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AARP Research

2013 Health Care Costs Survey

This AARP survey looked at the public’s awareness and concern about health care costs that they may incur during retirement.  It also sought to determine whether or not non-retired adults are currently saving to cover health care expenses in the future.

Key findings include:

  • Most individuals have not taken steps to plan for health care costs in retirement.  Across age groups, only about one-third (36%) have tried to estimate how much money they will need to save and have set money aside to cover these expenses in the future.  Adults age 60-64 (40%) are just slightly more likely than those age 50-59 (35%) to have money set aside although these differences are not statistically significant.

  • While most adults age 50-64 have given health care costs in retirement some level of thought, a smaller percentage is confident that they will be able to afford the costs.  Two-thirds of respondents have thought about the costs at least somewhat but only 52% are confident they can afford the costs.  In fact, less than two in ten (16%) are very confident that they can afford the costs of health care in retirement.

  • Estimates of the actual costs of health care in retirement vary significantly.  More than four in ten adults age 50-64 (42%) believe they will need to accumulate less than $100,000 to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses during their retirement.  In addition, sixteen percent believe it will cost less than $50,000 and 15% say they simply do not know.

The survey was conducted for AARP by SSRS, an independent research firm.  Interviews were conducted September 18 – October 9, 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 1000 non-retired adults age 50-64. This survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3%. 

For more information, contact Laura Skufca at (202) 434-6285.

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