Retirees’ Health Care Costs May Blow Your Mind

old man with puzzle out of head

The Employee Benefit Research Institute has just issued a new report on health care expenses in retirement that is likely to shock many advisors and their clients.

According to the report, a couple 65 years old with median prescription drug expenses would need $296,000 in savings to have a 50% chance of having enough on hand to cover their health care expenses in retirement. If they wanted 90% odds of covering those costs, they would need $400,000 in savings.

Moreover, “many Americans will likely need more savings than cited in this report,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health and Research and Education Program and co-author of the report, in a statement. That’s because the study doesn’t factor in long-term care expenses and other health expenses not covered by Medicare; its calculations include projected premiums for a comprehensive Medigap plan that will no longer exist for new Medicare recipients starting in 2020, namely Plan F; and cutbacks are expected in the Medicare program as well as in private employment-based retiree health programs.

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