DANVERS, Mass.—Health care costs are a major expense during the Women’s Longevity Gap, the period in which a woman will need to cover expenses single-handedly after the death of a male spouse or partner, according to recent data from HealthView Services, the nation’s leading provider of health care cost projection software. The company estimates that in retirement an average, healthy 43-year-old woman will face nearly $200,000 more in health insurance premiums than her husband.
The company, which provides software for personalized health care cost projections to financial professionals, urges women and couples to start planning early to address the “longevity gap.”
HealthView Services encourages thoughtful, personalized planning for the disparities of age, income, and life expectancy that commonly exist among male/female couples. Recommendations include:
- Start saving early. It’s not unusual for a woman to outlive a male spouse by a decade or more in which she alone will need to cover additional expenses. For a couple now in their mid-forties, the woman would need to save more than her spouse to cover health care costs in retirement, but not by much: just $5,400 invested today will bridge the longevity gap.
- Make financial plans based on each spouse’s actuarial longevity and age differences; take advantage of specialized tools that deliver personal health care cost projections to inform the overall savings strategy.
- Approach retirement planning as a team sport, with a financial advisor as your coach. Factor in how one spouse’s retirement income decisions will affect the other’s income, benefits and health care expenses as a surviving spouse. Plan now – and together – to address Medicare surcharges, as well as Social Security income benefits, which will affect both spouses no matter how long they live.
“Following these steps, women and their financial advisors can mitigate – and potentially even eliminate – the longevity gap and the other challenges that are common among female retirees,” said Ron Mastrogiovanni, CEO of HealthView Services. “Financial advisors with the right tools and data at their fingertips have the power to help their female clients close that longevity gap.”