More than seven in 10 Americans
nearing retirement say they are 'terrified' of what health care costs
may do to their retirement plans, according to the sixth annual
Nationwide Retirement Institute survey conducted by Harris Poll.
are becoming increasingly reliant on federal programs to pay for their
health care. The online survey of 1,316 adults older than 50 finds that
64% plan to use Social Security and 61% use or plan to use Medicare as
their main sources to pay for their health care costs in retirement.
Less than half use or plan to use savings to cover health care expenses.
Most older Americans acknowledge they are unprepared for certain
health care expenses, yet they're not acting to save now. One in three
of those nearing retirement say they are not doing anything today to
save for health care costs in retirement.
Among actions that
non-retirees are doing now to save for health care costs in retirement:
41% are building their savings, 33% are paying off credit cards and
debt, 28% are investing and 27% are increasing 401(k) contributions.
Americans nearing retirement are worried about the unexpected. The top
concern when planning for retirement—shared by three-fourths of
non-retirees—is not having the funds to cover unplanned medical
expenses. One in three say they would be unable to pay for unplanned
expenses as low as $500 today; more than half say they would be unable
to cover more than $1,000 in unexpected expenses today; and 12% say they
would not be able to cover any unplanned expenses today.
many Americans, fears migrate beyond the unexpected to impact every day
health. More than one-in-three older adults with a household income
under $150,000 say they're attempting to deflect health care costs in
retirement by taking negative steps including spending less on
groceries, delaying seeking treatment for illnesses and skipping
preventative screenings. NEXT: Discussing health care with family and advisers