If one of the services you offer clients is to help them save for a comfortable retirement, make sure you cover one of the biggest retirement discomforts in retirement: the cost of health care.
Fidelity Benefits Consulting’s 2017 estimate for what a 65-year old couple, retiring in the current year, will need to cover health care and medical expenses throughout retirement is $275,000. That represents a 6% increase over 2016’s estimate of $260,000. As an indicator of how health care costs continue to climb, the estimate is up 70% since Fidelity issued its first retiree health care estimate in 2002.
So won’t Medicare cover the bulk of those costs? The answer is yes and no, but even the most financially and health-care savvy retiree faces a daunting task: understanding the Medicare system sufficiently to ensure they 1) optimize the benefits they’ll need in retirement and 2) avoid big mistakes in when and how they enroll in the government health insurance system.
That’s where i65 can provide an unbiased, expert solution for advisors and their clients.
The subsidiary of 65 Incorporated, which has been providing one-on-one Medicare advice on a fee-for-service basis since 2012, i65 was the brainchild of Diane Omdahl, a registered nurse who has been providing Medicare guidance since the mid-1980s. After selling her original business in 2008, she decided to help individuals directly, according to Melinda Caughill, 65 Incorporated’s co-founder and chief marketing officer. Omdahl was hoping to answer a common question posted by many retirees after they made mistakes in enrolling in Medicare and choosing its many options: “Why didn’t anybody tell me?”
Thus i65’s business model, said Caughill, is to “put Diane into a box, to provide Medicare enrollment advice” specifically to retirees through advisors.
The need is great: 3.6 million Americans turn 65 each year and enroll in Medicare, said Caughill, and surveys have shown more than half admit they don’t understand Medicare. The danger, she said, is that “one enrollment mistake can cost thousands of dollars, and keep them from getting needed medical care.”
When retirees decide they can’t or won’t do it on their own, turning to an advisor for help “will be one of their first stops,” Caughill suggested, and doing so through i65 “empowers you to become your clients’ Medicare enrollment hero.”