Less Than 1 in 5 Want To Live Forever AA Research Finds

  • Recent research from AA Ireland’s life insurance team has found that less than a fifth of Irish people describe themselves as “very likely” to choose to live forever if they were given the opportunity.
  • Almost a quarter of those surveyed described themselves as very unlikely to choose immortality if such an option existed.

The pursuit of immortality is one which has failed to capture the imaginations of Irish people according to recent research by AA Life Insurance, with less than a fifth of people stating they would choose to live forever if they could.

In response to an AA Life Insurance survey of over 4,000 AA customers and members, just 18.13% of those surveyed stated that they were ‘very likely’ to choose to live forever if they were given the opportunity. Meanwhile a further 20.04% held a lukewarm view of the option of immortality, with almost a quarter of those surveyed (23.51%) describing themselves as “very unlikely” to choose eternal life.

“I have to say these results were a surprise to me.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “I thought it would be much higher. Immortality has been the philosopher’s dream throughout history but Irish people seem a bit more realistic.”

“It makes a serious point though. Death is a fact of life that we become psychologically skilled at avoiding. We programme ourselves not to think about our own mortality. In turn though that might stop us thinking about planning for it. Life Insurance is unlikely to be a fun topic in any household but its necessary. None of us know when or where it will happen so it’s important that your partner, children or any dependents will be financially stable if anything was to happen to you.”

The survey also found a significant gender gap when it comes to our opinions on immortality. While just 15.3% of female respondents described themselves as “very likely” to choose to live forever if it was possible, men were 6% more likely to choose this option with 21.34% “very likely” to choose to live forever.

“Immortality is certainly a futuristic, sci-fi style idea and I’m sure we raised a few eyebrows when our life insurance team asked people about it. However, back in the present day world the gender disparity in our opinions highlights the important of having serious conversations about death and how your family will manage if anything happens to you while you still can,” Faughnan added. “Anecdotally we know woman are a little better in this area and more proactive about arranging life insurance when they get married or start a family, but facing these difficult realities is something we could all get a little better at and, by doing so, would help ensure our families can continue to survive if the worst happens.”

Fig.1:  A hypothetical question, but if you had the opportunity to live forever how likely is it that you would choose to do so?

Based on an AA Life Insurance survey of 4,438 people undertaken in February 2018.

A All Male only Female Only
Very likely 18.13% 21.34% 15.30%
Somewhat likely 20.04% 20.15% 19.35%
Neutral 18.66% 19.38% 18.16%
Somewhat unlikely 19.66% 17.37% 21.95%
Very unlikely 23.51% 21.75% 25.24%

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