Retirement Planning, Longevity & Health: Does it Make Sense to Plan to 95?

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

Planning for clients to live to age 95 has become a little questioned industry rule of thumb. With 95% of Americans older than 60 having at least one chronic condition, HealthView Services' new report shows average actuarial life expectancy for those with common health conditions is significantly lower. For those with diabetes, the probability of reaching age 95 is less than 1%. Even the healthiest 5% of retirees only have a one-in-five chance of reaching this age.  

The new report, "Retirement Planning, Longevity & Health: Does it Make Sense to Plan to 95?", provides health-based actuarial data that draws on 266 million cases to reveal average life expectancy for healthy 65-year-old retirees, those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as tobacco users. It also highlights actuarial probabilities that clients with a range of conditions will reach this benchmark.  

"The starting point for building longevity into retirement plans should be actuarial data based on health condition," said Ron Mastrogiovanni, CEO of HealthView Services. "It provides a foundation for clients and advisors to choose the life expectancy they incorporate into planning tools to address longevity risk, and helps set realistic retirement horizons for the vast majority of individuals over age 60 with chronic conditions."      

The report highlights the financial impact for clients of planning to age 95 versus beginning the discussion using actuarial longevity based on health conditions. A 65-year-old man who has reached his Income Replacement Ratio (IRR) goal based on age 95, but after being diagnosed with high cholesterol changes his longevity expectation to 86, would potentially be able to spend an additional $447,000in retirement.

In a case study, the report shows that a 55-year-old woman who has diabetes and is aiming to meet her IRR savings goal based on her actuarial longevity would not require the same level of savings as her healthy counterpart, who is expected to live significantly longer.

"Our experience shows that incorporating longevity data that clients find credible into the planning process is most likely to drive savings and spending behaviors," added Mastrogiovanni. "Importantly, it provides a basis for conversations, planning decisions, and product choices to meet needs in retirement."

The paper notes that for clients of all ages, longevity is one among a number of considerations that need to be taken into account in the planning process. The needs of a surviving spouse, ensuring funds are available for long-term care, the desire to leave a legacy, along with longevity risk all need to be part of the conversation.

"Using actuarial longevity versus age 95 as a planning goal is not a zero-sum game," added Mastrogiovanni. "Since clients have different risk appetites, levels of wealth, and sources of retirement income including Social Security, using health-based actuarial life expectancy for planning provides a way to dynamically balance the goals of living life to the fullest and managing longevity risk."         

HealthView Services ( is a leading provider of retirement healthcare cost data, Social Security optimization, and long-term care retirement planning and portfolio management tools for the financial services industry that include health-based longevity expectations. The firm provides an array of planning apps, from 401(k)-focused to advisor-facing, all with the goal of creating funding solutions to cover future in-retirement health care expenses.