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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits
Old 11-10-2006, 04:35 AM   #21
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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits

I'm a CSRS Fed too, age 49, mandatory for me to retire in 2013 at age 55 because I'm a military technician who will have maxed out on the military part at that time. To me, working just 2 more years in your case for the FEHB is a no-brainer. That's a huge benefit that many people would love to have. It's worth a great deal of money, not to mention the peace of mind for the rest of your life. As much as I'm sick of my job, I know for sure I'd stick it out for the FEHB. Best of luck to ya, I wish I was within 2 years instead of 6 .


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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits
Old 12-06-2006, 06:10 PM   #22
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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits

The biggest issues I see here are the idea of living overseas versus the US and the fact that there are still children involved.

Health care in the Philippines is so cheap that anyone with a million plus in their portfolio might well consider self insurance. It costs about $8.00 to see a specialist and peanuts per day in the hospital. One of the reasons I moved to the Philippines is the long-term care issue. If I should wind up needing an assisted living/nursing home environment my wife, who's substantially younger than I can hire ['round the clock nurses in our home for cheaper than the monthly premiums for LTC.

However there are teens involved and If they remain in the US and attend school there could be some big issues there.

At 65 Medicare kicks in and most insurance policies take a secondary position ... but Medicare can't be used overseas, so that's a factor I don't see addressed. In my own case I'm covered by a military retirement health plan (TRICARE) which works over seas and is free until I reach age 65. Then I'll have to avail of Medicare Part B even though my TRICARE will continue.

It's really hard to make a call, though, because I worked several extra years past my Federal retirement and my only regret, nearly 4 years after 'pulling the plug' is that I waited so long.

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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits
Old 12-06-2006, 07:27 PM   #23
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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits

Originally Posted by GMueller
I hate to forfeit the Government's contribution towards health coverage, but on the other hand, I hate to work two additional years if the only reason for continuing to work is to qualify for health insurance. I realize that in the end it is a personal choice, but I wanted to hear from others who have faced a similar situation. It appears that a consensus is growing that the working two more years is worth the price, i.e., health coverage is that important. I really appreciate the responses as this is a difficult decision for me.
Health care is vital. US health insurance is very expensive, or not available. You re talking about 2 years working - I assume not in Iraq- for a lifetime benefit for you and your wife, and I would guess coverage for your children until they are of age.

I can't imagine not doing the 2 years. Look at all the time you have already logged. This is a big part of the payoff.

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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits
Old 12-07-2006, 02:30 PM   #24
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Re: FIRE Now vs. Working to Obtain Health Insurance Benefits

Originally Posted by GMueller
Clarification: in the fed system eligible to retire with an "immediate annunity" means that you have both reached retirement age and have a sufficient number of years of service. That usually means 30 years of service at age 55, or 20 years of service at age 60. If I retire at age 58 (next year), I will have 22 years of service. Accordingly, I will be not be eligible for an immediate annunity (pension), but I will be entitled to take a deferred pension to start when I reach 60. Thus, I would not be entitled to health benefits. The pension is worth 1% for each year of service, i.e., in my case 22 percent of an average of my highest 3 years of service. That translates into a pension of about $18K.
GMueller, the pension you described above is a FERS (not a CSRS) pension. With FERS you can retire with an "immediate annuity" at your MRA (or any time after) with 10 years of service. There is a penalty to the annuity, which if memory serves me for you (@58yo) would be 4% or about $720/year. You would more than make up for this with the Gov's share of your health ins. Therefore there is no need to stay longer than you planned or give up the health insurance, you can have them both!

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