Medical expenses at retirement can be unpredictable and require adequate planning so that you are not caught off guard. With old age comes a weaker immune system, increased susceptibility to diseases and in some instances complicated health conditions that may sometimes cost a fortune to manage. While the total cost of medical expenses in your old age is unpredictable, what is predictable is that the expenses will definitely be higher. As such, everyone needs to find a buffer against these expenses.
There are a few ways of preparing yourself. First and foremost, save when you are still earning an income. You can easily do this by joining a retirement scheme in your working days and contributing regularly helping your savings to grow. In fact, some retirement schemes in Kenya have a provision of post-retirement medical cover savings. These schemes allow a member to contribute an additional amount to their normal pension contributions dedicated to medical expenses after they retire. The additional savings are invested in the same way as your retirement portion and garner the same rate of return. The retirement portion of your contributions can then be utilized for your pension whilst the medical portion is used to purchase a medical cover from a medical insurance provider once you retire.
With savings comes the phenomenon of interest. Of course, you will want to save your money with an institution or scheme that offers you an attractive return. This way, your savings are not just an investment in your future.
The second way is to simply take care of your health now. Often, medical insurance at older ages does not cover all conditions and sicknesses. Additionally, the premiums even for more common diseases are higher. Medical insurances may also limit the hospitals and doctors you can visit. To avoid spending a lot of your retirement benefits on medical expenses, it is imperative that you look after yourself properly during your productive years.
To reduce the level of stress associated with seeking medical care, take care of yourself now. Listen to your body, eat well, exercise and if you have a pre-existing condition, follow the advice of your doctor. This may mean a marginal increase in your spending on healthier foods and gym subscriptions for those in urban areas and lack exercising space. However, taking care of yourself is an investment that will pay off.
A healthier lifestyle may mean a longer life expectancy. This equates to more years in retirement and requires planning. All in all, the best plan of action is to save as much as possible and live as healthy a lifestyle as possible
Other ways to prevent your hospital bills from making you more ill include getting a long-term health insurance plan while still in your most productive years and creating an emergency fund for unforeseen needs such as medical expenses. You should also take advantage of the tax benefits associated with saving in a retirement scheme and save for your medical needs in retirement at the same time. It is also important to also consider your family when planning. You may have a partner who has a lifelong condition or whose savings are not sufficient to cater for their own health expenses.