The skyrocketing cost of health care is among the top three worries of middle-income baby boomers, according to a new survey by The Blackstone Group for Bankers Life and Casualty’s Center for a Secure Retirement. The other two concerns are inflation and outliving one’s money.
The survey, “Middle-Income Boomers, Financial Security and the New Retirement,” examined 500 Americans aged 47 to 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000. The survey found that 95 percent of respondents are concerned about paying for their retirement, with 80 percent particularly concerned about health care costs.
To counter the looming expenses associated with retiree health care, 64 percent have tried to limit their spending in this area, with 55 percent delaying a visit to the doctor, 26 percent postponing elective surgery and 25 percent choosing a cheaper health care plan. Furthermore, 55 percent reported spending less on such things as restaurant meals, vacations and gifts; 43 percent have reduced their credit card debt.
The recent financial crisis shook many middle-income boomers, and 47 percent said the changes they have made in their financial behavior will likely become permanent. Economic uncertainty continues to be a major concern for those soon to be retired, especially middle-income women. Such women tend to worry more about paying for retirement, with concerns focusing on inflation, outliving their money and the languishing stock market.
“Adequately planning and saving for retirement now is the best defense against life’s unexpected financial burdens later,” said Bankers president Scott Perry. “Set a clear retirement goal with realistic expectations and remember to revisit your plan on a periodic basis.”