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The amount of money retirees need to set aside for medical expenses dropped 8 percent this year, though the dollar figures are still considerable. 

According to new data from Fidelity Investments, a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2013 will need $220,000 to cover medical expenses throughout retirement compared to $240,000 last year. The study assumes a life expectancy of 85 for women and 82 for men.

The estimate decreased in 2013 because of lower-than-expected Medicare spending in recent years, as well as a reduction in projected Medicare spending in the near future.

The decrease is significant since Fidelity’s estimates had increased 6 percent per year, on average, between 2002 and 2012. The estimate decreased only once before in 2011 due to changes in the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, which have reduced seniors’ out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs.

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