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Old 05-14-2016, 03:33 PM   #21
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Hi Sunny, might want to re-check the ACA health rates. I have a hard time believing you will find a policy for $200/month, unless that includes a large subsidy. The least expensive policy I found was double that. It may only make a difference of a few thousand a year, but you would want to have that number known. Your out of pocket health costs will also go up with a bronze plan, unless you never see a doc (what about dental?).

Good luck in your planning.

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Old 05-14-2016, 03:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by SunnyOne View Post
I think this is the key point...trying to mentally stick it out for 3 more years for healthcare, since I really want to retire sooner.
Hi Sunny One and welcome to this forum. I had to wait until I turned 62 to retire and get the retirement health benefits. My Fed Employee's BC/BS Basic (Self+1) is $356/mo. Yours will be much less.

I worked part time federal employee from my home starting at age 55. Are there part time possibilities available that would make the 3 years more bearable?

Did you have any military service time? I was able to buy mine (very inexpensively) back based on service time from 1973 to 1975. If so, you can buy back at any time before retirement. The sooner the better. May take 2-3 months.

Do you participate in the TSP Roth 401K? If so, convert to Roth IRA. They force RMD's at age 70 1/2.

Do you have access to Financial Engines or any other monte carlo simulator to compare with FireCalc? I use it just for a second opinion.

Congrats on the savings and planning that you have done.

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Old 05-14-2016, 09:15 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Would you still qualify for the retiree medical benefits if you downshifted to part-time? Is downshifting to part-time possible? I know for a lot of plans benefits are based on more than 1,040 hours a year so a year or 50% or better part-time work counts the same as a year of full-time work.

If it is possible and would get you your benefits it might be a great way to ease into retirement.
There is a provision in the federal government to allow employees to take up to 50% leave without pay (LWOP) for up to 2 years without it impacting their years of credited service or base pay calculations for retirement. It is up to the federal agency as to whether they allow it. My agency allows this in hardship cases or where the employee has special skills or qualifications and the agency wants to allow LWOP in order to retain them. Of course annual leave and sick leave will be prorated, TSP contributions and health insurance premiums may be prorated, etc. but it does not impact the pension and you retain your benefits although at some cost.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:21 AM   #24
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So if the OP's agency was cooperative she could work for another year full-time, then downshift to as low as 50% time for two years and still get her retiree medical benefits. Sounds like a win-win to me.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Hi SunnyOne, and welcome!

You have got some great feedback so far and I can't think of much to add. One thing to check with FIRECalc is whether you put monthly or yearly amounts in, for pension and social security. It wants the entire annual amount.

Anyway, I found this cute photo and it reminded me of your post.
I can't add to the discussion other than welcome.

A question related to the pic. When you get your ducks in a row are they side by side(as in the photo) or beak to tail? I've always wanted to know.

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