doctor talking to her male senior patient at officeAs you plan for retirement, you might focus on saving a particular amount of money or setting up a certain amount of income each month. It makes sense that you want to ensure that you have enough income to cover all of your expenses, for the rest of your life.

But there is another way to look at the equation: How can you manage your expenses in retirement, so that you are able to stay within your budget? With health care expenses rapidly rising, it makes sense to take a hard look at your future health care costs.

Know what to expect. First of all, you might have no idea what to even expect. In your younger years, you probably didn’t experience too many health crises. But as you age, it is inevitable that the state of your health will change. Do you know what to expect?

Contrary to popular belief, Medicare is not free, nor will it cover all of your health care expenses. You will pay a premium for both Medicare Part B and Part D, which cover doctor visits, testing, and prescriptions. But you will also encounter co-pays and other out of pocket expenses along with these services. Also, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover most of the cost of long-term nursing care.

Create a budget. The average couple retiring today will spend $266,000 on health care over the course of their retirement years. That number, of course, is an average. Your actual expenses might vary according to your geographic location, longevity, health status prior to retirement, and several other factors. In other words, that number is a good guideline, but don’t count on it. Will your income be enough to cover those expenses?

Make a plan to counter the cost of health care. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or so the saying goes. If you start now, you can create healthier habits that can help you lower your eventual health care spending. Stop smoking, drink less, exercise more, and eat a healthier diet.

But that’s only part of the equation. Remember to investigate all of your options, such as long-term care insurance or supplemental insurance. The right insurance products can help to significantly reduce your health care spending, so that you worry less about outliving your money.

The cost of health care is rapidly rising and making a plan today can result in a more comfortable, realistic retirement budget tomorrow.  Remember, if you ever need assistance with your health insurance needs, we have a wonderful partner who can help!  Give Mercedes a call at (760) 436-1711.

15053 – 2015/11/16