Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Spendy Day

When you think about saving for retirement or financial independence, do you save for the unexpected things? 

I know many of you save for the basics of food, transportation, medical and housing. Even within those categories we think about replacing cars, paying co-pays and insurances,household maintenance such as replacing roofing tiles, siding, and replacing heating systems and other appliances. We even think about accumulating many years of property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums. If you love to travel, you even build in funds earmarked for those trips and an amount for eating out or other entertainment.

But how many of you think about saving for the things that will make your life easier as you age? Do you assume that Medicare will pay for those items or that you will never need them? Sometimes I think we ignore those costs hoping that we will never need them. But guess what aging comes sooner than you think and you have to be prepared.

Nothing brought that last sentence home to us more than Hubby's stay in the hospital. I almost lost him and he is well aware of that fact. But thanks to the wonders of medicine, terrific doctors, and nurses and all of the prayers for him from family and all of you wonderful people who read my blog, he seems to be making a full recovery. They told me in the hospital that it would take about 3-4 months for him to fully recover his strength. After laying in bed all of those days and not eating for 18 days he was very weak. He is now starting to feel like his old self little by little. He has never lost his sense of humor and that is what is getting us through all of this. 

But all of this has changed our lookout on life. He and I are no longer willing to wait for things. You know the kind of waiting that says I will do that tomorrow. 

As you all know, we have two terrific grandchildren who we love with all of our hearts. In the past few years whenever they would visit and want to do something like go to the Zoo, we would go but without Hubby. Why you say? Because Hubby has had a bad back since his early twenties but in the past couple of years, it has become terribly painful for him to do simple things like walk to the mailbox, run errands, or walk any distance at a zoo or any other place. He has worked with back doctors for years and finally found one who gave him cortisone injections. They only worked for a couple of months. 

Before Hubby went into the hospital, he had an ablation done on the right side of his back. He was supposed to have the left side done two days after he was admitted. Needless to say we had to cancel it. Since then his ablation doctor has moved to another state. We are waiting the arrival of a new one. We don't even know if all of this will help him. 

But with the hospitalization, Hubby has decided that there is no way he will have spinal surgery if the ablations don't work. So he was determined to find another way.

His grandchildren and family are the most important people in his life besides me of course. I tell you all of this because we went and purchased this and it was delivered yesterday:

Yup, a motorized chair. Would Medicare and our secondary insurance pay for it? No way because Hubby can still walk even though it is painful. 

However, Hubby wanted one so that he can go along on all those outings with the grandchildren and watch their faces as they enjoy life. He can again be part of the fun. He is so happy with this purchase. I am too because I know that there aren't many places he can't go now. We even are planning an outing when he gets a little stronger to the Falls( Niagara Falls) which is where we spent our honeymoon and we have gone many times. It never gets old.

But if we hadn't saved our money for the necessities of life, we wouldn't have been able to purchase this with cash and make his dream come true. When I think about stopping for coffee at Tim Horton's or grabbing something at a fast food place, I rarely do. That is because we have always spent our money for the important things in life not impulse purchases that we wouldn't even remember a week later.

The chair cost us $ 1300. but it is worth every penny to make Hubby's life easier and much more enjoyable. Hopefully most people in retirement could come up with $ 1300. cash but there are some that couldn't. It would be a shame not to be able to afford something like this and have to forgo such joy.

Hubby is also planning on having the bathrooms made elderly friendly and some other things done that will help us in the future. We never know when we may need those things. He also is planning on hiring a landscape company to take care of trimming all of our landscaping 4-5 times a year and mulching  when necessary.

What do all of these things have in common? You need money. Money that we don't have to stress over because we planned ahead and invested wisely.

So when you are planning your financial independence think about all of those things that you will eventually have to have money to pay for. I don't want to see any of you have to go without necessities that make your life more enjoyable as you age.  


  1. So glad that your husband is getting stronger each day! I think it is wonderful that he has the motorized chair to get around and enjoy going places with your grandchildren. Those memories are priceless, and I am glad that you saved the money so you can do the things that are important to you.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks so much. Memories are priceless!

  2. Im very glad to read that your husband is doing better and will be able to get around more. You speak of having the money you need to afford things that are neccessary because you have saved and invested wisely. However what if you haven't done those things? What can a person do if they are starting from zero and not young anymore or maybe with a low income job. Perhaps you already have a post on those situations?

    1. Thanks Amanda! If someone hasn't saved anything and is starting from zero,it is never too late to start saving. I have seen so many people throw their hands up in the air and do nothing because they have never done anything. I don't care whether you are 40 or 60, it is never too late to save and invest. You may not end up with as large a pot as someone who starts saving at 20 but you can certainly end up with enough to pay for your necessities. But in order to do that you need to be extremely frugal and stick with it. I know many people who only started saving and investing in their fifties and accumulated $600,000. to a million dollars in just ten years. I promise a post that details this further when I have more time.

  3. I appreciated your comment on making your bathroom elderly friendly. My husband and I are building a new house - literally building it ourselves. We opted to make it elderly friendly even though we are in our early 40s now. The hallways are wide and we put in pocket doors. Our shower will be wheelchair accessible. We tell everyone that we plan to get old one day.

    1. Hi Dawn,

      That is terrific planning. We should have thought about that when we purchased this house although our hallways and doors will take wheelchair.

      You last comment made me laugh. Hubby and I are thinking we might too! :-)

  4. I'm so glad your hubby is home and that you got the scooter chair for him. I'm really surprised that Medicare did not at least help cover part of the cost of it. My MIL's was totally covered.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for the good wishes. The only way they will pay for one is if you are considered disabled. Hubby isn't because pain doesn't qualify.