What Does It Take To Retire Early

If you think having a few million dollars in a bank is your path to early retirement you’re not going to do well in early retirement. Early retirement is a mind game. It is the desire to cease working at all costs regardless if you have a few million dollars in the bank or not. At least, that has been my experience. I retired at the age of fifty. I’d rather stick needles inside both my eyes than work at a job ever again.

Regardless of all the planning you have done to earn yourself an early retirement graveyard, unless you have the guts and determination to stay retired, the slightest dip in your pre-planning may cause you to run back into the workforce. In other words, IMHO, the only way a person can seek and stay early retired is because they want it more than anything else in the world. It’s a lot of sacrifice. You have to be quick-witted, extremely agile and be the most cost-conscious solution provider on the face of the earth.

Lots of things are going to go wrong and be contrary to your ridiculous pre-planning. You can read all the books you want, scour all the DIY YouTube videos, read all the early retirement blogs you want BUT your life is going to be different from any other life you devoured.

Remember Jacob of ‘Early Retirement Extreme‘? Jacob used to tout the wondrous miracles of early retirement till he eventually got offered a job he couldn’t refuse. Once Jacob, who used to live quite frugally with his wife (who worked a teaching job BTW) went back to work, all bets were off. Unless you have the badassity tenacity of Mr. Money Mustache (IMHO), early retirement for most is just nothing more than a pipe dream. Early retirement is hardcore. You have to be willing to live so beneath what you had become accustomed to (try $1500 to $2800 a month!) and you have to rely 1000% on yourself. No picking up the phone to call anyone to help fix or solve your problem. You have got to do everything by yourself. You have to choose to live so differently from any other human being that you may never know the meaning of the expression ‘normal life’.

Early retirement is fun while you are young. Nothing, however, can prepare you for your eventual old age, declining health problems and the outrageous health care expenses that go with the early retirement extreme. There is no way a 35 year old can experience and prepare for what a 65 year old is feeling. Maybe that’s why the recommended age for retirement is upping to 67? Apparently, at this age you’re starting to get a taste for what’s really ahead for you in your future. Mr. Money Mustache, although pleasantly retired at an early age still goes to work by taking on side jobs! Thus making one ponder, what the heck is early retirement and is it really possible to achieve it at an early age?

You have to understand that should you retire early, your future life will be the continual constant of change and downsizing. You’re life doesn’t expand in early retirement. To the contrary, your life, upon early retirement will decrease, diminish, lesson, be reduced, will shrink, will be curtailed, deflated, shortened, shriveled and become small. Mr. Money Mustache just reduced his square footage lifestyle down to 1000. Both he and his wife voluntarily agreed that they will only have one child, as a means to keeping their living costs in the downward trend. As I said, early retirement means your future life gets smaller. Not bigger.

Almost no one in America dies of ‘old age’. That’s according to the NCHS, which is the government agency responsible for collecting statistical information on how we die. In the NCHS’s instructions for filling out death certificates, “old age” is discouraged for use as a cause of death: “Terms such as senescence [the process of growing old], infirmity, old age, and advanced age have little value for public health or medical research.” Instead, physicians are told to list the immediate cause of death and any conditions that led up to it.

Nothing in early retirement is going to prepare you for your eventual end of life. You’re going to get sick and you’re going to need a lot of money to stay alive. Nothing is going to prepare you for this true fact of life.

Almost every single retired person that I know or have met, despite their massive so-called saving account balances, their ample pensions, social security benefits, interest income or passive incomes are hustling on the side making AND bringing in more money, more money, more money. In other words, what I am trying to say is this: there is NO such thing as early retirement.

You’re gonna work at something till the day you die.

Young people are continually asking Jacob if they can retire young? They confess to him how much money they have in the bank, their age and their future plans. Jacob’s reply is usually the same: The main question you should ask yourself is thus not whether you have enough money, but rather whether you can envision yourself living an unconventional life outside the boxes that most others live in. If this is the case, the money to do so can be earned fairly quickly. The challenge is mostly in the mind, and so this is the real question you should be asking yourself. Can you be happy without doing what everybody else is doing?

If you plan on living a life alone, inside some sparse hut or cave, devoid of other human beings and common human comforts, you’re gonna do just fine in early retirement.

If not, don’t be giving up your day job just yet. Life is very, very long.

retirees

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

The Mediterranean LifeStyle

tel aviv beachIt’s no secret that the people of Italy, France, Spain to the north and Greece, Turkey, Israel and Lebanon to the east, with Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria comprising the North African countries, live and eat well. Time and time again, countless studies have proven that the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet has lower incidences of coronary heart disease thanks wholly on their heavy reliance on vegetables, grains, legumes and olive oil.

Mediterranean Diet Magnet.inddThe Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was developed for American eyeballs back in 2009. With its high amounts of heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats, promotion of heart healthy blood sugar levels, improvement of cognitive function, prevention of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer, I find it amazing that fast food joints are still in business in The United States. People who follow the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle tend to be thinner, have improved body mass indexes, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Fortunately, DH and I are both Italian and had incorporated some of the Mediterranean traits into our lifestyle and menu choices. (going to Italy three times and France once helped!) Apparently, however, whatever we were doing wasn’t quite enough. Both of us this past year suffered from heart events (brought on by stress) so we’ve decided to go full throttle and emerge ourselves into a new lifestyle change and mode. We’re going 100% Mediterranean.

I’ve cleared out our pantry of all junk. We’ve started eliminating foods high in sugars and unrefined starches out of our diet. In addition to our traditional Italian style meals, we’ve added in more foods from Jerusalem, Morocco, Africa, Greece and France. We are eating more fruits and vegetables. Less red meat and more fish, chicken and lamb. Drinking more veggie juices and Greek non-fat yogurt smoothies. I’m learning how to prepare more meals based on grains, such as farrow, bulgur wheat, quinoa and brown rice. Lunches lately have been home-made hummus and falafel based (made from ground chick peas/beans) spread out over cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and eggplant, wrapped up in whole wheat pita breads.

This is NOT a diet per se. It’s a conscious decision to simply make better food choices. If you look at the first bottom rung of the Mediterranean Pyramid, sitting down to a meal with other people is thee most important feature on the triangle. Sharing and enjoying a meal with others, with good conversation, leads to a happy and healthy lifestyle. DH and I have spent months de-cluttering our home, freshening it up with new appliances and a more modern decor. Nothing can be more of a debbie-downer than living in a stressful environment. When we think of the Mediterranean lifestyle, we envision people relaxing on a beach along the Adriatic Sea or the French Riviera (see photo above). That’s what it’s all about.  Good food. Good company. Good friends.

The Good Life.

 

What To Expect In Your 60’s

th-1This month’s AARP magazine (click here) has a ‘surprising snapshot’ about what we all can expect in our 60’s regarding our health and wealth. Sure we have a few challenges along the way, but when you get right down to it, our 60’s can be a whole lotta fun. It’s the time when we have the money and the resources to do what we always wanted to do. We aren’t afraid to career-jump, travel, spend money, find our passion, balance and party-hearty (I’m guilty of that last one…….)

Did you know that we 60-year-olds spend about $90 a day? We lead the nation in workforce growth, have incredibly high credit scores, are less stressed out about money (after all, our mortgages are paid off) and we all look great as a result? We may party too hearty BUT we carry that partying into our bedrooms. We probably take daily multi-vitamins and we also get our annual exams thus keeping our blood pressure, sugar count and cancer screenings in check. We’re keeping up with the news, staying in contact thanks to social media, we know what matters most, we tend to be charitable and we live our faith. Amen to that!

In our 60’s we’re also very adventurous. Now is the time for us to see Zion National Park, take that cruise down the Danube River and finally for the first time ever, drive that fancy sports car! Over 40% of boomers have a travel wish list (guilty!) like to bask in the sun (guilty!) bathe in the sea (guilty!) enjoy bringing the family along but now, secretly plan on having fun at Disney with or without them (guilty as charged, baby!)

If you thought your 30’s, 40’s or even your 50’s were fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. For me, turning and being in my 60’s was the chance to finally toss off all the negative feelings and emotional crap I had clinging to my mind and body (BTW, we ladies in our 60’s love, love, love yoga and meditation…..who knew?) I don’t give a rats ass what anyone has to say about me, mumble about me or spread rumors about me. This is MY time now and no one, including you, is going to ruin my almost last and final chance to live a good and fulfilling life. I’m having fun and enjoying my new-found freedom with my same-age wonderful new friends!

Your 60’s is also a time to give back to your community. I’ve teamed up with a long time friend of mine (46 years and counting) who for over twenty-five years has been working with women who are recovering from cancer. She helps fit women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and radiation with either custom-made or OTC wigs, hairpieces, scarves, hats and sometimes make-up to hide their scars. I’ve been working on her website and have been instrumental in her press releases and promotion. In the very near future, I hope to be accompanying her when she does a wig consultation. Her office or your home, she will meet the needs of these women and help them get through one of the most difficult times in their life.

Enjoy your sixties. Welcome them into your life. They are the gateway to your seventies and if all my summations are correct, our 70’s are going to be even brighter than our 60’s.

Live well and prosper, my friends. Live well and prosper.

 

I Feel Terrific! Best In Years.

It took my cardiologist a bit of time and experimentation to finally get my meds in balance (in the beginning statins and other drugs he prescribed were making me sick, nauseous, weak and depressed) BUT I am happy to report that these last three weeks, I have felt terrific. With no end in sight! I got my nighttime sleeping habit (or lack thereof) under control and I am actually going to sleep at night at a decent hour (around midnight, a BIG improvement from 3AM!) and waking up in the morning at a reasonable hour: 5AM (instead of noon!) I’m breathing much better at night, thanks to ‘Breathe Right’ nose strips (I have a deviated septum).

My whole body seems to be functioning much better and clearer. I guess my arteries are running smoother, my heart must be beating better and everything feels like it’s doing what it was supposed to do all along. But, I must say that the Number One thing that is gone from my life, which, if you have been following my blog, was a BIG Hindrance Factor (BHF), is gone! And that BHF was stress! I finally chucked it to whatever was irking me and said to hell with it all! Once I put that stress out of my life, the rest just fell in to place.

I’m feeling terrific now. I’m feeling positive and I actually am happy when I wake up in the morning. No more dread. No more fear. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. I’m losing weight. I’m more mindful of the food I have been eating currently (or wrongly eating in the past) and have made many positive changes to my lifestyle. DH and I got rid of so much clutter that I am even more certain that living in a clutter-free zone helps my mental status tremendously. My home runs now like a fine tuned engine. Everything has a purpose and a place. If it doesn’t, it’s tossed into the garbage. No regrets. I am absolutely peaceful just sitting in my comfy chair, on my back yard deck staring off into the tree tops just so happy to be alive AND to feeling so, so good.

Have you ever known me to be so happy and content? I don’t complain about anything anymore. And NO! my doctor hasn’t put me on mood swinging drugs. Just a statin to help lower my cholesterol, which has been making my blood flow more freely, thus nourishing my brain. The other drug I take helps prevent heart attacks.

I guess it takes a while to find the right doctor, who understands you and takes the time to prescribe the right medicines that are right for you. I also realize that this point in my life, may be my last hurrah, so I had better make the best of it.

51RCSilgeTL._SX346_BO1,204,203,200_

My sister and I both just recently got this book: :1,000 Places To See In The US & Canada Before You Die. I rented mine from the library but will be buying a used copy as soon as my library rental is up. My sister has already started her travel journey and is determined to see as much of the world as she can. DH and I are a little bit behind her BUT we should be off in our RV seeing as much of the US and Canada as possible, within the next two months. Our main goal is to travel together in the future. We’re all eying a cross country trek to Alaska! That’s going to be super fun!

Another one of our mutual friends has been eying an Airstream RV Bambi model, and will probably join us on our travels to Alaska. The more the merrier!

Live well my friend and prosper. Take care of your health. Downsize and de-clutter. Pay no attention to the negative, toxic people you may meet on your journey. Toss them aside and just concentrate on yourself. Because in the end, you’re going to be ALL you have.

When Your Peers Start To Die

tom's death

One of our photography members has passed away

One of the saddest things you are going to encounter in retirement will be the announcements of the deaths of your peers. Try as you might to avoid hearing such bad news, you won’t be able to escape it. This may sound cruel but the only way I have been able to deal with the many death announcements I have been encountering lately is to follow the old army rule. That is, if your buddy next to you has been shot or injured, just keep your eyes focused straight ahead and keep on moving. There’s nothing you can do about your injured comrade. You have to concentrate on preserving your own life stream. And that is precisely what I do. I concentrate on myself and try to make it through yet another day. This is NOT to say the death of a peer, loved one or friend hasn’t affected me. It has. I have my own inner demons to slay each and every day. I can fall prey to depression at the drop of a hat. And when that happens to me, I oftentimes wish for my own death. It takes an effort for me to snap out of this malaise but I do it because I am aware of it. For others, it may not be as easy.

I start my day with the bluetooth transmission of upbeat (soft rock) music. I don’t think there will ever be a day when music is NOT being echoed throughout my home. I have found that I can not be sad while I’m humming upbeat songs from either Elton John or Neil Diamond. Once I’ve finished my coffee and read my emails, I have a daily systematic routine that I MUST follow. On the days where my mind is a vast ocean of chaos and confusion, I have that daily routine to get me back together again and centered.

There’s no doubt that living life is hard for almost all of us. We’ve all had our shares of horror stories. My life has been no exception. I don’t know exactly what motivates me off the imaginary bridge when I contemplate plunging to my death and instead, get up out of my bed each and every morning to happily face yet another day…..but I do it! And I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I like my life too much. I do have fun! Sure I may not have a friend in the world right now and my kids wish I would just go away, but I don’t need them to make my life complete. I have myself AND my spiritual belief that God is my friend and the only friend who will never fail nor desert me. I suppose when you know you have HIM, and that you and He can face the world’s challenges together, everything else will be fine.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe in life after death. I think that this is it. Jesus promises us a life after death but I have a hard time believing and accepting that divine principle. So, make the best of it. Live each day to its fullest. Take risks. Make a fool out of yourself if necessary. Try new things. There is no such thing as failure. It doesn’t matter one iota what other people think of you or what names they call you because in the end, no one will know nor remember. Unless you have discovered the cure for the common cold, most of us just pass through this life in the blink of an eye. I hate to break this to you BUT our lives really don’t matter much to anyone other than ourselves. And God.

I’m not sad that Tom has died. I celebrate his life. Not his death at 74. He was living a great, well deserved life in his retirement years. Tom served his country honorably in the Navy, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during an extremely contentious time in American history.  Some of his hobbies included car racing, fishing, golfing, photography, traveling, scuba diving and skiing. How fortunate and lucky he was to have gone and experienced Africa. I bet he took some beautiful photographs that hopefully his wife will share with all of us at the club. I don’t mind my own life being as lonely as it is because I know in the end, just like Paula (Tom’s wife) will quickly find out, in the end, we are all we will have.

My eyes are focused straight ahead. God has given ME more days to live and I’m not going to waste a single second.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

Why Women Live Longer Than Men In Retirement: Housework

house+cleaningLadies, before you curse that broom or dirty cup in your sink, did you know that the housework you do each and every day is going to keep you living longer than a man? Yes, it’s true! Statistics prove (click here) that most women who consistently do daily housework chores live at least three years longer than a man (even if the man does his own housework chores!)

The team from University Medical Centre Rotterdam found that a 55-year-old woman who does little around the house is likely to live to see her 83rd birthday – but that those who keep on top of the housework should live on to the age of 86.

I don’t know about you, but I do a minimum of at least one hour of housecleaning per day. That’s seven days a week, for 52 weeks a year. No time off for good behavior (LOL). I like me a very clean and orderly home. The reason why doing this mundane housework will keep a woman living longer is because it gives a person purpose. Having a clean and comfy home makes for a very relaxed and dignified living existence. And it doesn’t come easy. Lots of elbow grease goes into keeping one’s home clean and shiny.
I make my bed each and every morning and go through much the same routine: tidying up the bathroom and kitchen, putting dishes away and reloading the dishwasher, daily vacuuming, a load of laundry every other day. I take great pride in living in a clean and orderly home. It does much to help my brain out, that’s for sure. I can’t co-exist with clutter. Dust bunnies are NOT my furry friends.
Once you get into a cleaning routine (and never miss a day!) the workload isn’t hard at all. Every day I go through my common, mundane routine and I throw in a bit extra like windexing all the glass or polishing all the wood furniture. Once a month I scrub the kitchen floors and re-polish the bamboo wood floors. Ditto for scrubbing out the bathroom. If I got right down and thought about it, home cleaning is probably the best part of my day.
Who knew?
What about you? If you’re living in clutter and a mess you’re putting yourself inside an early grave. Granted, yes, you can hire someone to do your dirty work but you’ll only be extending the life of your maid. NOT you! Roll up your sleeves, put on some happy music (that’s what I do……Disco Studio 54 to be exact) and get in there and start cleaning.
In the end you’ll get to do more of what you love to do.
Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper!

This Is Us (Medically)

cindi computer

My computer

The other day, as I was walking past my AND my husband’s computer, I noticed both computers had the same thing next to the screens. We each had our daily bottle of heart healthy pills that we must take every day in order to stay alive.

 

Now, wasn’t that a pleasant thought?

At my husband’s last appointment with his cardiologist, he asked specifically how soon can he get off his meds? Without blinking an eye, the cardiologist said “NEVER! These pills are keeping you alive. I saved your life! You need to be on these pills for the rest of your life.” My husband just gasped. Up until that point we had no idea how sick he really was. DH’s doctor’s response was a game changer.

 

nick computer

DH’s computer & daily blood pressure gadget

I’m no better. The drugs I am on are to prevent a future heart attack. The cardiologist (DH and I are using the same doctor) also prescribed a statin to help reduce my cholesterol BUT I don’t do well on statins. Within two days I was vomiting. I’m going to just change my diet and hope for the best. High cholesterol is hereditary in my family.

 

One of the biggest expenses in retirement (other than housing and food) are medical costs. Financial experts advise that a couple, aged 65, will spend at least $260,000 over the next twenty years just to cover Medicare co-pays and deductibles for general basic health care. If you are still in the throes of saving for your retirement, put that amount of money away as your minimum starting figure. I’m on Medicare and have drug supplemental insurance (Part D) through Humana. It costs me $17 a month and I can only fill my prescriptions at a Wal Mart pharmacy. My monthly pills, without insurance would cost me $32. With my insurance, my pills only cost $4 for a thirty-day supply. That’s a savings of $28 BUT when you add back the insurance premium of $17, I’m only saving $11 per month or $132 a year. Nonetheless, in retirement every little bit helps.

DH is still under personal medical insurance, as he is not 65 years old yet. His monthly drug cost, without insurance would run him about $64 per month. Thankfully, with his insurance, his co-pay is only $6.26 a month, which totals out to a savings of $57.74 a month or $692.88 annually. DH gets his prescriptions filled at CVS Pharmacy.

No matter where we are in The United States (as we start to travel more) we can always find a Wal Mart or a CVS and get our prescriptions filled. Both pharmacies use national data software, so no matter where we are in the country, the pharmacy will always have our medical records on hand. You may want to think about this one saving feature when choosing a pharmacy. Sometimes your local pharmacy may not be your best choice.

It’s very fair to say that DH and I are in the midst of making some broad sweeping changes to our lives. We’re prioritizing what’s really important to us. We are hell-bent on eliminating anything in our lives that brings on any smidgen of stress. That means downsizing to a less stressful life AND getting rid of any toxic people inside our family and/or friend circles. If you don’t have the same values as DH and I do, we’re not wasting our breath arguing with you guys anymore. You’re free to roam about the cabin. We release you!

DH and I have carved out a very nice life for ourselves. I’m currently enjoying living back up in the mountains and am delighting in the peacefulness of it all. As the weather gets warmer DH and I will get back to swimming in a local lake not far from our home. Eventually, as the weather turns cooler and colder, we’ll head back down to the warmth of the south and those tropical beaches. It’s all good.

As soon as DH wraps up this last work project he is involved in (most of this income will pay off ALL the recent credit card debt we accumulated) we are going to sell his car (we don’t need two cars anymore because we are always together) and buy another smallish RV.  Yes, yes, yes, I know I swore off all RVs but after doing all my extensive research, in order to adequately see the National Parks on my Bucket List, an RV is the best way to go. First stop: The Grand Canyon (finally!). We also want to go to Zion National Park, see The Hoover Dam, hang out in Las Vegas for a few days, ramble through Sedona, drive down Route 66………well, you get the idea. We have a plan BUT there is no set plan, if you know what I mean.

Different priorities and different mindset. It’s all good.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

Some Low Cost, Prudent Meals

My first week on Weight Watchers (WW) turned out to be more successful than I thought possible. I easily lost 4 pounds this past week AND I ate all my favorite foods (in moderation, of course….which is the BIG difference). The food tracking app that WW provides for free on your smart phone is the greatest invention IMHO since sliced, whole wheat bread. When you start to see the point values of what you stuff in your mouth, you can’t help but start making better decisions. Not only are your food decisions better but you also become quite mindful of what you are eating.

WW provides 24/7 real human help to keep you on track with the click of your mouse. Yes, even when I started getting those hunger pangs at 3AM. WW doesn’t want you to feel hungry so the counselor on the other side of the chat line gave me some real fantastic food tips to tide me along.

Here are some examples of what I have been eating this past week:

spinach wrap

my lunch was a spinach wrap, avocados, arugula, goat cheese, tomatoes

greek quiche

Greek Quiche w spinach, feta cheese & calamita olives

pancakes

Sunday was blueberry buttermilk pancakes, chicken breakfast sausages, real maple syrup (NO butter!)

Why I Joined Weight Watchers

I don’t pay for anything. So, for me to join Weight Watchers and sign up to pay $19.95 a month, is a very big deal for me. I didn’t do it so much for the weight loss (despite the fact that I really do need to lose weight) I did it for my health. After my little heart attack thing, I need to get my health under control and I need to get my life back on a healthy track.

This article from Business Insider (click here) was the closer for me. This one paragraph said it all especially for me:

Studies have found that Weight Watchers members also tend to lower their heart disease risk and blood pressure, as exercising and losing weight in general have also been shown to do. An interesting analysis (by a researcher who has been a paid consultant for Weight Watchers) found that participants on the plan for a year typically paid $70 per pound lost, but gained $54,130 in quality of life improvement.

I joined the Online Program since there are no Weight Watcher meetings within 25 miles of where I live. I’m an ‘online-kind-of-gal’ anyway since I live mostly inside my Apple Computer. (figures my computer would be named after a food!) Once you answer a series of questions about your life, activity level, age, weight, height, etc. Weight Watchers designs a food point system and a fitness point system for you. Because I am over 65, I get NO points for my age!

You have to track your food intake per day, which is easy for me since I track my money outgo every day. I’m used to tracking stuff daily. I also have to track my activity level. WW (Weight Watchers) recommends I do 47 minutes of activity per day. I easily accomplish this by doing my daily housework (yes! that has value) of 30 minutes to an hour a day and I walk my dog each and every day (at least 45 minutes).

WW has a great food tracker app which can be downloaded onto your smart phone. Every food item has a set point value. It didn’t take me long to figure out that a tablespoon of butter in my daily oatmeal had a high point value BUT if I cut that pat of butter down, my points adjusted downwards too. I can still have butter with my morning oatmeal BUT a bit less. That’s all. On WW you get to eat all your favorite foods BUT the point system forces you to think and thus make better healthier choices.

oprah weight watchersThen there is Oprah. After her own years of yo-yo dieting, Oprah found herself successfully losing weight on the Weight Watcher program. After losing 42 painless pounds herself, Oprah bought out most of Weight Watchers stock and rejuvenated the company. Oprah is there for all of us daily, giving us words of encouragement and wisdom. Oprah brings on guests who share their success stories openly and honestly.

I’m part of a new community and so far, I’m loving it. I lost a few pounds my first week (WW recommends losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds weekly) and my dog is a lot happier getting all those walks! LOL!

It’s a very good thing.

The Decline Of Aldi?

I’ve been shopping at Aldi for at least the last three years. Aldi is a German-based grocery store that specializes in limited selections, under their own brand name, so as to save the customer at least 30% to 50% off their grocery costs.

I used to rave about Aldi all the time. Lately, not so much. Granted yes, I’ve saved a bunch of money over the years BUT my local Aldi store has deteriorated in cleanliness and produce quality that after today, I am hesitant to ever shop there again. The filth and deplorable shopping conditions give me pause. The floors never look like they’ve been washed let alone even swept. Dirt is everywhere. Cardboard boxes strewn everywhere. Some of the produce is crawling with mold and deterioration.

HOW DARE ALDI EXPECT THEIR CUSTOMERS TO BUY THIS CRAP?

Maybe this is the first sign of the decline of Aldi. Maybe they are slowly going out of business. I don’t know. I just know that there are more and more people shopping at Aldi and the store conditions keep deteriorating. I’ve written to corporate, shown them the following photos I’ve taken this morning. If they don’t literally ‘clean up their act’ within the week, I’m shopping someplace else. If the store interior looks as filthy as this, can you imagine what the stock must look like in the back of the store’s storage department? It’s probably crawling with mice, rats and vermin. UGH!

You decide. Click on any photo to enlarge and start slideshow. What do you think?