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Why You Will Spend Crazy Money on Health Care When You Retire

You may have read some of the most recent estimates of what Americans will spend for health a decade from now, more than $4 trillion, and not give it much thought, considering it's a projection. Some real-time numbers reported by Fidelity Investments earlier this week might change your mind, however.

Fidelity estimates the average baby boomer couple retiring this year will need $215,000 to pay for their medical and surgical expenses as well as prescription drugs for the remainder of their lives. This latest figure represents a 7.5 percent increase over the company's 2006 estimate, alarming by itself but not as high as the 8.6 percent rise reported in 2005.

This new estimate, almost equally divided between doctors' visits, outpatient hospital visits, prescription drugs and Medicare co-payments and deductables, doesn't include dental care, over-the-counter drugs and long-term care. Even worse, the average 65-year-old worker making $60,000 annually and expecting to retire by year's end should expect to lose half of his or her pretax Social Security benefit due to medical expenses, according to Fidelity estimates.

It's NEVER too late to beat those gloomy odds and optimize your health so you can stay far away from the best disease-care system in the world designed to extract the most dollars while creating the illusion of speedy "cures" to your health problems.

Taking better responsibility for your own health, by eating foods your body burns best according to its unique nutritional type and incorporating exercise into your daily routine, will go far toward eliminating them.

Houston Chronicle March 27, 2007

Forbes.com March 27, 2007