For middle-income retirees, health care and the costs associated with it are a major theme in their retirement. A survey released July 11 by Bankers Life and Casualty Co. Center for a Secure Retirement asked retirees what they had learned since they’ve retired, and health care-related issues were a big surprise.
More than half of retirees said health care cost more than they expected in retirement, and 33% said their prescriptions were more expensive. However, it seems many retirees underestimated the cost of basic expenses overall. Forty-one percent said groceries cost more than they thought they would and 38% said transportation costs were higher than expected.
Retirees seem to have a pretty fair assessment of their tax burden, however. Just 2% said they were paying more in taxes than they thought they would when they retired.
Although 55% of retirees said they were paying more for health care than they thought they would be, almost a quarter said they were surprised by how healthy they are. Unfortunately, the second most common surprise retirees said they encountered after retiring was unexpected health issues (18%).
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While traveling was most often cited as retirees’ top goal, other goals demonstrate that health and wellness is top-of-mind. Twenty-one percent of retirees said improving their health was a top goal, and 15% said they would like to lose weight or get physically fit. Improving their financial security ranked No. 10.
The survey was conducted in April by The Blackstone Group for Bankers Life and Casualty. The firm surveyed 300 retirees between 55 and 75 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000.