Even with the landmark ruling regarding healthcare that took place in June (all Americans will be given healthcare and required to pay a either $695 per year or 2.5% of their annual income to have it), there are many analysts who believe that a healthy couple over the age of 65 will still need at least half a million dollars to maintain their healthcare needs.
That’s a lot of money.
Yet, due to the fact that America’s financial situation is still not as stable as most of us would like, putting side thousands and thousands of dollars, in case something happens health-wise, may not be something that’s top on a lot of people’s priority list. However, when it comes to planning for retirement, medical costs are definitely something that you should factor in. Why? Here are three main reasons.
You Need to Plan for the Unexpected
Unfortunate and unexpected health issues can happen to a person at any age, but the reality is that the older we get, the more our health deteriorates. Not only that, but the older that we get, the more preventative measures we are expected to take too. Aside from checking your blood pressure, height and weight at your annual exams, men over 50 need to have their prostate checked yearly and women over 40 need annual mammograms. There also tends to be additional blood work (along with a colonoscopy every two years) that doctors will require and an EKG which also becomes a routine part of a physical for people over 50. Tests can be expensive and in the unfortunate case that there are irregular results that come back and you need to see a specialist, additional monies are needed for that too.
You Need to Be Prepared for a Health Emergency
It’s a sad reality that there are a lot of people who have had to come out of retirement because they are having a hard time making ends meet. Sometimes this is due to the fact that they had a health emergency that either their health insurance did not totally cover or it happened during a season when they did not have healthcare coverage at all. One hospital stay can run you several thousands of dollars and not paying the bill can do a real number to your credit. It’s nice to have a budget related to your health for this very reason. You don’t want to be retired and then have to bring (additional) stress into your life by having to find a job to pay off a health emergency.
You May Need Health-Related Items and Equipment
Sometimes we get sick and we need a prescription. Sometimes we may require surgery and we’ll need rehabilitation or a wheelchair (1800wheelchair.com has some great information on wheelchair purchases). We may have a fall and need to renovate our bathrooms or build a ramp onto the side of our homes. All of these would be considered medical costs and all of them are also things that cost quite a bit of money to purchase. Although you may have had some really big plans for the retirement fund that you’re saving up for, by taking some of it out and putting it into a medical costs account, don’t look at it as losing money. Prefer to see it as a safety net because no matter how many plans you may have for your retirement, the ironic thing is that none of them really matter if you’re not in good health.