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Managing Health Care Costs in Retirement

Posted by Seton McAndrews | CFP®, Vice President Investments

March 28, 2018

It’s the retirement planning topic that, candidly, cannot be overstated or discussed enough: planning for healthcare costs.

Crucial as this subject is, it arguably does not receive a proportionate amount of attention in retirement planning conversations around the country – which is ironic, given that retirees over the age of 65 are likely to spend a sizable percentage (~13% according to J.P. Morgan) of their total retirement income on healthcare.

Let’s jump right into the numbers.

AARP has created a useful calculator for estimating healthcare costs in retirement, which you can access here: Estimate Your Healthcare Costs in Retirement.

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Retirement Planning Healthcare in Retirement Saving for Retirement

Aging in Place: Retirement Planning for Home Care Costs

February 20, 2018
In the context of retirement planning, most people are naturally drawn to talking about travel, hobbies, grandchildren, and leisure activities. And for good reason – that’s what retirement is supposed to be all about! There is a necessary distinction between retirement and retirement planning, however. Planning must go beyond the ‘fun’ items and consider all expenses we may incur over time and throughout life. One of those expenses – and a major one – is the cost of health and home care later in life. [+] Read More

Lord Abbett: Why HSAs Matter More Than Ever

March 29, 2017
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Spending in Retirement: 4 Factors to Consider

December 21, 2016
When you encounter articles focused on retirement planning, the subject matter is generally about how to invest—what strategies are good for growth vs. income, what products are useful for different investment and tax objectives, and so on. Often left out are insights about how to spend, which is an equally—if not more—important aspect of planning. An investment plan that does not adequately account for how cash flow needs and expenses change over time could put an investor at risk of running out of money too early. [+] Read More

Medicare Changes and Your Retirement Plan

August 26, 2015
Back in 2013, we wrote about the differences between Medicare Parts A and B, as well as supplementary coverage options to help readers with their retirement planning. Given recent legislative changes to Medicare, we feel it’s time to revisit the topic. Discussing medical costs and coverage with your financial advisor is wise because medical costs can constitute a sizable portion of post-retirement budgets. As changes are made to programs like Medicare, it’s important to stay abreast of developments and integrate changes in to your wealth planning strategy. One of the difficult aspects of planning for the future is trying to anticipate unknowns such as medical costs. You never know if you’ll enjoy perfect health in the coming year or if you’ll find yourself at the doctor’s office frequently. Insurance like Medicare helps to temper the risk of the unknown, but you should still be prepared for out-of-pocket costs. [+] Read More

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Long-Term Care Insurance

July 2, 2014
Research shows that at least 70 percent of people over 65 will need long-term care services and support at some point in their lifetime.1 Does that mean you should purchase long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance can be a significant retirement expense, but it can also help protect your nest egg in the event you need additional health care. It’s an important financial decision for you which you should discuss with your financial advisor in addition to a long term care insurance expert who will help you decide on the plan itself. To help you get started, here is a general overview of some potential benefits and risks of long-term care insurance. [+] Read More

Relocating for Retirement? Health Care Costs Could Matter

April 24, 2014
If you’re thinking about moving to a different state, it’s important to consider how your health care costs could change depending on where you end up. The average cost for Medicare, Medigap and nursing homes could become cheaper, or more expensive. The following two maps of the United States illustrate the average cost for each based on state. On one level, the cost of Medicare and comprehensive Medigap plans varies from state to state. Medicare and Medigap Average Annual Cost per State at Age 65 (Click image for larger version) Source: JP Morgan Asset Management. SelectQuote, 2013. Traditional Medicare costs are based on national average cost estimates for Medicare Parts A, B, D and Medigap Plan F. Vision, dental and long-term care expenses are not included. Not shown on the chart: costs for Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage costs may vary from less than $500 per year to more than $10,000 per year. Data for Alaska and Hawaii not available. [+] Read More

Investment Plans Should Factor-In Rising Health Care Costs

March 5, 2014
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What Are the Differences Between Medigap and Medicare Advantage?

September 27, 2013
What is Medigap? Medigap is private insurance you can purchase to help cover some or most of your out-of-pocket expenses associated with Traditional Medicare. It doesn’t replace your Traditional Medicare, it just helps you pay for it. You’d still get all of the coverage associated with Plans A and B. What Does Medigap Cover? The out-of-pocket expenses Medigap helps you pay for: Part A hospital deductibles, Part B outpatient co-pays, out-of-country medical emergencies, and fees not covered by Parts A and B.1 Why Do People Purchase Medigap? People looking to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs are usually the ones to purchase Medigap. There are ten Medigap plan options, and all of them are standardized by law, so the benefits of each is the same regardless of which insurer sells it. The only difference between the ten plans is the cost (it can be expensive), so shopping around is crucial.2 [+] Read More

What’s the Difference Between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Parts C and D?

September 23, 2013
In our previous post on Medicare Parts A and B, we outlined some of the basic features of Traditional Medicare, which provides hospital and medical coverage to those enrolled. While Traditional Medicare will cover many of your basic medical needs, some people choose to explore other types of healthcare plans because of various costs and different types of coverage available. In this piece, we’ll explore Medicare supplemental insurance plans as available through Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. Both are offered through private insurers, and most plans require premiums, co-payments and deductibles. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage): Costs and Benefits Medicare Part C is an alternative to Medicare Parts A and B, and it must by law provide coverage “equivalent” to Parts A and B.1 If you purchase a Medicare Part C plan it will replace your coverage through Medicare Parts A and B. With a Medicare Part C plan, you don't have to pay Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles and co-payments, because Medicare Part C plans have their own deductibles and co-pays. You would, however, still have to pay Part B premiums.2 [+] Read More