Retirement Weekly: How many more years will you live? Here’s how to make an educated guess.

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Stock Market

As you progress through your 50s and 60s, you start asking yourself an all-important question: How much longer have I got? If you’re like most people, you’ll base your answer on an educated hunch. Maybe your family tree features lots of nonagenarians so you assume your great genes will keep you fit into your 90s. Or maybe you’re a fatalist by nature and you’re convinced you won’t make it past 75.

If you’re a life insurance actuary, however, you’ll approach this quandary with hard data. By analyzing risk factors (age, gender, health history, etc.) and crunching numbers, you’ll arrive at a more nuanced (but still fuzzy) answer. Actuaries have the advantage of using algorithms and mortality tables to calculate one’s odds of dying at a certain age. Uncertainty remains, of course, but the law of large numbers gives actuaries a rough sense of longevity among a pool of people with similar profiles. Your current age plays an outsize role in estimating your remaining lifespan. The life expectancy for a 65-year-old is about 84 for men and nearly 87 for women.  Yet many freshly retired folks dismiss such probabilities and defer to their gut. They draw conclusions about their likely death date based on a mix of rational analysis and irrational impulse. “Lots of people underestimate their longevity,” said Mark K …

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