What Is the Distribution of Lifetime Health Care Costs from Age 65?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Health care costs loom as a major risk for retirees, with nursing home care as the real wild card.
  • A typical couple at age 65 can expect to spend over its remaining lifetime:
    • $197,000 with a 5-percent risk of exceeding $311,000, excluding nursing home care; or
    • $260,000 with a 5-percent risk of exceeding $570,000, including nursing home care.
  • Households need to figure out how to handle such risk.