Every Day

2020 Goals: To Replace The Money We Will Be Using From Our Emergency Fund

We have a very large emergency fund. We have saved money over the years to feed it so that we can pay for any emergencies that come up.

We keep enough in it to pay for a new car when it is needed, new large appliances when they bite the dust, a new roof when it is needed, a large amount for necessary household repairs, money to replace carpeting and furniture, to pay for large medical and dental expenses, and a miscellaneous amount for anything else that might pop up.

Well, I got some bad news at the dentist a few weeks ago again. You all know that I have spent a fortune at the dentist over the past 10 years. We had no dental insurance up until 6 months ago. We now have a plan that my dentist offers that pays for 2 cleanings and dental exams, 2 fluoride treatments a year, X-rays once a year, and one emergency visit with an X-ray once a year. We go to the dentist every 3 months for cleanings and exams. Those 2 extra cleanings have just a $30. co-pay. We also get 20% off the standard fee for other procedures.

Fall of 2018, I had a partial denture made to replace a permanent bridge that was only 4 years old that failed. Just on those two things and some crowns to hold the partial and our cleanings and exams, we spent $XX,XXX. out of our emergency fund. We scrimped and saved to replace that money over the past 6 years. We did it.

But now, the tooth under a crown that is holding one end of my partial denture has fractured. The tooth has actually started to come out of the crown and my gum has started to grow around both of them. This must be taken care of soon because both the fractured tooth and crown could come out at any time. When I was at the dentist 4 months ago, I mentioned some pain that I had in that tooth area.  The dentist took X rays but the fracture did not show on them at that time. He put some kind of medicine in that area and I never had any pain after that. I didn’t expect to hear anything but good news on this visit because I had no pain or tenderness and my gums are in excellent condition. Was I ever wrong!   

To repair this I only had a couple of options: have the crown and tooth removed and an implant put in to replace it so that it can hold the partial, have the fractured tooth and the other tooth holding my partial removed and a new full upper denture made or replace both teeth with implants. I may also have to have bone grafts done if need be to be able to have the implants. That will be much more money.

The tooth that is crowned holding the other side of my partial could fail at any time. So if I don’t have it removed now, it could be even more money down the road when it does fail.

I am so sick of living in my dentist’s chair that I decided to have both crowned teeth removed and a new full denture made. I just want to be done with all of it and not have another problem down the road. It would involve going for an appointment to have an impression mold made to send to the lab to make the denture. Then when the denture is ready, I need to go have the two extractions and on the same appointment the new denture would be put in. I would never be without teeth. After I heal I may have to have the denture realigned which is done in the dentist’s office. The cost is $3286. but after my dental plan discount, it will cost me $2636. out of pocket.

I think it is the right thing to do and the dentist agreed with me especially since he knows what I have been through and the costs I have already paid out of pocket.  Hopefully when this is all done over the next few weeks, I will only have to go for cleanings and exams. My lower teeth are in good shape.

So we will have to work to replace this money that we will be paying out of our emergency fund. This is another goal for 2020.

 I only tell you all of this because when you are planning for your retirement, make sure that you plan for many dental expenses in your retirement years. Even if you have a dental plan, it does not pay a lot on expensive things. So this is one more expense that you have to be prepared for.

Off topic, I am still working in the basement. I am now going through our many bins of Christmas decorations and deciding what we will keep and what we will purge. Once that is done, the large storage wall is done. Then on to the other areas.

Every Day

What Your Most Important Goal Should Be This Year

That would be to save for retirement! But AD, I am only in my twenties and I want to have fun. But AD, I am only in my thirties and my kids are so expensive. But AD, I am only in my forties and I need to pay for my children’s college. But AD, I am only in my fifties, the kids are leaving, and and it is time for us to spend on ourselves. Now I am in my sixties, AD, and I will never be able to retire. I will be working until I die.

In  all my years of living, I have heard it all. There are always excuses and the biggest one is that I have lots of time left to save for retirement. Tell that to all of the seniors who are living on social security only and wondering how to make ends meet, skimping on food to pay for medical prescriptions or going without. They are also wondering if their social security and medicare will be cut because the government spent all the money they put into pay for those things in retirement. Now they say the system is going broke in a couple of years.

Funny thing about time, it flies right by so fast that you really don’t even notice until it is too late. 

Pension plans were a terrific retirement vehicle in my day but they are almost non existent now. Besides so many companies pension plans have gone broke and their retirees have lost everything.

Government pensions plans were better. However take a look at how many states like California and Illinois and many others did not fully fund their employees pension plans while those employees were working. Now they are in the hole trying to pay them. Unless you have that money in your hand, you can’t count on it. These states could easily tell retirees, we can no longer afford to pay you so sorry. Some states have already reduced the amounts the retirees are getting monthly. You can only count on yourself!

I can vividly remember the first time we put money away for retirement. I was 19 years old and Hubby was 20. We are so glad we saved because if our small pension goes away and social security too, we will be just fine.

If you are in your twenties or even thirties, you have a long timeline to invest and be set in retirement. If you are in your 40’s or 50’s, it is a necessity that you save for retirement. You will have to put more away but it isn’t too late. Many retirees ramped up their savings when they were in their fifties and now are living a great life in retirement. Waiting until your 60’s is much harder. You may have to always supplement with a full or part time job. 

For those of you whose  employers offer a match on your 401K, make sure that you are taking advantage of that. If you aren’t, you are throwing away free money.

To go along with this, pay off all of your debt before you retire including your mortgage. The last thing you want hanging over your head in retirement are mortgage, car, or credit card payments. If you have a paid off car going into retirement, start saving to replace that car.

Too many seniors now have debt in retirement. The most recent debt statistics that I could find were for 2016. It shows that seniors over the age of 65 had a median average debt of $ 31,300. That has to affect these seniors mental health. The stress must be tremendous!

Do something to save for retirement now! You do not want to be one of these seniors when you retire.

all know that prices go up. We will be retired 19 years in 2020. The
money that we retired with has lost  45.3% of it’s buying power due to inflation since we
retired. An item that cost us $1,000. in 2001 now costs us $1453.15 in 2020. So you have to account for inflation when you are saving for retirement. It is a fact of life.

I hadn’t planned on writing on this today but looking at everyone’s goals on their blogs or on You Tube, only a couple suggested saving for retirement and I believe it is the most important thing that you can do.

Now for an example of rising costs. We got our January property tax bill that I will be paying today. Since we moved here 10 years ago, our assessment on our home has gone up by $ 50,700. and our property and school taxes have gone up over $ 1250.  annually. If we hadn’t accounted for these increases, we would not be able to stay in our beautiful home that we love.

I think back to when we were paying a total of $2500. in property and school taxes in AZ when we moved. That was wonderful. Now we pay about $ 8400. annually here in New York. Yes, moving was our choice. We moved to be near our children and our grandchildren. But isn’t it fantastic that we had that choice!

So please save for your retirement this year! When you are as “young” as me, you will be so happy that you did.

Every Day

2020 Goals

In prior posts I talked about a few of these. They are:

1) Eating Down Our Stockpile 

2) Lose 30-35 More Pounds 

3) I Will No Longer Employ Any Servants 

These are the rest of my goals:

4) Only Buy Needs: As I have often talked about, there is a huge difference between needs and wants. So in 2020, we will concentrate on needs. Things like food, personal care and cleaning supplies, taxes, utilities, housing maintenance, basic clothing, cable, internet, telephones, gasoline, a date monthly with Hubby,  travel to see family, and gifts for family and charities are necessities for us. I am sure there are a few others that I am not thinking about at the moment. But I think you get the idea. Expensive toys, eating out every week, coffee at any coffee place, cthotchke’s, and miscellaneous junk,etc. are wants in this household. So we will be ever mindful before we purchase anything as to which is a want or a need.

5) Carve Out Me Time: I think this is so important. We all are all so busy doing for our families whether it be for kids or grandkids, hubbies, extended family or friends, or even writing this blog that we forget that we need some time for ourselves. I will be carving out a day and a time every week, that I will put in my planner, to do something for myself that I enjoy. 

6) Clean Out All The Clutter: I have always been pretty good at keeping our home free of clutter. But our basement has gotten messy this past year. It is so easy to bring a box down and just put it anywhere. We also have many boxes that I need to go through and determine whether we need to keep the items in them any more. Clutter causes so much stress. Every time that I go down to the basement to work out on the treadmill, I see the mess and it drives me crazy. So this will be my rest of the winter project. While Hubby is installing the walls and laying the carpet in the pantry, I will be working on this mess.

I have already gotten rid of years’ worth of paperwork and tax returns that we don’t need. I threw out a queen size blow up bed that hasn’t held air in years. Why it wasn’t thrown out a long time ago, I have no clue. I found another bag of summer clothing that is 5 sizes too big for me. That will be donated to Goodwill.

If you have a cluttered area or areas in your home, make this a priority. It will free up so much stress. I have heard people say that they don’t know where to start because it is so overwhelming. Just pick one room and pick a spot in the room to start and then work your way around that room. Even an hour a day will make a big difference. It doesn’t need to be done all at once. Just make it a priority!

7) Invest At Least 60% of Our Income: AD, are you nuts? Nope this is a priority for us! We are retired but have some income every month that needs to be invested for a purpose that is close to our hearts but that I will not share. This is doable for us because we have kept our expenses low.

These are all of our goals that we have for 2020. It is a lot but we will do our best to keep them.

Did you make any goals for this year? Please share them with all of us! 

Every Day

2020 Goals: I Will No Longer Employ Any Servants

Yes, that’s right! My next 2020 goal is that I will no longer employ any servants. I can hear the question now. American Dreamer you use a servant? You must be very rich! 

Nope, I am not rich. I would bet that all of you have  employed servants at one time or another.

If you have purchased any kind of convenience food, you are paying for a servant. When you purchase, cut up fruits and vegetables, you are paying for someone or a company to do that for you. Their pay is included in the price you pay and the price is not cheap. Fire those servants and do the cutting yourself! Save that money!

When you purchase any TV type dinner that is just heat and eat, you are paying for the company to make it for you.

When you purchase many things like frozen pizzas, bread, rolls, cinnamon buns in a refrigerated can, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, or cookies at the bakery,  things like Spanish rice packets, mashed potatoes in a box or packet, macaroni and cheese in a box, and a myriad of other prepared meals, you are paying for that.

If you buy spaghetti sauce, spaghettios, ravioli in a can, you are paying for a company to make that.

When I buy Fresh Express salads or salad kits, I am paying a premium for someone else to make them.

Salad dressings is another big one. They are easily made at home. Why pay someone to make them for you? 

Frozen packages like green beans in butter sauce or broccoli with cheese sauce cost you more money than making them yourselves. Why pay a servant to make them for you! Frozen cakes, pies, and many other desserts you are paying for someone  to make for you.

Frozen vegetables with just the vegetable in them are fine. They were frozen at their peak so are cost efficient especially when they are out of season. But you don’t need cheese, butter, or cream sauces on them. If you want sauce on them, make them yourself. 

Buy what ever vegetables are in season for the best prices. But I do check to see which is cheaper per pound, frozen or fresh, and that is what I purchase.  

Snacks, like junk food, you are paying a huge premium for. Have you ever figured out what you are paying per pound for those items? It would blow your mind. I would rather buy meat or poultry than pay the exorbitant prices for junk food. I can make celery and carrot sticks with dip, cheese and meat trays, cut up fruit, pop my own popcorn, etc. for snacks.  

I have been guilty of paying for servants for years. in 2020, I am not going to pay for servants for things that I can make myself. 

We will be sticking to basic ingredients that we can make other things from. Will it be easy? Nope. I will have to think about every purchase I make and the cheapest way to make it.

Certain things like SF  products that I can’t make, like the SF syrups that we use in our coffee would be impossible. But most things I can do myself.

There will be another exception. My grandchildren love ice cream so I will buy that. To make it from scratch would not save us any money. I can buy it cheaply with coupons or at Aldi.

Will we use up what we have already purchased that we can eat that is in our stockpile? Of course, not to would be a waste of money. 

So those things that we pay a hefty price for will be gone from our shopping! 99% of the servants that we pay for will be banished from our shopping. 

Will we go out to dinner once in a while? Sure. But we don’t go out very often. Just a few times a year and the money for that comes from our entertainment budget. Not from our grocery budget.

Fortunately, we have never purchased food from places like Home Chef. I think they are the biggest waste of money there is. You are really paying a huge premium for them to prepare that package for you and you still have to cook it.

Do you pay for servants that you could fire? 

Every Day

2020 Goals: Second Goal

My second goal for 2020 is to lose 30-35 more lbs. My doctor and I have determined that this will be a perfect weight for me. It is actually the weight I was at when we got married. I would like to do it by June 30th.

Can I do it? Yes, but it is going to be tough without exercising more. Hence, instead of exercising sporadically which is about 3 times a week, I will be exercising 7 days a week for one hour each day. I have actually already started that regimen.

I am finding the more weight I lose the harder it comes off. So I will be working out not only on the recumbent bike and treadmill but using small weights. I will also be exercising using You Tube. I love the fat burning dance videos. I desperately need to tighten things up.

When winter is over, I will walk outside too. I love to do this while enjoying the fresh air.  

I track my exercise using my fitness watch. I find it fun to track my progress. It also tracks my sleep which I am finding is one of the most important things. My sleep was terrible before I started taking magnesium every day. Now I sleep like a baby, usually 8-9 hours a day.   

I will continue dieting using a combination of Keto and Carnivore. My doctor says they are excellent diets for me to follow. 

Throughout my diet, I have used supplements to make sure that my body is getting what it needs. So I take a multivitamin every day. I also take 4000 iu. of Vitamin D, 500mg. of Vitamin C, and 200 mg. of magnesium. These have all been approved by my doctor for me. Always check with your doctor to see what supplements are safe for you and that won’t interact with your prescription pills. I get dairy in my SF puddings and some cheese so I don’t take calcium. I have great bone density according to tests. This all works well for me.

So do any of you want to join me in the weight loss journey for 2020? If I can do it at my “young age”, you can definitely do it!

Every Day

2020 Goals

We have been working on our 2020 goals. Today I will tell you the first one. It is one that will save us the most amount of money.

We are planning on eating down our stockpile which we have already started doing. As you have heard me talk about, we have been doing it for months.

The difference between then and now is that I was still stockpiling some things (like turkeys, chicken, and other meats as I saw them on sale). Because of that, my freezers are again full. I plan on no stockpiling until all of the food is gone. The things we eat will get eaten and the things that we don’t will get donated.

The reason for this is two fold. First, we are eating different foods than we used to eat. Now that Hubby is on board with his diet, there are a lot of things in our stockpile that neither of us will eat. Before they expire, they will get donated. Secondly, I want to use up all of the food that we have in this house and not be putting large amounts of money out for food that we don’t need. It is time to use up everything that has been stored that we can eat and use up that money that we spent to buy it.

Then I can defrost the basement freezer and put it to better use than before. I have used it for frozen vegetables and fruits, bread, an occasional frozen pizza, meats, poultry, fish, ice cream, cool whip, etc. 

I have come to the conclusion that my 7 cu. ft. freezer would better serve us if I only stored the expensive proteins mentioned above. Those are the things that I save the most money on at rock bottom prices. I have also recently found a few more places to shop that have rock bottom sales on meat, poultry, and fish. So when I am buying these items again, I will have more prices to scrutinize.

The other items that are frozen can be stored in my 2 freezer drawers in my refrigerator. We don’t eat bread anymore so there is no reason to store it. Nor do we eat fruit with the exception of occasionally eating some applesauce. When the last frozen pizza is gone(cheat nights once a month will be instituted), we will not be buying those. The SF Cool Whip and the ice cream for my grandchildren can be purchased when needed. Some kind of frozen veggies are on sale almost every week and can be found by doing a quick search on Flipp. I can always purchase them at Aldi’s where they are usually the cheapest. Hubby and I also eat a lot of fresh veggies which we can always buy at the store even if they are not in season.

So because of all of these changes, my plan had to change. We will still purchase necessary items like half & half, eggs, breakfast meats, milk and fresh veggies as we need them and anything else that we run out of that we deem a necessity. But if we can substitute something else that we already have, we will. 

By donating what we no longer eat, it will get it off our storage shelves and make it easier to move all of our storage when Hubby is ready to carpet the pantry floor. 

When we are starting from scratch, I will document how I do it at rock bottom prices for those who may need a refresher or be new to my blog.

I will also occasionally show you what we used up in a week’s time and what we had to shop for or if we had to shop.

So if you are in the same situation as we are you might want to make this one of your goals for 2020. It seems senseless to keep buying food when we have so much.