Financial Freedom: Paying for your own benefits after you quit your 9-5
Dental, Vision, Life, Health. Let's take a look at your best value/lowest cost insurance options.
How long have you stayed at that job because you can't imagine giving up the "benefits"?
The classic game played by employers is making it seem like you will never be able to obtain the "amazing" benefits you have now (health, life, dental, vision insurance) if you should have the audacity to leave that shitty company.
It's time we recognize and call bullshit.
One, pretty much any mid-size to large employer offers similar benefits. And you most likely barely even ever use them in the first place.
Yes, it's nice to have great health coverage. But honestly, as a 20-something who sits at a desk for 50 hours a week, how often are you going to really need to visit the doctor?
Don't get me wrong, the older you get, the more valuable it is. But come on, you should not be staying at a terrible 9 to 5 because of the small chance that you may hurt yourself during the walk to your call & the walk back to your couch.
So we need to dispel this myth with the only way financial freedom nerds will understand - by digging into the numbers.
Let's start with the easiest "benefits".
Dental and Vision
Both of these will vary slightly in cost based on your age, area, and whether you smoke or not (more so with dental, obviously).
As an easy example, a 20-something individual living in a metro area (non-smoker) will pay about $20/month for PPO dental coverage total.
There are other options but this is likely the coverage you have now through your employer so I'll keep it simple.
You can look up your potential rate here: https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/
*I don't work for or recommend selecting your provider through this site, I just used it to pull an estimate
Vision is even cheaper (hurray!).
The same 20-something can obtain vision insurance coverage for $9/month with 1 visit 100% covered every year.
So the total cost of pretty quality dental and vision insurance comes out to $29/month.
You spend more than this at happy hour so it's certainly not a reason to stay & suffer at an employer.
For this one, I'll be relying on the company Ethos for a quote.
Again, I don't work for them, have no affiliation, and honestly advise you to check at least 4 or 5 different life insurance providers out before deciding on anything.
But Ethos, for a 20-something in great health (and no tobacco use), can provide $500,000 in 30-year term coverage for a price between $39-$71 (let's call it $45).
For those new to the personal finance community, you only really need life insurance coverage if you have dependents (aka wife/partner & kids).
If you are flying solo, it is an absolute waste of money to purchase life insurance for yourself.
This is the gorilla in the room that scares off many FIRE chasers from ditching the 9-5. The horror stories of losing your health coverage to then be stricken with a disease that bankrupts your entire family is somewhat common.
But the question then is, what is the cost of decent coverage to prevent the catastrophic while also letting me go see a doctor every now & then.
Using Blue Cross Blue Shield for a quote, a 20-something can obtain individual health insurance coverage for as low as $165 or the best value at about $240.
The value option requires a $45 co-pay for doctor visits in-network and has a $7,500 deductible. So pretty much, it's not too expensive if you need a check-up and you're covered if a storm comes.
Adding it all up
So let's break out the calculators for a second -
When you are footing the bill for only yourself (no dependents - no life insurance), your monthly cost for the essentials comes to:
When you have dependents (with life):