Posted on 24 February 2008
By Mark Miller
Boomers will see their retirement savings eroded by the skyrocketing cost of health care, according to new research by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. When Medicare premiums, co-payments and other expenses are considered, the average individual will need to set aside $102,000 for retirement health expenses; for couples, the number rises to $206,000.
Medicare premiums are projected to rise an average 5.9 percent for the next 20 years, and 4.9 percent afterward.
The projections substantially boost the possibility that retirees will see health care erode standards of living. At the same time, Alice Munnell, the center’s director, told the Associated Press there are several steps people can take to offset higher health costs:
The most effective step is to plan on working a few years longer,” Munnell said. “That cuts the percent at risk by about 10 percentage points.”
People also can step up their savings. And, she added, they can watch their weight and exercise more.
“Good health habits matters when it comes to holding down health care costs,” she said.