Healthcare Expenses Tops the List of Retirement Worries
We're a nervous nation when it comes to thinking about what should be our golden years. The main worries? High medical expenses and a limited role for Social Security, according to Bankrate's Money Pulse survey.
A full one third of Americans over 50 years of age are anxious about expensive illnesses or injuries, as is 28% of the overall survey population—in particular, the highest-income households (over $75,000). Of course, the likelihood of explosive healthcare expenses is grounded in reality, and a single debilitating medical event requiring a nursing home stay could potentially wipe out savings.
Nearly one quarter of respondents fear outliving their savings. According to Bankrate, it's easier to plan to cover predictable living expenses, such as a mortgage or rent—but toss in unknowns, such as healthcare (including costly long-term care) and longer life expectancy, and it's enough to give the jitters to many.
Despite their concerns, most of the respondents to the Bankrate.com survey say that current responsibilities are a big impediment to saving more for retirement.
Concerns about the future of Social Security plague nearly 25% of those surveyed, who don't expect to receive any benefits—mostly reflected among those younger than 50 years. "The average Social Security payout is only around $15,000 per year, so people are realistic to think they'll need to supplement that income," said Sheyna Steiner, senior investing analyst at Bankrate. "But despite all the gloom and doom about the future of Social Security, most Americans are optimistic that they'll get at least something from the program. That even includes millennials; 63% of them think Social Security will fund at least some of their retirement several decades from now."
Medscape Business of Medicine © 2015 WebMD, LLC
Cite this: Marcy Tolkoff. Patients Blame Docs for Bad News; Retirement Worries; More - Medscape - May 20, 2015.