As many women in our community know, living on Social Security alone is no picnic. You have to keep a roof over your head, food on the table and clothes on your back. But, as necessary as they are, these aren’t the costs that most of us should fear as we get a little older.

No, the simple truth is that there is one cost that is already eating up the lion’s share of our Social Security checks. That cost is health care. And, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation (KKF), the situation is about to get even worse for many older adults.

According to the KKF, in 2013, the average amount that Medicare recipients spent on health care was 41% of the average Social Security check. This number was even higher for women.

 
 

The bad news doesn’t stop there though. According to the same organization, by 2030, the average amount that Medicare recipients will spend on health care will equal 50% of their Social Security check.

Think about it. This means that, just as our generation is reaching its 80s and 90s, we will be spending fully half of our Social Security check just on staying alive!

Whose Problem is this Anyway?

When faced with these numbers, some people will immediately say that the government should do more to help older adults who are struggling to live on Social Security.

Others will point to our previous unhealthy lifestyle choices and say that it shouldn’t be up to the younger generations to pay for our “mistakes.”

The truth is, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, there is only one person that you can truly count on… the person who stares back at you from the mirror every morning.

Is it possible that the government will pass a new law that protects us from rising health care costs? Yes, but, it’s pretty unlikely. Is it possible that, seeing our plight, they will raise our Social Security benefits? Perhaps, but, then again, it’s also possible that aliens will visit us, bringing with them a magical potion that helps us to live forever in perfect health. I just wouldn’t count on either scenario!

What Can We Do to Take Back Control?

I read a terrifying statistic the other day. Did you know that only 1% of stroke victims improve their health after they recover? 1%! This means that, even with the greatest possible motivation, we just can’t get our butts in gear!

If we want to reduce our health care costs, now and in the future, we need to take control. We need to quit the habits that we know are killing us. And, we need to adopt the habits that could save our lives.

To kick things off, I wanted to share a few articles that we have written on these topics. I hope that they help you to find the health and happiness that you deserve. And, if, along the way, you reduce your health care costs, so much the better!

Here are the articles:

These Bad Habits Will Kill Your Healthy Aging Prospects

The Dangers of Sitting in Your 60s: Is Your Comfy Chair Killing You Softly?

Healthy Aging Tips: How Your Humble Egg Timer Could Save Your Life

I don’t know about you, but, I personally find the idea of spending 50% of my Social Security check on health care about as appealing as swimming with sharks.

So, let’s all make a commitment today to not becoming statistics. Let’s get our bodies in gear and prepare for many years of health and happiness ahead.

Does it surprise you that many of us spend 41% of our Social Security check on health care? What are you doing to embrace healthy living so that you can get the most from life after 60? Let’s have a conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!