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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/my-thinking-is-this-if-you-begin-life-as-member-29552875.aspx

Subject:  Re: Estimating Retirement Incomes, Pt. 1 Date:  9/20/2011  12:24 PM
Author:  culcha Number:  69623 of 78167

My thinking is this. If you begin life as member of a cohort of 100,000 of the same gender, what are the odds that you will live to age 80? 90? 100? Longer? We can know from looking at the table that males have an even odds chance of living to age 79. (For females, the even-odds age is around 84-1/2). Unfortunately, most people confuse “average life expectancy” with their own personal life-expectancy. In other words, generalizations drawn from a broad sample of 100,000 cannot be applied with much assurance to a sample of one. For sure, that is the way to bet. But it’s also a bet you might lose.

Seems to me that all bets about your own personal life expectancy are bets that you might lose. If by your own life expectancy, you mean something like your actual age at death, who could have certain knowledge about this ahead of time?

I also have a problem with determining the life expectancy that you, as say a male of age 80, can reasonably anticipate. It doesn't seem to make sense to use a data set that includes all the males born