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Old 02-07-2022, 08:54 AM   #21
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Should you choose to keep working for health insurance, would another type of job with less physical stress help out? This is a good time to be looking.
Different job at same employer?
Costco?
Home Depot or Lowes?
I believe these companies have decent healthcare plans.
I was thinking someone with your skills should be teaching the mechanics of the future, or could become a Service Manager.

I was a builder and learned early that I couldn’t hump Sheetrock and bags of cement all day. But my knowledge had me teaching and supervising and then running huge construction projects.
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Old 02-07-2022, 09:52 AM   #22
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Welcome Slater - from another San Diegan.

When I retired (hubby was already retired) we managed our income to be above MediCal (medicaid in California) and low enough to qualify for premium tax credits (aka subsidies) on CoveredCA. California has a higher level for the income 'cliff' to qualify for subsidies. If you want to avoid your son being put on MediCAL you need to be higher - California wants to make sure all children are covered so there is a tendency to push kids onto MediCAL at a higher income than adults. So plan your taxable income to be a bit higher (or estimate it will be higher when you are applying for insurance. After having my kids forced onto mediCAL when our income didn't qualify them for it - I learned to be generous in my estimate of income - knowing it would all work out when we filed taxes. IOW, we paid more premium up front, but got it back as a refund. For a family of 4 (two adults, two teenagers) we were paying about $1400/month before tax credits... that was for a HDHP/HSA plan with Kaiser. (Molina was similarly priced, but we're happy with Kaiser.) Your premiums will obviously be less. Older son is now on his own plan, hubby is on medicare - so younger son (college student) and I pay about $850 before premium tax credits for the same Kaiser HDHP.

You've done super well. Paid for house, great nest egg, super low spending is impressive here. Having the paid off house is what allowed me to retire. Hopefully you have low prop taxes (thanks prop 13) as well.
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:55 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the great advice! Something for me to start further familiarizing myself with & start looking at all options..
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Old 02-07-2022, 06:35 PM   #24
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Im starting to get anxious...

Live well below my means & has always been that way.
The part that scares me is wasting money on health insurance!!
Like I said, dont have a plan & I know ill be fine whatever happens but really dont want to blow this hard earned money & not leave my son something when the time comes cuz I was selfish & threw-in the towel at 50...
paying $1000+ monthly for health insurance doesnt sound appealing!to encourage me
Firstly, congratulations on doing well on your savings and having a nice sum of money saved (and invested!) over the years. That will give you a lot of options when you retire and later on in life.

Don't think of health insurance premiums as wasted - think of them as a form of "wealth insurance" premiums. One bad and long hospital stay or some chronic condition can wipe out a chunk of your wealth if you are uninsured.

ACA is very good option and since you live in CA, the premiums may even be very reasonable. Definitely check them out and buy the appropriate one for your health condition.
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Old 02-07-2022, 07:58 PM   #25
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You can definitely drop that cellphone bill in half by going with a prepaid MVNO as opposed to the big guys. The MVNO's use their towers and charge a lot less. Who's your current carrier?
Once you're retired and keeping your income low you will also qualify for a discount on both your gas and electric bills approx 20% They also have a program to weatherize your house and replace old and inefficient gas heaters and a/c units and other stuff totally free, no gimmicks. You've been paying into this program for many years through a tax on your bills so if you can take advantage of it you should.
I do however draw the line though on applying for the free Obama phone service I could qualify for, I'll happily pay the $6 for my cellphone service which fits my needs perfectly. (T-Mobile MVNO)
You will learn so much in this group, just ask, there is no dumb questions.
I had no idea how things worked when my company closed the office and moved out of state. I was left job less and clueless. I paid Cobra insurance of close to $900 a month for the first year of retirement and that grew old pretty fast when no paycheck is coming in. Meantime I'd I joined this website and started learning how things really work in government programs, it was an eye opener. I've asked tons of questions over the past 3 years and everyone has been so helpful so don't be shy.
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Old 02-07-2022, 08:42 PM   #26
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Yeah, wasting money on health insurance.

I was maxxed out of pocket for 2 years while my wife died of cancer. Glad I was working and had insurance.

Without it I'd still be working.
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Old 02-07-2022, 08:53 PM   #27
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........I do however draw the line though on applying for the free Obama phone service I could qualify for,.........
That "Obama phone" terminology is a right wing pejorative. It was actually begun back in the Reagan era.
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i'm anxious
Old 02-08-2022, 08:32 AM   #28
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i'm anxious

Thatís exactly right travelover. Knowledge is power.
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:41 AM   #29
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Im starting to get anxious...

Only have $18k as an emergency fund, considering dumping majority of that on vtsax also but also know that can be risky...
total $1.8mil

<snip>

The part that scares me is wasting money on health insurance!!
Like I said, dont have a plan & I know ill be fine whatever happens but really dont want to blow this hard earned money & not leave my son something when the time comes cuz I was selfish & threw-in the towel at 50...
paying $1000+ monthly for health insurance doesnt sound appealing!
Ok, think im done rambling
What do the wise people of this great forum that have been down this road say to encourage me
I wouldn't advise putting your Emergency Fund into the market. Keep the Emergency $$. You never know when you're going to need it. For instance -you get a bad medical diagnosis and are unable to work, yet the bills keep coming. How would you pay them without the Emergency Fund?

Plus, the market is in "foo foo land" at the moment. Risk is higher than it has been anytime in the past 4-5 decades. We could very easily (and likely will, IMHO) have a 40-60% drop this year. I'm actually 90+% certain we will for a variety of good, well researched reasons that I won't elaborate on here. Not only am I NOT putting any new $$ into the market at this point, I'm actively looking to reduce the 25% or so equities we currently have.

Your question on Healthcare was somewhat unclear. Is your concern that you'd have a $1,000/mo cost if you weren't working? If so, that's a valid concern. But take it from someone with a family member that just got a very serious medical diagnosis and will likely have $100K+ in expenses shortly - you DO NOT want to go without med insurance. So if you ER, that's just a cost of that particular decision.

I think our first year PREMIUMS for our HMO were close to $15K (2 people) - and that was with $7K per person deductibles. I hated paying it, but knew we had to, also, or what we did have saved would be at extreme risk. We've since managed to get that cost down due to the 8.5% MAGI CAP for a 2nd lowest Silver plan on the ACA, but it's still over $7K per yer premiums and our deductibles are now even higher..just the cost of doing business in ER unfortunately.

Anyway..hope that helps somewhat..
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:57 AM   #30
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"ruptured L5/S1, degenerative disc disease, & to this day deal with back pain / leg pain issues every day"

Were I the OP I'd also be looking into qualifying for SS disability.

Yes, it's a years-long process and if you want to have a realistic chance of getting benefits you must use an attorney.

Though they're paid a capped amount (25% of back benefits, or $6,000, whichever is lower) only after you qualify.

Given their documented heavy physical work plus documented health issues the OP's got a better chance of qualifying than a paper-pusher like me.

And 24 months after qualifying for SS disability they'd be eligible for Medicare.
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Old 02-08-2022, 09:57 AM   #31
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That "Obama phone" terminology is a right wing pejorative. It was actually begun back in the Reagan era.

True, I remember the USF charge on my landline bills. It was just modernized by being allowed to fund cellphones during the Obama administration.

Then again "Obamacare" was considered a perjorative used to refer to ACA, until it wasn't. Using Google to search "obamacare site:www.early-retirement.org" shows that members of this board have no qualms about using that term.


Democrats Embrace Once Pejorative ‘Obamacare’ Tag


I suppose if you can't shake it, embrace it.
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Old 02-08-2022, 11:31 AM   #32
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That "Obama phone" terminology is a right wing pejorative. It was actually begun back in the Reagan era.
I stand corrected, I did not know the history.
Back then I was to young and to foolish to check any of my bills for the extra fees and taxes that I'm now well aware of.
I freely admit I was totally taken in by all the media about Obamaphones back then but what bothers me more than anything is being hassled by people standing at tables outside stores and at public events trying to cajole me into applying for the program. So nothing has changed, I'm still not interested.
Having said that, I have in the past recommended that others check into it if it's something they need.
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Old 02-14-2022, 07:25 AM   #33
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Another San Diegan here. Not much to add but to say the foregoing advice is solid; ACA and preventive health care should be at the top of your priorities. With back problems already here, installing engines is only going to make it worse.

Quitting/retiring should make you eligible for ACA. Before that, I’d get a hold of an Independent ACA agent (you don’t pay for their services, the insurer does) and have a meeting or three. Ask lots of questions; a good agent will guide you rather than simply ‘return results’.
This may help you get started: https://www.coveredca.com/support/ag...nsurance-agent
Tip: agent doesn’t need to be in your geographical area. I used one from central CA based on a referral and she was great. True, f2f is absent but we’ve all learned to live with that the last two years.
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Old 02-14-2022, 07:51 PM   #34
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Glad were back on-track & done with the obama phone thread...
Really appreciate all the insight!!!
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Old 02-19-2022, 06:23 AM   #35
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Just my understanding on expenses: his expenses are $1200/month and his S/O is separate which include all groceries, & house necessities (not sure how much all this would be) ... plus horse expenses, about $400 monthly.

With his previous health condition, he should seek reasonable health insurance plan as h e is getting older. With Covered CA / ACA, and income, it should be very cheap or reasonable.

Anything automotive could be a good part time gig: parts store or dealership, part time neighborhood mechanic as a side hustle - work at your owner pace, teaching auto courses, etc. should be able to cover the monthly expenses or take a break for awhile/retire.
Start a YouTube channel!
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Old 02-23-2022, 08:46 PM   #36
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You have learned well how to use this forum and like others are receiving excellent feedback. My feedback is along the lines of what you shared about being Type A-ish, all-in at work. That makes me think you will still want something to identify with passionately. I do 't know what that is. But it could be hourly pay as well as volunteer. As far as health insurance goes, ACA/Obamacare is great - have never lived in CA so cant provide advice like others - but it wont break the budget. Good luck and kudos to your smart pla ning so far.
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