2 Planning for Longevity Risks While Waiting for Your Return

Retirement planning, as practiced by most financial advisers and planners around the world, usually begins with a discussion of your money, investments, and retirement accounts. Now, while the question of how much to save for retirement is very important, we believe the process of retirement income planning should actually begin at the very end—the end of life, that is.

Accordingly, the best place to start planning for retirement income is the obituary section of the Daily Telegraph (in the United Kingdom), the Wall Street Journal (in the United States), the Globe and Mail (in Canada), or The Australian or New Zealand Herald. Yes, this may sound like a gloomy way to begin thinking about what’s supposed to be the most rewarding period of your life, but hold on for a few minutes—you’ll see the point soon.

Gather these one or two pages from the newspaper—the section does seem to grow over time, doesn’t it?—and collect them for a few days, or even a few weeks. Sit yourself down with a blank piece of paper, a cup of coffee, and a pen. Now, look over each one of the lives chronicled in the obituaries and note the exact age at which these people died. Okay, spend some time reading about their lives and loved ones, but make sure to circle each age of death. Notice how some people lived to a glorious old age of 95, or perhaps even 100, while others barely made it to 70. In some very sad cases, you will see ages in the 40s ...

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