In a recent Nationwide Financial survey, almost half of Americans who were close to retirement and had more than $250,000 in household assets said they were “terrified” about health-care costs. To prepare, budgets must be in order. Retirees can expect lower living costs, but should expect other costs to replace them, such out-of-pocket medical expenses. Workers should remain in the work force until age 65 because couples who retire before they are eligible for Medicare could pay as much as $30,000 a year for bare-bones health insurance. Health-cost inflation runs two to four times the consumer-price index, said Katy Votava, founder and president of Goodcare.com. Retirees should also shop around for a Medicare plan annually because the costs change every year.
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