Open enrollment for Medicare begins on October 15th, and healthcare is on everyone’s mind.
For your clients turning 65, they should have already begun weighing all their options and marking their calendars for the enrollment period.
The thought of making these decisions can be overwhelming for some and many questions arise, such as
- I’ll be turning 65 soon. When should I start the process of applying for Medicare? 1.
- I’m retiring soon. What do I do about Medicare between now and my retirement? 1.
- I’ll be 65 soon but plan to keep working full time. Is it better to keep my employer’s health insurance or to get Medicare? 1.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Medicare is that their coverage will be free.
It is easy to see why people assume that after paying into Medicare through payroll withholdings at work for many years that they wouldn’t owe anything at this point.
As a financial advisor, you know that unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
The harsh reality is that health care is the largest unknown expense for most retirees.
The risk of not accounting for these costs will probably have a detrimental financial impact on their retirement.
This knowledge leaves us to contemplate if we are doing enough to help our clients plan for the cost of health care.
We question whether we have informed our clients of their options, or do we have any client plans we need to give a second glance at?
Keeping that in mind…
How do you answer the question: “How much will I need to cover health care costs during retirement?”
Opinions in our own industry seem to differ…
According to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, an average retired couple age 65 in 2021 may need approximately $300,000 saved (after tax) to cover health care expenses in retirement. 2.
People are left feeling overwhelmed and confused by the thought of needing this much, but is this number accurate?
MarketWatch challenges past advice saying, “For years now, firms in the financial services industry, as well as researchers, have been scaring pre-retirees into thinking they need an ungodly amount of money set aside at age 65 to pay for years of healthcare costs in retirement.” 3.
MarketWatch goes on to say that the average person will spend around $5,700 in today’s year for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. 3.
What do you think?
With the vast amount of information out there on this topic and a wide variety of opinions, it is crucial to be proactive in discussing this topic with your client.
Here are some ways that you can help start the conversation with clients
- Don’t wait to talk about this until they are turning 65. Start the conversation about Medicare as early as age 62.
- Identify Medicare experts in your area and cultivate relationships so that you can refer your clients to someone you trust.
- Lastly, offer your clients resources including ElderCare.gov, Medicare.gov, your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, and the Medicare Rights Center.