Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« FMF June Newsletter | Main | Money, Marriage, and Difficulty »

May 21, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"Put my wife to work"? I'm sure you didn't mean that to sound as authoritarian and patriarchal as it does, right? Does she want to be "put to work" just as you're retiring?

Some states have an extension for COBRA. In California, CalCOBRA is a near-automatic, 18 month extension of COBRA. The premium rate is very similar COBRA; only instead of paying the premium to the company's administrator, the premium is paid directly to the medical plan.

This would get you a total of 36 months of coverage at rates that might be better than buying an individual plan (depending on the individual's health and age, of course).

Oh yeah...

"Free to work" is an oxymoron.

And, FMF, Don't you think your wife might like to "retire", too? Hasn't she earned retirement from her 24/7 job, just as much as you have from your job? Going back to work when the kids are grown and you retire sounds to me like jumping from the frying pan into the fire....not fun.

But perhaps she would want to get out of the house when you begin hanging around disrupting her established routine? IMHO, it should be her call what she does outside the home in retirement; it should not part of your unilateral retirement plan.

In September 1992 when I retired at age 58 my wife and I were still covered by my employer's health coverage. I don't believe there was any cost. I had been with the leading aerospace contractor in the country for 32 years and that was one of the benefits. After I retired they took over another major defense contractor and many of the great retirement benefits that I still receive were phased out for the current workforce. When we first went on Medicare we joined an HMO and the monthly premiums were $0 because they were making enough from the government's contributions. At that pointed we dropped my ex employer's health coverage, but later on when the HMO started charging monthly premiums we resumed my former employer's group plan that today costs us $291.04/month for the two of us.

1934 turned out to be a great year to be born for these reasons.
The Cold War was in full force -juicy defense contracts - an expanding workforce - good raises.
I never had to go to war.
I never had a single day of unemployment.
My education, (1951-1956) in England, and (1956 -1963) in Canada, Denver and California, up to an MS degree in engineering only cost me the price of textbooks, my employers paid the rest.

Those were the Eisenhower through George H. W. Bush years that were quite prosperous. The National Debt went from $270Billion to $4Trillion in 36 years. How things have changed to the state of affairs the country now finds itself 19 years later with a $14 Trillion National Debt and $1+ Trillion annual deficits for many years to come!

I am currently 47 years old. Once I hit 55, I will qualify for retirement healthcare benefits with my employer. I really enjoy my work, so I am not sure at what age I will ultimately decide to do something else. It is good to know that I will have this option, however.

"The National Debt went from $270Billion to $4Trillion in 36 years. How things have changed to the state of affairs the country now finds itself 19 years later with a $14 Trillion National Debt"

Going from $270B to $4T in 36 years is 7.7% annual increase.

Going from $4T to $14T in 19 years is 6.8% annual increase.

I realized when I wrote it that the percentage increases are quite close however what disturbs me the most however is the sheer size of the National debt since the interest we have to pay on it is taking an increasing share of the annual budget and leaving less and less for meaningful programs that benefit us all. If interest rates rise as many feel they must, the problem is exacerbated.

At some point not too many years into the future the rapidly rising costs of the top four components - Dept. of Health & Human Services - Social Security Administration - Department of Defense - Treasury Department, will leave precious little for discretionary spending on all of the other government programs that the country needs, such as Energy - Transporation - Education - Agriculture - Housing - Labor - NASA etc. etc.

COBRA costs a FORTUNE. I know, as I have had to carry it for 12 months now. I will be saving >$300/month when I go on medicare 6/1. This is HUGE as my unemployment nets only $330/week.

Old Limey,

I share your same concerns. Having a similar rate of increase on a much larger base is very alarming. When factoring the costs of these programs in future years, it cannot be sustained.

If our own personal household debt levels has dynamics like these, we would be headed for bankruptcy in very short order.

I agree, COBRA is not usually the most cost-effective choice, although I would recommend everyone sign up until they get something better. Your options after that are much better if you already have COBRA. Under HIPAA you are guaranteed coverage as long as you don't let your existing coverage under COBRA lapse.

I retired at 44 with the same issue. I signed up for COBRA and shopped for an individual policy with a high-deductible that was HSA compatible saving me hundreds of dollars over the cost of my COBRA policy.

Please note that the first and last options listed are part of the new health care reform bill. If conservatives succeed in repealing this law these options would go away. These are real options that would help real people. My father was forced to retire at 55 due to health problems. His employers plan only covers 5 years of health care before Medicare, meaning at age 60 he will have a 5-year gap of coverage!!! The exchanges coming in 2014 are his best chance at an affordable health care plan to bridge that gap. So my point to conservatives is this - your actions affect real people in real ways.

This is something I think about often, though at 36 I have a ways to go. I also have to think about the fact that my wife is almost eight years younger than me, so even if I could afford to retire 'on time', there would still be her coverage for all that time to worry about unless she was working that whole time.

Of course everything will change ten times between now and then, so who knows!

I have a problem that we are going to leave the people who are currently on entitlements and make a train wreck for those in the future. Solution? If you don't need SS or Medicare- give it back. Maybe "need" is even too loose- maybe can afford to do it on your own. Why does Paul Ryan leave them out? Why is the majority of the Tea Party filled with those who are fully entitled?
These programs were not created for those who saved plenty for retirement- or had great pensions- it was created for the rest. My father and grandfather both gave their SS checks to charity.
I am not sure why my children should pay for you and not for me or themselves......
Other solution- get out of the middle east. Let Israel take care of itself and do North American oil. As a wife and mother of soldiers---I would appreciate it if they were fighting for us and not for Arab oil.
Wake up America!

The thing is that it seems to me people act as if the national debt ballooned all of the sudden out of the blue in the past couple years. Weve had a massive debt for decades which has been growing at a steady pace virtually the whole time. It doesn't seem people were panicking over it 5, 10, 20 years ago. Why is that?

FMF, you seem to suggest that if you want health insurance, you have to get it through a job. But what about private insurance? A high-deductible plan will cost about $200/month for someone in their fifties. Not cheap, but still affordable.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.