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The Latest in Life Expectancy

Last update on: Feb 02 2017

Many people underestimate their life expectancy, and that makes it harder for them to make their nest eggs last. It doesn’t help that the professional actuaries are conservative. They don’t revise their official life expectancy tables very often and are careful not to overestimate expectancies for some reason. The big news is that the American Society of Actuaries is updating its actuarial tables for the first time since 2000. No surprise: Americans are estimated to live longer than back then. Bottom line: To avoid running out of money, most people should plan for living to at least 90 unless they have good reason to believe they won’t live to average life expectancy. Married couples should anticipate at least one spouse will live to 100.

American men are living an average of two years longer than they were in 2000 (the last time the tables were revised), and women are getting an additional 2.4 years of life, according to new mortality projections from the Society of Actuaries (SOA). The SOA is the official keeper of the mortality tables used to calculate the value of future pension obligations, and longer lives mean greater cost for plan sponsors.



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