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U.S. Life Expectancy Drops But Be Careful Of Averages

February 21, 2018

For the first time since 1962 and 1964, life expectancy declined two years in a row. (most recent data 2015 and 2016). Upon further review:

When younger people die, life expectancy falls. That is currently happening with the opioid epidemic. There was a 21% rise in deaths due to drug overdose, 2/3 from opioids. To provide some perspective, opioids killed 42,000 people, more than any year at the height of the AIDS crisis.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, an increase in deaths from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, drug overdoses, and accidents were major determinants in the life expectancy decline.

HOWEVER, this was not true for those 65 and older. The increase in death was for those who are younger.

According to the Society of Actuaries if you reach age 65:

  • Female: 53% chance of living to age 85 and 32% chance of living to age 90
  • Male: 41% chance of living to age 85 and a 20% chance of living to age 90
  • Couple: with married couples there is a 72% chance one spouse will reach age 85 and a 45% chance one spouse will live to age 90. There is an 18% chance that one will reach 95.

It is important that your retirement plan cover more years. Many clients say I don’t want to live that long, but what if you do? It is important when assessing retirement, that you assume you will live longer and have enough money to remain self-sufficient.


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