Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I watched this last night. I’m in disbelief as David Siegel goes on about his home not having a mortgage, but basically goes on to tell us he borrowed on it because it was a smart business decision. At one point both he and his wife tell the viewers that because of their financial situation the kids have to face the fact that they’ll have to go to college and learn a career to work! Apparently they were telling the children they’d never have to go to college and never have to work. He also mentions he hasn’t saved anything for his children’s college, yet, at the time the documentary started, I believe he was considered to be a billionaire (or at least on paper from what I can gather from the movie).

We rocked along in 2016

We incurred no new debt and continued paying extra on the mortgage each month. I have not checked it the last couple of months but I know the balance is down below $69,000. We have been consistent in paying extra and we are seeing the dividend of the balance coming down. Can’t wait to write that last check!

During 2015 we explored the possibility of opening a 2nd business. One we looked at was through Subway. There is a franchisee in our town looking to sell multiple locations. It was our plan, if we bought, to buy all his locations. The owner was reluctant to share details that are very important … such as letting us look at the books. He promised to show us certain other financials but never did. We went to the regional office about an hour away to get some info from them. Come to find out some of the things he was telling us was not exactly the whole truth. Like why he wanted to sell the multiple businesses over the next 2-3 years. Some of it had to do with the way Subway handles things, not just because he wants to handle it a certain way. Other things set off that “feeling” you hear DR talk about, that red flag, the security gland. So we are not proceeding with that. Plus our economy here in south Louisiana is tanking. It is not a good idea to take on a new business that requires debt.

During the time we were looking at Subway we also looked at a locally owned business, a laundromat. I had used it over the years when our washer was broken. I liked it because it was in a safe, heavily traveled business area. The owner had rejected $300K a few years ago offered by someone else, an unknown (to us) potential buyer. However the business owner has neglected the property and we thought the price had come down. We went in to look at it and the owner’s wife was manning the facility. The property had really gone down due to neglect, even since the last time I was there. It looks very much like they have pulled all the $$ out for personal use and put none of it back into the business. The HVAC needs a LOT of attention. Machines that are broken have not been repaired or replaced. At least 2 times people have driven into the building. Minimal repairs have been done to secure the building. So, as with Subway, this is a no go. Dh says the property would be better off if you bulldoze the building. Dh is not a contractor but is very handy and can do most minor or moderate repairs at home. He knows enough to know when something is over our ability.

I have learned a hard lesson on helping individuals. A young lady came into my life, in financial need. I helped her a little with her knowledge. Then I helped in such a way that she did not know where it was coming from. The $$ was supposed to be used for a very specific purchase. Then I’d hear her talking about how little $$ she had left and didn’t have enough for that purchase. Little did she know that I had supplied her that $$ for that purchase. It was disheartening, discouraging, maddening and I was plain downright angry about it. It got to where the only time she contacted me was when she needed something and it was always by text. She often texted me needing money for “personal items” and use payday loans near her service. I KNOW some of the personal items were cigarettes. Wow! I don’t smoke (and no one in my family) and she wanted ME to buy HER cigarettes! I have distanced myself from her till I can figure out how to proceed. She is in a living arrangement where she and her live in unemployed boyfriend have nothing of nothing. Some people have little of nothing. They have nothing of nothing and he can’t or won’t hold a job. I want to wash my hands of them but before I do I am thinking of sitting her down and explaining why I have distanced myself from them. I want to try to get through to her about not abusing others. I want to help people when appropriate but this is not the time for me to help her.

Due to the economy we are not taking raises on our salary through our business. As I said the economy is taking a big hit here. We are fortunate we have no business debt except a monthly payment to my dad for buying him out when he retired. All our merchandise is owned by the store. If we can’t pay for it we don’t order it. It will probably be a slim year for business in 2017.

Strange you should mention this

This last weekend dh told me the HR person, who is in her late 50’s, asked him how he planned on surviving without a paycheck if he retired.
Dh told her we had our 401K, and our IRA’s plus both our ss and we were debt free, house included.
Since he knew she had the owner’s ear he suggested she suggest to the owner that he share his knowledge of Dave Ramsey with her and the rest of the company so others could get that way too.
She remarked that the owner had actually brought it up a couple of times to her, but that she hadn’t ever “bothered” with it other than to starting a 401K for the first time this year and she is only putting 5% (the amount they match) in. Dh knows she heavily uses credit cards and she knows we do not because of all the business trips he and ds have taken that they wanted, often demanded, that dh or ds use their own credit card. They wouldn’t believe we didn’t have one at all. Not to mention we wouldn’t put expenses on one for the company. Even on this last trip ds was on, after five years of telling them no they still told ds to purchase his meals on a credit card and they would re-imburse him when he got back. He once again told them he had no credit card. Duh!
She said she had no idea that SS supplied so little money until she was talking to a guy that retired last month and he mentioned it. So she checked to see what her monthly payout would be and freaked out!
Do people not open their mail? I get notices a few times a year on the status of my ss.
Dh strongly suggested she at least get the TMMO out of the library, but got the feeling she had no intentions of doing so.

If we decide to make that route

I’ll let you know because we will leave the Tulsa area and go to Davis, OK (sw of okc) We’ll be there about a week, maybe more. Then back to Tulsa area the first week in June (if not sooner) for several appointments. So it’s possible we could meet up. Just gonna roll with the punches.

Your plan sounds perfect to me!

I told dh one time that I’d like to head out with no particular destination in mind. When we would hit an intersection we’d say “left or right” and make a decision. Then just stop wherever the mood strikes us. He was not too keen on it back then. Not sure he would do differently now. It has been 2 years since we took a vaca and I am craving getting out of town for a bit.

Heads up our first “destination” is chosen

Because of various things going on here even after dh retires we won’t hit the road full time until the second week in June most likely. Since by then most of the northern states will be thawing out we are planning to heade north and west. We are going to go up through Kansas, and either slightly east to IA and IL or straight up to the Great Lake states. As we go we will be working our way slowly westward through South Dakota and over. Nothing is set in stone. We may take all summer to make it as far as the west coast before we drop southward for the winter.

It’s just a rough game plan at this time, but at least we’ve decided to drive no more than 8 hours (preferably less) any given day/trip and stay as long as we want in each place. That means we may not hit all the northern or western states in the first summer, but hey we have the rest of our lives to do so.

Insurance

Once dh retired on Friday the various insurances had to be changed immediately, so that’s what we’ve been doing this morning. Verifying we are covered on Medicare, A and B, supplemental, getting D. Legal insurance (because of THE sil we don’t dare be without it), working with the homeowners insurance on trying to get more money out of them because of the furnace and the upgrading on the roof. Calling the sheet rock/siding people and so forth.
Since Friday dh has been Mr. Honey do. Our garden tractor has set for nearly 9 months because he thought it needed major work because the way it simply stopped moving last July. Since things are greening up we figured we just might need it. So yesterday he bit the bullet and started tearing it down to fix it. The first thing he checked was the drive belt. It was loose, he tightened it and…the guys used it to haul cut firewood out of the woods to the wood stack yesterday afternoon. 9 months and it was just a belt that needed tightened. Cheez.
He’s taken the old tv that needed a convertor box out of the camper and installed a flat screen, tested the batteries on the camper, prepared some meals, walks every day with ds, me, the dogs and the cat (yes we form a parade as we walk). Fixed some minor stuff on the truck and trailer and taken over some of the financial stuff. He is also in the process right now of checking on his VA benefits (Viet Nam) which may change the supplemental insurances a lot. This is all stuff I previously had to handle, now he’s doing it. I think I’m going to like this retirement stuff.

Part of our adjustment to retirement is going back on a fairly strict budget. Since we paid off the house we’ve been buying a lot of stuff. But now we no longer have his free and clear every two week pay check coming in so our income has cut over in half. Luckily we are well trained on budgeting and should be able to handle it fairly well. We are setting up everything to be an automatic draft for what few bills we have to pay, like insurance and then will adjust our travels based on what monies will be available after every thing else is paid.

Because of my bulk buying habits groceries should not be a concern for quite a while. We eat a lot of dried foods normally and that is mainly what I am packing. Lightweight and takes up very little space.
I did buy the page protectors yesterday for the cookbook I am putting together for ds of his favorite meals. He’s an excellent cook but a lot of what he really likes the recipes haven’t been written down, so I’m doing that and putting them in a recycled 3 ring binder with page protectors for him.

That’s about it for now.