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Old 02-18-2014, 09:31 AM   #161
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In addition to the pension question, how's everyone dealing with their healthcare costs? Did healthcare come with any pension package, HSA, or do you just pay those costs out of pocket? What's your particular situation?

I had the option of staying on group plan until Medicare when I retired 4 years ago, but the individual market was dirt cheap at the time, so I declined it and went the individual, high deductible, HSA method. Accounting for the HSA tax deduction, I have actually made money each year on buying my own health insurance. After this year's exemption ends, that will not be the case anymore thanks to the ACA. So it's pay more, have a higher deductible, and stay healthy until 65, then get my revenge with assorted body part replacements!
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #162
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I have a very small pension, from Retail Food and Commercial Workers Union, where my first job was as a minmimum-wage-plus-5-cents cashier at a drugstore in the eighties! Only good thing I can say about that experience is that the low pay and benefits eventually propelled me to get off my a$$, go back to school and become a pharmacist.

I do get a kick out of that little $100 check every month. Hey, it'll add up to $42,000 if I (and the Pension Fund!) live another 30 years. Ironically, that $42K is roughly what I earned there, at $3/hr for seven years! (There were some nickel and dime raises, but I suspect inflation ate 'em.)
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:31 AM   #163
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Military pensions include health care. Tricare prime $550 for the family. Includes drug plan. Tricare for life, Medicare sup., free.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:07 PM   #164
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We decided to go this direction, with DH's COLA'd pension. Now I have regrets and I'd suggest anyone considering this really look at all sides.
I was so submerged in work, I just didn't do the research and think through this as I should have. (After all, I had my own (non-COLA) pension and 401k and stock options, and retirement was years ahead for me.)

We agreed DH would get a 15-year life insurance policy, enough to pay off the mortgage and bills, should something happen to him early on.

What didn't kick in for me at the time was my pension isn't COLA'd. And my retiree med subsidy before Medicare is being reduced or may go away(though ACA might help if necessary). As mentioned before, it's not necessarily true that expenses get cut that much if you lose your spouse, and taxes may actually go up. Oh, yeah, and the stock options have been a bust.

That aside, I should be ok with the IRA back-up and we've paid off the house, but should something happen to DH, my SOL will be significantly adjusted. Just a caution to anyone considering signing away the survivor benefits.
I, too, would suggest to anyone to think about it carefully before you pass over the 100% survivor option if you have a spouse. Sure you may be able to buy life insurance but if your spouse is older, it is doubtful if you could buy enough equal to what you'd gain--especially if cola'd.

Say, you get $3000 a month with 3% cola. If your spouse lives 20 more years, that would be over $700,000 and that is without the cola. (my math may be off). If you can find a life insurance at a reasonable rate that will guarantee that then fine. Beside if the spouse dies, your payout goes back to what it would have been if you had not taken the option. You don't get the money back but you start fresh. If it cost you $300 a month for this option. You get that back.

In discussing with a coworker who was retiring around the same time as myself what option she was taking. She said she was taking the $100 a month dollar survivor option. I asked her why and she said she wanted to get as much as she can get. Yet she told me that her husband made very little from his SS--something like $1200 with a pension of $70 dollars. She had a high paying job and and if she were to die her husband could get as much as $5000 a month. Heaven forbid if she were to die before he does, he's only be entitled to $100 a month of her pay and be stuck with a small Soc Sec. I asked if he was agreeable to that and she she yes--he'd better.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:06 PM   #165
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In addition to the pension question, how's everyone dealing with their healthcare costs? Did healthcare come with any pension package, HSA, or do you just pay those costs out of pocket? What's your particular situation?
My pension came with paid medical. It becomes supplemental to Medicare, when I'll then have a medical expense for part B. I'm purchasing dental-vision-audio and long term care insurance. I figure it's a push between premiums and dental-vision expenses each year. Once I have some history of what they actually cover, I'll decide whether to continue it. I've gone back and forth on long term care insurance. The deciding factor was to keep the non-LTC user from becoming destitute while trying to cover LTC costs. Once there is only one of us, we'll evaluate whether it's worthwhile to keep it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #166
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I, too, would suggest to anyone to think about it carefully before you pass over the 100% survivor option if you have a spouse. Sure you may be able to buy life insurance but if your spouse is older, it is doubtful if you could buy enough equal to what you'd gain--especially if cola'd.

Say, you get $3000 a month with 3% cola. If your spouse lives 20 more years, that would be over $700,000 and that is without the cola. (my math may be off). If you can find a life insurance at a reasonable rate that will guarantee that then fine. Beside if the spouse dies, your payout goes back to what it would have been if you had not taken the option. You don't get the money back but you start fresh. If it cost you $300 a month for this option. You get that back.

In discussing with a coworker who was retiring around the same time as myself what option she was taking. She said she was taking the $100 a month dollar survivor option. I asked her why and she said she wanted to get as much as she can get. Yet she told me that her husband made very little from his SS--something like $1200 with a pension of $70 dollars. She had a high paying job and and if she were to die her husband could get as much as $5000 a month. Heaven forbid if she were to die before he does, he's only be entitled to $100 a month of her pay and be stuck with a small Soc Sec. I asked if he was agreeable to that and she she yes--he'd better.

$100 a month option? I never heard of such a thing. I bet that might lower her pension check a dollar a month. The ultimate sacrifice!
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:41 PM   #167
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Dh and I both have state non-cola pensions.
Our other retirement income streams are SS (he's collecting, I have 3 more years til I can collect), part-time job for him, savings, and Roth IRA accounts for both of us. We haven't touched the IRAs but they are there if needed.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:29 PM   #168
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some of my older friends still working are jealous!
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:52 PM   #169
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I have a state pension with limited cola. Wife has no pension but has IRA.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:25 PM   #170
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Dh and I both have state non-cola pensions.
Our other retirement income streams are SS (he's collecting, I have 3 more years til I can collect), part-time job for him, savings, and Roth IRA accounts for both of us. We haven't touched the IRAs but they are there if needed.

Kz,

You guys sound like you've got it made.

Congrats.
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