The Sickening Rise of Health Costs

By Ellen Hoffman

PLAN FOR THE WORST. I experimented with the calculator, posing as a 50-year-old who plans to retire at 65, whose savings are growing at 4% annually, and whose life expectancy is 85 years. I learned that if insurance premiums increase an average of 4% annually, I'd need $349,300 in savings to cover medical costs in retirement -- and that doesn't include long-term care.

At 6% increases, the cost tops $500,000, and with a 10% annual increase in premiums, the figure was a mind-boggling $1.5 million. EBRI's Fronstin notes that the figure also doesn't include any out-of-pocket costs, such as prescriptions. And, as Shagrin says, "that's just for health care," and doesn't include any other retirement-l

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