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Old 17-01-2018, 17:48   #1
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Early retirement and health care for boaters

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I are hoping to retire soon..both just turned 60. We are shocked at the costs for healthcare if you are not 65. I am hoping there are knowledgeable people in the forum who have traveled this road and can shed some light and hopefully share some info on a good strategy to maintain health care at an affordable rate. I understand affordable is subjective. I have found healthcare ranges from $2k to $4k depending on what options are selected...any thoughts? Words of wisdom?
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Old 17-01-2018, 18:33   #2
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

For an ACA plan it all depends on your income. I’m 57 and wife is 56, for 2018 we will take $22417 out of our 401k as income and they results in our health care costing us $22/mo
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Old 17-01-2018, 18:39   #3
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

Thatís funny, Iím Retired Military, and I pay more than that for my ďfreeĒ health care.
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Old 17-01-2018, 18:43   #4
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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For an ACA plan it all depends on your income. Iím 57 and wife is 56, for 2018 we will take $22417 out of our 401k as income and they results in our health care costing us $22/mo
That's a wonderful cost...$22? WOW

I just read that if I keep my small business going and just employ my wife and I it may be possible to have group health care insurance for less...definitely something to look into
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Old 17-01-2018, 19:16   #5
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

There's a lot of variables for US based folks, which I assume the OP is.

Ultimately it's going to (probably, and for the time being) depend on two things:

1. Income. Not assets. Income. Lower income generally means the more the gov will kick in to cover the cost. You could have a million sitting in a bank account that you're going to use for cruising, but only 20k in actual income and you'll probably pay less than someone with $0 in the bank and a 40k pension. The subsidies are all about income.

2. In what state you are (or will be) a resident (this can make a very big difference or not much of one, depending on your income).

On #2, it's definitely worth doing the research and considering if you should establish residency in another state before and while you cruise (also consider tax ramifications).

We're planning on leaving well before 65 too. Our plan is to establish residency (and buy income property) in a state that:
1. Actually participated in the ACA and medicaid expansion (costs are pretty uniformly lower in these states).
2. Doesn't have an income tax.
3. Has a real estate market in which we're comfortable investing.
4. Is someplace we wouldn't mind living if things go awry and we have to move into the investment home we buy there.

Just some things to get you thinking.

It can be eye opening to shop healthcare.gov and tell it you live in a different state and/or have a different income (then clear your browser cookies and try and different combination).
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Old 17-01-2018, 19:27   #6
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Originally Posted by mogulskibum View Post
There's a lot of variables for US based folks, which I assume the OP is.

Ultimately it's going to (probably, and for the time being) depend on two things:

1. Income. Not assets. Income. Lower income generally means the more the gov will kick in to cover the cost. You could have a million sitting in a bank account that you're going to use for cruising, but only 20k in actual income and you'll probably pay less than someone with $0 in the bank and a 40k pension. The subsidies are all about income.

2. In what state you are (or will be) a resident (this can make a very big difference or not much of one, depending on your income).

On #2, it's definitely worth doing the research and considering if you should establish residency in another state before and while you cruise (also consider tax ramifications).

We're planning on leaving well before 65 too. Our plan is to establish residency (and buy income property) in a state that:
1. Actually participated in the ACA and medicaid expansion (costs are pretty uniformly lower in these states).
2. Doesn't have an income tax.
3. Has a real estate market in which we're comfortable investing.
4. Is someplace we wouldn't mind living if things go awry and we have to move into the investment home we buy there.

Just some things to get you thinking.

It can be eye opening to shop healthcare.gov and tell it you live in a different state and/or have a different income (then clear your browser cookies and try and different combination).
Completely agree...we plan on shipping our boat to Florida from California (Ensenada actually) then living on it for a couple years or more cruising Florida coastline and the Bahamas..ideally ending up in a condo overlooking a marina.
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Old 17-01-2018, 19:45   #7
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Completely agree...we plan on shipping our boat to Florida from California (Ensenada actually) then living on it for a couple years or more cruising Florida coastline and the Bahamas..ideally ending up in a condo overlooking a marina.
Depending on pensions, how you've structured retirement saving, etc, etc, it can also even make sense to have a "paper divorce" and push one of your incomes low enough to qualify for larger subsidies - paying $2k / month for 1 and $41/ month for the other makes more sense than paying $3k for both. (Now, you need to be careful with life insurance and pensions doing that, and there's obviously a certain amount of trust involved )
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Old 17-01-2018, 19:52   #8
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Depending on pensions, how you've structured retirement saving, etc, etc, it can also even make sense to have a "paper divorce" and push one of your incomes low enough to qualify for larger subsidies - paying $2k / month for 1 and $41/ month for the other makes more sense than paying $3k for both. (Now, you need to be careful with life insurance and pensions doing that, and there's obviously a certain amount of trust involved )
LOL...I'm married to an Italian from Jersey...that would go over like a fart in a Catholic church
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Old 18-01-2018, 09:57   #9
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

As a practicing MD in Florida, 8ve had the opportunity to visit with many seeking what you are seeking. As it turns out you can find cheap insurance however your access to care is deplorable. For many, co-pays and costs not covered or out of network fees leave many bewildered and absolutely snookered. So you will be hard pressed to have your cake and eat it too I'm sorry to say. If you're healthy then the best way through the mess is to have excellent catastrophic coverage and enough in the kitty to clear the high deductible should you ever need it.
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Old 18-01-2018, 10:05   #10
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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As a practicing MD in Florida, 8ve had the opportunity to visit with many seeking what you are seeking. As it turns out you can find cheap insurance however your access to care is deplorable. For many, co-pays and costs not covered or out of network fees leave many bewildered and absolutely snookered. So you will be hard pressed to have your cake and eat it too I'm sorry to say. If you're healthy then the best way through the mess is to have excellent catastrophic coverage and enough in the kitty to clear the high deductible should you ever need it.
Sounds like very good advise...can you advise as to which companies you might suggest I inquire to? I have been researching online and there are a lot of websites wanting me to enter in my personal info so they can call me. When I do find a site that looks like it might give me pricing and coverage info I find out they do not provide their service in Florida...
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Old 18-01-2018, 10:14   #11
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Originally Posted by Brentolsen View Post
Sounds like very good advise...can you advise as to which companies you might suggest I inquire to? I have been researching online and there are a lot of websites wanting me to enter in my personal info so they can call me. When I do find a site that looks like it might give me pricing and coverage info I find out they do not provide their service in Florida...
Have you considered the option of YOU calling THEM? Perhaps they don't have their phone numbers on their website, though.

Whatever you do, you'll need to research the states to find out if their legislatures have signed up for expanded medicaid, as suggested earlier. And then do your own homework as to what your income is and read up on the ACA in detail. No one else can do it for you.
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Old 18-01-2018, 10:16   #12
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Have you considered the option of YOU calling THEM? Perhaps they don't have their phone numbers on their website, though.

Whatever you do, you'll need to research the states to find out if their legislatures have signed up for expanded medicaid, as suggested earlier. And then do your own homework as to what your income is and read up on the ACA in detail. No one else can do it for you.
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Old 18-01-2018, 10:16   #13
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

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Thatís funny, Iím Retired Military, and I pay more than that for my ďfreeĒ health care.
The monthly premium is just the ticket to the dance.

When comparing Tricare to "civilian" plans factor in their actual costs of co-pays, deductibles and allowed medications.
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Old 18-01-2018, 11:06   #14
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

We were in the same situation and were paying $137/mo for ACA with an enormous deductible ($3500 each) so we looked at it as catastrophic insurance "just in case" and we wouldn't lose our house to medical bills should the worst happen. We're both healthy and take no meds, so it seemed OK.

I spent 1.5 hours in the ER last April and it cost $3100. This was in a pretty small city in a low population zone in NW Washington. Wow.

Now he's turned 65 and they dropped the insurance from $137 for both of us down to $14/month just for me. I was going to call and ask why, and then realized that would just be stupid.

If anyone ever figures this stuff out I'll probably be too old to understand it
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Old 18-01-2018, 11:09   #15
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Re: Early retirement and health care for boaters

I live in Canada, and here health care is FREE.
I think that the USA is the only country in the First World that does not provide free public health care to help cure people.

But you have a great military.
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