Only half of Americans financially prepared to live longer

Americans are completely unprepared to live into their 70s, 80s or 90s, according to a new study by Northwestern Mutual. The “Longevity & Preparedness Study” asked people, based on their current financial plan, how prepared they feel to live to age 75, 85 and 95.

Findings revealed that only slightly more than half of Americans surveyed feel financially prepared to live to age 75. Less than half, 46 percent, feel financially prepared to live to age 85 and 36 percent feel prepared to live to age 95.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, average life expectancy in the U.S. has increased to 78.2 years (75.7 for men and 80.6 for women). For couples in their 60s, there is a 50 eprcent chance that one partner will live to the age of 94, and one out of 10 couples will have a partner that lives to be 100 or older, the report found.

"This research indicates that many Americans are financially unprepared to live long lives," said Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual executive vice president. "With longevity comes an increased need to proactively manage your personal finances, which includes a solid risk management strategy. No matter what age you'll live to, it's important to protect the dollars you'll eventually depend on to provide an income in your retirement years."

The company’s research also found that men are more likely to feel financially prepared for living longer than women, and younger Americans, those under age 59, feel less prepared than older Americans to live beyond age 75.

Northwestern Mutual sponsored the Planning and Progress study to evaluate the state of financial planning in America, and where people stand in the way of progress toward reaching their long-term financial goals. Independent research firm Ipsos conducted the online survey of 1,015 Americans aged 25 or older between Feb. 2 and Feb. 13, 2012. 

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