How long will any client live? Behavioral finance expert Shlomo Benartzi provides an estimate: If 10 high school classmates all make it to age 65 and retire at that time, the first death is likely to occur four years later, while the classmate who buries them all might survive to 99.

If each of them came to you at their 65th birthday and asked for a retirement income calculation, the only option would be to pick a life expectancy - but the true answer may be anywhere from another four to 34 years. As a careful planner, when you pick an age, you might ask, "How certain are you that you won't live longer?" You might then show your client the odds of living to various ages.

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