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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Health care planning for retirement

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I will be retiring in 2 months and would need supplemental insurance. What can you recommend?

A: Since medical expenses are likely to be the single largest expense during your retirement years, it is important to have a well-thought-out financial plan to ensure that these expenses are covered without cutting into your . Posing a casual question at a free online service is not enough for an issue that s so important to your future financial success. You should discuss this in detail with a well-qualified retirement planning expert who can help project income and expenses into retirement to make sure that your health care plan really works. A face-to-face relationship with a local financial adviser is best but even a telephone session with the OnlineAdviser service would be better than just guessing. A recommendation on other coverage is based on income and assets, age, health, location of residence: Most lower income people without significant assets people have only Medicare and a Medicare supplement insurance and rely on Medicaid for the difference. Most middle income people have both a Medicare supplement policy and long term care policy to cover the other large health care expenses. Affluent individuals may skip the Medicare supplement but tend to use a type of combined life/long term care insurance that stays in their estate. This eliminates the risk that they will pay for insurance that will not be needed and allows pre-funding of retirement expenses during the planning process. Regardless of the strategy used, a specific recommendation on the brand and features of an insurance product(s) is controlled by your health and your state of residence. AARP is a good source of basic planning information on this subject but you should clearly get more personalized help right away.


More resources: OnlineAdviser service