BALTIMORE — Increasing longevity is radically changing the planning assumptions of advisers like Marc Milic. His oldest client is now 103.
"Probably 10 years ago I was using age 90 in my financial plans. Today, I'm using 100. And maybe I should go higher," said Milic, a partner at Douglas C. Lane & Associates, a New York-based RIA that manages approximately $4.1 billion.
Longevity is one of several issues that have made retirement planning more complicated in recent years, say financial planners who also cite record low interest rates and medical advances as additional factors.
Quote"Longevity is growing, and it's a growing issue. If you have a 65-year-old there is a not inconsequential possibility that they will live another 40 years," - David Yeske.
Quote"The Iron Man competition – the fastest growing age group doing it is the over 80-years-old group," - Marc Milic.
"We have to have more equities in our client portfolios," Milic said during a retirement planning roundtable at the Financial Planning Associate Conference here.
David Yeske, managing director at Yeske Buie, also said holding more equities in portfolios has become an attractive option. Yeske added that he's also seen more clients wanting to preserve wealth for their descendants — which can be complicated if those clients require higher distribution rates as they live well past their 80s and 90s.
"Longevity is growing, and it's a growing issue. If you have a 65-year-old there is a not inconsequential possibility that they will live another 40 years," Yeske said.
Clients' misperceptions further complicate planning, advisers said.
David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar, said his company has an online tool allowing clients to estimate their life expectancy. But the problem, he is that "they aren't good at estimating their true life expectancy."
Milic said he's assuming higher rates of consumptions for his clients. And he points to advances in medical care as another factor that may further affect planning, both as a cost and in increasing longevity.
Planners said they can help ground clients in reality.
"As financial planners, we are dealing with powerful forces in people's lives. There's nothing that scares them more than money issues," Yeske said.
Milic added that he finds it important to look at matters from different perspectives.
"The Iron Man competition – the fastest growing age group doing it is the over 80-years-old group," he says.
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