How Long Will You Live?

Calculators offer many methods for estimating life expectancy.

Your estimated life expectancy impacts many retirement planning decisions. Financial planners use life expectancy to make recommendations on when to start Social Security payments, or if an annuity makes sense for you. Insurance companies estimate life expectancy to make smart financial decisions on the types of insurance they issue - and who they issue it to.

You can use life expectancy calculators to estimate your own and a spouse's life expectancy. This can improve your planning decisions! Here are four resources you can use to come up with some estimates. The life expectancy tables and calculators below are listed in order of the simplest to the most advanced methods of estimating life expectancy.

1
Easiest Life Expectancy Calculator

Senior women with sunglasses who all have a long life expectancy.
Sally Ho / Getty Images

If you want a quick, easy estimate, simply look up your current age on this table from the Social Security Administration. This 2011 periodic life table will estimate your remaining years of life expectancy in the fourth column. For example, a 65-year old female has a 20.22 year life expectancy. This table does not account for health or financial status.

Time required: 1 - 2 minutes.

2
Calculate the Odds

Couple using laptop at kitchen table to calculate life expectancy.
Credit: Chris Ryan / Getty Images

If you are and your spouse are over age 50, this life expectancy calculator will show you what the probability that either you or your spouse, or both of you, will live to a particular age. You will need to enable editing on the Excel spreadsheet labeled Joint Life Probability to customize the results. A drop down menu will allow you to switch from white collar to blue collar data. White collar folks have a higher estimated life expectancy. Keep that in mind when doing your planning work.

Time required: 5 - 10 minutes.

3
Joint Life Expectancy Based on Health and Lifestyle Factors

Couple exercising to improve life expectancy.
Healthy habits can increase your life expectancy. Tom Merton / Getty Images

Your lifestyle has an impact on life expectancy. Use the quick Life Expectancy Calculator and it will ask for basic data on you and your spouse such as height, weight, blood pressure, and smoking habits. This tool will tell you the probability that one or both of you will live past a particular age and who may be expected to live longer.

Time required: 5 - 10 minutes to enter data for two.

4
Extend Your Longevity? This Tool Offers Personalized Tips

Freinds swimming together
Jekaterina Nikitina

As long as I'm healthy, I want to live as long as possible. If you do too, then go to this Living to 100 calculator. This site will sort through your answers to about 40 questions and offer personalized suggestions, along with a to-do list for you and your physician, all designed to help you extend your stay on Earth. With this tool, you may learn new ways to make meaningful changes!

Time required: 10 - 20 minutes.

Look beyond the probabilities

Insurance companies use what is called an actuarial method of determining life expectancy. This works well if you are looking at a large population of people. When it comes to an individual, knowing the probability of being alive is useful - but it is best to make some financial planning decisions that help protect your income later in life no matter what. The future eighty-five year old you will thank you. Regardless of the probability, you could beat the odds and you want to have sufficient resources if you are one of our next centenarians.