HNW Retirees Lay Out out More for Taxes than Health Care

January 14, 2009 ( - High net worth retirees actually spend more on income taxes than on health care, according to a new survey.

A Securian Financial Group news release about the August 2008 poll conducted by Spectrem Group of 225 retirees between 70½ and 75 found that income tax is the highest average annual expense by a large margin for the respondents – an average of $25,226. The respondents had a net worth of at least $1 million.

According to the announcement, once real estate, capital gains, and personal property tax are added in, the total average annual tax expense was $40,578 or about 4% of the respondents’ net worth.

Securian said the survey also found that the respondents’ concerns about health care issues outstripped their actual health-care outlays. Nearly one third of respondents said before they retired that health care would be their largest expenditure. However, in retirement, health care was actually only 12% of their expenses with an annual average of $6,681,

More money was spent on travel, cars, charity, real estate taxes, food, gifts, and mortgages, according to the announcement.

The poll found the bulk of current retirees’ income comes from Social Security (96%) and pension plan distributions (60%).

More survey information is available here .