Are You Fiscally Fit for Fall and Flu Season?
Updated on Nov 02 2018
Healthcare is one of the most expensive costs of retirement. Not only that, seniors are particularly vulnerable in the colder months and flu season — which is why it’s so important to be proactive to make sure you’re not only exercising preventative medicine, but you’re also prepared financially for potential medical concerns.
Getting the flu is inconvenient and painful no matter what your age. No one wants to experience the muscle aches, dizziness and pain that can accompany the flu. The reality is that the flu and illnesses that accompany the colder months can be more than an ‘inconvenience.’ For older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions, getting the flu, getting sick from germs and the cold climate, and even slipping outdoors and falling can be life-threatening. Not only that, it’s expensive — if you’re not prepared.
Healthcare Costs You May Not Have Considered
Many Americans can’t afford to get sick. According to the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households report, four in ten Americans can’t cover emergency expenses. Lack of financial preparation is wreaking havoc on American households, especially those approaching or in retirement, which is why getting financially prepared for healthcare costs is so important.
Here are a Few Ways You Can Financially Prepare for Cold and Flu Season
Medical expenses take a large chunk of your retirement savings. HealthView Services estimates that a 65-year-old couple retiring in the current year will need to have $275,000 to cover their health-care and medical expenses throughout retirement. Last year’s estimate was $266,000. If you’re in poor health, that number is even larger; and cold and flu season are often the most expensive months.
You’ll qualify for Medicare, the federal health insurance program, once you reach 65 (disabled people with unique situations may be eligible for coverage before age 65). Keep in mind that Medicare only covers basic health services, though, so extra coverage is important.
Most likely, you should consider the following to keep your healthcare expenses under control during cold and flu season as well as year-round:
1. Supplemental health insurance
Primary sources of supplemental coverage include employer-sponsored plans, Medicaid, Medigap policies, and Medicare Advantage plans.
2. Long-term care insurance
Long-term care insurance is an insurance product, sold in the United States that helps pay for the cost of long-term care, often not covered by health care plans.
3. Health Spending Account (HSA)
This flexible spending account lets you save pre-tax money for current and future health care expenses.
4. Emergency Funds Cushion
Even with medical coverage, health costs can add up; especially in retirement when you have a fixed income. Having a few thousand dollars saved in emergency funds will not only help you budget under control, it will also help give you peace of mind.
4. Preventative Health Plan
Preventative health will help you catch health concerns early, as well as help protect your body from germs in the flu season. You should visit your doctor regulary, take their recommendations seriously for any specialists you should visit, get your flu shot and perform all the necessary checkups at various ages, such as colonoscopy, mammogram, etc. This will help you avoid the costs that come with medical ‘surprises.’
5. Fitness Plan
There’s a strong correlation betweeen good health and good finances. Stay focused on regular workouts, healthy eating and restful sleep to also stay fiscally fit. Making the right decisions about health care is important, and so are the decisions you make about your savings in the last few years before retirement. Consider your genetics and current health situation to stay healthy and adequately forecast your medical expenses during retirement.
Be Prepared for Healthcare Costs in Cold and Flu Season
As temperature gets colder, people are more susceptible to sickness. Many people are unprepared for medical costs during the winter months which can wreak havoc on their finances.
If you are a senior it’s important to be prepared for the coming winter months and its accompanying germs. Take steps to protect your health and finances today. Medicare does not cover everything, so planning ahead for health care expenses either by yourself or with the help of a financial advisor is a crucial part of a comprehensive retirement strategy.
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