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On average, 10,000 baby boomers turn age 65 each day. For most people, aging brings declining health and higher health care costs. A recent Study estimated that the share of adults age 65 and older spending more than a fifth of their household income on health care—a common measure of burdensome costs—will increase from 18 percent to 35 percent by 2030. These increases make it especially tough on seniors living on a fixed income. Medicare does not cover the costs of vision or hearing care or the custodial costs of long-term care and, surprisingly, good health does not automatically translate into health care cost savings. To effectively counsel clients, therefore, advisers must be well versed in this area.
The opportunity for CPA planners, however, is not just with those clients ages 65 and over. Younger clients, still years away from Medicare eligibility and retirement, also need to plan carefully to meet these costs.
This guide is a practical resource that blends information and planning guidance by providing actual client questions and their respective responses. For example:
“I will become eligible for Medicare in a couple of months, when I turn age 65. I’ll be retiring and will lose my group health insurance coverage. My spouse is 58 and a half. I know that she will be eligible for COBRA and may remain on the group plan for 18 months. But at that time, she will be just under 60 years old. What alternatives will she have for health insurance coverage after COBRA coverage ends?”
The book also includes important planning tips that you can use in your practice right away.
In addition to an overview of Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care, the book covers:
There are many resources that provide healthcare coverage facts and advice. However, few are oriented towards professionals seeking to offer guidance to clients. This guide is a valuable tool to use in giving your clients advice on healthcare planning and how to integrate those benefits into a well-rounded retirement plan.
James Sullivan, CPA, PFS
Jim has been a personal financial planner and investment manager for almost 30 years. He spent 20 years at Arthur Andersen before beginning his own practice. His practice focuses primarily on seniors, those about to retire or already retired. His special emphasis is on planning for health care costs after age 65. He has written over 50 articles on a variety of retirement planning topics, and writes a monthly column on aging for the AICPA newsletter CPA Insider.
This guide was prepared in cooperation with the AICPA Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Division, the AICPA PFP Executive Committee Elder Planning Task Force, and the AICPA Private Company Practice Section.