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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.