Those saving and planning for retirement face a lot of important questions. How much will it cost to live comfortably in retirement? How much money is needed in order to pursue travel and other hobbies we enjoy? Importantly, how much is healthcare in retirement?
All too often, those approaching retirement fail to consider healthcare costs in their retirement planning and spending estimates. Several industry studies have pegged the costs of healthcare in retirement as a major expense that those approaching retirement often underestimate. Generally, the cost of healthcare for retirees is rising faster than the general level of inflation.
When it comes to paying for healthcare in retirement, planning ahead can pay off to ensure that you don't come up short.
If you’re approaching retirement, here are some key healthcare issues to consider.
When you reach age 65, you become eligible for Medicare. In some cases, you can be eligible prior to age 65 with certain medical conditions including ALS or end stage renal failure. There are also rules for non-U.S. citizens that will apply.
Medicare has two basic parts:
Parts A and B are what’s known as "original Medicare."
Part C is known as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are issued by private insurers and typically include the coverage provided in parts A and B, as well as coverage for other non-covered services. The menu will vary by plan. Some plans will include prescription drug coverage that is included in Medicare Part D.
Keep in mind that Medicare will likely not cover all your medical and health needs in retirement. Items not covered under Parts A and B include:
If you are working at the time you become eligible for Medicare, you may be able to defer enrolling until such time as you are not covered by an employer’s health insurance plan. Speak to an advisor to discuss your specific needs and situation to ensure you are covered.
For those enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, an HSA can be a smart way to allocate funds for qualified healthcare expenses. With an HSA, contributions are made pretax and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are free.
HSA contribution limits for 2021 are:
The beauty of an HSA is that money left in the account at the end of the year can be carried over to subsequent years. It can be used for qualified medical expenses, or it can be saved for retirement where it can be used to cover deductibles, Medicare premiums or other qualified medical expenses.
If the money in an HSA is not used for medical expenses in retirement, it will be treated like an IRA once you reach age 65. Withdrawals from an HSA after age 65 will be subject to taxes, but there will be no penalties.
Funds in an HSA can be invested like an IRA as well. For those who can afford to do so, using their HSA as an additional retirement account can add to their retirement nest egg.
Lifetime income products such as annuities can help fund retirement expenses including the ever-increasing costs of healthcare in retirement. Annuities offer a number of retirement advantages including:
Be sure to factor in the ever-increasing costs of healthcare into your retirement planning. Failure to do so could result in a less financially secure retirement than you had anticipated.
Our FutureFIT® approach lets you personalize your retirement experience – that’s why we call it Freedom. Individually Tailored.® Give us a call today and learn how we can help you take the next step toward the future you envision! 1-888-569-7055.