Everyone wants to maximize their retirement benefits. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) life expectancy calculator can help you do just that.
How to use the SSA life expectancy calculator
Death isn’t the most pleasant thing to think about. But the reality is it will happen to all of us.
The SSA has a vested interest in the timing of your death. That’s because they’re responsible for making sure you receive timely monthly payments from the moment you start claiming your Social Security benefits until you die.
By knowing how long you’re likely to live, you have more information to make that all-important decision about when to start claiming benefits. As a general rule, the longer you wait to claim, the more your monthly benefit will grow through age 70.
As a reminder, you can start claiming Social Security at age 62 — but money expert Clark Howard prefers that you wait until age 70 for a variety of reasons.
So the SSA life expectancy calculator’s sole purpose is to help you understand how long you’re likely to live in retirement. Armed with that info, you can make an informed choice about when to start benefits.
Using the calculator is easy. Just pop in your gender and your date of birth and you’ll get an estimate:
The info you get is based on the latest actuarial tables about life expectancy complied by the SSA, which are updated every year.
However, this longevity calculator doesn’t take into account the following factors that could increase or decrease your life expectancy:
- Current health
- Family history
Here’s another longevity calculator that’s worth a look
For a more complete assessment, Blueprint Income has a robust longevity calculator developed by the University of Pennsylvania that you may want to give a try.
It includes questions about your age and physique, life events, fitness and lifestyle. You’ll get a customized life expectancy based on 400,000 data samples from the National Institutes of Health.
Knowing how long you’re likely to live can help you decide when the right time is for you to start getting retirement benefits.
As a general rule of thumb, the SSA says:
- The average age a man reaching 65 today can expect to live to is 84.0 years.
- The average age a woman reaching 65 today can expect to live is 86.5 years.
- A third of 65-year-olds today will live beyond 90.
- Roughly 14% of 65-year-olds today will live past 95.
That’s a lot of years that your money has to last after you retire!
Do the results from these calculators have you concerned about providing for yourself and your family in your later years? If so, Clark says a longevity insurance policy purchased at retirement age may be a smart choice for you.