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Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Retired boomers "surprised" at the cost of healthcare

A new survey, conducted by Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, asked 300 retirees between ages 55 to 75 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000, a variety of open-ended questions about what they have learned since they stopped working and what challenges they have faced.

Many retirees say their health itself had become a challenge.  While some felt their health had improved since leaving the workforce, nearly one in five (18 percent) said they had dealt with unexpected health issues.

The high costs of medical expenses were also a big issue.  When asked what costs more in retirement than they thought it would, more than half (55 percent) of respondents indicated that healthcare is costing them more than anticipated.  And if given the opportunity to go back in time, retirees say they would make saving for their healthcare costs a much bigger priority.

While many have experienced increased costs in every aspect of life, here’s a look at the top five expenses that were higher than expected among America’s retirees:

  •   Healthcare – 55%
  •   Groceries – 41%
  •   Car/Transportation – 38%
  •   Prescription Drugs – 33%
  •   Utilities – 22%

Retirees polled had many goals beyond the stereotypical ideas of retiring to Florida, seeing their grandchildren and traveling the world.  When asked what goal they hope to accomplish in the next three years, more than one in three (36 percent) have a personal goal that focuses on their health and wellness.  While some people wanted to travel, many retirees wanted to be in better health (21 percent) or lose weight and be more physically fit (15 percent).

“Many times when people think about retirement planning, they only think about money,” said Chris Campbell, vice president of marketing and business development at Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer.  “While that is important, don’t over look your health.  Living a healthy lifestyle keeps healthcare costs down and the ability to fully enjoy your retirement years.”

Here’s a look at the top five goals today’s retirees hope to accomplish in the next three years:
  1.  Travel 
  2.  Maintain or Improve Health
  3. Lose Weight/Get Physically Fit
  4.  Home Improvements
  5.  Spend More Time with Family

The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement’s survey series Listening to Middle-Income Americans was conducted in April 2012 by the independent research firm The Blackstone Group. Excerpts from the report can be viewed at www.CenterForASecureRetirement.com

A nationwide sample of 300 retirees ages 55 to 75 who have an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000 participated in the Internet-based survey.  Significant sub-sample differences were tested at the 95% confidence levels.

The Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement studies and consumer awareness campaigns provide insight and practical advice for how everyday Americans can achieve financial security during retirement.

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the insurance needs of the retirement market.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Pat. Understanding the high costs of health care is a starting point for many seniors to look at how they might save themselves money and still achieve the best outcomes. Good prevention practices and an understanding or tools that help navigate the health care system can mean aging with success and cost savings.

  2. Thanks for sharing!!! It's great to have a complete understanding on the high costs of health care.


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