More than 90% of consumers don't know or underestimate how much health care will cost them in retirement, a survey released Wednesday by Sun Life Financial found. Forty percent say they have "no idea" how much health care will cost, and 75% don't have a plan to cover the cost of care after they retire.
A 2010 report from the Center for Retirement Research found that a healthy 65-year-old couple can expect to pay $260,000 for health care related costs. Just 8% of consumers in Sun Life's survey anticipate costs could reach that level.
This is especially important for workers approaching retirement. Just 30% of workers in their 50s have a plan to pay for health care in retirement. Among workers in their 60s, 40% have established a plan.
Janet Whitehouse, senior vice president and general manager of Sun Life Financial’s individual life insurance division, stressed how lack of preparedness could affect retirees' wellbeing.
“People will live happier, more fulfilling lives in retirement if they can better plan for unforeseen healthcare needs,” Whitehouse said in a press release. “If you take action because you’ve reasonably anticipated your future healthcare needs, your sense of wellbeing increases, and you can focus on living life to the fullest."