Don’t Let Surprise Medical Bills Drain Your Retirement

It doesn’t take much to ruin years of careful retirement planning. An unexpected accident or illness, especially when you’re nearing retirement, could become a financial disaster.

CNBC offers three tips to prevent medical bills from cracking your nest egg:

1. Open a health savings account

“Use the health savings account to help you save for out-of-pocket medical expenses while you’re working — or for health expenses in retirement. The money you put into it has some key tax advantages: It reduces your taxable income, allows money to grow tax-free and you can withdraw it tax-free when used for qualified health expenses.”

2. Bulk up your emergency savings

“Put away enough money to cover at least six months of living expenses in a “rainy day” fund. Start small, and build it up one month at a time. Stash away 1 percent of your pay, then 5 percent, then 10 percent, until you reach your goal.”

3. Insure your earnings

“To protect your savings if you suffer an illness or injury that leaves you unable to work, make sure you have disability insurance.”