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Old 11-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #81
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Lots of great insights that I enjoyed reading this morning. <snip> Thanks for sharing, that's the kind of thing that makes this forum so worthwhile IMO. The more actual long term experiences we read about here, the better <snip>
+1 and +1 again !
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:24 PM   #82
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Thanks for this excellent resource. I've only started thinking about ER, and this thread has given me more to think about than I could ever have imagined.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:51 AM   #83
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Lots of great insights.
I vote for making this thread a Sticky!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #84
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I find this post very informative and a new simple way to plan for the future (Early Retirement).

Thanks to the OP
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:46 PM   #85
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A little bit more on Continued Care Retirement Communities (CCRC's) to reflect some of our current thinking about budgeting for the later years. (The somewhat controversial idea of budgeting up to age 85 and dying broke)
A recent review of our finances indicates we should be safe for much, much longer than that, but it brought up some more advanced thoughts about planning in the earlier years.

Several of our friends here have indicated they have been through the process of finding continued care for parents or relatives... and with that, the problems inherent in finding a suitable place, either for nursing home or independent living, AND the work involved in liquidating a former home, a project that could take weeks or months.

So here's the "deal"! Planning for realistic "old age" living, that is based on many factors:

1. Money... Of course... but instead of an open ended plan (dollars only), a plan for specific budgeting, that is to some extent finite. In this case (CCRC's)... a dollar amount per month that covers all costs, without the necessity of tending a budget, paying bills, and having to worry about repairs, upkeep, food, and the calendars that most of us keep to stay ahead of the game. Keeping later years simple.

2. Accessibility... To hospitals, shopping, entertainment, and the inside the house accessibility for bathroom, wheelchair, handholds, emergency contacts, and safety/security. Also... not having a car.

3. A stepped process in communities such as ours... with;
a. 65 Villas (private individual houses like the one we live in today) ..
b. 65 apartments, from a studio , up to a 2BR,2BA...
c. 45 assisted living units
d: a complete therapy/rehab center
e: 65 unit nursing home with separate Alzheimer's facilities.

4. Location... This is a major consideration, as many of the more popular, urban or warm weather facilities, are in higher income areas.

5. Contracts... some CCRC's have high up front costs, others none. The facilities also vary... from none, to pools, massage, bars, golf, restaurants etc... fees from upfront $500,000 down to none, and monthly costs from $4,000, down to $1,800. (including meals etc). See more general info here:
http://www.seniorhomes.com/p/ccrc-costs/
.................................................. ......................................

Let me back off here, and give some numbers for our area... likely in the lower cost bracket. The facilities are all relatively new... begun in 2000. The price for a 2BR 1BA apartment is (no up front or contract fee) $2000/month plus $500/mo for second person, which includes:
Apt. Kitchen... refrigerator, stove, handicap equipped, elevator, 2 meals/day in formal dining room. Transportation to doctor, shopping, entertainment (twice a week) activity rooms (cards, bingo, library, hair salon, presentations/entertainment). Available garage, Free TV and Internet.

Now, here's my thinking about using this arrangement to budget for the later years... In our case, age 80, some 3 years from now. The $2500/month... comes to $30,000/yr. This amount essentially covers all living expenses except for personal care, clothing and supplemental food... (perhaps another $2,000/yr.) and about $8000 in non covered medical expenses... total $40,000/yr.
Since our Social Security is $25,000/yr... it means $15,000 per year from our savings. If we live to age 90... $150,000 from assets.

The sale of our house would much more than cover that... Leaving most of our current assets for an estate.

This may seem much ado about nothing, but if I were to begin again to budget long term, fixing a number to the expenses in the declining years would have made me more secure... Did I figure in inflation? No... but it's easy enough to do.

What could this mean to you? A way to plan for the amount you can spend during the active years.... age 60 to 75... when you're going through your bucket list. So instead of planning to spend evenly for 30 years, looking at the "quiet years" as a fixed expense, and longer term planning, as a 2 tiered project.

I think your children/estate would thank you for that.

Not presented as an argument, or even a recommendation, but for something to think about, as a way to fine tune planning for people like us who live frugal and happy.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #86
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Thanks again imoldernu. Going through the CCRC drill with my dad right now, although he is near 90. Your post was comprehensive and brought up a lot of good points and references.

Most of us grew up in the age of "nursing homes" only, where you send grandma off to some place to die. Times have changed, and the CCRC's - although not for everyone - provide a great option. It behooves all ERs to at least learn about them. Maybe even for their parents in the case of our Young Dreamers.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:09 PM   #87
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In passing, I mentioned that DW and I had completed putting together the things that others would need in the event we were to leave...

It's not as simple as it sounds... "Make a Will"... yeah, but so much more. This article from the New York Times does a few things... the first of which is to make real, the importance of planning ahead, not for oneself, but for those who will be left behind.

It's a hard read. Not pleasant. And it doesn't seem as important "right now".
"A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/yo...me&ref=general

After reading the article, I realize that my own work is not done. I haven't covered the bases that need to be covered.

I had occasion several years ago, to help a newly widowed lady try to sort out an incredibly complicated estate... Not just bills, but insurance policies, old bank accounts and literally hundreds of medical bills that had been ignored, and threatened to leave her with no money at all. Even though she had engaged a lawyer, it took many phone calls, and letters to go through her husband's old effects...
We were able to locate some lost bank accounts, and a fairly unusual insurance policy... that helped restore her to solvency.

Maybe it's not important today, but... read the article.
The links are important.

This is the link to the website of the lady that the article is about:

http://getyourshittogether.org/

At the least, go to this site, and download and print the checklist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:01 AM   #88
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I just finished reading a life insurance thread, and it brought up a wider concern that really needs your attention. Thought I would include it here as part of sharing some retirement experiences.

READ THE CONTRACT
I'll start with an example... Whole life policy, with cash value. Trust in God, all others pay cash.
When this policy reach the 30 yr point, rather than taking the cash decided to leave the money in the account, and let it accrue the reasonable fixed interest rate. Verified the cash value (small policy ... thankfully) and just let it sit. Yesterday 5 years later, decided to take the cash value... to be told that the policy no longer existed.
Seems there was a clause that said at term, the policy would automatically renew and the cash value would used for payment. It renewed at an outrageous rate, and the cash value was used up... account closed.
Dumb, yes... but the policy was issued nearly 40 years ago, and well... my dumb.

That's just one small example... So many others... Here's another that rose up and bit me... Huge limb fell from tree, onto neighbor's patio, destroying furniture, barbecue, garden, bushes etc, and left the tree in a dangerous position, so it had to be removed. Total about $2500. Insurance policy would not cover... "Act Of God"... Now if the tree had fallen on my house, the policy would have covered all expenses, including the big removal bill. If you have trees, I would suggest that you spend some time looking up "TREE LAW"... one of the most complex and litigious parts of our legal system. Even the most experienced lawyers steerr clear of disputes rising from lawsuits regarding trees.

My Credit Card contract runs to 60 printed pages. The Comcast contract including the subsidiary contracts, is so long, it is essentially limitless.

Auto contracts, while mostly reasonable, have quirky exclusions and specific rules that must be followed in case of loss... Deviation from these procedures, incomplete submissions of bills, unapproved repairs or towing, and a host of other requirements... can result in refusal to pay, or at least difficult negotiations.

Some contracts are so off the wall that they defy logic... Here's one... did you know that even if you purchase satellite receivers, that you may have to turn them in at termination of contract, or be charged... Yeah... even though you bought the equipment.

In particular, older contracts may be different that current ones... When we called to check on a small annuity, we asked what the minimum term was for pay out... The agent quickly said... five years. He called back later to say that this was wrong... Current contracts allowed 5 year payouts, but my much older contract was a minimum of 10 years... A difference that will affect out taxes.

Just a heads up for what could eventually be problems.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:40 AM   #89
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... Here's another that rose up and bit me... Huge limb fell from tree, onto neighbor's patio, destroying furniture, barbecue, garden, bushes etc, and left the tree in a dangerous position, so it had to be removed. Total about $2500. Insurance policy would not cover... "Act Of God"... Now if the tree had fallen on my house, the policy would have covered all expenses, including the big removal bill. If you have trees, I would suggest that you spend some time looking up "TREE LAW"... one of the most complex and litigious parts of our legal system. Even the most experienced lawyers steerr clear of disputes rising from lawsuits regarding trees.

host of other requirements... can result in refusal to pay, or at least difficult negotiations.
Did you check to see if your neighbor was responsible? I had the impression that was the case in most places.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:10 PM   #90
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Did you check to see if your neighbor was responsible? I had the impression that was the case in most places.
It was huge tree, all on my land, but the large branch overhung his yard. His insurance paid part of his loss, but he had a $500 deductible. Fortunately a nice guy, and no hard feelings.

Really, tree law incredibly complex and often in some larger cities, there are firms that deal in nothing else. You don't see them advertise, because most of their work is in referrals.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #91
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Dear Oldernu,

I just read this thread from start to finish, and although your last comment was over six months ago, I want to tell you that your advice and information has been invaluable.

Thank you for sharing your life well lived; it inspires those of us who have not yet ER'd to do so with more determination.

As a token of my gratitude for your wisdom, I just made a donation to the Alheizemer's Foundation. Maybe others who benefitted from your frank and honest discussion of what to expect in our later years will also feel motivated to make a donation.

(mod edit)
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #92
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Imoldernu,
Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I've found much here that is really useful. I start ER in 4 1/2 months so the aspect of survivor benefit planning is really timely, and my sister and I are working through caring for our aging mother who is recovering from a stroke and we're facing numerous elder-care issues ranging from financial to home-care.

Also, it's great reaffirmation to stay determined to continue to enter ER this year and not be tempted by "one more year." I'll be coming back to this thread a lot -- it's like a library, with much to check out over time.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #93
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Imoldernu,

I don't know how I missed this when you started the thread, but I just finished the whole thing, except for the links. I'll plan to check those too. I realized how much I obsess on the financial things to the exclusion of other stuff.
Thanks for all your insights.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #94
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Hi!.
Dunno if this belongs here, but for anyone who has heard me talk about our retirement community, and the level of activity, I thought it might be appropriate to share one of the skits from a recent party, which I couldn't attend, cuz I'm still in Illinois. It gives an idea of the kind of spirit that is inside a small retirement community.
The guys in the video are my buddies... in age, from 62, to 79... and 29 in mental attitude.


They'll be better next year...
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:26 PM   #95
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Great, looks like they are having fun.

The guy in the attached photo is one of our friends from the gym, Larry. He is 84, and comes to the gym three days a week with his wife. He rides the elliptical very energetically for 45 minutes each time, plus he lifts at least as much weight as I do, or more. He is so inspiring. I hope I am that strong when I am 84!

The woman next to him is much younger, probably in her 60's, but she, too, does a creditable job with the elliptical. Although she is not very good with weights, she works hard at keeping fit.

To me, this looks like so much more fun than watching a skit! But I'm sure the reverse is true for others. Thank goodness we are all different; it makes life so much more interesting.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #96
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The look like they are having a good time and there is a good spirit in this community. What are you doing in IL in Feb? You should be in FL with them!
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #97
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Resurrecting this old thread to reflect some changes in philosophy as DW and I slip into the "later" years.
While I strongly support, and believe in FIRECALC, I see our lives entering into PHASE II, where the expense and income variables have dramatically changed, and planning is becoming much simpler.

Yes... It has to do with age... (77). More predictable, less active. The major decision involved life expectancy.

First, the matter of income. No "investments" per se...no "funds", stocks, or "indexed" investments. Only an annuity, CD's, Social Security, and IBonds, and personal property (homes, vehicles etc).

While we are still physically quite well and relatively healthy, we can see from the lives of others in our senior community, the likelihood that we will not be doing extended travel, nor become involved in any activities that require other than minimal expense.

We have already reduced our driving mileage to about 8000 miles per years. Eating out... especially evening meals is more of a nuisance than a pleasure. Household goods, clothing, liquor (imagine that) and almost all other variable expenses have dropped to a mere fraction of the earlier days. The senior real estate tax freeze, additional over 65 tax exemption and reduced auto insurance rates as well as other state granted senior benefits... driver license subsidy and reduced public transport expense... all become permanent reduced expenses.

Besides the low risk assets and the much reduced expenses, the PHASE II plan incorporates two other factors that are not covered by standard projections.

First - The planned sale of assets.
In our case, we specifically calculate income from the sale of our homes and personal assets. Within the next two years, we will sell our campground site and our Florida mfg home, and within another 2 to 5 years, our Retirement Community Home.

Second - Move to our Long Term Care Facility... Depending on health, to (1) an apartment, (2) assisted living, or (3)nursing home.... all of which are available in our current community. All of these three possibilities are all fixed expense paid... to include meals, utilities, TV and Internet, activities, transportation, housekeeping.

So, what's different? Doesn't everyone do planning? Well yes, but in this case, instead of looking at all possibilities... the ifs and buts... it allows us to compartmentalize our future simply. Entering a part of life that may be less exciting, but also less uncertain.

Put another way, and placing a $$$ value on this planning...

Phase II... any time after age 75...
Long term care facility 2BR,2BA $30,000/yr. All basic expenses.
Social Security income after medical (in our case) $18,000/yr.
Sale of home and personal property assets $300,000 or $20,000/yr for 15 years to age 90.
Leaves intact investment assets and income.

Yes... this is a personal thing, and in many ways, probably covered in advanced FIRECALC planning, but... it is an actual plan that we can see, and are comfortable with, and can explain to our kids.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:50 PM   #98
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Imoldernu,

Thank you for sharing your insights. They are a valuable contribution.

Chuck
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #99
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Thanks, imoldernu. I enjoy your posts and expense breakdowns. Thanks for sharing your budgets and financial plans.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #100
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He is 84?! From the back, he could pass for 30 years younger. And hot, besides Look at that great, er, posture.

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Great, looks like they are having fun.

The guy in the attached photo is one of our friends from the gym, Larry. He is 84,
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