I MENTIONED IN an earlier article that my wife and I were planning a trip to the U.K. Before we went, I thought I better see my primary care physician. I didn’t want any medical surprises. We’ll be gone for five weeks. A lot can happen to a 71-year-old during that time.
My doctor retired a few months ago, so I decided I’d go see my mother’s old doctor. He specializes in geriatric medicine.
MY WIFE AND I ARE traveling to the U.K. This will be my first time in England, Wales and Scotland. We’ll spend a week in London before taking a train to Cambridge, where we’ll rent a car for the balance of the vacation.
My wife planned the trip, doing an enormous amount of research. It took her a couple of months to put this adventure together. I thought we’d be staying mostly in major cities with well-known attractions.
I’M NOT SOMEONE who pats himself on the back when he does something right. I’m also not someone who takes compliments well. But this time, I want to toot my own horn.
After four years, I can finally say I’ve accomplished a goal that I’ve worked toward for many years, but was unable to achieve. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of discipline and composure.
To accomplish this feat, I tuned out cable business news.
MY WIFE DECIDED to sell the house she bought before we were married. We’re both retired and I view it as another step in our ongoing efforts to simplify our financial lives as we age.
My wife and I interviewed a real estate agent who was recommended by a friend. Steven suggested we do some minor repairs before listing the house. Steven also gave us his opinion on the sale price. He told my wife she had a nice little starter home and we should list it in the middle of the estimated price range.
EVERY SO OFTEN, I see comments on social media about Vanguard Group’s Personal Advisor Services (PAS). One person posted that he’d talked to a growing number of people who quit PAS. There was no particular reason given for why they left. But I don’t doubt it. I’m a PAS client. I’ve often thought about terminating my relationship.
I’ve been with PAS since 2018. When I first joined, the PAS advisors made a few changes to my investment portfolio.
IN THE EARLY 1990s, my employer—an aerospace manufacturer—sent a small group of employees to Winnipeg, Canada, to help set up a production line. We were chosen because of our familiarity with the product involved.
The company provided us with a furnished apartment, a rental car and $40 a day for food. They flew us back home every two weeks, so we could take care of personal business. I’d fly to Los Angeles on Friday and return to Winnipeg on Monday.
WHEN FOLKS TALK about their best financial decisions, they’ll often mention the investments they bought. But my list is quite different. Here are the five best money moves I’ve made during my dozen years in retirement:
1. Updating my estate plan. When I was my mother’s primary caregiver, she was the major beneficiary of my estate. If something happened to me, I wanted to make sure she could afford the care she needed.
I DON’T MAKE TOO many New Year’s resolutions anymore. At age 70, it seems like most of the good ones are for people much younger than me—especially the ones that involve money.
That said, I did have a good New Year’s resolution involving money for the past few years. It was to wait until age 70 to claim Social Security. In return for my delay, I was rewarded with a far bigger check.
If I were a young fellow again,
I HATE BUYING CARS. I can’t think of too many sales transactions that are more loathsome. When I look back at all the times I purchased a car, the one with my father in 1976 was the most memorable.
I needed a new car. I was living in San Diego and often driving to Los Angeles to visit family and friends. My 1966 Volkswagen Beetle couldn’t take too many more trips.
I asked my father if he wanted to come with me to look at new cars.
AS ANOTHER YEAR draws to a close, I sometimes wish I could slow time down. As I grow older, it feels like life is moving way too fast. Maybe the reason is that I’m enjoying life more. I’ve always felt my life has gotten better as I’ve grown older.
Even though we’re having to deal with the fallout from COVID-19, I like my life. I wouldn’t want to turn back the clock and be young again.
I DROVE BY the condominium I sold last year. It was bought by a young lady in her early 20s. I noticed a for-sale sign hanging near the front entrance of the building.
Out of curiosity, I looked up the unit for sale online. It had the same floor plan as the condo I’d sold, but was located on the first floor in the back of the building. The condo I owned was located on the top floor facing the street—a much better location.
WE WENT TO NEW YORK City last month for a vacation. Before we left, I went to my credit union and withdrew money in small denominations. I wanted to make sure I had cash to tip the people who helped us during our trip.
Sometimes, I get confused about who I should tip and how much. It can be a little stressful when you want to make sure you don’t stiff anyone—especially people who are counting on tips to make ends meet,
SOME INVESTORS TODAY are avoiding bonds because rising interest rates could cause the price of bonds to fall. I’m not one of them. Bond funds continue to play a significant role in my investment portfolio. Here are eight reasons I’m sticking with my funds:
This isn’t a good time to sell. Bonds have already factored in the market’s expectation that rates will rise. Interest rates have climbed this year, causing a decline in bond prices.
MY WIFE AND I ARE going to New York City for a vacation. One reason we chose New York: We wouldn’t have to deal with inflated rental car prices. We can walk and use public transportation to get where we want to go. Also, it’s just a fun place to visit.
Trouble is, I’ve been suffering from foot pain and a bum shoulder. The past few months, I’ve been trying to stay off my feet to give my foot a chance to heal,
AS A RETIREE WHO HAS traditional Medicare, my health insurance premiums will cost $4,696 this year. That comes to $391 a month. I’ve had no other out-of-pocket costs in 2021, except Medicare Part B’s $203 deductible.
Here’s how much I’m paying in 2021 for each of my health care plans:
Traditional Medicare: $148.50 per month or $1,782 total
Prescription drug plan: $29.20 per month or $350 total
Medigap policy: $213.68 per month or $2,564 total
I know some people are critical of federal-run programs.