Budget Update

So for those of you who have been following along for awhile, you know Mike and I have tried to be pretty frugal (despite what some of you perceive) and have kept an eye on our ongoing spending by using a great budget app called “Expenses OK” each day we spend. I also did a spreadsheet prior to us stopping wor….ahem, retiring to try to quesstimate how long our savings/investments will last.

During our first year, I updated the spreadsheet every month with our actual costs and we ended up being well under our annual budget for 2018. Given that we had pre-paid for many of our expenses, we remained worried that perhaps we were fooling ourselves and that we might have issue staying within our budget for 2019.

I just finished updating the actual expenditures through the end of July(I’ve been doing it every two or three months this year) and even with the budget busting unexpected Viking cruise we are currently almost $10,000 under budget to date. Phew!

Most of this is due to the three months spent relatively free of rent courtesy of Lois at her house at Smith Mountain Lake and our stays in some lousy motels on the roadtrip (Dr. Barrett take note! We attempted to pay our way at Smith Mountain but Lois wouldn’t take rent and one can only pay the fuel bill when there is an amount due.

Anyway the other good news is that we currently have about $20,000 more in savings and investments than we did on the day we stopped work, almost a year and a half ago. So despite the wild rides of the stock market, the dividends have covered some of our losses and even though we are now having to sell stocks instead of purchasing, we aren’t deleting our moneyroll as fast as feared. The end result, presuming that the markets don’t crash, and we continue to spend within our budget is that we now won’t run out of money until I’m 108 and Mike is 103, rather than the original 105 and 100.

So Jane, you can quit worrying, it looks like we will be fine!

On a related subject, my Cobra insurance which has been covering us since March 2018 ends on August 31st. We applied for and qualified for a subsidy from the Affordable Care Act so our insurance premium is actually falling by about $700 a month starting September 1. We do have to only visit doctors in Houston unless it’s a “life threatening emergency” (and no one could define what was life threatening, “heart attack?” “I would think so”, ” how about a ruptured appendix?”….”hmm, that would be up to our review committee”) but since we figure we will likely drive through there heading back east we think that will work for our annual physicals.

Of course we do now need to figure out whether we are going to create a “nest” somewhere in the USA in 2020 and have ACA insurance (with a $15,000 deductible) or officially move overseas and have insurance at about the same monthly cost that will be good in Europe (with no deductible) and in the USA (with a high one.). As Mike says, the USA doesn’t really have healthcare insurance anymore (well maybe for some folks under a union contract), instead we have asset protection insurance.

Anyway, we have a few months to figure out where to live in 2020….as Scarlett would say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day”

7 thoughts on “Budget Update

  1. Have you considered France as a landing spot? Right now after 3 months residence (with a long term visitor visa) you can sign up for the national health care system and if you’re receiving a pension (401-Ks and IRAs count as pensions) it appears that health insurance is at no charge. From what I have been learning there is lots of bureaucracy and it will take several months after you apply at the 3 month mark to actually get the French national health insurance card…but it’s where I think I’m heading when I retire in a couple of years. Not just for the health care of course, but that’s a nice perk. Of course they will likely change the rules before I can retire…


  2. There are plenty of companies that have health care for their employees that have nothing do do with unions. at age 65, Medicare plus a supplement is great.


    • Yep, I had good insurance (although it was still really asset protection as it had a high deductible when I was working. Once you’re not…😒. Looking forward to being old enough for Medicare…but I have four years and Mike has nine. I figure by the time we reach that age, the US may have joined the rest of the world and will have some sort of Medicare for all.🀞🏻


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