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Study: Americans could spend $285K on healthcare in retirement

By
Clyde Hughes
A new report says that retired male-female couples could spend as much as $285,000 on healthcare costs. File photo by zimmytws/Shutterstock
A new report says that retired male-female couples could spend as much as $285,000 on healthcare costs. File photo by zimmytws/Shutterstock

April 2 (UPI) -- A male-female couple leaving work this year can expect to pay $285,000 in healthcare and medical expenses throughout their retirement, Fidelity Investment said in a report released Tuesday.

For single retirees, women can expect to spend $150,000 toward healthcare and men $135,000, the financial services firm said. Those costs are up 3.6 percent from two years ago, a slower rise from 2015-2017, when the costs jump 12.2 percent.

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The news comes as a new Gallup poll released Monday revealed that the availability and affordability of healthcare are the things that Americans worry the most about.

"Paying for health care -- before and in retirement -- continues to be top-of-mind for Americans, and understandably so as it's a cost that can vary significantly by individual and is difficult for many to predict," Hope Manion, senior vice president, Fidelity Workplace Consulting said in a statement.

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According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare's per-capita spending is expected to grow at 4.6 percent through 2028.

Medicare provides health and financial security to 60 million seniors and younger people with disabilities, helping pay for many medical care services, including hospitalizations, physician visits, prescription drugs, preventive services and hospice care.

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Medicare accounted for 15 percent of total federal spending and 20 percent of total national health spending, the Kaiser foundation said.

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"We recognize that when today's 35-year-olds retire in 2049 their medical costs could be more than this year's estimate, and the U.S. health care system could potentially look dramatically different," Manion said.

"It's hard for any of us to predict that far out, but it's prudent to anticipate that health care costs could represent a significant expense in retirement and prepare as much as we can," Manion added.

A Gallup poll Monday showed most Americans worry "a great deal" about the availability and affordability of healthcare than they are about the federal budget, hunger and homelessness, drug use or crime. Worries about healthcare cost topped the survey for the fifth straight year.

"The percentage of Americans who worried a great deal about the economy reached its highest point, 71 percent in 2011 and 2012, but this has plummeted to 33 percent in 2019," Gallup's Jim Norman wrote.

Another Gallup report said Tuesday Americans spent about $88 billion on healthcare last year.

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