Literature Review of the Impact of a Healthy Lifestyle in Retirement

Background and Purpose

Leading a healthy lifestyle has been associated with both long-term and short-term benefits. In the long term, adopting healthy lifestyle habits has been connected with reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases and increasing longevity. Short-term, it is often credited with feelings of increased energy, and overall well-being and cognition.  

With these aspects in mind, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Aging and Retirement, and Health Care Cost Trends Strategic Research Programs are interested in identifying and summarizing relevant literature looking at the impact of a healthy lifestyle in retirement.  The resulting report is intended to be a useful reference for retirement and health actuaries as well as other professionals on the scope of this issue and insight into useful follow-up research efforts that may encompass both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Research Objective

The Programs are seeking researchers to:

  1. Conduct a review of relevant resources focused on the impact of a healthy lifestyle in retirement. This may include conversations with experts on these topics.

Topics of interest include:

  • What are general ways that behavior can be changed in retirement to lead to a healthier lifestyle?
  • How do lifestyle behavioral changes made prior to retirement impact the retirement period?
  • What are barriers and challenges for adopting a healthy lifestyle in retirement? How can such barriers and challenges be overcome or mitigated?
  • What impact do specific activities associated with a healthy lifestyle such as meditation/yoga, preventative care, diet, exercise and social engagement have on retirement both on the quality of life in retirement and cost of healthcare in retirement?
  • What issues and challenges are there for leading a healthy lifestyle late in life? How do they compare to earlier stages of retirement? How can people maintain a reasonable quality of life when they face late in life health challenges? What options do they have?
  • What lessons can be learned from other countries outside of North America?

Given the expected scope of these topics of interest, proposers are free to address a subset of these topics in their proposals.

  1. Summarize the most relevant resources reviewed using a consistent format to allow readers to quickly grasp the most important points and with links to the original sources.  
  2. Provide an overall synthesis of the material including exhibits that organize the resources by major topic and respective issues.
  3. Identify any knowledge and information gaps in the available resources and potential topics that should be addressed in future resources.
  4. Recommend approaches for specific follow-up research on the relationship of a healthy lifestyle in retirement that would be appropriate for the SOA to conduct and have the most impact..

The range of applicable resources for this search is intended to be broad and would include government publications, industry publications, consulting firm articles, academic literature, websites and other relevant publications.


Respondents may also be interested in the 2020 SOA Workable Innovations For Living Longer Contest. Details can be found here.


To facilitate the evaluation of proposals, the following information should be submitted:

  1. Resumes of the researcher(s), including any graduate student(s) expected to participate, indicating how their background, education and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research. If more than one researcher is involved, a single individual should be designated as the lead researcher and primary contact. The person submitting the proposal must be authorized to speak on behalf of all the researchers as well as for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted. Proposals through a partnership of multiple parties are welcome.
  2. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, model, etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, collateral material to be consulted, and possible limitations of the approach.
  3. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources.
  4. Cost estimates for the research, including computer time, salaries, report preparation, material costs, etc. Such estimates can be in the form of hourly rates, but in such cases, time estimates should also be included. Any guarantees as to total cost should be given and will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal. While cost will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal, it will not necessarily be the decisive factor.
  5. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frames for research completion and report submissions. The Programs are interested in completing this project in a timely manner.  Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely deliver, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  6. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed.

Selection Process

The Programs will appoint a Project Oversight Group (POG) to oversee the project.  The POG is responsible for recommending the proposal to be funded.  Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, but the POG will make the final recommendation, subject to SOA leadership approval. The SOA's Research Actuary will provide staff actuarial support.


Any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Steven Siegel, SOA Senior Practice Research Actuary (phone: 847-706-3578; email:

Notification of Intent To Submit Proposal

If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail written notification by March 12, 2020 to Barbara Scott.

Submission of Proposal

Please e-mail a copy of the proposal to Barbara Scott.

Proposals must be received no later than March 19, 2020. It is anticipated that all proposers will be informed of the status of their proposal by the end of April 2020.

Note: Proposals are considered confidential and proprietary.


The selection of a proposal is conditioned upon and not considered final until a Letter of Agreement is executed by both the SOA and the researcher.

The SOA reserves the right to not award a contract for this research. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The SOA also reserves the right to redirect the project as is deemed advisable.

The SOA plans to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s).

The SOA may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the SOA in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The SOA may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties.  You agree to perform promotional communication requested by the SOA, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, participating in a podcast, presenting the research at an SOA meeting, and/or writing an article on the research for an SOA newsletter.