When retirement is looming, it is necessary to begin to think about healthcare costs and how they will be covered when you are no longer working. Hearing healthcare is a part of those healthcare costs, and must be factored into the equation. An American couple retiring in 2018 may expect a little more than $400,000 of medically related costs during retirement, according to estimates from HealthView Insights. Approximately 4% of those costs will be out of pocket, with most of it covered by insurance or Medicare.
Your actual expenses may be a little different, depending on who you are and where you live. What is certain is that healthcare costs will likely be a substantial portion of your total budget. Living expenses such as rent or mortgage will probably be the biggest expense, and your medical and healthcare costs will probably be in second place. Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and if you use Medicare there may be significant out-of-pocket expenses as well, such as hearing aids.
Preparing for Retirement
While you are still working, there things that can be done in preparation of retirement healthcare costs, and these things can be done while you are still at work. If you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) already set up when you are working, you can use before-tax money for all of your healthcare costs for that year, and go ahead and purchase uncovered items (like those hearing aids!). Some businesses also contribute to FSA accounts for their employees, which can increase balance you have to spend on these medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
If you aren’t still at work, you can still simplify your budgeting by setting funds aside in another account so it will be ready for medical expenses when needed. The typical 65 year-old American couple spends approximately $950 monthly in medical expenses, which usually increases as they age.
Stay Healthy and Prevent Problems!
Of course, the healthier you are, the less likely you will need excessive medical care, so making overall health a top priority is key to saving money in the long run as well to prevent serious disease. A preventative attitude towards disease can significantly decrease healthcare costs in retirement.
If you eat well (whole, real foods with as little processed foods as possible), you are at a healthy weight, you exercise regularly and you don’t smoke, you are more likely to stay healthy, happy and strong well into your later years. All of these factors can help to improve hearing health and prevent damage in the long run as well.
Regular movement increases blood circulation to every area of your body. Even if you only walk around the block a couple of times per day. Better circulation is vital to every organ in your body, including your ears! The inner ear contains delicate hair cells that assist your brain in translating meaningful sound. Those inner ear cells are highly dependent on good blood circulation for healthy function—and exercise accomplishes that!
Retirement is a time most people look forward to, so they can enjoy more of the activities that they love. Some of those activities are noisy, however! Always make sure to wear suitable protection for your ears, like ear plugs, when you encounter a loud setting, like at a sporting event, concert or fireworks.
Take your Hearing Health Seriously!
Since hearing loss affects many Americans over 65 to some degree, regular hearing screenings are important to catch any hearing damage early to stop it and prevent future damage. Often hearing aids or other measures can accomplish this.
It is important to catch hearing loss early and do something about it. Hearing loss can worsen if left untreated, which may cause more severe problems like dementia, anxiety and depression later.
The good news is that an annual hearing screening is simple and quick, and might save you a lot of worry later on!
Make a commitment today to improve your overall health by cleaning up your diet and being more active every day, and schedule a hearing screening now if you haven’t had one in the past year.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.