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Americans are living longer, but few are financially prepared for it

Posted On Mon, January 10, 2011

With an average age of 78.4, Americans are living longer now than they ever have. But few, it seems, are living below their means.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Society of Actuaries, 48 percent of retirement-age respondents have not taken the precautions needed to ensure their health insurance plan covers them for the duration of their lives.

"It's apparent that Americans, specifically the baby boomer generation - many of whom will be eligible for retirement the beginning of the new year - have not saved enough money for retirement," said Anna Rappaport, president of Anna Rappaport consulting, an actuarial firm that helps businesses strategize the best way to assemble retirement benefit packages. "With the challenges in the housing and financial markets over the past few years, coupled with the fact that people are living longer, many baby boomers are finding themselves unprepared to maintain their lifestyle in retirement."

Despite this worry, just 20 percent plan on purchasing a long-term insurance plan, opting for social security instead. With three people paying into social security for every one that's collecting, however, social security's long-term solvency is suspect.

Instead, Rappaport and others in the actuarial business recommend erring on the side of caution by purchasing a long-term health insurance plan.


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