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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 41, October 2012
October 21, 2012

Are you staying frugal?

We have several tips on saving money... mostly tips from new pages I put up on site so let's get started and see if we can't save you some money... or at least make your life a little easier.

Frugal tip for the month...number 1

You are looking at the only car that we have purchased since 1998...our Lexus RX 300, that has 198,000 miles on the odometer...we towed it behind our RV for another 43,000 miles that did not register on the odometer.

You can read the full page at...

Car tips

There is a lot to be said for keeping your car as long as possible...and you can read the page for the details.

So there's of frugal tip number one for the month...keep your car as long as possible to not be hit by the depreciation that occurs when you drive a new car off the lot.

Our second "car" is our golf cart which is street legal for any street where the speed limit is 35 miles or less... and we can cross streets in the golf cart where the speed limit is 45 miles an hour.

Between the two vehicles we save a lot of money on transportation.

Frugal tip for the month...number two

It is still not too late to save big by refinancing... we are still in the underwriting process for refinance number four in a little over two years.

When we started our interest rate was 6 3/8 it is now 3 1/2%...there is very few things that you can do to save money more efficiently than refinancing your house... please don't let this opportunity go by... here's how to get started.

I recently filled out an application with Lending Tree...with interest rates the lowest in our lifetime... we have refinanced three times in the last 30 months and saved over $200 a month our house payments.

I would highly recommend you go through the process as well...

Here is the page on site that you can go to to check your savings

We currently have an interest rate of 4.375%...the first two brokers that responded to our application... which only takes 1 to 2 minutes to fill out, on the above page... offered a 30 year fixed mortgage at 3 1/2%...

This will save us over $100 a month...

Although underwriting requirements have changed, there are lenders that will qualify you for a low rate with a 2 to 1 ratio of provable income to the monthly mortgage payment.

In plain English that means if you are trying to borrow $1000 a month you have to show an net income of $2000 a month in order to qualify.

This $2000 a month is a net figure if you subtract anything like car payments or any other installment payments that you are obligated to... I sincerely hope that you have zero in this department because of the interest rates that are charged on car loans these days.

So at the risk of being repetitive if you have not gone through the exercise of seeing if you can refinance you are missing out on the easiest way to reduce your monthly outgo...

So please take the time right now to visit the above page and fill out the application with Lending'll be glad you did.

Air can be frugal but watch out

This week we are flying from the Mesa Arizona airport directly to Springfield Missouri to visit my 92-year-old uncle.

We are flying Allegiant Airlines... the advantages are many, parking at the Mesa airport only cost six dollars a day, the fact that it is a nonstop flight saves us five hours by not having to stop in either Dallas for Denver.

So check out the smaller lesser-known airlines if one serves your particular area.

But you have to be very careful because airlines are charging for everything nowadays. Just take a look at the breakdown, for our two tickets for this trip.

Ticket price $217

Federal excise tax $15

Segment fees... I have no idea what this is... $15

9/11 security fee $10

One bag with a weight limit of 40 pounds, round-trip $50

Carrier usage charge... another mystery... $40

Our total cost adds up to $365... but remember we starting off with a ticket price of $217.

If you know up front that you are going to be nickel and dimed, for just about everything you can still say... it's a little over two hours flight time... so there's no way were going to pay extra... 15 bucks for each segment, or $60 for round-trip... for assigned seats.

You will not find these lower cost airlines on, Kayak Expedia, or Priceline you have to find them yourself... same thing goes for another one of my favorite airlines Southwest...I especially like the fact that they don't charge for bags.

When to take Social Security

Here is the link to the page I put up on site.

Many of us have already made the decision as to when to take Social Security and it will be facing the baby boomers as they reach retirement age.

I have always been a show me the money now type of person...and you may find my thinking process of value to you as well.

When Julie turns 62 in 2014 she will take it early as well.

Health Insurance

I have to apologize for anyone over 65... when you become eligible for Medicare... that not giving out your phone number when you apply for insurance does not apply.

At least in Arizona, the government assumes that once you reach age 65 you must be stupid and incapable of making a decision on insurance without talking to an agent.

For those that are not 65...this is what I used before Medicare and what Julie uses right now... I love the fact that I can get several quotes and run the numbers myself... rather than talking to an agent.

Here's the page on site ...

I think it's a pretty good idea to switch insurance companies every few years... because they will lure you in with low prices for the first few years and then jack them up... figuring that you feel that being loyal to a company will save you money.

It is just not true, so get the numbers yourself, and see how much you can save over what you're currently paying.

With the exception of home refinancing, mentioned above, getting a check up on your health insurance before you get to Medicare is a very cost effective way of saving money.

How to complain the right way.

Judging from the emails that I have received... you have enjoyed reading how to complain the right way...

Here is the link

If you are persistent, and especially persistent in asking for a supervisor that can actually take the action that you desire, you can save a lot of money.

This is especially effective in dealing with cable companies, satellite-TV, cell phone companies, etc.

I would rather take a beating then start a conversation with any of these companies... but if you have a legitimate complaint, and use the tips outlined in the page you can get what you want.

Thanks for the positive emails on this page.

Use the Internet

In the last month, I have put specific requests into Google search and have found answers on how to do it yourself and save.

For instance, our garage door opener, would sometimes close and reopen... I searched on Google for garage open repairs, and discovered that my problem was a sagging drive chain...there were YouTube videos demonstrating how to adjust the tension on the chain.

It took me about a minute and a half to fix the problem and save a service call of $75.

So when you encounter a problem at the house or with your car...go to the Internet and enter exactly what you're looking for you would be surprised.

About three years ago I found step-by-step instructions on how to change out a color wheel on a DLP television... I mean it was screw by screw instructions... I bought the part for $95 online... did it myself and saved a $400 trip to the TV repairman.

I also saved over $300 by replacing my car's radio antenna myself...I bought a $15 part online, watched YouTube videos on how to do it yourself... and saved myself some money.

Do not forget to vote

We have taken advantage of early voting and already sent in our ballots... remember if you don't vote you give up your right to complain if things don't go the way you want them to go.

This is probably the most important election, with the clearest choices, in my lifetime... use your vote wisely.

If you don't realize by now what frugal retirement living is all about... I would be surprised.

Enough said.

Closing thoughts

Keep the emails coming in...for goodness sakes if you see a mistake or typos on-site please drop me a line so I can fix them... I was a constant disappointment to my English teachers... so if you see an error on-site please point it out.

Until next time

All the best,

Gary and Julie Pierce

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