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Old 08-31-2016, 06:54 AM   #121
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I hate to be Debbie Downer here and keep flogging this dead horse. The one fact that keeps getting glossed over by some posters in this thread is ACA subsidy availability in states that haven't expanded Medicaid of which Virginia is one despite the governor's efforts. Forced, unless your assets are in tax advantaged accounts like 401k and IRA which would allow you to "generate" income when you take that money out and spend it, you will be far under the income requirements that will allow you to get a subsidy ($16,250ish). In my understanding of the world you will be required to pay a substantial monthly premium to get health insurance in VA which I don't believe you should be without as one minor emergency could put your whole nest egg at risk. Once you start collecting SS you will be closer to the magic income number but please don't ignore this. And if anyone thinks I am wrong on this (as I seem to be the only one pointing it out) please correct me. I do not claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer!
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:15 AM   #122
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If he had just lost his employer coverage then he has 60 days to chose between COBRA and Obamacare coverage. But he lost his job 9 months ago and chose COBRA in that 60 day window so now he can not enroll in Obamacare until either his COBRA ends (in which case he has lost coverage), the next open enrollment period, or a different special qualifying event.

See Can I Switch from COBRA to ObamaCare? - Obamacare Facts
Agreed! 60 day window on qualifying event has expired. Thanks for pointing out the details in OP case.


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CFR 155.420(4)(c) Special enrollment periods.
Availability and length of special enrollment periods—(1) General rule. Unless specifically stated otherwise herein, a qualified individual or enrollee has 60 days from the date of a triggering event to select a QHP.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:17 AM   #123
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Roth conversion would be one way to get the MAGI up. 100% FPL or more would be needed to qualify for plan with a subsidy in those states that did not expand Medicaid.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:21 AM   #124
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Roth conversion would be one way to get the MAGI up. 100% FPL or more would be needed to qualify for plan with a subsidy in those states that did not expand Medicaid.
Exactly. But since he needs the money to live on and is over 59.5 just taking it out and spending it gets the MAGI where it needs to be IF he is in tax advantaged accounts which we don't know because he has been silent on that fact.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:25 AM   #125
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OK, someone asked me to stopping complaining and make some changes to my attitude and DO SOMETHING about my situation. So here is my plan for today:

Go to every temp agency in the area and push hard for temp work to tide me over until I can move.

Do more research into how I can use my $300K in my Fidelity Account to pay for my expenses so it won't run out before I die.

Talk to a legal aide attorney about how I can break my lease without destroying my credit so I could not rent in the future.

Look into selling some of my stuff to get a cash infusion.

Look into cancelling my $800 a month COBRA health insurance and going on Obama Care with federal subsidy.

Drive down to suburban Richmond VA and check it out. I can live there and be within 100 miles of my friends and family in the DC area but live in a cheaper more low keyed town. I see nice apartments advertised there for under $800 a month. I will talk to them about how I can rent without a job but with assets. (Maybe pay a year ahead in rent?)
Quite an agenda for one day.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:40 AM   #126
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Exactly. But since he needs the money to live on and is over 59.5 just taking it out and spending it gets the MAGI where it needs to be IF he is in tax advantaged accounts which we don't know because he has been silent on that fact.
Agree that OP should clarify whether his savings are tax-deferred or taxable and that he needs to consider both rents and the cost of health insurance in deciding where to move to.

However, even if his money is taxable if he has had these investments for a long time he would likely have significant appreciation that he could gains trade to generate tax-free LTCG to get his income to the level that he needs to get some substantial ACA subsidies.

If the money is tax deferred then between distributions needed for living and Roth conversions (only up to no tax cost in his case I think) can be used.

Either way, it seems possible but unlikely that he can find a way to generate the necessary income to avoid the Medicaid gap and in 4 years he can go on Medicare.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:00 AM   #127
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Forced, It looks like you are on the right path and have great advice here. Keep moving forward!

Please don't beat yourself up. In my outplacement counseling from my "retirement" they offered the following emotional path people take after leaving their job:

Endings = Anger, Sadness, Depression, Denial, Bargaining, Resistance
Neutral Zone = Anxiety, Looking back, Scattered, Unclear goals, Push/pull, Acceptance
New Beginnings = Anticipation, Looking forward, Focused, Goal-oriented, Energized, Optimistic

Just know that some of what you are feeling is normal and will change over time. Unfortunately you will need to push hard to get to a steady state sooner, rather than later.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:02 AM   #128
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OK Thanks to Jim584672 I have an error correction that makes life a little easier for Forced. I have been carping on and on about 138% FPL and as Jim points out it should be 100% FPL which means Forced needs to show MAGI of about $11,770. If we count 2 months of SS for November and December of 2017 at 1250 x 2 = 2500 and 300k at 60/40 VTI BND in a taxable account at 6000ish, he would need to either earn (or as pb4uski points out have capital gains) of another 3200 to maximize his subsidy. All is moot if he has a 401k or IRA for then he has no problem. And his SS income alone should take care of him in 2018 and get him to Medicare. So not as potentially dreadful as I feared.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:06 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
OK, someone asked me to stopping complaining and make some changes to my attitude and DO SOMETHING about my situation. So here is my plan for today:

Go to every temp agency in the area and push hard for temp work to tide me over until I can move.

Do more research into how I can use my $300K in my Fidelity Account to pay for my expenses so it won't run out before I die.

Talk to a legal aide attorney about how I can break my lease without destroying my credit so I could not rent in the future.

Look into selling some of my stuff to get a cash infusion.

Look into cancelling my $800 a month COBRA health insurance and going on Obama Care with federal subsidy.

Drive down to suburban Richmond VA and check it out. I can live there and be within 100 miles of my friends and family in the DC area but live in a cheaper more low keyed town. I see nice apartments advertised there for under $800 a month. I will talk to them about how I can rent without a job but with assets. (Maybe pay a year ahead in rent?)
That's a great and is a week's worth of accomplishment, if you have done all this by Friday, pat yourself on the back.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:24 AM   #130
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So here is my plan for today:
Great plan!

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Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
Go to every temp agency in the area and push hard for temp work to tide me over until I can move.
This is a wonderful idea. It would be so helpful to get some temp work to tide you over until you can move. That would completely solve that problem for you, and also it would give you something to do with your time and I think it might be a lot more fun than looking at old people at the mall.
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Drive down to suburban Richmond VA and check it out. I can live there and be within 100 miles of my friends and family in the DC area but live in a cheaper more low keyed town. I see nice apartments advertised there for under $800 a month.
That would be terrific - - you would still be close to your friends and family.

I am so glad to read a post from you that sounds less depressed and down in the dumps, and instead shows that you are attempting to take care of some of these problems and move on with your life. It may take a few months of effort to accomplish that, or more, but it will be worth it.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:25 AM   #131
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Also check out the following thread of new retirees and add your name to the list. Not of all of those on the list were planned.
Class of 2016
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:55 AM   #132
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I'm so glad you're taking some positive steps to help yourself.

The dog walking is a great idea, but as a relatively new pet-parent, I can tell you that finding a pet sitter is a real hassle. All the good ones are always booked up. You could spend weekends/weeks in someone else's home while getting paid and you just have to feed Fido and let him out to do his business. Rover.com is a great place to advertise your services. Or have some flyers printed up. Get creative. This is extra cash and could be done on top of whatever part-time job you find.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:58 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
OK, someone asked me to stopping complaining and make some changes to my attitude and DO SOMETHING about my situation. So here is my plan for today:

Go to every temp agency in the area and push hard for temp work to tide me over until I can move.

Do more research into how I can use my $300K in my Fidelity Account to pay for my expenses so it won't run out before I die.

Talk to a legal aide attorney about how I can break my lease without destroying my credit so I could not rent in the future.

Look into selling some of my stuff to get a cash infusion.

Look into cancelling my $800 a month COBRA health insurance and going on Obama Care with federal subsidy.

Drive down to suburban Richmond VA and check it out. I can live there and be within 100 miles of my friends and family in the DC area but live in a cheaper more low keyed town. I see nice apartments advertised there for under $800 a month. I will talk to them about how I can rent without a job but with assets. (Maybe pay a year ahead in rent?)
Congrats!! The plan is written and now all you need to do is to execute it. I'd advise not to rush and do it in ONE day. Don't push yourself too much because you could get frustrated and revert to your 'old' self

Yes, you're curious to check the new cheaper place out, but first you need to find out if you could break this lease w/o damaging your financials. If you cannot get out of this place, then save time/energy looking for another apartment for now. Next step would be looking for a temp job: landscaping, Uber, handyman help if you have such skills, etc. Oh, and that health insurance is also not so great, research it. Are you in very good health? If so, you might be interested in researching alternative healthcare "insurance" (I don't exactly know if you can call it insurance per se). I've read on blogs that some families join them to save on the exorbitant ACA premiums/deductibles as they don't qualify for the subsidies. However, the big drawbacks are you must be quite healthy and has a $1M cost cap and I don't know if such 'alternatives' are offered in VA.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:23 PM   #134
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I agree with all the great advice on lowering your cost of living, especially housing. As a parent who has supported college kids, even in a high COL area, I think they lived pretty well on not lavish budgets. College towns are often set up to have lots of low cost housing, public transportation and other amenities for low income students which might work for seniors as well. To get an idea of how much an area costs to live, you can look up the cost of attendance at various schools, add in 3 months for summer and subtract out books and tuition costs.

On the income front - check out the Reddit forums for beer money and slave labor. There are lots of ways to make money online without having a real job. Some posters there make livable incomes (in a low COL area) just from odds and ends online tasks alone, and you'll have SS and your investments, too, for your main retirement income streams. Fatwallet finance and Slickdeals also have some good ideas. If you can just find 20 ways to make $50 a month, and there are many ways posted on those various forums to do that regularly, there's an extra $1K a month in income. Combined with lower expenses you would be in much better financial shape. Sometimes it is easier to find many small ways that add up to $1 -2K a month than it is to find a single job with many other applicants vying for the same position that pays the same amount. I do the odds and ends stuff just for hobby income and it is surprising how much it can add up to be without any actual job, boss, commute or set hours.

You have a great plan started. Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:41 PM   #135
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While I would not pretend to give advice, the change to retirement covers more than calculating how long the savings will last. My dear wife and I have been happily retired for 27 years, beginning with little more than what "Forced to Retire" stated in his opening post.

We spent a lot of time putting together our plans, and made ourselves open to changes in lifestyle, while always being aware that nothing would be set in stone.

This thread is a long read, but covers most of our retirement experience... the good, the bad, and what turned out to never be ugly.

Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:08 PM   #136
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I'm late to this post and haven't read all the replies yet.

Anyway, OP, I think you are in fine shape. You will have SS very soon and you have $300k nest egg. You don't have any family ties keeping you anywhere specifically. So obvious answer is to just move somewhere cheaper.

You can easily find small towns where you can buy a nice house for $70k or so and then SS should cover your living expenses. You'd still have $200k next egg which could generate at a minimum 3% per year ($6k). I don't think 5% is that outrageous either for 30 years. Firecalc might give it a 50% chance or something but you could also be dead in a week too... i.e. I would enjoy life day to day and not worry about it. Spending 5% for 30 years is not crazy dangerous as in reality you will know if it is sustainable or not way before it runs out.

Oh I will also add, that just a minimum wage part-time job can make a huge impact. I know you had trouble finding work in your area, but you have the whole world as an option to move to. Without a doubt there is somewhere you can move to where you can find a part-time $10 an hour job to bring in some extra money. I like the part-time golf course idea some mentioned. I think there are plenty of minimum wage jobs that would be fun.

Anyway, I am only 40 and I would feel completely comfortable switching to early semi-retirement if I had $500k investments + paid off house. I'd find some kind of part-time job as well.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:33 PM   #137
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Yes, I know the logical thing is to move out ASAP and go to a more inexpensive spot.

I am afraid that it will be impossible to move into a new apartment in another cheaper town where rent is not $2500 a month like it is in Alexandria/Fairfax County VA.

Every place I have ever rented went through a complete background investigation where they checked my credit, criminal and salary information. The rent could not be any more than 1/3 of my income. Because my unemployment benefits have run out I have no income now at all.

I have applied for hundreds of part time and full time jobs since losing my career job last year, and have got no where. They don't want old, white haired overweight men like me. The jobs now days seem to be set aside for young kids and immigrants.

Being retired for me is not as pleasant as the typical poster on this board to say the least!

You can easily find a cheaper place. I am living in an expensive apt for my city and pay $940 a month. If I bought a $120k house my mortgage would be about half my current rent. You have cash, so you can definitely get a mortgage. There actually descent houses in my city for only $70k or so. You could pay cash or get a ridiculously low mortgage.

Some good side jobs I personally know of: working at grocery store, doing taxes during tax season, working retail during christmas time, providing telephone support for home shopping network ($10 an hour, 100% from home), tutor college students in math (I made $20 an hour doing this in college a few hours every weekend. always had as many hours as I wanted to do it), buying stuff and selling it for a small profit on ebay, taking wedding pictures, selling stock photography, selling your art at arts and crafts shows, working as a janitor, working as night security, selling real estate. Anyway that's enough.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:04 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
OK, someone asked me to stopping complaining and make some changes to my attitude and DO SOMETHING about my situation. So here is my plan for today:

Go to every temp agency in the area and push hard for temp work to tide me over until I can move.

Do more research into how I can use my $300K in my Fidelity Account to pay for my expenses so it won't run out before I die.

Talk to a legal aide attorney about how I can break my lease without destroying my credit so I could not rent in the future.

Look into selling some of my stuff to get a cash infusion.

Look into cancelling my $800 a month COBRA health insurance and going on Obama Care with federal subsidy.

Drive down to suburban Richmond VA and check it out. I can live there and be within 100 miles of my friends and family in the DC area but live in a cheaper more low keyed town. I see nice apartments advertised there for under $800 a month. I will talk to them about how I can rent without a job but with assets. (Maybe pay a year ahead in rent?)
A great start, but don't forget diet and walking, having all the money in the world means nothing if you don't get healthy,Good luck
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:44 PM   #139
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Many countries have nice living standards for $2,000 per month including medical insurance: Philippines, Thailand, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:27 PM   #140
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Reddit has a Work Online forum that might be a good resource, too, if you can't find a local job. There are also quite a few mostly passive ways listed in some of the forums, so you can do many of them in addition to having a regular or online job, for some easy extra income.
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