Happy Third Anniversary on Retirement, Oh and more Healthcare 6

Looking on my calendar on June 21st I realized, my third retirement anniversary on June 18th had come an gone. As a Financial blogger and early successful retiree that date should have been marked prominently, instead it just past by.

Maybe it’s because after a while it looses it’s significance. Maybe, its because the 18th was father’s day and my mind was occupied with lovely, meaningful crafts from my children. Maybe it was because I was equally occupied, chewing on the left side of my mouth because of a filling place the day prior had gone wrong.

It now turns out the filling hadn’t gone wrong but while filling it, the tooth next to it got cracked. A cracked tooth that now has gone through the full root canal treatment which midway resulted in a flareup culminating in an unprecedented migraine that landed me in the emergency room. A cracked tooth that now needs a crown.  As you can imagine, the cost is adding up. A heated debate with my dentist as to why I’m paying full price as the tooth cracked while under sedation lead nowhere other than me probably looking out for another dentist.

His argument of “every filled tooth is waiting to crack” didn’t fly with me. That like the tree cutter telling you “the roof needed replacement sooner or later” after accidentally dropping a tree on it and sticking you with the bill.

Anyways. The root canal was $760, the crown is quoted at $1,400 and I have no clue what the ER is going to charge me (probably more then the root canal and crown together).

All of this brings me to the hot topic of today (for many of us) which is healthcare and the abdominal coverage we get for it. In generally all western countries a family budget is ranked like this:

  1. Mortgage/rent
  2. groceries
  3. Utilities
  4. insurance
  5. the rest

In the States for many it looks like:

  1. Mortgage/rent
  2. Health Insurance
  3. Medical Expense
  4. Utilities
  5. rest of insurance
  6. the rest

Depending on your coverage Health Insurance/Medical Expense spots 2 and 3 on the list may actually flip. The mere fact that items 2 and 3 co-exist is even ludicrous. People in Europe are bitching and whining about a $300 maximum deductible, whereas we are dealing with a $6,700/13,300 individual/family deductible. That is on top of the approximate $7,000 in premiums we pay (After ACA credits).

All of this sucks and is inhumane and it’s going to get even more inhumane once the pre-existing condition clause has been removed or watered down. If you’re going to comment with the counter of the $8 billion to cover that gap, I probably won’t approve it. The money needed to cover Type 1 Diabetics (like my son) in the US will run about 2 times that amount. That would represent one pre-existing condition out of how many (hundreds)?

Back to my 3 year retirement as of the 18th. I shouldn’t complain (I just can’t help it). I can recommend early retirement to anyone (here’s how you do it in a nutshell). With it came the opportunity to do the things I love. I still keep busy all day doing the things that really interest me. I get to spend oodles of time with the family and the rest is spent with my hobby of building the ultimate 3D printer one can build in a basement. I even started a blog on that topic at Core3d.tech. Early retirement comes with FREEDOM (if we forget the yoke of healthcare cost we live under).

My advise to you however is: be prepared. Many of us retirees will be past our 40s (barring the few more ambitious). Evolution never meant for our bodies to live beyond 40. Things will break and possibly brake bad and often. Prepare to spend 20% of your budget on healthcare issues. If they don’t happen great, but when they do, you’ll be glad you did.


Good luck reaching your financial goals.





About Maarten van Lier

Maarten came to this country with a suitcase and a diploma. He created a financial plan and goal to become a millionaire in 10 years. He successfully turned his financial goals into reality, wrote a book about it and now blogs actively in hope of inspiring other to do the same.

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6 thoughts on “Happy Third Anniversary on Retirement, Oh and more Healthcare

  • Mrs. Groovy

    Happy anniversary! With your insurance issues, the fact that you STILL recommend early retirement is a testament to early retirement!

    I’m so sorry about your teeth. I can totally relate. Even when we had employer covered dental insurance we spent so much money on teeth. Root canals, crowns, dental implants. If needed, Mr. Groovy and I will go to Thailand or Mexico for dental work. I read about a place in Mexico referred to as Molar City. I believe Steve from Think, Save, Retire and his wife get their dental work in Mexico and The Frugal Vagabond has written about his excellent experiences in Thailand.

    Even if your dentist’s theory is correct about “every filled tooth” he should be willing to compromise, at least, and give you a much reduced rate. It happened under his watch. I would stay on him until he gets so sick of hearing from you that he relents. And yes, I’d still be looking for a new dentist because his response was a wise-crack and not a compassionate explanation.

    • Maarten van Lier

      Thanks, I have to admit it is mainly due to the current stock market that retirement is still in shape (won’t go as far as calling it in great shape).

      I was thinking exactly the same about treatment elsewhere. What if went to Thailand and got all my teeth crowned (which is basically what my dentist recommended). I’m sure I’d save thousands. Not sure about how the after care would work. Still something worth looking into.

  • Mr. Groovy

    Hey, Maarten. I hear ya about healthcare. If you tried, I don’t think you could come up with a more inefficient and costly system. If I had my druthers, I would have Medicare for the uninsurable (the elderly and people with diabetes, for instance). For everyone else, I would have price transparency (i.e., competition), HSAs for small bills, and catastrophic health insurance for large bills. Were making this way too complicated. But then again, I’m just a little old country blogger. So what the heck do I know? Congratulations on three years of blogging, my friend. I love your take on early retirement.

    • Maarten van Lier Post author

      Thanks. I can see how my kid with diabetes is not profitable for an insurance company. Ironically, with my deductible, if they allowed me to buy drugs from Canada we would be profitable to them again. As healthcare (in my opinion) is an human right and not a privilege, the government should step in and cover this. I also think government should step in on all other matters healthcare in the form of assigning price/profit limitations (clearly not handling it, they seem to suck at that).

      I know not this is not very capitalistic but then again, capitalism and human life/health have conflicting interests.

      Back in Europe (and Canada and most other developed nations), Merck, Eli Lilly and many others are selling the same product at much lower prices because government/regulation there make them do so. Do they stop selling there? No, because they still make profit. Huge profits will be chased when possible of course, but no business will walk away from profit, even when it comes in small packages.

      Even the insurance companies in Europe (yes they do have profitable insurance companies) are allowed to profit, just not unlimited. Any profit above x% is to go back to premium payers.

      Anyways, my 2 cents.