Seniors’ Health is Critical to Retirement Readiness, Preserving ‘Nest Eggs’

Healthcare costs and spending are expected to balloon in the coming years, and some retirees are looking to hold on to their nest eggs by staying healthy so they won’t be bankrupted by expensive medical conditions. 

Between 2010 and 2020, the nation’s annual health spending is anticipated to outpace average annual growth in the overall economy; by 2020, the National Health Expenditure (NHE) is projected to reach $4.6 trillion—nearly 20% of the GDP. 

That’s why some seniors, like one profiled in a recent The Herald article, are working out regularly as they try to stay healthy and curb healthcare costs. 


“The financial burden is highest for beneficiaries who are older, in relatively poor health, and have low or modest incomes,” said council spokesman Ken Schwartz.

Medicare recipients 85 and older spend an average of 30 percent of their income for out-of-pocket medical expenses, or $4,615 a year, according to an analysis on the website

“The best thing to do is keep your health,” said Jorge Salazar-Carrillo, an economics professor who directs the Center of Economic Research at Florida International University.


Seniors might end up paying more of their medical expenses, especially higher income retirees, Salazar-Carrillo said. The Medicare Trustees Report predicted recently that the program’s hospital portion will go broke in 12 years, although some experts say it could be as soon as 2016.

Others, especially baby boomers, will need to stay healthy so they can work longer and avoid retiring to allow their nest egg to keep growing, added Tony Villamil, dean of the School of Business at St. Thomas University.

“Your health is critical to postponing your retirement,” Villamil said.

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Written by Alyssa Gerace