Planning for healthcare expenses
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The basics of healthcare costs

health care costs

The rising cost of health care is one of the most serious and complex issues facing society.1 Yet when it comes to planning for those potential costs in retirement, it's a conversation a lot of people aren't having.

Preparing for health care costs: now’s the time

Health care could actually be one of your biggest retirement expenses. Private insurance and Medicare will help, but you may still be stuck with a lot of out-of-pocket health care costs. For most people, Medicare only covers about half of total health care costs.2 Also, the higher your income, the higher your Medicare premiums3 – and in general, it doesn’t even cover long-term care.3

A good strategy can help you take control of these potential costs. Learn more about healthcare in retirement and work with your financial advisor to create a plan for medical costs so you’re prepared. More flexibility, less anxiety. Just what the doctor ordered.

Kicking the can down the road?

Based on the Nationwide Retirement Institute,4 American workers are “terrified” of health care costs in retirement – yet few are currently doing anything to prepare for these costs. (You can view the survey results for yourself.) 

John Carter, president and chief operating officer of Retirement Plans for Nationwide, said the Harris Poll of nearly 1,300 U.S. adults age 50 and older found that 69% of affluent pre-retirees list soaring retirement health care costs as their #1 fear.

Some 59% are afraid they’ll become a burden to their families as they get older. Yet, 52% haven’t discussed these concerns with their spouse, children or financial advisor.

health care survey infographic

Starting a health care discussion

As you begin to think about possible future health care costs, it’s good to have candid conversations with the people involved in your physical and financial well-being: 

A family affair

More of survey’s findings serve to underscore how health care is really a family issue:4

What to do about it

Plan to address health care costs in retirement by meeting with a financial advisor. They can help you prepare a Nationwide Personalized Health Care Cost Assessment, work with you to estimate your future health care and long-term care costs, and help you explore solutions. 

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