Perhaps you saw the Time magazine cover, featuring a cherubic baby and the caption, "This baby could live to be 142 years old—Dispatches from the frontier of longevity." The articles describe several of the advances being made in extending the human life span well beyond the three score and 10 cited in Psalm 90.

The article got me thinking about the potential impacts of extended life spans on benefits. In today's world, we've begun to identify life cycle needs of employees and their families. We in the voluntary business have been doing this in enrollment meetings for many years.

Technology hasn't changed the messages, just refined them. Voluntary enrollment systems and exchange systems are being built with life cycle logic in them. In the end, people with young families tend to need lots of term life insurance; people approaching retirement are in need of asset preservation products like long-term care and critical illness, and so on. What will our messaging be, though, in the world of a life expectancy at birth nearly double today's?

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