Health care in retirement probably costs more than you think

See my website  for additional information on health care costs
and planning for retirement and health care in your retirement years.

By Michelle Singletary, Washington Post May 17, 2013

When it comes to thinking about how much money we all need to retire comfortably, it gives us a headache. I just need to say that upfront before telling you the latest news, which is sure to scare you even more about retirement.

You probably know that health care is likely to be among your largest expenses. But how much?

In its annual look at medical expenses for retirees, Fidelity Investments said a couple, both 65, retiring in 2013 would probably need $220,000 to cover health-care expenses if the husband lives to 82 and the wife to 85, the average life expectancies.

 Oh, and in case you’re thinking, “Why yes, that makes sense if you add in possible nursing-home costs or long-term care expenses” — think again.

The estimate does not include those costs. It applies to retirees with traditional Medicare insurance coverage.

But there’s an upside. The $220,000 is an 8 percent drop from last year’s $240,000 estimate.

“These numbers matter because health-care-related costs will eat up a good portion of one’s savings in retirement, but it seems to be the cost that individuals have the least amount of awareness of,” said Brad Kimler, executive vice president of Fidelity Benefits Consulting.
Tax saving thought – consider an HSA, Health Savings account as a mechanism to force savings for health care costs in your retirement years.

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