Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Remember to figure health care costs in retirement

How much money does it take to retire?

Partly, it will depend on your health.

The New York Times recently probed this question through the story of Jeff Strack, a 61-year-old Charlotte sales manager who is considering retirement.

Fidelity Investments estimates that the average married couple retiring this year at age 65 will need $220,000 to cover health costs throughout retirement, the Times story said. That figure is less than last year’s estimate of $240,000 because of lower-than-expected Medicare spending, Fidelity said. Also, people have cut back on medical care during the lackluster economy, and increases in payments to doctors and health plans have slowed under the Affordable Care Act. But the number is still daunting.

The Times also quotes the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which estimates that a married couple retiring in 2013 at age 65 with traditional Medicare (with a prescription drug plan, a generous supplemental plan and median drug costs) will need $255,000 to have a 90 percent chance of having enough money for health care costs throughout their retirement.


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