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Underestimating life expectancy can cause problems when planning for future

There are many assumptions that individuals who are entering their elderly years might make when planning for the future. One such assumption is an assumption about how long they will live. One mistake individuals sometimes fall prey to when it comes to assumptions about their life expectancy is underestimating their life expectancy. 

Quite a few individuals going into their elderly years assume that their life expectancy won't expand that far past their entry into retirement. However, the average life expectancy for 65-year-olds here in the U.S. is actually rather high. Life expectancies for individuals 65 years of age have been steadily on the rise over the past several decades and are currently at 84.4 for men and 86.7 for women. 

Underestimating their life expectancy could result in a senior making some critical mistakes when planning for the future.

For one, it could lead to them underestimating how much money they will need for their retirement years, which could lead to them making mistakes regarding their spending, saving and government-benefit-drawing conduct. Such mistakes could put a person at risk of their nest egg not lasting as long as their retirement.

Also, underestimating life expectancy could lead to a person making mistakes when it comes to care planning. Underestimating their life expectancy could cause a person to believe that if they do ultimately end up needing long-term care in their retirement years, they won't be in such care for too long prior to their passing away. Thus, they might think that they don't really need to do much in the way of long-term care planning. This could leave a person problematically underprepared if they do end up requiring large amounts of long-term care in their retirement years. 

Elder law attorneys understand how important proper long-term care planning can be for individuals who are entering into their elderly years and can help such individuals with such planning and with steering clear of mistakes when it comes to such planning. 

Source: MarketWatch, "Life is short but retirement can last for years," Henry K. Hebeler, May 26, 2015

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