Living longer is great. But if we're planning to enjoy the extra time bestowed on us by advances in medicine and technology we'll have to make sure our money lasts as long as we do. Here are four tips to help you finance your long life.
I received an email recently from a reader who wants to spend his last penny on the day he dies. He knows he can't take it with him and he doesn't want to leave any behind, it seems.
"I am male, age 61, and have a variety of health issues," he wrote. "So I am looking at my portfolio and trying to figure out how I could spend it all plus my pension in 20 years or sooner. My question is can I reliably predict I will be dead by then? Actuary studies just give averages, and my GP and cardiologist don't forecast an end date anytime soon."
Talk about asking me to gaze into a crystal ball! Can he reliably predict he'll be dead in 20 years? Of course not, unless he wants to contemplate suicide. If his doctors can't give him an estimate of his life expectancy, I certainly can't. New medical breakthroughs are being announced all the time. The health problems he's experiencing now may be easily treatable in five years. If he blows all his money, he's going to end up living on welfare.
Although I can't provide an answer to this specific question, it raises a larger issue that many boomers have to deal with: how to ensure your money doesn't run out before you do.
In 1960, the life expectancy of a newborn child in Canada was 71.13 years. By 2015, that had moved up to 82.14 years, an increase of more than a decade. And the older you are, the greater the likelihood of living to a ripe old age. Statistics Canada numbers published in 2016 show that a Canadian woman aged 65 has a life expectancy of 21.6 years while a male of the same age can plan to be around 18.5 years. Of course, those are just averages. You may live much longer.
So how do you plan for that? Click through for four tips.
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