June 29, 2022

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We’re in our 60s, my husband plans to work until he ‘drops dead’ and our medical bills are overwhelming – how can we retire like this?

2 min read

My husband works for the county making approximately $55,000 a year but before that was in retail with earnings of only about $36,000. In 1996, our daughter was diagnosed with a life threatening incurable autoimmune disease just as he had changed jobs, thus no insurance. We had to go into debt of several thousand dollars before we could get any help.

Then by the time she was 18 and got disability, I began having symptoms, diagnosed with several overlapping incurable diagnoses in my 40s. I’m now 60, my husband is 64. We live alone, own our own house which is almost paid off, have a 401(k) and two other retirement accounts but not a great deal saved considering. 

We save every penny we can but medical bills, medications never end. How can anyone prepare or save with all this going on?

My husband plans to work until he drops dead or they make him retire! What choice is there?

And to think, for about the first 15 years of our life we thought we were healthy, and then all of a sudden life for us all changed forever.

See: In debt and retired? How to pay it off – or keep it, if you can

Dear reader, 

I’m so sorry to hear of your stressful situation. You’re so right, something like a diagnosis can come about unexpectedly, when everyone thinks all is well and fine. It is wonderful to hear that you have a home you’re almost done paying off and have some retirement accounts, even if it isn’t enough for you both right now. 

The situation you’re in sounds very overwhelming, but know that you are not alone. So many Americans – especially in the last two years during the pandemic – have been thrust into a similar scenario as you, where they were making ends meet and suddenly were thrown into a tailspin because of an illness, a loved one’s illness, a lost job and so on. 

Even still, it’s possible to plan and prepare for retirement. It will take a lot of work, it may even be emotional, but it’s possible – and you can do it. 

First, just like…

2022-04-04 12:16:00

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