Best Ways to Plan for Health-Care Costs in Retirement

Retirement is a phase in life that everyone in the workforce dreads for. The thing we fear most is that the huge salaries we are used to receiving will no longer be there unless may be you have made vast investments. All that will be getting into your bank accounts will be the little pensions from the government. Moreover, it goes without saying that once we are of retirement age, we are quite old and therefore more vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure among others. Therefore, trips to the hospitals and other medical facilities may be numerous hence increased medical costs. Needless to say, at that age, you will not be able to work as hard even in your self-employment setting and so your income will gradually decline.  You, therefore, need to come up with a plan that will ensure that your medical costs at that age are well provided for.

Here are some ways to help you plan for your retirement healthcare costs

Familiarize yourself with the retirement medical cover provided by your employer if any

You may be lucky enough to have a retirement medical cover through your employer. If so, ensure that you clearly understand the range or dimension of coverage as it may differ between active and retired employees. Be sure that the cover suits you based on factors such as your medical history among others and if it does not, make sure you consider taking an alternative cover for yourself.

Select the most suitable private medical cover available

If your employer is not offering a retirement healthcare cover, you don’t have to worry. Many insurance firms offer the retirement healthcare cover at different premiums. You just need to weigh the different options available and select the most suitable one for you. You should then proceed to start paying the premiums as early as possible. You can also work part time in a firm that offers the retirement medical cover to their employees or attach yourself to your spouse’s cover.

Consider a Health Savings Account (HSA)

Health Savings Account photo

Photo by rhodes

Here, contributions are made on pre-tax basis and the proceeds are used to pay for either current or future medical expenses. If you wish, this money can be accumulated to only cater for your retirement medical expenses as you find alternative means to cater for your current medical expenses.

Be a wise consumer

You should always be a wise consumer of medical care. Identify a local hospital or a care physician within your insurance network coverage or if you are not covered, select a facility that you can afford without straining too much. Always make inquiries about the different procedures and tests ordered to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Always ensure you visit facilities that are in your financial bracket to avoid loans or fundraising to settle your medical bills

Be as healthy as you possibly can

Most of the diseases that most retirees suffer from are lifestyle diseases which are easily avoidable. These diseases can be avoided by living a healthy lifestyle. Ensure you always eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and that you regularly exercise to keep off the hospital doors. If you are on any medication, always ensure you follow the dosage as directed by the physician to the letter. This way, you will fall ill less often.

Don’t be in a hurry to retire

Some people may opt to retire before the retiring age which is 65 in most states. This can result in you not having a cover until you are eligible for Medicare. This would mean that you will have to pay for your medical expenses from your pocket or secure a private insurance plan which will actually be more expensive. So unless in cases of unavoidable circumstances, hang on to your job till you are officially of retiring age.

Be ready for emergencies

Anything can happen. Always incorporate risks and uncertainties in your planning. You can wake up any day and find out that you urgently require advanced health care which can be expensive. To be safe, have a liquid asset that you can easily convert to cash in case of such situations. Have an extra part of land or some savings for that reason or even some stocks.

Consider a plan for long term assistance and care

As we age, we will need assistance in activities we were once able to do for ourselves for example walking, toileting, bathing, getting out of bed or a chair either in an institution of in a home. The need for long term care arises from an accident or a decline in one’s health due to old age or any specific health issue. Vulnerability to diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases also increases with old age hence increasing the need for long term care. You can even consider a disability insurance.