Plans for 2004

mamatoadJanuary 2, 2004

I hope everyone has had a wonderful, relaxing holiday and is ready to enjoy retirement in the New Year! What are some of your plans for 2004? We want to travel again if the price of gas and the rise in our insurance rates doesn't make that impossible. We have a new grandson in California that we want to visit, a friend in Texas who has invited us to spend some time there and we really want to take a trip to Kentucky in our small RV. May your hopes and dreams become reality in 2004!

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Well Mama, we are 2 years and 9 months away from retirement and we talk and dream of what we will do. We have debated the RV question: Fifth Wheel vs. car trips. We figure a nice 5th wheel and pick-up will be about $80,000 - which would certainly buy a lot of motel rooms and meals out. The cost of staying at an RV site/dumping tanks, extra gas, insurance, etc. are unknown costs for us but we assume fairly substantial.

All we know is we will retire some place on the east coast - semi-rural area not too far away from services and then travel up and down the east coast instead of having to fly from Califronia and rent a car and hotel room.

Lots of decisions and changes in the next 3 years for us.

Happy New Year all you lucky retirees.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2004 at 10:44AM
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Dig around among friends, colleagues, seniors' groups, etc. to find someone(s) who have gone the travel trailer or fifth-wheel route.

They'll have a good deal of worthwhile information to share, I'm sure.

I have another suggestion, if I may,

start a project of writing down the names of everyone that you know: friends, relatives, colleagues at work, acquaintances in social, community, sport, fraternal/sorority, church, advocacy groups, etc. Add phone numbers, email addresses over time.

Best to do it on computer, as that makes adding new material, amending a great deal easier than recording on paper, as computer allows one to add new material, pushing previous material just a bit further down on the page, which is difficult on paper.

Over time, write down each person's professional training, qualifications, skills, interests, hobbies, etc. Activities that they've been involved with, e.g. had their roof fixed a couple of years ago - they may have suggestions about practitioners, issues to look out for, etc.

Soon you'll listen for more information to add to your database - but don't give your friends the third degree : they'll wonder if you're working for the CIA.

If your car shows signs of being on its last legs, check out the mechanics that you know. Ask them for some suggestions about how to weed out some autos that you may be checking out.

Autos bought from dealers are usually more expensive, as they have a good many overhead costs that they must cover.

Good idea to buy privately. If you find a vehicle that interests you, take it to a mechanic. He may just listen to it and tell you to get it out of there. Give him $10.

If he likes one that you bring and checks it out a bit before rejecting it, pay him $20. If he likes one and gives it a fairly thorough checking, maybe pay him $50. If you pay $200. for checking out half a dozen or so cars and avoid one trip to the garage for repairs - you'll be ahead.

If you buy three relatively inexpensive cars before getting a lemon - or one that the police arrive to announce that it was stolen and take it with them, leaving you with an empty driveway - you're money ahead.

Or perhaps you know of some senior person who buys new cars and trades every three or four years. If you can make a deal with that person, having a few people who know cars evaluate the price, you'll get a good price and the new car buyer can get a better deal lacking a trade-in. So - both win.

If that list doesn't save you hundreds, more likely thousands, during your lifetime (unless you have one foot in the grave at present), I'll be surprised.

Good wishes as you look forward to your retirement.

Last fall when I went to buy medical insurance for travelling through the U.S., the lady had a set of questions relating to pre-existing medical conditions: heart trouble, diabetes, regular pills, doctor's care, etc. When I answered, "No" to all of them, she looked at me and said that few people over 70 can answer like that.

I replied that I was very thankful that I could do so. Perhaps even more so in that I was a clergyperson for a number of years, so saw more than most of illness, premature death, etc.

My fee for 4 days (minimum) gold coverage was $28.: for silver, had I answered "Yes" to one or more issues, it would have been $52. (for age up to 74 or so: I'll be 75 in a couple of weeks).

Good wishes to you both as you look forward to your retirement.

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   January 18, 2004 at 4:16AM
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I meant to add that, once you have your list of friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. in place, with email addresses, it sure is easy to ask questions that you may have, e.g. about retirement options, fifth wheel, etc.

As easy to ask fifty as it is to ask one.

Actually, it's easy to get some corrspondence going, trading money-saving, home management and other tips. One could even get a newsletter going.

If you come up with some ideas that people like, especially ones that help them get things done with less hassle, or less cost, they'll be appreciative.

Dad used to say that he didn't mind work - but if he could have his head figure a way to get the job done adequately with less work for hands, that suited him fine.

I'm pretty sure that you could find a durable pickup and trailer for well under $80,000.

Shop around.

Ask questions.

A little research can fatten one's wallet.

As far as fifth wheels and travel trailers go - all that I know about them you could stick in your eye.

So - Ill be (more or less) silent, (for a change).

Learning how money works is an interesting hobby, that pays well.

Especially if one is considering some major purchases. And has time to do the research before making the purchase.

Good wishes as you make your plans.

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   January 21, 2004 at 5:04PM
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