Healthcare costs are affecting retirees—financial advisors can help

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 @ 08:04

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How to help financial advisor clients save money

Healthcare costs in retirement are a huge concern for older Americans, and financial advisors are uniquely positioned to address this area of need. According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses.

This number has been on the rise for years, which is why smart planners are increasingly building healthcare planning into their clients’ financial goals and portfolios. But aside from asset management, there are many other intersections of healthcare and finance where consulting services are sorely needed but hard to find. 

Three areas advisors may not have considered as affecting their clients’ finances are yearly Medicare costs, high-dollar medical bills, and HSAs. Planners can help clients make more informed, cost-effective and tax-advantaged choices by partnering with insurance advisors, national consulting firms, or building expertise in-house.

Providing advisory services in these areas is to the benefit of both your clients and your practice. Here are three areas you may not have considered when it comes to retirement and healthcare costs, and how you can help your clients address them.

Medicare

Your clients have the wrong Medicare strategy, and they may be wasting money or risking financial exposure as a result. There are an average of 18 different Medicare strategies, and 29 different Medicare Part D prescription drug plans per county in 2018. When your clients have this many options available to them, many of choose the wrong one.

Medical bills

Industry groups estimate up to 80 percent of medical bills contain errors. For high acuity, severe medical experiences—cancer treatment, a stroke or heart attack, life-threatening injuries—medical bills can become exorbitant. Most consumers benefit from having a liaison to advocate on their behalf between the provider and insurance companies. Bernard Health can audit medical bills, ensure charges are accurate, dispute any issues, and help your clients find the most cost-effective way to pay.

HSAs

HSAs actually provide better value than traditional retirement accounts, as HSAs give you everything an IRA gives you plus more.

With an HSA, you also can pay for medical expenses tax-free, an option not available with IRAs or other retirement accounts. If your employer allows it, you can also fund your HSA via payroll deduction which allows you to avoid FICA taxes of 7.65% in addition to income taxes. You can’t do that with an IRA.

Bernard Health’s advisors are noncomissioned, meaning our only goal is to find the right strategy for your clients. We can assist with all of the above, helping clients determine and implement the most cost-effective healthcare strategy.

To learn more about the Healthcare Extension and read additional case studies, download “Case Study: Healthcare Extension through Bernard Health.”

To speak with a Bernard Health representative about the Healthcare Extension, click below.

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Topics: Bernard Health, financial advisors, financial planner, healthcare extension, retirement, medicare costs, healthcare costs

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