Life Expectancy Method

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Life Expectancy Method'

A method of calculating annuity payments, by dividing the balance or total value of a retirement account by the policy holder's anticipated length of life. This is the easiest method of early distribution to calculate.


There are two types of life expectancy methods. One is the "certain method", and the other the "recalculation method". IRS tables help determine life expectancy of the owner or the joint life expectancies of the owner and a beneficiary.



BREAKING DOWN 'Life Expectancy Method'

An example of how this method is calculated:
If a 54-year-old single man wants distributions to begin in 2011, he must first calculate the total account value as of December 31, 2010 and his life expectancy according to IRS Publication 590 Appendix C. If the account value were $100,000 and his life expectancy is 30.5 years, the amount he can receive in distributions each year is $3,278.69. The following year, the now 55-year-old would again take the account balance on December 31 and divide the amount by 29.6 - his new life expectancy. Essentially, the older the person becomes, the shorter the life expectancy becomes, although this relationship is not linear.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Required Minimum Distribution Method

    One of three methods by which early retirees of any age can access ...
  2. Accelerated Death Benefit - ADB

    A benefit that can be attached to a life insurance policy that ...
  3. Individual Retirement Account - ...

    An investing tool used by individuals to earn and earmark funds ...
  4. Life Expectancy

    1. The age until which a person is expected to live. 2. The ...
  5. Post-Retirement Risk

    The potential risks to financial security that a retired individual ...
  6. Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

    A Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) is a deferred annuity ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Calculating The Present And Future Value Of Annuities

    At some point in your life, you may have had to make a series of fixed payments over a period of time - such as rent or car payments - or have received a series of payments over a period of time, ...
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Passing The Buck: The Hidden Costs Of Annuities

    These may look like good retirement vehicles, but beware of the fees buried in the fine print.
  3. Home & Auto

    An Overview Of Annuities

    These contracts provide a guaranteed income stream. Learn how they work and their benefits.
  4. Options & Futures

    Getting the Whole Story on Variable Annuities

    Variable annuities are another way to save money tax-deferred - but don't jump in blindly!
  5. Options & Futures

    Long-Term Care Insurance: You Have Options

    The latest offerings provide more coverage and the ability to pick and choose what types of coverage you'll need.
  6. Retirement

    Inflation-Protected Annuities: Part Of A Solid Financial Plan

    If you worry about inflation and longevity risks, this may be the investment for you.
  7. Options & Futures

    Taking The Bite Out Of Annuity Losses

    If this investment product has caused you sleepless nights, it's time to consider alternatives.
  8. Options & Futures

    Life Expectancy: It's More Than Just A Number

    Find out how this factor determines your life insurance premiums and affects your payout.
  9. Retirement

    Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund fast.
  10. Retirement

    Best Ways to Save For Retirement Without an IRA or 401(k)

    Learn the most common types of savings vehicles used to accumulate money for retirement outside employer-sponsored 401(k)s or IRA accounts.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the best ways to sell an annuity?

    The best ways to sell an annuity are to locate buyers from insurance agents or companies that specialize in connecting buyers ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How are non-qualified variable annuities taxed?

    Non-qualified variable annuities are tax-deferred investment vehicles with a unique tax structure. After-tax money is deposited ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can a variable annuity be rolled into an IRA?

    You can roll qualified variable annuities, such as other qualified retirement plan accounts, into a traditional IRA. Non-qualified ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are variable annuities subject to required minimum distribution (RMD)?

    Variable annuities are insurance contracts that provide tax-deferred growth of assets that can later generate a guaranteed ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. For what types of financial instruments would I want to calculate the present value ...

    Because the present value of an annuity formula relies on a consistent interest rate and identical payments for a set period ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What exact information is included in the interest rate when calculating the present ...

    When calculating the present value of an annuity, the interest rate percentage is the rate at which future payments are discounted ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  2. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  3. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  4. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  5. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  6. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!