Your biggest expense in retirement will probably be healthcare expenses. The Medicare program will help to defray them, but it won’t cover everything. Supplemental insurance is essential, and you need to decide on what type of policy to buy, but not without professional assistance. Some people can rely on help from people who sell such policies, while others will prefer advice from someone who doesn’t receive a commission from the sale. A recent article from US News add a couple of important yet basic considerations:

  • know a lot more about Medicare than you do now. The Medicare program may seem like stereo instructions, but you have to study it and achieve some level of understanding. You can get help from others in determining how it works, but you can’t rely entirely on others.
  • estimate your costs of medical care in retirement. This sounds difficult, because it is, but there are some guidelines you can use, depending on the general state of your health. These expenses will include the cost of Medicare and additional insurance, plus your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • review your options for paying healthcare cost in retirement. This is also difficult. The article basically says save money to pay for healthcare costs. Don’t assume they are all covered by Medicare and insurance.

I would add the following: get all the preventive medical care you can: shingles and pneumonia shots, TDAP shot, regular checkups with various kinds of medical specialists. Squeeze as much in benefits out of Medicare as you can. Also, pay a lot of attention to your health, your exercise habits and your eating habits. My experience with clients has been that if you can maintain good health as long into your retirement years as possible, the financial cost of retirment will be manageable.

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