Weekend Reading: What is a Retiree's Biggest Fear?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

While you might expect the universal retirement fear to be running out of money, it goes beyond dollars to declining health; specifically, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.


Startling statistics: Whether getting Alzheimer’s disease or having to care for a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease, retirees have a growing fear they will not be able to enjoy the chapter of life they worked so hard for. Today’s statistics report that one in three seniors will pass away with Alzheimer’s or another cognitive disease, and with no real cure, those are startling numbers.

Evaluating expenses: An Alzheimer’s diagnosis could not only affect living out the ideal retirement you dream of, but it can also have a significant impact on your retirement savings from a health expense perspective. As of 2019, the average lifetime care cost for an individual with dementia was $357,297, and without a long-term care plan or insurance, that cost could be detrimental.

Proactive planning: If an Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disease diagnosis is a concern for you or your loved one, being proactive as soon as possible is key. This includes meeting with family members or other individuals who would be affected, as well as considering long-term care costs such as medical treatment, safety-related expenses, prescription drugs, etc. Above all, taking action now will help combat the worry of what could come in the future.

Make note: There’s probably more you could do to insulate yourself and your family from the risks of cognitive disease. I learned a great deal on this topic from past podcast guest, Linda Fodrini-Johnson. Check out Episode #273 if you want to dive deeper.