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Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-09-2006, 05:36 PM   #1
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Life Expectancy Calculator

Has anyone tried the life expectancy calculator at MSN Money?http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor...xpect/main.asp

I am 46 and had been planning to retire at 55 but my life expectancy based on the calculator above is 54 . Of course, what I need to do is to work on remedying the significant problem areas (weight, high blood pressure, etc.) but do most of you give any credence to these type of calculators or do you use 85 to 95 as a sort of standard goal? I was thinking that perhaps I should top heavy my early withdrawals by amortizing a portion over the first ten years of my retirement, thereby accelerating my use of the funds (assuming I make it) and then amortize the balance (say $1 million) so I would have a SWR of $40,000 at 4% plus SS for the remaining years. I am single and don't need to leave an inheritance but wouldn't mind doing so for other family members. From an expense point of view, I can certainly live on the lower withdrawal amount after I move to a less expensive area. Do other people take some measured or limited life expectancy factor into account, or is this an absurd way of gaming it?
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-09-2006, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha44
Has anyone tried the life expectancy calculator at MSN Money?http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor...xpect/main.asp
These things are very unreliable as applied to an individual, though they obviously have some actuarial power for large populations. The scatter is just too wide to use for financial planning. I have never seen an estimate that low in the absence of a known, life-shortening disease or risk.

If there are tons of reversible risks that you are willing and able to fix, it will have served its purpose. If most of the risks are genetic or otherwise unchangeable, I would plan on living forever anyway because such calculators are not that useful for any one person.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-09-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

just tried this one ... say's i'm good to 101 and need to gain 20 lbs. no, i don't place much faith in these things, but they certainly do give you some clues re your risk factors. some years ago i heard that, given natural causes, one's mothers age at death was a good predictor ... .
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-09-2006, 07:01 PM   #4
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

it said I'll kick over in 26 1/2 years, at age 76. And should weigh 172 lbs. Heck, I haven't weighed that since about 8th grade!!! (I'm 245-250, working to get back down to about 210) Most of my relatives have lived well into their 80's, so I'm not too worried...especially since NONE of them were skinny or scrawny...by ANY stretch of the imagination!!!
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha44
I am 46 and had been planning to retire at 55 but my life expectancy based on the calculator above is 54 .
That sounds crazy. An 8 year life expectancy at 46! Do you have diabetes and cancer? Have all your close relatives died in their forties and fifties?
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Thanks for all the comments. This question arose when I was using different retirement calculators and some of them allowed you to select the expected date of death (or when the funds would be zero).

donheff - I was surprised myself how my future life expectancy could be so short but both grandfathers and my father's sibling all died relatively young of cancer (50s I think) and my father is diabetic. It's rather startling to think that you are not expected to make it to retirement. Interestingly enough, about 20 years ago, when I joined the consulting firm where I worked, HR told me that many retired partners died within five years of retirement. I am sure that was a gross exaggeration but was also told that the shift from high stress to little stress may have been the cause.

Seeing the distortive responses reached by the rest of you is definitely comforting.

d - my mother is still alive, and doing well in her 70s so I hope that is a better indicator.

goonie - I need to drop some weight as well but the target weight I got is about 10 pounds less than my college wrestling weight so I can't imagine getting anywhere near that.

Rich - In other threads I saw that some posters observed the longevitiy of their other family members and used a more extended life expectancy but didn't see anyone do the reverse. Ultimately, it seems that I should try to take measures toward better health
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

98

That's depressing.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha44
In other threads I saw that some posters observed the longevitiy of their other family members and used a more extended life expectancy but didn't see anyone do the reverse.
Let's not confuse the predictive value of the calculator with it's place in FIRE planning. Even if the predictions were accurate to within a few years, the odds that you will live considerably longer are high enough that you have to plan for them. Otherwise you run out of money before you run out of time.

That's why you forced by logic to plan for the longest reasonable life span you can imagine (assuming you don't already have a known, fatal disease). Worst case is that you find yourself with too much money and splurge for a few years, or gift to your heirs.

I'm planning for age 95 - unlikely but not unreasonable as a planning target. The nice thing is that if you plan for 25-30 years, that approaches the amount you'd need if you live forever (i.e. in most scenarios your net worth by then is generating more money than you need to live on even without touching the principle).

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

As many here know we did not wait around till we were "retirement age" to make the leap. We have both lost friends to accidents and health issues, way before their "tables" showed they were due. A bit of a wakeup call to us. There was another thread, I cannot find it, about folks planning on living till 100 or more. I found this article which re-enforced our decision that we are not going to live “forever”. We have always used 80 as a DOD, after that, ….? I do not worry about it.

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http://www.kansascity.com:80/mld/kan...y/16199967.htm

LIFE EXPECTANCY | The numbers don’t tell the whole story
Americans are living longer, but for how much longer?
Take away the drop in childhood mortality, and we’ve added only a few years to our life spans since 1800s.Take away the decline in childhood mortality, and we’ve only gained a few months over the last century.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
98

That's depressing.
True. But if you're frugal...I mean very, very, very frugal...it will seem like a long time.

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-10-2006, 03:03 PM   #11
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Should be good to 93. The Wharton School predicted 89 but with a 25% chance of making >96. Given that I have started planning on 103 for financial purposes.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-11-2006, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Said I was good till I was 102 and if I lost some weight I could extend that. Sounds about right to me.

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-12-2006, 03:01 PM   #13
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

It looks like most of you have planned very well for retirement and for your well being (it seems most of you are 90+...boy do I skew the average!). Since most of us are concerned about spiraling medical costs in retirement, I suppose taking steps toward a healthier life is an obvious way to try to minimize costs and so is a different kind of savings -- just darn hard for me to do.

That article was quite surprising. Still, an increase in longevity of two months per year is not a bad trend, just not as startling as other articles implied.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-12-2006, 03:21 PM   #14
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Weird....91 years...ideal weight same as mine...but it didn't ask about type 2 diabetes (that I saw)...just type 1, then only parents and siblings. I'm type 2...and had two stents put in recently. Makes me pretty suspicious of this one.

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-14-2006, 01:56 PM   #15
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
98

That's depressing.
You think THAT's depressing? Mine said 102!

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-16-2006, 04:16 PM   #16
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Mine is 102 as well, according to the calculator. I only plan to living until 100 though.


I saw this program recently,Living Old, on PBS Nightline. Not for the faint of heart.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/livingold/

Also, check out the "Discussion". Many brought up the issue of euthanasia. I suspect that the issue will be huge in coming years when most of us are falling down, pooping our drawers, and slobbering over our dinner plates.
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-16-2006, 04:57 PM   #17
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

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Originally Posted by Oldbabe
Also, check out the "Discussion". Many brought up the issue of euthanasia. I suspect that the issue will be huge in coming years when most of us are falling down, pooping our drawers, and slobbering over our dinner plates.
Heck, if that's euthanasia criteria then I'll never drink beer again!
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-17-2006, 07:20 AM   #18
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Nords, that was funny! Almost had my morning coffee shoot out of my nose.

edit: Woo, said my ideal weight is 197 for 6'6"? Dang, I was 210 when graduating high school.

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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-17-2006, 12:31 PM   #19
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

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Woo, said my ideal weight is 197 for 6'6"? Dang, I was 210 when graduating high school.
I have heard that tall people do not live as long as short people. Maybe it is from hitting their heads so much. Or could be from the stress of playing in the NBA?

Of course you will likely shrink a little as you age
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator
Old 12-19-2006, 05:24 PM   #20
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Re: Life Expectancy Calculator

Yeah, I've heard that too. Like little dogs live longer than big dogs. More stress on the body being bigger?
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