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Nothing is more common than for people who are working to ask retirees what they "do" with their time.

If retirees aren't exhausting themselves with a busy schedule of travel and activities, those who are working often conclude that retirees are living a blighted life.

Retirees, especially retirees with a few year of retirement experience, usually reject such chracterizations.

My theory is that people can lead a good life regardless of the level of stimulation or stress in their lives.

A corolary of that theory is that people can easily become stimulation junkies, who are used to and "need" high levels of stress in their lives. I suggest that such stress, which can include work and/or travel, can be an addiction, and can be a harmful addiction.

I suggest that the monastic traditions of Christianity and Buddhism lend support for the theory described above. People in such social environments have lived good lives of moderate to low levels of stress for decades and lived good lives in the process.

Comments are welcome.


Seattle Pioneer
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Well said Seattle Pioneer.

We have been asked what we "do" with our time.

I finally starting saying "I'm enjoying today, and forgotten yesterday".

We love being able to do what we want, when we want. Our lives are complicated by having two homes. We wanted to have two permanent vacation homes. One is on the coast, and the other in the woods, surrounded by Redwoods. Is paradise twice paradi?

We get asked how much time we spend in each home, and can't answer. It depends, and varies each month.

Some friends say we're not retired, just confused.

We both started in traditional martial arts as teenagers, and I think this has helped us to seek out the moments, and being versus doing.

ik
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Today marks the start of my 20th year in early retirement (quit working in 1994 at age 38)

I rarely roll out of bed before 10 AM. When people ask "What do you do?". Well that's the point, if you're retired, you don't have to do anything.

intercst
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i will turn 58 in december and would like to retire but afraid i don't have enough...my dad is 89...i stay very busy besides my 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. job. i see life passing me by and would love to do some things while i am still healthy enough to do it.
thank you for your list of what you do with your time. i really enjoyed it.

my question for the board as you look back is what if anything would you do different if you could do it all over again?

thanks again for the insight!
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my question for the board as you look back is what if anything would you do different if you could do it all over again?

Number 1, 2, 3, & 4: Start a serious savings program for retirement. I waited until it was almost too late.

Count No'Count
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Gosh, but when is

*Enough*

Enough?

I am running through the numbers but there are so many unknowns, like health care.

Own home, Quicken says our estimates are good....like really good.

Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?

nag
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Agree...this point is big on us baby boomers, I think

"A corolary of that theory is that people can easily become stimulation junkies, who are used to and "need" high levels of stress in their lives. I suggest that such stress, which can include work and/or travel, can be an addiction, and can be a harmful addiction."

must work
must work
must work

sigh, enough...
nag
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<<i will turn 58 in december and would like to retire but afraid i don't have enough...my dad is 89...i stay very busy besides my 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. job. i see life passing me by and would love to do some things while i am still healthy enough to do it.
thank you for your list of what you do with your time. i really enjoyed it.

>>


I retired six+ years ago at age 57. The only thing that costs me a lot of money is individual health insurance ---- $1450/month for coverage on just myself at age 63.

That might change if Obamacare works as advertized, something that is not guaranteed.

If Obamacare fails to sign up a LOT of young people to help subsidize cheap rates for the elderly and all the people with preexisting conditions, rates might explode in a year or two.


Hard to say.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?

nag

>>



Naw---- I had perfect confidence I had ample retirement resources when I retired in 2007.


Then again, in 2008 when the bottom was dropping out of the economy and stock market, I had a few butterflies. But not serious worries, and things worked out pretty well.



Seattle Pioneer
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I had a few butterflies. But not serious worries, and things worked out pretty well.

Exactly. Once your plan and resources have been tested in one of those stock market meltdowns, you gain confidence that your resources are adequate for the next one.

Of course, while things are going straight down and you wonder how low they will go, there is plenty of room for butterflies. Some say that is a great time to decide to take a cruise around the world and not worry about it.
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Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?

If you have a good handle on what your living costs are or will be in retirement, you should be in good position to know how well your income covers your needs--at least for the first dozen years or so.

You know costs will rise. You should have a plan to increase your income over time. After a while, you begin to see if your numbers are working out or not.

Building reserves beyond the minimum is a good idea. Something unexpected you hadn't planned on is the most likely cause of problems.

But there comes a point when the reserves are so large, you have lots of confidence.

Your employer can also offer incentives to retire now rather than later. That can be a factor too.

Going back to work or working part time are always ways to compensate if the numbers go the wrong way. Keeping those contacts active can be a good idea. But you also have the problem that the longer you are away from the job the more rusty you become. And the more likely that those key contacts who know your work will retire themselves.

Of course as they say, you can always be a greeter at Walmart.
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pauleckler writes,

Of course, while things are going straight down and you wonder how low they will go, there is plenty of room for butterflies. Some say that is a great time to decide to take a cruise around the world and not worry about it.

</snip>


I actually greatly increased my travel spending when the world was falling apart in the waning days of the Bush Administration back in 2008. International airfares and cruises got so cheap, it was almost more expensive to stay home.

intercst
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I retired six+ years ago at age 57. The only thing that costs me a lot of money is individual health insurance ---- $1450/month for coverage on just myself at age 63.


__________________________________

We have fantastic health insurance through my husband's former employer and were worried about what would happen if that went away.
Well, we are both now on Medicare and I had my first physical last week. I got three shots in addition to what they call a "wellness" visit (no longer calling it a physical).
I will get an ekg, bone density, etc. etc. All this with no charge and a monthly payment of less than $200 for each of us.
I have no idea what the coverage would be if we got really sick.
I have had some health issues in the past that could become chronic.
But, so far we've been happy with Medicare.
My own private doctor who gave me a physical every year did not go into detail as much as the doctor who now takes care of me and who accepts Medicare.
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Well, we are both now on Medicare and I had my first physical last week. I got three shots in addition to what they call a "wellness" visit (no longer calling it a physical).
I will get an ekg, bone density, etc. etc. All this with no charge and a monthly payment of less than $200 for each of us.


The no co-pay physical is a requirement of Obamacare. Otherwise Medicare Part B pays only 80% of the approved charge for outpatient care.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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"Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?"

pre - 65/pre SS ....


Nope.....

I ran lots of simulations..this back in the 1998/99 timeframe...there were a lot of resources on the web. ran all sorts of scenarios from

1) bare minimum budget staying in current house with one car with very limited spending, eating home 95% of the time,and limited travel....

this paid the real estate taxes, kept the car running, kept the roof over the house with maintenance, paid for the telephone and internet but no frills,no magazines,no newspapers.....just keeping the current car running till the wheels fell off, etc.

At the time, it was $23,000/yr I needed from my nest egg to survive.


2) The medium spending budget.....which allowed me magazine subscriptions, the daily newspaper, cable TV, cellphone, a less than 8 year old car, eating out a few times a week, a fair amount of budget trael, buying stuff for my hobbies, etc.....

At the time, that was about $33,000 a year....and wasn't a whole lot different than I was spending at the time while working


3) The higher spending budget..which included lots of travel..lots of money for hobbies/conventions and travel to Europe, Asia and anywhere else I wanted to go. That was another 10K a a year.....

- - - - -

Well, it turned out the market in the 1990s was very nice to me.....I bailed out at 52.5 with a year's pay for separation and a year of health insurance......

My house was paid off.


one of the biggest 'variables' in retirement was health insurance. It started at a few hundred a year through the IEEE Group insurance plan - and that slowly ratcheted up to $600/yr as the age/health of the pool went up and the costs skyrocketed. So I changed afew years later to a blue Cross/Blue Shield $2500 deductible, 30% copay up to $5 type plan at a couple hundred a month that got up to near $450/month before I turned 65 here 2 1/2 years ago. You basically paid for all your health care - which for me averaged maybe $700/yr including an annual physical and one or two 'incidents' over the 13.5 year period...like a broken wrist.... or a knee joint sprain.... then add in your dental and vision costs....


Now, if ObamaKare succeeds, seniors before age 65 will get quite a deal....better than many plans and especially good if you have an existing precondition....

Anyway, Mr Market has been nice....SS kicked in.....Medicare kicked in.....

I'm glad I pulled the trigger at 52.5...

and it all came about because I knew I had the resources to retire...and my good friend at work, who was doing the same analysis, asked me one day:

"Would you come to work for free?".......duh! what kind of a question was that!

Well, if you have enough resources to fund your retirement in the lifestyle you would be comfortable with....without exceeding the 4% withdrawal rate (or any number you want), then showing up for work and working working working merely gets you more money 'saved' that you really don't need.

In the end, that 'more money' will likely wind up going mostly to Uncle Sam (inheritance taxes) and to your relatives...you won't get to spend it. So...you are essentially piling up money for Uncle Sam to confiscate ....and for your spendaholic relatives to blow when they get it. You didn't need the money and you've been working for 'free' really....not working for something eseential...

when viewed that way, even though my job was interesting, maybe half the time, and maybe grunt work the other half..... it wasn't 'worth' being at work!...why pile up money you won't spend yourself?

That did it.....and I had the opportunity to take a 'reduction in forces' deal... (a year's pay and paid health/dental).....

And I was gone!.....never looking back....



t.
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I retired six+ years ago at age 57. The only thing that costs me a lot of money is individual health insurance ---- $1450/month for coverage on just myself at age 63.

I too retired with low cost health insurance under employers early retirement plan. I was surprised when my insurance cost took a big bump at age 60. Part was increase due to age bracket, but also employer decided to cap their contribution to health insurance. So increases fell on me.

And I looked into lower cost health insurance as advertized but preexisting condition meant I could not change policies. I was stuck paying employers rate.

And guess what happened. Everyone healthy enough to leave did. So rates continued to rise because group costs kept going up.

Mine did not get to $1450/mo (before I got on Medicare) but it did pass $900. Because it exceeded my modest pension check, income tax people questioned the deduction one year.

But this is typical of the unexpected expense you can encounter in retirement. When I retired my health insurance premium was less than $100/mo.
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<<I had a few butterflies. But not serious worries, and things worked out pretty well.

Exactly. Once your plan and resources have been tested in one of those stock market meltdowns, you gain confidence that your resources are adequate for the next one.

Of course, while things are going straight down and you wonder how low they will go, there is plenty of room for butterflies. Some say that is a great time to decide to take a cruise around the world and not worry about it. >>


My plans were made with the EXPECTATION that there would bew a stock market crash. I actually expected one that would be worse and last longer.

That might astill be in our future....


Seattle Pioneer
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Was the insurance quotes all of you are talking about for 2 people or just yourself?

I want to really run through this and know what I can try to plan for.

Looks like I have to factor in ~2000/month in insurance for 2 to be safe?

I know, I know, no one can predict.
But just some information will be so helpful in estimating worse case.

Sorry, does Medicare really helps lower costs - of both insurance and out of pocket?

Ha, like you guys can explain health care to me...sorry just read this and thought to myself ~ sheesh, really?

Thanks
nag
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nagdabbit writes,

Was the insurance quotes all of you are talking about for 2 people or just yourself?

I want to really run through this and know what I can try to plan for.

Looks like I have to factor in ~2000/month in insurance for 2 to be safe?

</snip>


For a married couple with an income of less than $62,040 for 2014, your health insurance premium is capped at 9.5% of your income under Obamacare.

That means an annual premium of $5,900/yr, not $24,000/year. There's a huge benefit to managing your income in retirement to keep under the threshold for tax subsidies.

intercst
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The numbers I quoted were for single coverage, but I suspect it may have been per employee regardless.

Median group rates for a family of four is pretty readily available info every year. But if you are retired early with health insurance, your employer subsidizes the numbers. That makes planning more difficult.

But as intercst points out, if Obamacare moderates these numbers, that would be great.

Controlling the rate of growth of health care costs has to be a priority for the very reasons you outline.
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"Looks like I have to factor in ~2000/month in insurance for 2 to be safe?"


intercst:"For a married couple with an income of less than $62,040 for 2014, your health insurance premium is capped at 9.5% of your income under Obamacare. "

Of course, you realize that is for likely $5000 deductible plan and $12,000 a year out of pocket expense for a family plan, plus $60 co-pay for doc visit

So you will need to factor in a lot more since ObamaKare doesn't start paying until you really rack up the bills.

- - ---

On the other hand, Medicare will cost you $200-$300 a month, or near zero if you can get on a Medicare Advantage plan you like and stay in the same general area year round....and don't mind an HMO like plan......

Medicare pays all of your doc visits....and depending on your drug plan and drug needs.....most of that as well......and you buy a supplement for a bit over 100 bucks a month.....and that is that.

If you are healthy you might even skip the supplement. Many on a budget do. It just covers the 20% co-pay on hospitalization..... (typically 120 a month for the supplement.


I guess for a couple, you'd double that.....


the lowest medicare

Low-mid earners...under $100/month

Higher earners pay almost double....

supplement, if you want it for hospitalization 20% co-pay....another hundred plus a month.

It's a deal......my insurance costs, including a $24/month drug plan, is under $330/month and I pay zero for doc visits and tests.....

At age 64 it was nearly 50% more for $2500 deductible and 30% co-pay.

t
t.
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<<Was the insurance quotes all of you are talking about for 2 people or just yourself?>>


That was just for myself ---$1430/month right now at age 63.


Of course, all that's supposed to change with Obamacare. Young people are supposed to want to buy high priced health insurance to subsidize low cost health insurance for we old folks and people who are already sick.


I don't know why people think they are going to be hot to do this since many don't buy much cheaper insurance available to them now ---- but that's the theory.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<For a married couple with an income of less than $62,040 for 2014, your health insurance premium is capped at 9.5% of your income under Obamacare.

That means an annual premium of $5,900/yr, not $24,000/year. There's a huge benefit to managing your income in retirement to keep under the threshold for tax subsidies.

intercst >>



Yep, that's the theory. To make that work a lot of young healthy people have to pay inflated insurance costs to pay for the subsidies.

Of course, those same young healthies could be buying health insurance NOW if they wanted to spend the money --- but many aren't doing so.

It's not clear to me why people who wont buy individual health insurance NOW when it's relatively cheap will be anxious to do so under Obamacare when they have to subsidize the elderly and the already sick in addition to paying for the costs they can be expected to generate.

Why wont the young healthies just continue to do without health insurance like they do now, and WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE SICK to buy health insurance?

Heck --- I've been paying for my own health insurance since 1999. But I may have paid my last premium. Why should I pay for health insurance when I'm healthy? Since preexisting conditions no longer are a bar to getting health insurance under Obamacare, I can wait until I get sick before buying insurance.





Seattle Pioneer
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Heck --- I've been paying for my own health insurance since 1999. But I may have paid my last premium. Why should I pay for health insurance when I'm healthy? Since preexisting conditions no longer are a bar to getting health insurance under Obamacare, I can wait until I get sick before buying insurance.

Seattle Pioneer


Really not a good idea.

http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/reform/f/Why-Not-Wait-Un...

1. You can only buy health insurance through the Obamacare health insurance exchanges during open enrollment. Open enrollment is a period of time when everybody can buy health insurance. It usually lasts about a month and happens once a year.

2. Health insurance coverage doesn’t take effect the day you buy it. While the Affordable Care Act limits waiting periods before health insurance takes effect, it doesn’t totally do away with them. So, although you won’t have to wait six months for your health insurance to kick in, you won’t be covered immediately, either.

3. Most people don’t schedule their illnesses. Although some health problems can wait for a few weeks or months to be dealt with, others demand immediate attention. You may be able to delay dealing with nagging discomfort from knee arthritis, but you shouldn’t delay seeking treatment for a suspected heart attack.

Even if you’re one of the young invincibles, healthy people under the age of 30, bad things can still happen. What if you sliced your hand wide open when a wine glass broke as you were washing it? Stitches in an emergency room can be very expensive. What if you tripped over the cat while walking down stairs? A broken ankle can’t usually wait for treatment and might even require surgery.


Karen
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SeattlePioneer writes,

Since preexisting conditions no longer are a bar to getting health insurance under Obamacare, I can wait until I get sick before buying insurance.

There is an open enrollment period. You can't just sign up at any random time during the year and get health coverage under Obamacare.

If you don't buy a policy by March 31, 2014, you're locked out until Jan 1, 2015. The open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is Oct 15, 2014 to Dec 07, 2014.

intercst
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<<If you don't buy a policy by March 31, 2014, you're locked out until Jan 1, 2015. The open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is Oct 15, 2014 to Dec 07, 2014.

intercst >>


So I can discontinue paying for health insurance now. If I get sick during December I can reinstate my insurance coverage by paying the premium.

Then I can wait to buy health insurance until March 31st --- unless I get sick earlier in which case I can buy insurance earlier.

Sounds like I can save myself four months of premiums by taking advantage of the incentives Obamacare provides to quit paying for health insurance I have already!


Seattle Pioneer
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"Even if you’re one of the young invincibles, healthy people under the age of 30, bad things can still happen. What if you sliced your hand wide open when a wine glass broke as you were washing it? Stitches in an emergency room can be very expensive. What if you tripped over the cat while walking down stairs? A broken ankle can’t usually wait for treatment and might even require surgery."


Well, with a typical ObamaKare policy on the health exchange....

you'd have $2500 or $3000 or $5000 deductible....for a single..if you have a family policy...good golly...the deductible is $6500 or more.....

plus you get to pay hundreds and hundreds a month.....

So....if your broken ankle costs you $8000, you pay for most of it, plus you'd payed in maybe $8000 in premiums during the year.....or maybe $16,000 out of pocket.


Such a deal!

Yeah...you're covered..

Duh!


I broke my wrist 3 years ago...slipped on the ice.....went to doc...x-rayed it....said broke...sent me to the bone break doc....xrayed it....sure enough, broken wrist....but didn't need surgery...... total cost to me , ...since I had $2500 deductible.....duh! i didn't even go over my deductible...I paid for it all!....

And if you need stitches...try the emergency clinic...not the emergency room..... at 1/5th the price.....

but even there....those young invicibles will have $2500 or $5000 or higher policies (single/family)....and will pay most of it themselves!.....

i dunno what a broken ankle with surgery costs...couple thousand if done outpatient.....

ObamaKare insurance is really not very good and high priced...half the money they collect from the young is really for a subsidy for the weenies and elderly.


t.
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intercst:"There is an open enrollment period. You can't just sign up at any random time during the year and get health coverage under Obamacare.

If you don't buy a policy by March 31, 2014, you're locked out until Jan 1, 2015. The open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is Oct 15, 2014 to Dec 07, 2014."


I've been told that if you move to a state with it's own exchange....you get to sign up in that state ....no 'enrollment' period required....

Obviously, with many signing up for HMOs that limit areas of practice...heck, in CA, the plans are BY COUNTY...... if you move...you
are going to have to be able to change plans.....or get one in the first place.......

I'm sure the geniuses in DC figured that out.

If you are on a local HMO and move.....what then? You get no coverage until you can 'sign up again' in a different state or in the case of CA, a different county?

I'd venture that more than half the plans don't transfer....maybe NONE of them transfer across state lines....

Bfut the genius in the WH must have a fix....or one coming after fix number 857 is implemented sometime next July.....(of some year).



t.
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telegraph writes,

<<If you don't buy a policy by March 31, 2014, you're locked out until Jan 1, 2015. The open enrollment period for 2015 coverage is Oct 15, 2014 to Dec 07, 2014.">>


I've been told that if you move to a state with it's own exchange....you get to sign up in that state ....no 'enrollment' period required....

</snip>


Of course there are exceptions. I'm sure if you move to another state, they'll only let you sign up for insurance on that state's exchange, if you had similar coverage where you currently live.

Also if you get married or divorced mid-year, that opens up the possibility of being able to sign up for coverage.

intercst
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intercst:"Of course there are exceptions. I'm sure if you move to another state, they'll only let you sign up for insurance on that state's exchange, if you had similar coverage where you currently live.

Also if you get married or divorced mid-year, that opens up the possibility of being able to sign up for coverage."


or if you 'lost' your job that had health insurance...and coverage ended...


they'll be enough loopholes in the Swiss cheese of ObamaKare so that folks will be able to sign up at any time. Count on it. No one left behind...no one 'uncovered'....

Somewhere they'll be ACORN type navigators who will fudge the system to get folks signed up only when they really need it.....

and if you sign up and don't pay? did you have 'coverage'? or paid only 1 month in Jan......but had 'tough times' and 'couldn't pay' because you 'lost your job'?

it will be a giant mess.

the real mess starts when folks sign up but either don't pay, or only pay a few months before they figure they'd rather have a new iPhone than pay that silly bill every month.....

or their checking account balance is zero and when the direct withdrawal to the insurance company hits....it bounces....

then what?

From what I understand, you either need a checking account or a credit card that the insurer can automatically debit each month.

no account - no insurance.. = they aren't going to wait for you to mail in a check.....or stop by and pay in cash....

At least half the 'black' folks have neither a bank account or a credit card.





t.


t.
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telegraph asks,

the real mess starts when folks sign up but either don't pay, or only pay a few months before they figure they'd rather have a new iPhone than pay that silly bill every month.....

</snip>


No problem, if you don't pay the monthly premium, your insurance gets cancelled and the subsidies end -- same as any other consumer purchase.

I suspect many of the people without credit cards or bank accounts will qualify for Medicaid and won't be getting any bills at all.

intercst
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intercst:"No problem, if you don't pay the monthly premium, your insurance gets cancelled and the subsidies end -- same as any other consumer purchase.

I suspect many of the people without credit cards or bank accounts will qualify for Medicaid and won't be getting any bills at all."

Only in those states expanding Medicaid - and setting themselves up for massive tax increases in 3-5 years - will 'low income folks' get on Medicaid.

My 'low income' friend in TN was told by the health care exchange site that she should sign up for TN Medicaid (TennCare)......the only problem is that TennCare is bust and isn't taking any new people and hasn't for years. It's even dropping more people on it each year.

Same in TX...no Medicaid expansion.

Worse, it won't let her buy a policy with subsidy. Nope.....

Even worse.... they tell her she makes too little (thanks to Obama and the 28 work week) that she won't be responsible for paying a 'penalty'.

Ha..so much for 'universal health care'....oh...and they sent her a letter explaining it was the 'nasty' folks in TN who refused to expand :Medicaid as being the reason why she won't be covered and has no options under ObamaKare.

As screwed up as the gov't system is.....with no hope of the 'back office' systems being on line by Jan 1, the feds will have no clue as to who has paid and who hasn't

Did you read the news? They haven't even started on the 'back end' systems!....nor the integration!.....nor the security of the payment systems! the reporting systems..... What a crock!

They'll have no clue as to who hasn't paid. The subsidy money will flow uncontrolled by the hundreds of billions.....



t.
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nagdabbit:

"does Medicare really help lower costs - of both insurance and out of pocket?"

We've been retired since age 62 and we're 72+ now. It WAS costly before we could start Medicare and Medigap.

Now, Medicare (currently $93 apiece deducted from each Social Security) and our AARP Medigap (United Healthcare, $340/month for the two of us combined) have covered almost everything except the dentist. Is it worth it? You be the judge.

I've had 2 surgeries, both covered. Even the 20 % not covered by Medicare might have been horrendous, and these were not HUGE surgeries (like heart bypasses, etc.). Doctor checkups and specialists, all covered. Echocardiogram, etc., all covered. No complaints. Just be sure to ask any medical person you plan to see if they accept Medicare. If they do, they do. Period.

Except the DENTIST! Man, that gets costly for our regular cleanings AND any work needed. Used to be a filling was $40, right? Try $200 plus now.

GL.

Vermonter
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SP (and others):

As many say, we do what we want, when we want and IF we want, except when we have to fulfill promised activities for church or whatever. We love it.

Stress? Who needs that? In fact, we find that a lot of TV shows these days emphasize stress, too -- games, competition, people hollering at each other (!). Who needs that crap? Not us!

Some folks apparently cannot handle bailing out of the stressful working life. Not us.

Oh, I wish we had more bucks, but I work at trying to keep my self-directed IRA up enough to allow withdrawals as needed, and we do okay.

Vermonter
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Now, Medicare (currently $93 apiece deducted from each Social Security) and our AARP Medigap (United Healthcare, $340/month for the two of us combined) have covered almost everything except the dentist. Is it worth it? You be the judge.
___________________________________

I turned 65 in September. I had my first Medicare wellness visit two weeks ago. I was very impressed by the doctor and the services that were provided. I got a pneumonia shot, a flu shot, a shingles shot and a tetanus shot. We moved a few months ago from Brooklyn, NY to Massachusetts and we are very impressed with the primary care docs that we have thru Tufts Advantage which has a 5 star rating. None of the plans in NY had more than 3-3 1/2 stars.
Our doctor is in a medical practice that is right across the street from the hospital so if they cannot handle something in their offices, they send us across the street.
You are right about dental. I made sure that I had dental flap surgery right before my insurance ran out. The cost was $1400. I paid $200. Not a bad price to save a tooth. Hopefully I have avoided having this tooth extracted altogether.
Medicare seems to be working just fine for me and my husband.
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Medicare seems to be working just fine for me and my husband.

Ask those that are paying the bills how well it's working for them...

The $100 or so premiums that are collected only accounts for about 2-3% of the costs. Payroll taxes pay the majority of it.
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Ask those that are paying the bills how well it's working for them...

The $100 or so premiums that are collected only accounts for about 2-3% of the costs. Payroll taxes pay the majority of it.

_______________________________________

My husband and I were those people paying the bills.
I don't get your point.
This is the retirement board. Are you not retired?
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rharmelink writes,

The $100 or so premiums that are collected only accounts for about 2-3% of the costs. Payroll taxes pay the majority of it.

In 2012, Medicare spent an average of $9,702 per beneficiary, so the $104.90/month ($1,259/yr) Part D premium that most people pay accounts for 13% of the costs.

http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-fin...

intercst
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In 2012, Medicare spent an average of $9,702 per beneficiary, so the $104.90/month ($1,259/yr) Part D premium that most people pay accounts for 13% of the costs.

I was only looking at Part A (HI), since that's the only part payroll taxes pay for -- $208B of the $267B total. Premiums only pay $3B of that. I was recalling numbers from something earlier than 2012.

HI and SMI have separate funding.

For Parts A/B/D, premiums pay a whopping 12%.

But the trustees report I'm looking at says $12,103 per beneficiary for 2012:

http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Stat...

Page 16, "Table II.B1.—Medicare Data for Calendar Year 2012".

Maybe the difference is the article you cited stated 2012 number BEFORE the end of the 2012 calendar year.
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My husband and I were those people paying the bills.

And how well was Medicare working for you back then, when you were paying for it for other people?

This is the retirement board. Are you not retired?

I've been on the receiving end of FICA taxes since 2006.

My retirement planning 30 years ago assumed SS/M would not exist when I retired, since they weren't economically sound programs. But they almost doubled the FICA taxes during that decade, so it's lasted a bit longer. Maybe if they double them again?
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My retirement planning 30 years ago assumed SS/M would not exist when I retired, since they weren't economically sound programs. But they almost doubled the FICA taxes during that decade, so it's lasted a bit longer. Maybe if they double them again?

____________________________________________

Instead of doubling taxes our government might want to first go after the waste, fraud and corruption that now exists in our own government.
The IRS erroneously sends out millions of dollars in payments to people who should not be getting them in the first place. Earned income credit checks in the amount of, in many cases, $5,000 were being sent out to people who did not qualify. Millions of dollars worth of checks were sent erroneously to the same address in Latvia. The excuse the government gives is that their computers cannot catch these "glitches".
Enough to make my blood boil.
I should probably watch less news. Maybe then I could get my BP under control.
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<<Oh, I wish we had more bucks>>



Frankly, I have plenty of bucks. More than I need. Continuing excess cash get reinvested in various stocks through dividend reinvestment plans.

(Monsanto, Exxon, Piedmont Natural Gas, Home Depot, to name a few)


I just don't find all that much stuff that worth while buying these days.

I continue to make a hobby of Living Below My Means.

Of course, others may make a hobby of spending money! To each their own.


Seattle Pioneer
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SP:

I just don't find all that much stuff that worth while buying these days.

Amen!

Vermonter
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Frankly, I have plenty of bucks. More than I need. Continuing excess cash get reinvested in various stocks through dividend reinvestment plans.

(Monsanto, Exxon, Piedmont Natural Gas, Home Depot, to name a few)


I just don't find all that much stuff that worth while buying these days.

I continue to make a hobby of Living Below My Means.

Of course, others may make a hobby of spending money! To each their own.


Seattle Pioneer



DH has been retired 6 years now and we are living proof that you can have both the hobby of Living Below You Means and spending money. :)

Utahtea
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SP: I just don't find all that much stuff that worth while buying these days.

*----*----*----*----*

Vermonter: Amen!


But it sure is nice being able to replace an old falling down retaining wall & fence, buy a new refrigerator, and new king size mattress without worrying about money. All of which we've had to do this year.

You don't have to buy stuff to spend money. DH and I found we love going on cruises along with traveling in our RV! ;)

Utahtea...I am enjoying retirement
and LBMY2
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Utahtea...I am enjoying retirement
and LBMY2



ooops...correction:

Utahtea...I am enjoying retirement
and LBYM2
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...I continue to make a hobby of Living Below My Means...

I am blessed with reasonable health and live below my S.S. income, allow my dividends to reinvest themselves too.

I do not have Internet connection (this post is coming from a public comuter system in a nearby library), an iPod, plasma screen TV, etc. I do have a paid for 2 bedroom house, 16 year old truck, live in the high expense state of California.

TB
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I'm lucky on the money front. We have more than enough, absent a total meltdown of the financial system that lasts for decades. Of course, if that were to happen, then everyone would be up the creek. My problem is learning how to spend money, as opposed to save and invest it. I've saved and invested for so many years that it's hard to let go and spend it now that I'm retired. I'm working on it, though, and it's a better to have my problem than to not have sufficient financial security in the first place. Good luck to us all.
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That's a funny one, about learning to spend. My wife is always concerned about being frivolous. She grew up in a large family that raised rabbits to have meat on the table. We decided to use percentages based on our saved liquid assets, to determine what would be frivolous. She laughs when I explain that a small percentage a particular item is that she is interesting. She doesn't spend that much, but putting in terms of percentage lets her choose rather than being fearful. Kinda like portfolio allocation. :)

ik
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And how well was Medicare working for you back then, when you were paying for it for other people?
..............

I feel great about helping to support my own and everyone else's parents and grandparents. Just like I feel more or less OK about the tens of thousands I've shoveled into the pockets of insurance corporation executives (and their employees and shareholders-) for, lo, these many years.
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<<I do not have Internet connection (this post is coming from a public comuter system in a nearby library), an iPod, plasma screen TV, etc. I do have a paid for 2 bedroom house, 16 year old truck, live in the high expense state of California.

TB >>



Yabbut you have Turkey Breath....



Seattle Pioneer
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<<My problem is learning how to spend money, as opposed to save and invest it. I've saved and invested for so many years that it's hard to let go and spend it now that I'm retired. I'm working on it, though, and it's a better to have my problem than to not have sufficient financial security in the first place. >>



I've had that problem.

I sat down and wrote myself out a budget, making a point of including ADDITIONAL spending I thought I might enjoy.

For quite a few years that included an expensive cable TV/internet package. However, a year ago I dumped that since I fig8ured it had become a waste of time as well as money ---- especially since the cable plan was heavily larded with advertizing.

The past year I've been borrowing DVDs at the library and using library internet service, where I am now. To get to the library today I bicycle 5 miles one way which included a 400 foot hill.

I have other libraries that are nearer, and a park department building where internet service is available.

Seattle Pioneer
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