Life expectancy should, in theory, keep increasing. We live in a world where modern medicine is better than it has ever been before. We know more now about health and nutrition than at any time in the past. We have medicines and vaccines that have eradicated some of history’s most dangerous diseases.
Unfortunately, reports show that life expectancy in the United States just keeps dropping. One report from last year claimed that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.6. The year before, it was 78.7. While that’s only a drop of a tenth, the fact that it is trending down at all is concerning.
On top of that, if you ask people when they expect to pass away, many of them will say they should live at least into their 80s and possibly into their 90s. They overestimate it seriously. If the average is in the 70s, that means a lot of people are dying long before they even get to 78.
It’s important to keep this in mind when thinking about when to do your estate planning. A lot of people put it off, saying they’ll do it after they retire. But, if you don’t retire until you reach 65 years old, do you really have that long to do your planning? You’re taking a serious risk by delaying things and putting it off any longer.
Your best bet is to do your estate planning early. Remember, you can’t do it too early. Even if you have 40 years left, having the plan in place means you’re ready. Make sure you know all of the legal steps you should take to get started.