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Start saving now for health care costs in retirement

Posted by Cheryl Costa  October 30, 2008 09:26 AM

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A recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that the average 65 year old man would need to have $122,000 in current savings available to have a 90% chance of being able to cover his health care costs in retirement. And, if that figure isn't high enough for you, that amount is required for people who are fortunate to have a previous employer subsidizing the premiums. If that same man does not have any coverage from a previous employer, he must set aside $196,000 to cover his health care costs in retirement.

And the news is even worse for women. A 65 year old woman with some employer subsidized assistance would need to set aside $140,000. Without employer subsidized premiums, that amount jumps to $224,000. Nearly a quarter of a million dollars just to cover health care expenses.

Dare you ask about the expenses for a married couple? I hope you are sitting down. The figures are $235,000 for a couple with some employer provided assistance and $376,000 for those paying their own way.

And these projections could actually turn out to be on the low side because these figures do not include the savings necessary to cover long term care expenses. Also, if you retire before age 65, as many people do, you can expect to pay even more.

EBRI is a private, non-profit research institute based in Washington DC that focuses on health, savings, retirement and economic security issues. I have found a lot of great information on their website:

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Local finance professionals share insights and advice on issues such as budgeting, managing debt, and retirement planning.

About the contributors

D. Abraham Ringer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and a Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Boston. He is registered in MA, NH, NY and several other states to which his articles are directed. For more information please visit
Financial Planning Association™ of Massachusetts has 900 members who specialize in the financial planning process. Many of its members engage in philanthropic pro bono work in their communities, recommend legislation, elevate public awareness, promote financial literacy, and advocate for sound economic and tax policies.
Odysseas Papadimitriou is the founder of, a credit card and gift card marketplace, and, a personal finance site. He has more than 13 years of experience in the personal finance industry, and previously served as senior director at Capital One.

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