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Vol. 4, No. 8 | August 2012

 

 

 

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Saving For the Long Term
Savings For the Long Term

US MED Gives BackAt age 65, a man's average life expectancy is 20 additional years; at the same age, a woman has an estimated average of 22 additional years.

Planning your life on averages, however, is risky. Remember the story of a man who drowned crossing a river where a sign said the average depth was 3 feet (it was 12 feet in the middle).

Using average life expectancy to estimate how long your savings will last could leave you with no savings and a lot of living left to do. About 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men will live to age 90.

Some will live to 95, and a few will pass the century mark. So if you think you've already saved enough to retire, don't stop. Save some more. Another consideration: the chance that at least one member of a 65-year-old couple will reach age 90 is 60 percent.

Deciding whether to plan for an average lifespan or a long one is your decision. But providing for a longer life could save you from skimping near the end or living on the kindness of others, say financial planers quoted on CNN MONEY.com.

Unless you have a family history of dying young or a condition that's bound to shorten your life, it's best to plan on living into your mid-nineties. Online life-expectancy tools could help, such as one by Northwestern Mutual (Google "Longevity Game"). It calculates life expectancy based on your health, behavior and family history. It takes just 2 or 3 minutes and it's entertaining.

To hedge your bets once you retire, advisors recommend devoting part of your savings to an immediate annuity. It will provide guaranteed income no matter how long you live.

 

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