Healthcare is one of the biggest expenses any person must shoulder, but especially those that are retired. Despite working and saving for your entire life, many people discover they are not financially prepared for the high cost of medical expenses, especially when they retire. Whether you are just starting your career, approaching retirement, or transitioning out of the workforce, it is crucial to understand and plan for future healthcare expenses.
Medicare coverage kicks in at age 65. If you retire before that time, you will need some form of health insurance to help cover medical expenses. Health plans from the health insurance marketplace are an option, as is insurance from your spouse’s employer, employer retiree insurance, and private insurance coverage. To ensure that you plan accordingly, be sure that the health insurance plan that you decide to enroll in covers any pre-existing conditions that may apply to you our your family.
When creating your retirement budget, it is important to stay practical about insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Even if you are healthy now, it is impossible to predict exactly what the future might hold. For an accurate estimate based on your region, inflation, and other factors, talk with a trusted insurance agent provided by an estate planning attorney. Many people do not know that estate planning attorneys often work with insurance agents to provide their clients a trusted referral to help them get the healthcare coverage they need without “breaking the bank.”
At some point in most people’s lives, long-term care will be necessary. Long-term care insurance can help cover costs if you or your spouse need in-home care or residence in a long-term care community such as skilled nursing or memory care. Not sure how you will cover these expenses? Long-term care insurance is a good option. While the premiums can be expensive, there are ways to undercut the price. The earlier in life you buy long-term care insurance, the lower premiums will be. If long-term care insurance is not an option due to existing health conditions, estate planning and elder law attorneys can provide guidance on how to plan ahead before long-term care is needed to protect your assets.
Healthcare spending can easily eat up a person’s entire retirement budget. With careful planning, though, you and your spouse can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing retirement, stress-free. By estimating costs early on and creating a strategy for spending, you can help preserve your retirement money for other expenses.
Unsure about how to start planning for future healthcare costs? Schedule an appointment with us at Your Legacy Legal Care. Our team can help you understand your options and chart the best course going forward. Click here to schedule your strategy session online or call us at (281) 885-8826 to start planning ahead today.
Kimberly Hegwood is the Managing Attorney of Your Legacy Legal Care, a Houston estate planning law firm. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law in Texas, she represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including elder law, asset protection, estate planning, Medicaid crisis planning, probate, guardianship, and other estate planning practice areas.
Kimberly received her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
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