Thursday, August 17, 2017

Keep the long term goal as well as your present comfort and life enjoyment in mind!

As regular readers know, we are steadily working our way through the "punch list" created by our new to us home inspection. We also have added some things after living here for 4 months.

Today though it hit me that in terms of resource allocation we could save $425 by not installing a gutter for the patio area given how infrequently it rains here and how many pine needles would have to be regularly cleaned out of that gutter. Cancelled that quickly.

The money will be better spent towards a whole house water filtering system as the water here is very, very hard and leaves deposits in and on everything. That is next up on our list.

On the other hand, although I have been quite comfortable sleeping on our new mattress, Hubby has not. We spent a good chunk of money yesterday on a cotton wool mattress topper and he slept much better. I think the bed is slightly less comfortable but I can live with it.

We also bought 4 tickets to a comedy show to attend when our local son and DIL spend the weekend soon.

So there you have it. Long term goal is make our money last if we live to 100+. Current comfort and  is sleeping well and not battling hard water deposits (not to mention not having to replace appliances often due to said water). Life enjoyment is fun time with loved ones laughing hopefully.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Countdown to Hubby's retirement

We had a lovely lunch today with friends of 40 years who we hadn't seen for 3 years. As expected the conversation came around to my Hubby's retirement in 7 weeks, me already being retired and the woman of the couple thinking about retiring in June.

So the big question was "What do/will you do with your time?"

I think that is the hardest thing for people who have had an engaging professional career with little time or inclination for hobbies or avocations, no grandchildren (or at least none nearby), and little idea of what will replace the satisfactions of their work, the structure of work days and the enjoyment of spending time with colleagues.

I know I continue to struggle with this and lost what I had settled on with our cross-country move. I also spent the last year focused on our house sale, house purchase & move. Bit by bit I am trying out new activities to try to recreate my life in a satisfying way.

Hubby hasn't thought about it yet - or so he claims. Our friend genuinely had no idea how she would want to spend her time.

How have you approached this or seen others approach it? What has worked - or not worked - for you?

Let's get a discussion going.

Friday, August 4, 2017

July in a Sentence a Day

Turning the page to the second half of the year! Time to focus on living the good life.

I'm again joining in with a lovely group of bloggers to track how we spend our month in one sentence a day. Scroll to the bottom to see who else is participating and go check out their blogs.

My July:

1. Tried a new to us restaurant, Snapper Jack's Taco Shack, which has good food, lots of surfboard decorations and 60's music.
2. It's a fact that I will never like cleaning the house and look forward to splitting the chore when Hubby retires.
3. Ordered the furniture for the den this morning and now have to wait 8 weeks for delivery.
4. Made a delicious dinner from my new Mexican recipe cookbook.
5. I took Hubby to the train station to start his 3rd of 5 week long trip back to Atlanta for work.
6. I emptied 2 of the few remaining moving boxes and all that remains is shown below plus went to the library, UPS store, CVS and walked and washed the dog.
7. Day 1 of my most recent attempt to make myself exercise as a habit included 30 minutes of stretching, walking the dog and then walking by myself wearing a hat before it got too hot for reasonable people to be outside.
8. I was already quite hot at 9:30am when I went to the Organic Farmer's Market here in Camarillo but I found what I wanted including tasting and picking a different variety of green grapes plus that sweet roll jumped into my bag (thank goodness).
9. Nothing of note today but the laundry is done and the house picked up.
10. The Pet Club program tonight was a talk and demo by the county search and rescue team which was extremely interesting including the lab who couldn't take his eyes off of the swimming pool until he started working.
11. Invited a neighbor to got to yoga class but she found it not acceptable as she really wants exactly what her former instructor did - oh well.
12. Sure wish I had bought pet insurance when we adopted this dog but at least her eye infection or allergic reaction has cleared up with medicine I can apply.
13. Finally got an electrician over and agreed on what repairs need to be made which is not everything the home inspector listed AND we drove to the beach and took a walk.
14. Laundry, errands including buying a new top & necklace followed by wearing same to dinner at a cousin's home and at a Beach Boys tribute band show.
15. Saw Wonder Woman and liked it, but I wonder if anyone else found it dark and way over the heads of the usual target audience of pre-teens due to the strong plot lines of Greek mythology and WW1?
16. We were glad we picked up my FIL and went to visit the family of his recently deceased close friend and took lunch for everyone.
17. Hubby finished leveling the pavers in our small patio so that now all of it is usable.
18. Pretty much a do nothing day otherwise known as relaxing or vegging.
19. Happy pooch with a summer haircut and doggie spa day today including a blueberry facial lol AND a very happy 71st birthday to my big brother.
20. Found a good handyman/minor remodeling firm very experienced with the homes in our development and are waiting for their bid.
21. Had very effective deep tissue massage that highlighted the fact that all of my problem areas are back but that they new masseuse is very good.
22. I hope that if I have trouble hearing the TV and people speaking when I am older that I remember that it is most likely my hearing that needs fixing not the TV or other people!
23. Who knew that having a clean car was such a happy making thing.
24. The dog was startled awake at about 2am, left out of bed in a flurry of panic and adrenaline, and then stood there quite confused and numb until I got up to pick her up and put her back in the bed where she proceeded to practically lay on top of me for comfort and protection.
25. Paperwork, follow ups, decisions - felt like a work day not retirement.
26. Had a lovely chat with a couple of women in a genealogy group that meets at the library and will try the group out next week.
27. Pruning, laundry, dog walking, library run, Starbucks run, reading and cooking made up my day.
28. Home Depot (again), unsuccessful shoe shopping and another day gone by.
29. My FIL seems to have come to the conclusion that he will be much happier if he moves to a different assisted living facility (although they are very similar and no one but him believes he will be any happier) so we took him on a visit to the other facility - sigh.
30. Had a fun time with son and DIL and both their and our dog while taking a long walk in Pasadena and eating brunch outdoors.
31. Braved the outlet mall which wasn't such a big deal on a Monday to pick up a lightweight top and scope out some future wardrobe upgrades.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A good week all in all

My husband's employer finally found his FedEx'd retirement paperwork and says it is in order. They emailed 3 minor additional forms to complete so we mailed them back USPS rather than paying for FedEx since it made no difference in arrival time for the first batch.

I turned in my paper work for Medicare Part B given the pending end of employee health insurance and switch to retiree insurance. There is no penalty for delaying Part B past 65 as we completed the proof of other insurance form. I took it to the closest SS office to make sure all was in order and the HR person had made a mistake but the SS person was able to fix it. I'll have to start paying for it as of October 1st.

My Project 333 capsule wardrobe for summer is working out well with only the addition of one sleeveless top. I'm starting to consider what I need/want to add to have an equally well working fall capsule. Shoes and a semi-dressy outfit are on the list so far.

I stopped at the library and arrived a few minutes before it opened. Chatted with a woman also waiting and found out about a weekly genealogy group meeting. She took me up to meet other members and I'll give it a try next week.

I'll add in attending yoga class and a jewelry making group in my at my community rec center and see if I can't make some friends quickly.

I went to the golf course in my community and practiced driving as it had been maybe 8 years or so since I played. Hubby is a good coach.

The city inspector did the final sign off on the permit for our new HVAC installation. Finally.

We made plans to see our older son and DIL on Sunday!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A helpful beginning to a series on record keeping!

If you are like us you have a lot of paper records and a lot of online documents or records in your email. Add to that your online accounts and other variations and it can be a lot for you, your partner and/or your executor to figure out and access.

This looks like the start of a promising series on how to make your record keeping as simple and effective as possible.

Generally Accepted Record Keeping Principles

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Full Retirement Phase 1: Transitioning from a paycheck to retirement income

Good news - Hubby's employer found his retirement paperwork finally. We had proof that FedEx delivered it so they kept looking and I guess we'll never know how it was misplaced but things are moving forward now.

As of October 1st he will be retired and collecting his federal pension. As of September 1st when I turn 68 I will start collecting social security payments. He won't collect his for 5 more years when he turns 70 if all goes as planned.  That would leave me with a larger monthly payment if it turns out I outlive him.  Have to be practical about all of this we think.

As of October 1st I will start paying for Medicare Part B. When he turns 65 in November he will do the same. We will also pay for federal retiree health insurance too.

Lots of changes so it is time for a new budget even with a lack of clarity about final amounts and how much we will need to pay in estimated state and federal taxes. We do know that it takes some time for the pension payments to become a full payment but that any differences are eventually paid.

We have other financial resources to draw upon but will have to figure out when to do that. We probably kept too much money in savings accounts for this purpose but we didn't know if we would find we needed a second car or if other large expenses would arise after our move. Still don't LOL.

We have decided to drop his life insurance once he is officially retired. We have also decided to wait until we are 70 to start withdrawals from our retirement accounts.

Best laid plans and all that.

I do hope that when the dust settles on all this we can simplify our financial arrangements as changing our address and other contact info for all the various online accounts was a pain although a first world problem.

For now I am going to see what expenses we can predict and monitor the incoming carefully until it evens out.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the Social Security office to turn in the extra paperwork required for Medicare Part B since I delayed starting it and don't need to pay the penalty because I can prove I did have health insurance through his employment.

And then onward into the unknown.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Things making me happy today

I am especially happy that the dog went right back to sleep after being startled awake about 2am by some noise, leaping off the bed ready to - she wasn't sure what she was ready to do LOL. When I figured out where she was she look a bit stunned and not sure what to do so I plopped her back in bed and she practically layed on top of me for comfort but slept thank goodness. I was sure she had a sudden bathroom need and I would be outside at that hour but not the case.

Hubby and I teamed up to wash and clean the inside of the car yesterday before picking up my FIL and another relative. It is testimony to how dirty the car was that I am still quite happy today that it is clean.

We also brought home enough leftovers from the birthday dinner we attended last night to have most of our dinner for tonight. Happiness is only having to fix a bit of dinner. Wine may be drunk too.

I don't know if it is the season or the competition from the newly opened Sprouts store here in town, but the produce at Vons was much better than it had been so I was able to pick up quite a few good things yesterday morning.

I had picked up an inexpensive loose sleeveless knit top at Target a while ago and am really liking wearing it instead of another tank like I usually buy.

The HR office at my husband's work finally found his retirement paperwork today (which we had FedEx'd to them as required and was delivered about 10 days ago). Thank goodness they can start processing it now rather than waiting for us to send another set. Hopefully we won't have any gaps in insurance coverage, etc.