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Old 01-01-2009, 03:57 PM   #41
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People who say things like I mentioned earlier aren't the norm, but they are out there, and it's to them I say: "isn't it MORE selfish to keep a job you no longer need financially than it is to give it to someone who *does* need it financially?"
I couldn't agree more, and you are correct that are going to be some who are ticked off at early retirees. No one I personally know has ever stated that view to me. (thankfully)
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:58 PM   #42
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Thanks, T-Al, Gotadimple, Ziggy, and others for your perspective on this.

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At least you only have had to wrestle with this decision for 1 year, and I think you are right in working the extra year. If you expect to stay healthy then that "lost" year will be well worth it if it gives you the peace of mind I expect it will. Even if UHC or guaranteed insurance for all or whatever comes into being don't fret about missing out on it. I decided long ago that being angry because others got something I didn't just isn't worth it.
It was originally two years and one month, but I only have about ten months left to wait. Might as well finish it out. You are SO RIGHT that being angry because others got something I didn't just isn't worth it. I need to remind myself of that more often.

Gotadimple mentioned free lifetime medical, and I should clarify... for me it isn't free, but will cost very little - - currently $152/month for BCBS Standard, the best BCBS Uncle Sam offers me.

And yes, T-Al, if Obama announces the "Free Healthcare For All Americans" health act, I will feel like such a chump. On the other hand, if I quit work and then he announces the "Healthcare For All Americans up to $5000/year Max" health act, or some such thing, I would be kicking myself around the block.

Ten more months won't kill me (probably). I plan to use up all my vacation time, about 8 weeks after this week, during these 10 months before I leave rather than choosing reimbursement. And I suppose I should be glad that I am working during this economic downturn, but (shhh!) I'm NOT...
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #43
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I plan to use up all my vacation time, about 8 weeks after this week, during these 10 months before I leave rather than choosing reimbursement. And I suppose I should be glad that I am working during this economic downturn, but (shhh!) I'm NOT...
I plan on doing the same thing. End of this year (2009) I'll have 6 weeks owing in 2010, so I plan to only work the first 2 weeks in January and be on vacation until retirement on March 1st.

I had noticed how many posts you manage to get in during your "workday", but don't worry, I won't tell anyone
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:10 PM   #44
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I had noticed how many posts you manage to get in during your "workday", but don't worry, I won't tell anyone
I hope you are the only one who has noticed all my multitasking! Shhhh! At work I am gradually sliding into the RIP (Retired In Place) category, and so far I have not felt any repercussions since I am getting the job done. Sometimes I have to focus just on the job, though, when workload demands. My job either avalanches me with work or just the opposite, rather than providing a steady stream of work. That probably sounds familiar to a lot of people as I suppose most jobs are like that.

I am so envious of your March ER date! Mine will be in November. (sigh)
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #45
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I hope you are the only one who has noticed all my multitasking! Shhhh! At work I am gradually sliding into RIP (Retired In Place) category, and so far I have not felt any repercussions since I am getting the job done. Sometimes I have to focus just on the job, though, when workload demands.

I am so envious of your March ER date! Mine will be in November. (sigh)
March 2010 !!!!

It is I who am envious of you
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #46
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March 2010 !!!!

It is I who am envious of you
OH!!! I missed that part. Yes, I will be glad to be done by the second week in November, 2009, assuming all goes as planned.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:49 PM   #47
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But who decides when it is fruitless? Three years ago my mom was on life support for more than a month after heart surgery, suffered a number of setbacks and was hospitalized all told between six and seven weeks. Medical care might have been declared "fruitless" any time during that six weeks (or before she had the bypass surgery) and she probably would never have seen her 80th birthday. Since that didn't happen, she is still with us and in fact has pretty much fully recovered. I don't say there are no problems with our current system, that would obviously not be true, but it makes me nervous that denying medical care to sick people could be perceived as getting a backbone, rather than a death sentence passed by who-knows-who, with no appeals allowed. There must be a better way than telling people, "we could treat you, but it's too expensive, so go ahead and die."
It is not a question of denial of care, it is a question of who pays for it.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #48
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It is not a question of denial of care, it is a question of who pays for it.
Then please elaborate on what you meant when you wrote earlier: "I don't think fruitless hospital care should be covered as I think this is one area where our system needs a back bone." If treatment which is determined to be "fruitless" is "not covered", how is this not "denial of care"?
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:02 PM   #49
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Ah, there are many many sick people who do not have the resources to pay for care today, even that which will restore them to essentially the level of function they had before becoming ill. How is that different than a health insurance program that pays for care that is not likely to be fruitless and not other care?

IMHO individuals should have the option of purchasing a private policy that insures against the risk of being denied payment because a treatment is not likely to be fruitful. A program that is all things to all people will be affordable for only a few.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:52 PM   #50
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Ah, there are many many sick people who do not have the resources to pay for care today, even that which will restore them to essentially the level of function they had before becoming ill.
I agree. There are many people in the U.S. who have no medical insurance, and as a result don't get treatment.
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How is that different than a health insurance program that pays for care that is not likely to be fruitless and not other care?
If I understand your question, the U.S. health care situation today is different in that the selection of which patients get care and which do not is made on the basis of whether they have insurance, not on the basis of whether the care is likely to be fruitful. I think this could and should be improved. In both the current system and what I think you are suggesting, some people are allowed to go without treatment for strictly financial reasons. Either way we are making money more important than peoples' lives, which IMO means our priorities are wrong.

Would I be correct to conclude that to you, "fruitful care" means care which is likely to return the person to their original level of function? In that case, what of people who have incurable conditions such as brain or spinal injury or genetic illnesses? There is no treatment that will restore them to their original level of function. Should they receive care, or not? What about people with birth defects, whose original level of function is subnormal in some way? Should they be treated?

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IMHO individuals should have the option of purchasing a private policy that insures against the risk of being denied payment because a treatment is not likely to be fruitful. A program that is all things to all people will be affordable for only a few.
It sounds like to me like you are advocating a system under which people would pay for insurance (whether via premiums or a paying into a public pool via taxes), but if they suffer a catastrophic injury or illness from which full recovery is unlikely even with treatment, they would not be eligible for coverage, unless they also had a fail-safe private policy. It hardly seems fair to cut off treatment to someone who has been contributing to the system all along, just when they need it most and due to injury or illness are least able to pay out of pocket. But perhaps I misunderstand you?

I think a system which paid for the devastating injuries and illnesses, while leaving the smaller, preventive expenses to be paid for on an individual basis, would be preferable.

I think your suggestion of supplemental policies, which an individual would have the option of buying to increase their coverage, would be a good addition to just about any universal system.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #51
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I did not intend to say that the treatment would be expected to return the person to their former level of function, only that treatment would be likely to be effective - not fruitless

My father had a brain tumor which was surgically removed. He did not have the expected result. Once he was medically stable he was sent to a skilled nursing facility where, if he continued to make progress (recover) the insurance would pay for a couple months nursing and physical therapy. If he stopped making progress the insurance payments stopped. He stayed, as I recall, 6 weeks - the point at which he stopped making progress.

As tough as that standard is, it makes sense. As anyone who has dealt with such matters, he was not the man he was before surgery... but then if he didn't have the surgery he would have been a paraplegic.

I have lived the standard I propose. My parents had long term care insurance, which helped.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:28 PM   #52
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Like others posted, I just need something more affordable.

Another bright side to retireing early, I would help create a job opening for someone else. Its all how you look at it.
Thanks to everyone,
Steve
One big issue to me is defining "affordable". Do you have any numbers for that?

I see a number of people agree with the "create a job opening" comment. I think the standard economist's response is that in the long run the number of jobs is flexible, it will expand to use all the productive workers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy The short term is different, and most of us probably think in the short term.

I didn't feel at all guilty about retiring at 59, but I didn't think I was doing a favor to some other worker.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #53
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I see a number of people agree with the "create a job opening" comment. I think the standard economist's response is that in the long run the number of jobs is flexible, it will expand to use all the productive workers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy The short term is different, and most of us probably think in the short term.

I didn't feel at all guilty about retiring at 59, but I didn't think I was doing a favor to some other worker.
I do think in the short term because that is what I can feel most emotionally. Over the years I have personally had to tell 4 good workers that they are being laid off simply because the company has to cut costs and their positions are being eliminated. I've finished a good few more for other reasons but laying good people off when the economy is bad and jobs are hard to find really sucks when you are the one giving them the news.

My megacorp is currently eliminating jobs. At my site alone we have 1/3 of our production units down for at least 6 months, one of them for at least a year, and the capital budget has been cut by 75%. If I was eligible to RE I would go in a heartbeat because I can afford it and want to RE, and with the added knowledge that someone else won't get laid off. My managers know this - I don't need a "package", just let me take retirement early - I'm leaving anyway in 13 months.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:52 PM   #54
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[quote=Independent;766733]One big issue to me is defining "affordable". Do you have any numbers for that?

I want attempt to put exact numbers on this since the cost is different for each person/family depending on number of persons and locality in the present system. But I will say I would be more than happy to continue paying what I presently pay for my (group) family coverage. With my situation and employer, when a person retires you are basically thrown to the wolves. This is even after 30 years of service. I haven't got it down to exact numbers yet but will need to pretty soon. My best estimate to continue something close to the coverage I have would be over half my retirement check per month for private insurance. It would be almost impossible to live on whats left. Of course I will be doing some shopping when I'm a little closer to my retirement date. It sure would bring a smile to my face if something comes to the forefront in the next year or so. It will probably make the difference in my decision to continue working or give the job up to others.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:12 PM   #55
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When ever this subject comes up, I always think 'Be careful what you ask for'. We want a health care system that is timely, available, affordable, and high quality. In order to get this the insurance co., politicians, people, and health care providers will have to compromise. Someone in this mix is going to get screwed, and I can think of two that won't. The insurance co. will have the cash to lobby the politician, and therefore, I don't think either of these will have to compromise much. The people and the health care provider are a different story. There is already anecdotal stories of folks not being able to find a doctor that will take new Medicare patients.

So, I for one, am one of those that fears the change. I know the system we have. Lots of warts, but it works for DW and I. So I would like to see it tweaked some rather than a new 'Great Medical Society' or 'War on Health Care' started up.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:49 PM   #56
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Hey, I was just thinking, didn't Mr. Obama propose or suggest the same health coverage or equivalent plan as those in congress? I don't know anything about their coverages and/or costs but I'll bet it's something to behold. Does anyone remember that subject coming up on the campaign trail? Why it that sticking in my mind? Refresh my memory.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:53 PM   #57
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Johnnie,
He does mention the same as congress type coverage at his web site. Just do a search on obama health plan. I don't remember many details about it though. That's probably because he's a politician, lots of promises but few details.
Makes you wonder?
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #58
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When ever this subject comes up, I always think 'Be careful what you ask for'. We want a health care system that is timely, available, affordable, and high quality. In order to get this the insurance co., politicians, people, and health care providers will have to compromise. Someone in this mix is going to get screwed, and I can think of two that won't. The insurance co. will have the cash to lobby the politician, and therefore, I don't think either of these will have to compromise much. The people and the health care provider are a different story. There is already anecdotal stories of folks not being able to find a doctor that will take new Medicare patients.

So, I for one, am one of those that fears the change. I know the system we have. Lots of warts, but it works for DW and I. So I would like to see it tweaked some rather than a new 'Great Medical Society' or 'War on Health Care' started up.
Rustic,
I must admit I'm somewhat fearful my self.
The fact that it could make or break my retirement plans has me very interested though. I figure I'll make the best of what comes my way.
I am self centered on this one for sure (lol) !!!
Nothing like being honest,
Steve
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:58 PM   #59
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I really think this will be bitten off in chewable chunks. The first coverage will be for children and prenatal care. One that universe is covered the actuaries will adjust private health care insurance product costs.

If I ran the world... for adults the next would be a basic product that covers preventative care and major medical expenses. If people want to insure themselves beyond that then they can buy a separate policy (akin to medigap insurance). I think we will re-visit "donut hole" coverage (such as that in Medicare Part D) where the citizens have the option of buying insurance to fill the hole.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:27 AM   #60
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The current system is, for younger folks, based on "optional" purchase of insurance. IMHO that will never work - look at the numbers of people that do not have insurance for which it would be economical to purchase (20-50 year old). Also look at the Auto Insurance situation - you have to buy insurance to cover the folks that are driving around without auto insurance. Unless it can be figured out how to make it "mandatory" to purchase medical insurance it is going to be difficult. Of course we could make it Universal and Free and then after about 10 years just have a "bailout" - which is exactly what may be coming. It is early and I am somewhat of a cynic when it comes to "welfare" programs and "handouts" especially to those that can but won't.
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