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New Research From EBRI: Estimates Show More Precise Retiree Health Savings Needs
Date:6/3/2008

nt, or $159,000 for a 90 percent chance of having enough to cover retiree health costs. At the 90th percentile level of drug spending, a man would need $331,000 for a 90 percent chance of having enough money to cover retiree health costs.

Woman: A woman with median (50th percentile) drug expenditures would need current savings of $108,000 for a 50 percent chance of having enough money for retiree health expenses, or $184,000 for a 90 percent chance of having enough money. Again, the numbers are higher for women because of their greater longevity. At the 90th percentile level of drug spending, a woman would need $390,000 to have a 90 percent chance of having enough money to cover retiree health costs.

Married couple: A married couple, both with median (50 percentile) drug expenses would need current savings of $194,000 to have a 50 percent chance of having enough money for retirement health costs, or $305,000 for a 90 percent chance. For those with very high drug expenses (in the 90th percentile), couples would need $635,000 to have a 90 percent chance of having enough money.

As high as these estimates are, the Issue Brief notes that many individuals will need even more money than the amounts projected because the analysis does not factor in the savings needed to cover long-term care expenses, nor does it account for the fact than many individuals retire early (before they become eligible for Medicare). Also, these estimates do not include savings needed to cover any basic costs of living, such as food, clothing or shelter.

The Issue Brief also contains estimates for individuals who retire at 65 in 2018 (meaning those currently age 55) and a detailed analysis of the decline in the number of private-sector employers offering Medicare supplemental health insurance.

EBRI is a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, DC, that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues. EBRI does not lobby and
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SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
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