Prepare for a Long Life

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Jonathan Clements was a longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and he offers great advice at the best price you can get (free) on his blog Humble Dollar. Here is one piece of advice from his site:

PREPARE FOR A LONG LIFE. For a quick gauge of your life expectancy, try Social Security’s calculator. For an in-depth look, use this calculator built on academic research. What will you learn? First, the longer you live, the longer you can expect to live. Second, lifespans vary widely—with educated, health-conscious Americans living three or four years longer than average.”

According to the Social Security calculator above, I’ll live for 81.7 years. According to the in-depth calculator, I’ll live 87.09 years.

What’s the point of all this? Plan for a long retirement by starting to save for retirement now. My grandparents all lived into their late 80s or 90s, so I’ll hopefully outlive these estimates. You might too. And if you have a military pension, you won’t run out of money.

I also wondered if people in the military live longer. Here’s an article that says yes, they do, especially women:


Overall, 67.9 % of RMPs lived longer than average relative to their sex-specific birth cohort. This difference in life expectancy was more pronounced among women than among men.

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