I found my retirement “calling” on the Hillsdale cruise to Hawaii

I found my retirement “calling” on the Hillsdale cruise to Hawaii

I am 69 years old and still working full-time as a buyer for an aerospace company. Aside from vowing never to draw Social Security or be subject to Medicare (as a reason for keeping working), I couldn’t think of what I would do with myself if I retired. I play violin, but there’s not much opportunity to play chamber music in my town. I wouldn’t want to just sit around and read all day, which is my favorite pastime when not working.

Funny, but my retirement calling was staring me in the face, and I wasn’t seeing it. My husband and I are big supporters of Hillsdale, and we are members of the President’s Club of donors. It’s also convenient that his employer matches both our contributions and my employer matches mine (so my contribution is tripled). While sitting in one of the excellent lectures on the cruise, it hit me. If and when I retire, I intend to become a Hillsdale Associate, someone who recruits students and donors for the college and generally talks up the place. After reading Dr. Paul Rahe’s post on the Main Feed over at Ricochet.com, perhaps I’d enlist a letter-writing campaign to the Wall Street Journal to get them to add Hillsdale to their yearly college rankings.

In my everyday life now, I always talk up Hillsdale. My work coat closet has a Hillsdale flag on it for all to see. On the cruise, we provided Hillsdale literature to our cabin attendant! I can’t think of a better way to spend my retirement years than promoting Hillsdale College.

Going Hillsdale and AEI-No Social Security or Medicare for Me

I guess that makes me a risk-taker. I am currently 66 years old, my full SS retirement age, which makes me Social Security and Medicare-eligible.  A couple of years ago, I made the decision to reject both SS and Medicare. I am gainfully employed, and expect to be employed for the foreseeable future. I am VERY fortunate to be married to a man nine years my junior, who has 35 years with his employer, and makes twice what I do. I am covered under his company medical plan, and expect to continue to be. I object to my doctors having to choose treatment for me according to “what Medicare will pay for”. I’m damned if I’ll have some faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC telling my doctors what’s “allowed”.
I’ve already started in a small way, being self-sufficient in health-care. My hubby’s plan has prescription drug coverage, but I do not use it. I take a bunch of prescription medicine for my chronic disease (psoriatic arthritis), and I pay every penny of the cost myself. All my medicines are generic, and I have a great relationship with the Costco pharmacy 6 blocks from my house, so I know I’m getting the best prices. It makes me feel great that my doctors and I, not some insurance company, determine what medicines I take, and how much to prescribe (my doctors write in quantities of 100, so I get even better pricing).
So my life is free from the worries about having enough money saved for retirement (not retiring!), and how to maximize my Government Dole Payment (Social Security).

Here’s another good reason to reject Social Security-a story that just hit the news this week.

Oh, I almost forgot!  The reason Hillsdale and AEI (American Enterprise Institute) are in my title is that neither of those organizations takes any government money.  That makes them independent of any government control over their institutions-remember that if you or your organization takes even ONE PENNY of government money, the Government Controls You.  So I support both of them, because they can always use more citizen support.  I urge you to do the same.

No Social Security or Medicare for Me-Do I have the Courage of my Convictions?

No Social Security or Medicare for Me-Do I have the Courage of my Convictions?

Yes, I do.  This post was written a couple of years ago, and updated today in 2015.  I will be 66 in April, and I just love tossing all the junk mail telling me about everyone’s very best Medicare Advantage or Medi-Gap policy.  No serious illnesses, and still at my same employer after seven years.  I have not had even one second thought.  I’m doing the right thing, and it just gets right-er every day.  I love being independent, and self-sufficient.  I even paid off my mortgage in 2013, so that expense is gone.  One fewer fixed cost every month.  Life is good!

I guess that makes me a risk-taker. I am currently 65 years old, and I am now Medicare-eligible. Medicare starts at 65, I can’t draw SS until 66. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to reject both SS and Medicare. I am gainfully employed, and expect to be employed for the foreseeable future. I am VERY fortunate to be married to a man nine years my junior, who has 35 years with his employer, and makes twice what I do. I am covered under his company medical plan, and expect to continue to be. I object to my doctor having to choose treatment for me according to “what Medicare will pay for”. I’m damned if I’ll have some faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC telling my doctor what’s “allowed”.
I’ve already started in a small way, being self-sufficient in health-care. My hubby’s plan has prescription drug coverage, but I do not use it. I take a bunch of prescription medicine for my chronic disease (psoriatic arthritis), and I pay every penny of the cost myself. All my medicines are generic, and I have a great relationship with the Costco pharmacy 6 blocks from my house, so I know I’m getting the best prices. It makes me feel great that my doctor and I, not some insurance company, determine what medicines I take, and how much to prescribe (my doctor writes in quantities of 100, so I get even better pricing).
So my life is free from the worries about having enough money saved for retirement (not retiring!), and how to maximize my Government Dole Payment (Social Security).

Thoughts on my 65th Birthday, and Risk-Taking

 

birthdaycakeI celebrated my 65th birthday last week.  A bunch of assumptions sometimes are made about that particular milestone.  In the fairly recent past, many people were forced to retire once they reached 65.  Many big companies had mandatory retirement ages for their workers.  Even now, successful CEOs leave their jobs when they turn 65.

In January, I received a packet of forms from the corporate office of my employer, pertaining to my approaching retirement.  Even though for me, a Baby Boomer, full Social Security retirement age is 66, the Company operates on the assumption that you will be retiring at 65.  Fortunately, there was a section of the form for me to indicate that I would be working “until further notice”.  I did that, since I’m not planning on retiring.  For years, I have subscribed to the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Theory of Retirement: Don’t.

Since late last year, I have been receiving packets of advertising material from a host of insurance companies, urging me to choose their Medicare Advantage, or Medi-Gap plan.  The assumption is, of course, that the minute I turn 65, I will register for Medicare.  Their literature informs me that I have a special “open enrollment” period extending from three months before my 65th birthday, to three months after my birthday, where I may sign up for Medicare and choose a plan.  The big clinic where I receive specialty care for my chronic disease has a policy of only accepting Medicare Advantage plans, and not traditional, fee-for-service Medicare for their eligible patients.  I received a brochure from them, listing all the plans they accept, and inviting me to check their Web site for dates of Medicare Seminars describing all their plans.  Funny, though, I have received nothing from the Government which sponsors Medicare and Social Security.  They don’t seem to care whether I register for either program.

I’ve heard that “65 is the new 40”.  That may, in fact, be true.  Most of the people I work with can’t believe I’m 65.  It’s nice to appear younger than your real age.  But still, the background assumption is that soon you will quit work entirely and retire.  Saving for Retirement is a big deal almost everywhere.  My favorite local conservative radio station runs at least three different programs on the weekends dealing with retirement.  One huge theme emphasized all over the radio and the Web is “maximizing your Social Security Benefits”.  Many financial and retirement advisors run seminars, to teach you how to extract the maximum dollar value of your entitlements from Big Daddy Government.  I just did a Google search, and it returned Nine Million, Eight Hundred Ninety Thousand results!  For some reason, the idea of maximizing the dollars of the dole makes me cringe.  Perhaps it’s because I know that every dollar a retiree receives in benefits is confiscated from a worker TODAY.  No “lock box” exists; you just rack up “credits” while you are working, and these determine how much you may be eligible to receive in retirement.  I’ve had an often-interrupted working life, with more than my share of unemployment, so I haven’t accumulated as much retirement savings as those who work continuously.  But I think it’s enough, given that I don’t intend to retire.

Now to the “risk-taking” part.  The older many people get, the more they anticipate not being tied to a 9-to-5 job, and being able to relax or travel in retirement.  They look forward to the day they can kiss the working life goodbye, and live off their investments and Social Security.  When they turn 65, they register for Medicare and Social Security.  They usually don’t think about what that means.  When your primary health insurance provider is Uncle Sam, what “Medicare will pay for” determines what treatments your doctor may employ.  Before ordering a test or prescribing a medicine, your doctor must consult a manual to see what the Government will “allow”.  I love my doctor, and I just can’t accept that she will always have the Government in Washington, DC looking over her shoulder.  So I am taking a big risk.  I will not register for Medicare or Social Security.  Right now, I’m on my husband’s insurance (which is much better than my own employer’s plan), and unless something horrible happens, that will be true for the foreseeable future.  I’ll remain a productive member of Society, earning my own way, and telling Big Government to take a hike.

No Social Security or Medicare for Me

I guess that makes me a risk-taker. I am currently 63 years old, with just under two years until I become Medicare-eligible. Medicare starts at 65, I can’t draw SS until 66. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to reject both SS and Medicare. I am gainfully employed, and expect to be employed for the foreseeable future. I am VERY fortunate to be married to a man nine years my junior, who has 32 years with his employer, and makes twice what I do. I am covered under his company medical plan, and expect to continue to be. I object to my doctor having to choose treatment for me according to “what Medicare will pay for”. I’m damned if I’ll have some faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC telling my doctor what’s “allowed”.
I’ve already started in a small way, being self-sufficient in health-care. My hubby’s plan has prescription drug coverage, but I do not use it. I take a bunch of prescription medicine for my chronic disease (psoriatic arthritis), and I pay every penny of the cost myself. All my medicines are generic, and I have a great relationship with the Costco pharmacy 6 blocks from my house, so I know I’m getting the best prices. It makes me feel great that my doctor and I, not some insurance company, determine what medicines I take, and how much to prescribe (my doctor writes in quantities of 100, so I get even better pricing).
So my life is free from the worries about having enough money saved for retirement (not retiring!), and how to maximize my Government Dole Payment (Social Security).