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Frugal Retiring News, Issue #017
October 22, 2010
Frugal Retiring News Issue #17, October 2010
Well greetings from the desert...an eventful month...and some fun too. October has been very hot in Arizona, 105 for the first few weeks...it is cooling off a little now 80...October is usually one of the best months weather-wise in Arizona...the bad news is the golf courses are undergoing a transistion period from the summer grass to the winter grass...can't have everything.
I made it to MedicareI am now 65 and a official senior citizen...Medicare has kicked in...not without some bumps.
I wrote in Understanding Medicare that the choices were confusing...I was right.
Essentially you have 3 options:
1)Stay on original Medicare...you are liable for up to 20% of the charges...not good if you have to be hospitalized. best for those in good health.
2)Medicare supplement programs...great for those with health issues and those that can pay the extra $130 or so a month to handle virtually all of your medical costs. The Cadillac program.
3) Medicare Advantage...what I chose, the AARP deal with Secure Horizons...it is an HMO...no monthly premium. I pay $15 to see my Dr. and $30 to see a specialist.
After 17 years of having only catastrophic health care insurance I am looking forward, cautiously, to being able to go see a specialist for $30 a visit...up to now I have gone to see the Doctor once a year for a physical.
Folks not on Medicare please check here to see if you are overpaying for health insurance now:
With my wife not eligible for Medicare until 2017...we have to shop carefully for her coverage...once again the program above saved us some bucks.
It pays to switch companies every so often...why? There is so much money to be made in insurance that companies will offer great savings to get you to switch to their company and then raise your rates in later years.
So switch and save...loyalty and common sense are not in the insurance companies vocabulary.
My plan is like Medicare sort of...With helpful nurses they have drilled into my thick head...don't say you have Medicare, say you have Secure Horizons.
The federal govt pays Secure Horizons to administer Medicare for me. Their are certain basics they have to follow, certain things they can do different.
For instance if I was on straight Medicare I would get a pretty extensive physical including a check for Aortic aneurysm. Secure Horizons pays for yearly physicals (not so on straight Medicare)with no automatic check for the aneurysm...didn't think I could spell aneurysm did you...thanks Google.
I have had several Xrays and blood work and will be seeing a few specialists in the coming weeks...I am thinking I won't have extra charges...we'll see.
Bottom line...Medicare options are still confusing...hopefully it will be better than the catastrophic insurance I have had for the last 16 years.
The election will be over soon...thank you LordI do not know about you but I will be really glad when the election is over...the ads insult your intelligence on a regular basis.
But then again...when you see younger folks on the street unable to recognize (for example)the vice president...but can readily identify a contestant on American Idol or the Survivor programs...you wonder how much intelligence the electorate has.
Now when I was their age...Nah I won't go there.
It is important to vote and I urge all readers to vote. If we do not vote we can not complain.
Frugal retirement Living is on FacebookI am slow to try something new sometimes...Facebook was one thing I did not think I would do.
But Facebook has surpassed Google as the most visited website...and the fastest growing demographic on Facebook..the over 45 age group.
If you use Facebook and would like to help FRL out...click Like...if enough do that I can get a web address without all those numbers.
Thanks for your help...it does make me sad when folks give up on retirement when they have not explored all the ways to retire and spend less...help spread the word.
Frugal Living Tip for OctoberWe have a service contract with a local AC company...when your AC breaks in the desert you got problems.
We had a routine service call last week...
The service rep, while I was out of the house, listed the suggested repairs to my wife...$1800 worth...when I got back I went with the tech and took readings on all the units...I wrote them down then called a church buddy, who has an AC (commercial) business and reviewed the data and recommendations with him.
Bottom line he said we were fine, needed no repairs and the 4 parts (capacitors) the tech recommended replacing...which they wanted $400 for, including installation, would cost him $60 max and I could install them myself in 30 minutes.
Duh...I sent the tech away with no work orders from our house...if I did not have a longterm contract I would change companies.
Now do not get me wrong I made a very good living on commissions when I worked...a long time ago...and people have to make a living...but make sure you know who you interface with works on commission or not.
The service writer at the auto repair shop may or may not work on commission...find a shop that does not work on commission. I use Brakemaster's for that very reason. My car is 11 years old with 175,000 miles...I could spend a ton on repairs...I don't and it runs great.
It makes me sick to think of this tech talking someone into $1800 of repairs that are not necessary.
Make sure you know who works on commission and who doesn't...hope this helps you.
Have something to share with others?One of the pleasures in running this site is hearing from readers who share their stories...it is easy to do...here is the main link
One of the neat things about this feature on site is you have your own web page live on my site. You can forward it to your friends and family and do some bragging.
Here's an example:http://www.frugal-retirement-living.com/living-frugal-and-saving-on-vacation.html
Pictures are welcome too...have something to say?
My favorite submissions
A reader is contemplating retiring to Costa Rica or Panama (Boquete Panama above) and wondered if $2800 a month in retirement income was enough...you bet it is. Both countries would be good choices.
I would urge those thinking about this to get a owner's guide for the particular country as a first step.
You can find links to the owner's manual on site...first go to http://www.frugal-retirement-living.com/retire-overseas.html
Almost all queries about overseas living involve safety and medical care...and these are personal decisions.
Not all are cut out for overseas life
If you are worried about safety and medical care I would hope you visit for a few months...rent do not buy...and see if it is for you.
In closingPlease tell your friends about: Frugal retirement living and my new site: Best retirement living.
Obviously I am making money with these sites or I would not be doing this. Thanks so much for your support.
If you would like to see how to earn online...and I was a computer dummy 18 months ago...here is how.
Until next time...stay frugal
All the best,
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