A married couple may need $163,000 to $387,000 to manage health care costs after retiring, said Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. But Carolyn McClanahan of Life Planning Partners said such numbers may deny the medical realities facing most retirees. Instead of focusing on savings, she suggests having a "focus on quality of life" and letting family members and health care providers know the level of care a client desires. "You have to decide what an acceptable lifestyle is for you, and how much you want to go through," she said.

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