Saturday, December 18, 2010

Health Insurance

This is a subject that will take some time. My first postings will deal with issues facing older fathers who are under age 65. If you remain employed and have an employer who offers a full family plan, there are no issues to discuss. On the other hand, if you are self employed or work for a small employer where age rated premiums may apply, you do have some things to consider.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where to retire (continued)?

If your kids are beyond being kids and are ready for high school, the perfect match is San Diego and Canyon Crest Academy

For a New Englander and Red Sox fan this sounds even more perfect when you look at a map because the high school is just off the Ted Williams Freeway.

I've never been to San Diego, and I spent one day 20 years ago in Jacksonville. But now I've got some ideas that could at least turn into plans for a vacation.

Another way to research the dual criteria of retirement nirvana and good schools is to identify with your spouse and family where you would like to move and then search the website to determine whether there are good schools in the community. The site allows you to search elementary, middle, and high schools in just about any community in the United States.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where to retire?

There are many of us who are happy where we are. There are others who are ready to get away. And there are others (like me) who are thinking about it.

There is not a week that goes by that one popular website or another doesn't publish a list of the best places to retire. Less frequently, we will see reports on the best schools in the country. For most of us with limited retirement income, we need both features. And a place with good schools is probably also a good place for kids for other reason - an active little league, friends to play with, nearby beaches or swimming. has posted a list of the "100 best places to retire for 2010." has posted a list of the "Top 100 Best Performing Public Schools in the US." I've compared both lists. Surprisingly, there are only two perfect matches. One with a best performing elementary school and one with a best performing high school.

So if your kids are young, the place to move is Jacksonville Beach Florida. The Jacksonville Beach Elementary School is ranked 81st on the best performing school list and Jacksonville is number 49 on the top retirement spots list. The Elementary school is part of the Duval County School system although Jacksonville Beach (obviously closer to the beach than Jacksonville proper) is separately incorporated for municipal services. Take a look at the links. See if it might be right for you.

In my next posting I will report on the high school match. There were no pure matches on middle schools, although there were some close calls which I will also report on later.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Social Security for older fathers

Every year most of us receive notification from the social security administration advising us what our estimated monthly social security benefits will be at age 62, at our normal retirement age (66 or even higher for some of you youngsters), and at age 70. You can also use the social security administration's retirement estimator and calculate it yourself.

For me, it tells me that my monthly benefit at age 62 will be $1,761. At age 66 it will be $2,386. The benefit at age 62 is 75 percent of what it would be at age 66. Also, at age 66 you can continue to earn income without any reduction in social security. At age 62 there will be a reduction in your social security payment after you receive around $13,000 in earned income.

What the retirement estimator does not do for you is tell you what your additional benefit will be to help you support your minor children. The formula (as the social security administration tells you) is complicated. But generally, you will receive a 50 percent bonus for each dependent minor with a maximum bonus for additional children equal to no more than 180 percent of your base benefit. So, for one minor child, I will receive an additional payment of around $880 a month and, for two children, a total additional benefit of as much as $1,400 a month. Those supplemental payments will end when the children turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in high school).

In my circumstances, my kids will be 10 and 11 when I turn 62, so for 8 years I will receive an additional benefit of $1,400 a month (almost $17,000 a year) dropping to $800 (in nominal dollars) in the last year. This is something to think about!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am an older father. I am 61. My two sons are 9 and 10. My wife is much younger.

This blog will explore issues older fathers face.

Things like:

* Social Security bonuses.
* Life insurance.
* Health insurance.
* Eligibility for financial aid.
* Places to retire for older fathers with children.
* And simpler but more personal things like how to tell your kids that you are too old (a bad elbow) to pitch batting practice for an hour (or even 15 minutes).