Retirement and Health Care

We deserve better

Des Moines, Iowa —- The high cost of long-term health care will drag down the quality of life for nearly two-thirds of today’s retirees. It can cost $77,000 a year for a nursing home room and $20,000 for in-home care, expenses that many people are ill-prepared to absorb, said the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

A new analysis shows that when the cost of health care and long-term care is included, 64 percent of retirees likely will be unable to maintain the lifestyle they had before retirement.

“This is the No. 1 issue staring us in the face over the next decade,” said Paul Ballew, a senior vice president at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., which provided a grant to fund the study.

The cost of health care will create such an unexpected hardship on unprepared retiring baby boomers that it’s imperative to sound the warning now, said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research.

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