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Americans Underestimate Health Costs in Retirement
Old 05-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #1
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Americans Underestimate Health Costs in Retirement

http://www.plansponsor.com/Americans...etirement.aspx

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Aviva USA noted that data from The Urban Institute indicates people should be prepared to spend approximately 30% of their income on health care expenses in retirement.

This survey revealed most Americans are unrealistic about some of the repercussions of lifestyle choices and aging – specifically, that as you get older, your health is apt to decline and your need for health care increases.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #2
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Many of us - those of us who paid attention to what was happening to our parents - realize this is the case. About 25% of our spending during our first 8 years of retirement has been entertainment/travel/toy related. As (if) we continue to age and our health care needs ramp up we will be using these funds for medical expenses instead.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Over the past several years, I was the person "in charge" of making sure parents' financial/health/living things were in order. I was shocked when I saw the bills covered by Medicare and supplemental.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
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Increasing health care costs and long term care as people get older are a couple of the main reasons the numbers in most of the the super early retirement blogs don't really add up long term. Unless they plan on living outside the U.S. eventually or have citizenship somewhere else as a fallback option, their health care costs aren't going to stay the same as they are in their 30s. And staying alive longer means more higher health care years to fund.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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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
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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30%? What a useless scare figure! 30% of income could be $15000 for some and $50,000 for another. I would bet the health care costs for the wealthier are actually lower both by percentage and actual raw numbers. Percentage estimates like this remind me of the useless propaganda I used to worry about having to replace 70% of my income in retirement. Horse manure! And all designed to frighten people into continuing to slave away for the man...
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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The health care industry is completely out of touch. It might expect people to pay 30% of their income in healthcare costs, but that level isn't affordable and people simply won't pay.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #8
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I just don't really buy this for most people over Medicare age anyway. My mother is 89. She pays for Medicare and her supplemental plan. Beyond that she has to pay her part B deductible and her prescription co-pays. She has occasional dental costs and a pair of reading glasses every once in awhile but not much else.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow
I just don't really buy this for most people over Medicare age anyway. My mother is 89. She pays for Medicare and her supplemental plan. Beyond that she has to pay her part B deductible and her prescription co-pays. She has occasional dental costs and a pair of reading glasses every once in awhile but not much else.
My father also has little costs. I do not know how the Medicare payment structure works, but in conjunction with his health insurance from company he retired from, they pay $150 a month for the company insurance and that is about it for him cost wise. He has had so many surgeries and replacement parts inserted, I have told him he has to be the sole reason Medicare is in the financial shape it currently is in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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I'd assume most Americans are unrealistic and/or overly optimistic about their own future health and health care costs. That's how most people (not just Americans) are in general. Optimism bias. There's something adaptive about that, as long as you don't keep yourself too much in the dark.

I think the people on this forum are pretty realistic about future health care coverage/costs.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:52 PM   #11
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See

Retired couples may need $220K for health care - Business - Boston.com

A 65-year-old couple retiring this year would need $220,000 on average to cover medical expenses, an 8 percent decrease from last year’s estimate of $240,000. The study assumes a life expectancy of 85 for women and 82 for men.

In its most recent estimate, EBRI projected that a couple with typical drug expenses would need $163,000 for a 50 percent chance of covering all medical expenses in retirement. They'd need $283,000 to have a 90 percent chance.

I think these numbers are too low as it does not take into account LTC.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #12
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Aviva USA noted that data from The Urban Institute indicates people should be prepared to spend approximately 30% of their income on health care expenses in retirement.
I wonder. Somehow I doubt that there is a nice, even mean for health care costs. Some seniors have terribly expensive health issues that sap their savings to the bone. Other seniors don't have nearly as many health expenses (but still end up just keeling over dead one day when their time is up).

I wish it was a little easier to predict. That would sure make planning easier.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Some seniors have terribly expensive health issues that sap their savings to the bone. Other seniors don't have nearly as many health expenses (but still end up just keeling over dead one day when their time is up).

I wish it was a little easier to predict. That would sure make planning easier.
If only there was a financial product that you could purchase to spread the risk over many individuals....
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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If only there was a financial product that you could purchase to spread the risk over many individuals....
Like the ones that Aviva USA sells? Good one!

No wonder they are so interested in that study!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #15
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I think a lot of people think Medicare pays for a LOT more of their routine expenses than it really does.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:23 AM   #16
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And then there's this in today's news:

Expected retiree medical expenses fall in 2013, but still outpace many Americans' estimates

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For the second time in the last three years, estimated medical expenses for new retirees have fallen, according to a study released Wednesday by Fidelity Investments. A 65-year-old couple retiring this year would need $220,000 on average to cover medical expenses, an 8 percent decrease from last year's estimate of $240,000. The study assumes a life expectancy of 85 for women and 82 for men.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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And then there's this, with the big, bold headline, "Retiring at 55? You'll need $372,000 just for medical expenses."

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Someone who retires today at age 55 will spend an average of $119,600 over the next 10 years on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, said Dale Yamamoto, who authored a report on medical spending on behalf of the Society of Actuaries and the Health Care Costs Institute.
Retiring at 55? You'll need $372,000 just for medical expenses - Economy


The $119,600 figure seems high to me. That's $12K/yr. Maybe they're assuming that he/she is also providing family or spousal coverage. For a single guy like me, I'm looking at about half that, I think.

I hate articles like this. They make me think about delaying retirement, just to save on health care costs ... which will probably rise because I'm staying in a stressful job. Sigh.

The $372,000 figure is based on someone who lives to 85. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to die early. Boy, that's frugality, eh? Hoping to die early to save on medical bills.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ER Eddie
And then there's this, with the big, bold headline, "Retiring at 55? You'll need $372,000 just for medical expenses."

Retiring at 55? You'll need $372,000 just for medical expenses - Economy

The $119,600 figure seems high to me. That's $12K/yr. Maybe they're assuming that he/she is also providing family or spousal coverage. For a single guy like me, I'm looking at about half that, I think.

I hate articles like this. They make me think about delaying retirement, just to save on health care costs ... which will probably rise because I'm staying in a stressful job. Sigh.

The $372,000 figure is based on someone who lives to 85. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to die early. Boy, that's frugality, eh? Hoping to die early to save on medical bills.
I certainly didnt budget that much, nor will I. I am looking at it like you, about half that. The only way I could come near that total out of pocket anyways, is if I get creamed on future health insurance premiums rate shocks.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:03 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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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.
That would be tremendously more meaningful to me. We know that about 20% of the population as a whole consumes about 80% of the total cost, so an average cost is not going to be a real meaningful number even just in the 55 and up category, I would assume.
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