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Frugal Retiring News, Issue #019
December 22, 2010

Frugal Retiring News Issue #19, December 2010

Greetings from Arizona for this 2010 Christmas season...picture courtesy of Dr. Eugene Willis.

What happened to 2010?

Where does time go? It seems like only yesterday we were in 2009 hoping for better things in 2010... Unfortunately the economy still seems to be struggling, too many folks are out of work, and the oldest baby boomers are just turning 65 which will put more strain on Social Security and Medicare.

The prospects for retirement, let alone early retirement, do not seem very promising... Hopefully this site will continue to offer retirement lifestyle options that are less expensive than traditional retirement living...whatever that is.

It seems that more and more folks, are becoming aware of the effect of our budget deficit... The time of reckoning appears to be nearer now than ever since I can remember.

Not exactly a cheery Christmas message but facts are facts and we will all be in for some difficult decision-making in the future...hopefully, can continue to be a resource for you and your friends.

My favorite submissions and questions

We had several noteworthy submissions since the last newsletter.

Two good ones on the sailboat cruising lifestyle:

Eight years at sea

Liveaboard tips

This last post, was made by a boat captain and marine surveyor, if you haven't already I would take the time to read them.

And before I forget, if you click a link and you get no URL at this address... Make sure you copy and paste entire address... For some reason, the mail submitter software I am using, drops off parts of the address... If there's one thing I've learned on the computer, missing a single letter, extra space, forgetting a quote mark, etc...and it will not work. Sorry for the bother.

To Amy, I am glad you saved $300 a month by using:

cheap health insurance.

Amy had health insurance at work, but that does not mean that it is the cheapest available...all you have to do is go to the above site and make a simple comparison. Amy is glad she did.

You would be surprised, at readers that write and say they are afraid to retire because they'll lose their health insurance coverage at work...when they check and see how much they can save by getting insurance on their own, after they first get angry, they take control of a major part of most folks budget.

I told you so...

Our frugal tip for this month

Sometimes it pays to stop and go back and review the basics...

We were talking with some good friends and remarking how we can't remember the last time we had to go to the store to buy a staple, that we had run out of.

The looks that were exchanged told us this was a weekly experience for our friends.

Planning your shopping, buying in bulk, eating most of your meals at home (healthier as well as cheaper), can save you big bucks, the following pages are worth reviewing:

Eat at home

Easy ways to save

Strategies to save

Perhaps we will shame our friends into a little planning that will save them a lot of money.

Let's all resolve to make 2011 a year where we do not waste money.

If there is a new breakthrough in shaving cream (above), toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, razor blades,or any other everyday staple... I will get a chance to try them out...maybe in 2014.

That's because my very frugal bride, who I honored with a page entitled frugal wife, believes strongly in buying in bulk...and I am kidding and not complaining.

The frugal wife

This is another page, that contains a lot of review links, to help you save money... Thanks Angel.

Save on buying a car

These tips can literally save you thousands over your lifetime... they are especially important for the single ladies out there.

Car buying tips

Five simple steps, can save you big bucks on your next purchase of a car.

For those that write and say thank you are certainly welcome...for Rodney the car dealer... You know I'm right.

Medicare experiences so far

Nothing is more boring than hearing about someone else's medical problems... we all have enough problems of our own.

So I will try to be brief...

I would like to use my Medicare experiences so far to point out a lot of things that don't make sense to me and how we are billed for medical services.

To review, I chose the AARP Secure Horizons Medicare advantage plan...Secure Horizons/United Healthcare takes the $110 a month that is deducted from my Social Security check, and stands in place of Medicare as my insurance company...I do not pay additional premiums to Secure Horizons for this service.

Having nothing but catastrophic health insurance coverage for the last 17 years, I've taken the opportunity to take care of some health issues that I just put off for many years due to the expense.

One of those issues was kidney stones, I have had to have two outpatient procedures in the hospital to break these up with sound waves.

I can tell on my Secure Horizons account summary that $16,000 has been billed for these procedures... My costs for co-pays has been around $500...the doctors and hospitals have been paid by Secure Horizons about $3000... That leaves $12,500 that has been adjusted and not paid.

These adjustments are negotiated between the hospitals, doctors and the insurance company.

This makes for some fuzzy accounting...

My point and question is this...what happens to someone on straight Medicare? Or heaven forbid someone without insurance?...That $12,500 is paid by someone or the government.

To sum up, I am pleased with Medicare advantage so far... About 10 doctors office visits and two outpatient surgeries in a hospital, has cost me less than a thousand dollars.

And I reported last month that I was charged $302 for a CAT scan... I got $256 back from the hospital... So my total cost was $46 for a CAT scan...thank you Secure Horizons.

I get letters every month, from readers asking about non-Medicare health insurance... My response is always the same, what we do.

I also get letters every month, thanking me, for the above tip, readers are amazed at how easy it is to save big bucks, for one minutes time.

Why waste 15 min., talking to a salesperson, from the heavily advertised company with the gecko?

Spread the word

If you enjoy please please tell your friends, and spread the word about frugal living.

For you Facebook fans, I can be found at:

Facebook page for Frugal retirement living

One of these days I'll catch on to social networking.

I have started a third Site Build It website and will give you the details next month.

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 is how.

Site Build It, is such a great product, that they have increased their money back guarantee from 30 days to 90 days... That is how good the product is and should prove to you that you have nothing to lose by trying it out... You will thank me.

Merry Christmas everyone

I hope that this last newsletter of 2010, finds you and your loved ones, in good health and optimistic about better times in 2011.

That is our hope and prayer from our house to yours...

Merry Christmas everyone,

Gary and Julie

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