Throughout retirement, the average 65-year old couple will spend about $285,000 in health care and medical expenses. One way to funds those costs is with a health savings account (HSA). However, most people who have an HSA don’t understand how their account works or the retirement benefits it provides. This gap in knowledge provides an opportunity for employers who sponsor their employee accounts to play a key role when it comes to HSA education.
To better understand how to help employees prepare for health care expenses in retirement, Optum Bank and Empower Retirement surveyed nearly 1000 commercial consumer panelists about their health care savings strategies. The findings help identify key insights into what employees need and how their employers can make a difference.
According to the research, surveyed employees have some experience in retirement investing but are poorly informed on how to save for health care. For instance, about two-thirds of those surveyed are managing some or all of their retirement investments, but less than a quarter have separate funds set aside for health care expenses. More than a third of employees are not even aware of how much money they will need for health care in retirement.
In addition to lacking awareness of health care expenses in retirement, the research found that surveyed employees are missing out on the benefits of an HSA, in part, because they lack an understanding of the advantages. The survey found that the majority of employees are saving or planning for retirement in multiple types of accounts, predominantly in 401(k) and personal savings accounts. But of the nearly half who currently have or have had an HSA, less than a quarter say they are using an HSA to save for retirement.
Finally, the research shows that employers can play a vital role in helping workers save for health care in retirement, but they need to know their audiences. After the internet, respondents say their employer is the most trusted source to learn about saving for health care expenses. Respondents also say they are open to learning about investing from different sources, including email from a bank or trusted source, a webinar, one-on-one counseling, in-person advice and podcasts.
These results show that multiple communication channels are needed to ensure that all ages are hearing advice. For instance, employees who are closest to retirement would like investing information to come from traditional or professional sources. Younger consumers are more open to receiving information online including a video or webcast that is between 11-20 minutes.
You can read more from complete whitepaper here: https://optum.co/dgzra
About the authors
General Manager, Health Accounts, Optum Financial Services
Paul Leary is the general manager of health accounts for Optum Financial Services (OFS). In this capacity, his primary responsibilities include growth of the financial accounts business, as well as product innovation. Paul has over 25 years of financial services experience and holds his BSBA from Emmanuel College.
Vice President, Optum Financial Services
Barb Page is the vice president of marketing for Optum Financial Services (OFS). In this role, Barb is responsible for the marketing strategy and execution for OFS and Optum Bank. She brings over 30 years of financial services experience and health care expertise to the marketing arena for Optum. Barb has a master’s degree in business communications and a master of science degree in health care leadership.
Director of Thought Leadership, Empower Retirement
Sasha Franger is the director of thought leadership at Empower Retirement. In her role, Sasha leads the strategy and execution of thought-provoking and original commentary for advisors, consultants and plan sponsors to help drive conversations around retirement. Sasha earned an undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in political science from Michigan State University. She holds the following qualifications: FINRA Series 7*; State Securities Series 63.
*Registered as Series 6 to coincide with sponsoring broker dealer’s registration
About Optum Bank
Optum Bank is advancing the way we save and pay for qualified medical expenses, connecting the worlds of health and finances in ways that no one else can. Optum Bank is the No. 1 provider of health savings accounts (HSAs), managing 4 million HSA member accounts and over $10 billion in assets. By developing proprietary technology and applying advanced analytics in new ways, Optum Bank helps reduce costs while guiding people to the right care. Optum Bank, Member FDIC, is solely dedicated to health care banking with more than 10 years of experience managing health savings accounts. Health care and finance is in our DNA.
Investments are not FDIC insured, are not guaranteed by Optum Bank®, and may lose value.