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Gaby Del Valle, The Outline:

For the past 16 years, the investment advice firm Fidelity Investments has released an annual estimate of healthcare costs for retirees. The company has an obvious motivation for doing this, aside from reminding you how little money you have saved up for the future: They want you to use their investment services. Regardless of Fidelity’s intentions, this year’s report found that a 65-year-old couple retiring this year should have $280,000 saved up to cover the costs of medical expenses “throughout retirement,” i.e., until they croak. In 2002, the first year Fidelity did such a report, that figure was $160,000.

Sure, the point of this is to scare you into getting retirement insurance, but it’s also a reminder that healthcare costs in the United States are absurdly high. Americans spend nearly twice as much on healthcare as people in other advanced industrialized countries, according to a 2016 study published in Health Affairs. This doesn’t mean that healthcare here is any better – it’s just more expensive.

Paul Ciano

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