Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Early retirement from government

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: We are a Municipal government and each year our management team wrestles with compensation ideas to present to our personnel committee. This year a topic of “how can I retire at age 60 when I can’t afford the health care costs until Medicare kicks in at 66” was brought to the table. We are trying To come up with an employee/employer contribution type program that could start the planning process for us.

A: The comments that follow may not be what you wanted to hear. Approximately a half million middle income Americans between age 60 and 65 pay for their own health benefits without any help from an employer or public source so certainly it is possible. However, it would be shortsighted to not recognize that health will be you single largest expense during this period, probably exceeding housing and transportation costs for most people. It is wonderful for you if you can get employer contributions to pay for part of early-retirement health costs but realize that the vast majority of working Americans do not enjoy this benefit. Certainly your employer could provide this early retirement benefit; the question is whether the taxpayers would support it. There seems to be a growing political opinion that the gap between the health and retirement benefits provided to government workers vs. the benefits provided in the commercial sector has become too wide for comfort. It will be interesting to see what effect taxpayer groups have on revising the employee benefit programs of municipal government in the future.


More resources:

resource list goes here