How Do You Use Life Expectancy Tables to Plan for Retirement?


Quick Answer

Life expectancy tables help you plan for retirement by providing an estimate of how long you or your spouse are likely to live and how much money you need to fund your retirement years, according to the Social Security Administration. This can help you decide the best age to begin collecting retirement benefits.

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How Do You Use Life Expectancy Tables to Plan for Retirement?
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Full Answer

As of 2015, a man who reaches age 65 can expect to live, on average, to the age of 84.3, states the SSA. A woman aged 65 can expect to live until age 86.6. About 25 percent of 65-year-olds are likely to live past age 90, and approximately 10 percent may live past age 95.

The SSA website provides a life expectancy calculator that gives a rough estimate of how long you may live. The site also has a retirement estimator that estimates your potential income based on your Social Security earnings record. The estimates may change depending on your actual retirement date because your earnings from employment may change before you retire, and benefits are adjusted for cost-of-living increases, notes the SSA.

Estimated benefits provided by the Social Security Administration are based on current law. Laws that determine benefit amounts may change because, by the year 2033, payroll taxes collected may only cover 77 percent of the scheduled benefits, states the SSA.

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