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The "R" Word

Discussion in 'Health and Advice' started by jwhouk, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    This kinda doesn't fit in any particular category, but here goes.

    As many of you may or may not know, I work as a Youth Counselor* for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake School in Irma. Irma is located in a remote part of the state; if you draw a line between the Twin Cities and Green Bay, I'm located north of that line - by a good hour or so - right in the middle of the state.

    As such, I am about three hours from the heavily populated part of the state, and three and a half hours from where I used to live - in Waukesha.

    Backing up a bit: in case the comments all got archived, I was somewhat forced to move back in 2011 after the State of Wisconsin decided to close my former facility, Ethan Allen School for Boys, in Wales/Delafield. I had a choice: wait to take a job in the adult system, or go with the job up here to Irma. Guess which one I chose.

    Since moving up here, life has gotten miserable. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been online here much for a while, and there's a reason: ordering. As in, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to order you to stay for an extra eight hours, we don't have enough staff to fill out our schedule, here's crappy-position-to-work 1, crappy-position-to-work 2, or crappy-position-to-work 3." And, because of that other thing that happened in 2011 in Wisconsin**, management has decided unilaterally that they can do this twice in a row before not forcing you a third time.

    This has been the case for the last three years now. We've had brief respites where we've hired a lot of staff, but with the population we're dealing with***, the desire for people to work up here in the middle of nowhere for what can essentially be described as minimal with no benefits is extremely low. The lawsuits and investigations over the last three years have not helped, obviously.

    So - what does this have to do with me?

    Welp, as a Youth Counselor, I am considered to be part of the Protective Service part of the state's operations. This means that, as long as I have 20+ years of service in and am 50 or older, I can choose to retire early.

    The "R" word from the title, you might say.

    I'm not as old as Dave, but I do turn 50 next month. And I hit 20 years of continuous service back in 2013.

    I am planning, as of this writing, to retire on January 6, 2018. However, there are some huge logistical issues between now and then:

    1. Insurance. I have NFC as to what will happen to my group insurance next year. It is entirely possible that my monthly benefit (which is about 45% of my current monthly pay) will be mostly eaten up by insurance premiums.
    2. Location. I want desperately to get as far away from this state as practicable. The current plan is to move to Arizona - but the month that I'm planning on doing so (January) is... well, look back at some of the comments Krisken and others from my state have said about the weather around here. It'd be like some of our Canadian residents choosing to move to Arizona in January.
    3. What's next. Unlike this last move, I don't have anything lined up down in AZ. I'm essentially going to be moving down to where my dad lives in the East Valley, without anything set in advance. (I am planning on going down in December for a holiday visit, but that may be more to find someplace to live than to find job prospects.)

    So - tl,dr version: my job sucks but I can retire after the 1st of the year; but I have no idea what to do next.


    ---
    * - Yes, it's a glorified job title for "Juvenile Corrections Officer." I realize it.
    ** - This isn't the political thread, so just Google "Wisconsin Act 11" for yourself.
    *** - More physical, more mental issues, more entitlement, more ugh.
     
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  2. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    It seems that anything you do will be better than what you've been doing, and you've long wanted to leave Wisconsin. At this point anyplace else will be better for you, though I understand about the weather issue. As long as you've got air conditioning and a vehicle with working AC, it's not that bad.

    You could move to a more moderate Midwest state, but I think there's a great deal of value moving closer to family.

    Beyond that, do you have to do something? Are you in a position where you could really retire, or do you need to continue to work for your living?
     
  3. Gruebeard

    Gruebeard King of Cheese

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    I don't get it. What's the problem?
     
  4. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    I would need to continue to work to pay for living expenses. Because I've finally pretty much eliminated credit card debt, the only thing we have to pay off is the wife's car.

    The greatest benefit of AZ is the family connection. Her parents live there year round, while mine are there for the winter (but it's possible my dad might go full-time if I move out there).
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 10, 2017 ---
    Think about it. Would you want to be moving everything you own in sub-zero temperatures, where there's a risk of several inches of snow on the ground?
     
  5. Gruebeard

    Gruebeard King of Cheese

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    True. But I do find January has lots of clear days here, I'd rather move with snow on the ground than move while it's raining.

    Plus, it would be glorious motivation for hauling all your stuff to the truck - knowing you're leaving it behind for good.
     
  6. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    True dat. :)

    There is that one other little thing that I'm going to have to broach this week: technically we have a no-move-out clause between November and March. Sorry, but I'm not gonna wait 59 days just so I can get all my crap down to the 480...
     
  7. Dei

    Dei Always shooting Terrik

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    I moved to Colorado in January with 2 feet of snow on the ground where I started. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't the worst.
     
  8. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    ...and then I go and have a dream where I'm getting bitten by a snake.
     
  9. Emrys

    Emrys Queen of the Doomweasels!

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    Nobody is.

    Come raise doomweasels with me so we can take over the world?
     
  10. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Wrong climate direction, mon chere.
     
  11. Emrys

    Emrys Queen of the Doomweasels!

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    :(
     
  12. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    The major block right now is the insurance. Next month is our "choice" period for 2018; I'll find out what my deal will be, or if I will have to look after private insurance.
     
  13. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    ...and that news wasn't good.

    My projected monthly benefit is about $150 below what my monthly insurance premium would be for next year. Which means that if I stay with my health plan, I will end up having to pay about that much (or more, depending on taxes) a month just for insurance.

    And I will have a net income of zero.
     
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  14. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    And, of course, this comes on the heels of our wonderful congress critters wanting to do away with the ACA. Guess I'm going to be looking for other options for health care.
     
  15. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    And here we go. This is the month where it's all going to be put into motion.

    Oh, and I have officially received my AARP card in the mail.
     
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  16. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Officially a member of AARP now.

    Going to go poke around the HC Marketplace for some possibilities for 2018.

    Next major hurdle: someplace to live in AZ. Nothing against my parents, but I really don't want to be living there for more than a month or two.

    The last major hurdle will be getting a meaningful job that pays bills down there.

    All of that may preclude my internet surfing time, btw.
     
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  17. DarkAudit

    DarkAudit Room for rent

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    Honest question, have you considered Pittsburgh?

    *waits for the laughter to subside*

    *comes back several weeks later*

    *still waiting*

    *months later...*

    No, really. Have you?
     
  18. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    No.

    1. Cold weather.
    2. Rivers everywhere.
    3. COLD weather.
    4. People's Republic Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    5. Have I mentioned COLD?
    6. Hills/moutains.
    7. COLD. I am freaking TIRED of the COLD.
    8. Same ZIP code as Sidney Crosby? Uh-uh.
    9. COLD.
    10. No family within a 100-mile radius.
     
  19. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    Also it's a bit chilly there, so keep that in mind.
     
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  20. DarkAudit

    DarkAudit Room for rent

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    If Pittsburgh is cold, then what would you call your part of Wisconsin?
     
  21. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Something to GTFO from.

    Hence, Arizona.
     
  22. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    I just filled out the paperwork this evening. Tomorrow morning, it goes in the mail.

    Damn right I'm doing certified delivery.
     
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  23. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    ...dummy me forgets Monday is a federal holiday, which means no mail, and no post office. :facepalm:
     
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  24. PatrThom

    PatrThom Genuinely Curious

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    It turned out good for me. I need to call the bank but I can't until tomorrow. It wasn't until I read your post that I realized I would've have gotten anywhere anyway.

    ...so thanks.

    --Patrick
     
  25. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Papers are in.

    Clock is ticking.

    January 6 cannot come FAST enough.
     
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  26. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Hitting a few small snags.

    1. Found out today my CU doesn't do home loans on "manufactured homes" (aka "mobile homes/trailers").

    2. Because of a miscommunication between our scheduling software company and department management, I can't block off the first week of January for vacation. Apparently the state didn't tell the WorkLoud people that "Yes, we do allow staff to take the first week of the year off if it's partially in the other year", and so the software doesn't allow it.
     
  27. stienman

    stienman GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY

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    You won't be able to get a "home loan" from any institution for a manufactured home. It's a differently type of loan entirely since it depreciates and you (typically) don't own the land its on. It's much more like a vehicle loan.

    And similar to vehicles, shop around, don't buy new (it loses a lot of its value once owned), and plan for constant maintenance and repairs.
     
  28. jwhouk

    jwhouk Stuck In North Central Walkerstan

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    Oh, I already know the drill. My dad's lived in one part-time for years.
     
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