How Long Will You Live? A Key Question in Retirement Planning

We all know just how ephemeral life can be: At the risk of being morbid, any one of us could befall some tragic, unforeseeable accident and no longer be alive by this time tomorrow. But even if tomorrow is never promised, the general, statistical trend is for people to live longer and healthier lives. This is good news, of course, but it also has some implications for retirement planning.

The reason for this is simple: You want your life to be long, but you also want it to be happy—and you won’t be so happy if you make it to 90 and suddenly find yourself penniless. Neither will your life be peaceful or fulfilling if, some years into your retirement, you develop healthcare needs that you simply cannot pay for. The key takeaway is simply this: When planning for retirement, it’s smart to plan to live for a good long while. Ideally, you want to have plenty of money on hand to remain financially secure even if you’re still alive at 110.

What Will Your Lifespan Be?

Have you ever actually stopped and thought about how long you’ll live? If you’ve always assumed you’ll make it to around 75 or 80, you may be in for a surprise. Consider some of these statistics from the Society of Actuaries:

– Among men who are in their mid-50s today, one out of three will live to be 90.

– Among women who are in their mid-50s today, one out of two will live to be 90.

– For couples who are 65 today, the odds that the wife outlives her husband by 15+ years are 20 percent; the odds that she outlives him by at least five years is 45 percent.

– For couples who are 65 today, the odds that the husband outlives the wife by 15+ years are 11 percent; the odds that he outlives her by at least five years are 30 percent.

– There is a 50 percent chance that at least the husband or wife will live to the age of 92.

Moreover, while you may assume that life expectancy is largely a matter of genetics, there are actually a wide number of factors in play—including lifestyle, access to medical care, and beyond. Many of these factors are entirely in your hands.

The point here is simply that there is a decent likelihood that your retirement savings will need to stretch on for a good many years. Are you planning accordingly? A good retirement plan prepares for both worst-case and best-case scenarios—including a longer than expected life. To ensure that your retirement plan is sufficient for old age, we invite you to contact one of our financial planners at Stonepath Wealth Management today.