Quick Retirement Tips for Boomers — Consider Unexpected Health-Related Expenses
One of the financial challenges to think about when you’re planning for retirement is the possibility of facing an unexpected health event in the future. According to the Institute on Aging, chronic illness continues to be a major issue for America’s seniors as medicine evolves. Mortality rates for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, have declined by more than 50% over the past few decades, and people are living longer with these conditions.1
Age and chronic illness
Even though some chronic diseases are associated with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet, others may result from heredity and the process of aging.2 In fact, aging is one of the main triggers of a wide range of chronic diseases.3 Some of the most common chronic conditions affecting people in their retirement years include arthritis, cardiovascular and lung disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.4
Age is also a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of those affected with Alzheimer’s are age 65 and above.5 And, approximately 1 of every 3 individuals age 85 or older may have Alzheimer’s disease.6
Individuals who develop a chronic disease may require ongoing medical treatment to manage symptoms and non-medical assistance to help improve their quality of life. A chronic illness can progress over time and limit a person’s ability to perform the Activities of Daily Living.7 These activities are the simple daily tasks people do to take care of themselves, so they can live independently.
Medicare and the Activities of Daily Living
If you would need caregiving support to assist you, Medicare does not pay for non-skilled assistance with the Activities of Daily Living. Medicare only covers the costs associated with skilled care services or rehabilitative care:
- In a nursing home for up to 100 days, or
- At home if you are also are receiving skilled health or other skilled services8
What you can do
Have a plan and share it with your spouse, your children and those who are close to you — especially if you expect them to help you if you would ever need care. Also, consult a financial professional, who can understand your goals and present effective solutions.
Your financial professional can show you insurance and annuity options that can help you:
- Cover the costs of professional in-home care or care in a residential facility
- Compensate your loved ones for caregiving
- Pay for remodeling so you can stay in your home
So, take the next step to help protect your retirement assets, and feel confident about the future.
Here's a recap of our first two retirement tips for boomers!
1Institute on Aging, https://www.ioaging.org/aging-in-america#livinglonger.
2 Cleveland Clinic, “Lifestyle Choices: Root Causes of Chronic Diseases,” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1444_lifestyle-choices-root-causes-of-chronic-diseases.
3 News Medical Life Sciences, “Aging can be a biggest risk factor for wide range of chronic diseases,” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20191218/Aging-can-be-a-biggest-risk-factor-for-wide-range-of-chronic-diseases.aspx.
4 American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, parent giving, https://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/common-chronic-conditions-and-aging-at-home/.
5 Alzheimer’s Association, “2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures,” https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures.
6 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/supporting-older-patients-chronic-conditions.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About Chronic Diseases,” https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm.
8 LongTermCare.gov, “Who Pays for Long-Term Care?,” https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/who-pays-for-long-term-care.html .
Sagicor Life Insurance Company, home office Scottsdale, Arizona issues life insurance and annuities . Products not available in all states and state variations may apply. Products have limitations and restrictions including surrender charges.
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