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Old 05-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Does anyone have a link to an actual study? Fidelity publishes this yearly, their current estimate is "only" $220k for a couple. They have plenty of footnotes but no actual study I can find. They consider Medicare A,B and D but make no reference to supplemental policies. They also talk "average costs" and I would like to see the median estimate.
Good point on medians vs. means.

Here's one study, although it just gives averages:

It lists estimated average per capita expenditure in 2010 as $8300 (for ages 55 to 64), which is closer to my expectations but still high. It's from the same institute that is quoted in the article I referenced, which is weird, since the amount quoted there is 50% higher (12K, roughly).

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #22
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"Here's one study, although it just gives averages:"

The problem is no one is really an average when it comes to health care. You are one heartbeat away from your doc telling you that you will have just become a major consumer of health care services. In my case $250k worth.

If you want to protect your FI the only thing you can plan on is how to maintain your health insurance. The problem now is that with the ACA, it is very complicated to plan during this transition period.

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #23
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Well, you're right of course; averages are just averages; they don't tell you what will happen in any particular case. I'm sorry to hear about your medical issues and high expenditures. I'm assuming you didn't have health insurance, or your condition wasn't covered somehow?

The best I can do, in my own situation, is add the costs of health insurance + out of pocket expenses and go from there. No one can really plan for a catastrophic event. As you say, you just have to have good health insurance in place.

It looks as if ACA will reduce the costs of health insurance for people over 40, although we'll have to wait and see how things really turn out.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Here are some Canadian numbers for comparison. Annual costs of over $20K for octogenarians, eh? Gotta figure that into the SWR.....oh wait, it's already covered by taxes.

Canadians use average of $220,000 in public health care over lifetime - The Globe and Mail
This is why we have plans to move to Canada, even with higher taxes (which pays for universal health care). Now if only the cost of everyday living wasn't so high, which makes it harder to save for retirement there. These 2 things, in a sense, are tradeoffs.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #25
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With a "30%" figure, remember that many retirees live on not too much more than their Social Security check. It wouldn't take much to consume 30% of that SS check plus a little meager interest from some CDs to go to healthcare.

Also, remember that just like the masses being oblivious to the fees of "financial planners" sucking 1%, 2% (or more) from their investments with high ER mutual funds, for many Americans its the same when it comes to healthcare: they simply blindly follow WHATEVER their doctor proscribes for drugs to treat their condition(s). Already taking 5 pills for 3 conditions, and have an undesirable side effect? Here's another script for a 6th pill to treat that side effect.

Many on this forum are self-sufficient and (to a great deal) fairly analytical when evaluating things. However, most in America are simple sheep that follow whatever someone in 'authority' (doctor, investment manager) tells them to do, and they assume they should do it. Add in the fact that you have an army of drug reps encouraging doctors to proscribe pills to treat everything as a first course of action, and many doctors would rather give you a pill because they have a drug rep at their office, AND it's easier to say "well, Mrs. Jane Doe died from heart failure because I gave her this FDA-approved pill", rather than say "Mrs. Jane Doe died from heart failure because I had her try this natural regime that I thought might work first, rather than immediately rush to give her a pill."

Many people simply have no desire to research for themselves, nor think that they might be better off slightly suffering from one condition without as many pills, rather than popping a handful of pills every morning to treat a myriad of other conditions and side effects. After all, just look at all of the sales of Big Pharma - all of those pills are being consumed by someone.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #26
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You could spend relatively trivial amounts on health care for 30 years, then develop Alzheimer's and run through $240K in nothing flat for home-health-care, nursing home care, etc.

Depressing, but most of us know someone it happened to.


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