Monday, February 9, 2009

Prescription For Success

Fast Forward: 2019; the hospital insurance fund is projected to run out of funds. 2041; the Social Security Trust Fund will run dry.

The hospital insurance funds of Medicare (Government health care program) are currently paying out more than it takes in.

It is projected that Medicare’s payments for doctors and prescription drugs will rise faster than the nation’s overall economic growth. Therefore, causing beneficiaries’ premiums, co-payments, and deductibles to rise faster than their incomes!

As a retiree, it is assumed that Medicare (if you are eligible) will cover most of your health care costs. Though, if we are to believe that the Social Security and Medicare systems are in such a state, we best be prepared to bear potentially major health care costs.

It is estimated that a couple, aged 65 years, will spend in excess of $200,000.00 over the next 20 years on health care; even if they are covered by Medicare!

Consider this: if you are aged 65 years (or older), it is highly probable that you may need dental care, eye glasses, hearing aids, regular check-ups; at some stage, possibly even long-term nursing home care. Do you know that apart from ONE free check-up when you first enroll with Medicare, these services are not covered?!

Social Security was created in 1945. By 1955, 42 workers paying the system paid for ONE retiree. In 2007, they are paying for 3. By 2030, every working couple will have their very own retiree to support! Thus, the significant, and rising, imbalance between workers and beneficiaries.

There are 2 issues to consider when deciding “to retire, or not to retire;” life expectancy, and investment acumen.

If you decided to retire at 62 years of age, you will receive 75% of full Social Security benefits each month for the rest of your life. Wait to retire at age 66, and you will receive 100%. If you can hold out until you are 70, you will be paid 132% of your full benefit.

The bottom line is: soaring medical costs accompany increased longevity. The Social Security and Medicare systems seem to be worsening, not improving. Perhaps, saving for health care costs, in retirement, means thinking outside of the box; a health care mutual fund may be just the prescription for success?!

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