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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 48, May 2013
May 22, 2013
Greetings from Italy
We are enjoying the fruits of our frugal lifestyle in Italy.
This will not be a recap of our vacation.
Rather I will discuss how this trip reinforces some of the basic tenets of my site
DO NOT TRADE TIME FOR DOLLARS
PrefaceA little background...Julie and I came to Italy the same way we came last April...on a 14 day repositioning cruise, Ft Lauderdale to Rome...we are spending 12 days in Rome, Florence and the Italian coast.
We are getting on another cruise in Venice, Greek Isles, Athens, etc before coming home.
How is this frugal...although we paid slightly more by booking two months in advance the cruise was offerred at $599 a person the week of sailing.
Not bad for 14 days of travel, food, entertainment, lodging and relaxation.
This will also be a short newsletter due to not so great internet service where we are, Florence, and my poor typing.
That is not my point however.
The main point
After observing many people on the ship...I am convinced that I am right about retiring as soon as you can, so you can enjoy your retirement in good health.
Never have I seen so many wealthy IMHO people in such poor health.
What good does it do to be a millionaire and huff and puff going up a flighs of stairs...some could not get off the ship to see the sights because of poor health.
I saw people still working, and complaining about the fact, over 70.
I met one man at 72 who just retired after 50 years of work...who had difficulty getting out of his chair.
Was the boat full of invalids?
Hardly, but it really convinced me that I am right to advise as early a retirement as possible...the clock stops for no one.
I know of what I speakI am 67, Julie turned 61 on the boat and we have walked our rears off seeing the sights here in Florence...we walk everywhere.
We work out regularly but father time is marching on.
My aching feet tell me that I best take a long look at my bucket list...soon I too will be unable to the things I am doing as I sit down and write this newsletter.
Let this be a wakeup call for your particular bucket lists.
How are saving on this tripIn no particular order...
We travel by train...from the port in Rome, to Rome, around Rome(use the Metro), to Florence, to La Spezia, see the Cinque Terre, to Venice will cost us a liitle under $300.
We rent apts in Rome , Florence and La Spezia...toal cost for 12 days $1200 to $1300...trust me that hurts but Europe is expensive.
I really do have to investigate Uruguay, it is said to be Europe without the high prices.
We eat breakfast and dinner at the apt...call me boring but oatmeal is oatmeal...good for me in Arizona... good for me in Italy.
Our dinner is usually local bread, cheese, proscuitto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar...a little Chianti... La Dolce Vita.
We do splurge on expresso every AM.
We happened upon a gelato festival in Florence, we never have ice cream at home but you gotta try gelato.
We travel very light washing socks, under wear and shirts everyday in the aprtment.
Julie brought her Camelback so we stay hydrated while seeing the sites.
We go to local markets, and avoid places with tourists at all cost...do as the locals do and you will be fine.
You do not need to bring cash...use a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee...and use ATM's withdrawing the maximum, to reduce the usage charge (no way around that one in Italy).
Non-travel frugal tipsI realize I am being repetitive, but do not miss out on the chance to refinance your home... in the upper left-hand corner of every page on site, is the link to lending tree.com.
Do not be kicking yourself by not taking advantage in this era of his story low mortgage rates.
You can also shop for auto loans, and new home financing on the same site.
For you folks under 65, do not be overpaying for health insurance... click here and save ... Remember you don't have to give your phone number, and can get 100 quotes in a matter of seconds.
Sorry if you're over 65, the government thinks you're too stupid to make health insurance decisions on your own, and requires you to be contacted by a commission driven salesperson in order to get rates quoted.
I repeat this from last month due to several comments about being "the government thinks you are too stupid"...I am referring to the use of the company referred to above...you can only get 100 or so quotes, without giving your phone number, in a minute if you are under 65...over 65 tough luck, you have to speak to a representative.
In closingI said this would be short Italian internet service is a bit slow and difficult
If you are taking a trip in the US this summer don't forget to review the following pages...
Until next time stay healthy and stay frugal,
Gary and Julie
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