Planning Based on Life Expectancy

Marshall Rathmell |

How long you will live is a critical (pun intended) part of a successful financial plan.  After all, the most common goal our clients have relayed to us is never to risk outliving their assets.  Life expectancy has been on the rise throughout history particularly for those with means. 


Don’t let reports that US life expectancy declined a tenth of a year for children recently born let you think you are off the hook for longevity planning.  People that read our blog typically have access to medical care.  They have also outlived many in the calculations to the point that their current life expectancy is beyond the ages you hear touted.


I always keep my ear to the ground about life expectancy advances and comparisons to understand the things in which my clients need to be preparing.  A recent report by the Bloomberg organization caught my attention for not only things we need to fix, but also how it affects the psyche of BCR’s clients when they hear it. 


The U.S. spends far more money, per capita, on healthcare than any other country in the world.  So we should be the healthiest nation on earth, right?


Wrong. Bloomberg rated each nation’s population on a variety of health variables, including expected lifespan, Americans came in 35th, ranking behind Cuba (30), Croatia (31), Estonia (32), Chile (33) and Costa Rica (34).  They narrowly edged out Bahrain (36), Qatar (37), the Maldives (38), Lebanon (39) and Poland (40).


While not quoting any articles, one of the most common reactions we hear when going over the longevity we put into plans is that our clients don’t think that they can live into their 90s.  I believe that in the back of many of their minds are the headlines they read or hear about that tout studies like these. 


Reading the article, it stood out to me that eating habits, drug overdoses, and suicides are heavy factors in our comparison to other countries. While these are very disturbing factors, we as individuals need to consider them when thinking about how we fit into these reports and whether they should affect your planning.

-Marshall Rathmell-



-Some of the above was provided by Bob Veres Inside Information-