Health care, retirement and prepping for the best

Let’s say you have a good friend named Landry who tells you all the time about how much fun and freedom they’ll have in retirement. As you ride the elevator together, they remind you they have just two years, three months, four days and 15 minutes to go. But who’s counting? Landry has a pension and saved with DCP. They have an annuity through DRS. Landry’s also counting on a small inheritance from a dear relative they can’t help reminding you about. And then there’s Social Security, of course.

In anticipation, Landry put together a short list of activities they anticipate doing. They count them on their fingers for you in case you want to add them to your own retirement plan someday in the faraway future.

  • Take a month-long, all-inclusive cruise to the Caribbean
  • Buy a Class A motor coach and drive across America
  • Golf every day

Landry doesn’t golf but they tell you they’ll learn. They once read that staying active in retirement and learning something new will keep them young and vigorous. You nod in approval but inwardly you wonder if they’re being realistic. After all, Landry hasn’t been the active sort since they wrecked their knee in a bowling accident. They still have a limp. Landry sees your expression and adds that they can use a golfcart on bad days. You’re relieved when the elevator door opens and you can escape before they see you raise your eyebrows.

What Landry doesn’t know, is that paying for health care in retirement might delay or cancel some of their adventures.

How to plan for your health and avoid Landry’s sand trap

  • Don’t wait to consider your personal health situation until you start your online retirement application. Take a personal inventory of your current health. Are you fit? Are you taking medication? Do you practice selfcare? If you can make improvements to your health today, no matter how small, your retirement goals have a much better chance of becoming a reality.
  • We all know health care costs continue to rise year after year. Sometimes our copays or premiums increase along with the cost of prescription drugs. Although DRS does not provide retiree health care or have the answers you need about costs, we do have some resources that can point you in the right direction. To get started, view this Health care in retirement video. It’s a great way to orient yourself as you navigate the retirement health care landscape. Also on the DRS website, you’ll find a complete list of retirement health care resources, with links to your questions about rising costs and details about what you’ll be paying when you retire, and more.
  • If your employer participates in the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) or the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) and you qualify, you’ll be able to continue with PEBB retiree health care insurance. The Health Care Authority has all the answers to your questions about what you need to do to ensure you get coverage.

Once you take these steps and review the resources, you’ll have a starting place to help you decide what’s best for you tomorrow, beginning today while you’re still working.

Oh! And let Landry know you have some interesting information to share with them before they retire. They’ll thank you on the 18th hole.

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