Author Topic: pre-FIRE checklist  (Read 102212 times)

With This Herring

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2017, 07:35:53 PM »
Inspired by this post regarding losing FSA money, make sure you have a plan to use up the remaining balance in your FSA BEFORE you leave your job.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2017, 07:18:49 AM »
Your company (usually big companies) have a contract with Microsoft for their software. Employees can buy Microsoft product thru a "Home Use Program"

A full version of office is just $9.95. There are limits, 1 every year or so.

So, get your software before you FIRE!

http://www.microsofthup.com/hupus/hup.aspx?culture=en-US&WT.mc_id=HUPUS7

AussieCat

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2017, 03:06:42 AM »
This great, obviously some practical differences between countries, but I think the mental health aspects are so important.  We're not even there yet, and I  find myself second guessing and worrying about motives/selfishness/that I'll be lazy and unproductive. The psychology is fascinating!

CloserToFree

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2017, 08:00:53 AM »
Thanks for compiling all this - I'm finding it helpful!

gardenarian

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2017, 04:26:02 PM »
Wow, that seems overwhelming to me! I really didn't do any of this and survived - and thrived!

Exflyboy

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2017, 01:20:54 AM »
Great list!  Thank you for compiling.  I would add:

Implement Income Stream.  Set dividends and capital gains from taxable account to automatically transfer to bank account. 

Oooh!.. I was just thinking about this today in fact.

Here in Oregon we get taxed on all after tax dividends as regular income, no matter if they are Qdivs or not.

As our rental income + this after tax dividend income (which is less than our annual spend)  is subject to State income tax we might as well have this dividend income piped directly to our bank accounts.

tag

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2017, 01:38:27 PM »
Damn this is a helpful thread. Thank you to all who have contributed.

dividendman

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2017, 02:17:23 PM »
Could I ask why you would do this, I'm not extremely familiar with HELOC's but trying to learn the benefits (and any drawbacks) that might apply from this tactic. Thanks!

Just to be clear - what you want to do is set up a HELOC so that you can draw on it in case of emergency, you don't want to actually have a big new loan.  The way mine worked, I got a credit line of $60k but just borrowed 5k.  The rest is still available now even though I retired a couple years ago.

To add here, if you don't own a home you may still want the flexibility of an unsecured line of credit. I'm planning to FIRE in August and got one for 90k. Sure the interest is high (~11%), but it is only to be used in emergencies.

It is very difficult to get these if you're not working.

vatacvalves

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2017, 03:47:26 AM »
the good to share

Clean Shaven

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2018, 04:40:53 PM »
Rereading this as my planned FIRE date approaches...

Another item to perhaps consider:  since I am going to use an ACA health insurance plan that will come with a high deductible, I am considering adding "med pay" (medical payments) coverage to my auto insurance.  I called my insurer, and it's an added cost of about $50/ year for $5,000 limits.  I'm generally healthy and don't use much health care, so my thought is that a car accident is one of the more-likely ways in which I might end up incurring a lot of health care expenses suddenly -- med pay would cover all (or most) of the ACA deductible in that instance.

Just food for thought for anyone in similar pre-FIRE circumstances.

Clara Smith

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #60 on: February 02, 2018, 11:57:03 PM »
Thanks, Exhale,
your list of information was very helpful. I will surely follow your guidance. :)

Pylortes

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2018, 05:12:24 PM »
“Vacation days: Check policy to see how this is paid out when you leave. Use up what you can't cash out.“

Just to add a bit more on this- many companies have a certain day of the month where they grant/allocate vacation or PTO days for that month, so it behooves you to possibly retire right after that date.  For example, my company grants me 18 hours of PTO hours (equivalent to 2.25 days) every month on the 16th for that month.  As such, when picking a retirement date I will almost certainly retire sometime between the 16th and the 31st of the month so I can get a little extra PTO payout. 

pecunia

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #62 on: May 28, 2018, 09:02:45 AM »
Thanks for putting this together.  One of the other posters made a point to tell me that he didn't think I was ready to FIRE.  This will help.

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #63 on: May 28, 2018, 09:26:56 AM »
Thank you to everyone who has added their wisdom and tips. Also, I'm glad to hear that it's been helpful to folks. Gathering all of it together in one place has been useful for me. It's been a great help to see what can be done in advance, deadlines to watch for, etc.

eco mom

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2018, 09:45:15 PM »
A suggestion for under Social Networks or Work...
Ask for LinkedIn (or other written) recommendations from colleagues, and return the favor, in case you should decide to work casually in the future in your field.

K-ice

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2019, 10:33:56 AM »
Done - thank you for the tips. I'm not a home owner so if anyone else has more suggestions, please let me know.

I'm not a renter but a landlord. I don't think anyone answered so I will give it a shot.

You may want to renegotiate your lease. Perhaps lock into a 2y lease if you plan to stay where you are. Double check your roommate policy as if you plan to keep your place but travel more you may want a roommate.

Dibdab

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2019, 04:00:42 AM »
I plan to retire at age 56 end of May pending my house sale.  Signed up for Obamacare silver plan.  However, did not qualify for premium subsidy because I, "can get health insurance through my employer" right now even though I will only make around $22000 this year .  This does not seem right, because I will soon lose that coverage as the document healthcare.gov made me submit from my employer states.  Does anyone know if I can somehow update  my info at healthcare.gov so I would qualify for subsidy  after I finally quit job?

Eurotexan

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2019, 09:17:51 AM »
I’m still a few years away from FIRE but this is great stuff!

One word of caution, be careful when taking work product with you.

- Copy future-useful documents from work computer - Excel templates you created, etc.

 Our employee handbook explicitly prohibits this and there could be legal consequences. The intended purpose of the language is to prevent company information going with employees and to their new jobs at competitors but some legal departments may have a blanket rule, regardless of what the employee does after they leave.

Just want to make sure we can ride into the sunset without being chased by briefcase carrying lawyers!

Threshkin

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #68 on: May 14, 2019, 04:17:30 PM »
I plan to retire at age 56 end of May pending my house sale.  Signed up for Obamacare silver plan.  However, did not qualify for premium subsidy because I, "can get health insurance through my employer" right now even though I will only make around $22000 this year .  This does not seem right, because I will soon lose that coverage as the document healthcare.gov made me submit from my employer states.  Does anyone know if I can somehow update  my info at healthcare.gov so I would qualify for subsidy  after I finally quit job?

ACA Subsidies are tricky to understand.  I had a similar issue.  I initially took COBRA because my FIRE year income was too high to qualify.  Later I wanted to cancel COBRA during open enrollment and move over to ACA.  My income was low enough but if I cancelled COBRA, I would not qualify for subsidies.  I had to wait until it expired naturally and then I could sign up for ACA and get subsidies as at was a qualifying event.  In our case that cost us about an extra $5K in premiums for the year.  Expensive but cheaper than paying for ACA without the subsidies.

Talk to your local ACA advisor.  They might understand the options.

Dibdab

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2019, 07:34:32 AM »
Thanks.  It worked out better calling healthcare.gov than trying to figure out the convoluted questionnaire.  I observe many in my FIRE 2019 cohort with same issue.  Seeing as my FIRE date keeps changing, delayed due to my house sale contingencies it is nice OBAMACARE is flexible so that I can update my enrollment. 

cangelosibrown

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2019, 09:08:25 AM »
Definitely not widely applicable, but alongside getting your professional certifications renewed while still working, make sure you max out any needed Continuing Education requirements for your certification. My company pays for plenty, offers plenty, and has some freely available on the company intranet. For my professional certification, you can roll over CE hours one year. That means that I'm now finishing up hours I need to study in 2020, which means it would be Jan. 2022 before my certification lapses due to lack of Continuing Education.

FIREstache

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2019, 02:12:26 PM »
I initially took COBRA because my FIRE year income was too high to qualify.  Later I wanted to cancel COBRA during open enrollment and move over to ACA.  My income was low enough but if I cancelled COBRA, I would not qualify for subsidies.  I had to wait until it expired naturally and then I could sign up for ACA and get subsidies as at was a qualifying event. 

Interesting.  That's not what I've read previously.  While cancelling COBRA is not a qualifying event, you should have been able to enroll in a marketplace plan during open enrollment and qualify for subsidies that you otherwise meet the requirements for, but you stated you were not able to qualify for subsidies when canceling COBRA even during open enrollment despite having a low enough income.  Also, noted that you stated that you spoke with an advisor who confirmed it.

Some related references or discussion:
https://www.verywellhealth.com/cobra-obamacare-subsidy-1738953
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=202698

Edit: Previous MMM thread on topic:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/getting-aca-coverage/


« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 06:12:05 PM by FIREstache »

pecunia

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2019, 07:35:01 PM »
If you don't qualify for subsidies, is it better to keep COBRA or to get a Marketplace plan?  My employer is providing gold COBRA.  I'm putting money aside to get 18 months of that.  If I go at the end of the year, the ACA thing should be stabilized in 18 months.  Actually, I think there will be legislation to make it better by then.  Both Democratic and Republican constituents of elected officials want this thing fixed. 

Does the bargaining power of employers get better plans than those of the Marketplace?  I think so.

Can they raise the cost of COBRA on anything but a yearly basis?

FIREstache

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #73 on: May 20, 2019, 03:23:18 PM »
If you don't qualify for subsidies, is it better to keep COBRA or to get a Marketplace plan?

That depends on your COBRA plan, and may also depend on whether you actually have to use it.  Through my work, I can get COBRA for much less than a silver plan without subsidies.  And if I actually have to use the insurance, my COBRA plan would have a much lower deductible / out of pocket cost.

pecunia

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #74 on: May 24, 2019, 06:01:08 PM »
Thanks - The COBRA plan is better than I have purchased myself from the marketplace.  I'm quite sure the premium will be higher as my employer told me roughly what he is paying.  I'm thinking to stick with it.

Threshkin

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #75 on: June 13, 2019, 12:22:23 PM »
For us going on COBRA was roughly the same cost as a un-subsidised and roughly equivalent Marketplace plan.  Having literally no change to our healthcare insurance was one less thing to deal with immediately post-FIRE.

But the last year on the COBRA work plan from UHC was a major PIA.  We kept getting billed for preventative items that we had confirmed in advance would be no cost.  Then it would take many months to get them to correct the billing error.  One time we were even threatened with collections for a charge that was under active dispute.  That one took over 10 months of hassle before they credited the entire amount.

Post COBRA we moved over to a Kaiser bronze plan.  It is like night and day.  While we have still gotten billed incorrectly a couple of times it has only taken a single phone call and a couple of days to correct the issue.  Kaiser is also much more proactive and conservative regarding what test and procedures we should have and what are not necessary. 

For example, We recently went in for our annual physicals.  I subsequently received a small bill for the blood draw.  I called them up to ask why and they told me they would investigate.  Two days later I was informed that not only had they corrected that charge but that they had also checked my DW's record and found a couple of incorrect charges that they had also credited.  I had not event received the bills for those visits yet.

Another example:  Last year, I unexpectedly received a colon cancer screening test kit (stool sample) in the mail.  Included with the kit was a letter very clearly stating that this was a preventative test and there would be no charge.  I received it automatically because of my age. 

These are just a couple of examples of the type of customer service we receive from Kaiser.  we are very satisfied customers.

BeanCounter

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #76 on: July 16, 2019, 07:36:44 AM »
The list of things under Health in this post are fantastic. Thank you for pulling this together.

10.5 months to go. I've got a lot of shit to get done on this list!

Roots&Wings

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #77 on: October 28, 2019, 06:59:13 AM »
“Vacation days: Check policy to see how this is paid out when you leave. Use up what you can't cash out.“

Just to add a bit more on this- many companies have a certain day of the month where they grant/allocate vacation or PTO days for that month, so it behooves you to possibly retire right after that date.  For example, my company grants me 18 hours of PTO hours (equivalent to 2.25 days) every month on the 16th for that month.  As such, when picking a retirement date I will almost certainly retire sometime between the 16th and the 31st of the month so I can get a little extra PTO payout.

There was a thread somewhere about running out your vacation time (instead of taking the payout). By running out the time, you get the full value of the payout + employer benefits (e.g. 401k match, healthcare coverage), which can be a better financial decision than taking the payout. Many thanks to original poster of that thread, I hadn't considered run out vs payout previously.

caracarn

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2020, 09:27:42 AM »
Just saw this and think it will come in handy as I head into FIRE in the next decade or so if all stays on track.  Thanks for pulling this together!

Joan-eh?

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #79 on: February 08, 2020, 03:48:02 PM »
following!

thank you for this! what a community and thanks for leadership