Livens & Reed, PLLC

Retirement checklist for long-term care expenses

One of the biggest hurdles seniors face during retirement is the rising cost of health care. Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs can eat into savings quickly. On average, a 65-year-old person will spend over $200,000 on health care during retirement, and that does not include long-term care. In Texas and other states, retirees on a limited income are looking for ways to lower the cost of health care.

Preventive services offered by Medicare help seniors stay healthy. Free wellness visits are available every year, including diabetes testing and mammograms. Depression and some cancer screenings are also available yearly free of charge. By utilizing these services now, elders can stay in good health and reduce health care costs overall. Experts also advise addressing minor health issues before they become major events.

Medicare Advantage plans offer a wider range of coverage than traditional Medicare for services such as dental, vision and hearing, and the plans may save money while reducing out-of-pocket spending. Because prescription drug needs and coverage plans change from year to year, it is imperative to shop yearly for a plan that will be most affordable and have the best coverage. Long-term care insurance may be something to shop for pre-retirement. Securing coverage early may save a considerable amount later considering that 70 percent of seniors will need long-term care during their lifetimes.

After years of hard work and planning, retirement should be a peaceful time without worry. It is never too early to address long-term care plans. A Texas attorney who is well versed in elder law and long-term care planning can evaluate a client's options and make recommendations for a sound and healthy retirement.

Source:, "How to Save Money on Healthcare in Retirement", Maurie Backman, March 24, 2018

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