How long should I expect to live?
Trends in life expectancy, and how to think about and plan for a longer life.
The longevity revolution
- Thanks to innovations and advances in healthcare and nutrition, people are living longer than ever. Americans born in 1900 could expect to live to age 47. Today, people can expect to live 79 years.(1)
- Longevity is re-shaping America. While there is little growth among younger age groups, the age 65+ population will increase by two-thirds between 2015 and 2035.(2)
What will affect how long i live?
- It is estimated that genetics accounts for up to 30% of differences in life expectancy.(3)
- The longer you live, the longer you are likely to live. For example, life expectancy at birth is 79. But the average person age 65 can expect to live to age 84.(1)
- Gender plays a major role as well. A woman age 65 can expect to live 2-3 years longer than a 65-year-old man.(1)
- Healthy behaviors can dramatically increase life expectancy. Studies show that at age 50 you can increase your life expectancy by an average of 12-14 years if you adopt five lifestyle habits: regular physical activity, not smoking, adopting a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and moderate alcohol consumption.(3)
- Higher income also contributes significantly to higher life expectancy.(4)
What are some advantages of living a longer life?
Retirement used to be a few years of rest at the end of life. With increasing longevity, there are opportunities for new achievements and experiences in later life, including launching a new career, lifelong learning, exploring the world, giving back, new friendships, and playing an important role in the lives of your grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.
What are some challenges of living a longer life?
- Longer life can be expensive. Be sure to consider the effects of inflation and health care costs.
- Couples should plan for longer joint life expectancy. For a couple age 65, there is a 50% chance at least one spouse will live to the age of 90.(1)
I would like to learn more about...
How a longer retirement can create opportunities for new activities and ambitions
Preparing for the expenses of a longer life so that I have enough assets to last my lifetime
Helping us both be financially secure if the other spouse/partner passes on
explore your life stages and events
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1. CDC, Social Security Administration
2. US Census
3. American Heart Association, "Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population", 2018
4. The Harvard Gazette, "For life expectancy, money matters", 2016
This publication is designed to provide general information and is for discussion purposes only. The effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon each individual’s facts and circumstances. This article does not provide legal, tax or account advice. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error, the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information is not guaranteed.