A 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 is estimated to need $240,000 to cover medical expenses throughout retirement, according to the latest retiree health care costs estimate calculated by Fidelity Investments. This represents a 4% increase from last year, when the estimate was $230,000.

For many Americans, health care likely will be among their largest expenses in retirement. The estimate, calculated by Fidelity's benefits consulting business, does not include any costs associated with nursing-home care and applies to retirees with traditional Medicare insurance coverage.

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