Longevity has been increasing over the past century thanks to medical advances and lifestyle improvements. Not only has the average life expectancy increased since 1900, but a larger number of people are living to older ages, driven in part by a steep decline in the high infant mortality rate that characterized the early 1900s.
Life expectancy once a person reaches age 65 is now about to 84 years of age in the United States and about 86 in Japan. Life expectancy in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom fall between 84 and 86 for people at age 65, according to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development.
R. Dale Hall and Andrew Peterson of the Society of Actuaries detailed trends in longevity and factors that affect it at LIMRA’s Retirement Industry Conference earlier this month in Boston. The pair then introduced a new longevity tool, designed to help consumers and advisors estimate how long of a retirement they may need to plan for. Life expectancy likely will continue to increase but at a slower rate in the future, including at older ages, they said.
Hall and Peterson outlined several factors, based on data from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, associated with mortality that affect whether a person is likely to live to or beyond the average life expectancy. Multiple factors influence mortality and are important to consider in financial planning for retirement.
Here are nine factors that may impact mortality and longevity.