Sunday 2nd October, 2005


Smokers going down faster

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The new Commissioners Standard Ordinary Mortality Tables indicate that the life span has extended from 100 years up to the age of 120 years. The Age Wave hypothesis, speaks of a bright new career after retirement. To be among the confident players, in this innovation age must mean that the financial goal is savings enough to outlive the life cycle.

The new Mortality Tables now differentiate life spans among smokers and non-smokers. Out of every 1,000 members of the population aged 50 years, the Tables indicate that twice as many smokers will die compared with non-smokers, in one year.

When segregated by gender, out of every 1,000 female, non-smokers, aged 50 years, 2.81 will die, compared with 5.39 smokers, who will die that year.

Among the males, out of every 1,000 non-smokers, 3.32 will die, compared with 6.45 smokers, who will die in that year.

So the smokers are going down faster than non-smokers, and the males are not as resilient as the females in the face of disease, and other dynamics.

What we are staring at in the face is really a whole new cosmetics industry, on the light side of the dilemma. But on the serious side, it looks like a whole heap of very old women decorating the earth.

In a society where many women, aged 60 years have been housewives all their lives, dependant on a survivor benefit for monthly income, that spells trouble! It’s a good thing that some wise women before our time, decided that women had to exit the non-income labour market, and get into the income labour market.

Let me explain what I mean. Pension plans come with a guaranteed amount of payments for the beneficiary, and payments for the lifetime of the pensioner. When the pensioner dies, the beneficiary will receive pension cheques for the guarantee period, and then the cheques will stop.

The common guarantee period is ten years. If the pensioner dies in the tenth year after receiving his initial pension cheque, in a ten year guarantee scenario, the surviving spouse has nothing to get. She had better have her own pension plan!

If women didn’t work, they would not have pension plans, and since they are living longer anyway, they would not be able to afford food, much less cosmetics!

We need then to examine the concept of what is called non-labour income.

Non-labour income or what is also called non-wage income, is income that is earned through investments, inheritances, dividend payments, trusts, as well as welfare payments such as NIS.

It is known that households headed by single women, are more likely to fall into poverty than any other group in society, and they tend to be more dependant on state welfare.

But its time for a paradigm shift, women are capable of making just as much money as any other class of workers, and ought to begin thinking of portfolio investments, their own longevity, and life style adjustments, that pay real dividends for the long term.

The family is still the basic unit of the society, and marriage is a stronghold on morality, and for that reason, dual-income families is a paradigm that has emerged. The shift has to be towards independent investment portfolios, to spread the risk, and joint and survivor benefits.

It has been said that wealth is what you leave for your heirs, but what you take with you of your wealth, is what you have used to add value to the lives of those around you, and the stock you have distributed in charity.


©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Designed by: Randall Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Sheahan Farrell