How to Estimate LTC Costs in Retirement

Planning and saving for retirement is a daunting task. In addition to determining how much money you’ll need to maintain the standard of living you seek and attempting to account for indeterminable levels of inflation, you want to be equipped to pay for a range of unanticipated costs that could arise. One example is health care. If you’re very fortunate, your health care costs in retired life will be little more than they are now. For most older Americans, however, this is not the case. Here are a few tips that can help you plan.

Know the Averages

According to a survey conducted by Fidelity, a healthy couple retiring this year can expect to pay $260,000 in Medicare premiums alone throughout the course of their retirement. Medicare does not cover all health expenses for retired individuals over 65, and Fidelity estimates that a couple would need another $130,000 in order to insure against costs associated with long term care (LTC).

Consider Your History

As with any other average, these estimates could be far from what you end up paying. By assessing your personal health and your family’s health history, you should be able to determine whether you’re at high risk of requiring greater-than-average care. Unfortunately, there is still no way to ensure how much you’ll need to spend. The only way to ensure you’re taken care of is to save enough for retirement and prioritize quality health care coverage.

Plan to Spend More

That $260,000 average a couple retiring today can expect to spend on health care costs in retirement is a six percent jump on the average from a year before. The dual forces of steady inflation and rising healthcare costs suggest a couple planning to retire ten years from now will have to pay much more. If you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re financially fit to pay for the care you need, prioritize it.


A good LTC care plan assures you that a chronic or debilitating condition that strikes in retirement will not jeopardize your financial security. This is assurance consumers are willing to get on board with, but that many know little about.


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September 22, 2017 How to Estimate LTC Costs in Retirement