The following is a guest post from Chris Rice. If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page.
During the Roman Empire, Romans had an approximate life expectancy of 22 to 25 years. In 1900, the world life expectancy was approximately 30 years and in 1985 it was about 62 years. Nowadays, in the 21st century, life expectancy for those living in a first world country like here in the United States has greatly increased.
Life expectancy rose dramatically amongst the world’s wealthiest populations from around 50 to well over 75 years. This increase can be attributed to a number of factors including improvements in public health, nutrition and medicine. Vaccinations and antibiotics greatly reduced deaths in childhood, health and safety in manual workplaces improved and fewer people smoked.
Thanks to healthier lifestyles and breakthroughs in medical technology, life expectancy for Americans has increased significantly during the past half-century. While it’s good news that you can expect to live longer in retirement and have a better quality of life, it also means your investment portfolio may need to last for 30 years or more.
Here are some statistics regarding the likelihood of 65-year-olds living to certain ages, according to figures from the Society of Actuaries: A 65-year-old man has a 41% chance of living to age 85 and a 20% chance of living to age 90. A 65-year-old woman has a 53% chance of living to age 85 and a 32% chance of living to age 90. If the man and woman are married, the chance that at least one of them will live to any given age is increased. There’s a 72% chance that one of them will live to age 85 and a 45% chance that one will live to age 90. There’s even an 18% chance that one of them will live to age 95. And living till 95 is something that virtually no financial planner counts on.
If you are very healthy and staring down a long retirement, you should consider ways to cut costs while also growing your assets. One strategy that more and more seniors are turning to is life settlements. A life settlement is when you sell your life insurance policy to a third party other than your insurance company. Plus, you can always sell your life insurance policy for much more than its cash surrender value. Of course, you will sell the policy for less than your policy’s death benefit, that’s how the investor in your policy makes it worth his while. But you don’t have to die to get a benefit from your policy now.
When seniors consider strategies for increasing their income may of them automatically turn to reverse mortgage due to these company’s crafty advertising. But, before the knee-jerk reaction of choosing a reverse mortgage, seniors should weigh the benefits and disadvantages of reverse life insurance vs. reverse mortgages. When choosing a life settlement for your policy the insured only loses the death benefit, but in choosing a reverse mortgage the homeowner could easily lose their home.
Reverse mortgages are not like traditional home loans because they allow you to use your home equity without making monthly payments. By freeing up those assets you can make your retirement much easier. That’s because the loan money can be used to pay off your medical bills and other debts. Many people who fill out applications for this loan type even use the money to do household repairs and then pay off the loan slowly, eventually increasing the value of their homes. You and your family won’t have to worry about repayment unless you move out of your home or pass away, which will take any immediate financial pressure off of you.
The following is a guest post from Chris Rice. Chris is the co-founder of A Life Settlement.