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Originally published August 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified August 26, 2007 at 2:05 AM

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Financial housekeeping

Include health-care costs in retirement planning

With employer-sponsored retiree health insurance looking increasingly unsure for many Americans, consumers are increasingly responsible...

Syndicated Columnist

With employer-sponsored retiree health insurance looking increasingly unsure for many Americans, consumers are increasingly responsible for paying for their own health care, nursing care, prescription drugs and health insurance in retirement.

That being the case, health-care costs should be factored into retirement planning and savings. A recent study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute calculated that, assuming Medicare benefits remain at current levels, couples will need about $300,000 to $500,000 to cover health expenses in retirement. Most Americans believe they will need less than half that amount.

At www.maturemarketinstitute.com, a Web site run by MetLife, consumers can examine a publication called "Retirement Planning, Healthcare Considerations," that will help them shape their financial planning to include rising health costs as part of their retirement.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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