Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
46 and fearful in TX
Old 06-12-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 51
46 and fearful in TX

Hi, I hope Iím not breaking any unwritten rules by making my first post long and not on the intro page. Iíve been reading this site for months and finally decided to post. Iím 46 and in a job that pays okay for this areaÖcentral TexasÖbut a job that I dislike greatly. I got into the computer field in my late 30s thinking it would be a good career move. It was financially but Iíve come to realize Iím not really ďintoĒ computers. Itís just a job that I HAVE to endure. The people in the office donít get along so it is an unpleasant environment to be in for 1/3rd of my daily life (or more). I am finally vested in our retirement plan so at age 60 I will have at least some income. We are required to contribute 7% of our income to the plan. My DH is retired military. In the last year he also left his civilian job at my coaxing. He is a cancer patient and unfortunately there is currently no cure for his disease. I wanted him to take time and enjoy life Ė not die sitting behind a desk. We have been battling this disease for nearly eleven years now. So in many ways we have been very blessed, but we have also been under stress for a very long time. Between the job and his illness I, at times, wonder how long I can go on. I canít leave the job since we need the health insurance. DH is a wonderful man and has done his best to care for my future. Our home is paid for and we have no debt except for my car payment. We have about $170,000 in various mutual fund accounts. He has a $350,000 life insurance policy. Iím wondering what else I should be doing to ensure financial independence if I find myself alone in this world (no children). Iíve always been responsible with money but never really took an interest in our finances. But in the last year Iíve come to realize that I need to be more involvedÖI canít keep living with my head buried in the sand. The fear of being alone has at least moved me to some action. In the past year Iíve opened a Roth IRA and contributed the max for 2007 and 2008. All total Iíve deposited about $15,000. Should I be doing more and if so what do you suggest?
__________________

__________________
Chaos Abounds is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-12-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Do you have long term disability insurance? If not, I would start shopping.

Other than that, I suggest you start reading and educating yourself on the topic of personal finance. Get a subscription to Kiplinger's, pick up a few books, and read. That way you will be able to make informed decisions.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 12:20 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Chaos,

Congratulations for dealing well with a very hard situation. The best of luck to you both.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 12:28 PM   #4
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos Abounds View Post
My DH is retired military. In the last year he also left his civilian job at my coaxing. He is a cancer patient and unfortunately there is currently no cure for his disease. I wanted him to take time and enjoy life Ė not die sitting behind a desk. We have been battling this disease for nearly eleven years now. So in many ways we have been very blessed, but we have also been under stress for a very long time. Between the job and his illness I, at times, wonder how long I can go on. I canít leave the job since we need the health insurance.
Hi, and welcome to the board.

Since he is retired military, doesn't he have Tricare for Life? I thought that was pretty good insurance. At any rate, I am sorry you are going through this. I don't really have any suggestions except to keep tucking money away when you can, first in your Roth and then after it is maxed out, in taxable investments if you have enough to do that too.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
when a cousin of mine is not nursing her husband at home every night, she is tied (for medical insurance for him) to a corporation during the day which was just sold & her position downsized so that she is now making $30k less than her prior position paid. it is unlikely that she will get her old money back even if she found a new job. fortunately, she has always been responsible with money, so, as bad as her situation has become, it could have been a lot worse were she already in debt.

life is not fair. karma is an illusion. some people create chaos in the lives of others yet sail smoothly through. yet those like my cousin and like yourself live up to your responsibilities only to be tested at every turn. what strength you must have to have gotten this far under such difficult circumstances which you did not create. stay the course. heave to when you must. sail on.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 01:07 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,030
Chaos , I also think you are doing a superb job of dealing with this kind of stress . Start with really basic financial reading and work your way up but also just enjoy your husband for however long he has . Good Luck !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 01:44 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
No advice for you (the other suggestions are excellent), just good thoughts. Your post made me stop and think about what really matters in life.
__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 310
Welcome to you Chaos. Another voice here wishing you and your husband well. Wish I had additional advice to offer you but I am learning here too.
__________________
shoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Hi, and welcome to the board.

Since he is retired military, doesn't he have Tricare for Life? I thought that was pretty good insurance. At any rate, I am sorry you are going through this. I don't really have any suggestions except to keep tucking money away when you can, first in your Roth and then after it is maxed out, in taxable investments if you have enough to do that too.
Yes, he is covered by Tricare. However, if we only had it we would be responsible for deductibles and co-payment. The cost for one of his medications alone is about $6000 per month. I also don't want to jeopardize his care...he has received excellent treatment so far.

I appreciate everyone's kind words but I also know that there are many people in the world who are much worse off than us. I have been doing a lot of reading and have learned a lot. Is there anything specific I should research? Or should I just concentrate on putting as much in our current funds as possible? Right now our AA is around 70/30.
__________________
Chaos Abounds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,252
Most definately get involved with your finances.... my sister did not and her DH died unexpectedly last year... she had no clue at the time and would have 'sank' if not for me helping out...

And then she found out they were living beyond their income... not good news, but she has a great pension and all will be OK with her when everything is sold or paid off...

Check to see what options are on his pension... you would want to set it up so you get the maximum benefit... there are many on this board that can help with that...

Sorry to say... but you are probably stuck working as long as you need insurance... I know others in the same boat.... so they don't just look at their work as a paycheck, but a paycheck and insurance payments...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 06:14 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Chaos,
There are some good people on this board and they have given you some good advise.

One aspect that I think women have it over men is that they find it easier to ask for help and advise.

I would suggest you look into what counseling advise your health insurance provides and take advantage of it. Also, look into what cancer support groups are available in your area.

I'm suggesting one step at a time because what you are going through now is overshadowing all other aspects of your life.

Deal with your husband's cancer
Keep working, realizing that you have valuable skills and will be able to work now in the future
Don't make any dramatic financial decisions.
Learn about finances as others have suggested
Take care of yourself - mentally, emotionally, physically
+++++++++++

On a less serious note - Change your log on name - a positive attitude helps.

Paragraphs ...
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 07:41 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,030
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
C
I would suggest you look into what counseling advise your health insurance provides and take advantage of it. Also, look into what cancer support groups are available in your area.

I'm suggesting one step at a time because what you are going through now is overshadowing all other aspects of your life.

Deal with your husband's cancer
Keep working, realizing that you have valuable skills and will be able to work now in the future
Don't make any dramatic financial decisions.
Learn about finances as others have suggested
Take care of yourself - mentally, emotionally, physically
+++++++++++

...


Absolutely great advice !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 07:06 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
barbarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 433
Chaos, I hope your man, even with his terrible burden, realizes what a lucky husband he is.
__________________
Consult with only myself as your adviser or representative. My thoughts should be construed as investment advice of the highest caliber. Past performance is but a pale shadow and guarantee of even greater results in the future.
barbarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
hi Chaos, Thanks for your post. Your response to a very difficult situation is admirable.

I agree with all the above posts. But since you asked about what else you could be doing, since you're concerned about your future alone, I would suggest that you ask yourself "what do I love?" Then focus on that, make it a little part of your life to give yourself some daily or weekly enjoyment for yourself alone.

Women's magazines always stress taking "me" time, like getting your nails done or something. But that's not what I'm talking about. Find out what you intrinsically love, what makes you zing and puts a smile on your face. It could be a hobby like jewelry making or reading novels or taking a hike in nature. Or it might be studying for a new career.

All the best.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 11:41 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 51
Wow, the kindness expressed here is very touching. I think DH and I have been handling the whole situation pretty well even though it has been stressful. He and I are pretty private people and even though talking to a counselor is probably a good idea I donít think it is within my character to do so. I am trying to look at my job as a blessing since it is providing us with some level of security.

Texas Proud, I donít think I am entitled to any portion of his pension which is one reason I am finally trying to get involved in our finances. He has encouraged me to do so for years but it always felt like giving up if I did so. Now I finally realize that itís a fact of life Ė whether there is illness or not Ė and I need to be educated about these types of things.

Dex, you offered some good advice but regarding my log on name Ė I guess I look at it differentlyÖeven though chaos abounds I still feel okay. Sure there is fear and uncertainty but Iím okay. I just want to feel like Iím taking control of the things I can.

Oldbabe, you are right about ďmeĒ time. When we first found out about his illness I stopped doing the things that I enjoyed just so I could spend every moment with him. Over the years I kind of lost myself and the joy of living my life. DH finally convinced me that it was ok for me to do the things that I enjoyed even if he wasnít a part of it. So I have, and the peace and contentment have gradually come back into my life. Iíve learned you canít stop living because of fear. The fear may still be there but life is too short to quit living it before itís taken away.

When we first married 18 years ago it was our plan for him to retire at 62 and me at 50 (heís 12 yrs. older). That plan may not be reasonable for me anymore but Iíd still like to quit the rat race a bit early. Still trying to figure out if thatís in the cards or just a dream.
__________________
Chaos Abounds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2008, 12:18 PM   #16
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Thank you, not only for sharing your story, but reminding us all of what is important in our lives. Your optimism humbles me, Chaos.

I have a friend in your situation, and I just realized that I need to reach out to her to do more "girl" stuff, and I have hesitated in the past, thinking that she wants/needs to spend every minute with her DH. I now know better. Thank you.

As for the pension, did he specifically opt out of the joint and survivor pension? The military folks here can help more with this, but I thought that was the "regular" option.
__________________

__________________
ďOne day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.Ē
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:03 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.