|by Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY|
People over 50 say their top retirement financial worry is health care costs, a survey, out Friday, shows.
But only 15% of pre-retirees have tried to figure out how much money they might need for health care and long-term care in retirement, according to the survey of 3,300 people, ages 25 and older, conducted by
It's no wonder people are worried. Another report estimated that out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement may equal
"People are quite enthusiastic about the chance of living a longer life, yet at the same time there is mounting worry about the cost of health care in retirement, and very few people have sat down and figured out what that will be," says gerontologist
Financial planning for retirement needs to include health care costs, says
When it comes to their greatest health worries in retirement, 63% of those 50 and older say not being able to afford health care and long-term care expenses; 39%, side effects of multiple medications; 37%, not being able to manage chronic pain; 34%, not finding doctors who can effectively meet their needs as they grow older.
Health tops wealth when it comes to a happy retirement, the survey found. Most retirees say having good health is the most important ingredient for a happy retirement, followed by financial security, having loving family/friends and having purpose.
The survey also showed that more than half (55%) of retirees retired earlier than they had expected; 38% retired when they expected; 7% later than they expected. The main reasons people gave for early retirement: personal health problems, followed by job loss.
Tyrie says, "People are faced with two common financial threats: unpredictable health care costs and unexpected early retirement due to health problems."
• Two-thirds (67%) of adults 50 and older believe today's health care system is poorly prepared for the aging population.
• More than half (54%) view Alzheimer's disease/dementia as the scariest health condition of later life — more fear this disease than cancer, strokes, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis combined. "It's not just older adults who view it as the scariest disease of later life, it's people of all ages," Dychtwald says.
• Their top concerns about Alzheimer's disease/dementia are being a burden on their family and losing their dignity.
• 37% of people age 50 and older think they may need long-term care during their lifetime, but actually about 70% will need long-term care at some point in their later years. That may be for a short or extended period, Dychtwald says.
Other research shows people are worried about medical costs. A survey out last week from Bankrate.com found more than half of people (55%) in this country are worried that the medical debts they incur in the future could overwhelm their finances. And 25% of people say they already have more medical debt than emergency savings.
People's biggest financial concern for retirement: Health care costs.