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.
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“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."