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Survey shows older people avoiding discussions on elder care

There are some subjects that we have difficulty discussing with other people. And for older individuals, one of these subjects is health care costs during retirement. This seems counterintuitive because as we age our medical needs become more pronounced. But as a recent survey demonstrates, older Americans tend to avoid talking about this very important issue.

The survey was conducted by the National Retirement Institute who polled just over 1,300 Americans who were over 50 years of age. Among those participating in the survey, a full 45 percent said they have never talked with anyone about retirement medical costs. Forty-three percent said they had discussed the costs with a financial advisor and half mulled the issue over with a spouse.

But perhaps most significantly, only 19 percent said they conversed with their children about the matter. Over half of the participants said that they did not want to worry their children and thus refrained from bringing the subject up with them.

But the fact is, medical expenses can really add up during retirement. And while Medicare covers a good portion of care costs, the retiree will still have to pick up some of the tab. This is significant because it is estimated that a couple who is 65 years old and retiring in 2016 will spend an estimated $260,000 on medical costs during the next 20 years. And this figure does not include nursing home care.

Even if you find it hard to talk about your retirement health care expenses, it is still a matter that needs addressing. With costs on the rise, it would be all too easy to deplete your funds.

In an effort to head off potential financial problems during retirement, you may want to have a confidential talk with an elder care planning attorney. An attorney who takes a holistic approach could help you in all aspects of retirement and estate planning.

Source: CNBC, "The retirement issue that no one is talking about," Darla Mercado, Dec. 7 2016

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