EBRI Estimates up to $240K Cost for Health Care in Retirement

November 30, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Retirees will need a significant amount of savings to cover their out-of-pocket health expenses, according to a new report released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

EBRI finds that men retiring in this year (2010) at age 65 will need anywhere from $65,000–$109,000 in savings to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in retirement if they want a 50–50 chance of being able to have enough money; to improve the odds to 90%, they’ll need between $124,000–$211,000. Women retiring this year at 65 will need even more – between $88,000–$146,000 in savings if they are comfortable with a 50% chance of having enough money, and $143,000–$242,000 if they want a 90% chance.  

These estimates are for Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older: Anyone retiring early, before age 65, would need even more, EBRI noted in a press release.  

The needed savings for men retiring in 2020 range from $111,000 to $354,000, while needed savings for women range from $147,000 to $406,000 (in 2020 dollars), depending on their source of health insurance coverage to supplement Medicare, any employer subsidies, prescription drug use, and their savings goal related to their comfort level with having a 50%, 75%, or 90% chance of having enough savings to cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care expenses in retirement.  

The full report is titled “Funding Savings Needed for Health Expenses for Persons Eligible for Medicare,” and is published in the December 2010 EBRI Issue Brief at http://www.ebri.org.