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Old 24-06-2008, 21:05   #31
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You are exactly right. Nothing is free.

I am a physician working in America, and we have the most expensive health care system in the world, and we are only fifth in the quality of care. I know the system from the inside, because I am working on the inside, and the economics of medicine in the USA is rotten to the core.

I have worked overseas in five different countries as a physician, and what is happening in the USA is an abomination. Good health care is available in dozens of countries at a fraction of the cost.

One of the benefits of being a world cruiser, is that you can find affordable high quality health care all around the world. It's no accident that cruisers can get health insurance that covers them in every country around the world except that they can't have coverage inside the USA with their health policy purchased outside the US.

If things continue on their present track, I suspect that lots of people will be seeking their healthcare and medication offshore. In my work overseas as a physician, I could purchase medications straight from the manufacturer at one-quarter of the cost for the same medication sold in the USA. When we sailed around the world, we purchased all our medications offshore at a fraction of the price.

The cost of healthcare is the single greatest threat to the world cruiser who is over the age of fifty years. One serious illness can make him bankrupt if he is a citizen of the USA.

My last insurance premium for health care insurance while I was sailing around the world was $9600 with a $5000 deductible. I had that insurance policy for fourteen years and never made a claim. In my book that's extortion.

Could I purchace what I want?

Insurance may be what keeps me here. I am willing to chance it and go without but the wife won't hear of it and the only way to have it is to work full time. Kinda messes with the cruising a bit. She is uninsurable so can only get insurance from a job.
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Old 24-06-2008, 21:21   #32
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Therapy:

Perhaps a bit of a stretch... Wonder if you could you start a business, put her on payroll and buy insurance through a purchasing group to get coverage? A friend of mine had a kidney transplant a few years ago, and has to do something similar to get insurance. (Low paid salary, but working very few hours...)

Just an idea.
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Old 24-06-2008, 21:33   #33
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I checked into that and have been told that insurance folks know that trick and will not insure family even if they are employees.
Maybe someone can do it now but my info says if you do then you are being fradulent.
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Old 24-06-2008, 22:08   #34
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Well thats a bummer. I'll do some asking around and pondering... because thats an unacceptable reason to not pursue some dreams. (At least to me!)

Anyone else have a way for her to get insurance bought in a group policy/bulk?
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Old 24-06-2008, 22:50   #35
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Insurance is one of the hardest nuts to crack.

Even when you are eligible for social security, you still are not home free. My wife's parents pay more than six thousand dollars a year for part B of social security.

I used to think that when you reached social security age, everything would be taken care of healthwise. I was wrong. I consider $6000 to be a large chunk of money for someone living on social security.

I have a physician friend who works at my hospital, and he gets insurance through his government job, paying half the premium, and in addition he maintains his own private insurance on the outside for an additional $10,000 a year. Why two insurance policies? Simple. He had a heart attack in the past, and he has to maintain his private policy so that he is insurable if he quits his government job.

Hmm. Let me see. Even though he has government insurance, he maintains private insurance so that he will be able to have insurance if he quits his job. Does that seem right?

Health insurance is a very expensive form of roulette, and God help you if you should ever become uninsurable. Kiss your cruising goodbye on the way to bankruptcy.

On the bright side, once you go bankrupt, your healtcare is free.
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Old 25-06-2008, 02:39   #36
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it's difficult to add to whats been said but like some of the others i've spent virtually all my working life as an expat. when young and inexperienced you need to make yourself available 24/7/52 - no whining about vacations or birthdays or the death of your cat. when older - and now a lot more valuable because of all the experience you got while the others were screwing off - you'll probably be offered a tax paid income, free housing, car, phone, health insurance and business/first class travel (this is survivable)

if you want to be financially comfortable in old age:

- always save and invest (7% p.a. growth doubles yr money every 10 yrs, 10% p.a. growth doubles it every 7 yrs) - it's terrifying how fast 30 yrs can go by!!

- never get divorced (this may mean never marrying if you're particularly risk averse)

- never buy a new car (buy 2 yr old top-end toyotas and keep them 7+ years)

- never buy anything - except property - that you can't pay cash for

- use a debit card in preference to a credit card (and if you have to have a credit card pay it off in full each month)

pretty much everything is possible if you want it badly enough and those who succeed generally do so because they don't give up
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Old 25-06-2008, 03:42   #37
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- always save and invest (7% p.a. growth doubles yr money every 10 yrs, 10% p.a. growth doubles it every 7 yrs) - it's terrifying how fast 30 yrs can go by!!

Bob,

That's one of my difficulties. Where are you getting 7%??? I can't find more than a few percent return and haven't a clue where to put my savings.

Dan: Thank you for the tremendous compliment. We want to go so badly. We see cruising as "where we want to be" - the "Point B" in a "Point A to Point B" discussion. We just can't seem to get there. It takes a paid off boat, a wad of cash for a kitty and some way to make money traveling country to country in order to do it (if your wad isn't so large).

I'm going to start another thread rather than steal this one.
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Old 25-06-2008, 04:36   #38
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Concerning medical insurance, when I was a kid, my parents had what was called "major medical" insurance, it covered all hospital stays, emergency rooms, and tests and such for cancer etc. I inquired about it from Blue Cross about 8 years ago and guess what, it still exists. It doesn't cover routine doctor visits and prescriptions, but all the big ticket items are covered. On my one and only trip to the hospital in the last 8 years, the bill was $66,000, my part to pay was $2300 (max per year copay is $2500). Cost per month: $120. It did not jump after my hospital stay, but goes up a little each calender year.

Something to consider if you are like me and don't run to the doctor every time you hiccup, or want a pill for everything that might happen (think heartburn meds etc, and more about the cause, your bad diet! and a colestoral number that mysteriously gets dropped each year, causing more than a million to go seek out more meds to get to the new magic number) The problem is that people think they need more, but in reality, you don't, you just need major medical insurance after all. It was only in recent history that we were brain washed in to the these new policies that cover "everything" and in the process dominate every aspect of your decision making process and life.

So often the first thing people think about when making a life change decision is "what about my health insurance!. Well, if you are really looking for change, it will probably inprove your health just to make the change happen!
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Old 25-06-2008, 06:08   #39
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Dave and Jaja Martin had been sailing for years. They have stopped to build a house and continue the education their children in public school. If you do a search on their names you will find information on how they sailed for years. According to the elderly people they surveyed during their sailing years, they were smart in doing it now instead of waiting for later. According to their family and friends, they were crazy. As you will find they have a large number of books and articles published.
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Old 25-06-2008, 13:19   #40
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Bob,

I'm going to start another thread rather than steal this one.

No Worries Sullivan. You and I are essentially trying to figure out the same things. No reason we can't combine the two discussions.
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Old 25-06-2008, 13:27   #41
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WannaBeTraveln, I agree many are trying to figure out the answer to the same question.
John
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Old 25-06-2008, 15:07   #42
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Insurance is one of the hardest nuts to crack.

Even when you are eligible for social security, you still are not home free. My wife's parents pay more than six thousand dollars a year for part B of social security.

I used to think that when you reached social security age, everything would be taken care of healthwise. I was wrong. I consider $6000 to be a large chunk of money for someone living on social security.

I have a physician friend who works at my hospital, and he gets insurance through his government job, paying half the premium, and in addition he maintains his own private insurance on the outside for an additional $10,000 a year. Why two insurance policies? Simple. He had a heart attack in the past, and he has to maintain his private policy so that he is insurable if he quits his government job.

Hmm. Let me see. Even though he has government insurance, he maintains private insurance so that he will be able to have insurance if he quits his job. Does that seem right?

Health insurance is a very expensive form of roulette, and God help you if you should ever become un-insurable. Kiss your cruising goodbye on the way to bankruptcy.

On the bright side, once you go bankrupt, your healthcare is free.
Being un-insurable sucks.
I don't really want to be bankrupt. I am trying to get money to buy a boat.
I have not talked to a lawyer about a trust yet. Just don't know about them.
Someone told me I could get "divorced" and then the "uninsured" could get "nothing" and then would be eligible for Medicaid.
We are just not conniving people "using" "the system".
Not really comfortable with that.
But it all really sucks big time.
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Old 25-06-2008, 15:33   #43
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Hey I just have major medical. It sucks I just spent $10k on a surgery. That was my portion. They beat you up too. I had to go to an appointment at the doctors pre surgery. My insurance doesn't cover doctors visits. So even though I have to pay 20% of surgery costs it ends up more than 20% b/c the insurance company decides what they are going to pay for.

OK now I'm ranting -- And congress in all their benevolance says that US Citizens can't buy pharmasuiticals (sp?) from Canada b/c they may be tainted. I mean really these are the same drugs that were produced here in the US and sold to Canadian health care system but congress is watching out for us b/c they might be tainted. I mean it is pretty obvious that the majority of drugs that the US sells to Canada are tainted -- you can tell by all the dead Canadians at the border. Wait you mean there aren't any dead canadians at the border -- wait do you think that just maybe the lobbyist bought our congress? Congress passed a law that the US healthcare system cannot negotiate a price for these drugs like the Canadians can. And how do consumers benefit from this? Ok Rant is over.

Back to investing -- IF you can't get adopted into a family that provides their kids with a trust fund try these rules 1) Invest in something that you understand, 2) figure out the downside to your investment (what you would stand to lose)weigh the risk reward, 3) the bulls get rich the bears get rich the pigs go to slaughter, and 4)save money so that when the oppurtunity arrives you have something to invest.
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Old 25-06-2008, 23:34   #44
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i go along with charlie on investing rules but i also believe that 1) you shouldn't invest in something that you couldn't understand the first time it was explained to you and 2) if sounds too good to be true it probably is!!

7% growth year on year is a great result if you can manage it - actually it's a fantastic result if it's net of inflation.

where can you get 7% - i'm sure there are people on the forum who can give better advice than i can but i'd try investment grade corporate bonds in new zealand, rents on commercial property in australia (if i remember correctly the leases are automatically upped by the consumer price index at each review period), ber euro blue-chips with a low p/e

the idea is to be in for the long haul and not to need the money tomorrow - the highs and lows get smoothed out
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Old 28-06-2008, 14:06   #45
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Because the originator of this thread is an American college student who, like many others, has had to take financial aid to complete his education, I thought the following might be of interest to him, as well as others in similar circumstances:

* * * * *

"Public service work can wipe out student loans


"A new law will make it possible for student debt to be forgiven for people who choose public service jobs.

"June 29, 2008

"If you're facing years of student loan payments but aren't making much money because you're working in public service, the federal government has some good news for you. A law that takes effect Tuesday could allow you to have some of your college debt forgiven."

* * * * *

For the entire article, go to:

Public service work can wipe out student loans - Los Angeles Times

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