As men and women retire from their jobs or previous lifestyles, they have brochures and catalogs in front of them that show pictures of beautiful resorts, cruises, and tips for ways that seniors can travel now that they have more time on their hands. While living longer holds the promise of life after retirement, it also means that men and women are becoming more concerned about how they’re going to pay their rising healthcare costs.
In a recent report, cited by Huffington Post, I agree with the information that healthcare costs for seniors are on the rise and becoming more of a challenge. This is what the report says:
“The report, which appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, looked at data from more than 3,000 people covered by Medicare in 2002-2008 to gauge the impact of health care cost on seniors. Researchers measured how much money Medicare-eligible seniors had spent out of pocket on healthcare in their last five years alive, and looked at how those costs weighed on their total household income.
“After crunching the numbers, the report found that during that time period, more than 75 percent of Medicare-eligible households spent at least $10,000 out of pocket on health care. Spending for all participants during those last five years averaged $38,688, and for the remaining 25 percent the average expense was even greater: they spent a whopping $101,791 out of pocket. A quarter of participants also spent “more than their total household assets on healthcare,” according to the report.”
The bottom line is that if you’re not yet a senior and you have a few years left before your impending retirement, it would serve you well to begin putting money aside, not just for travel, but for paying your out-of-pocket expenses when something does arise.
If you are receiving Medicare as a senior, what you can do is to consult with healthcare providers who offer supplemental insurance. Most larger cities in the United States have paid and volunteer workers whose primary concern is to address questions about retirement and affording health care costs. It’s not just the point anymore of saying that you’re healthy and you’re not taking any medications. The truth is that at some point you will need to address health care costs.
Besides that, even for someone who doesn’t have a major medical issue going on, yearly medical exams may require x-rays, EKGs, and medications to lower your blood pressure or to control hypertension or high cholesterol readings. Talk to your doctor and find out what others in your locale are doing as far as insurance and keeping up with healthcare costs.