An unpleasant fact of life is that most Americans now face an uncertain and expensive retirement. The culprit is health care expenses — particularly those that are unforeseen.
The average couple retiring at 65 today will spend $275,000 during their retirement years on medical costs, from Medicare premiums to prescription drugs, according to Fidelity. Those who will require long-term care will need an additional $130,000.
Saving to meet those costs is a huge challenge — particularly if you encounter high medical bills in your younger years. In a recent Bankrate survey, nearly half of Americans said that in the previous 12 months either they or an immediate family member had faced a major unexpected expense, including an illness or an injury.
If the unexpected arises, like an appendectomy, you’ll scramble to find the cash and may feel you have no choice but to dip into your 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings.
As lawmakers discuss the future of the health care system, it would make sense to eliminate the worry about a big, unplanned medical bill. That means providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans – from hospital stays to dental visits – without charging premiums, copayments or deductibles.