Baby Boomers Not Set for Rising Health Care Costs
Life + Money

Baby Boomers Not Set for Rising Health Care Costs

More than half of baby boomers are very concerned about the affordability of their health care in retirement – but just one in five pre-retirees has actually begun to take financial action to prepare for it, says a new report from Ameriprise.

Interestingly, though boomers are not making money moves to prepare for their health care costs in retirement, they’re taking physical action to get healthier before they quit work. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said that they have begun a diet or exercise program with the aim of reducing healthcare costs.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they’re somewhat concerned about their personal health in retirement. Health care costs in retirement remain a top concern for baby boomers, regardless of their wealth level, says Ameriprise executive vice president Pat O’Connell.

Related; Health: The (Expensive) Secret to a Happy Retirement

Those surveyed estimated they would need an average of $232,000 to cover the health care costs for themselves and their spouse in retirement. That may be a fairly accurate estimate: A couple with $255,000 saved would have a 90 percent chance of having enough to cover their retirement costs, according to the Employee Benefit Research Council. (That’s down from $287,000 in 2011.)

In a separate survey released last month by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, the vast majority of retirees (81 percent) cited health as the most important ingredient of a happy retirement – putting their health ahead of financial security or having loving family and friends.

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