Friday, June 12, 2009

AARP, EBRI present study on the need for savings to cover health expenses, even given Medicare, especially for women


Carole Fleck has an article about the increasing dire straits of seniors’ savings, especially females, in the AARP Bulletin on June 11. The formal title is “Health Costs Could Gobble Retiree Savings, Especially for Women: Study finds women especially at risk of outliving their resources,” link here based on a study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (link).

A woman at 65 would need $98000 in savings to have a 50% chance of recovering all her lifetime medical expenses, even if she has Medicare and employer-sponsored Medicare supplement, which is becoming less frequent. Women outlive men by 5.2 years and are likely to spend much more in medical expenses. The study doesn’t even include long term care costs, which may balloon out of control. Long term care insurance (often covered on this blog) is touted as the “system’s” answer to increasing need for custodial care, but it has a long way to go.

The study said that women over 65 spend 32% of their income, compared to men who spend 21%, on medical expenses. Women are much more likely to fall into poverty.

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