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Anyone close to retirement? / when do you start counting the days?

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On 10/25/2019 at 12:01 PM, Lois R said:

Good morning folks....well, I have officially put in for retirement and will be leaving my employer on Dec 31st:classic_biggrin:

After 29 years...it is TIME.    I was on a cruise last week and had a LARGE moment of clarity....and Epiphany....

Something, whatever you want to call it but I have had it.  I spoke with my boss on Tuesday morning (I had Monday

off)and so now, next week and then Nov and Dec and that is IT.

 

I booked a cruise for January (to the Caribbean)….that is the first one after retiring. My birthday is in March so

will do something for that...and the big cruise is in April...….TA crossing and another one behind it.

 

Hi, congratulations on your impending retirement. I can totally relate to your comments. 
I have been mulling over retirement for a while now and a good friend of mine who didn't retire until he was 67, told me "you will know yourself  when you are ready" and I simply wasn't ready last year or early this year for that matter so I put it off but I did cut to a 4 - day week.  That has worked well for me in many ways. 
 
However I have just turned 61 and I too have been thinking more and more about this. So, for Tax reasons I plan to work on until March 2020 (it is only 5 months away) and will probaly call it a day then. 
We have a cruise planned for this Dec on Harmony and another one in April as well as our mega Transpacific in September so lots to look forward to 2020. 
 

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I have been on this site for several years without any thought of retiring but I think l am close. I am a teacher and will be 68 in February. I have decided that this will be my last year working full time.  I hope to work part time (2 days a week) to have some extra money for cruising. Plus I want to stay close to the school because my two grandkids attend it.  I have been at this school for 32 years and have been teaching for 39 years.  I enjoy teaching but all the extra hours outside of the classroom is more than I want to do now. I had a problem with my account so l had set up anew one.  My old screen name was Read52.

Edited by Science52

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Hi Science52!

My dad was a HS science teacher; when he retired, he became the computer consultant/network installer! (It was a small town central school somewhat behind the times on computerizing.) He was mostly self-taught on computers, having started with a Commodore 64, after BASIC lessons on mainframe computer in his Masters' studies. Paralleling my own experiences in college! I would sometimes brainstorm on a problem or two!

 

Anyway wanted to say hi to a teacher. We are in the last month of DH dr'spin's medical practice after 34.5 years. It's feeling eerily real and unreal at the same time. I had to make a horizontal color-coded calendar for the next two years, for our travels and commitments! 

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Well, It is now DECEMBER 4th...…..DEC 31st is not far away:classic_biggrin:.....and so that is my last day and after a recent

health scare, I am ready to said "bye bye" to the office more than ever!!!!!!!  

Girls, get those yearly mammograms!!!! My recent one basically saved my life...they found something and I

had surgery last week---everything came back negative (THANKFULLY)!! but when folks ask, how did you find

out?.....that mammogram is where something showed up!

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On 12/3/2019 at 6:12 AM, crystalspin said:

Hi Science52!

My dad was a HS science teacher; when he retired, he became the computer consultant/network installer! (It was a small town central school somewhat behind the times on computerizing.) He was mostly self-taught on computers, having started with a Commodore 64, after BASIC lessons on mainframe computer in his Masters' studies. Paralleling my own experiences in college! I would sometimes brainstorm on a problem or two!

 

Anyway wanted to say hi to a teacher. We are in the last month of DH dr'spin's medical practice after 34.5 years. It's feeling eerily real and unreal at the same time. I had to make a horizontal color-coded calendar for the next two years, for our travels and commitments! 

Chi

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I retired Aug 30th and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was time. My 40th work anniversary was Aug 1st which was a milestone I wanted to achieve.  Aug 30th worked out well for the cycle of my position.  I miss the people but I do not miss the alarm clock or worrying about driving to the office in the snow.  

For the first 4 weeks I pre-planned one "big" thing to do in each week: baseball game, dinner out with a long time friend, Downtown Abbey exhibit, etc. As time has gone on I've filled my calendar more and more. I've also learned how the rest of the world functioned when I was at work (e.g. don't go to the grocery store at 2PM when everyone else is trying to complete their shopping before school lets out!

To all of you who are retiring soon....you will LOVE it!

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Hi Lois,

 

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.  Thanks.  Science 52

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34 minutes ago, Science52 said:

Hi Lois,

 

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.  Thanks.  Science 52

Hi, I can't help you with the Medicare question---I will be 62 in March and will be on Cobra for 18 months. Sometime

late next year I will start researching my options for when my Cobra expires.

 

Good luck to you and your hubby:classic_smile:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Science52 said:

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.

DH (who is 72 and retiring this month) says Medicare Advantage. Lower copays and lab pays. Some plans have even more benefits as far as keeping your doctors. You may not find your doctor(s) on that list. But says he, you won't get gouged for that either.

 

I am 61 and still paying high(er) individual plan rates.

Edited by crystalspin

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5 hours ago, Science52 said:

Hi Lois,

 

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.  Thanks.  Science 52

 

We did a lot of research prior to making our choice between the two types of plans and chose traditional Medicare and a supplement. We did not want to be subject to networks. We can see any doctor, go to any lab, or medical facility that accepts Medicare and so far I’ve not found any that don’t. Medicare Advantage plans can be less expensive and may offer some extra benefits but I believe all have networks. I do not know of this varies by state. 

 

With traditional Medicare you will need to purchase a Part D drug plan but I believe Advantage plans include drug coverage. 

 

It is a though decision because if you choose Medicare and a supplement when you first become eligible for Medicare, you are not subject to any pre existing conditions. Switching from an Advantage plan to traditional Medicare and a supplement later on can mean dealing with pre existing conditions. 

 

One more consideration is that with traditional Medicare and supplement, your plan is good everywhere in the US because you don’t have a network to worry about. I do not know how Advantage plans handle care if you are away from home. Medicare does not cover you outside the US. Some supplements do offer some emergency coverage outside the US. I do not know about Advantage plans. 

 

You can call Medicare and ask them to send you their booklet called Medicare and You-there is a lot of information in it. 

 

Good luck with with your decision. 

Sharon

 

 

 

 

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On 12/4/2019 at 7:14 AM, Lois R said:

Well, It is now DECEMBER 4th...…..DEC 31st is not far away:classic_biggrin:.....and so that is my last day and after a recent

health scare, I am ready to said "bye bye" to the office more than ever!!!!!!!  

Girls, get those yearly mammograms!!!! My recent one basically saved my life...they found something and I

had surgery last week---everything came back negative (THANKFULLY)!! but when folks ask, how did you find

out?.....that mammogram is where something showed up!

 

Good to know that you are doing well Lois! Glad that it all worked out. Wishing you well for your future travels. 

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2 hours ago, CruisinGirl777 said:

 

Good to know that you are doing well Lois! Glad that it all worked out. Wishing you well for your future travels. 

 

Thank you so much:classic_biggrin:

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On 12/4/2019 at 5:17 PM, Science52 said:

Hi Lois,

 

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.  Thanks.  Science 52

 

You didn't ask, but the following might be helpful.

 

You probably already know that in general there is a penalty of higher Medicare Part B premiums in most cases if you sign up after you are 65, but you can delay starting Part B if you are covered by a employee medical plan (it has to be one you or your spouse get as an active employee; retiree and Cobra plans don't count). While you are covered and up to 8 months after coverage ends, you have a Special Enrollment Period to sign up without a late enrollment penalty. 

 

We delayed signing up for Medicare while I was covered by employee coverage. When I was ready to retire, I knew about the Special Enrollment Period, but it was difficult to find details of how to use it so here's what I found. You cant do on-line Medicare sign up for it. To start Medicare Part B during a Special Enrollment Period, you have to submit a Form CMS-L564 along with the Form CMS-40B Medicare Part B application.  You complete part of the CMS-L564 and the employer to fills out the rest which verifies that you have/had employee coverage. Both the employee and the spouse need a CMS-L564 form. 

 

Medicare also recommended that I write Special Enrollment Period in red on top of the CMS-40B Medicare enrollment form to make sure there is no confusion. I did the sign-up a couple of months before retiring just in case there were any hitches. There is an entry on the form to specify when you want Medicare Part B to start. You write that in the remarks part of the form. 

 

Medicare accepted my husbands enrollment with no issue but sent me a letter objecting to the CMS-L564 not being an original. I work remote so HR sent me the forms as an email attachment and I printed them out - no reason for them to accept one and reject the other. Rather than bugging HR to snailmail me a form, I took the paperwork to the local Social Security office and the guy there accepted it and fixed things. 

 

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On 12/4/2019 at 5:17 PM, Science52 said:

Hi Lois,

 

Well, I think I have made a decision to either retire and sub or go to part time for next year. I will be 68 in Feb. We have paid off some bills like we planned so it is close.  I do need some help from readers.  I can’t carry over my health insurance. So who uses regular Medicare and who uses Medicare advantage? My husband has health problems so we need the most coverage we can get and we want to keep our doctors. Which is the best.  Thanks.  Science 52

 

Whether Medicare Advantage is good depends on the particular Medicare Advantage plan. By "regular Medicare," I assume you mean a Medigap plan (aka Medicare Supplement plan) plus a Medicare Part D plan for drugs. 

 

We were covered by Kaiser before starting Medicare and were happy with it so we chose a Kaiser Medicare Advantage plan. We've been happy with the doctors and treatment there. We like that they have all the records electronic so all the doctors have the full record of all tests and treatments to work from. They pretty much let the doctors make treatment decisions without having to go through an authorization bureaucracy. There is no having to figure out who is in or out of network because they have their own labs, hospitals and offices so you know you are in network.  The drug coverage is included and the doctors know what is in or out of formulary and so far we haven't needed anything out of formulary. 

 

We have had emergency treatment twice while out of area (once in the US while on an employee plan and once international while on Medicare Advantage) and both times they reimbursed everything except the copay amount with no issues. (Note, some plans cover international emergency care and some don't.)

 

On the other hand, I hear from friends on other Medicare Advantage plans that they sometimes have problems with what is in network changing or with getting authorizations. 

 

If we didn't have access to Kaiser, I think we would choose a Medigap plan.

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Thanks for all the info on Medicare.  I was also wondering about prices.  We keep getting info in the mail but not with a lot of prices. The couple of places I call that had workshops said you had to be ready to signup to attend. I need to compare the cost to make a choice. We will be on a limited budget. My husband was disabled 14 years ago so he has been on part A and. I got on at 65. We have never used it. The rest of our bills have been covered by my employer insurance.

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1 hour ago, Science52 said:

I was also wondering about prices.  We keep getting info in the mail but not with a lot of prices. The couple of places I call that had workshops said you had to be ready to signup to attend. I need to compare the cost to make a choice. 

Well hey, so you say "I am ready to signup" but then when push comes to shove, you just say, "your workshop did not convince me to sign". I suppose they could make you sign at the door or turn you away, in which case -- you dodged a bullet. Then you tell them, as you turn away, "Thanks for letting me know ahead of time, that you are a deceptive dishonest company!"

 

My DSis, just spent a week dealing just with Part D signup for 2020, for her husband and our mom. You have to feel, if any of them were honest, why would they be so secretive and make it so difficult for the consumer???

Edited by crystalspin

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4 hours ago, Science52 said:

Thanks for all the info on Medicare.  I was also wondering about prices.  We keep getting info in the mail but not with a lot of prices. The couple of places I call that had workshops said you had to be ready to signup to attend. I need to compare the cost to make a choice. We will be on a limited budget. My husband was disabled 14 years ago so he has been on part A and. I got on at 65. We have never used it. The rest of our bills have been covered by my employer insurance.

 

You can find info on plans in your area at medicare.gov including prices.

https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?lang=en

 

Also, there is a program called SHIP where volunteers provide free counseling to help seniors with choosing plans. 

https://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/National/SHIP/

 

Right now they may be very busy because of open enrollment for next year's plans so it might be easier in January.

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