Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

horsewoman wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:59 pm
I don't have much to add to the discussion, but I liked your music related metaphors! Maybe life is like a song, there is an intro and an outro, and in between verses, bridges and choruses happen, plus a few breaks. Some stay in one key with 4 chords, which is not necessarily a bad thing - there are plenty of great songs like this. Others are more adventurous, with key changes or unconventional chord progressions...
Thanks, horsewoman. I've always been partial to music with a strong outro> Let's hope I manage the same.

Jason
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by Jason »

Like Layla. But in a non-Scorsese way.

DutchGirl
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by DutchGirl »

IlliniDave wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:32 am
Subtract a few more ere merit badges from my sash. I've decided to pay the boys across the street to do my mowing this June through September. Like riding around town with $850 and every block or so tossing a twenty out the window until it's gone, just because I can. What I'm telling myself is that I can use the time normally consumed by the mowing ritual for other tasks related to getting the property ready to sell. I'm skeptical that's how it will work out.
Maybe it will. We have a cleaner who comes in once every two weeks. Whenever she is here and working hard, I am also working hard. It's the guilt of having someone else sweat for you that makes me do some decent work myself (either sorting & cleaning up some of our stuff, or doing some work-work that I had been postponing). So maybe whenever those boys come around to do your yard, you'll be motivated to do something useful yourself, as well.
IlliniDave wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:32 am
I would apologize for so much pointless rambling, but I guess that's the nature of journals sometimes, and it's not like this thread is required reading. For those of you patient enough to bear with me--thanks. One could argue it's pretty lame to lean on online acquaintances during the cloudy stretches, yet here I am.
Now imagine that it's required reading for a 22nd century's virtual classroom. But anyway... I'm reading this with a nice cup of coffee next to me, and I like it. I like your stories, and the mixture of the mundane and the more philosophical. Keep it up :-)

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

DutchGirl wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:12 am
Maybe it will. We have a cleaner who comes in once every two weeks. Whenever she is here and working hard, I am also working hard. It's the guilt of having someone else sweat for you that makes me do some decent work myself (either sorting & cleaning up some of our stuff, or doing some work-work that I had been postponing). So maybe whenever those boys come around to do your yard, you'll be motivated to do something useful yourself, as well.
That does tend to happen. Even when it is a repairman or the like, someone doing something requiring skills I don't have, I'm uncharacteristically productive while they are there. I'm also the type of person who would clean my house the day before a housekeeper is scheduled to come. So having a regular housekeeper would be far too much work. :)

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

May Summary

As of Monday's close the stash balance was a pinch above what it was on 01/01/20, so YTD losses and new contributions have canceled each other out. It feels like fool's gold, but if it spends ...

If I segregate the heat pump replacement, spending was okay in that it was below my future desired spending average. With the heat pump it was the third-highest spending month on record (records go back only to 2012ish), number 1 being the month I bought the cabin, and number 2 the month I paid the bill for some "updating" to two of my bathrooms in the wake of a major plumbing issue.

I have a goal of knocking out one major item on the getting ready to sell the house list. May was the HVAC. I think this month will be exterior painting and spot repairs. Due to my dislike of heights it'll be a hire out job.

Things with my dad are going very poorly right now, so much so that the selfish part of me wants to back out of the idea of moving back up to Illinois. The issue isn't his health or anything, it's his ongoing relationship with my deadbeat nephew which has entered a realm I consider dangerous. About a year ago DBN moved to Arizona to be closer to his kids (unfortunately, having kids is not governed by meritocracy). We all hoped the distance would make adulting easier than mooching from a couple thousand miles away, but nope (and we all knew it was a false hope, but hope is a decent temporary salve to get one through to the next day).

Won't go into all the details, but to give some idea by example of the magnitude it's reached, in the process of him borrowing !!! $49 freaking K !!! to buy DBN a new vehicle (because the last 3 used vehicles he bought for DBN didn't suit all his "needs"), to facilitate the out-of-state transaction, he signed PoA over to DBN. Permanently. All this while he (Dad) is neglecting his vineyard because he "can't afford" to get a service engine light checked out on his old truck and is afraid to drive it the 15ish miles out of town to the property.

I've figured some things out.

First, this is some sort of holy/ideological crusade for my dad. Like the famous line from the movie Blues Brothers, he believes he's "on a mission from God". He won't state it so bluntly, but he's said enough around the edges I'm certain of it.

Second, his funneling money to DBN was a much bigger power struggle between my parents than I appreciated, and even though Mom's deceased, he hasn't let go of his dug-in power struggle mentality. He was habituated to being the weaker party in that struggle. His instinct is to do the opposite of what adults around him urge/suggest and has basically behaved like a toddler in that domain for the last 20 years. I always thought my mom's infrequent complaints were a bit overstated the way you sometimes see with long-married couples, but she was understating the situation and was quietly (and heroically, IMO) keeping his impulses in check. Without her, his finances have been in a steady downward spiral despite having a really good income.

Third, at the core Dad's every bit as much of a walking ball of catastrophe as DBN. In manifests different in him, but he has an inherent inability to make the right choice at any given juncture. It's not a 50/50 coin toss thing, it's probably 5/95 against making the better forward-looking decision. Again, props to my dearly departed mother for muscling him along a respectable path for 55 years. He must take after his dad, my grandfather, who from what I've gleaned from older family who knew him, was simply wired to fail at life despite being a kindly and well-meaning man.

So basically, the situation is what it is. I can't go be the savior (last role I'd ever want), or even a credible caretaker until it comes to the final butt-wiping stage. And selfishly I really don't want to have to watch it play out from a front row seat being powerless to do anything about it. Now I find myself considering other options for my home base so he can self-destruct in peace, which is what he seems to want now that Mom's not around to deny him that impulse.

And I sound disrespectful. On some level that is true, but heartbroken is more accurate overall.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

My busybody take is that you are better off living closer to your daughters and grandkids anyways. Just zip up to your cabin for the season.

OTOH, I am pretty damn incensed about your DBN’s behavior, because moochers like him give moochers like me a bad rep. It’s kind of like how you should do no irreparable harm when you camp in the forest. Taking gift of $49,000 vehicle from somebody who barely affords broken down truck himself is wrong. Taking gift of used bicycle from somebody who drives $49,000 vehicle himself is either pretty harmless or somewhat beneficial if it also encourages him to do more bike riding.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

Don't worry, you and he are nothing alike. He doesn't just accept gifts, he lies and manipulates to get them.

Unfortunately, my hometown is very close to being equidistant (by drive time) between the hideout and my daughters/grandkids, plus other family nearby. A midpoint between my daughters is kinda the middle of nowhere relative to where I have a strong desire to be. Probably north central Tennessee or south central Kentucky. Nice enough area though so maybe worth considering.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I have a friend whose young adult son is like that and also quite violent. Took her years of therapy to get clear of need to “help.”

I am stuck in similar ultimate retirement location triangulation puzzle. I would love to be close to my kids but that also puts me too close to my mother relative to locations of my other sisters who already owe me big time on Mom duty.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:06 pm
I have a friend whose young adult son is like that and also quite violent. Took her years of therapy to get clear of need to “help.”

I am stuck in similar ultimate retirement location triangulation puzzle. I would love to be close to my kids but that also puts me too close to my mother relative to locations of my other sisters who already owe me big time on Mom duty.
At 81 this month I don't think my dad has years of therapy in his future. Some of this I think is avoidance on his part. From what I head DBN throws hissy fits and gets verbally nasty when he's told 'no' or otherwise thwarted. My youngest sister (his mother) won't intervene because she's somewhat high strung emotionally and his temper tantrums upset her and unfortunately, from what I hear, will send her off on a drinking binge. My dad was also estranged from his father because of his father's alcoholism. Apparently not long before he died he called my dad looking for some sort of help (a fairly regular occurrence) with transportation and money. At the time they had me at < 1 yr old, my mom pregnant with my sister, my and my dad just a couple months into a new job in Chicago. Whatever the situation was would have required my dad to be away a couple days, which he couldn't really do on a moment's notice. I don't think they spoke again before my grandfather died. I believe my dad carries a lot of guilt over that, and is trying to compensate by never refusing DBN. Too much to try to unpack while he's dead set on being a white knight.

It doesn't really bother me that the lion's share of the looking-after would fall to me. I guess at this point I arguably owe my siblings, but there hasn't been a lot of heavy lifting required yet. This situation with DBN eats away at me, and I suppose I'm resistant knowing most of the things I'd be inclined to help him with (keeping the vineyard going, getting caught up with a growing list of deferred home maintenance, helping him refine his homemaker skills, etc.) are obe because he's up to his eyeballs in debt and living hand-to-mouth. I don't really want to give up a big chunk of my outro just help him take care of 30-something DBN. Maybe if he'd have been helping all his grandchildren, including my kids, I'd be a little more sympathetic.

On some lighter subjects, the stash as of this morning is at it's new peak, and even though some of my individual equity funds are still a little down for the year, apparently some of my market-timing-related sins have put me a little in the black before contributions. As I have been dialing down equity exposure from 2017 through February of this year, and then rebalancing back into equities in March, I've leaned away from large and growth in favor of small and value. Apparently that bought enough extra bounce back to cover residual losses in the larger cap stuff.

I've been hearing some anecdotal reports that the health care folks are seeing a decline in the severity of c19. Apparently it is not unusual for viruses to become more neighborly towards humans.

I still haven't caught up with the specifics, but apparently on Thursday night the local protests got a little ugly. My daughter and SIL have been keeping up via livestreams (I'm thankful they are not taking the kids out to these things) and were all up in arms (figuratively) because the local police used force to disperse the crowd a couple hours after the permit expired, AFAIK, no curfews have been imposed locally, and haven't heard of any looting/vandalism rampages. I guess having observed what's happened in larger cities the strategy here is to maintain order a little more consistently.

Igotgoals
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by Igotgoals »

Gosh Dave. What a mess with your Dad.

I think you've thought through things pretty logically and see the probable outcomes of any action on your part. Which all still leaves you right where you are - upset and angry.

On the other side, that's great that your stash is at a new peak.
I'm still under where I was but that's probably because I panic sold a big chunk, putting my stock market index fund into a MMkt.
Certainly not at the bottom, you ask? Well.....not quite, I answer.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

Hey Igotgoals. Good to hear from you. Yeah, it so many ways it is what it is, and accepting things for what they are is step two in making peace with it. Unfortunately had another body blow this weekend. My aunt whom I consider the only other empowered "adult in the room" in my more immediate family shared news of receiving a terminal diagnosis (maybe not imminent, "luckily", but it's not something that gets better over time). So as the illness progresses I'll ultimately be acting in PoA role for her, taking over as guardian for my special needs uncle which includes being trustee of his trust fund, and all that together will put me "in charge" of the farm property we all inherited from my grandfather. I knew a lot of that stuff was coming some day, but hoped things would arrive more slowly and be more spread out. Even once I step away from career it may be a while before I have any serious opportunity for leisure pursuits.

On the good news side my dad is supposed to sign a new PoA Wednesday. My sister consulted our uncle, his brother, who is a retired attorney, and apparently some prodding from a peer, rather than a "child", has convinced him to mitigate some of the damage.

I don't blame anyone for bailing, even near the bottom of the market. There was more going on than what met the eye on this one I believe. Sleeping well at night is a cornerstone to long-term viability of a plan. Things are still fluid and by the time it all plays out you might be the one that winds up ahead and me down a little.

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jennypenny
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by jennypenny »

I'm always amazed at stories like your dad/DBN because I'm not inclined to hand out money like your dad and I'd never take money like your DBN. I can't relate and I'm not sure how I'd react.

That said, you're being nicer than I probably would be ... I think I would have cut the ties between my dad and nephew permanently, even if I had to do it with a chain saw. ;)

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

Jennypenny, I'm the same in the sense that I can't readily see myself participating on either side of the situation. Makes efforts to "talk sense into" anyone ineffective. I don't know how nice I really am. Wanting the situation resolve amicably is covered by self interest. I also rank individual liberty/sovereignty pretty high up on my value hierarchy, and that blade cuts in both directions. Few people are going to actualize their liberty in line with how I'd want them to behave.

And, it may yet come to the chainsaw metaphor. :)

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

Yesterday I requested a "retirement package" from my employer. It's a non-binding thing that your supposed to do during the six months prior to your retirement date, so I'll have to do it again sometime in October. It's the only way to get the lowdown on retiree options that is not couched as an estimate or accompanied by CYA caveats.

I mentioned elsewhere that I was caught off guard by the inflation of medical insurance premiums between 2018/2019 and 2020 in both my employer's retiree offerings and ACA. In my planning I more than doubled my estimate for premiums based on taking the worst-case option of the retiree offerings. My employer pre-merger had no operations in my target (or adjacent) counties in Illinois. So they don't have plans tailored to the area in the sense of having a viable local provider network. They have three nationwide plans and I picked the middle one. The most expensive appeared to be for people way off the grid so I don't think I'd need that one, which is good because it would be 3X my planning bogey.

There are some fine points to work through. I'll be spending more than half the year at home base in Illinois, but hopefully something between 4-6 months up at the hideout. Based on my present understanding that would potentially exclude any ACA options, as it seems with those, once you step foot outside your county, should something happen, you could wind up with catastrophic-level expenses and no coverage. There may be some way to augment ACA with a catastrophic plan, and there are probably straight commercial options that might represent competitive options until they dump me for being to risky. Luckily I can move in-and-out of the retiree plans anually any time until I get to Medicare age.

One homework assignment is to roll up sleeves and research medical insurance in detail.

A second homework assignment is to put together a more detailed retirement budget estimate. The leap in premiums blew up my older estimate. I'm similarly concerned I might have misestimated the amount my property taxes will go up. One of the things I've talked about with my aunt is buying her house from her as she's starting to look at when to sell it and transition to assisted living due to her newly diagnosed pulmonary fibrosis. It's on the high side of my budget but has some extraordinary qualities that I like--and I can get some pretty reliable data on property in that range regarding taxes and utilities.

But property taxes and utilities are a little bit adjustable, it's the medical insurance unknowns that now have me wringing my hands a little bit.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

@c_L is my go-to for ACA questions. County sounds fishy, state definitely. Health insurance in the US is a mess, don't let it ruin an otherwise solid retirement plan.

George the original one
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by George the original one »

When estimating your medical insurance premiums, don't forget to check them at various ages. Insurance premiums typically double between age 50 and age 60 due to your age, even before factoring the normal inflationary increases.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by classical_Liberal »

@Idave
Consider an ACA plan plus a healthshare. Healthshares are relatively inexpensive because they won't cover pre existing conditions or most meds. That doesn't really matter because in a nonemergency pinch you can go back home and use your ACA in network. However, they have absolutely no network, so if you get hit with balance billing for out of network care in an emergency, you have coverage. I have a $75 mo plan with the equivalent of a $5000 deductible with up to 250K in coverage per event, the monthly cost does not go up with age, but adjusts based on actual healthshare payouts in totality to remain solvent.

FYI all the major healthshares are religious based, so if you're anti-religious organizations it's not a good option. This only impacts your coverage in that if you do something considered against their principles (like drink through your liver) they won't cover you. They do specifically state what is not covered on those grounds though.

Another option, although a PITA and tedious, is that "moving" constitutes as a Qualifying Life Event. This means you can change your coverage mid year. So theoretically you can change coverage in the summers to MN and back to home in the winters.

As I'm sure you're aware, but would be negligent if I don't point it out. Lower MAGI's gets you huge ACA subsidies. Any tax games that help with subsidies are a must. This even may mean going against some of the "normal" withdrawal advice. For example, normally a roth would be the last account you draw down, however, roth drawdowns don't impact MAGI... so it may be in your best interest to take advantage of that before medicare kicks in at 65. But you'd have to do some serious personal math to determine if it's worth it. On the other end, roth conversions do count towards MAGI, so if income is on the low end an keeps you out of ACA land, it's better to increase your MAGI with conversions to a roth to a max subsidy level. From what I know of your situation it's more likely the former may be more important than the latter in your case.

Edited to add:
Some states do have balance billing protections. If you are going to spend almost all of your time in only two states, maybe look up the specific state laws regarding balance billing protection. MN is pretty progressive and may be one of those states. Then you can determine which state to make your home address based on those protections vs tax implications, etc.

Edited again: In rereading I realized I didn't define "balance billing". This is how you get screwed in out-of-network care in ACA plans. If you're not familiar, read up on that first.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:25 pm
@c_L is my go-to for ACA questions. County sounds fishy, state definitely. Health insurance in the US is a mess, don't let it ruin an otherwise solid retirement plan.
I maybe be guilty of some hyperbole. But in the world of ACA, plans are offered by county. Presumably that means within the county the insurer has a sufficient network of providers. In a different county, even in the same state, the insurer may not offer plans and therefore may not have network providers. And yes, as you start going between states it becomes even more disjoint as the state regulation of both insurance and medical care differs.

I'm still hopeful I'll find more reasonable options. When I started all this ~10 years ago I had a flippant attitude that I'm pretty healthy and for the post-work, pre-Medicare window odds are low I'll encounter potentially devastating health issues so I can supplement a substandard medical insurance situation by "self-insuring". A decade later I feel my mortality a little more keenly, and feel a little less bullet-proof.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

George the original one wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:39 pm
When estimating your medical insurance premiums, don't forget to check them at various ages. Insurance premiums typically double between age 50 and age 60 due to your age, even before factoring the normal inflationary increases.
Regarding my employer's retiree plans that's not an issue. Everyone buying in is by definition between 55 and 65 (spouses and covered dependents could be younger) and the rates by coverage type of any given plan are uniform irrespective of age. The main variable in the plans' pricing seems to be location.

I thought with ACA over/under 50 was the age demarcation, but I might be wrong or it could have changed. It could explain some of the inflation over the last 2-4 years. But I have been over 50 the whole time.

The "private" market is another matter. Seems getting rid of the individual mandate a couple years ago has caused it to rebound, but I'm not sure what the status of it is relative to preexisting conditions and how readily they can dump you if there's good reason to think that in the future you'll like pull more out than you pay in. When looking at plans they tend to want to know your birth date rather than just asking if you are over 50 or under. Could be a steady upward march in premiums with those.

IlliniDave
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Re: Phase III - Deja Vu All Over Again

Post by IlliniDave »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:32 pm
@Idave
Consider ...
Thanks, cL. I'll respond to this in more detail later when I have more time. I'll open by saying thanks for the generosity in providing lot of information. I'm happy to have a handle (balance billing) by which to refer to the hole I detected in ACA. I knew it couldn't be a new discovery on my part, but I don't recall ever having encountered much discussion of it.

I sort of screwed myself when it comes to subsidies by opting to stick around until I qualified for an actuarially "fair" early pension. The bump in the monthly amount was about 3X what I thought I could wrangle out of subsidies (even having an "unfair" early pension left me without much room to work with), so it seemed like a good idea at the time. I do have the option to delay staring the pension, but have a hard time being comfortable with spending money I know I have now and trusting it will be replaced by money someone else promises me later, especially in an era when you'd get a bazillion hits if you googled "pension crisis". But if it came to that I've got a pretty good dollop in taxable assets (including cash) within the stash, so I have tools to engineer my AGI.

More later ...

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