60% of Americans 50 and older have tried to avoid or minimize healthcare costs

A majority of Americans concerned about healthcare costs in retirement have taken steps to avoid or minimize their current medical expenses, a survey from the Nationwide Retirement Institute found.

The healthcare and long-term care survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide from Feb. 5 through Feb. 22. It included 1,007 adults ages 50 and older whose household income is at least $150,000, as well as 522 U.S. adults ages 50 and older who provide or used to provide long-term care to a friend or family member.

Five survey findings:

1. Respondents are dealing with myriad healthcare costs in retirement. They estimated $8,800 in annual healthcare costs in retirement for themselves and $14,000 in retirement for their partners.

2. A majority of respondents (60 percent) are concerned about how medical expenses may disturb their retirement plans, and 73 percent said potentially out-of-control healthcare costs are among their top retirement concerns.

3. Many respondents lack confidence in their knowledge of Medicare, the survey revealed. Seventy-two percent said they wish they better understood coverage under the program. Forty percent are somewhat or not at all confident about how they expect to pay for medical expenses not covered by Medicare, and 56 percent are very or somewhat concerned about their ability to pay for unplanned healthcare costs in retirement.

4. Respondents said $5,174 is the most they could afford, on average, for unplanned healthcare costs right now.

5. Sixty percent of respondents have tried to minimize or avoid medical expenses, the survey found. Seven percent have delayed treatment when they were sick, while 6 percent have skipped routine/preventive screenings.

Read more about the findings here.



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