What is Long Life Planning?

Long Life Planning, also known as Longevity Planning, is planning for the potential of a long life. It’s not just about your life now, but about what it will become and your changing needs as you age.

A few generations ago (back in 1900), the average life expectancy for the industrialized world was under 50 years old. Today, individuals are living well into their 70s, 80s, and beyond. Due to this increase in lifespan Dr. Jo Coughlin of the MIT Age Lab states that:

“We have a longevity paradox. Now that we have achieved what humankind has tried to achieve since it has walked – living longer we really don’t have a good idea of what to do with all that additional time.”

This is very different from what past generations experienced. Retirement is no longer a relatively brief period at the end of one’s life. Most people now feel excited about what lies ahead; imagining endless days devoted to travel, grandchildren, and golf. But chances are, retirement may be a bit different. The idea of retirement as a brief period of relaxation and reward is often a misperception.

So how will you spend your 30-year longevity bonus? Longer life expectancy requires new thinking. It’s not just about planning for retirement, but also planning for all the years you might live once you stop working, all the ways your life will change and all the events you can’t foresee.

This is where working with a financial planner who has experience and expertise in Long Life Planning can help to ensure your future success.

Longevity Planning in 8,000 Day Increments

Dr. Coughlin of the MIT Age Lab has looked at modern retirement on a mathematical scale, assuming a person with a college education and good income will live well into their 80’s, or will have 8,000 days in retirement. This 8,000-day story allows us to have a a clear vision to plan and to anticipate what is likely to come.

An individual’s life can be broken into 4 periods of time (roughly 8,000 days long):



  • Birth
  • School
  • ”Enjoying” your teenage years
  • College


  • Starting a career
  • Relationship/marriage
  • Owning a home
  • Becoming a parent


  • Prime career years
  • Enjoying your income/buying cars/nicer houses/nicer vacations
  • Planning for retirement


  • Retiring
  • Becoming a grandparent
  • Travel, golf, volunteering
  • Now what?

The Reality of Retirement

Many of us view life after retirement to include extended work, even if part time, leisure activities, and spending time with family or volunteering as activities that we will be doing.

Though these pursuits suggest a healthy perspective on aging, they may indicate an overly generalized vision of what could also involve decades of changes in work, health, finances, housing, marital status, and countless other activities.


The Four Phases of Retirement

Not every day of retirement will look the same. We often ponder what the first day of retirement will look like, but what does day 5,852 look like? Instead of looking and planning for retirement as a single phase, it is beneficial to divide retirement into four phases. By looking at each phase, one can work toward a clearer vision and path of what is likely to come.

Preparation done effectively, and realistically, can help to reduce anxiety related to uncertainty and increase long-term independence and control as you progress along the continuum. A good financial planner can serve as a guide to all the options and costs as your life progresses.


What Questions Should You be Asking?

In addition to financial implications, retirement has life implications. Our knowledgeable and experienced team can help ideal clients sort through the possibilities. Our Approach is designed to guide you up to and through the retirement you’ve always envisioned. As you being this process, here are some important questions to ask:

Longevity Resources


Any opinions are those of Webb Investment Services and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Dr. Jo Coughlin or the MIT Age Lab. This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a pro-t or loss regardless of strategy selected, including diversification and asset allocation. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation.