Let’s get real about health costs in retirement

You won’t pay for health care in retirement with one lump sum. That’s the way these expenses are often presented, though, and the amounts are terrifying.

Fidelity Investments, for example, says a couple retiring in 2019 at age 65 will need $285,000 for health expenses, not including nursing home or other long-term care. The Employee Benefits Research Institute says some couples could need up to $400,000 — again, not including long-term care. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College hasn’t updated its figures recently, but back in 2010 estimated a typical couple could spend $260,000 for medical and long-term care, with a 5% risk that costs will exceed $570,000.

No wonder 45% of people in their 50s and early 60s have little or no confidence that they’ll be able to afford their health care costs once they retire, according to a survey by the University of Michigan.

In my latest for the Associated Press, a health care cost reality check.

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  1. June lovell says

    I volunteer as an Ombudsman with Long Term Care Services. I visited with a daughter yesterday who is mother of a 4 year old ‘in the spectrum’ darling boy. Her 70 year old mom had a stroke and is quite impaired. That’s a problem because Mom was caregiver for 74 year old Dad who has dementia. Daughter lived with them to help with Dad but dementia has progressed and he isn’t able to tolerate the 4 year old any more. Parents have an income of about $3000/monthly and their share of cost (if approved for MediCal) is projected at about $1500/monthly. Mom can’t be cared for at home at this time. The bottom line: they are f—-d.