If you don’t want to spend your golden years struggling to pay off medical bills, it’s a good idea to start saving for retirement now. Bloomberg reports that, according to a recent study from Fidelity, health care costs for retirees have reached an all-time high, increasing six percent from last year and 18 percent from 2014. The average American retiree can now expect to pay $130,000 on health care over the course of their retirement.
Due to the rising cost of prescription drugs and increased use of medical services, among other factors, Fidelity reports that male retirees with Medicare can now expect to pay $125,000 on health care during retirement. Female retirees, who have longer life expectancies than men, will pay a whopping $135,000 in health care alone.
Expenses to plan for include Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket spending for procedures and products Medicare doesn’t cover, like eyeglasses. Fidelity also notes that retired couples in need of long-term care will likely have to cough up an additional $130,000 for long-term care insurance, since Medicare does’t cover nursing homes or home health care.
While all of this might sound daunting, there are plenty of painless ways to start saving for retirement early, from increasing your 401(k) contribution each pay period to setting up automatic withdrawals from your paycheck. Start saving money now, and you’ll be able to spend your retirement basking on the beach or spoiling your grandkids rotten, instead of worrying about health care costs.