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Old 12-09-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124

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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.

My wife has a variety of medical issues, ...
Sorry to hear of the curve ball with your planned retirement.

I retired after 20-years of Active Duty as an E6, we moved to a low COL area where we have been fine on my pension and Tricare.

We are still a few years away from SS eligibility.

After you decide to actually retire, life will look a lot different.

The best thing we ever did was to move away from military bases.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,607,822 times
Reputation: 6273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
The best thing we ever did was to move away from military bases.
Just wondering, how did you come to this conclusion?
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Just wondering, how did you come to this conclusion?
After I retired from the US Navy, we returned stateside and we lived near Groton Subase for 4 years. My Dw got a job on-base at the commissary, we went on-base for our medical care, and we continued shopping on-base for most of what we needed.

Then we decided to move away.

We have been outside of that environment for 13 years now.

My Dw held her job working for DECA until her qualified for their retirement. Her last position at DECA was as Produce Manager, one of the things that she oversaw was the weekly price comparisons with off-base grocery stores. You can do much better by shopping off-base.

Tricare Prime in this area has a regional underwriter called Martin's Point, that has been wonderful to us. They integrate with all the hospital networks in this area. We can walk into any doctors office, any hospital, any ER without a care in the world, it is all covered.

My Dw has gone through five heart attacks. The first 2 were when we were living near the Subase. And we had to fight with the Navy Hospital to get her treated. But up here, she is treated right away, and there has never been any question of coverage.

I have had prostate cancer surgery, and four year later it came back on me. Now I am going to a cancer center for radiation treatment, coverage is like automatic and co-pays are very low.



We lived close to a military base as retirees for four years, and we have lived away from military bases now for thirteen years. The difference is night and day. It would take a team of wild horses to drag me to get me to live near a military base again.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:55 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 11,900,573 times
Reputation: 17914
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
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.
Why would you continue to think that after I already linked to OPM & IRS websites specifically discussing the computation and taxability of federal CSRS & FERS disability income?
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:01 PM
 
792 posts, read 210,322 times
Reputation: 1322
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.
I am assuming that your wife had disability insurance without an SS offset. In reading the FERS info, the benefit has a SS offset provision.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
6,105 posts, read 1,824,910 times
Reputation: 8667
My only suggestion would be to start planning for “worst case scenario” now. As in your wife being retired.

I don’t know if the OP still has a mortgage but I would start paying off everything and looking for cheap cost of living areas.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:36 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,632 posts, read 8,554,879 times
Reputation: 19843
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.

My wife has a variety of medical issues, including the auto-immune disease Sjogrens. Her issues were greatly aggravated due to a car accident in December 2016. She still has neck and shoulder issues caused by the accident. She's already had two neck surgeries and has a third procedure coming up in January. While she has seen some improvement, she is not anywhere close to be back to her normal. She's also a federal civilian. She has only worked sporadically since the accident although about a month ago she officially went back to work half time but she's usually miserable by the time she's done. Thankfully the Department of Labor has covered most of her salary through workman's compensation.

Because of her medical issues, we've always been planning for her to retire at her MRA (Minimum Retirement Age), which she reaches in December 2024. We were planning for her to delay receiving her federal pension until age 60 or 62 (to minimize the early reduction)

Now comes the curve ball. Since she's still not even close to being able to do her actual job ( she's a dental assistant) she's been working as the front desk/receptionist, but even that still bothers her a lot. Her agency has started talking about her getting a medical/disability retirement. If she doesn't start showing more improvement after the January procedure, then disability retirement is probably the right step.

Of course if she does get medically retired it will wreck havoc on our finances. 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.
Frankly? I think you worry way too much about retirement finances. You're only 54; just cool it.
Sorry about your wife's problems, but your concern should be with her health, not her retirement package.


Financially, it will work out. You'll be fine.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:53 PM
 
11,118 posts, read 8,523,617 times
Reputation: 28059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Frankly? I think you worry way too much about retirement finances. You're only 54; just cool it.
Sorry about your wife's problems, but your concern should be with her health, not her retirement package.


Financially, it will work out. You'll be fine.
True. OP, I would suggest you make some efforts to increase YOUR income now since you have over a decade to retire. If you increase your salary by $20-$30k, you'll be able to cover the shortfall. You could plan on retiring at 65 or later.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:17 PM
 
2,442 posts, read 2,067,677 times
Reputation: 5690
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
True. OP, I would suggest you make some efforts to increase YOUR income now since you have over a decade to retire. If you increase your salary by $20-$30k, you'll be able to cover the shortfall. You could plan on retiring at 65 or later.
Increasing your salary by $20- $30k is easier said than done for most people.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:21 PM
 
7,894 posts, read 5,024,944 times
Reputation: 13528
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Just wondering, how did you come to this conclusion?
At the risk of swerving off-topic, and potentially stirring strife, I wanted to comment on the issue of staying close to a military base - or moving far away. For me, the rationale is cultural. Military bases and military towns have a certain cultural footprint. It is entirely possible to spend a 20-year career as a military person, or an even longer career as a DoD civilian, without much partaking of this culture, or regarding it in entirely positive terms. Moving away would then be a form of release and renewal, even if one comes to miss the logistical utility that the base provides (healthcare, gym, golf course, automotive hobby-shop,...).

Returning to the topic, it would appear that retirements that depend heavily on defined-benefit methods - as opposed to defined-contribution - are heavily contingent on reaching the "right" age, so that anything that derails us from attaining such seniority, strongly reduces benefits. In contrast, for a defined-contribution approach, it is incumbent to start early, and then one can conceivably finish early, if this becomes necessary, or even preferable. It is of course best to have both - as for example is the premise of FERS. But even under FERS, benefits increase at age 62, and SS - component of FERS - of course does so, as well.

And as goes without saying, here's wishing for a maximally speedy and successful improvement, to anyone and everyone in situations of compromised health.
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