2. Plan to cover the gaps in Medicare
Despite some common misconceptions, Medicare will not cover all your healthcare expenses in retirement. The list of healthcare costs Medicare won't pay for include:
- Insurance deductibles
- Vision and dental care
- Hearing aids
- Long-term nursing care
- Assisted living
- And more
“Money goes into the health savings account on a pre-tax basis, it grows tax-deferred, and if it's used for qualified medical expenses, it goes out tax-free," says Synovus financial planner Blake Robinson, CFP®.
The IRS sets current annual HSA contribution limits. For 2021, those limits are $3,550 for individuals and $7,200 for families,4 although savers age 55 and older are allowed an additional $1,000 in catch-up contribution each year. You can't contribute to an HSA once you're enrolled in Medicare, so it's important to act now if you want to want to use an HSA as a savings tool.
3. Prepare for long-term care
Since Medicare doesn't pay for long-term care, consider whether buying long-term care insurance would be a good option for you. The structure of long-term care coverage has changed over the years, Robinson says. In years past, any money paid into premiums was simply forfeited if the long-term policies were never used. Today, some companies offer life insurance policies with long-term care riders. The death benefit decreases if you use the rider, but your beneficiaries still have a chance to receive something from your investment in the policy. A similar long-term care rider is available with certain annuities.
Payment terms vary for these arrangements, Robinson says, but people often fund them by shifting money from other types of investments, including retirement accounts.
Similar to how you rely on a team of trusted medical experts to maintain your health, a trusted financial expert can guide you in creating a holistic retirement savings plan that provides enough funding for your healthcare.
Synovus is here to help. When you're ready to talk with a financial consultant, please call us at 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887) to get started.