pills in bottle made of dollars A primary premise of the paper, which Young said is the first Vanguard has co-authored with an outside partner, is that retirement planning professionals should think in terms of annual spending and budgeting needs for retiree health care, just as they do for areas of retiree spending. (Photo: Getty)

A recently published working paper by five economists—three of whom are staffed at Federal Reserve banks—is the latest in a growing line of academic work projecting out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement.

Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, the research shows that once households reach age 70, they will spend an average of $122,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs over their lifetime; 5 percent of households will need more than $300,000 to cover out-of-pocket costs; and 1 percent will incur more than $600,000 in costs.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.

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