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Long-term Investing: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

With medical advances meaning we are all living longer, would-be centenarians should hold more stocks and seriously research annuity options, among other strategies.

Christine Benz 26.05.2014

A few years ago I attended the 100th birthday party for a family friend. And she wasn't alone on the dais: Her older sister, a former member of the Women's Army Corps, joined her.

These two are the only 100-year-olds I know, but they're not all that unusual any more. In fact, the number of centenarians in developed countries is increasing at a rate of more than 5% per year. At that pace, the population of individuals aged 100-plus will double every 13 years, according to the United Nations' World Population Ageing Report.

Of course, it's still a fairly small subset of the population that will live that long – scare tactics from insurers and other financial-services providers notwithstanding. Just 5% of 65-year-old females and 3% of 65-year-old males in the US will make it to age 100, according to Social Security actuarial estimates. But a much larger percentage - 29% of 65-year-old males and 39% of 65-year-old females – are expected to live to age 90.

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About Author

Christine Benz  Christine Benz is Morningstar's director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. Follow Christine on Twitter: @christine_benz and on Facebook.

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