Personal Life Expectancies and Retirement Planning

In planning for retirement, many people focus on how much money they will need to save in order to live comfortably. However, in order to get to that number, one should calculate a personal life expectancy, as many people tend to underestimate the number of years of retirement for which they need to save.

As Janet Novack points out in an excellent Forbes column, there are a number of retirement calculators available to help one run the numbers. These range from simple tools to calculate how Social Security benefits will be affected by taking early retirement to sophisticated evaluations of investment strategies.

Perhaps most interesting are the personal life expectancy calculators. These tools take details, such as gender and personal medical statistics (such as blood pressure, exercise and use of alcohol and tobacco), to produce a prediction of personal life expectancy. The Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator is detailed and personalized, but a user must provide an email address. Be sure to read the privacy policy. The MetLife Life Expectancy Calculator is simpler and anonymous.

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