Unfortunately, healthcare is a spending category that rises consistently in retirement as we get older. The average out of pocket health care cost for a household between the ages of 65 and 74 is nearly $4,400 a year, which is about 11% of the total household spending. According to a new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, health care expenses have grown by 19% of household income to $6,6013 for household with at least 85 years old.
This cost breakdown comprises of recurring and non-recurring healthcare cost. For the Medicare-eligible segment of the population, the average recurring expenses medical services, such as doctors visits, prescription drugs and medical supplies, total $1,855 a year.
On average retirees can assume that 2% inflation with 3% returns. If a person’s life expectancy were 90 years old, they would require $41,000 a year age 65 to fund his or her recurring expenses. This is not calculating for insurance premiums and over-the-counter medications. There are also non-recurring expenses, such as overnight hospital stays, and nursing home stays can be significant cost, which average $24,185 for people at least 85 years old.
It’s important for individuals to plan accordingly based on their cost estimates. The EBRI study found that if men and women wanted to have a 90% chance of paying for own expenses then men and women would need to have $116,000 and $131,000 in savings respectively. However, for the vast majority of retirees, saving up for retirement basics is difficult let alone save up an addition money to cover medical cost. According to an AARP, 55% of Americans over the age of 60 believe that will not have saved enough money for healthcare when they reach the age of retirement. 38% of people over 55% have not saved anything and 70% wish they started saving before they were age 35%. While only 28% of people over 50 started saving when before they were 35. Even worst, 44% did not have any plans to start saving the future.
Medicare will only cover about half of the medical cost, and is most commonly to be the means in which people expect to pay for medical care in retirement. Nearly 57% of people expected to work past the age of 65 to pay for the financial shortfalls in order to supplement their income.
There are ways to cut medical cost during retirement.