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You wrote, ...Joel won't be retiring for probably 2 or 3 more years, so our trips to Asia and Europe will have to wait...

I'm only 2 years younger. ;-) My earliest projected retirement date is September 15th, 2020 - just shy of 3 years out. However I might wait until 2022.

I could probably retire today if I really wanted to - especially since I could sell my place in Redmond for a fat profit and move back in with you. But given that I have a history of actually using my health insurance coverage, I'm very concerned about being able to pay for the rising cost of coverage and care especially in the gap between now and Medicare.

Microsoft pays for our current health insurance (it's a pretty nice plan too) and that's going to go away once I quit. In fact once I leave Microsoft, I suspect my total cost of care could easily equal or exceed my now-current housing costs some time before Medicare ever kicks in. And right now housing costs are at least half my budget.

Part of that expectation comes from my time being unemployed in 2008/2009 when I was forced onto the now defunct Texas High Risk Insurance Pool. Both the premiums and deductibles were outrageous. Ten years later I'm sure they would be far worse if the plan still existed. And with Republicans in charge, I'm not sure I won't be forced onto such a plan at some point before I'm eligible for Medicaid.

And then there's the issue of housing. If you die, I don't get your house ... so my planning also includes the possibility that I will at some point have to replace my housing too. (Probably not at the value of my current home, but still housing isn't free.) I know it's redundant for both of us to budget for housing ... but I have to be certain I'll have some place to stay if you pass before me.

We might be able to reduce some of these risks through some careful estate planning. On the other hand, if I wind up having lots of extra cash as I approach 65, maybe I'll buy that self-driving Tesla Model S I want and we can go travel the world...

So I'm aiming to save enough that I can handle the worst life can throw at me. That's probably going to take a few more years yet. Sorry about that. You'll just have to find something to do with yourself until then. :-)

- Joel
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