Berman & Asbel, LLP

Does your Pennsylvania estate plan underestimate life expectancy?

As research delves deeper into understanding medicine, making technological advancements and learning more about healthy lifestyles, people are living longer these days. Although more and more people are making it well into their 70s, 80s and older, their estate planning often fail to keep up, especially when it comes to their retirement.

Many people these days in Pennsylvania and all across the country are underestimating their life expectancy when making plans for retirement. Many plans fail to provide the necessary funding for 20, 30 or more years of retirement, and elder generations are finding that they do not have sufficient funds left to live on.

We mentioned technological advancement in this post already, and as much as it helps, it can hurt too. With only a couple clicks of the mouse, a person can get a life-expectancy estimate off of the Internet. They simple enter their age, their race, how many drinks they consume on average, whether they smoke and a few other hardly specific questions. After just one more click, the website page changes and they see a number of years in which they have left to live.

The problem is that some people rely on this less than completely accurate estimate to make plans for their future. When the money begins to run out, they must live at a standard lower than they planned for, rely on their children or suffer mounting credit card debt and the stress that comes with it.

Estate planning may seem like an afterthought to some, and it often gets put on the backburner, but it is one of the most important things that a person can do. Choosing the right estate planning attorney can make all the difference in creating a detailed and effective plan.

Source: CBS Money Watch, "How long will you live?" Steve Vernon, June 26, 2012

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