respect your elders
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2011 04:30 PM
A lot of financial-planning advertising tries to get Americans to think about how big a nest egg they’ll need upon retirement and then suggests an advice brand that will help them reach the goal.
Well, Northwestern Mutual is trying to get Americans to consider “The Number,” too – but it’s a different kind of number. This is the number for how many years they might be likely to live.
The giant Milwaukee-based life insurer – once known for its brand positioning as “The Quiet Company,” and more recently for the slogan, “Build a Foundation for Life” – has launched a Lifespan Calculator on its website that helps you figure out your expected longevity.
The calculation is based on a number of factors, including habits regarding diet, exercise and vices. Life expectancies in America continue to rise, to 80.6 years for females born today and 75.7 years for males.
The point of Northwestern Mutual’s calculator actually is to remind people that, with longer life spans, retirement savings must go further than they used to. And so more Americans will figure they need professional help so their money doesn’t run out before they do.
This correspondent buzzed through the 13-question quiz and was happy to come up with a life expectancy of 91. There’s a tiny thrill associated with the answer to each question as a “correct” answer – reflecting the true realities of your life, of course – nudges your expected life-span ever higher.
The only setback was after an admission of less-than-desirable daily consumption of vegetables, and too much processed food, knocked the expectancy back a couple of years. Gotta work on that.
For those not eager to know "their number," there's always the option of facing a virtual rendering of yourself in years to come — as much a spur to healthy living as it is to save and appreciate each day.