THE NEW AGE OF LONGEVITY IN AMERICA
According to the CDC, the current overall life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 years, with women outliving men by an average of 5 years (there is no gender equality in the area on longevity!)
There are many reasons for this increase some of which include: Healthcare advances: deaths from heart disease and stroke are declining, with chronic diseases like diabetes being managed more successfully than ever before; Healthy habits: seniors are taking an pro-active approach to their health by eating healthier, remaining active and taking supplements; and Retirement communities: seniors are able to maintain an active lifestyle longer in communities designed to help and care for them as needed.
THE STATISTICS OF LIVING LONGER
Statistics on life expectancy ages are misleading because they include those individuals who have passed away at younger ages. If you've already reached your 60's and 70's, your life expectancy is longer still! For example:
- The average life expectancy of a 65 year old man today is 84.3;
- A man who has never smoked and has reached the age of 84, is likely to live to age 92;
- The average life expectancy of a 65 year old woman today is 86.6; and
- A woman who has never smoked and has reached the age of 86 or 87, is likely to live to age 95! (Data compiled by the Social Security Administration and the American Academy of Actuaries)
We think this longevity trend is great, but it does create challenges for Americans who insist on retiring at 65 without enough savings. Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan.
For every person being supported by Social Security, there are 2.8 workers. In the next 20 years, that ratio is expected to drop to two workers for each person. That's not sustainable!
The longevity trend will continue, so we have to re-think our notions of retirement in conjunction with living a lengthy and productive life.
80 is the new 65!
Retirement was introduced to society 81 years ago when the Social Security Act was passed in 1935. The average life expectancy in 1935 was 61.7, making the retirement age of 65 more logical. But with 80 being a realistic expectation for life expectancy now, it is time to set aside our outdated models of retirement.
Living Longer Presents Challenges
Increased life expectancy, in some circles, is seen as more of a "risk factor" than an advantage. According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, half of U.S. workers have no private pensions and 1/3 have no savings set aside for retirement. One-third of those receiving Social Security benefits rely on that check for 90% of their incomes.
The current average monthly benefit is $1,341. Assisted living can cost as much as $4,000 a month in most areas of the country.
And what about retirement plans? If the traditional plan you have in place planned for you to retire at 65, will it be able to stretch for two or more decades?
If typical retirement plans are becoming less viable, then start saving more - we recommend 20%, and change your expectations by retiring later, like 75 or 80.
For those who can afford to retire, think of more interesting options other than just endless leisure.
LATE LIFE CAREERS AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES
If you can afford it, buy or invest in a business that has always interested you. Have a hobby? Turn it into a money-making venture. Just do an internet search of "late life careers" and read some of the 102,000,000 results that are generated!
When you defer retirement or forego it altogether, you can provide additional savings, opportunities for growth and personal fulfillment. Here are just a few possibilities:
- If you enjoy your job, don't quit, or just work part-time.
- If your job allows it, combine periods of work with periods of travel or recreation.
- You may want to retire and concentrate on volunteer work full time, or work part-time at both.
- Or, as mentioned above, you may want to start a business or get paid for a hobby!
Whatever your plans may be, take a look at your current portfolio, your planned retirement date and your life expectancy and make sure you're on the right track to live and enjoy your life to its fullest. Give us a call. We can help!
Sent from the Land of Possibilities!