Sun Life Financial just released a new study, Flying Blind: How Working Americans View Healthcare Costs in Retirement which reveals that 92% of Americans either have no idea how much they will spend on health care costs in retirement or underestimate what the likely costs will be. Some of the results of the survey are surprising. An alarming 92% of American workers either do not know what their health care costs will be in retirement or underestimate what those costs are likely to be. Despite this lack of knowledge, almost three-fourths are not making any specific plans to cover health care costs in retirement. 43% of Americans are not at all confident in their ability to pay health care costs in retirement – and this number is even higher for workers in their fifties who are closing in on the traditional retirement age. This lack of confidence has led over half of Americans to make lifestyle changes motivated by health care costs. Examples include quitting smoking, better diet, more exercise and stress reduction to improve overall health.
You can view the entire survey at UnretirementIndex.com.
I’m worried about health care costs in retirement myself. Retirement is quite a ways off for me and it is difficult to determine what those costs might be. I am hoping that their will be meaningful health care reform by then to help keep health care costs under control but I’m not sure if that is even possible. Currently I have an individual health plan that I purchased through and it has such a high deductible that for practical purposes it is for emergency use only. This means that I rarely use health care. That is okay for now since I’m relatively young and healthy. This will change though, I’ll definitely get older and it is likely that eventually I will have health problems of some sort. I’m not sure what the solution to covering health care costs is but it seems prudent to set aside as much money as possible to cover health care costs.