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5 Health Care Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retirement | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog

5 Health Care Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retirement | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Health Care Considerations When Planning for Retirement

Regardless of where you are in life, it’s always smart to think about and plan for retirement.

One of your biggest expenses during retirement will likely be health care costs. Even if you have established a sound retirement plan, it's best to review and refine your plan regularly to ensure the plan still meets your needs.

With health care in mind, here are some of the top questions to ask yourself before retirement.

1. How much money have I already saved for retirement?

It’s common for retirees to underestimate how much money they will need for health care, which isn’t surprising given the complex nature of staying healthy as you age.

Additionally, many people aren’t sure how much money they already have saved for retirement. If you don't know where you currently stand, it’s difficult to know whether you will have enough money for health care, housing, food, and other necessities.

To see how much money you currently have saved, take a close look at the account balances on your 401(k), IRAs, and other investment accounts.

2. How do I plan to live during retirement?

Think carefully about how you plan to live once you stop working. Do you want to relocate to a new city? Are you planning to travel, spend time with your family, or volunteer? Imagine your ideal scenario and think about how much money you will need to make it a reality. Additionally, you should envision any potential health implications and how life would change with them.

You may realize that it’s time to reassess your savings strategies.

3. What will my income sources be during retirement?

Even if you’re planning to rely on Medicare for your health care expenses during retirement, you won’t qualify until age 65. You will also likely need extra income sources to help pay for additional costs that a Medicare plan won’t be able to cover.

That’s why it’s so important to think about all of your potential income sources during retirement, including pensions, investments, and other savings.

4. How will I pay for health care?

Health care costs will most likely continue to rise. You can prepare for inevitable health care costs by contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Your contributions will be tax-deductible, and your account can grow over time. Along with funding health care, you need to consider how you will handle long-term care, should you ever need to transition into an assisted living facility.

5. Should I relocate to a lower cost of living area during retirement?

Young employed people tend to live closer to urban areas. For retired seniors, however, it can be too expensive or impractical to live in or near major cities. If you expect to retire within the next few years, you may consider relocating to a more affordable area.

There are many health care-related factors to consider when deciding on a new home, including:

  • Proximity to friends and family members
  • Access to preferred doctors and health care facilities
  • Proximity and ease of transportation
  • Annual weather conditions, particularly extreme heat or cold

Location during retirement is especially important if you have existing health issues that require access to health care facilities or the support of friends and family.