August 5, 2013

Retirement: How Not To Run Out Of Money



This type of question is e-mailed to me rather frequently:

"How do you manage your finances so that you make sure that you do not run out of money?"

If you are enjoying a satisfying retirement, or are looking forward to this next phase of your life, that is a question you have asked yourself. Everybody asks this question. Regardless of how well you have planned or how well you think you are positioned for life without a regular paycheck, you wonder and worry. I am 12 years into my retirement lifestyle and I still ask this question on occasion.

Here is the unfortunate reality: there is no way to make sure you do not run out of money. We live in an inner-connected world. What happens in China or Europe can have a very direct impact on our financial status. Obviously, whatever wind is blowing the folks in Washington blows through your life. Decisions in your state capital and even local government mandates are not without consequences.

The days when most of us lived on a farm or in a small, self-contained community where we were much more in control of our own financial destiny are gone and never coming back. We are at the mercy of forces that we cannot control, or even predict with much accuracy.

So, as we move through, or try to plan for retirement, we are really in a Catch 22 situation. I like part of Wikipedia's definition: A Catch-22 often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over.

So, what's a conscientious person to do?  Simply, the best we can with what we have available. Over the past few years I have written several posts that deal with the importance of taking personal responsibility for our financial well-being. Here are a few excepts from a couple of those posts:

In November of 2011 I said:

"Financially, we must take control of our own money. If your bank is treating you poorly or layering on the fees, move to another bank or credit union. If you are comfortable with an Internet bank, go for it. If you have a financial advisor or stock broker, are you confident he or she understands your desires, your risk tolerance, and your goals? Sit down with them and review your account. Question everything that doesn't make sense to you. If you are unhappy give that person new marching orders or switch to someone else.

We can't afford to be uninformed about the world of money. If you don't use a budget, start. If you have no idea how much interest your credit card company charges, find out. If you don't understand your pension or IRA, use the Internet to get educated. If you don't understand some aspect of the financial world that affects you, ask questions and get answers you can understand. If you still believe these folks are really looking out for your best interests and ignorance is bliss, then you are likely heading toward a rude awakening.

The government may be unable to figure out how to tame a deficit, but luckily we are quite a bit smarter. We can choose to not spend more than we make. It is easy to eliminate things from our life that cost more than they are worth to us. We  understand we can't afford every want when we want it. Instant gratification is a freeway to financial ruin. Simplifying our lifestyle, cooking more meals at home, using coupons and shopping grocery store specials can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year.

We control how much we spend on travel, leisure, and entertainment. Leading a satisfying retirement is really about making smart choices. If you have saved enough money for the 12 day Caribbean cruise and it is important to you, take it. If you don't have the money, then stay off the ship. Spend the time finding things going on around you that are free or very low cost. Unlike the government, we don't have to spend money we don't have."

In August, 2012 there was a post about how our parents and grandparents lived. I suggested several of these approaches would work for us today:
  • Waste Not, Want Not.
  • Pull Yourself Up by Your own Bootstraps and Keep your Nose to the Grindstone
  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • Keep your nose out of other's business
  • Don't Cry Over Split Milk. The Past is Past.

And, in March of that year I said, " Simple, frugal living will be the mainstream. Over-consumption will be considered abnormal."


So, the answer to the question, "How do you manage your finances so that you make sure that you do not run out of money," is actually quite simple. Let me reduce it to these five steps:

1. Save at every opportunity, both before and after retirement. If you think you are saving enough, you are probably wrong. Save more.
2. Spend as if you have less than you do. Under-consumption and living beneath your means are the two essential steps to financial well-being.
3. Take responsibility for your financial future. The minute to stop paying attention or turn it over to someone else is the moment your future is at risk.
4. Realize you have much less control than you think you do. It will help you stay sane in an insane world.
5. Enjoy your life with whatever your resources you have. The biggest lie we tell ourselves begins with the words, " if only I had enough money I'd..." As far as money is concerned there is no finish line. There never is at time when you can say "now I have enough money so now I'll be happy."

Of course, nothing this important is as simple as just following five steps. But, it is a good start.

40 comments:

  1. I like your comment "There is never a time when you can say now I have enough money so now I'll be happy."

    In my decision to retire early, I was seeking that moment when I could say that. That moment did not come but I made the decision to retire early anyway.

    So now I reversed that statement...instead of waiting to have enough money to be happy, I have decided to be happy first with what I have. And I design a lifestyle from there.

    It seems to be working out okay.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one of the most important mindsets a retiree can adopt: I am happy with what I have. It isn't easy with all the pressures to "want" but you have figured it out. Great job, Kelly.

      Delete
  2. It all boils down to one axiom that is as true today and it has been down through the ages - "live within your means". This doesn't mean live within what you think you deserve, or some marketer tells you you deserve. It means if you can't afford it, such as your cruise ship example, you cannot/should not do it.

    I could go into great length talking about savings, different investments, and so on. But this really is common sense. Yes, life can throw a curveball (high medical costs for example) that could derail all your best laid plans. But the vast majority of Americans in trouble financially are not there because of curveballs, but due to their own actions or inactions. We all here should be smarter than that, and if we are not, reread the blog post above until it sinks in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chuck, for your straightforward summary. Like you, I am constantly amazed when I read about people who get themselves into huge financial binds because they're eyes are bigger than their bank balance.

      There are disasters and unexpected major expenses, like a new furnace or AC unit, that can mess up even the best plans. But, no one is forced to take a 21 day cruise to Barcelona if it is off-budget.

      Delete
  3. But the two big issues are: No matter how much you've saved for retirement, how do you turn those savings into a reasonable income stream when interest rates are so low, and you're lucky to get 1% interest from a bank, or the govt?

    And 2) ... the potential cost of medical care that you might (or might not) face, esp. the cost of assisted living if it ever comes to that. No matter how responsible you are, how much you've saved and invested, how do you prepare for the possibility of having to spend $10 or $12K or more a month if/when you become infirm and unable to take care of yourself?

    I dunno the answers; I'm just sayin' those issues are out there for most of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent points Tom. You hit the nail on the head, the nail that no one wants to address because technically they are out of your control, regardless of how well you have planned.
      No one projected earning .25% on investments (1% is currently rare) and no one projected a preposterous change in medical coverage, such as Obamacare and the $700billion reduction in Medicare (all retirees age 65+ must now deal with less)
      It will be curious enough to see people's reactions come January 1, 2014 when all are hit with the Affordable Health Care Act. Where do you turn then when your medical costs have risen 65% or more? What will the laughable 'living within your means' creed be then? What more will be cut out of your budget?
      I doubt the choice will be 'do i take a cruise now? or 'should i eat a lunch at the food pantry'? A cruise? Really?
      At least you, Tom, have your head out of the clouds and more on Mother Earth.

      Delete
    2. They are the unknown "monsters" that can make mincemeat of the best plans.

      The only way to keep up with inflation is to take a bit more risk in investments but that is problematic for all of us since there isn't as much time to replace losses. That leaves a continual retrenchment in what we spend as the only other option.

      Medical care costs and options are changing right before our eyes. I don't think any of us will know what the health care law with really mean in terms of cost containment and approach for several years. But, our current system is so broken that I'm hard-pressed to think it will be any worse.

      Delete
    3. To the point raised by the Anonymous commenter above, the $700 billion cut in Medicare was one of those made-up factoids bandied about during the last presidentail election. The truth is there are no cuts to Medicare. The $700 billion dollars are savings, not cuts, made by finding and eliminating fraud and ineffeciencies. Would you feel better if the government didn't find $700 billion in savings?

      It drives me crazy when these inaccurate, inflammatory statements get a life of their own and continue to pulled out to make a case for or against something.

      I'm not going to get into a back and forth on Obamacare in this post. No one knows yet what the costs and expenses will be. But, to trot out a false assertion cannot stand unchallenged.

      Delete
    4. Goodness, it's not too difficult to figure out who "Anonymous" is. Same attitude, same complaints, exhibited in many prior replies here and elsewhere.

      We just received a rebate from our health insurer. Hardly a sign that a 65% increase is looming in our renewal. My husband spent 30+ years in the managed healthcare industry prior to retiring, including the last few preparing for the 2014 ACA changes, and he has given up even attempting to counter the false assertions that are running rampant.

      Delete
    5. A lively topic for our dinner conversation on the 19th.

      Delete
    6. Thank You Bob. It's no secret what I happen to think of the health care industryin general in this country, having lived in one of them there socialized places. But the reaction I see to Obama care, without regard to the facts make me kind of crazy. I expect my annual premium to increase by a few dollars each month if at all. Some people will have large increases (I expect those people will often be the ones who had artificially low insurance before).

      That said I agree that longterms care and gap insurance (for forced early retirees) are uncontrollable costs. I'm not sure Obamacare takes care of that one, and there needs to be a solution for folks who leave employment (willing or otherwise) prior to Medicare age. for that group, more people are I expect like Bob than Tamara. Most of us do NOT get to continue our work health insurance after we leave work and those of us who do should realize how lucky we are and rare that is.

      With regard to investments, like Pamela my retirement plans were always a pension and social security, and more and more that is bothering me less and less what with interest rates and the like. Part of the reason I share more than some folks may be interested in is that I am SO tired of "the end of the world as we know it blogs"

      Are you on the road now?

      Delete
    7. The major negative impact of Obamacare is not on our age group (over 55). It is on those at much younger ages.

      Take California for example. Some insurance providers have already sent out notices that they will no longer provide individual insurance policies in the state after Jan 1. I was getting my policy through one of them. So needless to say I have been investigating this is depth.

      The rate of insurance for those in their 20's will average close to double, even through the Covered California (the new exchange). Those is our age group will on average see some increase, though there will be a lot of varience based upon ones individual circumstances (health, part of state, type of plan you had been under previously, pre-existing conditions, etc.)

      My health costs at age 56 will go from $306 per month that I am currently paying for a high deductable policy that caps my out of pocket at a max $5500 per year and includes dental coverage, to %552 per month for the cheapest policy available under the exchange that does not include dental that has a max out of pocket of $6350. (bronze, area 12 in San Luis Obispo county)

      http://www.coveredca.com/news/PDFs/CC_Health_Plans_Booklet.pdf

      There are groups that will make out. If you have a pre-existing condition and could not get insurance you now will be able to. If you have low income and qualify for the subsidy through the exchange. Other changes remove assets from the calculation for state medicaid or the subsidy. You could have millions in assets, but as long as you keep your adjusted gross income down you can get your insurance subsidized. Quite a good deal if you have money in a tax sheltered account such as an IRA or if you get most of your income from the selling of assets such as stock.

      I spent a number of years in the health industry, including spending a number of years doing work for the FDA.

      Delete
    8. Apparently things were just as much "doom and gloom" when Medicare started in 1965. Now, can you imagine any sane person 65+ turning down Medicare? Things will work themselves out though we are not going to enjoy the next several months without some more silly drama and threats. Oh well, this too shall pass.

      We leave on Wednesday, Barb. With temps a good 30 degrees lower I am raring to go.

      Delete
    9. Barb, we are not being insured through our prior employers. We are in the individual market just like Bob. Our state of residency, California, does likely make a difference however, as it has a very developed HMO environment, which has fostered greater competition between carriers. We, the consumer, benefit from that competitive environment.

      Delete
    10. I am one of those people currently insured by one of the carriers in California that will be leaving the individual market. I've priced out a policy that is essentially the same policy as I had through Blue Shield (who will continue selling individual policies), the cost is roughly the same as I pay now. I have also looked at the bronze policy on the exchange, and it is about the same cost as well--although both of the new plans will cover much more in the way of preventive care, so we come out ahead under the new law.

      To your worry about 20-year olds, most earn so little that they will qualify for credits under the law, so net-net, they should be winners as well. Up to 400% of the poverty rate qualifies you for some help when buying insurance on the exchange. Plus they satisfy the mandate to buy insurance if they buy a cheaper catastrophic plan if they prefer.

      All the gloom and doom seems to be way overhyped--frankly I'm happy my prior insurer is ditching me--they were AWFUL but I was afraid to try and change due to my husband's pre-exhisting conditions. Now not a concern. I think the gloom and doomers bank on the fact that we won't do our own research. Now that I have, I see it's not the end of the world, in fact it looks to be a slightly better world for us.

      Delete
    11. I simply don't understand why many are so people are so fearful and angry over this. The amount of false information is so over the top. Just the elimination of the pre-existing condition restriction will help millions of folks.

      I wish everyone would do what you did: do your homework before drawing conclusions.

      Delete
    12. Bob,

      It might be getting a letter saying that your current insurance provider, one that you are happy with, is withdrawing from the individual market and your insurance policy will end at the end of December. Leaving one to first find a new policy. Figuring out what the cost is. Trying to see if your doctor, or for that matter any of the ones in your area that you want to go to will accept the new policy or for that matter if they are accepting new patients at all.

      Beyond that it is probably because it impacts just about everything. some it helps, some it increases their costs. In the case of those that it helps, it is largely because of the government subsidies. Which is not exactly a free lunch because someone is paying taxes to pay for them.

      The real question is are enough young healthy people going to sign up. If not the models that are being used to calculate the insurance premiums go right out the window. That is going to be a big question mark because of how high their rates are going up. The increase is largely due to three things: The maximum differential between insurance is 3X (the current differential between a young healthy person and an older sick person is often much more then that as the payout risk is much higher, the inclusion of some preventative items, and inability of insurance companies to refuse based upon pre-existing conditions.

      The cost/benefit equation is largely on an individual basis. Overall it does nothing to reduce the rate of increase of overall health costs. In many ways it is kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Looks good for a while if you are one to get a chair (benefit). but even if you do it will be a different chair then what you had before. Doesn't look good for those that don't get a chair.

      It is interesting watching how many groups that pushed for the laws passage are now trying to get waivers excluding them from it.

      After spending many years working on health care economics from both the government and industry side (including representing the US FDA to an international group dealing with standardizing drug approval procedures) I can only say that the next few years are going to be rather interesting. While I am not an actuary, I used to have several on my staff focused on running these kinds of calculations.

      I spent this afternoon talking with those insurance companies that offer individual policies in my part of California.

      My take away from talking with agents for each of them is that until October 1, the open enrollment period they do not have any info on the exchange policy specifics beyond what is posted on the web site I referenced earlier. While they are happy to quote existing offerings, ALL, of their current offerings will change as of the end of the year. They do not have information on what those offerings will be or their cost will be until October 1 as well.

      Will be interesting to have this discussion around late November or early December since by then most will know what their costs will be during the first year.


      Delete
    13. RDC-
      I just spoke to my sister. She owns two small companies and hires 20 employees. Her insurance broker said the exact same thing. They cannot tell her how much it will cost to insure her people until October or November. They are pretty sure it will go up - since most of her employees are under the age of 30 and in good health. Currently they are dirt cheap to cover. It is a scale and will have to balance.
      The good part is that she will no longer have to worry about hiring someone who has a chronic illness. Those people will cost the same as her fit people.
      She has considered dropping health care altogether, but is choosing to hang in there unless it gets out of her price range. She has always been one of the good guys in my eyes.

      Delete
  4. You are so spot on, Bob. Now two and half years into retirement, we continue to live below our means, just as we did during our working years. In essence that creates an ongoing savings situation (your first point), because our portfolio is growing more robustly, and projected to last longer, as a result. Each year we don't have to adjust our budget upward for inflation is a win, portfolio wise, and I am projecting we will be able to go five years without doing so, based on our three year run rate thus far.

    I track every penny we spend, with the exception of the weekly $20 mad money we each receive. Our allowance if you will! Doing such diligent tracking keeps us on point, spend wise, and has resulted in us being much more conscious and satisfied with those purchases we do elect to make. Mike manages the macro of our finances, and I manage the micro, and we both spend a few minutes each day taking care of 'the business' because it is a high priority item for sure.

    We continue to keep an eye on wasteful spend and make adjustments as necessary.

    To your last point, I don't see any of this changing in the years ahead. The reward for doing so is that we have the financial ability to pursue the things that we have tagged as being our top retirement priorities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assuming the very public record of your early retirement journey as you write about it is accurate, I'd say you and Mike have figured things out quite well. Very few folks could manage a 52 day trip in an RV without meticulous planning and budgeting.

      You are right about the positive side of low to no inflation. Except for increased health care premiums we have managed to keep our monthly withdrawal rate steady for several years because other costs have either stayed steady or declined.

      Delete
    2. Our monthly health care premiums rose a fairly modest 3% last year, but in that we also allocate for our annual deductibles, and didn't use them, we did not need to amend our budget.

      This year we just received a small rebate from our healthcare provider, Kaiser, because their annual profits have already met the new ACA limit. I am assuming that means we will likewise see a very modest increase, if any at the end of this year. There are affordable plans out there, at least that has been our experience. Once we reach age 65, our medical costs with Kaiser will drop dramatically. We are looking forward to that point!

      I get a bit weary of the 'costs are increasing!' complaints. If you spend time with the following CPI calculator, it's very clear that many things are actually less expensive today than in year's prior. When did we become such a group of complainers? http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

      Regarding investments: We have approximately 5 years of living expenses in low income cash or money market accounts, and have left the remainder in index funds and other conservative to moderate risk growth vehicles since they won't need to be tapped anytime soon.

      Delete
    3. The health care premiums Betty and I pay have gone up about 15% a year for each of us for the last several years even as we increased our deductibles to $5,000 each. We are on the individual market so are fair game.

      I am soooo looking forward to Medicare starting for me next May. I anticipate a several hundred dollar a month decrease, even with a supplemental plan.

      Likewise, Betty is anticipating finding a better policy on the exchanges starting in a few months. Her current plan doesn't include drug coverage. With her health history she has been unable to shop for a different policy. But, with pre-existing conditions no longer an issue, we have high hopes she will find something better and more affordable.

      Delete
  5. One perspective I would suggest is to be prepared to change your housing as you age. I have elderly relatives that insist on staying in their home although they can no longer care for it and they both require assistance for daily activities (bathing, dressing, meal prep, etc.) Their costs for home health aids is $10K a month! Even with cutting back on hours and a reverse mortgage, they will exhaust their resources in 2 years.

    So, think about "detaching" from your home before you are infirmed and living where you can be cared for as you get to a very advanced age. Like typical baby boomers, we're thinking we'll be like we are now forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave their three sons was to move into a CCRC before they began a serious decline. Mom's last two years of life were much more manageable as she progressed from independent living to the nursing care center before dying in December 2010.

      Dad switched to assisted living about a year ago where he gets lots of support. Eventually he will transition to the nursing care center, too. While not cheap to get into, these 3 level type communities are a godsend to family.

      We will make the same move to protect our daughters from having to worry about our care, and the type of expenses you note that could devastate our financial status.

      Delete
  6. Live within or below your means and adjust when necessary.
    We don't worry excessively about future health care. If we cannot afford it---there will be MANY more people "below us on the ladder". I believe that things may get a bit worse before it slides into being better. We will continue to get insurance. We will simply adjust our spending accordingly. My brother's premium rose 32% and mine rose 18%. Tamera- is your health care based on your husband's old position? We don't have many HMO's available to us.
    Personally, I am amazed at how happy we can be on so much less money. Just getting rid of "professional clothing" and large transportation commuting has evened out our visits to the grandchildren. I am impressed with Tamera having 5 years of cash on hand and then a nest egg. Clearly she saved much more than I did. Good job!
    I do agree with Tom. I am glad I have been able to work on and off in the last three years to raise our nest egg. The .045% I get on my accounts is keeping us just behind inflation.
    I know we are slipping--- since our kid's starting salaries are higher then our ending ones. The nice thing is that I do not NEED to keep up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Janette. Your attitude is the one we really must all adopt: we do what we must with what we have. I agree with you that the health care situation will improve simply because it must.

      I get my bank's statements that shows .06 in interest for a month in our daily checking account and laugh. It isn't even worth their time to calculate such silly numbers!

      Delete
    2. Bob,

      You might want to look at an online bank such as Ally. Much better interest rate, even for checking accounts, no fees and refunds atm charges. Great if you travel.

      Delete
    3. Janette, we have individual policies, not group policies through our prior employers. The COBRA payment options were way more than we were willing to spend after retiring when we had Kaiser as an alternative option. We have both had Kaiser coverage off and on our entire lives, and both our daughters were born under Kaiser plans, so we are very comfortable working within their unique HMO environment.

      Kaiser is currently in nine states; CA, CO, GA, HI, OH, MD, OH, OR and WA, plus DC. The California plans and rates are all online and available to be reviewed. I'm not sure what the situation is for the other areas.

      Delete
    4. I have always heard very good things about Kaiser. It is unfortunate they are not serving Arizona, though who knows what may develop in the future.

      Delete
    5. RDC,

      Yes Ally bank does pay more for checking accounts (.075% for $15,000 or more). But, that is still only $112 a year to tie up $15,000. At the moment, a bank's checking account is strictly for convenience in paying bills on-line.

      I venture to guess banks are making a lot more than .075% on their (and my) money.

      Delete
    6. There minimum balance is across all accounts. So I keep some money with them in CD's, some in money markets, and the current months expenses is the checking. Don't recall what their minimum amount is. Their CD's and money market rate is competitive with most. The interest is .75% not .075%, atleast I am getting .75.

      Delete
    7. Yes, wandering zero...3/4 of a percent on checking accounts.

      Delete
    8. I worry about Ally. It is really GMC finance under a "reorganized" name.

      Delete
    9. The nice thing is that it is covered by FDIC, the same as other banks. So not much risk there.

      A lot of financial institutions of various kinds have become banks during the financial crisis and now must follow bank regulations and covered by insurance.

      Delete
  7. Lively post & comments. I'm in a different area because I have a relatively guaranteed pension. Unfortunately for me, I DIDN'T save or think about retirement until a couple of years ago when I began reading this blog. The lack of planning habit was really emphasized when I ended up working extra months with a non-life-threatening health issue because I had so many credit card bills I literally didn't have the money to retire.

    I am now focusing on living below my means & realizing even if I deserve it (because I'm a marvelous person, lol) if the cash isn't there....it doesn't happen.

    I will admit this is an insidious habit, however; your post was timed perfectly, as I was thinking about whipping out the one credit card I have left to make a home improvement that is not an emergency. Since I've had some hits to the budget & bank account lately, that was NOT a good idea. I will wait.

    As for the scare tactics about health insurance, I see some similarity to the "you cannot retire until you have three million dollars in the bank" comments. While health care costs are going to be an issue, this seems to ignore folks' ability to adjust, to have "work-arounds." I understand that I can say this relatively calmly because I have access to a group policy, but I pay the premiums. Life Bob, I'm headed to Medicare next year; it will save me some money which will definitely help!

    The comment above, often echoed, that enjoying the life we have with the money we have is the best secret for retirement (or living!)

    I understand how "dumb-lucky" I was to land in the financial place I'm in; now I'm paying attention to the details to enjoy the life I have.

    pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pam, for being a real life example of some of the consequences of not planning well enough for retirement, and then, having to adjust. That said, you have made the right decisions since your "wake-up" call. Having a pension certainly helps, but even that isn't a guarantee anymore.

      Stick with it, you are doing fine.

      Delete
  8. I was listening to NPR one afternoon, can't remember which show, but they were interviewing someone who had done a study on happiness - one of the things I remember was about money. The study had found that once you had reached a certain plateau - this was with people who were still working - making more money didn't make you happier.

    I think the same can be said with retirement income, although what is "enough" might vary from person to person, or couple to couple.

    The point was that you needed enough to pay your expenses, and a cushion, but not more. I think you can be even happier if you adopt the attitude from that oldie, "Love the One You're With." Figure out how to be satisfied living in a house you can afford and figure out how to do stuff within your budget. Find like-minded friends to do stuff with. Find out where the early-bird specials are or the Happy Hour deals. Learn to enjoy cooking at home - lots healthier anyway.

    One caveat - don't put off doing stuff you CAN afford so long that you don't have the good health or energy to do it anymore. Some retirees appear to think they're going to live forever and will always have time for that trip, or to relocate in a couple of years when they can get more for their house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent recap of the proper approach to money and living. I agree with all you say.

      Delete
  9. Just as a postscript. I agree with you, Bob, that nobody really knows enuf. about Obamacare to make a reasoned judgment about how well it will work. But at least it's an attempt, a start, to get things under control. Meanwhile, I'm going on Medicare, and will be paying about 40% less per month compared to my old plan for equivalent coverage. It's not exactly "free medical care," but it's not a bad deal, if you ask me. Still, the best medical insurance of all? Don't get sick!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Steve in Los AngelesMon Aug 12, 12:04:00 AM MST

    I have done my best to ensure that I do not run out of money. I currently am age 57. I will be age 58 in somewhat more than six months from now. I have taken or will take the following steps: (1) Delay commencing Social Security until I reach age 70. (2) Delay commencing annual payments from one of my variable annuities, which has a lifetime income rider, until about 1 1/2 months after my 61st birthday. (3) Delay commencing annual payments from my other variable annuity, which also has a lifetime income rider, until just after my 65th birthday. (4) Eventually pay off my mortgage. Stay in my current residence until I need long-term assisted-living care. (5) Continue to work at my part-time job with a private company indefinitely. (6) Delay taking distributions from my Roth IRA indefinitely. (7) Enroll in Medicare at the beginning of the month that I celebrate my 65th birthday. (8) Get around primarily by using public transportation. Drive my automobile sporadically. (9) I will continue to get monthly payments from my government pension for the rest of my life. (10) Stay single and avoid gold diggers. (11) Be very careful with regard to how I spend my money.

    ReplyDelete

Inappropriate comments will be deleted