Stay with me for a moment. According to Fidelity's latest Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2016 will need an estimated $260,000 to cover health care costs in retirement. This includes the cost of traditional Medicare insurance coverage and provides a general idea of the monthly expenses associated with Medicare premiums, Medicare copayments and deductibles, and prescription drug out-of-pocket expenses. This is only a general estimate and does not account for out-of-pocket expenses such as dental procedures, hearing aids or long-term care costs….none of which are currently covered by Medicare. And of course this number depends greatly on an individual's health and longevity. Women can also expect to spend more on healthcare as they tend to live longer.
Paying for health care can be one of the largest expenses for people both before and in retirement. Your health and your wealth are inexplicably linked. If you are not taking care of your health, your financial fitness is at stake. It is also important to note that medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. Just like your everyday financial hygiene has a tremendous effect on your overall financial fitness so does your daily personal behaviors...like taking the stairs instead of the escalator or packing your lunch vs grabbing a quick fix at Starbucks.
So what can you do now to help insure your financial future? Get up and move, eat consciously with an eye towards healthy fare and manage your stress. And what to do with the savings from your healthy lifestyle? Open a Health Savings Account if you are eligible or deposit into a long term investment account for your future.