U.S. Markets closed

Healthcare Needs Of Retired Couples

Amanda C. Haury

Citizens may now need to put away even more money for retirement, according to research by Fidelity Investments. According to a Fidelity Investment's report, retired couples will need $240,000 just to cover healthcare costs alone. This staggering total is enough to send the average employee into shock. Is $240,000 a realistic number, and how did medical costs get so high? Here is a look at why retired couples need to save so much money just for healthcare costs, and what can be done to keep that number from increasing even further.

Ever-Rising Medical Costs
Medical costs seem to constantly be on the rise, and for retired couples, this is a major concern. In recent years, healthcare costs have risen dramatically due to overuse of medical resources, medical malpractice suits and rising administrative costs. Retired couples who are surviving off of their own savings without supplemental income often find it difficult to keep up with the rising costs.

Age Group Prone to Physical Ailments
If there is any one age bracket that has more physical ailments than another, senior citizens would definitely take the prize. They are physically frailer which tends to lead to more physical injuries. The age when citizens are most likely to need assistance with healthcare costs, is also a time when many are surviving off of retirement savings alone. This can put a heavy burden on the shoulders of retired couples. Fortunately for retirees, Medicare is available to offer assistance in reducing the burden of healthcare costs, but there is still a patient responsibility involved.

Without Medicare, Healthcare Costs Will Skyrocket
The average healthcare costs for a retired couple is currently estimated at $240,000. However, this number could easily skyrocket even higher should the Medicare program lose its government funding. While Medicare doesn't cover 100% of medical costs, it does cover 80% of allowable charges once the patient deductible has been satisfied. Without the assistance of the Medicare program, healthcare costs will rise astronomically for senior citizens.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg
The $240,000 mentioned earlier, that is needed to cover healthcare costs for retired couples, is only the tip of the iceberg. They will also need to factor in the cost of housing, bills, food and other living expenses. This cost seems astronomical, especially when you consider all the other expenses retirees have to deal with. At a time when most citizens believe they will be enjoying the prime of their lives, many retirees feel overwhelmed with stress over their financial situation.

What Can Be Done?
In order to offset the sting of high medical costs during retirement, an aggressive retirement savings plan must be configured. In today's world, citizens cannot just worry about housing costs and living expenses. Americans must also be concerned with how they will pay for their medical expenses after they have retired. The only feasible way to offset high healthcare costs during retirement is to start saving aggressively using savings accounts and 401(K) plans to get the best possible outcome for retirement.

The Bottom Line
Healthcare costs continue to rise year after year, and future retirees may find themselves in a serious financial crisis if they do not plan wisely for the future. The best possible way for this generation and the next to get ahead is to start saving now, and develop an aggressive savings plan for the future. Although retirement may be a long way off for some, it is better to start saving now than be caught short-changed in the future.

More From Investopedia