Returning to full-time (government) work, mainly to get insurance

You could try it for a year or two, and then revisit the issue.

For sure, thanks. I appreciate the tips on how to approach the "year or two." Hearing firsthand how it has been an option for others helps.
SA you are the one who brought up the HI ,it's literally in the title of your post. So if it's not about the HI what is it really about?

FYI research shows that stomach ulcers and not really caused by stress. In fact I echo the poster that says you are going to work because your spouse wants you to work for no other reason then she works.
I went back to work part time/on call after retirement to my same job (government), I knew I didn't "need" or "have" to be there for the income. It was so much easier to ignore the politics, office gossip, etc. because I could choose to leave or even if I was let go, it wouldn't affect my retirement plans.

OP- you will soon have over 3 million dollars per your post. You probably don't need the money, or the benefits. Perhaps knowing that will help you ignore the BS and simply show up every day and do the job.
Have you and your wife discussed what retirement will look like? Does she want to retire? Not sure why her job/insurance issue is causing so much stress, but definitely something to explore. Especially if you going back to work helped her stress decrease. Do you and your wife discuss your financial plan?

Best wishes in your new job. Hang in there, a year or two will go by faster than you think!
A friend just returned to work after a 3 year unpaid sabbatical. She works for the FEDs. She took the sabbatical because she was burnt out and in a bad political situation in her former post (foreign service). She was worried she wouldn't make it to her pension qualifying date if she stayed without the sabbatical.

From what she's told me, she is able to let stuff roll off her back in large extent because she only has a few more years till she can retire. You are in a similar situation... You aren't planning to work forever... just a few years. Be a duck, let it roll off your back. Is her new position perfect? Hardly, but she has a goal in sight and is determined to make it to the end.

Every workplace has jerks... your IT experience is true pretty much everywhere.

You've mentioned the compensation is less and that seems to bother you... but as others have pointed out - the compensation is probably similar when you factor in the benefits the state is providing that you did not receive as a consultant. Paid vacation, paid holidays, healthcare, disability insurance, (possible retirement savings match)... You need to wrap your head around that so you don't feel like you are losing money working there.

And - as others have pointed out - you can afford private insurance. Even if you don't qualify for subsidy.
As someone already mentioned ulcers aren’t caused by stress. If I remember correctly it’s some type of virus and there’s medication for it. You should both just work part time at something you each enjoy.
... now I run across many people whose government jobs left them with generous traditional pensions, ... I no longer underestimate the perks of working for the government.

Some of the reasons I was able to RE were because I worked for the gov't. Having a pension and TSP (401k) and future SS and really decent salary for starters. A good chunk of which I was able to save. And my early-out offer let me start my pension at 50 ($31k gross/year) and keep my health insurance for life (under 200/mo for single coverage). Final icing on the cake, I had an excellent work-life balance and could take long vacations when I was working.

I almost went to work for a bank, and a lot of friends and family were incredulous that I didn't jump on the dot-com boom in the late 90s like they did. Many of them then lost their jobs or had their salary slashed. Taking my gov't job was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Why do you need disability insurance at all? You are financially independent so it makes no sense to me.

You have enough to easily retire right now so I don't see the point of returning to work.

Health should improve by not working, more time for eating right and exercising and a lot less stress.
As someone already mentioned ulcers aren’t caused by stress. If I remember correctly it’s some type of virus and there’s medication for it. You should both just work part time at something you each enjoy.

Right, ulcers are caused by H. pylori infection or taking NSAIDS.
Ask me how I know. :facepalm:
For sure, thanks. I appreciate the tips on how to approach the "year or two." Hearing firsthand how it has been an option for others helps.

My job was long hours and high stress. I didn't work longer than DH for health insurance, I worked longer because DH's job was physically taxing and he had a health condition. I did it because I wanted him to retire.

DH retired in December of 2019. As it turned out - two of DH's co-workers about his age (not the same employer but the same building in NYC), whom he saw daily, died from Covid within three - four months of his retiring, and another was hospitalized for several weeks.

A ten minute commute, great benefits and working three days from home sounds good to me. Snappy IT people can be par for the course. (It's different if your direct supervisor is out to make your life miserable - which can happen - but hopefully won't be the case here.) You sound gun shy from your last position. IMHO - you should give yourself a chance to settle in and get used to the new job and the people. It should actually give you a feeling of security that you can survive without the job.
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I retired at 53 yo and I have been buying off-exchange private individual health insurance since 55 yo, as I bought an ACA plan for one year when I was 54. I am on a silver EPO plan and get no subsidies. I turn 62 later this year.

You have enough to fund your health insurance plans without subsidies. Don't be hung up about not getting ACA subsidies or that you have to pay for your health insurance. My health insurance premium is about $16K this year. This is separate from my husband's as he is on Medicare. My health care costs were about $25K in 2022 as I was in an accident and hit my maximum out of pocket. Just don't sweat over needing to fork out $ for health insurance.
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FMLA doesn't generally kick in until you have worked enough hours.
I admit to not having thoroughly read every reply to your post. That being said, I concur with stress not causing ulcers. I might recommend that, while you have good insurance, you ask your wife if she needs some counseling to relieve stress and uncertainty. I mean, she’d have to stop working eventually, unless she plans to die at work. I’d think you could find some volunteer work that would provide purpose.
Sorry. This makes no sense to me if she’s still going to work. If anything happened and she would quit you’d deal with it then.

Why should you have to return to work just in case? Not to mention you could afford an ACA plan or other. Ridiculous.
As others have said, you don't actually have to be on the same plan once you're both retired. When my DH retired he stayed on a high level health insurance due to various issues and I (and kids) went on a separate bronze plan (through my work originally -- it was all that was offered -- but now through marketplace with no subsidy),

However since you're both currently covered under her plan, and she will have up to 18 months of cobra if she leaves (so plenty of time to research other options) - unless your new job has a better insurance than what she has currently, it sounds like maybe she is actually more worried about money to cover these things than about health insurance itself.

Which is a completely different conversation.

(my only comment about government job is make sure any pension it offers won't impact your social security -- especially as you're only looking at doing it for a relatively short time)
I could tell the stress of carrying our insurance was affecting her health. Specifically, she was diagnosed with an ulcer. After I accepted the position a few weeks ago, she feels much better. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Read up on ulcers. They are not caused by stress.

Your wife might feel better because she followed her doctor's advice, either to take a course of antibiotics or to quit taking too much of an NSAID.
As I wrote above, it's much more complicated than one can or should articulate in a forum such as this. Let's just say some are more motivated by work than are others. I know my wife very well. Hobbies go only so far. She's not keen on exercise -- her choice, and she has family longevity on her side (unlike me) so she'll probably outlive me even though I run daily, etc. Post-pandemic, she's not keen on travel either, and she misses the cats when she's gone. Each of us has our own reality, and that is mine, and hers, and ours. The scenario of her working and me not would not -- as she funds our health insurance -- is not a favorable one. Quite frankly, she can't see ever retiring completely. And that's her choice -- and understandable given some circumstances in her family too complicated to explain.

The best scenario is that after I reach 59.5 in 2.5 years, I can persuade her to take low-paying job in something she really likes, like working in a garden center. "But running the cash register is something I won't do," she said. Understood.
As I read through your posts about going back to work, it's clear you are doing this for her. That's really a loving thing to do.

I have no criticism of your plan. I worked 4-5 additional years even though I did not have to. My reasons were mine, and it led to both of us enjoying life a lot more.

I found myself in a final job where almost every employee was younger than me. Because I was asked to, I tried to help others get better and advance. Lol, forget that. Be a mercenary, ignore the B.S., admire the paycheck. Plan your end date.

Above all, keep discussing the home situation with wife, and make adjustments as you both can.
When healthcare becomes a reason to go back ... you'll never retire
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