Health costs in retirement: the standard of living

imageOn their list of top financial worries, 1 in 2 Americans is most concerned about not having enough money for retirement, not being able to pay medical costs if they get sick, and not being able to maintain a desired standard of living.

Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance poll, conducted in early April 2014, finds that even in the wake of a healthier economy, people feel health-finance insecure.

While ability to pay medical bills ranked #2 on the list of 9 fiscal worries, the proportion of Americans with this concern fell from a high of 62% in 2012 to 53% this year: a significant drop.

While the percentage of people in the U.S. worrying about all top 3 financial issues has dropped, Gallup notes that these numbers are still greater than they were before the Great Recession of 2008 hit the American economy.

This study is part of Gallup’s work with Wells Fargo and the Retirement Optimism Index.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: While most of the 9 polled financial concerns vary by age, worrying about paying for medical costs in the event of a serious illness or accident is demographically “ecumenical:”

– 52% of people 18-29 worry about paying for medical care — tied with “not being able to maintain the standard of living you enjoy”

– 54% of people 30-49 are concerned about this — after the #1 issue where 70% of people are most worried, financially, about “not having enough money for retirement” in this age group

– 58% of people 50-64 have this concern — after 68% of people in this age cohort most concerned about sufficient money in retirement

– 43% of folks 65 and over are worried about paying for health care — the greatest concern of older adults in this study.

Across the board, health care costs are top-of-mind when people in America think about their future and their financial wellness.

 

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