Here’s Why Mortgage Debt, Health Care Costs are Retirees’ Biggest Concerns

Many things in life become less expensive once someone is retired, but one category that actually becomes more expensive is health care. Paying for long-term care was found to be one of the top concerns for retirees and people nearing retirement, according to a recent survey by the Society of Actuaries.

Pre-retirees, specifically, are most concerned about long-term care as well as inflation, in retirement. Both surveyed at about 69% followed by paying for health care, as a whole, at 67%, the survey found.

“There is still a disconnect between what people think they will do in retirement to manage risks, compared to what approaches retirees actually used,” said actuary Cindy Levering.


There are very few people who are planning in the correct ways to be prepared for various situations that may include high health care costs, in retirement. Of those surveyed, 17% of pre-retirees plan for five to nine years in retirement, 19% plan for ten to 14 years and 38% have either not thought about their planning horizon or do not plan ahead.

In addition to health care costs being a concern for pre-retirees once they enter retirement, the majority of people still have a lot of debt that can make these high costs in retirement even more difficult to handle.

The leading form of debt for pre-retirees was found to be mortgage debt, at 52%. This was followed by credit card debt, at 48%, and car loans, at 40%.

And once in retirement, the financial shocks that were most common among retirees were home repairs, at 23%, followed by major dental expenses, at 24% and medical/prescription expenses, at 20%, the survey found.

Written by Alana Stramowski

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  • I agree 100% with the article, especially when we see that social security increases were zero in 2016 and presumed to be practically nothing for 2017!

    Yes, mortgage debt and health care costs are the biggest costs facing seniors today but there are many more! In fact, prices on just about everything keep going up, except social security check increases for our seniors!!!

    The big $64,000 question is, what now? What can be done to solve this devastating problem. Surveys are fine, they give us the statistics but not the solutions.

    Our seniors should not be penalized with no increases in their social security checks because of the Federal Governments manipulation of the social security fund! Our Federal Government has been borrowing from the fund since the Johnson administration! There is a room in the White House dedicated just for all the IOU’s from funds bowered from a fund that is theoretically owned by those that have paid into it for years and years! It is plain not right and very, very sad!

    That is my take on it my friends,

    John A. Smaldone

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