Retirees spent on average more than a third oftheir Social Security benefits on out-of-pocket medical costs in2014, according to a recent study. Even after factoring in othersources of income, medical spending still took a substantial 18percent bite out of seniors’ total retirement income, the studyfound.

In dollar terms, the typical retiree spent $4,274 per year onmedical costs, not including long-term care. Insurance premiumsaccounted for about two-thirds of that total, according to thestudy, published this month by the Center for Retirement Researchat Boston College.

“The premiums are huge,” said Melissa McInerney, an associateprofessor of economics at Tufts University and a study co-author,describing their importance in overall spending by retirees.

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