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Growing old in the US of A

Growing old in the US of A

Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:08 pm
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Default Growing old in the US of A

I'm wondering what some of you long timers living in the US think about growing old here. Reason I ask is I see a common theme in some threads where people seem to think that growing old here in the US would be a bad thing. I broached this subject with my hubbie last night, who is a USC, he seemed to think opposite.

So, why exactly do some residents of this board think that growing old here is going to be awful? Not a critisism, I'm just curious.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Leeds_Lass View Post
I'm wondering what some of you long timers living in the US think about growing old here. Reason I ask is I see a common theme in some threads where people seem to think that growing old here in the US would be a bad thing. I broached this subject with my hubbie last night, who is a USC, he seemed to think opposite.

So, why exactly do some residents of this board think that growing old here is going to be awful? Not a critisism, I'm just curious.
Healthcare, for a start...
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Healthcare, for a start...
Healthcare, absolutely. I have many retired friends here who are struggling desperately, even after the Medicare Part D changes.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

But what exactly about healthcare? Lack of? We talked and his argument was that there is medicare (medicaid?) and good health insurance plans for seniors, however my argument was that's all good but what happens if you get really ill and need $2k a days's worth of pills and medicines. Will medicare/insurance cover it? At least in the UK we have the NHS, it may have it's waiting lists but at least the care is there.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Healthcare, for a start...
Ditto!

Where we are, we don't exactly relish the idea of shovelling snow in Winter, either. And I never want to end up in an assisted living place. We also want a climate where it's more amenable to being more active outside. But that's more to do with our location in the US. Also don't like being in a country that bullies other countries and threatens them. So we're outta here!
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Leeds_Lass View Post
But what exactly about healthcare? Lack of? We talked and his argument was that there is medicare (medicaid?) and good health insurance plans for seniors, however my argument was that's all good but what happens if you get really ill and need $2k a days's worth of pills and medicines. Will medicare/insurance cover it? At least in the UK we have the NHS, it may have it's waiting lists but at least the care is there.
From what I understand from my friends, Part D is very complicated & covers a lot but not everything. For example, a friend of mine has Lyme Disease & her meds costs hundreds a week but most are not covered. She is often house bound because of the illness & cannot work.

We had a guy come to us last week - retired - looking for PT work to help pay for his wife's arthritis drugs. She's crippled with the pain but can't get all that she needs.

I agree with your OH that healthcare here can be great & very advanced - IF you can afford it & have a good policy in place. I agree with you though - the NHS could be crap & although we paid through taxes, if you were sick & out of work/ retired, you weren't penalized for it.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

US social security cheques are generally bigger than UK State pension. Goes by how much you have paid in the US. If you pay in for a good number of years, you'll likely get double what you would get in UK. Out of that you can pay for MediGap, which pays the difference between what Medicare pays, and what the bill is.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by danfan View Post

I agree with your OH that healthcare here can be great & very advanced - IF you can afford it & have a good policy in place. I agree with you though - the NHS could be crap & although we paid through taxes, if you were sick & out of work/ retired, you weren't penalized for it.
Also you don't just have to totally rely on the NHS; as long as you don't have a pre-existing condition there is also the option if you wish (and have the funds) to buy additional private 'top up' medical insurance from places like BUPA, PPP etc.

I also plan to leave the US in the next few years and definitely before I'm an old lady....if my son stays in the US then we would come over for visits and get travel insurance but intend to keep our main residence in the UK, which I still consider as 'home'.

Last edited by Englishmum; Mar 14th 2007 at 6:53 pm.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

My brother was here last week, traveled all over the state and came back to tell me that he's not seen poverty on this level in any European country he has traveled to (which is nearly all of them in W.Europe as well as some of the former satelittes).

Come down to Florida and see what old age in the US is all about. 75 and 80 year olds working bagging groceries because they can't afford their Medicare prescriptions.

Imagine being 72 and you're struck down by a major illness. You'd better be a multimillionaire if you want to have the sort of non-worry free life that European retirees have.

As he told me. In Europe, old people travel, they don't sit working till they drop.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
US social security cheques are generally bigger than UK State pension. Goes by how much you have paid in the US. If you pay in for a good number of years, you'll likely get double what you would get in UK. Out of that you can pay for MediGap, which pays the difference between what Medicare pays, and what the bill is.
I believe there is nothing to stop one drawing US social security/pension whilst living in the UK.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

See, I'm worried about getting old here because I hear about how bad it is to be an older person. OH thinks as long as you make the right planning, i.e. good 401k/retirement (which we both have) and good health plan, you will be fine. I think I have a chance at a better qualify of life overall here (with regards to retirement/current healthcare/income etc.) but all the tales about lack of healthcare when retired have me worried about my choice. Sure I might be having a good life now but what happens when I'm old, grey and hobbling on a cane?

It can't be all that bad, or all the old people clogging the roads up down here with their oversized cadillacs would have buggered off, right?
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by TouristTrap View Post
My brother was here last week, traveled all over the state and came back to tell me that he's not seen poverty on this level in any European country he has traveled to (which is nearly all of them in W.Europe as well as some of the former satelittes).

Come down to Florida and see what old age in the US is all about. 75 and 80 year olds working bagging groceries because they can't afford their Medicare prescriptions.

Imagine being 72 and you're struck down by a major illness. You'd better be a multimillionaire if you want to have the sort of non-worry free life that European retirees have.

As he told me. In Europe, old people travel, they don't sit working till they drop.
It is not unusual for elderly folks to be on 15+ prescriptions (arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure and heart meds, osteoporosis etc). Even if they WERE all generic and required only a $10-15 co-pay, this soon adds up. This is something that British pensioners don't even have to think about.

Okay, so they may have to wait 6-12 months for a hip replacement, but how many hip replacements does the average person need in a lifetime? And most people who have worked all their lives could plan for having this done privately if they don't want to wait.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Come down to Florida and see what old age in the US is all about. 75 and 80 year olds working bagging groceries because they can't afford their Medicare prescriptions.
I don't have to come to Florida to see that, half the women working at my local Wal-Mart must be over 70. Which frightens me btw. Not the old women but the working at 70 part. But the way the state pension in the UK is going, would I be better off retiring in the UK? There will be no state pension left when my age group (early 30's) retires, so you'd have to get a bloody good private pension organised anway. Plus, it's not like people in England have it easy if they retire at 65 anyway, my mum's a pensioner and she's not exactly living the life of luxury and taking weekend trips to gay Paris. She's on state pension, no private.

I think that although the UK may have the benefit of the NHS with regards to healthcare, do pensioners still have it rough if you don't go the private pension route? It's a similar situation to in the US, if you don't make the right plans, you're going to struggle.
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 7:06 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Originally Posted by Leeds_Lass View Post
It can't be all that bad, or all the old people clogging the roads up down here with their oversized cadillacs would have buggered off, right?
Buggered off where? Unless they have dual nationality, I cannot see thisd as an option.

Spend an hour or so lurking around a pharmacy counter (especially in a poor neighbourhood), and chances are you will overhear and older person asking the pharmacist which of the drugs that have been prescribed they might be able to "do without"...
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Old Mar 14th 2007, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Growing old in the US of A

Yes, you do see a load of pensioners driving down in their massive RV's, etc. But, all it takes is one big illness and they can kiss goodbye to that financial freedom.

But, you also see dozens of magazine articles of them moving to Costa Rica/Panama, etc..by their thousands because they can't afford healthcare here.

And, it is getting worse, not better.
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