Are you prepared to budget more for your health in retirement?
Author: Sound Choices
January 17, 2018
Health-related costs can add up fast.
Today, as people expect to live into their 80s and beyond, the worries over how they may finance these years is becoming more and more of a concern. Health-care coverage can provide many benefits but, over the long term, it may not be enough to cover the additional cost of health-care and housing needs.
If you consider the likelihood of a chronic or acute illness that negatively affects your quality of life or the ability to live independently, you can see how much your finances could be strained by additional spending. If you stay at home, it is important to factor in a number of financial considerations such as:
- Home health services
- Food preparation/delivery
- Home safety, security, medical alert monitoring systems
- Internal home services – housekeeping, cleaning services
- External home services – snow removal, gardening, home maintenance
- Transportation – to your medical appointments, your bank, grocery stores
While you stay in your own home, you may need to renovate to equip bathrooms with grab bars, add shower benches, or even accommodate wheelchair access and a first-floor master suite. Costs will vary and can be significant.
Also consider driving and transportation. While healthy, you can keep costs down by driving yourself to your doctors’ visits, but as you get older and potentially have mobility issues, you may need to pay for taxis or other drivers. If you must move to an assisted living facility, public facilities can have long waiting lists, while private facilities can be extremely expensive.
Other potential costs include private and/or government-run home care services, home health aides, visiting nurses, personal care workers, adult day services, companion care services and geriatric care managers. When you think about how far your finances can be stretched in retirement, you’ll understand why it is crucial to be saving now and investing for the future.
When you’re ready to start talking with your family about the issues surrounding aging, use all the resources available – including your financial advisor – to ensure you ask and answer the important questions.