I hate to post this, but I've been gobsmacked and I'm hoping to get some useful advice here. I have fibromyalgia and IBS and am in pain most all the time. I am not yet on any sort of disability and don't have a clue how to even proceed. Doctors seem unable to help more than keep me on a regimen of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. I had thought I could sidestep this issue for awhile since my wife is working, but she has decided that we will part ways after some reasonable time of downsizing and getting our affairs in order. So, I am faced with where to live cheaply. I'm 53 and my half of the portfolio is probably *Just* adequate to get me to SS age. This is assuming a drawdown, not a "safe" withdrawal rate.So, if anyone has anything to contribute on either disability or where to live, I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say.Hedge
So, if anyone has anything to contribute on either disability or where to live, I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say.HedgeHi Hedge,Sorry to hear about your health problems and coming predicament. I'll leave it to someone far wiser than me for any financial advice, but perhaps I could offer a suggestion or two in other areas.I see you live in the LA area. Unless you really need to stay there for Doctors and such perhaps you could relocate to another community. LA is an expensive city to live in. One of my sons' lived in LA for approx. ten years and it was expensive living even though he was out of the high rent area and all.There are a number of mobile home parks in Ca. which are very nice. I have a friend who lives in Santee, Ca in such a park. There is a club house for social activities, a swimming pool and many other nice amenities. She scouted around looking at different parks and was able to buy a used mobile home in excellent condition and wonderfully decorated with a screened in porch at a very reasonable price.Her income is probably around twenty grand a year. She did dip into her 401k to help buy her mobile home.Anyhow, this is one suggestion you can kick around and I'm sure others will have better suggestions.Good luck and best wishes.
Do you have access to affordable or free health insurance, with drug coverage? This is one of the single largest expenses for many retired folks.
Regarding the fibromyalgia, the Arthritis Foundation is promoting, and distributing free, a new 5th edition of The Arthritis Helpbook with the most up-to-date information on arthritis and fibromyalgia. It's filled with practical self-help tips, many of which differ considerably from advice of only five years ago.Contact your local County health initiative office, or the Arthritis Foundation directly. Here in New York State the Foundation and our county health offices are sponsoring 6-week classes at area hospitals based on this book. Also free.
Hi Lurkermom,Yes, LA is extremely expensive and now out of my league. I am leaving LA with few regrets as soon as I have all this stuff resolved. The medical issues come first, while I still have some insurance. I grew up in Indiana and Kentucky, so my first thought is to move back to that area. Kentucky doesn't seem to have progressed much since I left 40 years ago, so I'm more tempted by Indiana. Perhaps Evansville. I've got friends in South Bend, so that calls me as well. But, I am pretty open to anything, I guess. Ohio actually looks pretty good from some standpoints. Texas probably has its good points too.Hedge
Do you have access to affordable or free health insurance, with drug coverage? This is one of the single largest expenses for many retired folks.Hi ResNullius. Unfortunately, no. This is my biggest worry. Fortunately, my meds aren't very expensive at present. They've tried to put me on statins and stuff, but I never tolerated them, so I just don't worry about the lipid levels anymore. :o)Hedge
Hi tilnow,Thanks for the heads-up. I've got the latest (I think) Fibromyalgia guide. I'll have to check on this one.Hedge
Hedge, Sorry to hear the news. I have peripheral neuropathy and filed 4 months ago for S/S disability. I'm still waiting to hear from them. After you apply, they have you come in for an interview, then send your paperwork to the state social security office. they request all of your medical records related to your disability from every doctor you've been to. You can fill out the initial paperwork on the internet. My sources say they almost automatically turn you down the first 2 times, and you have to appeal. There are lawyers who specialize in this. When I hear from them, I'll be able to tell you more. they had me go in for a general physical with another doctor (at there expense) to determine if I really had the problem I was saying I did. In that case, the doctor for the 2nd opinion rents an office from the neurologist that made the original diagnoses. I have heard of people getting it within 2 months, but they are few and far between. Send me a direct email if you have any other questions, and good luck. Hal
Do you have access to affordable or free health insurance, with drug coverage? This is one of the single largest expenses for many retired folks.Hi ResNullius. Unfortunately, no. This is my biggest worry. Fortunately, my meds aren't very expensive at present. They've tried to put me on statins and stuff, but I never tolerated them, so I just don't worry about the lipid levels anymore. :o)Given your insurance situation, you probably would benefit from living in a state that mandates caps on premiums for folks who otherwise might not be able to afford individual coverage. There are many states that require this type of coverage. Some state even subsidize it.
filed 4 months ago for S/S disability. I'm still waiting to hear from them. After you apply, they have you come in for an interview, then send your paperwork to the state social security office. they request all of your medical records related to your disability from every doctor you've been to. You can fill out the initial paperwork on the internet. My sources say they almost automatically turn you down the first 2 times, and you have to appeal. There are lawyers who specialize in this.My husbands worker comp lawyer had him go down and fill for SSD about 2 months ago. He was able to work for about 4 years after his accident. Our lawyer in Ohio also told him he would be turned down 2 times and it would take about a 1 1/2 years to get it. His fee is regulated by law. We are still waiting for them to send him to a doctor. They will most like just send us more paper work which drives my husband crazy. He had a serious head injury and paper work really bothers him. So they really help alot.donnajc
Hedge,I am sorry to hear of your medical condition and other complications; although I am not familiar with your medical condition I gather from your overall description that it's similar to my older brother's.He's currently facing the same relocation issue with wife and kids from greater NY metro area, in their case they've chosen AZ (I am not sure as to where in Arizona they will move to, as they are still planing it all).I am not sure as to how much your affordable living monthly expenses may be however you may want to look in LA County, along I-5 North at Valencia and Tejon Ranch (to visit websites for each one just type each of their names withour spacing and then add .com).They seem to have a mix of housing units (condos, townhouses and single family) and they do release each some 1000 such housing units every year for the next 25 years.If nice dry weather mya help your condition these and some other places may be well suited for you.I hope this helps, if the suggestions I've given you seem out of your reach financially or otherwise, I have some other suggestions in other states in mind I can share with you, provided you're open to such relocation.
donnajc,Thanks for the reply. Every little bit helps! I guess I should just get this started. I'm gonna change rheumatologists first, though. I guess I'm like a poker addict: give me one more try.Hedge
Hi FLREFOOL,Yeah, I think I'm going to have to relocate. CA is just so expensive, and inland is so hot. It was fine while I was working and we were buying a house near the beach, but since both of those are gone (house is cashed in) it's not so easy. What areas were you thinking of?Hedge
Hedge,If you still care to be near the ocean I think you should look up Navarre near Pensacola in the NW part of FL, Santa Rosa County.Plenty AFFORDABLE land, both for mobile homes and/or detached family, in adition to all other typical housing types/units.Great growth area, near Eglin Air Force Base, the largest such base in the US, 26 major development projects underway (Super Walmart, Ruby Tuesday, Hampton Inn and Suites, etc.). Santa Rosa County is thus far a "dry county" but it is said it will soon be going to allow alcohol sale once the issue is put up for a vote.Much of the area is sort of out of mind out of sight for most people going to FL, usually they all look either on the east or West coastlines, but hardly ever in the panhandle.I suggest you look into the area, including a map of Navarre via Yahoo Maps or Mapquest.com to really appreciate the location (a peninsula with a north and a south shore brimming with development yet still affordable) and the amazing opportunities there.www.navarrepress.comhttp://www.beaches-rivers.com/http://www.navarrefl.com/If interested, I will send you additional info via E-mail.I hope this helps, however little.
Unless all the various taxes in LA happen to provide you with subsized house and/or medical care, I think you need to look at the cost of living carefully. Many people say "I won't live ????? because they have an income tax or high property taxes, or whatever tax." What one should really care about in my view are the taxes you will pay in your specific situation, the cost of living in that area and any uncommon benifits. For example some states lower property taxes for people on disability and/or over 65.This type of data I have found on a comparitive basis amazingly hard to get. One source is a magazine "Where to Retire" -- comes out 6 times a year. They highlight a few cities in each issue. Give cost of a 2 BR house, taxes on that house, etc. If you can find a library that subscribes, spend a day with back issues.Another thing you should keep an eye on is the Medicade situation. I certainly hope you don't get there, but some states are making major changes - and these are not expanding coverage. The eastern part of Tennessee, Western NC and the part of WV south of MD are areas that have below average costs. Another place much closer to you is Boulder City, NV -- east of Las Vegas.GordonAtlanta
So, if anyone has anything to contribute on either disability or where to live, I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say.Sorry to read of your troubles Hedge.I join the others that suggested checking into SSA benefits and that it is notorious for being rejected on 1st pass. So keep at it.And my 2 friends that have fibro tell me the hardest thing is to find a doc that knows how to help - that is, after years of being told that the pain they had was phantom before being diagnosed. One friend had the best benefit from alternative medicine, the other found a good immunologist.Where I can toss something perhaps helpful is to check out these two sites to get ideas of where to consider living. I ended up changing my retirement location (just closed escrow) based on the results of findyourspot.com's survey. Not the exact location, but the region. Be aware that they don't have a database of all areas, so think of their suggestions as a region rather than specific town.http://www.findyourspot.com/http://bestplaces.net/fybp/Best wishes to you!Keith
Hi Keith,Yeah, even getting diagnosed with fibro is no guarantee of help. I got a rheumatologist who made the diagnosis. But she didn't want to change my meds at all. I called for an appointment and they couldn't get me in for over a month. To me, that means I don't have a rheumatologist. :o( People keep suggesting I see an accupunturist, but I'm pretty skeptical. Maybe I'll try it eventually.I tried that findyourspot site. I think I've gone there before in the past few years. It actually came up with a couple of the towns that I've been looking at, which was a surprise.Hedge
Hey Hedge,I was cleaning out and merging my bookmarks and found a couple of more sites that may be of interest to you.Here's a site that helps search for gov't benefits, both fed and state:http://benefits.gov/govbenefits/index.jhtmlHere's a site that has a survey comparing net taxes by state (2 metro areas per state):http://redesign.kiplinger.com/personalfinance/tools/taxmap/The table link isn't working, but you can hover your mouse over a city on the link's map and it will give you the data.Point of interest (to me) was that Portland rated a notch worse than Los Angeles. Who'd thunk?
Hi SysypheanFool,I knew I had another thread floating around somewhere. I've decided to move back to my hometown area. I've still got a couple of friends there and the housing is cheap. I can't say that I'm looking forward to lake-effect snow again, though.Thanks for all the help!Hedge
You know, not long ago I read an article on the best place in the nation to retire that was written on cnn.money. It's chosen place was Jacksonville FL. Having grown up in FL myself and a current resident of Charleston SC I can understand why JAX was chosen. The cost of living is great. There are no personal property taxes except housing. Here personal property taxes include cars, boats and housing. Florida is one of three (I think it's three) states that does not have income tax, but I suppose if you're retired, that isn't something you need to take into account. The climate is nice there and JAX is an all round nice place. Suggest you do some cost of living comparisons. Several websites (Bankrate maybe) have these calculators and you can input where you live now and where you what city you are interested in and the calcultor will tell you how much it will cost to live there based on your current financial information. Good Luck.
Hi Hedge. In reply to your earlier post re: "...if anyone has anything to contribute on either disability or where to live, I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say."HedgeI'm not so far away - Scottsdale Arizona. The cost of living here is just great. I'm originally from downtown, lakefront Chicago and my apartment would be about 3x (times) same footage/convenience/economic center as here in Scottsdale.I'm not familiar with how disabling your health situation is, but after taking early retirement, I decided to cut driving a car to minimum and starting taking the bus and doing lots of walking - just like I did in Chicago.We have an area of Central/South Scottsdale that includes everything including LIbrary, Museum, City Hall, Fabulous shopping (includes Neimans & Nordstrom & Target - Costco etc.Art district and restaurants, pubs etc. all within 1/8th to 2 miles from home. This is important to me as I am single and enjoy social interaction.9 months of the year are Paradise; remaining 3 months I do most chores in AM and use the swimming pool lots. Also sell books on eBay as income (cash flow) and to keep me involved in business. I'm a former stockbroker and floor trader on Chicago Mercantile Exchange. So, I used to high level of mental and physical activity.Check out Scottsdale as it has excellent healthcare (Mayo Clinic) superb Senior Benefits. Sorry, I don't know about government but might be able to help you refine your Search.Chris in Arizona.
Hi guys and gals,I guess it's time for an update. I gave some consideration to the Phoenix area, since I have a friend there and she has encouraged me to consider it. She keeps on bragging about the 102+++ summer heat, though, and I just can't come to grips with that. She loves it, though. It must be her in-ground pool! :o)My in-laws (very nice people) live in the Warsaw IN area, and I looked around there (Fort Wayne) but just couldn't find anything I could afford that would satisfy me. So, back to the hometown of South Bend, IN, and after running a somewhat disbelieving real estate (you're paying cash?) agent ragged over 3 days, I've made an offer on a very nice house just a few feet away from the place I owned 20 years ago. From the best I can tell, the neighborhood is still very nice, clean and safe. It's on the approach path to the airport, but South Bend is NOT Los Angeles International Airport <bfg>. It also helps that I've got siblings and friends still here for a support base.So, since my offer is very close to the asking price, this should wind up tomorrow, even if they submit a counter. The house is 4 blocks or so from the river and maybe 8 blocks from the lake where I used to do a lot of fishing. There are no CC&Rs, so I will not have any issues pursuing my hobby: ham radio. The place was cleaned, painted, has installed new heater/AC, etc. Nice BIG 2-car garage on a paved alley. It's on the smallish side at just under 1000 sq ft, but feels just right for me.I'm kinda worn out from all the work of looking at 3-6 houses a day over the past few days. It hasn't helped that I had a bad reaction to a new multi-vitamin that I bought. IBS and Fibromyalgia steal your life from you a little bit at a time. My new GI doc has the feeling that I also have some neuropathies. So, I've decided to pursue that a bit before I file for disability.I am REALLY looking forward to living in this house!Hedge
Hi Hedge...Glad to hear that you have found your home! I wish you all the best in your move as well as your new life in Indiana. Just don't forget to come back on TMF and let us know how things are going.Best regards,Bill
Glad to hear that you have found your home! I wish you all the best in your move as well as your new life in Indiana. Just don't forget to come back on TMF and let us know how things are going.Hi Bill,I'll keep on checking the boards. I just probably won't contribute so much. BTW, the agent just called and said they accepted my offer! This is such a relief! I didn't want to niggle over pennies. Next step is moving.Hedge
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