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Find yourself at the crossroads?
Old 05-19-2010, 05:54 PM   #1
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Find yourself at the crossroads?

I guess this is very political but here goes?
Did you find yourself looking at issues differently at retirement?
With health care becoming very important to me at retirement I began to listen closely to all the political wrangling of the recent debate.
I've mostly been a conservative type person during my working years and didn't particularly like give away programs. Now in light of how republicans turned away from every aspect of health care reform I found myself turning against most of what they said and did. I feel a little confused about my change of heart. Did any of you go through similar things when you retired? It seems very different for me to feel I need protection to get good health care benefits now that they are not available through my work place. It sure seems to make a difference with which side of the fence you suddenly find yourself on. I'm even considering changing the way I have voted most of my life.
Very different and strange territory for me. I hope this thread goes over OK with the group, I'm just looking for thoughts/feed back.
What say you?
Steve
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
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I didn't change but it doesn't surprise me that someone would. As the saying goes, "where you stand depends on where you sit." Seeing all the cautions here to potential ERers about the need to account for health care (where you will get it, what it will cost) it would be foolhardy not to pay pretty close attention. Like the rest of the electorate, ER posters here went in both directions on the topic - no consensus at all. Likewise, financial reform has huge implications for all of us.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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It seems very different for me to feel I need protection to ... benefits now that they are not available through my work place.
Yeah, it came as a shock to a lot of people in the past ten-fifteen years that they wouldn't live forever and that "the company" would not "be there" for them despite the promises by society. There was a lot brain-washing after WWII that was easy to swallow. I suppose it could be worse -- think of what the people of the Soviet Union had to cope with when Communism was ended (for them).

For some reason this pops up in my mind: Bankruptcy is merely the end of a dream.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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I haven't found myself looking at issues differently. But with regard the health care, I do believe strongly that decent, affordable care shouldn't be tied to having a job. Thus, I'm grateful that there is such a thing as a HSA (signed in law by a republican), and do feel the goal of universal health care shouldn't be left to die.

Wherer I live, many are retired, and during the local election in the district, notes were passed around to say "vote NO against help for schools, vote NO against aid for the library" (I'm assuming, because of the property taxes to fund the assistance), so as Donheff has pointed out, the factor of "where you stand depends on where you sit" holds true.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:35 PM   #5
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Wherer I live, many are retired, and during the local election in the district, notes were passed around to say "vote NO against help for schools, vote NO against aid for the library" (I'm assuming, because of the property taxes to fund the assistance), so as Donheff has pointed out, the factor of "where you stand depends on where you sit" holds true.
This article has gone a long way to helping me cope with understanding this behavior:

Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth - opinion - 19 May 2010 - New Scientist
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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I'm not retired, but as a prospective Very Early Retiree, I didn't fight the Health Insurance "reform" much. After all, it looks like it will trim a few years off my working career and provide more stability and certainty in my ability to obtain insurance without working. And it will provide the potential for some more flexible working arrangements for DW and I without having to worry about the threat of losing HI if we dip below 30 hrs/wk or whatever our employers' magic numbers are for providing health insurance.

I guess that means I have shifted from being politically minded based on what would be best for everyone to asking "what's in it for me". Let everyone else fend for themselves. In terms of tax policy and state-provided welfare-type benefits, it clearly pays to look lower middle class or poorer. So I'm doing my part to look lower middle class on paper in order to maximize my wealth extraction from the government and minimize the government's wealth extraction from me. I assume all the other folks out there are utility-maximizing rational economic actors and are acting in their own best self interest.
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:14 PM   #7
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I feel a little confused about my change of heart. Did any of you go through similar things when you retired? .... I'm even considering changing the way I have voted most of my life. ...

What say you?
Steve
I have never liked the Democrats or the Republicans. That has not changed since I retired.

-ERD50
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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My opinions on health care haven't changed since I retired, in spite of the fact that our situation has changed a lot. That's probably becuase I wasn't a "free market idealist" before I retired.

I thought that individuals should pay for their own routine health care expenses without gov't (or employer) subsidy, and that catastrophic expenses should be covered by a universal tax-funded program. I still feel that way.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:14 PM   #9
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Interesting question. For me it was more a question of wealth. When I was working and striving to increase our net worth I was very right wing in my thinking and politics. Basically thought-screw the poor they should work for a living too. Now that we have met our financial goals and reached total financial security I think more about what a fair or just society would look like. I have more sympathy for the less advantaged now. I think this might be because I want a nice quiet civilized place to spend our time and money now that we have some. FYI although we have universal health care in Canada my DW and I still spend $10-20K on uncovered procedures or procedures in the US (wait times too long).
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:59 PM   #10
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I have never liked the Democrats or the Republicans. That has not changed since I retired.

-ERD50
me too. i call them the red/blue party. two wings of the same bird
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:48 PM   #11
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I thought that individuals should pay for their own routine health care expenses without gov't (or employer) subsidy, and that catastrophic expenses should be covered by a universal tax-funded program.
I love this plan. I think it will be hard to get it enacted.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:56 AM   #12
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I love this plan. I think it will be hard to get it enacted.
Yes.

I think the problem with getting it enacted is that most Americans truly believe under the current system "somebody else" pays for their medical care. As long as they believe that, they won't support very much change.
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