Healthcare in Retirement

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spartan34
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:52 am

Healthcare in Retirement

Post by spartan34 »

Hey everyone,

U.S citizen here. I'm curious about what people have planned for healthcare in retirement.

Assuming I retire back to America; It seems I won't qualify for Medicare if I am living abroad and claiming the foreign earned income exclusion my entire working life.

Would be nice to get an idea regarding how to plan for this. Especially seeing as US healthcare isn't cheap, and I can imagine will only get more expensive as time goes on.

Thanks for the responses in advance.
shadowjack
Posts: 2119
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by shadowjack »

Marry a foreign national from a rational country and get your citizenship...
Rob
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:07 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by Rob »

I taught overseas for close to 35 years and the rest in the States. I retired in the States in 2014 when I reached 66 (now 74). The last couple overseas schools I taught in contributed to SS and Medicare. That helped, as I qualified for Medicare. You might consider choosing schools that do that. There are a number of good overseas schools that seem to be able to contribute to SS. I did not appreciate that until I was close to retirement. Thinking about this now is good planning.

Rob
sid
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by sid »

Many consider retiring elsewhere, where you can qualify for free medical care or at least afford good insurance. Insurance that excludes care in the US is much more affordable than insurance that includes it.
Residency in the EU is a great option. Marriage is one route, but you can also buy your way into some EU countries by buying a flat as part of a residence scheme. Or work in an EU school towards the end of your career, and earn the right to permanent residency while earning a paycheck. Five years does the trick, if I remember correctly? Or is it 10? And can take you to full citizenship.
Other countries have paid residency schemes that allow access to cheap healthcare. Malaysia is a popular one with its My Second Home scheme.
All options much cheaper for health care than the US, and many also have cheaper costs of living overall, even in the EU (Cyprus, Greece, Spain, the Baltics, etc).
National
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:00 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by National »

You only need 40 quarters (10 years) to qualify in the US. That seems like a lot , but if you worked as a teen and in your early 20s in any job, you might find that you’re not far off from getting the required time in. Then maybe you sub for a few years at the end of your career to qualify. This is if you want to settle in the US. I left the US when I was 27 and had my 40 quarters because I started working when I was 16.
spartan34
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:52 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by spartan34 »

Thank you for your replies guys.


Probably will end up going the EU route later on down the road. I also worked in the US starting at age 14 or 15, until about age 24, so there's a chance I also qualify for the 40 quarters.

I have always considered Portugal as one of my IT stops because of its relative ease to gain citizenship. Although based on my research the schools there aren't anything to ride home about. Does anyone have any idea what teaching in Portugal is like?
National
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:00 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by National »

You can check your eligibility for benefits here: https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.action. You are probably quite close if you started working at 14 or 15.
buffalofan
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:08 pm

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by buffalofan »

All down to your specific situation, there is no catch all plan. I won't qualify for Medicare (barely over half of the required credits and zero desire to work in the US again), but also don't want to retire in US. At this point in my career I have experienced so many countries with better care than the US at a fraction of the price anyway...
Cooldude
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:42 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by Cooldude »

We..ell it is a case of suck it up and go without or pay around US$6-10k a year or go to a nice generous European country.
Rob
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:07 am

Re: Healthcare in Retirement

Post by Rob »

Just be prepared to change your mind many times. I was determined to retire overseas, but ended up retiring in the States. I spend a lot of time traveling (before Covid), but it's good for me to be in my own country after experiencing overseas for nearly 40 years.

You might sat health care in other countries is better than the US. Maybe it is, but for about $350/month I am completely covered medically (even dental). I feel secure with that. That's my own personal opinion.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10434
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

You dont have to return to the US to generate SS credits you can teach remotely anywhere in the world at various US virtual DSs. You could also recycle some of your income as Self Employment income through a company you form. Its expensive though.
Aside from that you want to find a nice EU country by around 50 so that you can get citizenship, and be vested enough to collect a social pension while taking advantage of the social health care scheme.
buffalofan
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:08 pm

Re: Response

Post by buffalofan »

PsyGuy wrote:
> You dont have to return to the US to generate SS credits you can teach
> remotely anywhere in the world at various US virtual DSs. You could also
> recycle some of your income as Self Employment income through a company you
> form. Its expensive though.
> Aside from that you want to find a nice EU country by around 50 so that you
> can get citizenship, and be vested enough to collect a social pension while
> taking advantage of the social health care scheme.

The self employment route is only realistic in very specific situations, I have researched it a bit. For most working expats, going this route is not going to be worth it, as you point out it can get very expensive depending on your situation.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10434
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@buffalofan

I do not disagree, but caution that the primary locus depends on the availability and options the IT has for medical care and their medical issues. If the IT has foreseeable high costs for a medical condition, or multiple conditions and medicare is the only or most likely available coverage than cycling SE tax or income through their own corporation can be at a very modest cost to secure medicare coverage compared to full 100% out of pocket costs.
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