In case you missed it, a report (.pdf) released yesterday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute indicates - unsurprisingly - that older Americans need "a substantial amount of savings" to cover health-care expenses during retirement. How substantial? A couple would need $271,000 to ensure a 90 percent chance of having enough money to cover insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
The report's authors hint at an even greater financial burden on seniors in the future, "as employers continue to scale back retiree health benefits, and when policymakers... shift more responsibility for health care costs to Medicare beneficiaries." And they also discuss the challenges of having to plan for the unknown:
Ultimately, the real issue retirees face in planning for health care expenses in retirement is uncertainty. The remaining number of years an individual will live is uncertain. Health care costs and increases in those costs are uncertain. Inflation and interest rates are uncertain. And health status is uncertain. As workers and retirees become increasingly responsible for planning for retirement, the risk of uncertainty will make retirement planning increasingly complicated.