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.

I’ve Stopped Listening To The News

Apparently, I’m not the only person who has turned off the news lately. I’ve never seen a more hostile media to our current events in all of my living days than what is transpiring right now. I am truly convinced that this world we are living in has gone mad.

So, what can I do? First is to just turn off the news. I may sneak in some local news and weather reports but other than that, as soon as the newscasters touch on world or political news, the channel either gets changed or the TV is shut off completely! Thankfully, we only have basic cable so I don’t have to contend with all the cable news channels. I have some solace in knowing I’m saving money while eliminating all that nonsense.

I’ve been reading other baby boomer blogs whose writers have come to the same conclusion as me: turn off the news and enjoy your life. There’s nothing we can do about world events or political outcomes. We can join all the resistant movements we want but nothing is going to change. Our world is very dishonest right now. I have determined there is no one I can trust or confide in anymore. It’s all a crap shoot, so just try to make the best of it.

As a retiree, I know that nothing is going to happen to Social Security or Medicare for right now. If anything is to be done it is the disarming of the medical fraud and abuse that is currently taking place. As to my personal funding and medical care, everything will remain as it is today. For the time being.

Some retirees are immersing themselves into gardening or traveling. I’m fixing up my home environment and making it the best it can be. I’m attempting (and succeeding) into making my home more peaceful and amiable to the eye. I’ve overextended myself a bit on the financial side but at this point in my life, I can ease up on the frugality reigns. Creating solace is more important to me than balancing out the checkbook.

I want to make these last two+ decades of my life as peaceful and joyful as possible.

Live well, my friends. And prosper.