Longevity risk is the risk of negative financial consequences as a result of living longer than expected. Advances in medicine mean that many of us can expect to live—and pay for—20, 30 or more years beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.
Why it matters
Longevity risk is of particular concern to women. They tend to live a few years longer than men, and the death of a spouse or partner can mean a decrease in income. As traditional pension plans disappear and more of us become more responsible for funding our own retirement, it will be more important than ever to take longevity risk into account in our retirement planning.
Longevity risks may include:
Retirement planning often uses one's "life expectancy" in making financial projections and calculations. But life expectancy is typically a statistical average. There is a significant chance you will live much longer than average and face one or more longevity risks. It is therefore essential to recognize how longevity risk may affect you and to have a plan for managing it. Working with a financial planner who also recognizes and shares this concern is a good start.
What can you do?
Here are a few ideas to consider and discuss with your planner:
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