New software confirms it: Getting old costs a fortune

New software is helping financial advisors advise clients on their long-term care plans. 

Experts say projections generated through new algorithms can drive home the message of healthcare costs. Raymond James, for example, is using new financial planning software developed in part by the MIT AgeLab.

Future total healthcare costs for a healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year will average $394,000 in today's dollars, according to the 2015 Retirement Healthcare Costs Data Report by health data provider HealthView Services. That's a 6.5% jump from HealthView's projections a year ago.

A couple that retires in 2025 at age 65 will need $464,000 to fund those same expenses, which include various Medicare premiums, copays and dental visits. 

The report estimates that a couple retiring today will spend 67% of their Social Security benefits on healthcare costs over their lifetimes. For a couple retiring in 10 years at age 65, medical care will eat up 90% of their Social Security income. 

Those numbers don't include long-term care, a cost most Americans vastly underestimate. A study released in October by SwissRe, a reinsurance company based in Zurich, Switzerland, shows that the average American could spend an average of six months in a long-term care facility before costs would exceed their ability to pay. Additionally, long-term care insurance is becoming more expensive and scarce as well.

“While many state that healthcare is their number one concern in retirement, a substantial gap in planning for this issue still exists,” authors of the HealthView report states.

Software calculations become tools to generate conversation. 

“Those who take action now, employ a knowledgeable advisor, and create a long-term plan to save for, manage, and reduce costs will be able to enjoy greater financial security in retirement,” the report authors wrote. 

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