies of the same coverage amount.
  • Buy before your half-birthday.
    Your next birthday may be 6 months away but in the eyes of most life insurers you've already hit that next magical number. It's called "Age nearest", and it's what happens when you get quotes for life insurance. The quote you're offered is usually based on the age you are closest to, which 50 per cent of the time is your age at your next birthday.

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