Do Americans think they can afford medical bills after retirement?


Written by:

Retirement is called the golden years for a reason. After a lifetime of hard work, it’s time focus on yourself and your hobbies and passions, like making a charity calendar with your friends. But all that fun and free time comes at an expense, both physically and, well, fiscally.

So, what happens when you get injured as a retiree and need no longer have the safety net of a work-sponsored insurance? Statista rounded up data from EBRI and Greenwald & Associates survey to answer just that. Here’s how many Americans think they will be able to afford their medical bills during retirement.

Retirees' confidence in being able to pay medical expenses in retirement in the United States in 2021Photo credit:

Here’s how Americans responded to the question, “How confident are you (and your spouse) about the following aspects related to retirement? You will have enough money to take care of your medical expenses during your retirement.”

  • Very confident 32%
  • Somewhat confident: 45%
  • Not too confident: 16%
  • Not at all confident: 7%

EBRI and Greenwald & Associates conducted the survey in January 2021. They asked 1,507 adult Americans of retirement age how confident they were in their ability to pay medical bills.

Retiring with medical bills can exacerbate money flow problems you may already experience while having a fixed income during retirement. If you have medical bills before retirement, work now to eliminate as much medical debt as possible.

You may also want to keep up to date on any legislature that could affect your retirement savings, like President Joe Biden’s proposed bill that would change the retirement age from 72 to 75. Retiring later could help you work longer and therefore retire with more savings and less debt.

If you aren’t confident in your ability to pay medical bills (or any other bills) during retirement, there are steps you can take both during and after retirement to help save money and pay down debt. While many Americans plan on a 401(k) to help them pay for retirement, you may also want to work part-time after retiring to cover expenses. Many seniors are also counting on investments made before and during retirement to help ends meet.

And if you’re not yet retired, you can start creating a retirement checklist to ensure your finances are in order before you retire. Working out logistics now for things like whether you may want to downsize your home or join a luxury retirement community can help you better budget for your retirement.


This article was produced and syndicated by


Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.