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Jim from IL - ER this week?
Old 07-17-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
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Jim from IL - ER this week?

Hi All,

I have created before I ER to-do lists and finally I just tossed them out. They were becoming obstacles to ER. I spent a month looking for an ER place to live. I decided I'll just stay where I am and maybe move on later.

Firecalc says 100%, Quicken says I can go, Me, I say okay-maybe, but what the heck. I don't have a fortune but I am by myself and I'll have 15k farm income and I'll draw another 15k from my nest egg and I should be fine until SS kicks in - in 3 years.

I have worked with computers since they were called tabulating machines, 39 years in all. I still enjoy the work but I have a new CEO (moron) I work for (10 months) and I have become very unhappy with my employer of 16 years. The changes already made and the ones coming are not to my liking. I just absolutely hate going to work. I feel unwelcome, it is like I am a stranger in my own living-room. I sit here 40 hours per week and work 5 to 10 hours. I hate to give up the easy money but I have decided I'll take 18 holes of golf and leave the money.

I turn 59 y/o on 8/17/2007.

Since I am quitting I am eligible for COBRA - right? Please validate this. I do not know what this will cost, I cannot ask HR until I resign. Currently our group policy is BCBS of IL. I went to their website and they have a few policies that appeal to me and will likely be less costly than COBRA. I will also check out AARP as well. This insurance thing is my only worry, I have been told "make sure you get COBRA", but why? I am seeing similar packages for $250 to $300. I saw the dentist yesterday and I am fine. I am seeing a Chiropracter and I am making progress there. Beyond that I haven't seen a doctor in the last 15 years. Any advice or comments? I am uneasy with the insurance issues.

I was planning on resigning yesterday, but I realized I needed to do a few things first, Like clean out my desk of personal belongings and clear my data and email files that are personal. I filed $1600 worth of flex items as well.

HR has a habit on turning on people who quit - like a snake she is. I don't know why she acts this way but she does. I have given them 16 years of good service but I still worry about handing over that goodbye letter. I have always been confident and this seems awfully childish but it is what it is.

I hope someone understands my babbling, it now looks like Friday is the day.

Yesterday I recieved an email to join a group of retirees that play golf every Thursday, things are already looking better.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:49 PM   #2
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Hey Jim, welcome to the board! And congratulations on your eminent retirement.

Your HR person sounds like a real piece of cake. I don't have any great advice for you on health insurance -- I'm sure others on the board will be more helpful. But if you've looked through past posts you'll see that it's a really important issue to us. It can get really expensive, and health insurers are very careful about covering folks our age. It's something you will really want to have nailed down before you turn in the letter.

I've been in the business quite a while myself. I started out selling "electronic posting machines" -- if you could talk the customer into the 768 word model, the commission was awesome! That's words -- not G, not M, not even K.

Good luck, I'm glad to hear you've already got the Thursday golf game lined up!

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Old 07-17-2007, 04:41 PM   #3
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Welcome! Health insurance is the big issue. Cobra will only cover you for 18 months so you might be wise to see if you can obtain an individual policy before retiring. That's what I did. Since you are already covered by BCBS, I would give them a try. Below is a link for some quotes. Good luck!

Health Insurance, Medical Insurance, Individual Health Insurance Quotes
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:48 PM   #4
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Thanks all. I thought I could quit, take COBRA and then switch to an individual policy within a few months. It makes sense that I better have the individual policy in hand before I resign.

I'll call BCBS in the AM.

Jim
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:04 AM   #5
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Congrats on your decision. On the COBRA stuff, my experience is that it depends on what your company pays for the current health insurance for their employees and your cost will be 102% of that. NOT 102% of what you actually pay today, but 102% of what your company pays. For example, when employed, my wife and I paid about $150 per month for medical (only) insurance. When I retired, the COBRA rate was about $650 per month. The company was subsidizing our insurance as part of it's benefits package.

And the other poster is correct, you will get 18 months of guarenteed coverage, which is good.

If you are really worried about getting outside insurance, you should go ahead and apply for it and see what they say. On BCBS... others have been denied insurance because of stuff that is over 20 years old. It will take a few weeks to get the answer from them.

Sorry to hear about your HR person ... sounds like an 'interesting' person.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:52 AM   #6
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Thanks MegaCorp- Firee,

Yes, my company is subsidizing my insurance a lot, I just don't know exactly yet. I can't ask until I turn in my 'letter'.

I have called BCBS and asked for a quote to convert my Group Policy to an individual policy.

One of the main reasons I am fiddling around with this is I have met my deductible and I assume this would be the case if I was on COBRA. Then I would get an individual policy effective Jan 1. I am guessing that my COBRA would be $550 per month, and a comparable BCBS policy is $300. The only difference I saw was the deductible I have is 500 and that would go to 1000.

Jim
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDConnell View Post
Thanks MegaCorp- Firee,

Yes, my company is subsidizing my insurance a lot, I just don't know exactly yet. I can't ask until I turn in my 'letter'.

I have called BCBS and asked for a quote to convert my Group Policy to an individual policy.

One of the main reasons I am fiddling around with this is I have met my deductible and I assume this would be the case if I was on COBRA. Then I would get an individual policy effective Jan 1. I am guessing that my COBRA would be $550 per month, and a comparable BCBS policy is $300. The only difference I saw was the deductible I have is 500 and that would go to 1000.

Jim
You can also buy a deductible much higher than $1000. That's what I did. Basically you are self insuring for the first few thousand. But with my policy, even with a high deductible, I still have co-pay's and only pay a nominal amount for a doctors visit and drugs. What you are taking a chance with is if you have major surgery. Then a lot more comes out of your hide. But it is something to think about. A high deductible can really lower the premium.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:08 PM   #8
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Good advice from everyone about waiting to turn in letter until insurance is lined up.

First time around for RE, I applied to BSBC and was turned down flat because I have one, yes one, BP reading of 142/80. No other issues, not on any Rx and was about 50 at the time. BSBS is notorious for stacking the deck to the younger side of the equation from what I have seen.

Good luck on your decision and search for insurance. It is really frustrating when you make the decision to have to wait forever on insurance companies to get back to you, but it is very wise to have it lined up. The best Catch 22 there is.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:56 PM   #9
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Jim, Health Insurance Consumer Guides is a great site for state-specific information about health insurance.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:48 AM   #10
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Jim I sort of went through what you're experiencing. I agree with the rest of the posters about COBRA. I picked up a high deductable policy for DW and myself and had it in place when I turned in my retirement letter. Just in case,. My COBRA payments would have been $1000 + per month and individual policy is right at $500/month. You can buy a lot of deductable for the extra $500/month. What you might do is ask HR in a non threatening way what the COBRA Coasts are. TO HR: " Im trying to start planning for my retirement in a few years and was wondering what the cost of COBRA would be if I retired before 65. I know the cost goes up every year but could you tell me what it is this year so that I can use that cost as a guide?"

As for pullin'n the plug I thought I'd be retiring May 1 2010 until I found FIRECALC. Instead retired July 1. Come on in the water is fine .
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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Jim -

Where does the 15k farm income come from?
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My ER has been delayed
Old 07-20-2007, 09:00 AM   #12
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My ER has been delayed

"Where does the 15K farm income come from"? Well, I inherited a farm 5 years ago and the average income is 15K. What may become an issue is the range of income has been 8k on the low side and 25k on the high side (last year). Buy ethanol friends.

I appreciate all the input regarding COBRA and private health policies.

A friend recommended a broker (no fee) and she is running some quotes and I'll go from there. I have learned that the real cost can only be determined by applying and answering the health questions. She will help me with the application process. I was online filling out an application and some of the questions looked back 10 years. I am seeing a Chiropractor right now and the app wanted more details so I quit and deleted it. I did not want to answer incorrectly. Then I'll compare apples to oranges (private vs. COBRA)
and make a decision.

August 1, I will resign effective Aug 15.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:11 AM   #13
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Jim, it sounds like you're getting the health insurance question under control -- that's great! And congratulations on your impending retirement.

I'll be hoping for a good corn crop for you this year.

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Cobra $$$
Old 07-20-2007, 04:30 PM   #14
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Cobra $$$

Thanks Coach.

I found out today that my COBRA would be $562.22 per month for the rest of 2007. The remaining monthly payments would likely be close to this amount because our premiums have remained steady, they just reduce benefits.

I figure my private premium will be $250 per month less than COBRA, which to paraphrase Golf Bum, that is a lot of deductibles (and green fees).

Jim
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