About Author

Patrick Lawler, CFP®

Patrick empowers professionals and executives, including those in life sciences, to achieve their financial goals through personalized wealth management strategies. His extensive experience and qualifications ensure clients receive guidance on growing, protecting, and passing on their wealth.

Specialties: Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax Optimization, Portfolio Management, and more.

Patrick Lawler

Retirement and Longevity In Your Financial Planning

When doing retirement planning, most Americans will consider factors such as inflation, steady income, or the value of their assets. Very few give much consideration to one other very important thing: longevity. This is probably just as true of professionals in the Life Sciences and Bio-Tech industries as in any other sector. You may well be working hard with early retirement in mind, but have you considered how long you may actually live after retirement? Will you have sufficient savings, investments, and income to keep you covered?
Yes, how long you live will naturally have an impact on whether or not you have put away enough money for retirement. While we have no way of knowing for sure what our lifespan will be, we can come up with estimates based on our gender and other factors. This estimate is an important factor in financial retirement planning. Longevity literacy, as some people call it, is as critical to investors as knowledge of the market or investment growth strategies.

The Importance of Longevity and Retirement

Do you know how long you are expected to live, based on your age, gender, and demographic data? Of course, your case may end up being different from the average, but you need to know what that average is if you want to plan for your  financial future.

Most Americans retire in their mid-60s across all sectors, including Life Sciences. Their investments and savings then need to provide for them for at least the next two decades. To be precise, men are likely to live another 20-22 years, while women will live for about another 25 years, maybe even longer. It is vital for investors of both sexes to know this so they can engage in effective financial planning and plan accordingly. Executives, especially those with stock options, as is often the case in the Bio-Tech and Life Sciences sectors, may retire earlier, which means they have an even longer retirement period to consider. If you should have the good fortune to live to the average expected age or beyond, it will do no good for you to build only enough retirement savings to get you to the age of 75. What will you do for the next five, ten, or more years?

How Retirement Longevity Impacts Savings

Longevity is something we all hope for, and should aim for, but retirement is also about the quality of our final years, not just the number of years we live. We must consider our average or ideal lifespan when we make our retirement plans because longevity risk can definitely make our last few years much more difficult. 

Longevity risk is the chance that you will outlive your savings and the returns on your investments. No matter how long you live, you need to ensure that the opposite is true: your wealth must outlive you, even if you live well beyond the average life expectancy. Savings that fall short of the desired value for your retirement duration, can have a devastating impact on your standard of living.

Addressing Longevity Risk in Retirement Planning

To address the longevity risk, you will need to start by factoring your life expectancy into your retirement planning.  Executives and professionals, with potentially longer retirements due to early retirement options, should be particularly mindful of this factor. 

You will also have to work out how your spending needs will change over time. Your wealth manager can help you with this. Various income sources and assets will need to be incorporated into your plan to ensure that you have adequate protection. These include Social Security, 401(k), pension plans, retirement annuities, real estate, stocks, bonds, and more. The most reliable protection against longevity risk is a lifetime annuity or pension. However, the more assets you can add to your portfolio, the more security you can provide for yourself, and the greater the chances that you will have enough or even more than you need for a comfortable retirement.

If you need help with comprehensive financial retirement planning that will secure and grow your wealth for a comfortable retirement and a lasting legacy, you need a wealth manager and a family CFO, to help you. LRVS Advisory Group is a team of financial experts who specialize in helping executives and professionals in the Life Sciences, Bio-Tech and Pharma sectors protect and grow their wealth. Contact us for more information on effective financial retirement planning tailored to your industry.


This article is provided by McAdam LLC (“McAdam” or the “Firm”) for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. No portion of this article is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax, or legal advice. Certain information contained in this report is derived from sources that McAdam believes to be reliable; however, the Firm does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages..

This article is the sole opinion of this individual and is not indicative of the firm’s beliefs.