Why Health Care Costs Need to be Part of Retirement Planning – yup, but just like everything else you will spend money on 😷

You have heard it all before, maybe you have seen these numbers too. No need to panic though.

Look at it this way, what will you spend on food, rent, property taxes, etc. over your lifetime starting at age 65? Those can be big numbers too, but I doubt you have looked at spending on those items as a lump sum.

Your Medicare premiums will come from your Social Security check so they are budgeted for you. Depending on the supplemental insurance you have, you may pay little or nothing for most out-of-pocket costs. My out-of-pocket costs are capped at $1700 a year. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan you may have coverage for dental and vision care and pay little out-of-pocket.

Sure, health care is likely to be an ongoing and increasing expense in retirement and you need to factor it in as part of your monthly living expenses, but for many, perhaps most people those monthly costs will be less than before retirement.

This gets to how much you need to retire. You need to generate an income stream that is close to 100% of your pre-retirement income and you need an emergency fund and the ability to replenish it as needed … in case it’s depleted from heath care bills😷.

When planning, consider that an average couple will have monthly Medicare and supplemental coverage premium bills of about $741. Very low income individuals may pay less and because of income based Medicare premiums, couples with an income above $170,000 will pay more.

The average healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $387,644 in today’s dollars just to cover lifetime health care costs.

Total lifetime costs that make up that $387,644 figure include premiums for Medicare Parts B and D, dental, and supplemental insurance as well as all out-of-pocket outlays for medical, dental, hearing and vision.

Source: Why Health Care Costs Need to be Part of Retirement Planning – 401K Specialist

NOTE: Other sources use $285,000 or so, so the fact is nobody knows what you will spend or when you may spend it.


  1. Another thought. It is most important to save for your retirement, but disagree with the way the numbers are projected on all of these warnings! I remember 25 years ago thinking I will never be able to survive in retirement because I looked at the number without evaluating the way it is determined.

    To quote your article: “The average healthy 65 year old COUPLE retiring this year will need $387,644 in today’s dollars just to cover lifetime health costs.” This amounts to $193,822 each, divided by 20 (using 85 years old as an estimate average), equals $9,691. per year. Why not just say ‘the average healthy 65 year old retiring this year will need $9,700. PER YEAR to cover lifetime health costs?

    I question your number of $741 for monthly Medicare and supplemental coverage. This must be for a very rich plan and there are other options. However, using the highest figure does create more interest in saving, I guess.

    I never made more than $38,000 in any year of my working life until I turned 64 and went out on my own. I still managed to save in spite of raising a family of 3 on my own for many of their teen years. I never collected any government benefits before Medicare. Now, I am still frugal.

    I meet with many seniors who say, “why did I save all my life”. They see so many others getting subsidized housing, SNAP, and other welfare benefits while they pay full price. Everyone agrees that they are super glad that they are not in that situation, but feel used when those in that situation speak about all the cruises, fine dining, and other extravaganzas they enjoyed and now collecting subsidies.

    It seems today some people feel proud to rely on the government. I worry about my grandchildren who have been brought up with the same standards as I have and are proud of their accomplishments so far in life. I fear it will be a rough road for them subsidizing others.


    1. The $741 is not high, it represents the standard Part B premium plus the average Part D premium plus the average Medigap premium for two people. Some with above average incomes pay far more. Taking a Part C plan can save money.

      “Why did I save?” Well, because I don’t want to live a lifestyle required for all those welfare benefits you site. Life can be much better in retirement. I seriously doubt people on SNAP are taking cruises or go out fine dining and if they are, they are welfare cheats and belong in jail.


      1. I didn’t say they are now taking cruises etc. it was their lifestyle of vacations vs saving that put them where they are today. But the fact remains they lived in the moment instead of saving for their future and talk about it. Also, stating a number that represents a couple vs a single person inflates the number. Medicare is An individual policy and social security is paid to an individual person not a couple. Very deceiving.

        However I must agree with you that life can be much better in retirement. I plan to find out in 4 more years when I turn 80. I enjoy my self employment work too much to give it up now


    1. They are not eligible for welfare programs. The second piece mixed non citizens with illegal in its data. Neither factors in that owning or renting someone in the household is paying property taxes direct or indirect. Neither factors the $9 billion a year paid in SS taxes and never collecting a benefit. And, both ignore the value of goods and services purchased and the work performed. If illegal immigrants did not add economic value, why does anyone employ them? Because they arecheap labor and employers take advantage sometimes avoiding payroll taxes AND those who benefit from their labor don’t seem to mind if they are legal or not. I certainly do not support illegal immigration, but let’s look at the total picture. Americans benefit from and take advantage of their labor.


    2. Democrats Re buying votes with taxpayers money…if you object to this fiscal insanity you will be labeled a “rascist” by the fake news media !!


  2. Or can anyone name another country where they can enter illegally that gives them free food stamps and education …SUCKERS !


    1. Are undocumented immigrants eligible for federal public benefit programs?

      Generally no. Undocumented immigrants, including DACA holders, are ineligible to receive most federal public benefits, including means-tested benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, sometimes referred to as food stamps), regular Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are prohibited from purchasing unsubsidized health coverage on ACA exchanges.

      Undocumented immigrants may be eligible for a handful of benefits that are deemed necessary to protect life or guarantee safety in dire situations, such as emergency Medicaid, access to treatment in hospital emergency rooms, or access to healthcare and nutrition programs under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).


    1. Nope, most provide emergency care though. Why do you keep using ‘free” who said anything about free? But as I demonstrated, illegals pay a great deal in taxes for benefits they never collect: estimated $9 billion alone in SS taxes.


  3. Can anyone logically explain why the democrats are advocating free medical care for illegal aliens and not our veterans and active military ??


    1. I am not aware of anyone advocating free medical care for illegal immigrants other than of course what is the case now for emergency care. What has been on FB recently was not accurate or true.


      1. Didn’t the democrat presidential candidates at the recent debates all endorse free Heath care for illegals ??


      2. Not exactly the question was “Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.” Given they now receive expensive ER care, something else could be cheaper so it would be logical. No country would deny needed care to any person or should it.


      3. So the answer is …yes, free health care for illegal aliens paid for by the American taxpayers….thanks again democrats.


      4. As of July 10, 2019, California will now cover “undocumented immigrants” under Medi-Cal.

        Does anybody on this blog know how Medi-Cal works (California’s Medicare program)? Doesn’t the federal government fund part of Medi-Cal? Are my tax dollars funding healthcare to illegals.

        It is bad enough that my tax dollars are treating the sick who arrived in this country illegally which are now being held at the detection centers. I just want to believe that I am not supporting the California insane ideals that keep encouraging more illegals to enter this country. I don’t support M4A, but I much rather support giving healthcare to Americans first before we provide it for the rest of the world.

        I guess if you are an American without health insurance you can go to California and tell a hospital that you are undocumented and get treatment?


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