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Moving to the class of 2015... woo hoo!
Old 01-08-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
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Moving to the class of 2015... woo hoo!

I've been planning to wait on retirement until my 55th birthday to get 'subsidized' healthcare insurance through my company. Finally got the estimate today... if I keep the same plan we have today my monthly premiums are $1700 and it's a high deductible plan!

I'm floored but also kind of glad. Rather than waiting until Sept 1 2016 I'm likely moving my retirement up to this year.

Our last financial piece of the puzzle happens today. We're closing on the sale of our last rent house and the proceeds will pay off our current house. With the house paid off we have zero debt and firecalc shows 100% success for our planned spending.

I'm not going to do anything rash, like quit today, but now I know I'm not tied to Sept 1, 2016. We have a few more remodeling things I'd like to get done before the paycheck stops, but WOW am I happy
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
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Congrats!! You graduated a year early.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:19 PM   #3
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Yay!
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post
I'm not going to do anything rash, like quit today, but now I know I'm not tied to Sept 1, 2016. We have a few more remodeling things I'd like to get done before the paycheck stops, but WOW am I happy
Keep Calm and.... whatever that phrase is.

Congrats!

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Old 01-08-2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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I've been planning to wait on retirement until my 55th birthday to get 'subsidized' healthcare insurance through my company. Finally got the estimate today... if I keep the same plan we have today my monthly premiums are $1700 and it's a high deductible plan!
Congratulations.

I'm surprised at the cost of the company health care. DW and I can get a bronze plan for ~$1,000/month and we're in our low 60s. Have you shopped eHealthinsurance or your government exchange?
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:09 PM   #6
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I was shocked at the cost to put it mildly. I had the guy repeat the number twice to make sure I'd heard right. When I asked why so expensive he said that the retirement plan that I'm in gets almost no subsidy from mega corp.

I've looked at the exchanges and at Costco's offerings. We can get an HSA-qualified bronze plan for about $600 which is about what I budgeted for health insurance. We won't be eligible for subsidies for at least a couple of years after retirement and maybe not even then depending on how much we choose to convert from 401k to Roth each year.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:44 PM   #7
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Congrats! I know that feels good.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:06 AM   #8
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Sincere congrats! Enjoy your extra year of retirement!


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Old 01-10-2015, 08:26 AM   #9
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I was shocked at the cost to put it mildly. I had the guy repeat the number twice to make sure I'd heard right. When I asked why so expensive he said that the retirement plan that I'm in gets almost no subsidy from mega corp.
Congrats on the impending retirement.

I think many retiree medical health plans are set up like this, ours was. The retiree has access to HI but at full cost. These plans had a role before guaranteed access to HI brought about by the ACA. We continued with our exorbitant HI through mega corp for two main reasons:

- we were frightened to move away to the private HI market for fear there would be massive increases year on year/fear they wouldn't pay up after we hadn't disclosed a nosebleed we had in 1992/fear the ACA would collapse and we wouldn't be able to go back to the arms of mega corp. Fear of the unknown really.

- with 4 kids under 26 the pricing structure of the policy favored us. It went something like: Insured $700, spouse $700, kids $550. $1950/month. That's a lot of money, but for 6 of us not too bad for decent insurance.

For you (and for us now with only one child on the policy, the others have aged out/have jobs with HI) a private policy is much cheaper ($1050/month). Remember that the mega corp retiree policy mainly has a demographic skewed to the 60 to 64 age group where the ACA policies would be much more expensive too.

This year we finally felt confident enough to ditch the retiree HI, but with this year's enrollment package they stated that we could enroll with them again during a future open enrollment time, so it can remain as a worst-case-scenario backstop for us.

Health insurance - an absolute minefield for early retirees....
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #10
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #11
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Congrats. The sweet soft sound of the golden handcuffs releasing! Move your hands around for a bit to restore circulation and when you are ready, make good on your escape!
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:31 AM   #12
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Golden handcuffs for sure. The few friends that I've told about our plans are shocked that we're leaving the workforce so young. Our combined income is hefty and they say we should 'make hay while the sun shines'.

We have plenty of hay stored away and are ready to take the leap while the sun is still shining!
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:43 AM   #13
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Congratulations! My former employer does not offer "subsidized" health insurance (sounds like yours doesn't really either), but I got the COBRA quote yesterday--$1,690/mo. I've already purchased a BCBS bronze plan for $920/mo with essentially identical coverage.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #14
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Congratulations!

Figuring out a new date to retire sounds like fun.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:11 AM   #15
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Congratulations! My former employer does not offer "subsidized" health insurance (sounds like yours doesn't really either), but I got the COBRA quote yesterday--$1,690/mo. I've already purchased a BCBS bronze plan for $920/mo with essentially identical coverage.
This is one area I want to research when I pull the cord. Getting 18 months of COBRA is not very long IMHO but it appears to be worth doing at least for the first year for me. I don't have the 2015 numbers but the 2014 numbers were about the same as a bronze plan. The key difference was that the COBRA policy started paying 80% when the family $3200 deductible was met. The max family OOP is around $12,000. The bronze plan kicks in at 100% for an individual deduction of $6,000 bit pays nothing until then. The bronze plan is best for one person having a real serious situation but not as good with two issues shared between us. Either meets my primary need of insuring against something I can't afford. I can easily deal with either plans OOP max.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:31 AM   #16
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Congratulations Lisa99! How exciting.

Health insurance was definitely the piece that kept me worried and afraid to pull the plug sooner. Thank goodness for the ACA and the ability to get semi-affordable insurance with pre-existing conditions. (Note the qualifier on the word affordable - it's our single biggest annual expense.)

Like you - I'd been thinking of working till I met the rule of 75 (age plus years of service) to qualify for retiree medical... but a corporate split, a few years before I qualified, took that option away. (Retiree benefits went with the other half of the company).

I'm really surprised by the $1700. It was a high deductible plan - so why so high? Was the network all-inclusive? Did it cover absolutely everything (cosmetic stuff, no restrictions on the formulary for prescriptions?)
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:33 AM   #17
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This is one area I want to research when I pull the cord. Getting 18 months of COBRA is not very long IMHO but it appears to be worth doing at least for the first year for me. I don't have the 2015 numbers but the 2014 numbers were about the same as a bronze plan. The key difference was that the COBRA policy started paying 80% when the family $3200 deductible was met. The max family OOP is around $12,000. The bronze plan kicks in at 100% for an individual deduction of $6,000 bit pays nothing until then. The bronze plan is best for one person having a real serious situation but not as good with two issues shared between us. Either meets my primary need of insuring against something I can't afford. I can easily deal with either plans OOP max.
I did cobra to finish out last year (retired in June.) It was a good stopgap for us. Now we're on an ACA exchange plan and paying a bit less than cobra, pre-subsidy.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:06 AM   #18
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I did cobra to finish out last year (retired in June.) It was a good stopgap for us. Now we're on an ACA exchange plan and paying a bit less than cobra, pre-subsidy.
I'm thinking of doing the same thing but finishing out the year will probably be 11 months. DW already has some things scheduled for February so taking advantage of the "free" two months may not be an option. I may just see what the bills are without submitting them although we'd have the PPO or not PPO issues to deal with. On second thought, I really don't have the option of waiting two months.

In 2016 I have the option of converting some pre-tax IRA money to a Roth IRA per ORPs recommendation. That would kill the subsidy angle.

The ACA did very little for me unless I jump on the subsidy which may go away as a Texas option depending on the SCOTUS ruling. A prior post pretty much decided that even if SCOTUS through out the subsidy for states without their own exchanges a simple patch with a state front door exchange to the federal exchange would probably work. The question is whether Texas would do it. Prior to all the ACA fun, Texas had an unlimited high risk pool that DW and I could have joined and the cost and deductibles are pretty much the same as the current bronze plans available to me. The Texas high risk pool also had an excellent network. That took care of my pre-existing conditions (like being over 50). I was surprised that states I would otherwise describe as "liberal leaning" limited these plans and people couldn't get coverage even if they were paying for it.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:47 PM   #19
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Congratulations, Lisa99!
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:22 PM   #20
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.....Health insurance - an absolute minefield for early retirees....
I think of it more as health insurance..... the price of freedom.

For the Lisa99, $600/month is not a bad cost of freedom. I was figuring $900/month when I decided to retire but the actual cost has been much lower (currently about $460/month for 2 but for only cat coverage) and a nice surprise.
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