This is the first in a series of posts about the Four Pillars of the New Retirement I want to help you kick off your year by creating the goals to help you achieve the retirement of your dreams.
Ninety-nine percent of retirees over the age of 75 say that health is more important to them than wealth. And while that may hold true, the VSP (very smart people) at Edward Jones and Age Wave found that health and wealth are largely intertwined.
Consider the following statements from the initial 2020 report:
Life expectancy in the United States continues to increase.
The difference between lifespan (how long you will live) and healthspan (how long you’ll enjoy good health) is about 10 years.
80% of Americans age 65 or older have at least one chronic health condition.
Contextually, these statements mean that not only will we live longer in retirement, we will also need to plan for poor health during more than a handful of those years.
And the reality is that poor health comes at a significant cost. Retirees are most concerned about brain health (Alzheimer’s and dementia) as they age, which also means some type of assisted-to-complete care living arrangement. Cancer is another costly health concern as it is the 2nd cause of death in the United States and disproportionally impacts retirees, with 77% of cancers diagnosed in people over 55. Marrying that with the fact that 14 out of 15 specialty drugs for cancer treatment individually cost over $8000 out-of-pocket annually and the most expensive cancer treatment drug weighs in at $16,000 out-of-pocket annually. Other pricey health conditions that can significantly impact healthspan are infectious diseases (like Covid or influenza), stroke, and heart disease.
The good news is that 93% of retirees agree that it is never too late to improve their health. When dreaming of your perfect retirement, it is important to consider your health. I’ll talk more about planning for health in your retirement in my blog post next week.