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Tirey Law April 24, 2017

The fact that people can expect to live longer than was normal in the past means that different preparations need to be made.

The average life expectancy of Americans has risen for the last century and especially so in the last few decades. Many experts expect that it will continue to rise. However, the data on just how much it has risen can be somewhat misleading. because distant historical life expectancies are brought down by much higher infant mortality rates 100 years ago.

Despite that problem with the data, we can still see a clear trend of people living longer than in prior generations if they survive into adulthood. A longer life normally means a longer life in retirement because most people still want to stop working at about the same age as people wanted to in previous generations.

That means people need to prepare differently than they did in the past as Forbes points out in "You May Live Longer Than You Expect: Are You Prepared?"

The most obvious thing people need to do differently is to save more money for retirement. Everyone understands that the longer you live in retirement, the more money you need to pay your expenses.

The less obvious thing is that estate planning often needs to be done in a slightly different way.

It becomes more important to have an estate plan in place to make sure that you have a way to preserve assets for future generations.  Estate planning also needs to be more flexible, however, because the longer a person lives, the greater the chances that unexpected contingencies will occur.

Estate planning needs to be done in a way that any contingencies do not cripple the plan or the ability of a retired person to meet his or her needs.

If you have questions about preparing for a longer life, visit a financial planner and an estate planning attorney for assistance.

Reference: Forbes (March 31, 2017) "You May Live Longer Than You Expect: Are You Prepared?"