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Paying for health care in retirement

In retirement, an Australian couple needs from $4,700 to $9,400 a year to pay for health care , according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and the average cost of private health insurance rose 4.8 per cent in 2017, far outpacing inflation.

 

 

This high and ever-increasing cost of health care, combined with longer life spans, has elevated the need to plan for paying for doctor visits, prescriptions and other medical costs in retirement.

Vanguard’s Roadmap to Financial Security identifies health risk as one of five risks that you need to understand and evaluate when you plan for retirement. The others are:

  • Market risk
  • Longevity and mortality risk
  • Event risk, the risk that large and unexpected expenses, such as property damage, will punch a hole in retirement funds
  • Tax and policy risk, the risk that a change in a government rule or policy will affect your financial plans

Vanguard defines health risk as both the risk of needing care because of deteriorating health and the risk of not being able to afford it because of a lack of insurance coverage, government benefits, or financial resources.

Accounting for health risk is complicated because it encompasses so many uncertainties. Retirement may be many years in the future, outlays vary wildly depending on the length and type of care, and few people can predict how aging will affect their health.

In addition, health risk is intertwined with other risks. Women, for example, face greater longevity risk, but that makes them more likely to require more expensive care in later years. Australia’s aging population may put pressure on government budgets, potentially changing health-care and other funding.

If you are approaching or in retirement, start by calculating your risk in three areas:

  • Overall health. Assessing your current health is a good starting point. If you have good health, you may not need to worry as much about higher costs in retirement. But if you have a chronic illness or know you will have to take a certain medication for the rest of your life, tally up your out-of-pocket expenditures to estimate potential retirement costs. You should also take lifestyle and genetics into account.
     
  • Available coverage. Establishing the level of coverage provided by Medicare and other sources can help clarify which types and what portion of expenses will have to be paid from other assets or private insurance.
     
  • Level of desired care. Consider what kind of care you want and determine how to pay for it. You may choose private insurance, for example, if it offers access to preferred doctors. The level of care you desire can increase or decrease total health-care costs and the amount of assets needed to pay for them. After you take these the factors into account, you can better estimate overall health risk and decide how to cover it. You can then match resources such as personal assets in a contingency reserve, public coverage, insurance, or any combination of the three to your needs.
     

Written by Robin Bowerman, Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.
18 March 2019
 


Sam El Shammaa

Sam El Shammaa

Director/Financial Planner

For more than 20 years, Sam has been a financial planner helping individuals and families achieve their financial planning goals, by providing advice on Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning; and Estate Planning. Working with a network of highly skilled professionals in Sydney he is dedicated to providing high-quality advice and integrated wealth management solutions that simplify and enhance the quality of his clients' lives.

Sam established his own firm in 1997 and has overseen its steady development and growth. Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are symbols of his appreciation by his clients. He has built long-term relationships with his growing client base and aims to provide excellent customer service.

Sam began his financial planning career in 1993 after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991. Since this time he has accumulated many professional qualifications such as:

Sam has volunteered with the Cancer Council of NSW and can be seen almost every year volunteering or participating in the 7 bridges walk.

Away from the business, he enjoys spending weekends with his son. He is also a football (soccer) tragic and is a massive Chelsea FC fan.



George Pereira

George Pereira

Financial Planner

Having worked for national financial planning companies in the past, George has extensive experience in the provision of advice in risk insurance, investments and retirement planning and is focused on forming long-term relationships with his clients.

George has been awarded a Masters of Commerce (Financial Planning) and a Bachelor of Commerce through University of Western Sydney as well as having the Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning).


Jane Lim

Jane Lim

Financial Planner

Jane Lim is a friendly character with a bubbly personality. She has the unique ability of making complex information sound simple and easy to digest.

Jane entered the financial services industry in 2006, and worked with big blue-chip financial companies such as Count Financial Limited and AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd.

She holds a Master's degree in Applied Finance through Macquarie University, and she is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Being a self-confessed "tennis nut", Jane spends many weeknights in the tennis court, and is a frequent member of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Tennis Competition.

Being a highly motivated professional, Jane is always eager to help her clients on a wide range of financial planning needs.

Paul Jayashekar

Paul Jayashekar

Financial Planner

Paul has been a financial planner for over 15 years helping individuals and families successfully achieve their financial planning goals. He is very focused on building successful long-term harmonious relationships with his clients.

He provides a holistic approach on various aspects of financial advice encompassing areas such as Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning and has extensive experience and knowledge in these fields.

Paul's professional qualifications are:

Away from his professional life, he enjoys spending his time with his family doing various activities such as coaching his son and taking him to games. He is a very avid sports fan and a cricket enthusiast.

Christian Tanadinata

Christian Tanadinata

Client Services Manager

Christian joined Capitalwise as Client Services Manager, with backgrounds in both customer service and administration.

Christian is passionate in providing excellent customer service by being attentive to client’s need as well as being able to circumnavigate challenges.

He holds a Master's degree in Commerce specialising in Marketing through the University of New South Wales.

Volunteering is one of his delights in life, where he had spent time being involved with the Centre for Volunteering, St Vincent de Paul's Society, and Sculpture by the Sea in a variety of positions.

Jenny Zhou

Jenny Zhou

Administration Assistant

Jenny is a University of New South Wales graduate who joined the team as an Administration Assistant. She is keen to put her customer service and organisational skills to use, making sure day to day operations run as smoothly as possible.

Outside of work, Jenny focuses her efforts on karate and ice hockey. She can often be found coaching and practicing karate at her alma mater. The rest of her time is spent at one of Sydney’s many ice rinks playing, practicing, or officiating ice hockey.

In order to better serve you, please select the appropriate contact details for the department you are looking for below.

Department Phone Email
Financial Planning (02) 8599 0835 (Option 1) info@capitalwise.com.au
Accounting (02) 8599 0835 (Option 2) accounting@capitalwise.com.au
Conveyancing (02) 8599 0835 (Option 3) conveyancing@capitalwise.com.au