Ziggy. Snape. And the voice of the Eagles. All gone within three weeks of 2016. And – based on ‘average’ life expectancy – well before their time (though hard living may have played its part).

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. For years 50+, which we’re constantly reminded is the longest-lived generation in history, has been warned to conserve funds to see them through their lengthy retirements. But what if you don’t get to serve out the full duration?

This spate of celebrity deaths reveals the danger of taking an average as an expectation. But it may also be opening the lid on something more. For the younger 50+ cohort, the ones who’ve non-conformed their whole lives, this reminder of their own mortality may incline them to decide ‘I could go any time. I’m taking that holiday/buying that car/having that party/opening that wine RIGHT NOW.’

If the wealth of the 50+ generation becomes increasingly used for short term gratification, it could be huge news for many brands. And coupled with the nagging undercurrent that the Government may in time chip away at the efficacy of super as an investment vehicle, the inclination to live for today may further increase.

Using FiftyNotOut Mood Monitor, we aim to get a good read on what the market is thinking.