21 Feb 2017

Including Serious Illness in Your Retirement Plans

Including Serious Illness in Your Retirement Plans

When you’re young and healthy, you probably don’t think about serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and strokes. But studies show that nearly 40% of people will get cancer in their lifetime and the older you get, the more likely you are to get sick. This is why it’s vital that you plan for your retirement as early as possible.


According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the average cost of medication that a cancer patient requires is between $10,000 to $30,000 each month. Disability caused by a stroke or a heart attack could be just as costly.


If you don’t make plans for your retirement, you could end up with a huge financial burden in your twilight years.


Here are some tips to reflect on:


  1. You need to consider how many years you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement. That said, even if you get diagnosed with a serious disease, it’s important make sure that your plan will be able to cover you comfortably for years to come. Choosing a limited plan only causes financial problems if you outlive your life expectancy.


  1. Take into consideration the people who will be affected by your medical diagnosis, such as your children or spouse. If they won’t be able to support themselves financially by that time, then perhaps you should consider saving more for their needs.


  1. If you’re still working, have a contingency plan so you’re prepared in case you are forced to leave your job as a result of your illness. This includes collecting unemployment benefits or disability benefits from the government, working with a financial planner to have additional sources of income, among other things.


  1. Taking Social Security Benefits early is not always a good idea. Although some experts believe that taking your benefits early can help increase your income as a result of a serious ailment, it could also mean you’ll get fewer benefits later on in your life.


If you take your benefits at age 62, your Social Security benefit amount is lowered by 25%. If you take it when you’re 70, it would increase by 8%. So before you decide to take your benefits, ask yourself if it’s really necessary.


Experts say that preparing for a major illness as early as possible is the best way to secure a better retirement. This means you need to save as much as you can and find a good health insurance plan that can protect you financially if you ever face a serious illness.

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