The average life expectancy for Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is 78.5 years of age.

If you use that as a marker to determine how much you will need to save for retirement or should spend after you quit working, you could be in trouble.

The longevity numbers look quite different when Americans finally reach retirement age, according to LIMRA, an international membership organization that conducts research on life and health insurance products.

Shifting Life Expectancy Numbers

The average life expectancy for a man who reaches his 65th birthday is 83. A 65-year-old woman’s average life expectancy is 86.  But keep in mind that those higher figures are alsoaverages. That means that half of these Americans will live past the 83- and 86-year marks.

In fact, nearly 25% of 65-year-olds will live into their 90s.

Here is a chart from LIMRA that illustrates how life expectancies for older Americans can deviate from the averages:

 

 Life Expectancy Calculators

If you’d like to obtain a better idea of how long you might live, there are many life expectancy calculators on the Internet. Here’s a particularly useful life expectancy calculator from professors at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to determining how much you should save for retirement and ultimately withdraw during those years, play it safe and assume that you will beat the odds and live longer than your peers.

Learn More…

 Using Your IRA to Make Charitable Gifts

Filing for Social Security (Sort of)

Taking Advantage of Free Spousal Benefits

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