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Old 12-09-2018, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,697 posts, read 1,877,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
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.
Have you ever applied for Veteran's Disability benefits? Sounds like you should.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:07 PM
 
168 posts, read 130,075 times
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If your disability is considered an insurance then you will not pay any taxes on it. Since you will have no social security, Medicare, Federal, State, or local taxes as well as no insurance payments or retirement taken out you may be pleasantly surprised with your wife's take home pay. Also your taxes will decrease substantially based on only 1 salary. And you will mot have the work expenses of travel, clothing, and miscellaneous work items. My husband actually saw more take home pay on disability especially since our medical was covered under tricare. However if you have to pay cobra then it may be a different story.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:37 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 763,984 times
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the federal soup forum has a disability retirement sub-forum. lots of folks with experience/info over there.

https://forum.federalsoup.com/default.aspx?g=topics&f=4
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:07 PM
 
4,447 posts, read 2,623,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
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.
This is what i was going to say, OP.

Here is my suggestions, experience and plan, and it may not help much except to commiserate with you:

I dont know anything specific about military retirement/disability issues/plans/ insurance i admit ( airforce would not take me due to asthma), but i too was thrown a curve ball, have been retired on SSDI since age 40, 15 years ago. Im not at all trying to one up you or her, but ive got 23 chronic continuous medical conditions and have had 21 surgeries, i take 18 prescriptions. just To give you an idea.

Start an austerity strategy budget for yourselves. Look at it as shes a SAHM, and plan for what life will look like on only your income. If you absolutely need to, look for a second part time job, that is if she can do with out you nursing her all day.

Find out what COL is in the area you think you might want to move to. Find out if the hospital/s have a Patient financial services plan. Our hospital, with theirs, a family if 4 can still earn up to $94k anx get at least a 25% discount on hospital services. It includes a prescription copay plan as well. In my case i get 100% discount. So between my primary insurance (Medicare) and secondary insurance (AARP Supplemental) plus my 100% discount i never see a bill at all ever. It dies cost me $410/m to have my insurances and you must have insurance first to get the hospitals finacial assistance program.
Fibd out also if she can get the services at the hospitals nearby or within, say a 3 hour drive to a major metropolitan area.
You can find that out for where are you currently also.

Get your debt paid off save the mortgage and live very frugally so as to save as much as possible. It can be hard, especially if medical issues cause you increased expense such as gas, hotel or other if you need to go out of town for treatment. Keep track asyou can seek that out of pocket fir your case, and/or you might qualify fir tax deduction if you meet the requirements. ( i think it used to be you could deduct those medical expenses above 5% of you agi, directly from your agi.

Like any family contemplating a SAHM situation, plan accordingly to survive and save on one income.

My OH works two jobs, unfortunately neither has guaranteed hours. Right now we are in a crunch and using savings to make up the difference. Hours were drastically cut in half at one job.i tried going back to work but due to a bad back and hips and knees ( to a point some days i cannot walk on my knees, even with a cane. and need a wheelchair) found i could not stand as long an 8 hours shift. I left. I can earn up to $1170/m and not lose my SSDI, but thats not much. perhaps she can work just enough to earn that much and not affect her disability incone?

Once our elderly fathers pass, or at least one, we will be moving to a warmer climes lower COL area . My OH may still have to work two jobs, at a lower pay rate there, but we shouod do better overall.

I really wish you the best, and hope that like my issues they can at least be managed, though likely never cured.

And as previously noted take care if yourself too.
My OH will have a hernia surgery repair tomorrow, and for a few days i will be the caregiver, and wages will disappear for a week. We will survive. Its time to cut more fat out of the budget, cut cable even more., f9r instance to a tight austerity budget.

But that is my situation, yours sounds better. But yours is just as much in peril as mine, just the situation and finances are different.

Its no fun when your life is turned upside down.

Also, don't count any settlement until it is in your bank account. Then and only then can you regroup on your finances.

Best to you and your wife...

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Old 12-09-2018, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,886 posts, read 2,046,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
Increasing your salary by $20- $30k is easier said than done for most people.
ESPECIALLY federal employees who are already in a high COL area.

For the information of non-federal employees reading this, federal salaries are increased in high COL areas, so moving to a lower COL area will reduce your salary and that reduced salary carries into your retirement benefit, no matter where you live in retirement.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:52 PM
 
6,867 posts, read 3,731,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djplourd View Post
...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?
When we went through this our attorney said what you can get is basically the policy maximum. Since most people carry the state minimums, that's a practical estimate. What our attorney told us at the time is you can sue for more, maybe even win, but that doesn't mean you can actually collect. You can't collect money someone doesn't have.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:19 AM
 
697 posts, read 256,143 times
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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.
Yeah, sounds so easy. Just walk into the higher-up's office and say "I want my income to increase by $20-$30K please due to I need to cover for my wife's health problems." Or look for a second job to increase the income.

Do you forget that the OP has his own health problems too? Knees and shoulder issues. When one gets older and has many health issues, everything becomes difficult.

When you are still young and have good health (I mean everyone, not you specifically - I don't know how young/old you are though) and if you are in a high position, and you know how to talk, everything seems like a piece of cake.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,721 posts, read 4,744,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOrdinaryCitizen View Post
Yeah, sounds so easy. Just walk into the higher-up's office and say "I want my income to increase by $20-$30K please due to I need to cover for my wife's health problems." Or look for a second job to increase the income.

People do get second jobs when needed, even people with health issues. Or they figure out what the kids call a side hustle, i.e. starting a small business.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
512 posts, read 633,942 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
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
That's where I got the retirement calculations from. She would fall under the second table, under age 62 and not eligible for an immediate voluntary annuity. I left off the SS offset details.

Interesting about the tax implications. I just assumed that since it was disability that it would be exempt. So if it happens it will be taxable for 5 or 6 years and then once she reaches MRA it becomes exempt.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Northern VA
512 posts, read 633,942 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondy View Post
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.
Yes we've considered it but it really comes down to how much we get in the settlement. If we get enough to pay off certain bills we will try to stay in this house longer.

My agency doesn't have any positions where we'd like to eventually retire. We might look at taking an overseas position in the interim for me to get to 62.

I do have veteran's preference but I read somewhere a while ago that they were trying to make it only apply for your first federal job. I'm not sure if it actually passed. I still claim the preference anytime I'm applying.
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