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Greetings from the great beyond...


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First time to peruse the site in ages.  Retirement is all I had hoped for.  No schedule, no responsibilities for others (except supplying fun for a grandson and another grandchild on the way), visit other places whenever we want since I finally got my wife to spit the bit and give up dental hygiene education, and I get another retirement gift a week from today...Medicare! 

For those getting close to hanging it up, some FYI's that I ran into at the first of this year as my wife's COBRA was winding down:

1.  If you're going to use the Marketplace for health insurance make sure that you have taxable income!  I outdid myself by having the majority of our retirement funds in non-taxable accounts and then so rudely found out that we weren't going to have enough taxable income to qualify for the Marketplace!  Roth-IRA's are not income sources used to calculate your eligibility for coverage I discovered.  Luckily, my wife taught in her program clinic each Friday during the spring semester so that income, along with our initiating education pensions mid-summer, allowed us to not only qualify for coverage (you can always pay the full premium) but even provided us an ~$2K/mo. stipend.

2.  Make certain that you fully understand the differences between Part B coverage options with Medicare.  No Part B (don't even think about it), Part B without gap insurance (don't go down that road either), a Part B supplement plan of which there are several to choose from (plan G for myself, and later for my wife though she would have a "free" Advantage plan through her last employer) or an Advantage plan.

3.  If you go the Medicare supplement plan route, don't forget to select dental/vision plans if so inclined.  I went with a dental plan through my supplement insurer but we have a freestanding vision plan which we'll keep.

4.  When it's time for Medicare enrollment (done through the Social Security site) you can sign up as early as 3 mos. prior to the month of your 65th birthday, and up to 3 months after your 65th birthday month.  If you wish to remain employed and have health insurance through your employer, who has at least 20 employees, you may defer your Part B/C/D selection until you retire.  Your Part A kicks in at 65 regardless.  Make certain that you're aware of the costs of your Part B/C/D selections.  As an example for myself, no cost for Part A, standard Part B monthly premium for everyone, even without gap coverage, is $175/mo.; my supplement plan or "Medigap" plan G (most commonly selected) is $124/mo., dental is $26/mo., and family vision is $24/mo.  The annual deductible is $240, so after $240 all my health costs are covered for the year.  Since I'm deferring Social Security until 66/10 (full retirement age, or "FRA") my Part B monthly premiums are billed quarterly.  My drug plan (Part D)?  $.99/annually so I splurged and paid it up front, LOL.  Once you're on Social Security these costs will be subtracted from your monthly SS payment.

5.  If you own your residence, check with your local tax office about a 65/> exemption along with your homestead exemption.

6.  Don't forget to let your state(s) know that you're retiring license wise should you wish to let it lapse.  Same goes for NCCPA, DEA, and your malpractice carrier if you have your own policy.

7.  Don't forget to claim any available "elderly" discounts through retailers, LOL!

8.  The only drawback that I've noticed is that I continue to "work", at least in my sleep.  I covered two shifts with two former employers last night alone.

9.  Last, but not least; take time to make a budget listing all your expenses and your anticipated income!  Recognize that if you leave medicine, but choose to work part-time somewhere that after a somewhat low annual income level, you begin to lose $1 for every $2 you earn since your Social Security income becomes a variable rate taxable source.

Take care to all those still holding down the fort!

 

Edited by GetMeOuttaThisMess
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Excellent post 

 

I wanted to stress a few. 
1) you must sign up for Medicare or face penalties.  
 

2) Medicare B with medigap is the best insurance ever

3) Medicare advantage plans are the worst plans.  Don’t even consider them   As soon you get sick they deny everything  

 

I am jealous and my fra is 67!

 

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I'm planning to stat FT until 70.  Since I won't be taking SS until then and I have medical, vision, and dental coverage through my employer I don't need to apply for Medicare until I take SS.  My employer just has to provide documentation that I had healthcare coverage.

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I'm curious: for those who have or plan to retire in your 60s and 70s, is this because you want/wanted to or because you have/had to?

Retiring with maybe 10-15 years of life left (perhaps 5-10 of which are good, healthy and able years) sounds a bit depressing to me so I'm curious to hear why people would elect to choose this path over a different path that would enable earlier retirement that they could enjoy more. My father in law died five years after retiring at 67 and zero of those years were good and healthy as he quickly declined and died from cancer.

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10 hours ago, SedRate said:

I'm curious: for those who have or plan to retire in your 60s and 70s, is this because you want/wanted to or because you have/had to?

 

I want to max out SS and be able to travel comfortably in retirement. I come from a long-lived family and hope to continue that trend. I could in theory retire at 59.5 in a few years and could get by, but it would be tight. Part of this too is that in my mid-50s I feel like I am finally hitting my stride and after 37 years in medicine getting the respect, pay, and benefits, that I have always wanted. I plan to coast into retirement, dropping a few shifts/month every few years until I hit regular full time hours 🙂

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13 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

I want to max out SS and be able to travel comfortably in retirement. I come from a long-lived family and hope to continue that trend. I could in theory retire at 59.5 in a few years and could get by, but it would be tight. Part of this too is that in my mid-50s I feel like I am finally hitting my stride and after 37 years in medicine getting the respect, pay, and benefits, that I have always wanted. I plan to coast into retirement, dropping a few shifts/month every few years until I hit regular full time hours 🙂

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've created a good plan for yourself, situation and goals. 

Edited by SedRate
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On 5/25/2024 at 10:47 AM, GetMeOuttaThisMess said:

First time to peruse the site in ages.  Retirement is all I had hoped for.  No schedule, no responsibilities for others (except supplying fun for a grandson and another grandchild on the way), visit other places whenever we want since I finally got my wife to spit the bit and give up dental hygiene education, and I get another retirement gift a week from today...Medicare! 

For those getting close to hanging it up, some FYI's that I ran into at the first of this year as my wife's COBRA was winding down:

1.  If you're going to use the Marketplace for health insurance make sure that you have taxable income!  I outdid myself by having the majority of our retirement funds in non-taxable accounts and then so rudely found out that we weren't going to have enough taxable income to qualify for the Marketplace!  Roth-IRA's are not income sources used to calculate your eligibility for coverage I discovered.  Luckily, my wife taught in her program clinic each Friday during the spring semester so that income, along with our initiating education pensions mid-summer, allowed us to not only qualify for coverage (you can always pay the full premium) but even provided us an ~$2K/mo. stipend.

2.  Make certain that you fully understand the differences between Part B coverage options with Medicare.  No Part B (don't even think about it), Part B without gap insurance (don't go down that road either), a Part B supplement plan of which there are several to choose from (plan G for myself, and later for my wife though she would have a "free" Advantage plan through her last employer) or an Advantage plan.

3.  If you go the Medicare supplement plan route, don't forget to select dental/vision plans if so inclined.  I went with a dental plan through my supplement insurer but we have a freestanding vision plan which we'll keep.

4.  When it's time for Medicare enrollment (done through the Social Security site) you can sign up as early as 3 mos. prior to the month of your 65th birthday, and up to 3 months after your 65th birthday month.  If you wish to remain employed and have health insurance through your employer, who has at least 20 employees, you may defer your Part B/C/D selection until you retire.  Your Part A kicks in at 65 regardless.  Make certain that you're aware of the costs of your Part B/C/D selections.  As an example for myself, no cost for Part A, standard Part B monthly premium for everyone, even without gap coverage, is $175/mo.; my supplement plan or "Medigap" plan G (most commonly selected) is $124/mo., dental is $26/mo., and family vision is $24/mo.  The annual deductible is $240, so after $240 all my health costs are covered for the year.  Since I'm deferring Social Security until 66/10 (full retirement age, or "FRA") my Part B monthly premiums are billed quarterly.  My drug plan (Part D)?  $.99/annually so I splurged and paid it up front, LOL.  Once you're on Social Security these costs will be subtracted from your monthly SS payment.

5.  If you own your residence, check with your local tax office about a 65/> exemption along with your homestead exemption.

6.  Don't forget to let your state(s) know that you're retiring license wise should you wish to let it lapse.  Same goes for NCCPA, DEA, and your malpractice carrier if you have your own policy.

7.  Don't forget to claim any available "elderly" discounts through retailers, LOL!

8.  The only drawback that I've noticed is that I continue to "work", at least in my sleep.  I covered two shifts with two former employers last night alone.

9.  Last, but not least; take time to make a budget listing all your expenses and your anticipated income!  Recognize that if you leave medicine, but choose to work part-time somewhere that after a somewhat low annual income level, you begin to lose $1 for every $2 you earn since your Social Security income becomes a variable rate taxable source.

Take care to all those still holding down the fort!

 

Good stuff! I am approaching my 65th in a couple of months and sorting it all out now. The insurance thing has me bamboozled because I have the VA, I'll have Medicare, and I can take my BCBS into retirement at the same rate I pay as an employee so I am trying to figure out how to get the most insurance bang for the fewest bucks.

 

For me there is a great alignment. I'll hit full retirement age (66 and 10 months) about the same time I am ready to retire from the VA. BTW if you wait until FRA for SS there is no earnings penalty so you can work/earn all you want with no penalty.

 

From the SSA website:

Is there a Social Security penalty for working after full retirement age?

If you work, and are at full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you're younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits.

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On 5/25/2024 at 9:55 AM, ventana said:

I wanted to stress a few. 

1) you must sign up for Medicare or face penalties. 

... if you ever consent to Medicare. Medicare may be available to all, but is not mandatory:

https://www.medicareadvantage.com/resources/is-medicare-mandatory

"Technically, no Medicare Part A is not mandatory.

"If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part A, however, you must withdraw from all federal benefits programs. That means you cannot receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. You must also repay any benefits you have already received if you decline Medicare. This is one reason why most people keep their Part A coverage once their eligible."

It's pretty coercive, but as that website details, the penalties are designed to discourage people from keeping their superior commercial insurance as sole coverage and then only moving over to medicare once forced out of such coverage.

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I used to think I was going to max out my medicare payments - (age 70)

But I have changed thoughts on that

I am going to take the medicare payments, invest them and it is debatable rather I ever will be worse off..... 8-10% in the market return makes this a pretty solid financial choice

 

And if you don't make it to advanced age you are way better off

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Medicine is my 3rd career and so far, I still really like what I'm doing.  The income helps, as I still have just over 10 years to pay off my house and I'm contributing a significant amount for a caregiver for my elderly mother who has dementia.  If work stops being meaningful to me, I'll re-think it.  I've seen good friends retire and then be lost, because they retired from what they were doing but not to anything.  FT for me is 10 12 shifts/month and I'll do a bit at a PT job, but I'll still have 1/2 of each month to be home or travel with my wife.

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