How’s Your “Longevity Literacy"?
Why do we vastly underestimate how much life we still have ahead of us? Part of it is due to our misreading of the longevity data. If we hear that American men have an average lifespan of 76 years old, we think that means we’ll die in less than a dozen years if we’re 65 today. And, yet, a man who’s reached 65 had added nearly 8 years to his life expectancy compared to when he was a newborn (so chances are he’ll live to 84) just because he’s averted many of the life risks of youth and early adulthood.
According to a recent TIAA Institute and George Washington University report, 53% of mid-lifers surveyed are “working with inaccurate information” regarding life expectancy. When we underestimate our life expectancy, we are often less optimistic about the future and less open to trying new things. When we underestimate our expiration date by nearly a decade, we don’t save enough money to afford our post-midlife years. This report suggested that only 37% of older people knew how long they might live!
The data show that individuals with strong longevity knowledge are more likely to plan and save for retirement while working and experience better financial outcomes in retirement.
How can you learn more? Check out the non-profit TIAA website to gain more confidence about how to retire well.