The new institute complements the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement in Europe, and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in the United States.
Backed by Mongeral Aegon, the not-for-profit Instituto de Longevidade has been established in response to an identified and urgent need in Brazil. In 1955, life expectancy at birth for Brazilians was 52.9 years, by 2015 life expectancy had reached 75.4 years.
At the same time, the fertility rate has dropped from 6.1 children per woman in 1955 to 1.7 children in 2015. This reduction in fertility rates, coupled with the increase in Brazilian life expectancy, means that the over 50's will rapidly represent a significant percentage of the population.
Today, the country has 46 million people aged over 50, and this number will more than double in the next three decades. By 2050, the country will have more than 95 million people over the age of 50, which corresponds to almost half of the total population, according estimates from the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics.
"The Instituto de Longevidade has a clear mission to put the issue of longevity firmly on the development agenda for Brazilian society," says the Institute's Executive Director, Henrique Noya. "As well as providing research, we will propose solutions with defined social and economic impacts."
"We also have big ambitions to create a 'social movement' by engaging individuals, private companies, institutions and the government in the discussion on demographic change and by raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges ahead."
Two new initiatives
The Institute is spearheading two new initiatives. The first is a proposal for the introduction of new Regime Especial de Trabalho do Aposentado, which provides for more flexible labor relations and incentives for companies that hire retired professionals over the age of 60.
The second project is the launch of the REAL.IDADE longevity index, which will highlight how well 500 Brazilian cities are preparing to meet the needs of their aging inhabitants. The first of its kind in Brazil and South America, the Index is based on over 80 indicators - from health and welfare to finance and housing.
For those already aged over 50 year, the Institute has launched a special portal (movimentorealidade.org), containing a broad range of inspirational material, such as interviews and research on current issues related to longevity in Brazil and around the world. It will also provide access to a number of free services and useful tools such as retraining courses, assistance in reintegration into the labor market, help with understanding the latest technologies, financial guidance, a discount program for medicines, and more.
To achieve these goals, the Instituto de Longevidade Mongeral Aegon will work closely with a number of (international) agencies such as AARP, a US organization with over 40 million members, dedicated to serving the over 50s; the ANBO, a Dutch organization with over 120 years of experience, and research centers MIT AgeLab, Stanford Center of Longevity and Leyden Academy in the Netherlands.