From time to time, my clients ask me about health care costs and how much they should sock away? Of course, trying to figure out how much money seniors need in retirement for health care is a moving target, but most people are aware that health care costs are continually outpacing inflation. And according to a recent study done by Fidelity Investments, the average 65-year-old couple retiring this year are likely to spend $245,000 on medical care not covered by Medicare — 29 percent more than they did 10 years ago. That figure doesn’t include long-term care costs, which can run as high as $200,000 a year for a private room in a nursing home. The data from the Employee Benefits Research Institute are even grimmer. A 65-year-old couple who would like a 90 percent chance of having enough money for lifetime health care should set aside $392,000. Health-related costs are rising by twice the rate of overall inflation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid project that health care spending will grow almost 6 percent a year through 2024. While some aspects of medical care are out of your control, there are a number of steps you can take to make the costs more manageable. First, put health care on your retirement radar. Next, consider a health savings account, known as an HSA. Many employers now offer these accounts, which must be paired with a high-deductible health insurance plan. The money you put into the accounts is tax-free. It grows tax-free and is tax-free when used for health-related expenses. Finally, it is probably prudent to purchase a good long term care insurance policy as soon as you can muster it. Not only is the cost of long term care insurance continually rising, but the older you get, the more you must pay for that same insurance.
How are Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts Taxed?