April 24, 2015

Katy Votava Founder & President GoodCare.com

It’s estimated that 95% of seniors are paying too much for Medicare coverage. Today, men and women who retire at 65 can anticipate living another 25, 30 or even 40 years – all of those years receiving Medicare benefits and contributing to them. On this week’s WEALTHTRACK, healthcare expert Katy Votava, president of Goodcare.com and author of Making the Most of Medicare explains what you need to know to maximize those benefits and avoid overpaying.

The opinions expressed on Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK are those of the guests and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Consuelo Mack or MackTrack, Inc.

Founder and President of Goodcare.com reads the charts of costly Medicare benefits and writes a prescription for a life time of savings. Maximizing Medicare benefits is next on Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK.

Hello and welcome to this edition of WEALTHTRACK, I’m Consuelo Mack. This week on WEALTHTRACK we are focusing on maximizing Medicare benefits for you and your loved ones. It is estimated that 90-95% of Americans pay too much for Medicare coverage. We want to make sure you are not one of them.

Our mission on WEALTHTRACK from the beginning has been to help you build financial security for a lifetime. The greatest unknown, in planning for that goal, is life expectancy. Today, men and women who retire at 65 can anticipate living another 25, 30 or even 40 years, all of those years receiving Medicare benefits and contributing to them.

The life expectancy of a 65 year-old man increased two years between 2000 and 2014 alone, from 84.6 to 86.6. Longevity for a 65 year-old woman rose 2.4 years during the same period from 86.4 to 88.8.

Needless to say, every individual is different. But one thing is certain, as we age we use more healthcare services. We see more doctors and visit them more frequently. We take more medications. We undergo more procedures and frequently we need more help. Older Americans cite medical expenses as their largest expense outside of food and shelter, much higher than the general population.

This week’s guest estimates that Americans 65 and older spend an average of 13% of their after- tax income on out-of-pocket health-care expenses. At the core of those expenditures is Medicare, which is why understanding Medicare and maximizing its benefits is so important in the financial planning process, yet it is often taken for granted and overlooked.

No more. This week’s guest is Katy Votava Founder and President of GoodCare.com, a healthcare consulting firm for individuals, small businesses and financial planners. Votava is a registered nurse with a PhD in Health Economics and Nursing. She is a regular columnist for InvestmentNews, a leading publication for financial planners and the author of a new ebook, “Making the Most of MediCare, a Guide for Baby Boomers”.

I started the interview by asking Votava why it is so important to figure Medicare into retirement planning.

KATY VOTAVA: For many people, it’s going to be the largest expense they have outside of maintaining their home. And for so many people, it’s their biggest worry. So it’s like anything in life: if you plan for it, then you have a scheme of where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do, and if you don’t plan ahead, you’re going to be super-shocked on what the costs are. And people, I’ve seen people get all the way to retirement and say, “I didn’t know it was going to cost me this much,” because Medicare is not free and it doesn’t cover everything.

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