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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 68, Novemebr 2014
November 22, 2014
Happy Frugal ThanksgivingHow time flies here we are the week before Thanksgiving with Christmas right around the corner... We hope that this finds you and your family well and healthy and ready for the holiday season
20th AnniversaryIt does not seem possible but it was 20 years ago this month that I threw off the lines of our sailboat Shadowtime and headed south for the islands.
For you newcomers, you can read all about it at On our retire to a sailboat page.
20 years of retirement have been the greatest of our 40 years,(in January 2015), of our marriage.
Sailboat living may not be for you but surely you can find some low-cost lifestyle that will enable you to enjoy early retirement at an age where you can do the things that you want to do.
Frugal living tip number oneIt's time to check and see if you can save money and get better coverage with your Medicare plan... Open enrollment ends December 7 so don't put this off to the last moment.
I found last year that I could save money by switching from United healthcare to Humana... I found lower office co-pays and lower total out-of-pocket costs.
Checking the plans available for 2015, I am still sticking with Humana although there co-pay for specialists went from $15 to $35... My total out-of-pocket expenses also went from $3400 to $4700.
My plan may not be available for you but the place to start checking is the official government website go here.
Please do not write asking questions about Obama care because I have no idea how the government plans to verify the income level of those that are applying for taxpayer subsidies.
Frugal living tip number twoAs Christmas is fast approaching, I would suggest that you do your shopping online.
My personal favorites are Amazon and Costco.com, primarily to their low prices great selection and hasslefree return policies.
Now some of you may enjoy going out with the crowds and shopping but I think I'll pass.
Frugal living tip number threeAnother way of making Christmas shopping more painless is to buy prepaid cards that you see on display at several grocery stores.
You can buy cards for Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and many others... This way the gift recipient can get exactly what he or she wants.
You can also do your total Christmas shopping in a few minutes.
Call me Scrooge if you think the Christmas tree has to have a lot of presents underneath it... This way is much easier.
Frugal living tip number fourYou know that I have been a big fan of Princess cruises...See this page.
We recently tried Celebrity cruises for a tour from Rome that spent three days in Israel...We combined that tour with a transatlantic from Rome...15 days for $639 a person... Good timing in that we were in Israel in mid-October and there were no inkling of the troubles that occurred in the past few weeks.
Why did we switch?
We have found that the Princess raised prices for cruises in 2014... It is a great marketing trick to charge more money for the same product and the new Princes management is managing to do that so far.
We are glad that we tried Celebrity... We found better food, larger cabins, and better service.
Are we giving up on Princess cruises?
No but now we have something to compare them against.
Incidentally on the Celebrity cruise ships they have an Apple store on board.
There were many informative lectures given on how to get more out of your smart phone or iPad.
I figure I am up to the expertise level of your average nine-year-old now when it comes to navigating on a smart phone.
In closingHappy Thanksgiving and stay frugal.
All the best,
Gary and Julie
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