Okay, so this last post isn’t so much about health care, but it’s going to carry through on a theme of independence. The first two described methods to remove or reduce other peoples control over your healthcare. They also looked at ways to reduce costs or at least gain control over how your money is used.
I had hinted at this when I wrote about becoming self insured in areas like short term disability. Using a common tool taught by Dave Ramsey. The Emergency fund. The neat thing after you have established an emergency that will cover 3 to 6 months of needs is that it also covers other areas.
How many maintenance plans have you purchased for household appliances, electronics or your car? Not needed if you have an emergency fund. What about other areas of your life and finances where other people control what you do. Does your employer offer vacation? How much? What if you wanted 3 weeks when he only provides 2. The question is who is going to pay for the extra time off? Well that’s one question. Sometimes the employer doesn’t want you gone regardless of who pays for it. But in that case you need to decide what is more important.
What about retirement. I have always planned on retiring at 60. Many people think there is no way to do that. I think they just haven’t considered how much their homes cost them, or how many “things” that they are supporting that they don’t need to. You can eliminate a lot of baggage from your life and find that you can afford to not work so hard. It always kills me when people say that both the man and the wife have to work. But they have cable TV, cell phones with data plans, cars with all the neat gadgets etc. They don’t have to work. They need to figure out what it costs to have all that junk!
Now I’m considering retiring as soon as I sell the house. We’ll buy an RV and travel. I’ll work when I need to get some extra gas and food money. We won’t have lots of toys but we’ll have plenty of time. We’re always complaining about being too busy. Why is that? We allow it! We think we have to go, go, go. One of the activities I’ve really enjoyed lately is walking. 30 minutes a day gives me a good workout and if I let someone tag along we usually have a good discussion. We take different routes and look at the scenery, or stop and visit friends that we don’t see enough of.
All of these things are made possible by decisions. Often they are not possible when we just blunder through life with no planning. Or planning but setting standards that don’t need to be set. Who says I have to have ‘x’ amount of money before I do something. Turn that question around and say I have ‘x’, how do I do ‘y’ regardless. You’d be surprised at how creative you can be. It only get’s better with practice.
Over this last summer Denise and I have been working on downsizing. It’s amazing how much stuff we have sold and I can’t say I miss anything. We were able to pocket a little cash and we reduced the baggage in our life. The option of selling our house and buying a RV seems so real now. There’s no real stress now that we’ve relieved ourselves of a bunch of burdens.
So that’s it. This is all part of the health care plan. De-stressing our life. Doing the things we really want. Making plans and actually doing things that we always thought we would do….. later.