By David Kopyc
The average 65-year-old couple will spend $285,000 on medical expenses in their retirement and this figure does not include any long-term care expenses.
Healthcare continues to be one of the greatest expenses and concerns for retirees and individuals considering retirement in the near future.
Unlike your parents’ generation, most of you will not have any employer or union-sponsored health benefits. Therefore, healthcare costs will likely consume a larger portion of your budget in retirement and you will need to plan for this well in advance of your date of separation.
If you are employed and have access to a Health Savings Account (HSA), consider enrolling into this account as it could be extremely beneficial for your retirement. It allows you to save pretax dollars which may grow over time and be withdrawn tax-free for federal and state tax purposes, if you use them for qualified medical expenses. Unlike some plans, a Health Savings Account goes with you into your retirement.
You can use your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses like vision, dental, hearing aids, and nursing services at any time. Some additional ways you may use HSA money in retirement include Medicare premiums, Long-Term Care expenses, and to help bridge the gap to Medicare eligibility at age 65 if you retire at age 62.
You have several big decisions to make when you enter into your retirement: When to take Social Security, how to pay for health care, and how to generate enough cash flow from the assets you have accumulated over your years of employment. All of these decisions are critical and one mistake can have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle and when your retirement can actually happen.
Generally speaking, the younger you are the more beneficial the HSA will be in your retirement because of the power of time and growth of your contributions. There’s a lot to learn about Health Savings Accounts and the best place to find out if you are eligible for a HSA plan is to ask your employee benefit specialist at your employer or someone with experience and expertise in this segment of the financial services industry.
Healthcare costs are creating financial stress for many retirees because we are living longer lives, inflation of healthcare services continues to outpace the rate of inflation, and individuals are underestimating the cost of health care in their retirement years.
A Health Savings Account could be a good option for you.