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The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 05:32 AM   #1
 
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The main changes since entering ER

My life now is quite different from when I semiretired
in 1993 and even from full retirement in 1998.

Starting with 1998 these are the main differences:

I remarried in 2001. Wife works.
I went from renting to owning our home.
It became a real problem to find health insurance, and
related to that, I developed some health issues.
My investments went from mostly bank CDs to bonds.
My small holding company did much better than I expected.
Child support stopped.
I am under 2 years to SS now.
I moved 3 times.

Things which did not change:

I am no more organized (no budget, etc).
I am just as frugal as when I retired.
My COL has not really gone up, even discounting my
working spouse
My desire to spend my twilight years in a warm climate
with lots of water is still there.
My day to day activities are about the same, although
some of things I used to enjoy are dropped now.

Obviously there have been some significant events
that no amount of planning could have prepared me for in 1998. OTOH, no calamities, and I just dealt with the
changes as they appeared. Kind of like life its ownself

JG

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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 02:56 PM   #2
 
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Thanks Rock. Best wishes to you also.............

Although I plan carefully now, I did very little pre-ER,
which makes me unusual in 2 ways. First, that I
never had any real plan or did any significant saving
prior to ER, and secondly, that I made it work. It
would be nice if this gave encouragement to other "late starters" But, you gotta be lucky too.

JG
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 03:58 PM   #3
 
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
Although I plan carefully now, I did very little pre-ER,
which makes me unusual in 2 ways.
Once again John, we are opposites. I did a lot of planning prior to ER. Now I don't plan very much at all.

I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow, if anything.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

--The biggest change for me since entering ER is the absence of dread. When I was working I spent a lot of time anticipating, handling, and avoiding crap. Not having something I dread hanging over my head is huge for me.
-- I get enough sleep.
-- The desire to "go out" has very much diminished. My life is so good that I have no need to escape by going out to eat or getting away for a couple days. There's nothing to escape.
-- The general atmosphere of our home is much more relaxed. We aren't under the gun of a tight schedule.
-- My health has improved. I feel much better.
-- I eat less and have lost some weight (without trying).
-- Like Cut-Throat, I live day by day. I don't look ahead very far and do whatever I feel like doing, or nothing at all.
-- We aren't spending as much, but I think we're living better. We have the time to do things right.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 08:46 PM   #5
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
--The biggest change for me since entering ER is the absence of dread. When I was working I spent a lot of time anticipating, handling, and avoiding crap. Not having something I dread hanging over my head is huge for me.
-- I get enough sleep.
-- The desire to "go out" has very much diminished. My life is so good that I have no need to escape by going out to eat or getting away for a couple days. There's nothing to escape.
-- The general atmosphere of our home is much more relaxed. We aren't under the gun of a tight schedule.
-- My health has improved. I feel much better.
-- I eat less and have lost some weight (without trying).
-- Like Cut-Throat, I live day by day. I don't look ahead very far and do whatever I feel like doing, or nothing at all.
-- We aren't spending as much, but I think we're living better. We have the time to do things right.
Wow! You don't know how much this struck a chord...
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-26-2004, 09:02 PM   #6
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
It became a real problem to find health insurance
My premiums went up 19% this year. At that rate of increase, they will be 23 times their current monthly amount before I reach Medicare.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 03:47 AM   #7
 
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:

My premiums went up 19% this year. *At that rate of increase, they will be 23 times their current monthly amount before I reach Medicare.
I'll quit paying long before this happens and I'll self insure.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 04:11 AM   #8
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

My big change was the birth of my children. Timothy was born 7 months before I handed in the resignation, but most of my experience of life with him is post-"retirement." Between the time that I handed in the resignation and the time it went into effect, my wife became pregnant with a girl (Veronica) who died at five months in the womb. We knew early on that the girl was going to die before birth, so for those five months and for a few months afterwards we had a lost-child experience that I had not experienced prior to handing in the resignation. Robert was born 19 months after I left the corporate job. We are hoping to have another child, but the odds are against us because of the age factor. We may try to adopt.

I find the "having children after retirement" aspect of our story a funny one. There have been lots of questions raised in our society in recent decades as to how woman and men should deal with the issue of how to take care of the kids at a time when many woman have careers to worry about. In some cases, both spouses continue to work after the birth of children. In some cases, the woman stops working. In some cases, the man stops working. We are the only couple I know of where both the man and woman resigned from their jobs at the time of the birth of their first child!

What's happened is that the age of retirement has gotten pushed back enough in some cases, and the age of childbearing has gotten pushed forward enough in some cases, that every now and then you are going to have an odd case like mine where the child-bearing years begin after the end of the corporate paycheck-earning years.

I'm a new-fangled sort of pioneer!
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 07:22 AM   #9
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
I'll quit paying long before this happens and I'll self insure.
Hey CT,

When you say "self insure" does that mean you will take the full financial burden of all medical bills with some help from tax ride offs?

or

Will you get catastrophic health insurance with a very large deductable?

MJ
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 07:26 AM   #10
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
My premiums went up 19% this year. At that rate of increase, they will be 23 times their current monthly amount before I reach Medicare.
My financial spreadsheet has a yearly inflation factor of 11% for medical related expenses until the age of 65.

19%, I thought 11% was being reasonable.

MJ :-/
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 07:59 AM   #11
 
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:

Hey CT,

When you say "self insure" does that mean you will take the full financial burden of all medical bills with some help from tax ride offs?

or

Will you get catastrophic health insurance with a very large deductable?

MJ
I think I only plan on getting catastrophic health Insurance.

And if that gets so high that it guarantees my financial demise, I'll skip it altogether and roll the dice until medicare kicks in.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 09:16 AM   #12
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:

I think I only plan on getting catastrophic health Insurance.

And if that gets so high that it guarantees my financial demise, I'll skip it altogether and roll the dice until medicare kicks in.
Cutthroat: Your first paragraph makes sense.

As far as going it alone, that can be a huge financial gamble, especially for someone that has a high net worth.

A huge medical bill is the obvious problem. But what a lot of people don't realize is that there are two prices when they need to spend some time in the hospital after an extensive surgery.

If you have no insurance, you will be paying "retail". If you have insurance, there is an agreed upon ceiling that the Dr.s have with a certified carrier.

Check with anyone that has been in this situation, and you will find that the carrier usually pays less than half of what the medical bill would be for someone that doesn't have medical ins.

I have had 3 surgeries over the years. (Repairing torn cartlidge, Gall Bladder Surgery, Cataract Surgery), in all cases, Dr's bill and hospital was over twice as much as carrier paid.

A close friend of mine recently had a very delicate surgery at Davis Medical Center. They billed for $38,000, the carrier paid $17,000.00.

Take the highest deductible you can, but don't jeaporidize your net worth by "going it alone". Above were all relatively minor surgeries, but you can image what would happen if you were to find yourself with a budget busting problem.

Jarhead
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 09:29 AM   #13
 
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Jarhead,

I understand completely. But, please read what I said.

If the insurance pricetag gets so high that it my guarantees my financial demise............................

then what is left to risk?
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 09:49 AM   #14
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
If you have no insurance, you will be paying "retail". If you have insurance, there is an agreed upon ceiling that the Dr.s have with a certified carrier.

Check with anyone that has been in this situation, and you will find that the carrier usually pays less than half of what the medical bill would be for someone that doesn't have medical ins.
I see that on my bills as well. I thought I read somewhere here that a uninsured cash client can get a much better break on the medical retail fees.
Of course an "out of network" doctor can collect the difference between what they charged and what they received from the insurance company.
I wonder, whether there is a tax advange for an "in network" doctor or hospital to submit a very large bill even though they will receiving a reduced amount.

I thank G-d that at 56 I haven't had any operation since the removal of my appendix for over 40 + years unless you count my first tooth extraction 2 years ago.

Cheers

MJ
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-27-2004, 12:16 PM   #15
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Cut-Throat, on the health insurance issue, I'm thinking the system as it stands can't last much longer. Very few will be able to afford health care before long. These cost increases aren't sustainable - something has to give, and soon. I'm thinking the existing system may fall apart before most of us reach the breaking point. But I'm with you on this - I will refuse to relinquish my ER to the medical system.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-28-2004, 08:13 AM   #16
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

My biggest change is that I keep traveling. When employed, I not only couldn't find the time / coverage, I also somehow couldn't find the funds. Now that I'm living on less than 2k per month <with an extra 5k kicking in near end of year to pay insurance / prop taxes> I have both .... without being a SAHS <Stay at home spouse>. First it was a Panama Canal Cruise, then a week at Lake Tahoe, then a Montreal to NYC cruise, off to England and the Middle East in January <my choice not the gov'ts>. Have only planned a ski trip to Lake Tahoe, Mediterranean Cruise, back to the Yucatan peninsula, and Lake Tahoe next summer so far. It amazes me how much can be done on so little. Humm.........Lake Tahoe seems to be a common thread ........maybe I should buy a rental ........nah, too much work

As to health insurance, I am very fortunate that I am a retired public sector employee so when I think of increases ... the cost options still range from $7 - $60 per month <single, no dependents>. It'll be 0 in 12 years when I'm eligible for Medicare.

Quote:
Looking ahead, I can see that dealing with "identity" issues and the like may be at least as challenging as the financial side of things.
Personally, I initially found the 'identity' issue the only real challanging part as most of my friends and family members kept telling me to 'hang in there, (I'd) find a new job soon.' They didn't get it
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-28-2004, 01:31 PM   #17
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

I ER'ed last April, 2004.
Wife still works, but even so, I read just about everything I could get my hands on about retirement.
Since then, I've painted every room in the house that wasn't already painted; I've built storage shelves in the garage.
Now that winter is here (Pittsburgh area), there isn't much to do outside, except going for walks (exercise stuff). I don't ski.
What I've done for entertainment is a quick trip to Kohler Ws to play golf at Whistling Straits; a trip with wife to AZ; another trip to AZ to play golf; and a trip to FL to find an assisted living facility for my Dad (age 88).
I'm paying my share of the expenses from pension, interest checks, and dividends. We still have a mortgage that I (we) plan to payoff when my SS begins in just under 4 years. As far as health insurances, I'm lucky. I am on my wife's policy at work, but, could switch to Company Retiree medical if necessary. We don't plan on moving until the wife retires; that's a long way off unless she gets totally fed-up with work (like I did).
So far so good.
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 12-28-2004, 03:29 PM   #18
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
I've painted every room in the house that wasn't already painted; *I've built storage shelves in the garage.....a quick trip to Kohler Ws to play golf at Whistling Straits; *a trip with wife to AZ; another trip to AZ to play golf; and a trip to FL to find an assisted living facility for my Dad ....* As far as health insurances, I'm lucky. *I am on my wife's policy at work, but, could switch to Company Retiree medical if necessary. *...So far so good.
It's amazing that the house and worn paint doesn't seem to bother us until we see it every day between travels. Today, I've decided to keep the mission sofa and 2 chair set and just tuck brightly colored throws over them. Actually those fit just fine, look like slip covers, and since I'm only here 1/2 time, I can think of plenty of other places to spend the $$
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 01-01-2005, 07:32 AM   #19
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

Quote:
my wife became pregnant with a girl (Veronica) who died at five months in the womb. We knew early on that the girl was going to die before birth, so for those five months and for a few months afterwards we had a lost-child experience .
My heart goes out to you!

Judy
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Re: The main changes since entering ER
Old 01-01-2005, 07:48 AM   #20
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Re: The main changes since entering ER

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I wonder, whether there is a tax advange for an "in network" *doctor or hospital to submit a very large bill even though they will receiving a reduced amount.
The cost of a medical procedure MUST be billed at the same rate to all consumers. So an individual procedure, lets say cataracts, must be billed at the same amt to BC/BS and John Q. Uninsured. However, the big insurers can negotiate lower prices because they promise volume, the contracted price being the lower amt you see on the bill. This is the reason choosing your medical facility/provider is decreed by your insurer. The base rate is essentially set by Medicare as that entitiy has predetermined amounts above which it (medicare) will not pay.

Judy
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