A survey released in late July found that one in three doctors say they will quit practicing medicine in the next decade. But not because they’ll retire. Reasons given included declining reimbursement, unprofitable practices, and the high cost of doing business.
According to the report, “this confluence of economic and regulatory pressures is driving some physicians to early retirement and others out of the medical profession altogether. Plus, it’s influencing the emerging generation of talent to avoid the debt and risks inherent in becoming doctors.”
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “A Tough Time for Physicians: 2012 Medical Practice & Attitude Report,” at Jackson Healthcare, July 25, 2012.]
Well, that’s going to make things really difficult. The number of adults age 65 and older is projected to soar by more than 75 percent by 2030 – to nearly one in five U.S. residents. We all know that the good health we tend to enjoy in younger years will likely deteriorate as we get older, so it’s easy to imagine demand for health care providers will increase exponentially during this timeframe. And in an era when demand will ramp up more than any other time in history, supply will be leaving the profession in droves – with reduced potential for replacement players.
Furthermore, when demand is high and supply is low, prices generally increase. Just to give you an idea of where they stand right now, the Society of Actuaries estimates a couple, both age 65, will need $230,000 to cover the cost of acute medical care and Medicare in their lifetimes, which doesn’t include the cost of long-term care insurance (that could cover some of these projected costs).
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Boomers Need Health-Care Costs Reality Check,” at FoxBusiness.com, August 16, 2012.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Stern Advice – Managing medical costs in retirement,” at Reuters, August 8, 2011.]
[CLICK HERE to read the new release, “Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans,” at National Institutes of Health, August 16, 2012.]
We might be living long but, unfortunately, living longer doesn’t necessarily mean living healthier. In fact, the more active you’ve been in your younger years, the more likely you’ll need a joint replacement in old age. The less active you’ve been in your younger years, however, you may have more health issues overall.
Currently only about 25% of American employees have considered a plan for health care expenses in retirement. Because medical expenses tend to increase the older you get, developing a separate plan to cover them is an important consideration. This requires estimating your health care needs and costs in retirement and determining if you should purchase additional health care coverage (Medigap insurance) to help preserve your personal assets and retirement income.
Feel free to contact us to talk about your personal health care plan in retirement. We’d like to help ensure it doesn’t conflict with your retirement income plan.
If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.
 Institute of Medicine, “The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults,” July 2012.
 Society of Actuaries, “Securing Health Insurance for the Retirement Journey,” 2012.
 Sun Life Financial Unretirement Survey; “Flying Blind: How Working Americans View Healthcare Costs in Retirement,” May 24, 2011.