It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re healthy and enjoy a nice, long life in retirement, you’ll pay more in health care costs than your less-healthy compatriots.
At least that’s the upshot of a new report from the Insured Retirement Institute, which analyzed data from HealthView Services and found that a 65-year-old male in excellent health will face health care expenses, including premiums, that will add up to $345,000. His less-healthy buddy, meanwhile, will only have paid around $246,000 altogether.
Of course, the healthy guy can console himself at his buddy’s funeral with the thought that spending all that money has bought him time. He’ll likely make it to around 87, while his friend will have lived to perhaps 81.
For women, the healthy will be dandling great-grandchildren on their knees until around age 89, while their less-healthy friends will have only been able to do that until 84.
Now here’s the drawback. That healthy guy may have to drive from his friend’s funeral right to the breadline to come up with that night’s dinner, because he is more likely to have used up all his retirement money and is now forking over his Social Security benefit checks to pay health expenses. They might not be big expenses, but because of his age, there will have been substantially more of them to pay.
“There’s no question that a long, healthy retirement is an overwhelmingly positive thing,” IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said in a statement. “But even those in excellent health will need to finance health expenditures, and with longer lifespans, these costs will add up quite significantly.”