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Old 01-18-2009, 05:23 AM   #41
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If you are referring to Medicare +Medigap+ Plan D, I would definitley not describe this as dirt cheap. The above for two people would make up a large hunk of the budgets published by many forum members. Quite a bit more than food, for example.

Ha
I'm curious about how much it costs. I've been using $5,000 per year in my cost of living estimates but it was really just a guess.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:41 AM   #42
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Medicare for 2 is currently $2,313.60 plus co-pays and deductibles, for two. Co-pays and deductibles are dependent on the Medigap insurance policy you pay for to cover them (and the other things Medicare does not cover). Medicare part D is another cost if not covered by the Medigap policy. Also Medicare base costs are scaled to your income and have not been increased since 1/1/2008 (how long do you think that will continue?). $5,000 (2B) seems reasonable to me for TODAY.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:01 AM   #43
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Tom,
Our situation is not all that different from yours (we're 50 and 49, a bit more savings as well as slightly higher annual expense than you, just semi-retired to much lower incomes in a new location, no debt, blah blah. DW recently delt with cancer creating a challenge in getting individual insurance). I don't know anybody that has entirely escaped the stress of the current climate including that painful look at investment totals or the shouda-coulda-woulda's. A few comments I'll add:

Individ insurance: we read all the info here (including Martha's post) but we still had a real challenge due to DW's cancer. Lesson learned was that plans can vary significantly between states and numerous insurers simply won't touch anyone with the C word. No quick fix. We went from PA to NC and BCBS of NC has a much better policy towards recovering cancer patients than PA (at least in our case). DW just got past the 5 yr clean-bill-of-health point and that also made a difference. We have a high deduct HSA plan and figure about $15-18k per year in total med expense. So far so good.

semi-retirement: DW maintains a parttime contract with old employer that covers half our expense but that could always end at any time. I am counting on earning enough to cover the rest of our current expense, which means going from running a 12 person hi-tech biz to a basic resort-area seasonal job. Definitely a "mental adjustment" but the slowdown makes it easier in a way (just having a job feels good and I never was the antiwork type). I thought I wanted to buy or start a mom&pop biz here but I prefer to see what else crops up first given the shaky times and our desire to preserve cash

health-fun: already said by others but we put a big priority on time for health which doubles as fun. For me Y membership, road biking, kayaking, kiting, sailing, windsurfing (one advantage of living on the water). I'll even be teaching kiteboarding this summer and making a few bucks at it. We were gonna pick up a cruising sailboat but decided to wait. OPB for now

Anyway, good luck in your transition and your wife's recovery. I'm sure you'll both come out of this just fine.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:07 AM   #44
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If you are referring to Medicare +Medigap+ Plan D, I would definitley not describe this as dirt cheap. The above for two people would make up a large hunk of the budgets published by many forum members. Quite a bit more than food, for example.

Ha
My rough numbers are $116 a month.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:09 AM   #45
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Medicare for 2 is currently $2,313.60 plus co-pays and deductibles, for two.
Ron, does that include your Medigap and Part D premiums?
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:16 AM   #46
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No, that is for basic MEDICARE ($96.40 per month for TWO). Medigap plus Part D, if needed, is extra. This is usually a deduction from your SS benefits BUT they start at age 65. So you will pay "out of pocket" if you delay taking SS benefits beyond age 65.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #47
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As OAG says, the $96.40 per month is the Medicare Part B premium for one person. This still leaves you with signifcant exposure (roughly 20%) on doctors' fees (including surgeons) and outpatient services, as well as significant hospital deductibles. A good Medigap policy (I'm told plan F is the most popular) will pick up all of these. The average part D (drugs) premium nationwide is about $30 per month. In my area, these three premiums (part B + plan F + part D) total about $235 per month per person at age 65. This will give you essentially 100% coverage (no deductibles or co-pays) for all Medicare-covered expenses, except for drugs.

AARP has a calculator which will give Medigap premiums for their policies (underwritten by United HealthCare) in your locality at age 65. To use it, you must "fake" your date of birth, so the calculator thinks you are 65.

AARP Medicare Supplement Quote

Other insurance companies may have similar calculators on their websites. Note that all Medigap policies with the same letter (e.g. plan F) provide the same coverage anywhere in the US, so you can do an "apples-to-apples" comparison when shopping for a policy from different carriers. Also, these policies are guaranteed-issue with no pre-existing condition exclusions or waiting periods, and no health questions to answer, if you purchase one within 6 months of turning 65.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:46 PM   #48
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I'm thinking another factor in OP's decision re relocating is the health care his wife is able to receive from their present location. Small towns may offer great housing prices but may not be close to the level of health care his wife may need.

Just something else we all might have to consider as we plan (and God laughs).
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:00 PM   #49
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Medicare for 2 is currently $2,313.60 plus co-pays and deductibles, for two.
This is true only if you qualify by income for the lowest premium. Starting with this month I am paying something like $188/mo. If my income goes back below their cutoffs, the monthly premium should once gain go down to base in future years.

So for one, my Medicare is $22xx/yr. Plan D (the cheapest plan I could find) is $37.50/mo, and my Medigap is $175/mo. Also, there are uncovered services, for which unless you can negotiate the price down you will be paying the Doc's top level uncut price.

So from my experience, $5000 for one person is closer. It varies by geography, type of Medigap, etc.

But no way is is dirt cheap, especially from the standpoint of couples who sometimes report living on $24,000 per year. And it goes up, devil mind the recession.

Ha
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:32 PM   #50
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This thread has been successfully hijacked into a Medicare discussion.

For us non-senior citizens, it appears that SS - lite is about $100/month/person. F will add about $200/month/person. Then there's Part D which I didn't get a price for. It looks like you can get up to $8-10,000 pretty quick.

If you went with just the basic SS, what's the annual, maximum out of pocket? Does F cover everything at 100%? What's the going price for Part D?

As for the original thread -- Houston generally sucks as a place to live unless you have cancer. This is the place to be if you need serious medical attention.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #51
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This is true only if you qualify by income for the lowest premium. Starting with this month I am paying something like $188/mo. If my income goes back below their cutoffs, the monthly premium should once gain go down to base in future years.

So for one, my Medicare is $22xx/yr. Plan D (the cheapest plan I coulod find) is $37.50/mo, and my Medigap is $175/mo. Also, there are uncovered services, for which unless you can negotiate the price down you will be paying the Doc's top level uncut price.

So from my experience, $5000 for one person is closer. It varies by geography, type of Medigap, etc.

But no way is is dirt cheap, especially from the standpoint of couples who sometimes report living on $24,000 per year. And it goes up, devil mind the recession.

Ha

When I said dirt cheap what I mean is compared to the rates before 65. I should have made that clear.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #52
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For us non-senior citizens, it appears that SS - lite is about $100/month/person. F will add about $200/month/person. Then there's Part D which I didn't get a price for. It looks like you can get up to $8-10,000 pretty quick.

If you went with just the basic SS, what's the annual, maximum out of pocket? Does F cover everything at 100%? What's the going price for Part D?
Not to nitpick, but I think you mean basic Medicare, not basic SS.

As I posted above, there is no maximum OOP since you are on the hook for the 20% Medicare Part B doesn't cover, as well as hospital deductibles and copays. Medicare plus plan F will cover 100% of your Medicare-eligible expenses with no OOP charges to you. Of course, things like dental and eyeglasses are not covered by Medicare.

As I posted above, the average part D premium nationwide is $30 per month (see Medicare.gov). The actual premium varies with location, deductibles, and copays. Medicare.gov has a slick program, whereby you tell it what drugs you are taking, and it ranks the part D plans in your area according to which is cheapest given your personal drug formulary.

BTW, I just plugged 77001 in as the zip code on the AARP website I linked above, and the plan F premium looks like about $150 per month per person (with the EFT and Household discounts), considerably more than here in Virginia, but considerably less than $200. And AARP may not be the low-cost provider in your area.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:14 PM   #53
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Not to nitpick, but I think you mean basic Medicare, not basic SS.

BTW, I just plugged 77001 in as the zip code on the AARP website I linked above, and the plan F premium looks like about $150 per month per person (with the EFT and Household discounts), considerably more than here in Virginia, but considerably less than $200. And AARP may not be the low-cost provider in your area.
Yep. Basic medicare.

I plugged in my zip code and got $189. I was surprised how expensive it was.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:30 PM   #54
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I plugged in my zip code and got $189. I was surprised how expensive it was.
I guess Houston is an expensive area. I just plugged in my old zip code in the NYC suburbs and it was $233 per person per month, more than twice the premium here in Virginia.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #55
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I didn't read all the thread but wanted to say not to roll your 401K to a IRA. At age over 55 when you leave an employer you can withdraw money without paying a penalty. You might not want to withdraw but since you might both be over 55 when you lose jobs it is worth thinking about.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:52 AM   #56
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I guess Houston is an expensive area. I just plugged in my old zip code in the NYC suburbs and it was $233 per person per month, more than twice the premium here in Virginia.
I plugged the "new and improved" $5,000/person medicare cost into my barebones spreadsheet. Not surprisingly, it drops my "spendable income" in retirement by just a hair under $5,000. It doesn't create a crisis with my minimum cash/CD amount (for a barebones retirement) but it does make a the budget slightly tighter.

One obvious thing I need to look into is the cost variation of retirement medical coverage at different locations currently being considered. I don't think this will be real easy to do. I need to check into rules concerning moving to another state and getting into their "high risk" pool and how the rates change within the state for both Medicare and pre-Medicare coverage.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:53 AM   #57
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There are several part time jobs to be had that offer Medical Benefits ---

If you can handle 20 hours a week at Starbucks you can get Health Coverage. (and a free pound of coffee a week )

I know after making 115K a year that $7 an hour might be depressing but depending on what medical problems come at you the $7 an hour could actually be FAR higher if your avoiding a $10000 hospital bill.

Here's a website with parttime jobs that have benefits..

Part Time Jobs with Benefits -
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:50 AM   #58
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Wow.....you are in great shape Tom....your wife is in good health.
Money is just money....it is not everything. You have done a great job of building a good nest....1.2M is more than many people ever amass. Instead of looking at what isn't....look at what is.
As for the giving up vacation.....move to a better cost of living area and double your vacation money.....it is time to enjoy what you and your wife have worked hard to amass. Last I heard, you cannot take your millions with you in the afterlife.
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