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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 54, November 2013
November 22, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This is a season, to give thanks for our many blessings.
I would like to share with you a picture taken this fall with two of my best friends Bob and Rachel Mounce in Anacortes, Washington.
All of my family and most of Julie's are gone, so we count our good friends as family...
One of those pictured above is 91 years old...hint it is not me nor the two lovely ladies.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Bob for almost 15 years and he blogs at:
Bob has published numerous books, is a PhD, former college president... And in general an extremely knowledgeable person.
I would encourage you to visit his blog, where he shares his wisdom with younger folks like us.
One more thing about Bob, when he was undergoing pilot training during World War II, his logbook showed that he had passed navigation... His instructor signed it, someone named Ted Williams... That's right, the great Hall of Famer himself.
I kid Bob that if he could find his logbook he could sell it for big bucks on Ebay.
Frugal retirement tip number oneEveryone likes to save, and I would recommend you visit this site
It's not too late to save for Thanksgiving dinner.
As we enter the Christmas season...unless you really like to get out and fight the crowds... Many turn to buying gift cards so that the recipient can get exactly what he or she wants.
Last year, my frugal wife... bought gift cards for our nephews at Safeway.
We benefited by getting a discount on our gas and coupons for our own purchases.
Keep your eyes and ears open for deals like this you can really save.
Frugal retirement tip number two
This little gizmo, an OBD2 auto code sensor, pictured on my sheepskin seat covers that are 30 years old, recently saved me $800-$900, on repairs to our 15-year-old Lexus, with 211,000 miles on it.
Have you ever noticed the warning light that says "check engine" to illuminate?
Panic usually sets in, and you rush your car to the mechanic or dealership and they come back and tell you that they have done a computer diagnosis of your car and you need the following work done. They usually also charge you $100 for the analysis alone.
Sound scary right?
Well the secret that the mechanics do not want you to know is that you can buy your own OBD2 automotive code sensor for $16 on Amazon... That is exactly what I did when BrakeMasters told me I had some bad knock sensors and they needed $1215 to fix problem.
This cheap device is also capable of making the warning light reset and I drove the car for several hundred miles after I knew what the problem was... If the check engine light starts to blink, you should stop immediately, or the car will do it for you.
After much research online...I discovered exactly how to solve the problem... But since it involved removing the intake manifold I also realized that I did not have the skills to do the repair myself.
From a friend in church, he referred me to a Lexus BMW Mercedes mechanic that works on the side, at his garage at his home.
Long story short, I purchased all of the parts (for $170)that were necessary for the repair online, mostly Amazon some eBay... And the very competent mechanic charged me $180 for labor to do the repair.
My car is now running fine, and I have another $850 to spend on my favorite pastime...taking cruises.
So if I were you, I would purchase one of these devices shown above... They are extremely easy to operate, they plug into a 16 plug sensor that is underneath the dash by the steering wheel in all cars made after 1996.
You can save as well.
Frugal tip number three...health insuranceIf you have spent some time trying to get through to the website to sign up for Obama care...I feel your pain... I tried a few times so I could check on Julie's insurance...finally I gave up, I am on Medicare.
When Julie's renewal came from her old insurance company, her new premium was to the penny what our old reliable website told me in about a minute.
The bad news is that the insurance company said it was guaranteed through 2014... But there were no guarantees the same policy would be available after that.
Unless, you are eligible for subsidies you will find that your out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare.gov are going to be higher in almost 100% of the cases.
So go to the above website and see if you can save... I have used it for 12 years and make no apologies for recommending the site to you.
For those of you over 65, or will be 65 next year, go to The official Medicare.gov site The site is not near as user-friendly as the above website but when you reach 65 you don't have much choice if you want to compare policies that are available to you.
I have had a Medicare advantage plan through AARP for the last three years... All my co-pays went up, as did my deductibles...after doing some research I have switched my personal coverage to a Humana plan for 2014.
Why? Lower co-pays, a 50% reduction in my total maximum annual outgo, and six of the seven doctors that I saw last year will accept the plan...
A word of caution when ever you are changing plans... Make a list of the doctors and hospitals that you use, assuming you want to continue to use the same doctors and hospitals, and call them up and asked them if they will take the new plan.
It will not do you any good to save money on premiums and find out that your current doctor or hospital will not take that insurance plan.
Bottom line...Do your research yourself...and study the different plans that are available to you.
The time that you spend doing research yourself will pay big dividends in the end.
Frugal tip number four...refinanceI get emails almost every month, from readers that say that they had saved by refinancing... So at the risk of being redundant I am going to remind you again that this is one of the easiest ways you can reduce your monthly expenses.
In closing, Happy Thanksgiving!!!Thank you for your continued support of the site.
Please pass this along to three of your friends if you enjoyed the newsletter or picked up a tip... Everyone needs to know about whether or not they're overpaying for health insurance.
I promise the website will work(PERIOD)
Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Until next time...
All the best,
Gary and Julie
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