Lots of people are talking about the state of health care in America, but are you considering all the angles? You're thinking about the political and social implications of various proposals. You're contemplating which businesses might profit from any changes.

And, since you're most likely at least a little concerned about how much health care will cost you in retirement, you're thinking about whether you're setting yourself up to have enough dollars and cents. But don't forget to ask yourself how much will be enough?

According to a recent survey by First Command Financial Services, 72% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the cost of health care in retirement. And what do they expect it to cost them? The survey pegged the average response at $33,000.

Well, $33,000 might sound like a lot to you, but these days it may only buy you a few boxes of tissues during a hospital stay. OK, I'm exaggerating -- but the folks who did the survey estimate that someone who retires at age 65 today and lives to age 100 will spend $166,000 in out-of-pocket health-care expenses.

If you find that number too big to swallow, consider that many sources expect your medical expenses to be even higher. Fidelity Investments has come up with a hefty estimate of what our health will demand of us in retirement: about $240,000 for a couple. Still don't believe it? The Employee Benefit Research Institute offers an estimate closer to $300,000. Boston College researchers have suggested that by 2030, seniors will be spending twice as large a proportion of their post-tax income on health care as they do now.

What to do
So what should you do with that information? Above all, remember to factor in health-care costs when you plan for your retirement. Be sure you're saving enough and investing effectively.

One good way to invest for and during retirement is with dividend-paying stocks. Here are some that sport yields of 2.5% or more and earnings and revenue growth rates of at least 8% over the past three years:


CAPS Rating
(out of five)

Recent Yield

EPS Growth Rate

Growth Rate

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)





Hasbro (NYSE:HAS)





General Mills (NYSE:GIS)





General Dynamics (NYSE:GD)





Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT)





Data: Motley Fool CAPS.

Learn much more about the stocks above and others from our community-based Motley Fool CAPS service.

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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of Hasbro, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. General Dynamics and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Try any of our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.