Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A helpful beginning to a series on record keeping!

If you are like us you have a lot of paper records and a lot of online documents or records in your email. Add to that your online accounts and other variations and it can be a lot for you, your partner and/or your executor to figure out and access.

This looks like the start of a promising series on how to make your record keeping as simple and effective as possible.

Generally Accepted Record Keeping Principles

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Full Retirement Phase 1: Transitioning from a paycheck to retirement income

Good news - Hubby's employer found his retirement paperwork finally. We had proof that FedEx delivered it so they kept looking and I guess we'll never know how it was misplaced but things are moving forward now.

As of October 1st he will be retired and collecting his federal pension. As of September 1st when I turn 68 I will start collecting social security payments. He won't collect his for 5 more years when he turns 70 if all goes as planned.  That would leave me with a larger monthly payment if it turns out I outlive him.  Have to be practical about all of this we think.

As of October 1st I will start paying for Medicare Part B. When he turns 65 in November he will do the same. We will also pay for federal retiree health insurance too.

Lots of changes so it is time for a new budget even with a lack of clarity about final amounts and how much we will need to pay in estimated state and federal taxes. We do know that it takes some time for the pension payments to become a full payment but that any differences are eventually paid.

We have other financial resources to draw upon but will have to figure out when to do that. We probably kept too much money in savings accounts for this purpose but we didn't know if we would find we needed a second car or if other large expenses would arise after our move. Still don't LOL.

We have decided to drop his life insurance once he is officially retired. We have also decided to wait until we are 70 to start withdrawals from our retirement accounts.

Best laid plans and all that.

I do hope that when the dust settles on all this we can simplify our financial arrangements as changing our address and other contact info for all the various online accounts was a pain although a first world problem.

For now I am going to see what expenses we can predict and monitor the incoming carefully until it evens out.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the Social Security office to turn in the extra paperwork required for Medicare Part B since I delayed starting it and don't need to pay the penalty because I can prove I did have health insurance through his employment.

And then onward into the unknown.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Things making me happy today

I am especially happy that the dog went right back to sleep after being startled awake about 2am by some noise, leaping off the bed ready to - she wasn't sure what she was ready to do LOL. When I figured out where she was she look a bit stunned and not sure what to do so I plopped her back in bed and she practically layed on top of me for comfort but slept thank goodness. I was sure she had a sudden bathroom need and I would be outside at that hour but not the case.

Hubby and I teamed up to wash and clean the inside of the car yesterday before picking up my FIL and another relative. It is testimony to how dirty the car was that I am still quite happy today that it is clean.

We also brought home enough leftovers from the birthday dinner we attended last night to have most of our dinner for tonight. Happiness is only having to fix a bit of dinner. Wine may be drunk too.

I don't know if it is the season or the competition from the newly opened Sprouts store here in town, but the produce at Vons was much better than it had been so I was able to pick up quite a few good things yesterday morning.

I had picked up an inexpensive loose sleeveless knit top at Target a while ago and am really liking wearing it instead of another tank like I usually buy.

The HR office at my husband's work finally found his retirement paperwork today (which we had FedEx'd to them as required and was delivered about 10 days ago). Thank goodness they can start processing it now rather than waiting for us to send another set. Hopefully we won't have any gaps in insurance coverage, etc.

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Summer Bucket List - July Update

I'm joining in with the summer bucket list challenge! Please share your summer plans - I love getting ideas from others.

Family & Friends
1.      See and play with my baby granddaughter for the weekend at least twice.
√ Nice long weekend at her house in Berkeley
2.      See my local son, DIL & FIL at least 3 times each plus make the aunt, uncle, cousin rounds
√ Saw my FIL once but the son & DIL are so busy lol! We also went to a cousin's for dinner.
3. Plan and hold a "next generation cousins" get together for my sons' generation of family.
4. Invite new neighbors/acquaintances out or over.
√ Invited a neighbor to go to yoga with me and was invited to go out with other neighbors but had a commitment.
5. Schedule visits with 2 long term local friends/couples

6. Use the pool in my community each week! Swim, do water aerobics or just float around.
7. Go to the community based yoga class or use stretch DVD at home at least twice a week when I am in town.
C+ - about every other week for once time so far
8. Take the dog for a long walk each day to help her relax in her new surroundings. 
B-  on this but doing better than we were
8. Take a hike on a trail nearby.
10. Try three new to us restaurants in our new hometown.
√ dinner at Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack
11. Try 3 recipes in my new cookbook, "America's Test Kitchen: The Best Mexican Recipes".
à Saut̩ed chicken with roasted corn and tomato salsa
12. Eat at the beach!
√ We did take a walk along the beach and pier
13. Go to the local Farmer's Market on Saturdays when we are in town and in need of fruit and veggies.
√ I've been twice
14. Test and decide on 3 large group dishes/menus for future entertaining.
15. Try a new cocktail to make at home
16. 3 new summer main dish salads
17. Eat on our patio
We did sit out and enjoy a glass of wine 
Fun & Exploration
18. Celebrate my 68th birthday! Been a few trips around the sun since this one.
19. Go to the nearest art museum and one or more galleries. 
√ I went to the Carnegie Art Museum and associated gallery in Oxnard
20. Go to a local event, fun store or attraction each month.
Classic Cars & Food Trucks Fete at Camarillo Ranch 
21. See summer blockbuster movie -
22. Get a pedicure and fun nail polish
23. Read at least five books from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide.
I read one, The Jane Austen Project, and found it not that great. Not sure if I'm going to keep going with her list but I will keep reading
Settling In
24. Volunteer for a role in at least one group.
25. Regularly attend one social and/or service group.
26. Finish furnishing and decorating our new home. We need den furniture and shelves for displaying decorative items and/or photos.
July: ordered den furniture
27. Finish repairs on home inspection punch list.
Had some electrical repairs made with more to come once get parts. Found a handyman and waiting for bid.
28. Finish creating earthquake/emergency supply stockpile. 
29. Create a succulent planter garden for the patio. 
NOPE: Turns out we don’t get enough sun
30. Figure out how to have music playing in our home (TV, computer, buy a new CD player?)
Decided to use the computer and TV for now.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Irony of It

Last night was a lovely evening. Dinner at a cousin's house followed by attending a Beach Boys tribute band show. Some of our favorite music.

The irony part? For the last 3+ years we have listened to my FIL talk positively about the music performances at his assisted living facility and not so positively about living with a lot of "old" people (he is 90!).

So who were we surrounded by last night as we sat on folding chairs in the auditorium of the rec center at our 55+ community? Lots of "old" people! Our cousin commented that he felt young after being there LOL.

I'll be 68 in September and DH will be 65 in November. Not old "old" but certainly not young.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Randomness on Saturday

I have been participating in a color and style program for a while and finally landed on a personal style statement of Lively Minimalism. Then it occurred to me that is exactly what we did in purchasing furniture for our den. The couch is gray so we got a lively pattern for the pillows and a pop of color for the chair. Got to bring some color, interest and energy to everything perhaps.

The summer here is bringing a different kind of hot weather than I have experienced before. Not as hot as some places I have lived, but it is more humid in the morning than I expected as the marine layer moves inland overnight. The sun is quite intense when there is no cloud cover so hats were frequent at the farmer's market this morning even at 9:30am.

I made the mistake of wearing a metal necklace and it felt so hot against my skin so I took it off as soon as I got home. I can see my hot summer day outfits will indeed be minimalist.

I had never thought about there being different varieties of green grapes but there they were at the market. Distinctly different tastes and since I am the only one who like grapes I bought the one I preferred. Heirloom tomatoes for both taste and memories of my Grandma's love of growing different varieties of tomatoes in her garden. Here is my mini-haul as Hubby is out of town and there is a lot in the frig already.
Got out of the house and went to the Oxnard Carnegie Museum and Studio Gallery by myself. Turns out it was family free day and there were lots of kids painting and weaving - what fun. The museum was one of the original Carnegie libraries and is very typical architecture for that time. The little associated gallery is CA southwestern. Not much space for exhibiting but the art that was displayed was a group of little gems. They only do special exhibits due to space.
 Then I stopped for a cup of ice cream on the way home.

Now to go off and read.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

5 things that make me happy today

1. Washed and played with the dog who loves the whole bath, hair dryer, tooth brushing thing.

2. Emptied 2 of the 4 remaining moving boxes and rearranged stored items in the guest room closet to make better use of the space.

3. Got 4 books from the library and they all look interesting.

4. Had an iced mocha coffee at the library cafe while I sat outside. There may have been a chocolate chip cookie involved too.

5. Called my best friend in Atlanta and had a nice long chat.