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An intro is better late than never??
Old 09-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
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An intro is better late than never??

Hi ER members,

After finding this site, I found myself bouncing around from forum to forum reading all kinds of fun, interesting and educational information. I posted a few comments here and there still haven't properly introduce myself. How rude. So here I am, with a belated intro and a little background.

I'll be 43 this year, married with a couple munchkins. Great kids. I think we've been talking about retirement since our late 20s, so I have to admit I'm a little jealous hearing from so many of you that have been able to retire early. I feel like I'm waaaaay behind. My target is age 58, but this could be moved up quite a bit if the market cooperates... we're pretty diligent savers, but we got a late start. At some point I became very interested in personal finance (not long after I realized I didn't want to work forever I think) and a few years back I decided to persue the CFP designation thinking that maybe I could learn a few things and easily recover the cost of the program over I lifetime of making some better money decisions (and fewer mistakes). It turned out to be a really good thing for me... one of the best things being the ability to share some good lessons with my kids so they can get a much earlier start than I had.

A couple other items... I'm excited to no longer be confused about dryer sheets and my favorite thread so far I think is the the battle between the annuity salesman and everyone else (maybe there are many of these but it was very entertaining). This is a great outlet and service to many people and I've already picked up lots of valuable information here. I hope I can share a few things as well that will help people get where they're going.

So here's an early retirement question for anyone who might read this... my greatest concern for ER is finding affordable health care (actually, I suppose my first concern is staying healthy). Will I be able to retire without employer coverage? I'm not sure what to budget for the two of us and I don't have much knowledge about coverage of the various individual plans. I'd hate to be stuck with something that doesn't cover us if something catestrophic occurred. Any ERs here that can share insights, typical costs for that age range (assuming good health), warnings, good jokes?

Thanks!
Matt
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum CFPMatt!

I've had exactly the same question as you. [mod edit]

I fear things will get tougher for us in ER. If you have health insurance that is portable and good, keep it! You are lucky. If you, like my family, must buy health insurance on the open market while in your mid 50s, you may be forced to buy from "high risk pools" which are different from state to state. I believe it is possible, but a little like walking through a minefield.

I still have my legs but I don't know how we'll handle this in CA in 2014 when my DW and I retire. I have several friends, who are quite healthy, and were basically denied health coverage. I suspect that most (all?) of us 50ish ER folks will be denied.

So... really good question....

- Stephen
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:50 AM   #3
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Hi Matt! I'm new on this forum and the same age as you. I also find that health insurance is an expense I'm having trouble budgeting for. I had originally thought around $500-$600/month total, but after reading many things on these forums, I'm working on recalculating this in 5 year blocks, based on age based increases. I'm using eheathinsurance.com to get estimates for various aged people. Then I'm estimating it will go up about 12%/year from the current rates, in addition to the age-based increases. For my budget, I'm using the monthly premium plus out of pocket costs (copays/deductible/etc.) plus dental and vision costs. I haven't completed this exercise yet due to w*rk getting in the way. An additional thing to consider is that if you develop a medical problem before FIRE, then when you try to get private insurance it will be more expensive due to that.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum! Presently, my family (wife, teenage son) are covered under my former employers retiree health and dental plan. We are paying $1,025/month. Plan has a $4,000 deductible and $8,000 max out of pocket. What we'll pay in 2012 is anyone's guess.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:34 AM   #5
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In regard to the health care costs question, can share a data point. I met with a gentleman a couple of weeks ago that is an independent contractor and has his own health insurance. Said he pays $250+/- month with a $10k deductible.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum CFPMatt!

I've had exactly the same question as you. [mod edit]

I fear things will get tougher for us in ER. If you have health insurance that is portable and good, keep it! You are lucky. If you, like my family, must buy health insurance on the open market while in your mid 50s, you may be forced to buy from "high risk pools" which are different from state to state. I believe it is possible, but a little like walking through a minefield.

I still have my legs but I don't know how we'll handle this in CA in 2014 when my DW and I retire. I have several friends, who are quite healthy, and were basically denied health coverage. I suspect that most (all?) of us 50ish ER folks will be denied.

So... really good question....

- Stephen
Thanks for the welcome. Boy, your response if pretty discouraging. I hope you're wrong!
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. This is all good stuff. I think I'd be happy if I could simply qualify for coverage comprehensive coverage and pay less than $1,000 per month... as long as I didn't have to keep that up for too long. Who know what Medicare will look like when I'm 65 though...
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Welcome Matt!

I'm still wo*king, so not much of a view on the cost of health care, but we plan to leave the force prior to 65 so will need it also. I'm budgeting $500/month/person as of now, but I'm fine having a very large deductible/stop loss...make it $20k if you want to...I'm more concerned about the BIG expenses.

I'd like to ask you about the CFP...I'm considering rehiring, going from a corporate finance role to being a CFP and am not quite sure how to position myself...do you do this for a living or did you just get your CFP for personal reasons? Do you think anyone would hire someone without a CFP and support them through their CFP if they only wanted to wor* part time?

P.S. I took the CFP practice exam and got 70% right without even studying, so I'm confident with a little work I can get there.

I really enjoy the numbers and working with people, helping them achieve financial goals...my biggest concern is the sales side of things...knocking on doors or cold-calling is not my cup of tea.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Dave
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
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Welcome Matt!
You been waiting long to put that one out there?
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #10
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Welcome Matt.
I know you live in Wisconsin, so this does not apply to you, but you can have a look here to see how insurance cost climbs with age:
Health Insurance rates - Kaiser Permanente HSA Individual Insurance Plans in Georgia
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Finance Dave View Post
Welcome Matt!

I'm still wo*king, so not much of a view on the cost of health care, but we plan to leave the force prior to 65 so will need it also. I'm budgeting $500/month/person as of now, but I'm fine having a very large deductible/stop loss...make it $20k if you want to...I'm more concerned about the BIG expenses.

I'd like to ask you about the CFP...I'm considering rehiring, going from a corporate finance role to being a CFP and am not quite sure how to position myself...do you do this for a living or did you just get your CFP for personal reasons? Do you think anyone would hire someone without a CFP and support them through their CFP if they only wanted to wor* part time?

P.S. I took the CFP practice exam and got 70% right without even studying, so I'm confident with a little work I can get there.

I really enjoy the numbers and working with people, helping them achieve financial goals...my biggest concern is the sales side of things...knocking on doors or cold-calling is not my cup of tea.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Dave
Finance Dave, I am in the exact same position as you are, except I just retired. I have an accounting and finance background and wanted to quit the big stress megacorp job and test the waters (maybe just part time) working in the financial planning world. I've been looking into it, but it seems like many of these jobs are sales jobs with cold calls and quotas. Not my cup of tea either. I really thought that with my background and knowledge of the finance/business world, I could find something fun in financial planning. I'm not sure now, especially part time. So much of the work is done with software, except the people realtions part, and that is sales. Doing anything that would relate to insurnace sales would be the last thing I would want to do. It will be interesting if anyone can provide info.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #12
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Welcome from another CFP! Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed the educational aspects of the program and how it helps me to make fewer mistakes with my own finances. And like you, my favorite threads are the annuity salesmen shark attacks.

Finance Dave, my CFP program was paid for by my employer, where I also did my apprenticeship. It may be hard to find ready-made jobs in financial planning that don't involve sales of some kind, but you will probably just have to network a bit more on the front end. My boss got his start in insurance sales, then bought an independent practice in wealth consulting.

Matt, I wish I had a crystal ball on the health insurance for my DH and I. It is one of those things I can't budget or control, so it is just kinda out there in my retirement planning at this point, to be honest. We don't have kids, though, and our footprint in retirement is going to be small, so I try not to sweat it too much at this point.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #13
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Welcome Matt!

I'm still wo*king, so not much of a view on the cost of health care, but we plan to leave the force prior to 65 so will need it also. I'm budgeting $500/month/person as of now, but I'm fine having a very large deductible/stop loss...make it $20k if you want to...I'm more concerned about the BIG expenses.

I'd like to ask you about the CFP...I'm considering rehiring, going from a corporate finance role to being a CFP and am not quite sure how to position myself...do you do this for a living or did you just get your CFP for personal reasons? Do you think anyone would hire someone without a CFP and support them through their CFP if they only wanted to wor* part time?

P.S. I took the CFP practice exam and got 70% right without even studying, so I'm confident with a little work I can get there.

I really enjoy the numbers and working with people, helping them achieve financial goals...my biggest concern is the sales side of things...knocking on doors or cold-calling is not my cup of tea.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Dave
Agreed about the health insurance... We won't RE if we can't afford the small stuff, but the catastrophic issues are the risks that could get us into trouble without the right coverage. It seems like that type of policy should be affordable as long as one of us doesn't have a heart attack first!

Yes, I was fortunate to stumble into a financial planning opportunity about half way through my CFP program. I wasn't looking for it b/c honestly I didn't think anyone would hire me without the CFP first. Like you, I'm not a sales guy. In fact, I had been interested in investments and personal finance for a long time but never persued it as a career b/c I figured I'd have to call all my friends and family and try to sell them all something... and then spend the next 5 years trying to build a business through sales. I ended up meeting a CPA/CFP who started an accounting firm and then began offering fee-only financial planning to his tax clients... smart. He had been looking for someone that hadn't been tarnished by a sales background to transition his business to so he could eventually retire. We met and agreed it was a perfect fit. Talk about lucky for me. So, to answer your question, yes I think there is the possibility that you could find what you're looking for but the opportunities for this type of arrangement appear to be limited. Most every organization that I know of has a sales element. I would suggest talking to accounting firms that also do financial planning or even those that don't have financial planning b/c it's possibly something they've thought about adding as a service. Another thought is to talk to investment management companies. It seems like more and more portfolio managers are looking to offer financial planning so they can provide a more wholistic service to their investment clients. It would be the sort of position where you'd work with a team to make sure that all financial planning elements are being addressed with the client (not just investment management). Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:19 PM   #14
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Welcome Matt.
I know you live in Wisconsin, so this does not apply to you, but you can have a look here to see how insurance cost climbs with age:
Health Insurance rates - Kaiser Permanente HSA Individual Insurance Plans in Georgia

Thanks, sailor. that's a useful link. It looks like I could be looking at $600 - $700 per month for me and the Mrs... I'm sure there is plenty of small print but I'm starting to get a better sense for budgeting. I should be able to find a similar chart here in WI.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Welcome from another CFP! Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed the educational aspects of the program and how it helps me to make fewer mistakes with my own finances. And like you, my favorite threads are the annuity salesmen shark attacks.

Finance Dave, my CFP program was paid for by my employer, where I also did my apprenticeship. It may be hard to find ready-made jobs in financial planning that don't involve sales of some kind, but you will probably just have to network a bit more on the front end. My boss got his start in insurance sales, then bought an independent practice in wealth consulting.

Matt, I wish I had a crystal ball on the health insurance for my DH and I. It is one of those things I can't budget or control, so it is just kinda out there in my retirement planning at this point, to be honest. We don't have kids, though, and our footprint in retirement is going to be small, so I try not to sweat it too much at this point.
Hey there, CFP Sarah! Thanks for the message. That's good advice as far as not worrying about what you can't control. But I sure do like to plan ahead whenever possible... sometimes I drive my DW crazy with this stuff! For example, We're 15 year away, but I've been spending a lot of time thinking about where to retire. I've been looking at SC lately... Greenville, SC has had many good reviews. Any thoughts on good and bad for retiring in SC, Greenville or elsewhere?
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:29 PM   #16
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Hey, when did I become a dryer sheet aficionado?? Woo hoo!
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:31 PM   #17
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I can give you my own medical breakdown. First it was important that we had continuous coverage in the past. I retired at 54 and now I am 60, Ms G. is a couple of years younger, she retired 6 months before I did. We have BCBS PPO 5K/10K max. deductible. After COBRA expired our 1st year BCBS payment was $4992 after 5 years it is now $8580. I did past the last chart increase at 60, so this year jumped quite a bit. We have had dental until this Fall our Dentist talked us out of it. We were paying $105 a month 3 free cleanings a calendar year. The Dentist didn't see any future problems with our teeth. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:32 PM   #18
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I'm still working on budgeting for health insurance (and a few other things) before I can find my target FIRE date, but one thing to keep in mind is to include the costs of dental and vision, which are generally not covered by the health insurance policies.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
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Thank you for the intro and welcome to the boards.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:59 PM   #20
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Matt, the Greenville area is very appealing to relocators, because it is cooler than the coast and is closer to other big cities. I love Charleston, of course, but it isn't for the faint of heart in the summer and during hurricane season. Talk to Finance Dude about his desire to move from the cold north to the Greenville area eventually. I think it has a lot to offer, but it is too cold for me (feel free to laugh, Wisconsin).

Your story sounds a lot like one of my podcast favorites--a guy out of Atlanta with a show called the Money Guy podcast. He is a CPA/CFP with a nice financial planning practice and I've enjoyed his down-home podcasts on my long commute across the SC Lowcountry each day.

It is a curse of financial people to live so far in the future that it can be hard to really be present in the day-to-day, so I understand that you want to know how to plan for health care in the future. I just know that no matter how many data points I collect now, the game will surely have changed completely by the time I get there.
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