Whether we retire at age 60, 70, or 80, we need to be prepared for a long retirement. The world’s centenarian population is expected to grow eight fold by 2050 according to a Pew Research Center report of United Nations estimates, with Americans leading the pack in the number of citizens age 100 and up. For a couple who are both 65 today, there is a 50% chance one member will live to be 92, according to the Society of Actuaries. That means more and more people will be living the centurion life in the not-so-distant future. It also means a hefty retirement plan is in order. If you retire at age 60, you could be spending 40 years in retirement. Most retirees are not prepared for this kind of longevity. If you wait and retire at 80, you could still have 2 decades to make your retirement plan work for you.

In a recent article from the November 2018 Money Magazine, three such centurions were featured. The first is Orville Rogers who is age 100 and routinely breaks records at track meets around the country. The second is Tao Porchon-Lynch who teaches yoga at age 100. The third is Artricia Lyons Harrington, age 105, who relished a long teaching career and enjoys ballroom dancing. She competed in America’s Got Talent with a dancing partner many years her junior. These centurions are remarkable. They keep young by keeping going. As Orville Rogers says, “You not only live better with exercise, you live longer and die quicker”. Doctors call this “compression of morbidity,” the theory that healthy behaviors can shorten the duration between the onset of debilitating chronic illness and death. These centurions are setting the mark for us to follow.

Many of these centurions have pensions, a benefit that most of us approaching retirement today do not have. We are on our own with Social Security as the only pension like vehicle that future retirees will have. But Social Security is limited and replaces only about 40% of the average worker’s paycheck.

Planning for a long retirement such as this should also include some long-term care planning. The final consideration for the new retirement marathon is enlisting help for the home stretch. Between half and three-quarters of people turning 65 will need some form of long-term care support and services in their lifetime, according to estimates. Medicare does not pay for long-term care. This is called custodial care that helps with the activities of daily living such as help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring from bed to chair. Long-term care insurance is expensive, but today there are hybrid policies that serve as life/long-term care coverage combined which make sense for a lot of people.

 So what are the lessons we can learn from these remarkable centurions? Number 1) STAY ACTIVE! Find something you like to do and go for the gold! Number 2) SAVE LIKE CRAZY! Because retirement may be longer than you think! Number 3) PREPARE FOR THE LONG TERM! You need long-term care coverage of some type to see you through to the end.

If you need help preparing for your Marathon Retirement give us a call at 423-247-1152.