How Long Will You Live?

You can’t know how long you will live, but you can get a pretty good idea. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides mortality data on deaths and death rates completed for 2013 for the US life expectancy. Life expectancy in the US population has remained relatively unchanged from 2012, and at that point, it was 78.8 years averaged between sexes.

Male: Age 76.4

Female: Age 81.2

Life expectancy at age 65 for the total population was 19.3 years, the same as in 2012. Life expectancy for females at age 65 was 20.5 years and for males, 17.9 years. The difference in life expectancy at age 65 between females and males was 2.6 years in 2013, the same as in 2012.

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From 2012 to 2013, age-adjusted death rates decreased significantly for 4 of 10 leading causes of death. The rate decreased 0.4% for heart disease, 2.0% for cancer, 1.9% for stroke, and 1.3% for Alzheimer’s disease. The rate increased significantly by 1.4% for chronic lower respiratory diseases and by 10.4% for influenza and pneumonia. The rates for unintentional injuries and kidney disease did not change significantly, and the rates for diabetes and suicide remained the same.

These mortality tables are used in the life insurance industry. To begin, life insurance companies look at the age of an individual compared with the rest of the group.

The American Council of Life Insurers defines life insurance companies grouping individuals into pools in order to share the financial risks presented by dying prematurely, needing long-term care or becoming disabled. Grouping makes it possible for a company to offer affordable protection against financial loss.

The price you pay for insurance is based on your gender, age, and the state of your health among other possible factors. Insurers gather information about applicants so they can group together people with similar characteristics and calculate a premium based on that group’s level of risk. Those with similar risks pay the same premiums; for instance, you may pay a lower premium if you do not smoke. On the other hand, if you have a chronic illness, you may be charged a higher premium. This system is known as risk classification.

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