Archive for January, 2009

New Health Insurance

January 22, 2009

I have to find new Health Insurance today.  Actually, I should have done it weekds ago:  I’m in violation of Massachusetts law because my current insurance doesn’t have prescription drug coverage.   It’s annoying to have to pay extra for that because I take no drugs, but there it is.

If I take the cheapest plan, my costs go up about $50 a month compared to the old plan plus the fine I’d be paying monthly.   My deductible would go down, but would still be higher than what I actually spend in a year so all of the money is effectively just thrown away to help people who really are sick – or go to doctors, anyway.

Shrug..  I like to imagine my money is going to help some impoverished child.  It’s probably going to some overweight hypochondriac, but I’ll stick with my thought.


Age is just a number

January 18, 2009

Age is just a number, though for some of us it’s getting to be a pretty big number.

I was thinking last night that I still feel young.  I’m healthy, strong – I don’t feel like I’ll be turning 61 in a few weeks.

When I was much younger, I sometimes wondered if I’d be alive in 2010.  I don’t know why that year seemed important to me..   but it seems like a pretty safe bet now.

So when do you wake up and actually feel old?  I’ve talked to people in their 80’s who say the same thing I do:  I don’t feel old.

I get it.  Just the same, it is a pretty big number 🙂

Unplanned retirement

January 13, 2009

A voice from the past called last night – a guy I worked with almost twenty years ago. He stayed with the company we were at way back then, but is being laid off this week. He’s 64 years old – not financially ready to retire.

He called me looking for help starting a business. I sent him free copies of my “Psst -wanna work for yourself” and “The Hard truths about Easy Money on the Internet” and we made plans to meet for lunch next week.

He’s a talented graphic designer and a nice guy. Visit his website at

Drop Cable or FIOS for Digital TV?

January 5, 2009

We’ve had subscription TV for a long time now: first satellite, then cable and now Verizon FIOS. It’s all great, but it sometimes seems like more money than it is worth.

I’ve been reading about the digital TV switchover and wondering if we might go back to broadcast. The stations will be adding more channels – right now they’ll probably just use them for re-runs, but later they will almost certainly add more new shows.

My concern would be reception. With digital TV, you don’t get a fuzzy picture with bad reception; you get nothing. I’m not sure I want an antenna on my roof again either. But if you already had that or didn’t mind adding it and your reception is good, this might be a decent alternative for those of us who don’t watch a lot of TV.

Something to consider. I doubt we’ll do it, but you never know..

Extra income, investing Social Security

January 5, 2009

I’m still too young for Social Security – I’ll be 62 in early 2010.  Even then I hope not to have to draw benefits but I’m wondering if it actually might not make sense if the recession is still raging.

Consider this:  there’s no doubt that hard times affect my income.  On the one hand, I’m apt to get more work because people want to keep old junk working.  On the other hand, that work is harder and I’m getting older.

That’s why I’ve been working toward building passive income streams like my E-books (that’s also why I started my http“Working For Yourself” website).

But I was also thinking that taking early benefits could be smart.  Yes, it reduces future benefits and yes there will be tax consequences if I’m earning too much, but on the other hand it is extra income and if the stock market is still depressed, it could make sense to put all that extra into investments.

I’m not sure that’s a great idea, but it could be..  still mulling it around.

I’ve forgotten more..

January 5, 2009

I was thinking about that “I’ve forgotten more than you ever knew” saying today after having some problems with some young employees at a long time customer (see Responsibility and Honesty- watch your back!).
Of course it’s true enough: you really can’t beat experience.  On the other hand, the young’uns are often right to mistrust old fossils whose opinions are sometimes stuck fifteen years or more in the past.  I’m NOT an old fossil, but I understand why someone in their twenties or thirties might think I could be.

Shrug.. I am what I am and it is what it is.

Biting off more than you can chew

January 5, 2009

In a community like this, some people have a lot more money than I do, but some do not.   You can’t tell by looking at their homes, their cars: that Mercedes in the driveway might have been  bought before a husband died, or might be a castoff from a son or daughter.

Recently I’ve heard people talking about the monthly fees being too high.  More than one has said that we ought to have “rent control”..

They don’t seem to understand that the services we get here come from the fees we pay.  I know that’s silly; they must really understand that, but they seem to forget it.

If you want to live somewhere where you plow your own driveway, where you mow your own lawn, where there are no free movies, no free gym membership, three swimming pools, clubs, low priced functions, dances, and so on, that’s fine, but this isn’t that place.   It’s as simple and harsh as that.

People make mistakes.  People over-reach and get into situations they think they can afford but then their circumstances change and they find that they cannot.  It’s not cheap living here.  It’s not expensive, especially considering what you get, but it’s not cheap.

It’s hard because once you are here, it would be hard to leave.  First, you wouldn’t want to give up the amenities and secondly it can be hard to sell in this market – you might lose money.   I can understand people feeling desperate and trapped, looking for a way out through “rent control” or whatever they are thinking.  But that’s not going to happen and is not the answer anyway:  if you can’t afford where you are, you need to be somewhere else.  That’s hard, harsh and cruel, but it is reality.


January 5, 2009
book graphic self employment guide

I realized something the other day: a lot of us baby-boomers are “PMR” – Pretty Much Retired. That is, we still work.. a little. If we worked for ourselves, we still do, but not so much, certainly not like we did in our forties or fifties. And if we did “retire” from some other job, our new job is part time.. or maybe it’s more than that, but it’s easier, or we don’t have to get up early and can take days off at will: we’re “PMR”.

PMR is great: it’s extra money, and maybe it keeps some of us sane. While it’s nice not fighting traffic every morning, we do need something to keep ourselves busy.  You could hang around watching TV or playing golf, but that won’t put any money in your pocket – well, maybe playing golf  does for some.. but a little part time job or business can be as stress free as you want to make it and that jingle of coin doesn’t hurt either.

Yes, being PMR is nice. I highly recommend it.