8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2013 9:17 PM by smaneck

    Living outside US

    NKNORKA
      If one is living outside US would medicare be worth having? I am currently covered by my employer, but at retirement am considering moving to Ecuador.
        • Re: Living outside US
          katydoes
          NKNORKA said...
          If one is living outside US would medicare be worth having? I am currently covered by my employer, but at retirement am considering moving to Ecuador.
          Good question - I had actually been asking myself that in relation to all those states that had a lot of people signing petitions to secede from the Union after the 2012 elections; i.e., would the US honor their Medicare since they had been paying into it. I guess the serious answer would be: are you planning to get all your healthcare in Ecuardorean hospitals and clinics? A lot of ex-pats fly back to the US. Maybe you'll get lucky and never develop any serious illnesses but it bears thinking about!
          • Re: Living outside US
            smaneck
            NKNORKA said...
            If one is living outside US would medicare be worth having? I am currently covered by my employer, but at retirement am considering moving to Ecuador.
            You'd want to keep your basic Medicare  just in case you need to fly back for some treatment you can't get in Ecuador (though I understand medical care is very good and cheap there.) You might not need a supplemental policy, however. A health insurance policy in Ecuador is only about $80 month. 
            • Re: Living outside US
              jkom51
              NKNORKA said...
              If one is living outside US would medicare be worth having? I am currently covered by my employer, but at retirement am considering moving to Ecuador.
              Not if you move to Ecuador and never come back. You'd be paying for something you get no use out of.
               
              The issue is...are you sure about living permanently outside the US? You have two options:
               
              1) Sign up for Medicare and pay the premiums for Part B even though you're living abroad.
               
              2) Don't sign up, move abroad. Those US $$ are worth a lot more in Ecuador, but....
              - If you come back, you'll pay the 10% per year additional assessment. Permanently.
               
              Now - yes, you could come back, pay the penalty, get US healthcare, then leave again. But why? If you have a serious illness or need prolonged critical care, Medicare does not always pay all the bills. In fact, with its finances being drained so rapidly, it is very likely they will be paying less going forward. Even now, on average, when TOTAL medical expenses are considered including end-of-life care, Medicare pays less than 55% of that total.
               
              Have you investigated the healthcare options in the area of Ecuador you are thinking of moving to? For almost everyone in Central and South America, whenever critical care is needed, they fly to Cuba. Cuba has excellent quality critical care; it's foreign money that helps keep their economy afloat. The prices are ridiculously low in comparison to the US; you just have to fly there.
               
              As long as you speak Spanish with reasonable fluency, you shouldn't have any real issues letting go of Medicare.
               
              When it comes to people "demanding their money back" if their state secedes, I find it astonishing how little people seem to understand how Medicare and Social Security work. They have ALWAYS been a 'pay as you go' system. The current taxpayers are paying for those who are retired and using those services.
               
              When you retire, it will be the younger workers whose taxes are paying for most of Medicare and SocSecurity. What retirees are paying for Medicare is a very, very small contribution to paying overall elderly medical costs.
               
               
                • Re: Living outside US
                  MrBags
                   You are correct about current  workers  paying for the retired. As one advisor once quiped if I tried to sell you a program like SS/Medicare and you shot and killed me and then claimed you were protecting yourself from a would be robbery there is no jury that would ever convict My wife and I have paid in well over$350000.00- All of which was fully TAXED -over our working lives  THIS TOTAL DOES NOT INCLUDE compoud interest for  some 50 years At full retirement we will get back approx $3500.00 per month as long as both of us stay alive-all taxed again Two points SS/Medicare is hardly a bargain -AND CERTAINLY IS NO Entitlement
                    • Re: Living outside US
                      jkom51
                      My father was disabled from Parkinson's while still in his prime. In those days there was very little they could do for you. He was bedridden within 10 years but lived another 15 yrs, cared for by an older sister.
                       
                      We talk so much about the horrors of dementia these days. Let me assure you that it is so much more horrible to have a brilliant mind trapped within a body that cannot move, speak, or feed itself.
                       
                      He lived on SocSec disability although he would have gotten more from welfare. I don't begrudge the payments to him or anyone else from my wages.
                       
                      Some might not care about seeing people die in the gutters. I do. Simple as that.
                      • Re: Living outside US
                        smaneck
                        I don't resent a dime I put into Social Security or Medicare either. My father was in a terrible accident when I was a kid and it was Social Security, which at the time  paid minors until they were 22 as long as they were in school, which put me through college. You'd have to earn an awful lot to have contributed 350K to Social Security. I believe I've only contributed about 70K in my lifetime. Let's say it reaches 100K before I retire (which is unlikely). If I put that in a annuity I could expect only about 3K a year, not 12-24K I will get on Social Security depending on when I retire.
                        Because of Social Security I feel free to invest the rest of my retirement funds more aggressively.  
                    • Re: Living outside US
                      cyber888
                      My wife and I plan a 2-stage retirement.  First stage will be here in the US, and 2nd stage is we will return to the Philippines where we have family - Everyone speaks English in the Philippines.  Tim Tebow was born in in the Philippines.    Living abroad will help you cut your expenses by at least 50-70%. during retirement.   Medical insurance is cheap in the Philippines and also has world-class doctors in metropolitan areas like Manila and Cebu.