42 Isn’t Always an Answer

After enduring the costs of life in your 20s and 30s—like frequent happy hours, impromptu weekend snowboard trips, and umpteen wedding gifts—your balance sheet may finally feel stable and mature as you enter your fifth decade. But a new and potentially large budget category is only just about to emerge for you: It’s healthcare, and its size goes up, starting now, in direct proportion to age.

According with washingtonian, most aging conditions can be prevented or even treat with healthy dietary habits by avoiding or treating overweight; Also as you age, medical costs are not an issue of “if” but “when.” Along with preventative health measures to help mitigate future health risks, you can take financial steps to make sure you have enough money in the bank to pay for healthcare.

Personal Health Spending, by Age Group, 2010

Age Amount
0 to 18 $3,628
19 to 44 $4,422
45 to 64 $8,370
65 to 84 $15,857
85 and older $34,783
All ages $7,097
Source: California Healthcare Foundation

According to Fidelity Investments, a 65-year-old retiring couple needs $220,000 in today’s dollars to cover future medical costs. That doesn’t include the cost of long-term care or any additional costs should you decide—or be forced—to retire before Medicare kicks in. This figure includes deductibles, copays, premiums for optional coverage for doctor visits and prescription drugs, out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and other common expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Separately, savings targets for women are slightly higher than for men because women live longer. The nonprofit Employee Benefits Research Institute estimates that a woman who wants to feel confident that she has stashed enough money away for healthcare expenses needs $139,000 in the bank, while a man needs $122,000.

Age-Related Healthcare Costs

Up to 40, trouble-free health is usually so commonplace that it is often taken for granted. The next decade will usher in challenges that put youth firmly in the past. Good personal habits are important at any age, but around age 40 is the turning point when a few simple but profoundly affecting behavioral decisions can make a difference over the long term and far fewer medical expenses, try out meticore supplement.

Consumers in their 40s have a choice: Spend moderately and preventively now, or risk a cascade of potentially unnerving medical expenses later. Here are some common health changes that happen in your 40s:

1. Eyes

You have changed your iPhone settings for a larger font—you’re not alone. The gradual loss of the ability to focus on near things,also known as presbyopia, starts at around age 40. It affects more people than not, including millions of people who previously had perfect vision. Any change in vision or eye condition should cue a visit with an optometrist.

Cost if addressed: Vision care and eyeglasses are expensive and frequently left out of insurance policy coverage. An annual eye exam costs between $50 and $125; glasses can cost anywhere from $15 at the drugstore to more than $1,000 for specialty frames and lenses.

Cost if ignored: Diminishing quality of life without proper eyewear. For patients who experience preventable blindness, the price is the number of years of lost income, plus the cost of medical care.

2. Bones

You really need to eat your spinach now. Preventive care, such as getting more calcium and Vitamin D along with exercise has been proven to head off many bone health issues, according to medical journals. This is especially important for women. Osteoporosis, begins in the 40s and accelerates over the next decade for females, says Dr. Davis Liu, a board-certified family physician and author of the Thrifty Patient: Vital Insider Tips for Saving Money and Staying Healthy. Bone damage is cumulative and contributing factors include smoking, heavy alcohol use, low body weight, and deficiencies in calcium and/or vitamin D. Medications may also increase the risk for bone problems, including some arthritis prescriptions. Check out the best prenatal vitamins in the market.

Cost if addressed: Nutritional supplements can cost between $5 and $15 per month, depending on doctors’ recommendations.

Cost if ignored: Osteoporosis leads to fractures, spinal curvature, and loss of mobility. Indirectly, osteoporosis can lead to early death. Risk increases with age. “Women who have an osteoporosis fracture of the hip have a one in three chance of living beyond the next 12 months, due to complications related to the injury,”  Dr. Liu said.