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old woman 12-22-2005 05:44 PM

Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
I am 57 but feel older sometimes. This week I hurt from a slip on the stairs and don't want to be at work. Normally I kinda like my job but I am afraid the company is going away in the next year or two. I don't have enough money to retire but don't want to do anything new.
I have saved about 190K and have about 250K equity in my house and a old truck. I don't make big money so how can I get enough to retire? I can put 20K into my 401K next year and 5k into my ROTH if I work all year and don't spend any money. I don't have any way to get medical insuance without a job. How can I quit my job and retire with no money and no insurance? If I wait until I am 62 I can get SS but still no medical insurance. If I work until 63 1/2 I could get cobra to last until medicare. I don't see any way out of working full time for 7-8 more years while staying broke from paying for 401K and ROTH payments.
Does anyone know of any way to retire younger without a pension or health insurance? Seems like only government or union workers have enough to retire young.

brewer12345 12-22-2005 06:07 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
I think you need yo re-frame the situation. Can you hang up your spurs and walk off into the sunset right now? Apparently not. Can you find a different way of living that will be more fulfilling and less stressful on the bod? Probably. Try taking a few days off, decompressing, and then come back to the problem. Think creatively. For example, what if you find a part time or lower effort job with benefits that will let you coast for the next several years? You wouldn't be able to save much, but your existing assets would grow and you wouldn't be miserable. Another idea: how about retirement outside the US? The biggest hurdle for you is medical insurance. Many places outside the US have cheaper medical care available. You get the idea: brainstorm. There are lots of creative people here who can help.

old woman 12-22-2005 06:16 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Can you find a different way of living that will be more fulfilling and less stressful on the bod? Probably. Try taking a few days off, decompressing, and then come back to the problem.

I get 9 days off for Christmas that should help. I actually like stress, mental not physical. The job I have is easy and if it last until I am 65 I am fine with it. I am only behind on filing and I hate filing and my leg hurts so I am upset with my job. I am doing accounting now, I have a degree in accounting but doing a really easy job that doesn't pay much.
Another problem is my boyfriend, he needs to work at least 4 more years to get a pension so if I moved he wouldn't want to go. We have been together almost 20 years and I am planning to keep him around another 20, but not marry him ever. He wouldn't want to live in another country, neither would I, my mom and grandma are here as well as younger family. Mom is 79 and her mom is 98 so they like us kids to stay near to help them out. I am going to lunch with mom Saturday.

Lazarus 12-22-2005 06:19 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
How much are you spending a year to live? Don't count what you are saving.

Sheryl 12-22-2005 06:56 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
I guess the boyfriend part kind of rules out what I was thinking.

But anyway: Depending on what it's worth, could you sell the house, move to a lower cost area and buy a smaller less expensive house or condo outright? Invest the extra equity money toward retirement, and then when you reach age 65 get a reverse mortgage on the paid-up house to help with retirement costs?


MRGALT2U 12-22-2005 07:02 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by old woman
I am 57 but feel older sometimes. This week I hurt from a slip on the stairs and don't want to be at work. Normally I kinda like my job but I am afraid the company is going away in the next year or two. I don't have enough money to retire but don't want to do anything new.
I have saved about 190K and have about 250K equity in my house and a old truck. I don't make big money so how can I get enough to retire? I can put 20K into my 401K next year and 5k into my ROTH if I work all year and don't spend any money. I don't have any way to get medical insuance without a job. How can I quit my job and retire with no money and no insurance? If I wait until I am 62 I can get SS but still no medical insurance. If I work until 63 1/2 I could get cobra to last until medicare. I don't see any way out of working full time for 7-8* more years while staying broke from paying for 401K and ROTH payments.
Does anyone know of any way to retire younger without a pension or health insurance? Seems like only government or union workers have enough to retire young.

Read my posts.

JG

haha 12-22-2005 07:09 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Does anyone else think this could be a gag? If not, I apologize to the OP for thinking it.

Ha

WhodaThunkit 12-22-2005 08:05 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HaHa
Does anyone else think this could be a gag?

I doubt it, but I'm not a good judge. I think that this situation may be typical of a lot of people in their late 50's.

JPatrick 12-22-2005 09:26 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HaHa
Does anyone else think this could be a gag? If not, I apologize to the OP for thinking it.

Ha

I wondered too.* I haven't known a woman who would call herself old.
So at the risk of being called a smartass or worse :o, I'd say a good start would be to change that handle to something that expresses a bit more optimism.
Really.

old woman 12-22-2005 11:37 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lazarus
How much are you spending a year to live? Don't count what you are saving.

About $4,000 for property taxes, 2,500 for insurance, 4,000 for interest, 4,000 for utilities and 10,500 for food, clothing, transportation, gifts, maint on the house and all other expenses but it could be more in a bad year if I need car repairs or get sick. About 25K total cost but my medical is completely covered at work. I didn't cover payroll taxes because they will go down in retirement. I didn't count princpal on the house because I am paying interest only plus any amount I can afford maybe 3,000 a year but that goes up in 7 more years.

old woman 12-22-2005 11:44 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sheryl
I guess the boyfriend part kind of rules out what I was thinking.*

But anyway:* Depending on what it's worth, could you sell the house, move to a lower cost area and buy a smaller less expensive house or condo outright?* Invest the extra equity money toward retirement, and then when you reach age 65 get a reverse mortgage on the paid-up house to help with retirement costs?


I have considered the reverse mortgage but I will probably wait until I am much older than 65 so I get more per month. I will move to a lower housing cost area probably so I can make some money from the sale of this house and I want to move anyhow this house has too many stairs. I really don't want to move too far because my mom and brothers and niece and nephews are here but even an hour away is cheaper and about the same distance to family they live farther out of the city.
Another plan is to be low income and get a discount on property taxes like my mom and grandma, mom pays less than a third of what I have to pay.

WhodaThunkit 12-23-2005 05:38 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
OW -- the best book for you to read may be Fred Brock's "Retire on less than you think." I believe that you might find it helpful in your situation.

chris2008 12-23-2005 07:20 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Hello,
You may find www.slnet.com helpful, too. There are lots of ideas for people who want to live on less and save for retirement or other goals.

I would track expenses in detail for some time to identify some areas where I could save to invest.

Also, as accountant you might get qualified to to some kind of tax work when your job really goes away. You might build up knowledge on this already now.

"Get a life" by Ralph Warner might be good read for you, too. His point: "you do not need a million to retire well".

Martha 12-23-2005 07:29 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
What state do you live in? Depending on your state there might be reasonable cost options for the medical. See, www.healthinsuranceinfo.net for health insurance guides to your state.

Do you know how much your COBRA premium will be when you leave work? COBRA will cover you for 18 months after you leave the job.

The health insurance game has a lot of pitfalls. Don't let a period of time pass by where you are uninsured. It will likely be much easier to get insurance when coming off your group plan at work, because under federal law you can force insurance companies to sell you a policy if you are losing "credible coverage" under a group plan. The issue then becomes one of cost. That is why it matters where you live.




wildcat 12-23-2005 08:23 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
If it makes you feel any better I am young and poor. I hope things work out for you but you have to change something if you want different results.

dex 12-23-2005 08:40 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HaHa
Does anyone else think this could be a gag? If not, I apologize to the OP for thinking it.

Ha

I'm leaning your way:
"About $4,000 for property taxes, 2,500 for insurance, 4,000 for interest, 4,000 for utilities and 10,500 for food,"
total $25K
This post doesn't feel right. Wouldn't you think an accountant would have a better breakdown of expenses? I'm an accountant - I don't play one on TV
Happy holidays

Martha 12-23-2005 08:59 AM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Hey guys, I think the OP is as real as any of you.

There are days I feel like an old woman too. But, Old Woman, if you are going to post here frequently you might want to change your name. It is very hard to call you OldWoman, I feel like I am talking to my grandma. :)

O'Woman, enjoy your days off, get more facts on health insurance, and try to figure out how much income you likely will need in retirement. And enjoy life in the interim. :)

old woman 12-23-2005 05:37 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Martha
What state do you live in? Depending on your state there might be reasonable cost options for the medical. See, www.healthinsuranceinfo.net for health insurance guides to your state.

Do you know how much your COBRA premium will be when you leave work? COBRA will cover you for 18 months after you leave the job.

The health insurance game has a lot of pitfalls. Don't let a period of time pass by where you are uninsured. It will likely be much easier to get insurance when coming off your group plan at work, because under federal law you can force insurance companies to sell you a policy if you are losing "credible coverage" under a group plan. The issue then becomes one of cost. That is why it matters where you live.




The company pays 334.65 for my insurance but cobra is a 10% more.
I didn't know they would be forced to sell you a policy, that could make all the difference to me. I am in WA state, we have a program for the poor but they keep cutting funding making it hard to get.

old woman 12-23-2005 05:49 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
I would track expenses in detail for some time to identify some areas where I could save to invest.

Also, as accountant you might get qualified to to some kind of tax work when your job really goes away. You might build up knowledge on this already now.

I have my expenses tracked in detail, I just rounded. For example I wrote utilities 4,000 but they average 366. This is my last month to have cable tv so that will go down about $40. My property taxes are 1957 every 6 months but I just rounded to 4,000. Mortgage interest is adjustable at 6.25% now on 72,000 but it was less before the last month or two 355 this month. I do know exactly were my money goes or I couldn't save 25K in retirement funds a year and pay down the mortgage.
I could start a tax practice, I did taxes for about 18 years and was a CPA for a while as well as a tax analyst for a software company. I do 3 returns a year now but if I took a review class and advertized I could get more work. If I were to do that I would want to get 80 hours continuing Ed to be a CPA again so I could charge more.
My current job is very easy and no stress at all but doesn't pay much. I did enjoy the pace at software companies, I did software support 11 years, constant stress, 24/7 emergency support, whole companies waiting for you to fix the software problems so they could work. I did apply for a job like that again this fall but didn't get it. Maybe I am just bored and not challlenged and should pretend I am 10 years younger and go start new things. I guess I would need a new name like middle aged woman.

Martha 12-23-2005 06:01 PM

Re: Hi I am feeling old and poor
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by old woman
The company pays 334.65 for my insurance but cobra is a 10% more.
I didn't know they would be forced to sell you a policy, that could make all the difference to me. I am in WA state, we have a program for the poor but they keep cutting funding making it hard to get.

The Georgetown University guide for health insurance in Washington is found here:
https://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/wa00.html

The section of the guide which addresses buying an individual health plan talks about when you cannot be turned down for individual health insurance:

Generally, insurers that sell individual coverage in Washington can turn you down if you have health problems or a history of health problems. In most cases, you will be required to complete a standard health questionnaire (a health screen) to determine your eligibility for an individual health insurance policy. Your health conditions will be assigned points depending on how costly they are. If you accumulate more than 288 points, you can be turned down. If you accumulate less than 288 points on the health screen, the insurer cannot turn you down.

If you are not eligible for an individual health insurance policy because of your health, the insurer must give you a written notice telling you that you are eligible for health coverage provided by the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP). The insurer must also provide you with an application for WSHIP. If the insurer does not provide or postmark the notice within 15 business days, then the insurer must sell to you an individual health insurance policy.

There are some situations when you do not have to take a health questionnaire and must be offered an individual health insurance policy

You do not have to take a health questionnaire and be offered an individual policy if you are relocating from one area of the state to another or you are changing plans to stay with a family doctor who was removed from the network of your previous plan.

You do not have to take a health questionnaire and must be offered an individual policy if you are HIPAA eligible. If you are a HIPAA eligible individual, you qualify to buy an insurance policy from an insurance company selling individual health insurance. Insurers must offer you a choice of all the individual health insurance policies they sell, unless they elect to make a choice of only two policies available to HIPAA eligible individuals.

In addition, where you are HIPAA eligible, you can also buy individual coverage from WSHIP, if you prefer. (See page 23) To be HIPAA eligible, you must meet certain criteria.

To be HIPAA eligible, you must meet certain criteria:

If you are HIPAA eligible you are guaranteed the right to buy an individual health insurance policy and are exempted from pre-existing condition exclusion periods. In Washington, if your most recent coverage was under a fully insured employer group plan, you can buy a conversion policy. If, not you can buy individual coverage from any insurer in the state that offers individual policies.

To be HIPAA eligible, you must meet all of the following:

You must have had 18 months of continuous creditable coverage, at least the last day of which was under a group health plan.

You also must have used up any COBRA or state continuation coverage for which you were eligible.

You must not be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or a group health plan.

You must not have health insurance. (Note, however, if you know your group coverage is about to end, you can apply for coverage for which you will be HIPAA eligible.)

You must apply for health insurance for which you are HIPAA eligible within 63 days (90 days if applying for group insurance coverage) of losing your prior coverage.


Because you would be HIPAA eligible when you exhaust COBRA, you should be able the buy an individual plan. The question is cost. I don't know what the cost ranges are for WA.


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