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Old 01-08-2018, 12:27 PM   #101
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If public transportation in DC is good then selling the car is a possibility at some point. But honestly, I have to say public transportation in the U.S. on average is poor. In DC it could be a different story.
In downtown D.C. the buses and subway can work well, depending on where one lives and where one's normal destinations are. So selling her car is a realistic possibility, but not one I would suggest until she knows where her next job is. If the job is off the bus or subway routes or out in the suburbs she will definitely need that car so I'd suggest hanging on to it for a while.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:34 PM   #102
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In California you can go onto the exchange and list a change in status to get ACA HC. I don't really know how it works but the UI people will clue you in.

Anyone here get on ACA after a drop in income?
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:39 PM   #103
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Your costs without premium assistance on a bronze isn't really workable no one disputes that point. But it's just a fact this doesn't meet ACA standards for major medical insurance....they freely acknowledge that point.

I'm happy this works for your family but might not work for everyone.
It is just an option. It is ACA compliant for the insurance requirement so no penalties and I do think people should consider it. And, I do think it meets the standards for major medical insurance. Better than the bronze plan we had.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:57 PM   #104
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We are not going to agree on this point ...I said ACA standards not insurance standards...I just want anyone thinking about this to know what they would be buying
It has a waiver for ACA...because it's a medical sharing ministry you will see outfits like Medi-Share posts a disclaimer on their homepage saying it is not insurance it is a not for profit ministry and not guaranteed in any way and is not subject to insurance regulations..I'm quoting Medi--Share it was the first one listed on Mr Google.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:38 PM   #105
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I don't think this matters. With a 401k you can designate someone other than your spouse as beneficiary ONLY with signed agreement. I would assume that applies to government version of 401k as well (can't think of the name for it). For Pensions, I believe it is part of a QDRO that your attorney SHOULD have made sure was part of the Divorce Decree? If he/she didn't bring it up or have a QDRO done as part of the divorce, you had a lousy attorney. Maybe you can see him/her for negligence.
You do need to check the divorce papers and see what they say. What have you got to lose? Right now you are stating that you have nothing, when in fact maybe you can get something? If ex was employed by gov't when you were married for 15 years, then it is likely you are entitled to some portion of the pension or savings from that period.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:52 PM   #106
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The Church has only eleven employees in their budget and no there are no positions available where I could have expanded my skillset. They have three Priests, a Director of Administration, A youth Missioner, An organist and choirmaster, a Communications and Media Director, Parish Coordinator( accounting and Admin combo) and four Sextons who do all the general maintenance and set up at various times for events and general clean-up. My Administrative assistant position was eliminated for the Parish Coordinator job.
Why not apply for the Parish Coordinator job? You have already proven the admin piece and given your background it sounds like you can probably easily learn the accounting piece (which I infer is probably more bookeeping than accounting and Quickbooks is easy to learn... you could take some online training if necessary).
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:02 PM   #107
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I just renegotiated with Xfinity/Comcast last week for a better rate for Internet service only. I told them I had lost my job and got NO sympathy. Instead of raising it to 109.00--they lowered it to $76.00 (not including taxes) which will keep it at about the same rate for a year. Our apartment building is not able to connect to FIOS and so Comcast knows it is the only game in town for us. Many of us here would love to have RCN, but Comcast will not allow them to use their cables -- which is what we have--understandable from a business point of view.
Depending on your internet needs, a Mi-Fi service might work for you and save you a lot.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:14 PM   #108
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It sounds to me like you have good skills and can find another job if you wish to and that would provide enough to live without tapping your nestegg.... but OTOH, you could retire if you wish to but it might be tight unless you move to a low COL area.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #109
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...given your background it sounds like you can probably easily learn the accounting piece (which I infer is probably more bookeeping than accounting and Quickbooks is easy to learn... you could take some online training if necessary).
QB is easy to learn for routine transactions, especially if an experienced bookkeeper shows you how to do them. However, sometimes tricky situations arise where careful thought, analysis, and research is required. The bookkeeper for our family S-corp was notorious for messing up the books whenever she encountered a situation requiring some thought. Just a warning! 😎
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:19 PM   #110
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My ex husband works for the Federal Government and we have been divorced since 1995. I doubt that I will qualify for any of his pension at this late date.
Best to not "doubt" that you will or will not qualify for some needed benefit. Just try for something.

More than one divorced man wound up back in court when his former wife ran into trouble. Not your fault, but it will be your fault if you go hungry because you assumed that you would not get this or that payment or income stream so you neglected to try.

Churches are great for preaching about the brotherhood of man, but not so great at playing fair with their employees.

Ha
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:08 PM   #111
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Look at Christian Healthcare Ministries as a substitute for health insurance. The best level will cost $175 for the best benefits. We think it is our solution for unaffordable health insurance. I can answer questions about it if you want to discuss.
Can you tell me more about CHM?
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:15 PM   #112
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Why not apply for the Parish Coordinator job? You have already proven the admin piece and given your background it sounds like you can probably easily learn the accounting piece (which I infer is probably more bookeeping than accounting and Quickbooks is easy to learn... you could take some online training if necessary).
They want an accountant with two years of experience who is willing to do Admin and answer phones for less money--no takers yet!! The one person who accepted the position, and who I spent time training-quit after two days and two hours and said it was too much work for her if she had to do the accounting too. Oh well....
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:16 PM   #113
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My issue is that people call this a penalty...your claiming your money sooner so you get less money per month , that's just common sense.

They don't "punish" you for taking money early, it's meant to give people options. It's a nice annuity chance for people that want to take advantage of itbut somehow it's turned into a huge, how long am I going to live so I can wring every penny out of the system, when in fact every person had different needs, wants and lifespans.
Fair enough.

When you wait, they award you delayed retirement credits.
So perhaps when you choose to claim early, they should call it early retirement debits?

Social Security is a terrific, lifetime, inflation-adjusted annuity. And the choice to start early or late makes it even more beneficial.

Unfortunately, few people choose to wait until 70 and get their maximum benefit. Human nature, and behavioral economics, tell us that many, many people will start early or at their full retirement age. Behavioral economics also tells us that behavior can be changed by the judicious choice of words.

Perhaps if Full Retirement Age were changed to 70, and Early Retirement Debits were subtracted for claiming at 62 or 66, more people would choose to wait until 70 - even if the math were exactly the same.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:17 PM   #114
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They want an accountant with two years of experience who is willing to do Admin and answer phones for less money--no takers yet!! The one person who accepted the position, and who I spent time training-quit after two days and two hours and said it was too much work for her if she had to do the accounting too. Oh well....
They also want to pay less...
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:20 PM   #115
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Depending on your internet needs, a Mi-Fi service might work for you and save you a lot.
What is that Mi-fi?? Please explain....
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:20 PM   #116
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So I'm confused... were you doing the accounting before too? IOW, is the scope of this "new" position substantial different from your prior job?

I doubt that many accountants are going to be willing to answer phones.... "do admin" depends on what "admin" means... why would they do that when they could just as easily just get an accountant job.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:24 PM   #117
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What is that Mi-fi?? Please explain....
Mi-fi services use cellphone 4G network to provide data services. A friend of mine uses Verizon's and AT&T offers the service as well... and I suspect some others. These use a hotspot that plugs into the wall for power and runs off the cellphone network... they you connect your laptop, tablet or phone to the hotspot like connecting to Wi-fi.

Google mi-fi or hotspot and you'll find additional info. It is fine for people with modest internet needs (like my friend).

https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/data-only-plan/
https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/at...e-hotspot.html
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:52 PM   #118
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So I'm confused... were you doing the accounting before too? IOW, is the scope of this "new" position substantial different from your prior job?

I doubt that many accountants are going to be willing to answer phones.... "do admin" depends on what "admin" means... why would they do that when they could just as easily just get an accountant job.
EXACTLY my thoughts! No, I did no more accounting than help count weekly contributions and to make deposits and copy checks when the Business Manager was on vacation. One must be focused to do accounting--large projects or small. That is why the one person who was hired to replace me quit after two days and two hours. She did not feel she could do what I do and do IRS reports, track contributions, do payroll, file reports...etc. You get the picture I am sure. Oh yes and the salary was less than mine.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:56 PM   #119
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Best to not "doubt" that you will or will not qualify for some needed benefit. Just try for something.

More than one divorced man wound up back in court when his former wife ran into trouble. Not your fault, but it will be your fault if you go hungry because you assumed that you would not get this or that payment or income stream so you neglected to try.

Churches are great for preaching about the brotherhood of man, but not so great at playing fair with their employees.

Ha
I will check out all my options as you and others have suggested. Yes Churches can be hard task masters...letting an employee go one month before Christmas...that was hard too.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:28 PM   #120
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Can you tell me more about CHM?
Hi DC Jennifer, Now that I'm on my computer, I can write more...someone was giving me a hard time about recommending Christian Healthcare Ministries so I want to make sure you do your due diligence and don't just take what I tell you. I'll give you an overview of what we learned but then please go to the website and call them if you have questions.

CHM is not insurance. It is a member based medical bill sharing non profit that has been around since 1981 (I think there are four such groups in the US). They had an issue with integrity and fraud some years ago and have put in place many safeguards - keeping the duties of receiving/distributing/depositing money all separate. They have over 300,000 members.

How it works is you go to the doctor, tell them you are a cash paying customer, they will probably make you pay a deposit and then when you get the bill, you ask for a cash discount. There are certain CHM rules to follow but let's say you go to the emergency room. You get the bill, call and ask for a cash discount (30-40%) and then submit the bill to CHM who then sends you a check. No deductible, no in network/out of network issues.

We signed up in December as our insurance was outrageous. We signed up for the highest coverage which is $150 per unit (each parent is a unit and then the children are one unit). The highest coverage shares bills for all incidents that exceed $500 as long as all the guidelines are met. You can receive up to $125,000 per incident which becomes unlimited if you sign up for the additional plan called Brother's Keeper which is $25 per month. An incident is considered all costs related to an illness - say you go to the doctor three times because your stomach hurts and then end up having your appendix out...all those costs are one incident. Once you get the bills for your appendix, you ask for cash discounts. If you get more than $500 in cash discounts, your responsibility for the first $500 is met. The incident costs you nothing.

In general CHM does not cover pre-existing conditions (with exceptions at the $150 level - see below). In one of my prior posts, I wrote that I bet they will pay for pre-existing conditions. I wrote "I bet" because I don't know if all pre-existing conditions get paid for but I think most do. Bills for pre-existing conditions are shared in a newsletter on the Prayer Pages. Members can donate tax deductible donations to help others with their pre-existing condition bills.

Also, if you join at the Gold level (the $150 level), CHM pays for $50k total of bills for pre-existing conditions the first three years and then after that, the condition is no longer considered pre-existing. If you have more than $50k of bills in the first three years, those bills can be put on the Prayer Page.

Here is why we joined. I was on a Facebook page and a gal wrote that her husband had to go to the ER. The bill was $4100. The discount brought it down to $2500. CHM sent them a check for $2500.

Another story about a pre-existing condition - a boy had a congenital defect where his sternum fused and he found it hard to breath. He had to have his sternum broken and repaired. The cost after discounts was $69,000. Since it was a pre-existing condition, it wasn't covered. Donations from the prayer page covered the whole cost.

CHM does not cover maintenance medications. They do have a prescription discount program that you can use to get cash discounts. They do not cover unwed mothers and probably won't cover care for drug abuse. They want people to live a Christian life.

Because of the minimum $500 per incident, regular doctor's visits and physicals are not covered. But again, you ask for a cash discount and it may not be much more than if you had insurance. Our insurance was going to cost us $105 per specialist visit (three max before they were subject to the deductible). Our dermatologist charges $55-90 cash. Less than what our insurance was going to make us pay.

There are three levels of membership. We choose the highest level with the most benefits.

Anyways, the website if chministries.org. I think you should check it out. Let me know if you have questions.
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