September 30, 2014 Note: This is an update of an article from July, 2011. A lot has happened in the health insurance world since then, particularly with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). This is Part 3 in our Health Care Insurance series – see links to Parts 1 and 2 in Further Reading below
Congratulations on your retirement before the age of 65. Now, what the heck are you going to do about health insurance?
Millions of baby boomers are finding themselves retired before the traditional retirement age of 65. Whether your retirement is the fulfillment of a dream or an unwanted outcome, it usually comes with a huge question – what to do about health insurance? This article will help you understand your options, particularly if you find yourself retired before Medicare takes care of most of your health care insurance issues.
If you retire at age 65 or later you will most likely have no major health care insurance issues to worry about. That’s because Medicare enrollment will cover most of your health insurance needs (see links to our Medicare articles and resources in “Further Reading” below). You could still face major out-of-pocket costs for non-reimbursed expenses, so supplemental insurance might be a good idea. But if you or your spouse have not yet reached the magic age of 65, what are your health care options?
You must have health insurance now, or face a fine. In the past you might not have had health insurance for a number of reasons. Perhaps your previous employer did not provide insurance, so you are not eligible for COBRA. Or, your COBRA might have run out, you never signed up for it, or you lapsed on your payments. Now it is the law that you have some type of health care insurance. If you are too poor to afford it, the government will provide it for you (Medicaid). If you make less than $46,000 a year for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four, you should be eligible for a tax credit to make your insurance affordable under the ACA.
The Health Insurance Options
These are the major ways to get coverage:
- Healthcare insurance provided by your previous employer. Traditionally this was the ideal situation, particularly if your employer paid all or most of the premiums after (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 30th, 2014
Financial and taxes in retirement
September 26, 2014 — Most people understand that some areas of the U.S. are cheaper to live in than others. For the majority of retiring baby boomers who are concerned about maintaining their pre-retirement standard of living, it make a lot of sense to act on those differences. This is highlighted by a recent study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP that showed that an increasing number of America’s retirement age citizens are stressed by their cost of housing. The study also warned that “the nation is unprepared for both the financial and non-financial housing challenges that will accompany the coming explosion in the elderly population.”
The Tax Foundation has developed some extremely interesting maps – by state, town, and part of the country – that shows relative differences in purchasing power. The scale is based on an a purchasing scale of $100: if you have $100 to spend, how much value will you get in different locations. Based on the difference in local prices, in some you can buy (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 25th, 2014
General Retirement Issues
September 23, 2014 — We recently had a suggestion from Charlene, who wrote that she “…would love to see some comments about people who have retired in place, why they made that decision, and how they are handling retirement without moving”. We think that is a great suggestion, so this article is part 3 of a series on that subject. Part 1 profiled “The Snowbirding Innkeepers“, while Part 2 took a look at the busy lives of a “Jane and Jack: Staying in Place and Very Busy”.
Rather than focus on just a few people, this article takes a different (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 23rd, 2014
Financial and taxes in retirement
September 22, 2014 — Just about everybody we know still has the same recurring college-days nightmare: the final is tomorrow, and somehow you managed to overlook going to class all semester. You have no notes, know nothing, and doom is imminent. Well add to that one more, real life nightmare – your unpaid college loans.
The GAO analyzed data from the Survey of Consumer Finances and found that about
3 percent of households headed by those aged 65 or older — about 706,000 households — carry student loan debt. This compares to about 24 percent of (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 22nd, 2014
Retirement Real Estate
September 16, 2014 — One of our members, Caps, posted this question on another Blog topic, the results of our recent Retirement Confidence survey. SandyZ suggested that since it generated a fair amount of discussion, we move the swimming pool conversation here to give it its own place. Good suggestion!
Another question for the other readers…. There hasn’t been a blog addressing this issue that I am aware of.
We plan to purchase our retirement home next week. We will be choosing from 5 that intrigue us. One home has a full underground pool, one has an above ground pool with decking, one has a swim spa (swimming against jets, plus a hot tub all in one unit 16?), one has a regular hot tub that seats 6 and one has no pool or spa, but a great location.
So the question……do any of you have any experience with pools or spas? We do not, however believe it would be a good feature for exercise as we age. We live so far up north, owning and heating a pool seemed nonsensical to us. We are planning a relocation to eastern TN, where water features are quite common.
We could really use some advice and help with our decision. We have no idea how any of these choices would affect our budget. PLEASE HELP
Posted by Admin on September 18th, 2014
Financial and taxes in retirement
September 15, 2014 — Thanks to the over 800 members who took the time to contribute their valuable insights to last week’s “Retirement Confidence” poll. We appreciate that so many of you are community minded enough to share your opinions and attitudes! As promised, here is a detailed report on the findings. At the end of this article you will also find a link to a document with more than 225 individual responses to question 12, “Do you have anything else you would like to tell us about your retirement confidence, or the other questions on this survey”? See a list of our previous survey reports at the end of the article.
It is always interesting to find out exactly how our members feel (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 15th, 2014
General Retirement Issues
September 12, 2014 — Our recent article about downsizing and hitting the road sparked a side discussion on pets and pet friendly communities. Since several members have asked us to provide more on that topic, we have created this post for everyone to wag their tails on the subject. Please remember to be civil – people have strong opinions on the subject, so let’s keep it friendly! Also, if you are looking for a pet-friendly active adult or 55+ community, you can select that as an Amenity in our Advanced Search feature.
We have re-posted the comments from the “Downsizing” article here (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 12th, 2014
September 9, 2014 — Please share a couple of minutes to tell us about your confidence in maintaining your standard of living, importance of proximity to good medical care, and a few other financial and health related questions. We’ll be back in 2 weeks with a detailed report on what you said! To give you an idea of what you’ll see in the report, here is the article we wrote back in June on your “Where to Retire Preferences“.
Take the Survey
Posted by Admin on September 9th, 2014
Work and Volunteering
September 7, 2014 — We are happy to read that more and more baby boomers are taking a pro-active role in downsizing. They are doing it intentionally, tackling clutter room by room and not adding on new stuff either. But how about the ultimate – getting rid of just about everything – including your house – and hitting the road? More than a few boomers are choosing this path.
In 2013 there were over 360,000 Americans who receive their Social Security at non-U.S. addresses, which was a 48% increase over 10 years before. Of course that doesn’t include hundreds of thousands more who travel either for long periods – abroad or in the U.S. – but still retain (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 7th, 2014
Active adult communities
September 3, 2014 — When it comes to the states that have the most popular active adult and 55+ communities at Topretirements it is a 7 state race – with Florida far out ahead. Four states had 60 of the 100 most popular communities: Florida (25), Tennessee (12), Delaware (11), and North Carolina (12). Colorado and Massachusetts had their strongest showings ever (10 and 7 respectively) while South Carolina launched 5 communities into the top 100.
With more than 300 active/55+/retirement developments in our database, Florida has more communities than any other state. That is at least one obvious reason for its dominance, along with its warm winter weather and lack of income tax. Delaware continues to have the best representation of any cold winter weather state with 11 communities on the list.
Parsing these results: (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 3rd, 2014