When you first start exploring how much money you’ll need for retirement you realize it largely depends on how old you are now, and what your lifestyle and habits are.

There are simple tables that will give you the average life expectancy on males and females but they don’t take into account how fit you are now, your family health history, or other variables like your marital status. These things all affect your specific life expectancy.

Right now the average life expectancy for a man in his 50’s is 83 years. If you make it to age 70, you get to add another 3 years, totaling 86.

1 of every 4 of those 70 year old men makes it to 90. If you have a history of good health and long-living family members, this could be you.

For women the numbers are slightly different. A woman in her 50’s right now will live to an average of 86 years. If she makes it to 70, her life expectancy grows another 2 years to 88.

These are just numbers, but it’s a place to start when you’re considering whether or not your retirement funds are enough to support you throughout retirement. And the trend, thanks to medical technology, is to increase these numbers further.  Meaning your money needs to last even longer.

So let’s look at what things you can control and what things you can’t.

What You Can Control

  • Your ability to earn income outside your current retirement fund/pension plan.
  • Your annual expenses
  • Your ability to live a healthy life to add to your productive income earning  years
  • Your ability to save and invest more

What You Can’t Control

  • General inflation and cost of living
  • Currency fluctuations if you live, earn, and invest in different countries.
  • The boom/bust cycles of the stock market
  • Black Swan events that cause a financial crisis

Notice anything? The things you can affect are all positive! By getting your head into the game and taking control of the elements critical to the success of your financial and retirement goals, you become fixated on positive, productive efforts.

The leap from zero to one just requires taking action. The more proactive you are before your retirement and early into your retirement the better off you’ll be in the later years. And there might be many, many years to pay for. Do it right now, while you have maximum earning power.