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Do Americans Underestimate their Life Expectancy?

Though life expectancy tables can predict that individuals will live a certain number of years, the fact of the matter is that there is a large variety of factors that play into how long a person might live. Mortality tables and estimates do not account for these factors, which only promotes underestimating Americans' life expectancy. Most Americans assume that they will live past 65, which means they do not need to worry about an estate plan while they are only 25.

More than half of Americans surveyed in a Society of Actuaries survey stated that they neglect financial planning because they assume they have plenty of time to do it. One third of people already retired assume that they still have decade or longer before they will pass.

Unfortunately, this thinking leaves a lot of Americans without estate plans and proper financial plans in order. What if an accident were to occur, or the individual already suffers from a chronic disease? Critical factors like chronic diseases and family heredity can affect a person's life span, but so can random accidents. For example, a person with chronic diabetes likely has a shorter life expectancy than a person in perfect health, but the person in perfect health could be hit by a car and killed.

None of us knows how long we will live. Therefore, planning out your estate ahead of time is imperative for protecting your assets and the future of your loved ones. Without planning ahead, you may leave your estate in the hands of the courts down the road.  Contact a local attorney for more information.

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