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Early Retirement and Health Insurance

Updated on October 13, 2011

There are people that would like to retire early but do not because of lack of affordable health insurance. Health insurance can be a hindrance to people retiring early. There are some things to consider though before you give up trying, and maybe one of these things can work for your situation.

Normally for people considering early retirement, the focus is on accumulating savings and assets to fund the retirement years. Health care coverage cannot be ignored however. Medicare of course can kick in at 65 years old, but if you retire before 65, what do you do?

Consider the strategies listed here for possible options.

*Obtain Individual Coverage

While obtaining individual coverage can be a costly choice, some still opt for it because the cost for not doing so can be even greater. When looking at different insurances, ask about all the different plans. Some people opt for ones that have a hefty deductible, which makes other costs lower, and they hope they just never need it. The great thing there is that if you should absolutely need it, then it is there in cases of emergency.

* Check to see if your company offers benefits for retirees.

The chance that your company offers retirees benefits may be slim, but it isn't unheard of. You may not know about it unless you ask. It can turn out to be one of the most cost effective options out there if so.

* Consider using COBRA for your Insurance

Sometimes people use this even though it can be expensive. Its one options and may be a good one for those not too far from 65 years old, waiting for medicare to kick in. At the very least compare Cobra against your other options.

* Look into all the other health insurance options you can find

You are more likely to find an insurance that is most suited to your family's particular needs this way, and the cost may be worth it to you to pay. Consider looking into groups and organizations that may have options. Sometimes professional associations and alumni organizations have options you didn't realize, and sometimes they are rather friendly on the pocketbook.

* Save as much as you can, and start soon.

A simple but effective idea that always works. There have been some studies done that show numbers that can be rather discouraging for people around the age of 55, that don't have health insurance, and what costs they could possibly incur. Savings is something great to fall back on, until medicare kicks in at 65 years old.

* Consider getting insurance separately for each spouse, especially if there is an age gap.

People have found that some insurances go with the age of the older person, and the younger person may have been able to obtain a less expensive insurance. So that is a possible savings option. Some recommend putting the name of the younger person on the policy. This ensures the younger person can still use the insurance even when the older one reaches medicare age.

Make sure that if you are even just considering retiring early that you start planning as soon as you can. You may need to put aside much more than you thought, say in your forties. You may have to save about 700 to 1000 dollars a month just for this cost alone, to make sure you are covered for those years. Imagine however, if you didn't save anything, but still needed to come up with that amount then? Its not impossible however.

Do you like the idea of early retirement?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Excellent information.