You'll hear all about our trials and misfires and what works. Maybe my glimpse into retiring with nothing in the bank but love will inspire (or scare) others in the same boat. Keep the bucket handy for bailing. Oh by the way, the retiring part is my husband. I will still be toiling away at my writing career, which is in its infancy - but I work hard!
|Looking forward to more sunsets|
Hair. Funny, my head comes first, but I've always said finding a good hairdresser is harder than finding a good doctor. After paying around $150 a visit for the last few years, I had to make some changes.
Result: Beauty school hair style $6.00 plus tip
Drugstore hair dye $8.00
Downside: My color is not streaked and multi-shaded like I prefer but I don't look ugly either - I can live with that.
|Will the Verde overflow its beginning this year?|
Result: Senior movie discounts - you can't beat $5 movies
Ask for your senior discount at restaurants. Nearly every eating establishment has some sort of senior discount. Hey a free drink is worth it!
Hotels often have senior discounts too. Ask. If you're not a senior, then travel on the cheap days. Example: During the week, Laughlin, NV has hotels that charge $10-$20 a night compared to $45-$75 on the weekends.
Parks, both state and federal have a couple of ways to save. Seniors get discounted lifetime passes. For $10 we get into any federal park. If you're not a senior, check on yearly passes which are much cheaper than paying for each trip.
Wherever you go, ask if discounts are available. Often, they aren't advertised.
Downside: None from our point of view.
Result: We all look for the cheapest stations. Up here it's Maverick or Costco. Another way to get cents off is to trade at a supermarket that gives points. Safeway and Frys in Arizona do and have their own stations.
Downside: The store stations are not plentiful so you have to plan your gas filling trips.
Charge card benefits.
Result: We charge most things and accumulate points. We now have two airline tickets. On my other card I had enough points for a couple of Christmas presents.
Downside: None for us because we pay them off entirely each month. So please take caution if you choose to live this way. Don't charge what you can't pay off.
|Christie, Lance, Gabby, Xena|
Result: We couldn't do what we're doing if we didn't cohabitate with my son and daughter-in-law. It's working for us so far. Financially it's a win-win.
Downside: I don't always get my way! We have to agree on what big expenditures come first, and there is compromise.
I can't do a point by point on all the other aspects of how our experiment is working. I think we've barely scratched the surface. Next year won't be like this year - the farm is expanding, a baby is coming and other milestones are expected. But here are a few observations after the first year:
I've lowered my standards on neatness, others have improved.
Frank keeps asking me what part of retirement don't I understand.
|Gabby, Rusty, Xena|
Rusty is so much happier with a larger pack and someone always around.
Two cooks in the house makes me happy (since one of them isn't me).
I have to be careful to command myself to write and not get caught up in ALL the farm and household activities.
Shopping is not an activity anymore.
I love eating what we grow.
"Going into town" is a real thing and not just a line off Little House on the Prairie.
So much for my wrap up. Now I'll gather my thoughts on the upcoming year and what we intend to do with it. Hint: we have a tractor! I'll be a grandma!