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Old 04-11-2019, 05:28 AM   #41
Full time employment: Posting here.
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Originally Posted by Ronnieboy View Post
I have read all these posts and would agree with everything said about retiring while you can, when you still have your health, to be able to to the things you want to do.

But recently DW and I have had a scare. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer (Jan of this year), had a double mastectomy and is currently doing chemotherapy (one dose down and 7 more to go). At first I was thinking, o.k. we kick this cancers butt and then we really get serious and high tail it to retirement.

Slight pause here for a little background. The original plan was to semi-retire at 55 years old for me and 58 for DW (it will be the same time as DW is a few years older than me). Semi being the key word for me, for health insurance reasons, and DW would be 100% retired. This is approximately 4 years away and one of the 'goals' was to have the house paid off by this time. Well we've been lackadaisical about that goal and it would be tough to hit it at the pace we are going.

Anyhew, back to the main story. I have been reading all these claims coming into our insurance and I am in total disbelief. I carry the insurance on the family, through my employer, and it is darn good insurance!! The two day hospital stay alone, not including the general surgeon's fee, the plastic surgeon's fee, the anesthesiologist fee, you get the idea, basically the OR, recovery, and some ICU (DW went into afib after the surgery) the hospital billed my insurance (AETNA) $150,000.00!! of course the contracted rate is about $65k but that alone scares the heck out of me. One serious illness, surgery, whatever can kill your nest egg in a hurry.

I haven't added all the claims up yet, but I would say a good guess so far from diagnosis to genetic testing to surgery to first dose of chemo (that alone is almost $10k per round) Aetna has been billed over $220k and there is easily $80k more to go. Granted the contracted rate is much less, but even at 60% of the total it is mind boggling to think that someone would have to come up with $180k (and that is only if you could get the discounted rate) to pay for something like this. I can see why people have to declare bankruptcy over medical bills!!

Now I am scared about retiring and losing good benefits, especially now that DW has the Cancer scare and I am a fattie. We will be paying through the nose for healthcare (assuming we could get it) before medicare. Granted if I were to drop to PT my current company would still offer kick arse medical coverage, not as good as FT but still better than a lot of other employers. But also going PT doesn't afford me the 'security' or 'seniority' that a FT employee would have.

I am beginning to psyche myself out about early retirement with all the above when we should really be looking past this cancer treatment and trying to get out of the workforce earlier to enjoy the time we have left!!

Thanks for allowing me to vent

It really does come down to money. I mean- if you had the money to pay health insurance premiums on going after FIRE, then you do it. If you don't, there are the realities of life that have to be dealt with so you have to keep working for the health insurance. You are not alone!

Especially with your wife's situation I would not risk losing health insurance. Unless you want to brave it and move to another country where health care is decent but much less expensive. I have no idea where that would be.

You are going through a stressful time and I think the less changes the better right now. When the time comes and you reach age 55 you can reevaluate everything. In the meantime try to enjoy your lives as much as possible. Do some things you always wanted to do. Don't put them off.

The journey is the destination.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:20 AM   #42
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 367
Originally Posted by james22 View Post
You actually get to spend more money at age 62, by delaying S.S. to age 70
Sure, it seems to me that it comes down to whether you "need" the money from ss. My cousin has a small inflation adjusted pension and apparently taking ss will improve his lifestyle so he is taking t early. I suspect that he has a substantial portfolio but he has been a saver all his life so he is probably reluctant to spend. In my view he is not financially sophisticated so I think this approach makes sense for him. After his !financial advisor! explained to him that early, late, and intermediate were calculated to be neutral by the social security actuaries he didn't feel foolish taking the payments early.

For myself, I have the "big enough" portfolio and I can fund my desired lifestyle without SS so why take it early? Also there is some family history of substantial longevity so I am planning to wait until 70.
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