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What Could Health Care Cost You in Retirement?


Have you ever imagined how much less expensive retirement might be? After all, you could be saying goodbye to long commutes, lunches out, work attire and other job-related costs.

While this may be a nice fantasy, the reality is that not everything is cheaper in retirement. Take health care, for instance: Thirty years ago, retirees spent almost twice as much on food as on health care. Now the amounts are nearly the same.

Your Health Care Price Tag

As you think about health care expenses in retirement, there are several considerations, including:

  1. Your age at retirement

    If you retire before age 65, you’ll need to fill any gaps in coverage before you become eligible for Medicare.

  2. Your Medicare decision

    Medicare coverage comes with premiums and copays, and of course it doesn’t cover everything. Look at any supplemental insurance costs as well as potential out-of-pocket expenses.

  3. Long-term care

    Not everyone will need long-term care, but it’s wise to have a “just in case” strategy to pay for it. You could consider purchasing a long-term care policy or including these potential costs in your budget.

While health care costs may be beyond your control, you can control how you prepare for them. Your financial advisor can look at your entire retirement picture (including health care) and help you develop a retirement strategy that works for you.

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