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Thread: retirement planning / disabled

  1. #1
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    retirement planning / disabled

    I'm single with no kids. I'm employed and been contributing to my employer's 401k plan as well as my own IRA accounts. However, I'm really confused about retirement planning for someone like me, someone disabled. These retirement accounts usually can't be access until I'd be in my mid 60s.

    What is the life expectancy for a low paraplegic? Should disabled people save money?

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    interesting, I've thought about this, can retire in 3 years when I'm 55
    but damn, i fell like I have a 70 year old body, been working 40 hours since I was 21 straight, so it just come natural
    i'm a c8/t1 but have most use of my hands
    I keep wondering about getting older and no longer independent.
    i have federal blue cross blue shield, but it's not that great, and has no long term care, so i just started a new thrift saving plan.
    but i always have this gut feelings retirement plans, social security, etc does not seem to include sci in their thinking
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    I'm single with no kids. I'm employed and been contributing to my employer's 401k plan as well as my own IRA accounts. However, I'm really confused about retirement planning for someone like me, someone disabled. These retirement accounts usually can't be access until I'd be in my mid 60s.

    What is the life expectancy for a low paraplegic? Should disabled people save money?
    Great questions.

    Hell, yes, save money! Save as though you will live forever because these injuries are freakin' expensive, especially as we age.

    If you have a decent income, consider a reputable, licensed financial planner to help you establish and meet short and long term goals. You'll be surprised at what an individual can amass and do by consistently saving and following a solid financial plan.

    You don't provide your age, but know it is never too early to begin saving and planning for the future, for retirement.

    Keep us posted on what you decide to do. It can be encouraging to others in similar situations to know how someone else is planning and doing.

    BTW, for those not yet ready for a financial planner, try sites like mint.com. It is free and ties directly to financial accounts. It can be an excellent way to see where money goes month by month and can help establish short and long term financial goals.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    interesting, I've thought about this, can retire in 3 years when I'm 55
    but damn, i fell like I have a 70 year old body, been working 40 hours since I was 21 straight, so it just come natural
    i'm a c8/t1 but have most use of my hands
    I keep wondering about getting older and no longer independent.
    i have federal blue cross blue shield, but it's not that great, and has no long term care, so i just started a new thrift saving plan.
    but i always have this gut feelings retirement plans, social security, etc does not seem to include sci in their thinking
    bruce
    As soon as you are no longer working you should be eligible for SSDI, until you retire you should max out your IRA with conservative investments every year. Don't postpone retirement until you have so many sci related problems that you can't saddle up on your trike and enjoy life away from work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientgimp View Post
    As soon as you are no longer working you should be eligible for SSDI, until you retire you should max out your IRA with conservative investments every year. Don't postpone retirement until you have so many sci related problems that you can't saddle up on your trike and enjoy life away from work.
    thanks,
    my boss is already tired of me asking him to get me a buyout, (congress has to approve) otherwise i have to wait til I'm 55 in three years, maybe with the budget clidff things buyouts will come, and I will not postpone it one day longer than I have to, heh heh love riding the trike and want to retire while I can still do things with this body, but in the last five years or so, feels like the age is really racking on.

    and I started civil service back in the good csrs type retirement days, so i've never paid into social security, but guess i will still get medicare when I'm 62. I attended a retirement class last week, and even though I have a good retirement plan (csrs) I still started a new tsp account (like a ira) to help with retirement.

    but I guess it's something we all need to keep thinking about with sci problems, etc, I think I'm pretty much as prepared as I can be
    thanks again for the thought, always appricated
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    I'm single with no kids. I'm employed and been contributing to my employer's 401k plan as well as my own IRA accounts. However, I'm really confused about retirement planning for someone like me, someone disabled. These retirement accounts usually can't be access until I'd be in my mid 60s.

    What is the life expectancy for a low paraplegic? Should disabled people save money?
    and one thing I started last year, I started stashing away some cash now and then into a safe, i know it's not making me money. but as long as the government can see the cash, they will require you to spend it first when it comes to help. If they can't see it, they will assist sooner.
    I might be a little paranoid, but i feel safer doing it
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    This is a very important topic.

    Save like crazy, think early about your transition to SSDI and how you will maintain health care coverage until you are eligible for Medicare, and think far ahead about where/how you would like to live.

    Remember, you will likely have many more needs for assistance with aging (eg. home care needs), and will have higher medical bills.

    My father was injured at age 65 (he is now 70), and he was still working full time. His out of pocket medical expenses are many thousands of dollars a year..... and he hasn't been re-admitted to the hospital once or had any major complication. That is just from maintaining the status quo. His accident caused a lot or problems though. And so does aging.

    What we have learned is that the retirement world is certainly not disabled friendly. Aging resources are not knowledgeable about disability, and disability resources don't want to help you if you are older then 60.

    Even if you are fortunate enough to have affordable (!) independent living/assisted living communities near you, they are rarely fully wheelchair accessible. They are also targeted at the very elderly and not someone in their 50's or 60's in a wheelchair who is otherwise healthy. Regardless, the convenience of potentially having assistance with housekeeping, meals, and emergency help is very desirable nonetheless.

    Did I mention they can be incredibly expensive...

    Retirement is expensive if you are used to having an income from working. There are services (home care assistance) and new programs for seniors that vary in each state to keep us out of nursing homes that are underfunded, and only available to those of us who are very poor. For those retirees with savings/retirement pensions.... count yourself incredibly lucky, but they will also make you ineligible for most subsidized/free services. You will need to spend it all. However, in many cities, meals on wheels for seniors and some local transportation assistance options are available for minimal cost, regardless of financial need.

    Think ahead about all options, like retiring closer to family or friends, moving to a major city where there is good health care and many doctors willing to take Medicare patients, moving to a place with better climate (falling on the ice in winter at the age of 70 is much more life threatening then falling at the age of 50) -- all worth considering.

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    If medical costs are outrageous and climbing, it seems that I'll spend down my meager assets and eventually be destitute and relying entirely on government assistance. If that's the case, why save now?

    I read on here that many members advocate shielding/hiding assets including keeping cash out of bank accounts or titling property into relatives' names, which just seems sketchy.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Justus View Post
    If medical costs are outrageous and climbing, it seems that I'll spend down my meager assets and eventually be destitute and relying entirely on government assistance. If that's the case, why save now?

    I read on here that many members advocate shielding/hiding assets including keeping cash out of bank accounts or titling property into relatives' names, which just seems sketchy.
    My wife was hospitalized 150 days about 3 years back. The best thing you can do to avoid bankruptcy due to medical costs is to be a strong advocate for Medicare. My wife was hospitalized almost to the point of Medicare exhaustion. Had we run out of Medicare we would have begun to use our personal savings to cover medical costs, once savings were depleted she would have been Medicaid eligible. I consulted with 2 lawyers regarding shielding our assets, didn't seem practical for us because we do not have kids who could shelter the funds. There is also a look back period for Medicaid - they look at fund transfers to see if you have transferred funds in the recernt past.

    My wife and I are both wheelchair users. We maxed out IRA contributions for decades placing funds in conservative investments. Over time it really paid off. Stay as fit as you can throughout your life but safeguard shoulders. Even AB seniors fall prey to the problems that go with old age. If you have to exhaust your savings paying for medical care it's just part of the good fortune of being alive.

  10. #10
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    just wanted to say this is a very good thread
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

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