When you are planning for the more active segment of your retirement years through to the end of your life you have little choice but to proceed with a good bit of speculation. It is easy to be cavalier and talk about planning for all of the eventualities of aging as though it is a simple matter of moving numbers around. But depending on where you are in your life now, how your latter years unfold, and the extent to which medical and long term costs grow, the size of your numbers may not match the size of the costs you may face.
Though you don’t have control of future health care costs, and you have finite resources and earning capabilities, there is another factor that many people overlook. If you don’t get seriously ill or need long-term care, at least not until very late in your life, your expenses will be minimal. A person who is in and out of the hospital by the age of 65 is going to be in a much different financial situation than another who stays pretty healthy through her seventies and perhaps beyond. So if you are evaluating your financial ability to meet future medical costs, it is only logical to consider your relative health. Statistics on the subject of how much you can expect your costs to be by a certain age are averages and don’t really tell the true tale.
There are those who would go to almost any lengths to earn enough money to feel financially secure, but in the process they may be internalizing stress and living a lifestyle that is inviting illness and the costs that go with it. It is a good idea to recognize the fact that you can’t control health care costs and that you have no power over the insurance companies or government mandates. But you and you alone choose your lifestyle, and the right choices may provide you more dividends than you originally thought possible.