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Old 07-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #61
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I just looked at my Quicken screen, which told me my health care cost was $10,800 for the last 12 months, of that only $900 was for dental care.

The above did not include the $10K annual deductible, which I spent this year out of an account maintained just for that. When that account is depleted, and it may, then my medical expenses will jump up to $20K+ a year.

But if I stay so sick, then the extra medical expense is canceled out by reduced expenses caused by inability to travel. See how that works out?
Do I understand the math correctly, NW? Your premiums alone then were a little under $10k, because your total cost wasn't including paying for your deductible? I hope I am misunderstanding how this works because that would be over $800 a month for a catastrophic health plan. And BTW- May your good health return so you can spend that money on travel instead of healthcare!
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #62
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...that would be over $800 a month for a catastrophic health plan...
I looked again, and there were a few other items like eye care and things that are health related but not covered by insurance.

So, a bit less than $800/month for premium for a couple, plus a 24-yr old son (who will be off it soon, after getting a nice job with benefits). We need to call to see what reduction we will get. Probably not much.

After the $10K deductible, the insurer pays 100%. And as I found out, its coverage is quite comprehensive, and I think other plans may balk at some expenses that are incurred for my convenience and comfort.

So, I have stopped complaining about that premium.

PS. I have had this policy for a few years (5 or 6?). Then and now, I did not see any insurer offering any plan significantly less expensive, nor any plan that required underwriting which we did not mind as we were all healthy then. The only thing they required was continuity of insurance which we had always maintained.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #63
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I looked again, and there were a few other items like eye care and things that are health related but not covered by insurance.

So, a bit less than $800/month for premium for a couple, plus a 24-yr old son (who will be off it soon, after getting a nice job with benefits). We need to call to see what reduction we will get. Probably not much.

After the $10K deductible, the insurer pays 100%. And as I found out, its coverage is quite comprehensive, and I think other plans may balk at some expenses that are incurred for my convenience and comfort.

So, I have stopped complaining about that premium.

PS. I have had this policy for a few years (5 or 6?). Then and now, I did not see any insurer offering any plan significantly less expensive, nor any plan that required underwriting which we did not mind as we were all healthy then. The only thing they required was continuity of insurance which we had always maintained.
Wow, that is still very high. I would imagine the exchanges may provide you some rate relief, along with only paying for 2 instead of 3.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:17 PM   #64
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Well, my! You still use disposable toilet paper? How gauche! You obviously have a lot to learn from the truly frugal.

Family cloth: would you go toilet paper-free? | Offbeat Home

Just kidding, you're doing great.
I think I'm going to stop short of not using disposable toilet paper. Or even raising my own food or having backyard goats.

But for me the light bulb went on a few years ago when I picked up a homesteading magazine visiting someone on a small ranch. I realized the off grid homesteaders in the magazine were living on next to nothing and had a lot less stress and were getting more family time, sun shine and exercise than we were. But that seemed like a bit too much exercise. We didn't want to live like the Amish.

After that I found out more about sustainable living / minimalist ideas, reread Your Money or Your Life, and we've been intrigued ever since. Between paying less taxes from no longer having a W2 job (fewer deductions than our small business generates) and cutting living expenses we have cut six figures off our run rate.

I am always a bit surprised here at the people who really seem to hate their jobs but work one more year instead of cutting expenses. A year is a long time.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #65
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Actually, having a small vegetable garden can save a fair amount if you happen to like such "work". I despise gardening since dear old Dad forced me to help him with the garden when I was young, but DW love to get dirty so we get a lot of nice lettue and vegetables over the course of the season.

We also know a number of people how have a few chickens for enjoyment and eggs. DW would love to get some chickens, but thus far my protestations that it would crimp our ability to travel have been successful.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #66
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We have always grown something, but it is for the enjoyment, and for the little physical exercise that it takes.

I have never tried to figure out the financial aspect of it, but suspect that after the cost of water and fertilizer we lose money. There is so much cheap veggie brought up from Mexico (I think, but it could be from Yuma or the Imperial Valley, CA), that the prices are ridiculous.

Examples of what $1 gets you: 5lbs of cantaloupe, or 3 lbs of cabbage, or 2lbs of plum, or 3lbs of tomato. How can I grow that amount for $1?

Anyway, to tie it to the $4K/month topic, one needs to live in a lower-cost-of-living-area, which can be in the suburb of a metropolitan area. Food is more expensive in the rural mountain area of my 2nd home. We've always brought food up from the flat-land home.

PS. Edit to avoid confusion.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #67
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Examples of what $1 gets you: 5lbs of cantaloupe, 3 lbs of cabbage, 2lbs of plum, 3lbs of tomato. How can I grow that amount for $1?...
Not that it matters but out of curiosity, is that for each item or for the lot? (I assume you mean each item).

With some creative cooking I would think you could make a food budget go a long way (and the same would apply to people on SNAP/food stamps).
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #68
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No, farmers cannot be squeezed that hard.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #69
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I could just about live on $4000 a month if I didn't have a car loan. Two more years and that will be paid off! With an interest rate of 0.99%, financing the car was the obvious choice.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #70
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There are people in rural areas who hunt their food all the time. Not big game but smaller animals.

Some are even said to check out roadkill.

That's minimalism.

As for the topic on hand, wasn't ObGYN trying to spend $48k or $4k a month and having a difficult time? Obviously must not include housing expenses.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #71
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The way I understand supplements is this. If you wait until say 70 and buy one you will pay more than if you enroll at 65. The only increase in mine is based on inflation not age because I enrolled at age 65. No way I could afford what one posted and no mine will not go up just because I get older. It was explained to me pretty good when I signed up. If I were to have to pay $1200 per month I would just cancel it and take a chance. I refuse to give my retirement income to insurance companies. I really have thought about just canceling my home insurance and just insure myself. I took a chance for 24 years and did not have garage liability when I owned a business. It was just more than I could pay. I lucked out and never once had a problem and look at the money I saved. We gamble everyday so why not take a few chances on insurance. You can be ripped up if you let them.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #72
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The way I understand supplements is this. If you wait until say 70 and buy one you will pay more than if you enroll at 65. The only increase in mine is based on inflation not age because I enrolled at age 65. No way I could afford what one posted and no mine will not go up just because I get older. It was explained to me pretty good when I signed up. If I were to have to pay $1200 per month I would just cancel it and take a chance. I refuse to give my retirement income to insurance companies. I really have thought about just canceling my home insurance and just insure myself. I took a chance for 24 years and did not have garage liability when I owned a business. It was just more than I could pay. I lucked out and never once had a problem and look at the money I saved. We gamble everyday so why not take a few chances on insurance. You can be ripped up if you let them.
You have to choose to buy supplemental medical insurance within a short time after you sign on to Medicare. I'm not sure if you can wait a few years and buy it then without a medical evaluation. I have had my policy for 5 years. Premiums are community based.

Having no insurance late in life may not be a wise choice. You certainly can go without homeowner's insurance, but you better hope someone does not slip and fall on your property and sue you. Or if your dog bites some kid.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:24 PM   #73
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For us I do not see it. Our planning is for 8333/month (basically 100K year), in the DC-MD-VA area which is not low cost. This month has been another "practice run" for a retirement living month. Our projected "fixed" expenses alone (mortgage, state/federal taxes, property taxes, health insurance premiums, auto insurance premiums) leave very little room for 4K a month. Now we do still have one child who is 18 so that is a factor in the health/auto premiums cost.
I have the same budget, although we don't live in a high cost area. I've actually budgeted for $86,000 per year but rounded up to $100 K. Just retired at the beginning of July at 59 1/2 so we'll see how it goes.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:31 PM   #74
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The way I understand supplements is this. If you wait until say 70 and buy one you will pay more than if you enroll at 65. The only increase in mine is based on inflation not age because I enrolled at age 65. No way I could afford what one posted and no mine will not go up just because I get older. It was explained to me pretty good when I signed up. If I were to have to pay $1200 per month I would just cancel it and take a chance. I refuse to give my retirement income to insurance companies. I really have thought about just canceling my home insurance and just insure myself. I took a chance for 24 years and did not have garage liability when I owned a business. It was just more than I could pay. I lucked out and never once had a problem and look at the money I saved. We gamble everyday so why not take a few chances on insurance. You can be ripped up if you let them.
I have the same opinion concerning insurance, except on health. I have a high deductible now and am being rewarded for it. But when I turn 65, I will load up on the supplementals and pay. I couldn't sleep at night without homeowners insurance, but only carry liability on car. I never spent a penny on life or disability insurance. I figured if they are a profitable insurance company and are willing to make a big bet that I live and won't get hurt, well I am gonna be on their side of that bet. Ditto with LTC insurance, too.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #75
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Believe me, it's worth it to have this coverage at our ages. My wife has a constant battle with breathing and drug costs are high. I am in very good health but had a hip go bad and cost of replacement (by the best orthopedic surgeon in Houston) was zero. Plan F is the best you can get for supplemental coverage and couple that with Medicare and it's all you need.
I'm yet unretired and have been trying to nail down a budget line item for healthcare after 65. Would it be ok to assume then that for a single, 4k/yr would be sufficient or would some suggest more?
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #76
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I'm yet unretired and have been trying to nail down a budget line item for healthcare after 65. Would it be ok to assume then that for a single, 4k/yr would be sufficient or would some suggest more?
Unless you have a real high salary history, Medicare will be about $110/month and a very good Medigap (supplemental) policy will be around $200 @ age 65 (Plan F, no deductible). Part D, prescription coverage will be around $30/ month.

So at 65 you will be looking at $340/month for insurance and expect to pay some deductibles on meds only.

$4k is about right for great coverage. Supplemental plan costs vary based on location but are all pretty close, price wise. Most are "community based" for pricing and costs go up based on age group increments. With Plan F, you won't have any out of pocket costs for doctor and hospital visits. Plans A - N, etc have different coverages and costs based on what suits you.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:46 PM   #77
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Medicare Plan HD Plan F is about $80 to $100 a month cheaper than Plan F depending on age and location. HD stands for high deductible which is about $2,100 per calender year. Don't expect a medicare insurance agent to tell you about it as they make very little in commission on it. On the other hand, they will be more than happy to tell you about Plan F where the remuneration is higher.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #78
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What to the people do for Medicare who are expat retirees but might return to the U.S. some day? Do you have to sign up and pay for Medicare at 65 or lose it forever, even if you are living outside the U.S. when are 65?
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:16 PM   #79
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Medicare Plan HD Plan F is about $80 to $100 a month cheaper than Plan F depending on age and location. HD stands for high deductible which is about $2,100 per calender year. Don't expect a medicare insurance agent to tell you about it as they make very little in commission on it. On the other hand, they will be more than happy to tell you about Plan F where the remuneration is higher.
This is a good plan for very healthy people. You pay the deductibles when you hit the hospital and doctors. It's a gamble. But remember one thing. Once in one of these plans, switching to another one may be an issue if you have medical problems.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:10 AM   #80
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Most are "community based" for pricing and costs go up based on age group increments.
This is true in some but not all states. In my state, price is the same for a Plan F 65 year old and for a 100 year old.
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