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5 key retiree health care trends

Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

5 key retiree health care trends
The current annual projection for retiree health care spending over the next 20 years stands at 4.2%, according to this Q&A from Morningstar. This is higher than general inflation, said Mark Miller, a contributor who sat down with Christine Benz, director of personal finance at the financial publisher, for a videotaped discussion. Costs are moderating, however, due to more generic drugs coming into the market, he said. "Another general good news point I would make about the cost of health care in retirement is that much of it is insured costs, not all, but a lot of it is covered under Medicare which has the effect of making these costs more predictable and smoother, which is what insurance does." Another trend they discuss is the level of Social Security income expected to be consumed by health care expenses: 48%, according to one study. Also, assisted-living increased 7%, according to another study, triple the rate of inflation.

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Dr. James Eason, chief of transplantation at Methodist University Hospital, speaks with R.N. Abbie Peters in the hospital's transplant ward in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. Photographer: Lance Murphey/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** James Eason

Getting divorced? Here's how your retirement security could be affected
Couples could put their retirement security at risk if they decide to file a divorce, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. Aside from long-term costs of maintaining two households, legal fees and other related expenses, they could also face an increase in taxes. Higher-earning spouses will be subject to a higher tax rate than when they filed a joint return with their lower-earning spouse. Spouses who want to protect their retirement after a divorce should remain married for at least 10 years, negotiate the terms out-of-court, and adjust their lifestyle to free more money to save.

Most Americans aren't saving nearly enough for retirement
A survey by GoBankingRates has found that Americans wanted to end up having $100,000 to $250,000 by the time they retire, according to this article on CNBC. However, the amount would not be enough. "That seems like a lot of money but if you think how long retirement is — we're talking two decades for many people — $100,000 is not going to go very far," says a columnist for GOBankingRates.

Planning for the future: Four changing retirement trends
Clients who are preparing for retirement should understand recent changes that can affect their future prospects, writes Greg Herlean for Forbes. These changes include the loss of pension programs, current state of company 401(k)s, uncertainty of Social Security and the country's debt, writes the expert. "Understanding these major changes ... can help you create awareness and develop your plans for a comfortable retirement."

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