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Retirement should be the “Golden Age,” but to many the sparkle of carefree living is more than a bit tarnished.
According to the Huffington Post, “Couples retiring this year can expect their medical bills throughout retirement to cost 4 percent more than those who retired a year ago,” in Fidelity Investment’s annual projections.  The same report indicates new retirees will need an estimated $240,000 to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses and prescriptions. 1

Healthcare reform laws have helped lower increases in U.S. health costs by offering:Rising Cost of Healthcare Adds Debt for Retirees

  • Inexpensive retail health clinics
  • Lower costs for drugs and supplies
  • Published pricing by hospitals under state law
  •  “Even with these reforms, healthcare costs are expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013,” according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual report on medical cost trends. 2

As expenses continue to rise faster than personal income, many retirees are burdened with huge unanticipated debt. It quickly becomes financially catastrophic.

Harassing telephone calls from bill collectors then add a great deal of stress on top of already fragile situations retirees face with major health concerns.  Some may have to consider bankruptcy to unburden the debts that cannot be paid.

More than half of all bankruptcy filers are elderly with serious health problems.3  If you or someone you know is retired confronting major medical expenses and mounting debts, credit counseling and bankruptcy are viable options.

Robert J. Bigge, Jr., Esq.

(Sources:  1 “Health Care Costs Rise…” by Mark Jewell, The Huffington Post, May 9, 2012; 2 “Pace of Rising Health Costs may slow for U.S, Study Says,” by Alex Wayne, BloombergBusiness May 31, 2012; “The Fragile Middle Class,” Americans in Debt,” by Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School and Smith Business Solutions cited in