5 New Things I Learned at the FPA Symposium

You might think that after 26 years in financial services I would know everything there is to know about personal finance.  Just kidding, of course you don’t think that and neither do I.  That’s why I try to attend the Colorado Financial Planning Association’s Symposium every year.


Yes, a day of thrilling classes about Social Security, economic outlook, spotting elder abuse, estate planning, and many other topics.  I attend these classes so you don’t have to.  Herewith, in no particular order, are 5 interesting things I learned at the 2021 FPA Symposium:


  1. There is a major difference in expected longevity based on a person’s income. Forty-year-old males in the top 1% of income live on average 14.6 years longer than those in the bottom 1%.
  2. The difference in life expectancy increases for those in the top 1% vs. the bottom 1% of income increased 2.34 years from 2001 to 2014.
  3. The longevity gap between males and females is dropping. Now females can expect to live only 2 years longer than their husbands.
  4. After reaching age 61, people usually retire earlier than planned. For each year past age 61, people retire on average a half-year year sooner than that.   For example, if you think you will work to age 69, it’s statistically likely that you will be retired by age 65.
  5. Regarding Social Security benefits if you are divorced: If divorce is more than 2 years old, the ex-spouse can get spousal benefit before the working spouse filed. If the divorce happened 2 years ago or less, ex-spouse can’t file until ex-spouse files.  This is only true if you are unmarried filing on ex-spouse’s benefit.


Now you have some fascinating tidbits to bring up at holiday parties.  Or maybe learn some new jokes instead.

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