>>IRA contributions will not be sufficient to support a retired couple and pay their health care costs>>
Not wishing to highjack the thread, but it depends on how much you have invested in your IRA. For some, these accounts WILL fund their retirement, including health care costs. I know folks with tons of money in IRA accounts because they have been contributing for YEARS.
Now having said that, I DO agree that there should be some consideration for the use of regular savings for retired folks who do not have additional pension income.
Also...I want to add that I do NOT think it is correct that folks with REQUIRED contribututions to a state retirement plan have to add in those costs annually as income (per fafsa). In some states, for example, teachers do NOT contribute to SS and instead pay into a state teachers retirement plan. This is NOT an optional thing. It is done instead of SS. BUT those teachers are required to add in their retirement "contributions". Of course if they had been contributing to SS instead they would NOT have to do this. This is not an optional retirement contribution. It is required...instead of SS.