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Healthcare and drug costs still surprise retirees

July 11, 2012
by pamela tabar
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Most middle-income retirees would glady trade in the dream of a Florida beach house for lower healthcare and prescription drug costs, according to a survey conducted by Bankers Life and Causalty Company Center for a  Secure Retirement.

The national insurer polled 300 retirees with annual income between $25,000 and $75,000 about how their retirement goals have changed since they left the workforce.

More than 55 percent identified healthcare costs as the “biggest overall financial surprise,” catching many off-guard despite planning, the survey found. About one in five respondents said they experienced unexpected health problems since retiring, and 33 percent identified prescription drug costs as a top challenge in life.

But the recently retired generation seems to have gotten the message about fitness and health maintenance, which ranked near the top of the list of goals for the next three years. Two of the top three goals were to “maintain or improve health,” and to “lose weight or get physycially fit.”

Many also wished they had learned more about planning for post-retirement healthcare costs, saying what they had saved wasn’t nearly enough.

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