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How Does the IRS Calculate Life Expectancy?

When it comes to retirement planning, it’s important to understand how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calculates life expectancy. Knowing this information can help you plan for your future and ensure that you have enough money saved for retirement. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how the IRS calculates life expectancy and what factors are taken into consideration.

What is Life Expectancy?

Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average number of years a person is expected to live based on their age, gender, and other factors. It’s used by the IRS to determine how long a person will need to save for retirement and how much they should be saving each year. The life expectancy calculation also helps determine the amount of required minimum distributions (RMDs) that must be taken from certain retirement accounts each year after age 73 (73 if you reach age 72 after Dec. 31, 2022).

What Factors Does The IRS Consider When Calculating Life Expectancy?

The IRS considers several factors when calculating life expectancy, including age, gender, health status, lifestyle habits, family history, and other demographic information. Age is one of the most important factors in determining life expectancy because it’s an indicator of how long a person may live. Gender is also taken into consideration because men typically have shorter lifespans than women. Health status and lifestyle habits are also considered because they can affect longevity. Family history can also play a role in determining life expectancy since certain genetic conditions or diseases may shorten a person’s lifespan.

How Does The IRS Calculate Life Expectancy?

The IRS uses an actuarial table called the “Uniform Lifetime Table” to calculate life expectancy. This table takes into account all of the factors mentioned above and provides an estimated number of years that a person may live based on their age and gender. For example, according to the Uniform Lifetime Table, a 65-year-old man has an estimated 18 years left to live while a 65-year-old woman has an estimated 21 years left to live.


Understanding how the IRS calculates life expectancy is important for anyone who is planning for retirement or taking required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts after age 73. Knowing this information can help you plan accordingly so that you have enough money saved for your future needs. If you have any questions about calculating your own life expectancy or about taking RMDs from your retirement accounts, contact your financial advisor or tax professional for more information.

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