An August 2015 survey from Asset International’s PlanSponsor publication showed the following results:
“Among respondents to last week’s survey, more than two-thirds (67.6%) are plan sponsors, 11.8% are advisers or consultants, and 20.6% work for TPAs, recordkeepers or investment managers. The vast majority of responding readers (85.7%) said yes, they are concerned about being able to pay health care costs in retirement. Nearly 9% said they are not concerned, and 5.7% are not sure. Asked if their company has provided education or communication to its retirement plan participants about their estimated health care costs in retirement, more than four in 10 (42.9%) said no. Twenty percent each said their company has educated or communicated directly and through its recordkeeper.”
Now, the survey was taken from readers of a publication that focuses on health care plan issues. 86 percent responding with concerns of health care costs through retirement is a very high number. However, another survey conducted by Harris Polls in the fall of 2014 shows the following results:
“According to the online survey conducted from Oct. 6 – 14, 2014, … of 801 Americans age 50 or older with at least $150,000 in household income (“affluent boomers”), 72 percent say one of their top fears in retirement is their health care costs going out of control.”
Another survey in 2014 conducted by Woelffel Research on behalf of the AARP showed the following:
“While a majority of 50+ workers (62%) say they are saving for health care costs, more than half (55%) are worried they may not be able to afford health care costs. Younger workers (age 50-59) are more worried than older workers (60+). Women (61%) are also more worried than men (51%). This may be due to the fact that women are more often the health decision-makers and may be more aware of potential costs.”
While no hard conclusions can be drawn from the three separate surveys, there is a definite trend among all three to show that a majority of survey respondents showed a concern for meeting long term health care costs in retirement.
It may also be worth nothing the different backgrounds of those polled: One set is perhaps more aware of the actual costs due to profession or more knowledge of the actual costs, another set is composed of respondents with an income of over 150,000 annually, and almost 3 out of 4 still had concerns over health care costs (Harris Polls survey) while the AARP survey shows over half of respondents have a concern over not making health-care costs. Yet across the board there is still an overwhelming concern for being able to meet the healthcare costs through retirement.
For many people, long term health care costs will be the single largest expense they have in retirement. A retirement plan that is built to accommodate long term healthcare costs is the best way to prepare for this. If you have concerns about long term healthcare costs, consider attending our free workshop: Health, Healthcare and Retirement on August 25th and August 27th in Colorado Springs, Loveland and Denver.