Many major expenses only shrink once you retire, but health care is hardly one of them.
U.S. households led by someone who is 65 or older spend an average of $6,833 a year on health care, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data on consumer spending, which is for 2019.
That translates to 13.6% of all spending by senior households and makes health care the third-biggest spending category among those households. Only housing and transportation account for bigger shares of seniors’ spending, as we detail in “Here’s How Much Retiree Households Spend in a Year.”
By comparison, all U.S. households spend an average of $5,193 a year on health care, which translates to 8.2% of spending across all households.
Following is a detailed look at how senior households’ medical spending breaks down.