If you are in the retirement planning stage, you might be envisioning future years of lower living costs — no more commuting expense, buying business attire or setting aside large sums for retirement. Don’t underestimate the cost of retirement; especially healthcare costs.

According to the latest estimates, a couple retiring in 2016 will spend at least $240,000 on healthcare cost in retirement. This includes longterm care costs, medications, and most dental costs.

Costs associated with your working years can often be replaced by new costs associated with retirement. A healthy couple retiring this year with $75,000 income should expect to pay about $10,500/year for healthcare costs.

What about Medicare

Medicare Part B alone currently costs a couple about $2,400 /year. Higher income beneficiaries pay more. Don’t forget the cost of co-pays and the fact that Medicare doesn’t cover most dental work, hearing aids and longterm care needs.

Shop wisely for Medicare supplemental coverage. Many Medicare beneficiaries are paying more than they need to. Make sure the plan you choose covers your medications, and don’t assume your former employer’s plan is the most cost effective. Consider shopping around to compare plans on an annual basis.

If you can, certainly consider staying in the workforce. If you can continue the healthcare benefits offered by your employer until you become eligible for Medicare, your retirement savings account will thank you.

Conveniently located in Central New York state, Wolfson Financial Services is a financial planning and consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals, families and organizations reach their financial goals. If you have questions about this article or if you would like to become a client of Wolfson Financial Services, please call (315)449-4730.