Planning for retirement can be complicated, and there are many factors that must be taken into account. One of the most important, and sometimes misunderstood, is your longevity – that is, how long you might actually live. This is different from your life expectancy, which is how long an individual of your age, gender, and health would be anticipated to live on average. There is still a significant chance that you will live for many years beyond that, and you should consider this possibility when planning your retirement. This Actuaries Longevity Illustrator helps you do that by letting you see how long you might live with different degrees of certainty based on the expectations for an average individual with your characteristics. Take a look. You might be surprised by the results!

If your retirement plans involve two people, the considerations become even more complex. The Longevity Illustrator addresses two crucial concerns, “How long can we expect to live as a couple, and how long can we expect a survivor to live after one of us has died?” The Longevity Illustrator helps you to consider the likelihood of these possible outcomes.

Developed by the American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries, the Longevity Illustrator is designed to provide you with perspectives on your longevity risk—the uncertainty of how long you and your spouse/partner might live. It does not address your finances, your investments, your earning potential or your anticipated expenses; consult with a financial professional about those aspects of your retirement planning. We invite you to use the Longevity Illustrator to enhance your understanding of the potential risk for outliving your financial resources.

How it works

You will answer a few questions about your health and demographic characteristics. The Longevity Illustrator will then produce charts that allow you to see the probabilities associated with how long you (and your spouse/partner, if applicable) may live, which will help you understand the likelihood that you may live for a much longer time than your life expectancy would suggest. This will allow you to consider the risks of outliving your financial resources, i.e., the chance of running out of money during your lifetime(s). You can view the results as either charts or as tables of values. You can also print out a summary sheet of the information provided by the Longevity Illustrator.