Back to Back Issues Page
Frugal Retiring News, February 2012 Issue# 33
February 25, 2012

Hello again

Sorry for being late this month... But I've been working on some projects that I'm going to give you an opportunity to pick up for free... Everyone likes something free right?

Hope you are surviving the winter, the weather has been beautiful in Arizona... It is times like these that reinforce my decision to retire here.

Frugal Tip of the month

One of my least favorite things to do is get on the phone with a customer service rep for cell phones, cable service, or satellite television...

You know the drill you don't get to talk to anyone for 10 to 15 min. and if that first person cannot solve your problem... You have to start all over again with the next level of expertise.

However, there is an opportunity to save money with each one of these services that might make the agony of the long time on the phone seem worth it you.

Despite what you might think, any company that relies on a subscription customer base will bend over backwards to retain you if you are a good customer... Like pay your bills on time.

There is an old adage in sales that it's much easier to keep an existing customer... Than it is to find a new customer.

So with that in mind you need to be aware that each one of these companies has what they refer to as a customer retention department.

These people are paid well, they are usually some of the sharpest employees that they have, and have one purpose in retain you as a customer.

They are authorized to lower your bill, to give you new services for free, upgrade your equipment, authorize a free service call, and other freebies.

So how do you get to the customer retention department?

The direct approach is to ask for that department up front... To the first human being then answers the phone... If you find that the first person is giving you the run around... Say the magic words..." I want to cancel my service".

All of these companies, and the employees that you talk to, have scripts that they follow... When you say you want to cancel your service they will invariably transfer you to the customer retention department.

If you want free HBO and Showtime for the remainder of your contract ask for it... If there is a new DVR available ask for it...the worst that can happen is that they will say no.

My frugal wife has done this a number of times, with about a 90% rate of getting something for nothing that we didn't have before.

I don't have the patience... She does... So the next time you feel like you're being taken for granted by one of these companies get in touch with their customer retention department.

Let me know how you make out.

The current events that affect baby boomers and retirees

I almost couldn't believe my ears when I heard one of the candidates running for president finally address the long-term health of Social Security and Medicare.

To just start the conversation is amazing... So we'll have to see how it goes.

As I stated in an earlier newsletter... Social Security started in the 1930s when the life expectancy was 61 years. Fast forward today the retirement age is the same as what it was in the 30s... 65... But our life expectancy is between 75 and 80.

It is simple math... That sooner or later the date we become eligible for Social Security and for Medicare will be raised to reflect the reality that we are living longer these days.

It is just my personal opinion, but I think it will not affect anyone that is currently 50 years old or older... That includes almost all of the baby boomers.

While I'm still spreading good news... Here is a tidbit that has not been getting a lot of press... That is the drastic increase in Medicare premiums that are going to take place in 2014.

Here's the scoop

"The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to: $104.20 in 2012 $120.20 in 2013 And $247.00 in 2014."

Just thought you'd like to know... I was surprised when Medicare went down from $115 a month last year to the $96.40 for this year...look what's coming in two years.

Don't shoot the messenger but this is something that is been buried in the latest healthcare legislation that no one is discussing.

Check me out on this... It's true.

Thanks for your help on the Kindle book

Thank you for all those that downloaded my Kindle is currently ranking number seven at the Kindle store for retirement planning. Primarily thanks to you folks.

It was entitled Successful retirement planning can save your marriage

You can pick it up for $.99... Here's the link

I promised that I had something free for you

I have just put up a new fan page on Facebook entitled baby boomer health.

Before I go any further if you're not on Facebook... That is perfectly fine... If I wasn't trying to supplement my income I probably wouldn't use it either... Except for personal stuff.

If you go to the page from the link below and click like you will have the opportunity to sign up for two free products.

The first free gift is a 23 page e-book entitled:

One easy step to save money, improve your health and improve your relationships

Yep, you can do all that by one simple principle... Rarely can you get three benefits in one step... Save money, better health, and their relationships... Check it out.

Hint: The premise is already contained on site but I expanded the idea greatly... You should enjoy reading it.

The second is a project that has taken almost a week to complete... it is 28 pages of pure meaty content delivered to you by e-mail over five days. For me I classified it a tome.

It is entitled 15 weight loss tips for baby boomers... My wife and I have been using the principles I talk about and I have lost 9 pounds and she has lost 3 pounds in two weeks.

It is mostly common sense, requires no supplements, diet pills, vitamins... It is also very healthy for you and I know that you'll enjoy reading it.

I would like also reiterate that I recommend no products or services on-site that I don't use myself.

Here is the link to take you to the facebook page

After I get the 25 likes that will enable me to name the page

I will send everyone a direct link to get both free products so if you're not on Facebook no problem, you are not going to be left out.

I also think it's necessary to state that I do not give anyone my e-mail list... And the e-mail list that you are on for this newsletter numbers almost 1500 subscribers.

If I would choose to do so... A 1500 person list is worth a lot a money if I would sell it... But don't worry I have never shared my e-mail list with anyone and have no plans to do so in the future.

Let me know what you think of the 2 free information products

Your letters and comments

I always enjoy hearing from readers that make comments on the site most of them are very positive and uplifting.

A few make me downright sad, there is a lot of suffering, going on in the world due to the current economic situation, and readers of frugal retiring news are no exception.

I hope this newsletter is looked at as providing an alternative to most of the sites that you will get when you type in the words retirement or retirement planning... They're almost all run by the big financial companies.

As you know, money is one aspect to retirement, but it certainly is not the end of the story.

In Closing

Spring is just around the corner... Spring training baseball starts on March 1, and half of the major-league teams are in Arizona the rest are in Florida.

Hope you're doing well and are staying frugal...

All the best,

God Bless,

Gary and Julie

Back to Back Issues Page