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Old 12-09-2018, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
511 posts, read 631,117 times
Reputation: 621

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Sorry, OP, this turned into an episode of "My Spouse Is Sicker Than Yours." I realize your concerns are real and troubling, especially since you're both still in your fifties.

I only have one small suggestion which you're free to ignore. The gap between 54 and 62 is a long one. I don't know you, so I don't know if you're one of those guys who are too tough to see a doctor at least once a year. But if you are I would urge you to, as well as get any diagnostic tests your PCP recommends.

Stay healthy. Good luck.
I have no problem going to the doctor. I have plenty of my own issues, including knee, back, and shoulder problems (thanks to 22 years in the Army and 7 falling out of airplanes). I've had one shoulder surgery, two knee surgeries (still recovering 7 weeks after the second one), and I'm getting ready to follow up with a back specialist so I likely could need some type of surgery there as well. Some days I wonder if I'll really be able to keep working until 62.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,962 posts, read 3,452,717 times
Reputation: 10475
With my accident, the other woman's fault, it was $150,000. The lawyer got a third right off the bat, the hospital/doctors got a LOT & I got what was left. She had minimal insurance but I was well insured & it was two cars, not pedestrian and a car, which made the difference.

I know my lawyer was a crook but since I had never had an accident I didn't know what to do or expect. I was/am grateful the hospital and doctors were paid mostly through insurance, until that ran out. The bills were tremendous & I would have been in debt for the rest of my life if I hadn't had good insurance.

Your lawyer should be able to give you a ballpark figure, although on my end, the medical bills were huge, which took a big chunk.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
30,994 posts, read 13,564,601 times
Reputation: 22079
Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
I think at worst we're probably tied as far as our respective wife's issues. In addition to Sjogren's she also has Abductor Spasmodic Dysphasia, Reyanaud's Disease, Hyperthyroidism, and Scleromyiositis. Periodically some doctors have said they she also has Rheumatoid Arthritis, but its never been a definitive diagnosis. And the car accident - she was outside running, crossing the street in a crosswalk when she was struck by the car. She rolled over the hood of the car and hit her head on the pavement.

Eventually we'll get a settlement from the lady who hit her but I really don't have any idea how much it would be. From the start, our lawyer has said we should wait until she's fully healed before going to court. Two plus years after the accident and its doubtful they'll she ever be fully healed, so how much healing is enough?

As far as settlements, I've read that ballpark estimates are usually 1.5 to 4 times lost wages, medical, and pain and suffering. Other than the original hospital bill we generally don't see the medical costs (Tricare and DOL get them) so don't know how much medical is (after all the specialist, tests, treatments and surgeries I'm sure medical costs alone are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars). In lost wages and benefits (leave accrual, TSP matching, etc.) I'm tracking her as having lost over $90,000 to this point. Granted, DOL has covered a portion of her lost wages but we'll have to pay most of that back whenever we get the settlement (plus we have to pay the lawyer too). I keep telling my wife to ask the lawyer what she thinks a ballpark settlement might be just so I can SWAG how much we might get.

Speaking of settlements, does anyone have any personal experiences? I've been thinking for awhile now that if the lady that hit my wife only had the minimum required insurance that we've long since blown past that number. The settlement realistically should be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, so where does the amount above her insurance limit come from? Does the insurance company cover it or are we just SOL and have to sue the lady for any hope of recovery?
What kind of insurance does the person who hit her have? Unless she makes a lot of money or has valuable assets there's a chance you won't end up with much. Reimbursement for medical expenses and disability payments will come out of the settlement first and you will get what's left after that and the attorney's cut which usually 33-40%. If your wife gives her permission her attorney can talk to you, I would ask her to do that so that you can have a better understanding of what the possible outcome of the lawsuit might be. I'm hoping for your sake that the party responsible for the accident has a ton of money or an umbrella policy!
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:19 AM
 
8,183 posts, read 11,902,987 times
Reputation: 17934
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I don't often mention my wife's health issues but she outdoes your wife's by an order of magnitude: Hashimoto's, Celiac, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Myasthenia Gravis and even Sjogren's.


She has had 4 serious traffic accidents, none were her fault. The first was 30 years ago and she recovered fairly well. Her second was 15 years ago when she was rear ended in a merge lane. Then 10 years ago rear ended by a school bus when she was stopped for a traffic light. Then an Escapade did the same thing a couple of years later. The cumulative result has been whiplash injuries to her neck that will never heal plus traumatic brain injuries that often leave her feeling foggy. Coupled with her autoimmune disease she is in chronic pain and suffers frequent migraine headaches. She is at PT and yoga and more at least 3 times a week and has been for years. The only thing that is helped is medical marihuana and pushing herself to remain active. This past year she has had such fatigue she can barely get through the day. She was finally diagnosed with Lymes Disease. With all the other health issues, that escaped diagnosis.


Anyway count your blessings. You will find a great many people on this forum and in life with way worse issues. Also the financial issue may be less than you anticipate. My wife went out on permanent disability in her early 50s. She struggled with severe symptoms for more than 5 years but just could not cope, mainly due to frequent migraines. She got disability insurance and SSDI. Her employer continued contributions to her 403b account. She got a small settlement from one of the insurance companies due to one of the traffic accidents.
Seriously? You really want to play a game of who's wife is sicker with the OP?
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:26 AM
 
8,183 posts, read 11,902,987 times
Reputation: 17934
Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
As I understand things, for the first year she'll get 60% of her high 3 salary and then 40% after that. I think it would all be tax free but even so its still a significant drop in income. Her current high 3 is roughly $50,000, so that means $30,000 the first year and then only $20,000 from then on.

I'm not really asking for any advice, although if anyone has experience with federal disability retirement I'd like to hear your story. Mostly I'm just venting my frustration about how that event two years ago has completely disrupted our lives.
Since your wife has not reached MRA, her FERS disability retirement calculations are more complex than what you've written, and take any Social Security disability income into consideration. Here is how it is done:

https://www.opm.gov/retirement-servi...t/#Computation


Additionally, her FERS disability income will not be tax-free. Here are the IRS rules that explain that:

https://taxmap.irs.gov/taxmap/pubs/p721-002.htm
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:54 AM
 
6,438 posts, read 3,066,921 times
Reputation: 5853
OP have you considered accelerating your plan to sell the house and move to a cheaper COL if your wife takes the early disability retirement?

Many federal agencies have offices all over the country and often they have hardship transfer procedures as well.

If you have veteran's preference that would make it easier to get a competitive reassignment.
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Mexico City (at the moment)
1,345 posts, read 468,560 times
Reputation: 1963
Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
I've talked about my retirement plans in some other posts if you want more details, but here's a summary:

I'm currently 54, retired military and now working a federal job. Along with my military pension, I was planning to work and then retire again at age 62 to get a small (maybe $1,000) federal pension and delay SS as long as possible. We're also planning to sell our house and move to a lower cost of living area.

How does your current federal civil service salary compare to your high 3 military salary average? Is any of your military annuity offset by VA rated service conditions?

Have you looked into converting your military time to straight civil service? I paid back my military offset in 2012 (21.8 years, highest paygrade E-7), and those years will be added to my current federal service when I retire in 2022 with 37 years total (which would include the military time at that point). You can still draw your military annuity until you actual retire from federal service.

Run the numbers, it may be a way to improve your situation.


Sorry about your wife's situation.

Last edited by snebarekim; 12-09-2018 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:22 AM
 
6,213 posts, read 4,718,283 times
Reputation: 12710
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Seriously? You really want to play a game of who's wife is sicker with the OP?
As I mentioned I do not bring this up on the internet for the same reason I cautioned the OP. When you start to whine about your circumstances, you will quickly find others in worse condition.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:23 AM
 
6,875 posts, read 7,270,643 times
Reputation: 9785
OP is your wife paying for disability insurance through her job? -- OR do you mean Social Security's SSDI

I was federal workers don't have "disability" coverage, per se.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:25 AM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,165,313 times
Reputation: 5877
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
As I mentioned I do not bring this up on the internet for the same reason I cautioned the OP. When you start to whine about your circumstances, you will quickly find others in worse condition.

And very eager to talk about it!

I attended a ladies' luncheon yesterday and if it weren't for in-depth discussions on colonoscopies and other fun tests, the room would have been mighty quiet!
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