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Healthcare advice to share with clients retiring early


 How financial advisors can help clients manage expenses in early retirement

Through inheritance, sale of a business or just old-fashioned careful financial planning, some Americans are in a position where they're giving serious consideration to retiring before Social Security benefits are typically taken and most people are eligible for Medicare at age 65.

However, most clients retiring before age 65 won’t be eligible for Medicare, and a key factor in decision-making will be how to handle healthcare costs and coverage in the gap years.

In Bernard Health’s webinar, “Early Retirement: Healthcare Do’s and Don’ts,’ we covered how financial advisors can help clients through this transition. Click here for the webinar recording or read on for more tips.

Here are three healthcare “do’s” for retiring early:

Do: Get the timing right

Once a client retires, they are no longer covered by their employer’s plan, unless they elect continued coverage through COBRA. Clients have 60 days to make a decision.

Do: Evaluate all options

Clients have more options than just COBRA. Other options include a spouse’s plan, the public marketplace, or private, off-marketplace coverage.

Do: Consider total healthcare costs between retirement and Medicare

These costs can range from $30,000 too $100,000. Clients can lower expenses by considering private coverage, evaluating high deductible plans, or enrolling in an HSA-based plan.

Here are three healthcare “don’ts” for retiring early:

Don’t: Assume COBRA is the best option or only option

COBRA can be very expensive. It’s the same price as the client’s employer coverage, without the employer’s contribution.

Don’t: Forget to consider health status when evaluating plans

Preexisting conditions can affect private options.

Don’t: Forget to consider dependents

Dependents have the same options as your clients, including COBRA, the other parent’s plan, private and public options, but dependents do not have to make the same decision as your client. In fact, it often makes more sense for them to have separate coverage.

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