A 2017 survey of retirees by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave ranked health as the biggest concern of retirees over 65. Retirees under 65 tend to think of finances as their biggest concern. This is important because at age 65 every retiree has to apply for health insurance and many people see this and health insurance as their primary source of health care.
Medicare and Medicaid will likely always be there to help ease the financial burden, but to be eligible for Medicaid assistance, you must have virtually all of your assets and relinquish much of the control over your finances and your life. I know this is due to the personal experience of a family member who had to use Medicare and Medicare later in life.
The vast majority of retirees believe that maintaining or improving their health could help them manage or reduce medical costs in retirement. More than three-quarters say their retirement could be better if they took better care of their health.
While most retirees know what they need to do to improve their health, I know from my experience that they will not always take steps to improve their health. Sometimes this is due to current medical conditions, but usually because it is easier not to.
Happy and successful retreats do not happen by accident. It is the result of a realistic look at the future and a plan to take care of the two most pressing things, health and wealth, that you will need to consider after you retire.
Retirement won’t be happy or successful if you run out of money and have to move into your child’s basement. It doesn’t matter if you outlive your investments or have health issues eating into your retirement income. The point is, you will always be dependent on others.
See retirement as a career change. Taking the time to do a little research and plan how you’re going to make a change successful will pay off by removing some of the pitfalls and speed bumps along the way. Staying in good financial and medical health should be at the top of your list, just above travel and recreation.
Financial planning was and remains a big challenge for baby boomers like me. The availability of easy credit and raising a family with a shift in priorities made it easier to postpone any idea of retirement. For some reason, we seem to think we have plenty of time to plan for a successful retirement.
A huge financial fear that most Americans have is going into debt and living on a paycheck their entire life. Debt can have a big effect on retirement, and the desire for additional income is one of the reasons many retirees continue to work.
More retirees than ever continue to work, but many reject the full retirement lifestyle of all leisure and without work. From experience, I know it’s not all about the money. Most retirees I know work part-time or have started a business part-time (same thing, right?). The main reason is to stay busy, active and engaged. We are looking for mental stimulation and challenges that help us stay young.