I completed my taxes this weekend. The two most interesting discoveries of that process is how much less money I made in 2012, how much more I paid in taxes, and that I paid almost $15,000 into my health insurance last year.
I'm bemused by the drop in income. All of it can be attributed to stocks. I've sold off all of my stocks. The reduced income is still comfortable. As I've noted before, my military pension covers all my recurring living expenses.
I don't mind paying more in taxes. I would like to see them applied to things other than building up our military, maintaining bases in other countries, fighting wars, and paying down the national debt. I'm not part of the austerity movement.
Most intriguing to me was the health insurance payments. It's offered through my employer. Most of the costs were to have my wife covered. After seeing that bottom line, I pulled my wife's records and added up all the charges paid by our insurance company. They amounted to less than $1200. It was amusing, too. The 15 grand of health insurance - including dental and vision - didn't cover everything, and didn't cover any of her compounded medicines. We paid for those out of pocket.
My observations to her about the situation caused her to mention an article she read. The article was about one of her favorites subjects, retirement - odd for a person who hasn't worked in thirteen years - and how to tell if you were 'ready' for retirement. That was mostly about money. "Have you saved up enough to cover the unforeseen expenses?"
That's the code for disaster. Most disasters involving aging retired people tend to be health care. I don't know how often it actually happens but the Internet is rife with stories about people declaring bankruptcy and losing everything because of an illness or injury that took all their money. I personally know one person that happened to but one is enough for my wife. So it is that I stay employed to pay $15 K a year for health insurance while I save more for future health issues, all in the name of fear.
The irony is that I didn't go to the doctor for anything last year and my military retirement pension also covers me through Tri Care.
It's a mad world.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com