@ClementsMoney Saturday Critical Action – Prepare for a Long Life

by | 07Jul2018 | Critical Actions, Retirement | 0 comments

Welcome to the Saturday Critical Action. Each Saturday we take the weekly action from Jonathan Clements‘ blog Humble Dollar and “militarize” it for you. Jonathan Clements was a longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and he offers great advice at the best price you can get…free. Here is this week’s critical action:

PREPARE FOR A LONG LIFE. For a quick gauge of your life expectancy, try Social Security’s calculator. For an in-depth look, use this calculator built on academic research. What will you learn? First, the longer you live, the longer you can expect to live. Second, lifespans vary widely—with educated, health-conscious Americans living three or four years longer than average.


According to the Social Security calculator above, I’ll live for 81.9 years. According to the in-depth calculator, I’ll live 86.95 years. It also gave me this feedback:

  • If you have 2-3 drinks per day, your life expectancy would be -0.13 years longer. (I said I have 1 drink per day.)
  • If you do not drive, your life expectancy would be 0.08 years longer. (I drive.)
  • Having a life free from major stress has maximized your life expectancy. (I haven’t had a major stressor, as defined by them, in the last year.)
  • If you become a conditioning exercizer, your life expectancy would be 0.54 years longer. (I put myself as an occasional exerciser.)
  • Consuming all 5 classes of food everyday has maximized your life expectancy. (I said I consume all classes of food listed each day.)
  • If you sleep 7 hours a day, your life expectancy would be 0.24 years longer. (I said that I slept 8 hours per day.)
  • If all of the above choices are adopted, your life expectancy would be 0.73 years longer.

I think it is funny that I am supposed to sleep less.

What’s the point of all this? Plan for a long retirement by starting to save for retirement now. My grandparents are all still alive at age 88+ or lived into their 90s, so I’ll probably outlive these estimates. You might too. And if you have a military pension, you won’t run out of money.

I also wondered if people in the military live longer. Here’s an article that says yes, they do, especially women: (PDF version here)


Overall, 67.9 % of RMPs lived longer than average relative to their sex-specific birth cohort. This difference in life expectancy was more pronounced among women than among men.


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