It's Finally My Time: Making Sure That Health In Retirement Will Be The Best It Can Be

| Friday, November 18, 2011
By Byron Jonas

Leaving a career for a pension is a subject many look upon with a mixture of dread and excitement and it is one of the major life stressors. Although many have, or opt, to work later in their lives these days, the net median time a person has to live on a pension has increased. Several recent longitudinal studies on aging indicate that the act of retiring itself increases the risk of chronic disease. Out of pocket medical expenses have increased significantly during the "golden" years. Old age is inevitable, and that means that you should have some kind of plan in place for health in retirement.

Most of the sweat from this process stems from worries about being able to have the level of income and the health to be able to enjoy your "golden years". The other sources of stress include having more free time to fill, with less money in your pocket to work with. There can be issues around self-esteem and identity that arise from no longer working. The changes to one's social status and social network also come to bear. All of these changes can contribute to adverse health consequences for the retiree.

With the exception of those who choose, or who must continue to work past the traditional vestment ages, the age of retiring has decreased by three years. Life expectancy has increased by three years, and the time for completing school has increased by two years. This increases the amount of time we can expect to be on a pension.

Studies in the United States and Britain have found that retirees have more diagnosed conditions than those who remain employed. In particular, chronic conditions, like arthritis. It especially increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. There is also a heightened incidence of diabetes, stroke, and psychiatric illness.

In some of these studies, 11% of the employed subjects had a diagnosis of chronic illness, whereas the incidence among the retired was twice as high. In some studies, severe heart and vascular disease (heart attack, stroke, etc) ran at four times greater among retirees.

The annual out of pocket expenses for retirees averaged rather high: $2,900 for those 55 to 65 years, and $4,400 for those 85 and older. There is a large spread in the amount of medical spending by this population with half spending less than $920 and 10% spending more than 4,800.

One can plan for the best possible health in retirement by first, well, having a plan at all. You can gather knowledge from the internet and other media, and utilize the expertise of the many professionals, such as financial planners, insurance agents, doctors, lawyers, and others who can help make your years more "golden".

About the Author:


Post a Comment