Women worry most about healthcare costs

Oct 16th, 2019 | By | Category: Personal Finance/Consumers

Large numbers of Americans 60 and older are concerned that healthcare costs prescription drug costs are outpacing retirement savings—something women worry about more than men, according to a new survey by the National Council on Aging  (NCOA) on financial-related issues.

“All too often, older women are feeling the very real consequences of the income gap during retirement. After careers of earning less than their male counterparts, women are more likely to face financial insecurity, and this survey shows widespread concern among women, far more than men,” said Anna Maria Chávez, NCOA’s executive vice president.

The survey of 1,227 60-plus adults last spring found the rising cost of healthcare and prescription drugs and losing their independence are the top concerns of older adults and a direct threat to a secure retirement. Specifically:

  • 60 percent of women are worried healthcare costs will exceed retirement income. That concern is shared by 56 percent regardless of gender, and the majority of them have household incomes under $50,000.
  • 46 percent of women are worried that prescription medicine costs will exceed retirement income.
  • About half of the survey participants are worried about outliving their savings.

“Every day, 10,000 people in America turn 65, and nearly half of our population is already over the age of 60,” said Chávez, adding that NCOA is working with government policymakers “to help address these concerns head-on for a growing population of older adults across the country.”

“Our recent NCOA/Ipsos survey of older Americans finds that most people 60 and older report being pretty happy with their current lives,” reports Annie Weber, senior vice president of Ipsos, a market research firm. “That is despite majorities of this group reporting worry about their physical health and their healthcare costs exceeding their savings.”

The survey, conducted for NCOA by Ipsos, also found that most older adults are happy with their lives despite concerns about healthcare costs and their physical health.