Many retirees surprised by healthcare cost

July 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM
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CHICAGO, July 11 (UPI) -- Middle-income retirees say healthcare expenses are one of the biggest overall financial surprises they encounter in retirement, a U.S. survey indicates.

The survey, conducted by Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, asked 300 retirees ages 55-75 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000 what challenged them most in retirement.

Many retirees said their health itself had become a challenge. Some said their health improved since retiring, but 18 percent said they had dealt with unexpected health issues.

Fifty-five percent indicated healthcare was costing them more than anticipated and if given the opportunity to go back in time, many said they would made saving for their healthcare costs a bigger priority.

Thirty-six percent said it was their personal goal to focus on health and wellness in retirement, 21 percent said they wanted to be in better health and 15 percent said they wanted to be more physically fit.

In the next three years the top five goals of retirees were:

-- More travel before it's too late, perhaps South America and Asia.

-- To stay healthy enough not to have to leave home for a nursing home.

-- To be able to physically enjoy life, keep up with the grandkids.

-- "Make my house a home for my different life period."

-- "Spend as much time as I can with my grandchildren."

The survey was conducted in April by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. No margin of error was provided.

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