Home > Uncategorized > Will You Live Too Long for Your Own Good?

Comments 1 Comment

In the past 20 years, the life expectancy of the average American increased about two years, according to the World Health Organization. Getting to hang around for a few more years means more time to travel, bond with family or do whatever it is you want to do. Of course, you’ll need money to check off items on your bucket list, which could be a problem.

A new report from organizations of actuaries in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. says people tend to underestimate how long they’ll live and don’t understand the risk that poses to their financial stability. Some of the biggest obstacles people face in saving for retirement are getting information on how to save and understanding what’s considered adequate savings for retirement. The researchers say consumers and policymakers alike need to be better educated about financial planning for the population’s increasing longevity.

When today’s 65-year-olds were born in 1950, the average American had a life expectancy of 68.2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2013, it was 78.8 years. Traditionally, Americans think of the retirement age as 65 or close to it, based on when they can start collecting full Social Security retirement benefits, but sticking to that traditional retirement age means you’ll probably need to save a lot more than Americans have in the past. Given the historical increase in life expectancy as time goes on, today’s young workers may need to save for decades of retirement (though, studies have suggested, they may not retire in their 60s, because of increasing student loan debt and changes in money-management styles among young people).

Getting Retirement Ready 

There are many calculators that can help you figure out how much you need to save in order to maintain your standard of living after you stop working. To save adequately, your options are to work beyond the traditional retirement age, save more now or some combination of the two. Failing to save enough may put you in a situation where you work longer than you want to, live on less than you planned or go into debt trying to sustain your standard of living.

Not only do you probably want to avoid debt in retirement, but minimizing it in your working years may help you achieve long-term financial stability. Debt costs a lot of money — and if you have bad credit, it will cost you more — and can be difficult to escape. (You can see what shape your credit is in by checking your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

No matter where you are in life, make it a priority to get out of debt, as well as figure out how much you need to save now in order to reach your future goals. It may be exciting to realize you’re likely to live longer than you think you will, but financial preparation is crucial if you want to enjoy it.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: eskaylim

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • LF

    I will be happy to live a long and blessed life. Because God is my source in all areas of my life. Articles like this cause people to panic and live in fear, panic and doubt. There’s nothing wrong with planning well for your retirement. But I will not allow my myself to be made to feel guilty about being blessed with a long life and good and health. Is it better to be rich and die young ? or to live a long happy and healthy life and live well?

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team