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.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to score luxury travel for less. Also in the news: Target’s Black Friday ad, how to save money on health care, and breaking down the three new tiers of economy airline fares.

How to Score Luxury Travel for Less
Luxury travel at less-than-luxurious prices.

Target Black Friday 2018 Ad, Deals and Store Hours
Start your list.

How to Save Money on Health Care
Important questions to ask.

Breaking Down the Three New Tiers of Economy Fares
Even economy has tiers now.

How to save money on health care

Americans on average spend more on health care than they do on groceries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Expenditure Survey. Saving money on medical care is a lot tougher than saving money on food, however. Two big culprits: opaque pricing and ever-changing insurance company rules about what’s covered and what’s not.

For help in cutting costs, I turned to a uniquely qualified individual: Carolyn McClanahan, an emergency room doctor turned certified financial planner. McClanahan, director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida, frequently speaks at industry conferences, teaching other advisors how to help their clients best navigate the health care system.

In my latest for the Associated Press, the three questions everyone should ask to save money on health care.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

18ixgvpiu0s24jpgToday’s top story: What your bank won’t tell you when you get a mortgage. Also in the news: Retiring your debts before retirement, health care to-dos that can save you money, and apps that can keep your cell phone safe from security threats.

4 Things Your Bank Won’t Tell You When You Get a Mortgage
What you should know.

Before Even Thinking About Retiring, Retire Your Debts
Why your debt needs to retire before you do.

7 Summer Health Care To-Dos That Can Save You Money
Take a hard look at your health care costs.

5 Apps to Keep Your Cellphone Safe From Security Threats
Protecting yourself from identity theft.

Thursday’s need-to know-money news

College studentAvoiding health care scams, improving your credit mix, and navigating the rocky roads of inheritance.

How to Avoid Healthcare Fraud
Don’t let yourself be scammed.

Rules of the Road for Improving Your Credit Mix
Taking on new credit could make it easier to get a mortgage.

Stop Family Feuds Over Inheritances Before They Start
Few things can tear a family apart worse than a will.

7 Huge Mistakes Back to School Shoppers Make
How to avoid overspending during the chaos of back to school shopping.

How to Buy Maternity and Kids Clothes on the Cheap
Don’t spend a fortune on clothes everyone will outgrow.