Housing Trumps Health Care

June 2005
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2005, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p19
Academic Journal
The article provides information on an analysis of federal data by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research regarding the housing and medical care spending of married couples age 65 and older in the U.S. Using data from the government's 2001 Health and Retirement Study and the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey, the Center for Retirement Research found that the average older couple spends 84 percent of their after-tax household income: 29 percent of expenditures went to housing costs such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and home maintenance; 25 percent were homeowners with mortgages; 20 percent of expenditures went to health care; and food was the next highest, at around 13 percent, with clothing, transportation, entertainment, gifts, and so on coming in at 10 percent or less. Housing expenditures were even more pronounced for older unmarried people. They accounted for 39 percent of spending while health care consumed 16 percent.


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