Rising healthcare costs. Death of a spouse. Outliving investments. These three concerns are constantly confronted by retirees. Solutions to these challenges do exist.
Based on historical costs, it is likely that retirees will experience a 7 – 9% increase in healthcare costs in 2021 over what they paid in 2020. One of the best methods of controlling your out-of-pocket medical costs, it is critical that you understand what Medicare covers and consider a supplemental policy to provide you coverage for the amount of expense not covered by Medicare. It is not unheard of for a person to experience a bill for a hospital stay of only a few days in the amount of $10,000 that is not covered by insurance! Consider a supplement to your Medicare coverage to mitigate the excess expenses that may disrupt your financial plan for the future.
The premature loss of a spouse is not something any of us wishes to think about. However, it happens far too often, and the surviving spouse is stressed with burial costs as well as lower household income. Consider this scenario. A retired couple receives $5,000 per month of Social Security Benefits. One of the couple suddenly expires due to a heart attack. The surviving spouse needs $5,000 per month for the operation of their lifestyle and household functions. Resulting from the loss of her spouse, the widow receives only $2,500 per month of SSA Benefits for the remainder of her life (with some annual cost of living increases).
How can one prepare for this loss of income? First, if your spouse retires from the federal government or as a school teacher, consider the option to leave your survivor a portion, or all, of your retirement benefits. Yes, the election to choose survivor benefit options will pay a lesser current amount to the retiree but it will provide some assurance to your surviving spouse should you predecease you.
Another option to replacing income is to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to create a financial plan that allows your investments to exceed long-term inflation impact. This approach will allow your investments to provide you funds that will retain purchasing power as the cost of goods rise. It will be impossible to control inflation, but it is possible to control your investment strategy to counter inflation’s effects on your family’s budget.
The overarching concern of most retirees is the potential that they may outlive their investments. One of the best methods of addressing this concern is to properly invest, project lifestyle expenses and plan for contingencies. None of us can accurately predict the future. However, with a few assumptions and proper planning, most families can protect their future by forming a valid plan and monitoring the plan’s performance each quarter to determine weaknesses or changes that should be addressed.
Life is too short to be worried about each day’s results of your portfolio or the possibility of a life-wrecking illness. It is far better to enjoy each day that you are given and spend time with your loved ones creating memories that generations will enjoy far beyond your earthly existence. My mentor, Jim Rohn, said it best, “Days are expensive. When you spend a day, you have one less day to spend. So, make sure you spend each one wisely.” Go ahead, live your life by your design!