Now that super funds, fund managers and other financial service providers have (nearly) survived the GFC, a lingering issue concerning the super industry is ‘adequacy’ (or lack of ‘adequacy’), that is, the worry that Australians will outlive their retirement savings. Okay, the industry is pretty obsessed with the rise and rise of self-managed super funds (SMSFs), the ban on commissions from July 2013, the introduction of a no-frills MySuper product, and the overweighting in equities (shares) by most super funds. Even so, the perennial topic (pardon the pun) seems to be the risk of Australians running out of money in retirement and relying solely on the Age Pension.
A key bit of information in any retirement plan is a guesstimate on your expected life span – your life expectancy. Anyone saving for retirement wants to save enough money to at least last their lifetime, at their desired level of income (see SuperGuide articles A comfortable retirement: how much is enough? and Setting a retirement target: Living on more than $55,000 a year). Many Australians also want to leave money to family members after they die.
Every five years, the Australian Government Actuary releases the latest data on average life expectancies, that is, how many years you’re expected to live, on average. The table below contains the most up-to-date information (released on 27 November 2009) on expected lifetimes. (The next batch of data on life expectancies will be released in 2014).
How long are you going to live?
You can find out how long you’re expected to live, on average, by locating your current age in the table below, and then checking the ‘female’ column or ‘male’ column, depending on your gender. For example, if you’re 55 years of age, you can expect to live another 30.53 years (if a female) and 26.95 years (if a male). If you’re 65 years, your average life expectancy is 21.62 years (if a female) and 18.54 years (if a male).
The longer you live, the greater your life expectancy becomes. At age 55 years, a female can expect to live to 85.53 years on average, while a 70 year-old female can expect to live to 87.42 years – an extra two years.
Note: The table contains average life expectancies, and you may well live longer than the average. For more information on Australian life expectancies see Updated life tables: is the tide shifting for Australian life expectancies?
Source: Compiled from Australian Life Tables, 2005-2007, Australian Government Actuary (www.aga.gov.au). Released 27 November 2009. Next update due in 2014.