The Stock Market Is Up…But

The S&P 500 is up by over 25% through 2013, and is forecast to be moderately higher in 2014. Impressive by any measuring stick. Mr Benanke has guided a recovery with great creativity and skill, if you use the stock market as the way to determine success.  Financial advisers are out in force, as a skeptical public begrudgingly have “thrown in the towel” in the chase for superior returns.  What these advisers should be telling you, but probably aren’t, is that if you get sick, and have saved on premium in order to invest, then you have made only one person better off: your adviser.  If this is you, then there is one simple piece of practical advice: get a new adviser, and use this question as the “litmus test” when interviewing new ones.

UPDATE: If you think that I am kidding, read this article, posted on May 22, 2014. Bottom line: advisers aren’t focused on healthcare cost planning.

Simple Math
Let’s say that you have just turned 65, and are in good health, with retirement savings.  As a result, your adviser tells you that “stocks are up, you should get in.”  As a result, you forego paying $50/month more for more comprehensive Medicare coverage.  You have, in fact, saved $600 in premium, which could be diverted to invest in the stock market.  
You Have Made an Extra….$15 AT MOST
If you took that $50 and invested it each of the first three months of this year, then you have made approximately 10% on $150 (actually, it is less than that).
Downside? Bankruptcy and Worries
There are pay for almost every conceivable scenario.  The risk/reward of saving the $50/month is hugely negative to you.  You will have untold medical expenses in an environment where the healthcare inflation easily exceeds the CPI.  You will also have the worry of the unknown, i.e. your spouse or loved one that takes care of the administration of these matters will have no idea of the extent of these expenses.
Maximize Your Medicare Can Help
Maximize Your Medicare: Understanding Medicare, Protecting Your Health, and Minimizing Costs was written so that you can make choices in an imperfect world.  Perhaps you need to accept that risk for reasons not mentioned here.  Perhaps you have more important priorities.  The book isn’t written to make that judgement for you.  It is written so that you can make that choice yourself, before the results (consequences) at made known to you after it is too late.  The example above?  This Happens.
Further information can be found on the official website: