August 4th, 2017 was my last day at work. I am now officially retired! Woo hoo!!
Well …. I suppose I should say, “temporarily retired”, as we don’t have anywhere near enough money to satisfy the tried-and-true 4% rule. But I’ve been working darn near 40 years, and if we’re not even halfway to that mark yet, then I suppose we’ll never hit it. So what the heck! We decided to give this retirement gig a shot anyway, even if in the future one, (or both!), of us has to go back to work.
If you’re curious, you can see the current state of our finances here: our net worth. (Don’t get excited; we aren’t wealthy!)
So what am I going to do in retirement? Well, I had planned on working on our “tea universe” business. Unfortunately on July 26th, (about a week before I retired!), our web hosting company, (Bluehost), sent me an email saying our account had been hacked! Ugh! To make a long story short, (you can read more about this mess here: Bluehost Sucks!), I wound up canceling all four of our Bluehost domains, which effectively killed our “tea universe” store.
Phooey!! Oh well, life goes on …..
The most pressing need of the moment is to try to control our expenses. For anyone like us who is unemployed, the bull-in-the-china-shop expense is that darned medical insurance. So today I will attempt to find “affordable” health insurance, (as if that isn’t the world’s most moronic oxymoron), hoping that we won’t have to suffer any COBRA bites!
We did come up with a quick seat-of-the-pants monthly budget:
- Mortgages and other House Expenses: $1,600
- Health Insurance (Yucky COBRA): $1,200
- Food and Entertainment: $800
- Everything Else $400
If I can still do third grade arithmetic, that comes to a total of $4,000/month.
We currently have about $30,000 in cash sitting in our various checking accounts, so if we can stick to something close to this budget, we should be able to last about 7 months before things get dire.
Yes, the “Everything Else” bucket will probably break through the $400 barrier, but we are really, really, REALLY hoping we can find a much cheaper health insurance option to that nasty COBRA.
Besides, I don’t truly believe we will earn $0, (zip, nada), the entire time I’m “retired”. I am trying to “make money online”, (please don’t laugh!), and there is always the possibility of seasonal, part-time work, brief contracts, or even craigslist gigs. So even if the numbers look ominous, don’t count us out yet!