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Your Clients Are Likely Underestimating Their Lifespan By 5 Years

by Steven A. Morelli

If advisors and clients are looking at the average American lifespan as a yardstick for their retirement planning, they are most likely going to need a bigger stick.

That’s because Americans are underestimating their longevity by five years on average, according to a Capital Group blog post.

The underestimate owes much to the way people look at longevity statistics, which is to look at the aggregate. Overall, Americans are not doing great with longevity, falling behind many other advanced countries – and dropping.

The average in the first half of 2020, the latest available, was 77.8 years, which was a year younger than 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Although the average has been stagnant or dropping for several years, the sharp decline early last year was attributed to COVID-19.

Although the Hispanic population has a longer life expectancy than whites and Blacks, COVID hit Hispanics and Blacks far harder than whites.

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