Investor Toolkit

The $275K retirement expense you can't afford to ignore

Key Points
  • Wealth manager Ron Carson says it's important to factor in health-care expenses as part of your retirement plan.
  • Strategies ahead of retirement might include taking out long-term care insurance or funding a health savings account.
Plan for health care in retirement
Plan for health care in retirement

Before you retire, give your health-care financial plan a checkup.

"The plan you have today may not be the one you want to carry into retirement, because it may be cost-prohibitive to do so," certified financial planner Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group, told CNBC.

A healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend $275,000 to cover health-care costs in retirement, according to Fidelity. Those calculations include premiums, cost-sharing provisions and out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare parts A, B and D — but don't include other health expenses, such as over-the-counter medications, dental services and long-term care.

Talk to a financial advisor about your best options, based on your financial situation and timeline to retirement, Carson said.

"Think about the spouse that you're potentially going to leave behind, especially if you drain assets down," he said.

Strategies might include long-term care insurance or funding a health savings account. You'll also want to carefully scrutinize the ins and outs of Medicare coverage, Carson said, as well as any retiree health benefits available to you from an employer.

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