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Survey Reports Americans Do Not Properly Plan for Retirement Health Benefits

OCTOBER 21, 2005 -- Americans are vastly underestimating how much they will spend on health care when they retire, a survey has found.

Nearly 30 percent of pre-retirees don't know what to anticipate for their health care needs and almost 40 percent have spent less than an hour in the last year planning for health benefits in retirement, the survey showed.

The survey, released Thursday, questioned more than 1,000 adults ages 45 to 75 who were grouped into retiree and pre-retirement age categories as well as by gender. The report showed that as Americans plan for retirement, they are looking at their financial situation and not their health benefits. Aetna, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and Women's Policy Inc. sponsored the survey.

Fifty-two percent of both the retirees and the pre-retirees surveyed said they expected to spend less than $300 a month on health care expenses. But retirees in general spend about $640 a month on health costs, the survey's sponsors said.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 31 percent of pre-retirees would rather clean their bathrooms or pay bills than plan for retirement.
  • 36 percent of pre-retirees say they have spent more time on home improvements than on retirement planning in the last year.

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