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first financial task finished

August 25th, 2016 at 02:34 pm

I started with the easiest assignment from yesterday's financial consultant meeting. I created my SS account, downloaded my most recent statement and uploaded it to my retirement plan website so that the advisor can review it. I do qualify for SS benefits and Medicare, so that's a plus!

According to the summary, at my current SS earnings rate, if I continue working until...
my full retirement age (67), my payment would be about $1,928 a month OR
age 70, my payment would be about $2,475 a month OR
age 62 (early retirement), my payment would be about $1,248 a month

I do still look at this as a bonus to whatever I save on my own for retirement, because part of my future fantasy is to work part-time as I approach 60, so I don't foresee making my current salary all the way until I'm 67 to 70. In that case, the payment would be much lower - maybe $1000 a month?

Also, this sentence appears on the statement: Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits.

Yesterday was a low-spend day, only $24.77 to fill my gas tank. I paid cash and saved 5 cents a gallon, which was a bonus because I rarely carry cash! I need to remember to use cash for gas rather than my rewards credit card with 1% cash back. The total cost was $25.34, so I saved 57 cents by paying cash. If I had charged it, I would have earned 25 cents cash back. My impulse is to go for the cash back (free money!), but in this case paying in cash is a better deal. I should probably investigate cards with higher cash back bonuses - do these exist?

I'm working at home this morning and then have an afternoon dentist appointment, which is about an hour away. I started seeing this dentist many years ago because he incorporates holistic elements into his practice. I really like going there, but it's so far! I had my last cleaning scheduled for January, but had to cancel due to busyness. I forgot to reschedule for months and by the time I remembered, they were booked until late August. The visit will cost $25 to cover my dental deductible. I hope he doesn't discover any cavities or other problems, but he probably will. My teeth are very susceptible to cavities. Frown

I live in a very rural area, and the dental office is just outside of the "big city', so I hope I have enough energy to try on some hiking boots while I'm up there. I'm taking a walking tour in Portugal this October and need to buy boots ASAP so that I can break them in before the trip. I also need to purchase my plane ticket.

7 Responses to “first financial task finished”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    There are definitely higher rewards cards out there. Citi double cash pays 2% back on everything. We get 3% back on groceries (Am Ex Blue Preferred?) and so it always make more sense to charge than to pay the cash price. The caveat on the AmEx is that they do charge an annual fee. It would probably be worthless as a single person due to the annual fee, but there are other cards out there. I'd look around. Or others will chime in on their gas rewards cards.

  2. snafu Says:

    Good on you, taking immediate action as result of your 1st interview with a financial planner. BTW, does he have the CFP credential? It requires a higher standard of fiduciary responsibility to their client.

    I hope you'll take time with the hiking boots purchase. It's important to take/wear the socks you'll use when trying on boots. You need to understand what you actually need for your specific journey and the fit points for comfort to avoid painful blisters or irritations. Everyone has anecdotal stories of what works and what doesn't. DS did the long tour of Machu Picchu last year and in spite of having good hiking boots, he believed he needed 'better' boots.

    Bought the type in $ 300. range and wore them on local hikes as 'break-in.' Long story short, he had blisters and breaks so severe he was air lifted from the camp, unable to walk, 4 days in hospital yadda yadda, big bills for care made initial trip cst paltry by comparison. Most of the trekkers on his journey wore Merrill type boots. Notice Rick Steve's travellers discuss footwear. Personally, I like Clark's walking shoes. It's all about step/arch fit and cobblestone. Worked well for a day's hike on The Great Wall of China [lots of broken down pathway], very thin air.

    There is a lot of confusion about travel insurance. You really need to study what you are buying. DS bought the package offered by the tour seller which ultimately rebated a sum equal to the cost of insurance. His home insurance rebated the sum they would have paid for similar treatment in a local hospital with currency adjustment...better than nothing. Travel insurance is even more bewildering than home or auto. You are not expected to make a claim!

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    What kind of p/t work do you see yourself doing as you approach age 60?

    My personal feeling is that you shouldn't have to break in shoes at all. They should fit well from the start. I'd have plenty of experiences where the shoes were a little stiff when I bought them, and you know what? They were always stiff.

  4. scfr Says:

    I use the Citi double cash (2%) card too.

    Gas I buy at the grocery store. I buy a prepaid grocery store card using my Am-Ex Blue Cash Preferred (6% back on groceries) that I then use to buy the gas. If I used the Am-Ex card at the pump I wouldn't get 6%, but I do for buying the prepaid store card. An extra little hoop to jump through, worth it for me. As MonkeyMama already said, there is an annual fee tho, so it might not be worth it for you.

    I miss the days of discount gas for cash payment. We had stations like that where I used to live, but not here.

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    If you're breaking shoes in wear thick socks so they stretch. Great tip I got from a very knowledgable person! Also I totally get dentist attachment! My dentist is an absolute gem and uses laser not drills - even if I lived hours away I'd still make the trip for him.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    Oops - that should have said 3% back on gas purchases. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I have a Pen Fed card that I use only for gas - get 5% back on it. There is an annual fee, but you can have that waived by opening a money market account with $25 (and then take that money back out ..) You do have to pay something to become a CU member - $15 I think? But it is a one time thing.

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