People Underestimate Cost of Health Care in Retirement

A new white paper from Voya aims to help people get a better handle on health care costs in retirement.

People’s biggest fear about retirement expenses is the cost of health care, cited by 41%, according to research by Voya Financial. However, 81% have not tried to figure out how much it will cost them. When asked to give a ballpark figure, 66% think it will be $100,000 or less. However, Voya says, citing 2017 figures from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a 65-year-old man would need $127,000 to cover these expenses, and a 65-year-old woman would need $143,000.

To help people get a better handle on health care costs in retirement, Voya has developed a white paper, “Playing the Long Game—Understanding How Health Care Costs Can Impact Your Retirement Readiness.”

The paper notes that health care costs are projected to rise 6.5% this year—far greater than the 2.4% rate of inflation for the 12 months ending in March. The paper notes that Medicare spending at age 70 averages $7,566. This increases to $11,618 at age 80 and $16,145 at age 96.

Voya notes that its myOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator includes questions about health care. The firm also recommends that people invest in health savings accounts (HSAs) and consider investing in annuities and long-term care insurance. The white paper can be downloaded here.