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Terry McLeod of ehrSIO ProjectsehrSIO Projects
A blog about the technical and software sides of mental health and addictions

Retiring Problems

Terry McLeod Updated: Jul 6th 2010

$5 Billion just came available to help early retirees with healthcare insurance. If your employer is making money-saving moves by encouraging early retirement, make sure continuance of healthcare insurance is part of the package…not doing so can really cramp your style in retiring young. Health care insurance can be expensive.

elderly couple sitting on a benchIf your employer or union wants you to retire before you're eligible for Medicare benefits, they can receive considerable sums to offset insurance expenses, possibly lowering insurance claims risk enough to keep you on the insurance plan. The benefit is offsetting some expensive claims, which lowers overall risk, and could make it possible for you to see a mental health professional when you need to. This is all courtesy of an Affordable Care Act program that came available in June, 2010.

It's not good to practice medicine on ourselves with or without a license, and for some retirees, that's happening, simply because the retirement plan didn't include the ever-increasing expense of health insurance for a young retiree, and mental health professionals need to buy shoes and feed the baby, so they need to be paid.

Last year, Clemens Tesch-Romer, director of the German Centre of Gerontology shared on the subject to AARP International stating that although increased mental health difficulties seemed not to be an issue for folks retiring at age 65, early retirees and those forced into retirement were having increased problems. This increased risk of mental health problems for early retirees increases the need for insurance that covers mental health treatment. Without insurance, it's tempting to simply live with the problem, spiraling downward into that problem and self prescribing.

Self-prescribing a drink or twenty to relieve the boredom, or an extra few pills to quiet the chatterbox of mental negativity in the mind may not be so uncommon when a person who retires faces empty days. That can lead to increased dosage and problems. Loneliness can set in after leaving a workplace full of familiar people, and the mind can become an unattractive place in which to dwell. If workers spend decades avoiding mental health issues by staying busy with work, those issues will need to be dealt with in order to enjoy retirement. It's better to be insured upon retiring rather than waiting the better part of a decade until Medicare benefits become available.

Employers are struggling to survive, and it's ironic that early retirement entered the picture so prominently over the past few years. If a person who's been working for a company since age 23 retires at age 55, it saves a lot of money to replace that person with another 23 year old. It is, however a balancing act, and the expense of individually purchased insurance can deter folks from retiring early. This program could make a difference. People who worked hard all their lives could use a break, and being able to enjoy retirement while young enough to enjoy physical activities is a key to the success of the early retirement plan.


Terry McLeod

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a required part of our society, and improving business workflows with the EHR is imperative for the survival of your local mental health and addictions treatment clinics. Terry McLeod provides the bridge between the mental health and addictions professional and the technical world, as well as the glue to keep it working. Contact McLeod at and get more information from his website and blog,

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