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Tony Hazell

Gill Cardy

# Death becomes me

## You are a 34 year old female.

By Simoney Girard | Published Jun 13, 2012 | comments

Your mortgage is 19 years long and ends when you are 53 years old.

There is a 2.61 per cent or 1 in 38 chance of you passing away before the end of your mortgage.

These were the comforting words I read about myself thanks to Drewberry Insurance’s latest HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO DEATH calculator. Or, as the website put it in slightly more drachonian and less dramatic terms, its Mortgage Life Insurance (risk of death) calculator.

Yes I thought it would be interesting to see how much I had left on my mortgage and how likely death would be for me, given my fairly robust health and no unhealthy habits barring a box of Haribo under my desk.

It turns out my chances of death are 1 in 38.

One, in thirty-eight. Ein in acht und dreizig. Une dans trente-huite ans. Nope, no matter how I put it, my odds of carcking it are pretty darn high.

Let’s consider other statistics. I have 760 ‘friends’ on facebook. 38 into 760 goes 20 times. Therefore out of 760 friends, 20 of us are likely to die in the next 19 years. And I am one of them.

Or let’s be less morbid. What about the Lottery? What are my chances of winning the lottery within the next 19 years, assuming that the odds remain the same each year?

In the UK, one expects to have an estimated 1 in 13,983,816 chance of winning the Lottery jackpot. These numbers are fixed every time the lottery is running. How many people are playing is irrelevant. Of course I would have a much better chance of matching three (1:57) or four (1:1000) numbers, but the payoffs for those wins are minimal. Hardly enough to pay off my mortgage well in advance of my impending death, which is a 1 in 38 chance.

Fifty Three. The very word is like a bell to toll me back from thee to my sole self. In 19 years’ time, if I am not dead, I will have beaten these odds and paid off my mortgage, in time for what?

To realise that I have not saved enough for my pension and no I can not go off around the world like my father has been doing since he was 56.

He is now 59 and still gadding about pretending to speak the language of a thousand tribes but really he just points and waggles his hands around while making odd noises.

No, at 53, should I have survived and assuming I did not win the Lottery, I will be facing penury unless I work until I am 82. This obviously assumes that I do not ever take out another mortgage, which would mean I remain in my South London hovel until my old age, ekeing out my existence by eating sardines and beans and generally smelling unpleasantly around my colleagues.

There is a high probability I will retire for maybe one or two years on a meagre pension, with a one in one odd of having far too many cats than my pension can sustain. I will be found by the council half-eaten by my pets, after the neighbours complain of the stench.

Thanks, Drewberry.

To check out your own death, visit Drewberry here

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John is a weekly contributor to Investment Adviser with 15 years’ experience in financial journalism and 10 years writing on the IFA sector. He was formerly editor of an IFA trade magazine.

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