Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

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gr7070
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:39 am

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by gr7070 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:36 am

dbr wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:08 am
So far no one has put a cost on waiting. Does everyone believe that not working for an extra ten years or so has no value?
This has been a strange thread where so many posts appear to be emotion based.

Many posters have suggested that getting free health insurance is too valuable to consider the other side; to consider that maybe the OP doesn't actually need it. That working the extra years, while providing a valuable outcome, does have a cost of its own.

Sure, "free" healthcare sounds/is awesome; but recognize it comes at a cost. Now let's actually *compare* the two pros and cons instead of responding "free healthcare is so amazing I just can't consider the other option in my reply".

delamer
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by delamer » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:22 am

gr7070 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:36 am
dbr wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:08 am
So far no one has put a cost on waiting. Does everyone believe that not working for an extra ten years or so has no value?
This has been a strange thread where so many posts appear to be emotion based.

Many posters have suggested that getting free health insurance is too valuable to consider the other side; to consider that maybe the OP doesn't actually need it. That working the extra years, while providing a valuable outcome, does have a cost of its own.

Sure, "free" healthcare sounds/is awesome; but recognize it comes at a cost. Now let's actually *compare* the two pros and cons instead of responding "free healthcare is so amazing I just can't consider the other option in my reply".
The FEHB coverage in retirement isn’t free. The annuitant pays a monthly premium.

Seems to me that you and drb should take it upon yourselves to estimate “the cost of waiting” since you are criticizing other posters for not doing so.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:23 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:22 am
gr7070 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:36 am
dbr wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:08 am
So far no one has put a cost on waiting. Does everyone believe that not working for an extra ten years or so has no value?
This has been a strange thread where so many posts appear to be emotion based.
Many posters have suggested that getting free health insurance is too valuable to consider the other side; to consider that maybe the OP doesn't actually need it. That working the extra years, while providing a valuable outcome, does have a cost of its own.
Sure, "free" healthcare sounds/is awesome; but recognize it comes at a cost. Now let's actually *compare* the two pros and cons instead of responding "free healthcare is so amazing I just can't consider the other option in my reply".
The FEHB coverage in retirement isn’t free. The annuitant pays a monthly premium.
Seems to me that you and drb should take it upon yourselves to estimate “the cost of waiting” since you are criticizing other posters for not doing so.
No, it is not "FREE", but (in my opinion and understanding) very financially beneficial for a great many retirees (especially those with dependents that need such insurance).

delamer
Posts: 9332
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by delamer » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:31 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:23 pm
delamer wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:22 am
gr7070 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:36 am
dbr wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:08 am
So far no one has put a cost on waiting. Does everyone believe that not working for an extra ten years or so has no value?
This has been a strange thread where so many posts appear to be emotion based.
Many posters have suggested that getting free health insurance is too valuable to consider the other side; to consider that maybe the OP doesn't actually need it. That working the extra years, while providing a valuable outcome, does have a cost of its own.
Sure, "free" healthcare sounds/is awesome; but recognize it comes at a cost. Now let's actually *compare* the two pros and cons instead of responding "free healthcare is so amazing I just can't consider the other option in my reply".
The FEHB coverage in retirement isn’t free. The annuitant pays a monthly premium.
Seems to me that you and drb should take it upon yourselves to estimate “the cost of waiting” since you are criticizing other posters for not doing so.
No, it is not "FREE", but (in my opinion and understanding) very financially beneficial for a great many retirees (especially those with dependents that need such insurance).
Absolutely.

I’d argue that the availability and flexibility of the FEHB in retirement is as beneficial as the price.

Which brings us back to the original question...

LuigiLikesPizza
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:54 am

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:59 am

I’d argue that the availability and flexibility of the FEHB in retirement is as beneficial as the price.

Do you mind sharing further details on what you mean by availability and flexibility? Availability meaning that under certain conditions on can retire and take the insurance with you?

Flexible - in what ways?

delamer
Posts: 9332
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:22 am

LuigiLikesPizza wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:59 am
I’d argue that the availability and flexibility of the FEHB in retirement is as beneficial as the price.

Do you mind sharing further details on what you mean by availability and flexibility? Availability meaning that under certain conditions on can retire and take the insurance with you?

Flexible - in what ways?
Yes, that’s what I meant by availability.

By flexibility, I meant that any given retiree has multiple plans (at different price points) to choose from. The plan that works for you as a healthy young retiree with dependent kids is not the one you are stuck with as a widowed 85-year old with 3 chronic conditions.

Jtf6
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:05 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by Jtf6 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:18 pm

I will be 42 in February and will hit the 16.5 year mark with my agency then. I bought back about 18 months of military time, but my SCD is 2005. I started my job when I turned 27. So will reach 30 years of service at 57. I wish I could retire earlier maybe 50 or 55, but the health benefits are too good to pass up. I'll also have well over 2080 hours of sick leave saved by 57 as well. So I guess I'll have roughly 32 or 33 years of service by the time I'm 57.

I'm in management by the way.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by FI4LIFE » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:00 pm

I am in a similar situation with my municipal employment. I am 40 now and hope to be able to retire at 50. Staying to 55 would earn me a very generous healthcare package on top of my pension. I'm not sure I want to hang around that long, but time will tell.

What I would tell the OP is there are many options between sticking it out for the healthcare and retiring and saying a prayer that things work out. They include medical tourism, seasonal work that will cover your premium costs, part-time work, contract work etc. Your flexibility is a major component of your plan. It is a difficult decision for sure. Time is a valuable thing.

trueblueky
Posts: 1625
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 3:50 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by trueblueky » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:33 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:42 am
Never a federal employee - but many friend and acquaintances are.

In my opinion and observation, this is a very large benefit to pass up - both before Medicare age and after.
^^^
This.

I was CSRS (an earlier retirement system). The day I turned 55, having 30 years already, I knew DW would have a federal pension and health insurance as long as she lives. A huge milestone.

retiredflyboy
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by retiredflyboy » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:16 pm

57 is still very young. Nice to have health care insurance in retirement. Health insurance is provided for me in retirement and that’s huge in order to get to Medicare age.
Facts are stubborn things. Everything works until it doesn’t.

J295
Posts: 2177
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Are federal health benefits worth postponing early retirement?

Post by J295 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:20 am

I didn’t read all the posts, but I had the sense most were inclined to suggest keep working…

Neither of us were federal employees In fact, only one of us work outside of the home

What we did may or may not be right for OP, but we did not let the insurance tail wag the dog… In fact, when I transitioned seven years ago the constitutionality of the affordable care act was still up in the air, in the sewers insurance coverage for my wife and I ..... But since we had sufficient assets and knew we could land on some type of insurance we were fine having me make my transition to part time (and then to no time). Did this during my peak earning years, so walked away from significant $$$.

Current insurance is the bronze ACA plan, at a net cost of $0 due to our $24,000 premium tax credit. If that goes away, then we will pay premiums.

YMMV. Good luck.

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