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No. of Recommendations: 5
I've been away from the boards, so am just briefly checking in. Still alive, still without debt. I'm still working on the blog I mentioned on LBYM, recycling and retelling and commenting on things I originally wrote about here. (Talk about self-referential, eh? Yes, I know, it seems narcissistic. Actually, it's just the only story I can manage to tell coherently.)

ThyPeace, oh, and new job keeps me busy as well. Hope y'all are well and your debts continue to decrease!
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Fantastic!

On all three counts!

Fuskie
Who is probably about 2 months from having to dip into his credit if he doesn't get some meaningful income in soon...

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Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Who is probably about 2 months from having to dip into his credit if he doesn't get some meaningful income in soon...

I'm so sorry. Darn gig economy! I wish you good luck. Don't forget to sign up for an ACA policy if you had been relying on employee health insurance.

Is there any way to avoid racking up debt? Do you have an e-fund that could last a few months--or have you run through it already? Could you get a temporary gig, even if it's clerk at a retail store--perhaps one where you could benefit by an employee discount?

Have you already cut back spending to the bone?...cancel maid service (housework is good exercise!), cancel cable, change phone service--cancel landline and just use cell, decrease cell data plan; eat lower cost food--buy what's on sale and healthy like frozen veggies & fruit, whatever protein's on sale that week, reduce utility usage; if your car's newish--especially if you have payments--sell it and buy something for less than the proceeds (IIRC you drive a Prius and I can understand not giving that up-), bike/walk/take transit more and drive less;, no restaurants, coffee shops (unless someone else is treating!), no travel, if this goes on long enough consider selling house in favor of cheap rental (IIRC you're single and could presumably live in a 1BR or studio, at least temporarily). Don't be too proud to make use of a food pantry or other services.

While I was never laid off, my husband was. these techniques allowed us to avoid going into debt during unemployment, one time lasted ~6 months! He was the major breadwinner and we couldn't live our usual life on my income alone, but we could with cutbacks. the last time, we replaced our house with one we bought for less than the equity in the previous house, so no more mortgage.

Don't hit your 401k/IRAs. Unless you decide you could actually retire now. intercst is the guru of living off savings upon early retirement--inquire at Retire Early Liberal Edition to hook up w/him.

Don't neglect your health. Get any tooth/gum/jaw pain looked at--a filling is cheaper than a crown/root canal/implant. If you have to give up a gym membership, find exercises on youtube you can do at home. Let your doctor(s) know your situation--they may be able to direct you to cheaper medications, waive your copay, and so forth. Btw, some dentists charge less if they know you're retired or unemployed (eg, give you the dental insurance copay rate istead of making you pay full price).

Keep up your mood by walking in nature--are there any parks or trails nearby?

I wish I lived nearby and could help.
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BTW, some dentists charge less if they know you're retired.....

Do they?? Well, maybe they do..... but if they're regular working stiffs (like I was), as opposed to trust fund dentists (and there aren't many of those) you'd have to ask just how fair their UCR fees are in order to be able to do this. Along with how close to insurance fraud they roll with regards to waiving a co pay.

FWIW, I don't doubt this might be common practice...... given the number of new folk to my office who'd hint that they'd like this consideration.
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My dentist is also my retired elderly widowed mother's, and he does this for her, as did her previous dentist. And some unemployed friends have said theirs did as well when they were unemployed in another state. My brother is a retired dentist from yet another state, and he also reduced fees for patients down on their luck. So it happens even if you didn't do it.

I should also mention to Fuskie that some towns have free/low-cost/sliding scale dental clinics. We have onne here, staffed by dental students supervised by professors and the occasional private dentist. that's how I found my current dentist.

My BFF was working at the clinic, and she switched to a guy that provided as good care for poor patients paying little or nthing as he did for private patients (eg, implants instead of bridgework). I took her to her own dental implant visit w/him where she was given general anesthesia. He went over her instructions w/me in the waiting room and even helped her into my car. I was impressed by his compassion and competence and soon switched to his practice. And ever since I'm not getting (unnecessary??) fillings and crowns. hmmm. (Actually I usually see his second, a woman who patiently refitted an old crown to make it more comfortable. His 3rd dentist is also a woman. It's a great practice.)
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I gave plenty of *consideration* to each and everyone who entered the doors of my emporium.

Patients. Friends. Family members. Landlord. IRS agents (I was audited twice.......so I guess I should include accountant)

I also delivered care (for free to the recipient..... but not for moi) at various clinics where the attendees were screened somewhat.

I don't think you realise how much you're demonstrating ignorance here. As in....*helped someone to their car after general anaesthesia* Srsly??
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Didn't your mother have an implant fixture placed two or three years ago and you questioned the merit on the H&N board......or is that my False Memory Syndrome???

Is this the same dentist/dental practice?
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Not just what he did, but the way he did it with great care. I've once before seen office help do that sort of thing, which is usually left to families/friends. I've helped my mother, husband, and brother after appointments that left them weak, including surgery, and nobody helped me get them into my car. And I never saw a dentist help a patient outside the office before that.

I had to call at night once and was shocked he picked right up and arranged to see me early the following morning--a Saturday. I've always gotten an answering service in such circumstances (drs as well as dentists). Dr Warner's a very warm and hands-on kinda guy--not the only nice dentist I've ever had, but in a class by himself, along w/his second who usually sees me. No wonder the practice has been closed to new patients for some time.

I might add that the whole office is awesome w/my husband, who has dementia and is very difficult to communicate with (he seldom understands instructions...OMG, the last tme he had imagig done is probably really the very last time...it was pretty much impossible to get him to stand still, hold liquid in his mouth & swallow on command...how do people w/dementia get medical care? darn difficult...).

Fuskie, I'm sorry about derailing your thread. Such was not my intention. grrr.
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So, here's a question. If, after all your dentist has done for you that you perceive to be "above and beyond", you asked him to waive the co-pay (essentially involve himself in something close to insurance fraud AND accept a lower fee into the bargain) would you still feel so kindly towards him if he declined?

See, *co-pays* are a contractual agreement between insurance company/provider/ recipient. So, if a procedure (any procedure) amounts to, say, $1000 and the insurance company's obligation is 80% ($800), should I choose to "waive" the co-pay and accept $800 for my skill, ability and time, why wouldn't I.....as an honest person..... pitch my fee at $800 for everyone in the first place??

That'd be my line of thinking
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I'ma wondering what the Heavy Lifters WRT cc debt on this board would have to say to me if I came along under a mountain of business debt if my excuse was that I didn't collect co-pays.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Thanks, alstro. This isn't my first rodeo but it's been a few years. I've actually been searching and living off savings since May. I decided to stick with Cobra, because I didn't want to start over with new HMO doctors, didn't want to start over with prescriptions and a new pharmacy, and perhaps most importantly, I was within $500 of meeting the deductible in my high deductible plan and I would have had to start over at $0 with the ACA. In the end, it was more cost effective to pay the $189/mo more for Cobra than the limited benefit ACA option.

Fuskie
Whose health is being well managed and he's stretching his budget about as far as it can go, but there's only so far it can stretch before something's got to change...

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Ticker Guide for The Walt Disney Company (DIS), SodaStream (SODA), Live Nation (LYV), CME Group (CME), Mongo DB (MDB)
Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (tinyurl.com/FuskieDisclosure)
Fool Code of Conduct: http://tinyurl.com/FoolCode
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Have you already cut back spending to the bone?...cancel maid service (housework is good exercise!), cancel cable, change phone service--cancel landline and just use cell, decrease cell data plan; eat lower cost food--buy what's on sale and healthy like frozen veggies & fruit, whatever protein's on sale that week, reduce utility usage; if your car's newish--especially if you have payments--sell it and buy something for less than the proceeds (IIRC you drive a Prius and I can understand not giving that up-), bike/walk/take transit more and drive less;, no restaurants, coffee shops (unless someone else is treating!), no travel, if this goes on long enough consider selling house in favor of cheap rental (IIRC you're single and could presumably live in a 1BR or studio, at least temporarily). Don't be too proud to make use of a food pantry or other services.

WHile not unemployed, I could be at any moment (also a self employed contractor)
My spending isn't *cut to the bone* - many of the suggestions aren't even in my world... I guess it's just a different perspective.

cancel maid service (don't have)
cancel cable (don't have)
change phone service--cancel landline (keeping for a neighbor who only calls that - she's 95, it's worth it)
decrease cell data plan - it's a flat rate, regardless
food-buy what's on sale and healthy like frozen veggies & fruit, whatever protein's on sale that week - already do this
reduce utility usage - I'm already the heat miser in winter and we don't have AC. I turn off lights like it's my job.
if your car's newish-1998, next!
No restaurants, coffee shops - not part of my lifestyle
No travel - only obligatory work trips
If this goes on long enough consider selling house in favor of cheap rental - where i live, rent for even a 1 br is so close to my mortgage that this would be a bad idea (and there would be little gain on the sale).
Don't be too proud to make use of a food pantry - I run the food pantry in my town. I could use it anytime :- D


peace & prespective
t


ps. Fuskie - $189 for Cobra?
That is a BARGAIN.
(I pay 5x that with a $12k deductible)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi Fuskie, I wish I had good suggestions for you. As it is, the only suggestion I have is that you use your writing skills for something that can make you a small income stream. Perhaps do what I've been doing and pull together a series of your favorite TMF posts into a memoir. I have come to the conclusion that the difference between #10 and #16,457 on the Amazon bestseller list is a matter of marketing rather than actual quality of product.

Or, hey, toss together a couple of murder mysteries or romance novels. If you market them, you can probably have a small income stream there, too. And something is better than nothing.

Here's an interesting article about what it can mean to be an artist:

https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/

ThyPeace, doesn't have 1,000 true fans yet. Maybe... two.
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Yhat’s $189/mo More For coby than the ACA HMO. I wish it was just $189/mo.

I have thought of writing freelance for TMF. I’ve been trying to focus on other things first.

Fuskie
Who’s cushion is likely to run out in October unless something changes...

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Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (tinyurl.com/FuskieDisclosure)
Fool Code of Conduct
Warning: This post was composed on an iPhone and is subject to autocorrect.
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tconi says "change phone service--cancel landline (keeping for a neighbor who only calls that - she's 95, it's worth it"

I had one of those neighbors.
And yes,
it's worth it.🙂
ralph
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No. of Recommendations: 3
tconi,

You wrote, change phone service--cancel landline (keeping for a neighbor who only calls that - she's 95, it's worth it)

Have you considered just having the number transferred to a VOIP phone? I haven't had a regular landline in over a decade. When I moved from Irving to Plano in Texas, Verizon didn't want to transfer my landline because they claimed it was part of a special "metro" service group. This was particularly irksome because I was moving from one Verizon service area to another and you don't have a choice of ILEC.

Verizon thought they had the upper hand in this conversation, but I didn't think it was so simple. What really upset me was that for two or three years I'd been paying them some federally-authorized number portability fee that was supposed to pay the ILEC for system upgrades to allow for the portability of phone numbers.

Turns out they couldn't refuse to transfer my phone number to another service provider - they were just being a-holes to their customer. So I called up Southwestern Bell to have them install service and transfer the number. But after a month of no action, I called and found out they were waiting on Verizon and they said Verizon wasn't cooperating with them either. So I called up Vonage. They said, Sure! We can transfer that phone number! No problem!

Now I don't recommend Vonage. At all. But they did transfer that number all right!

Then when I moved to Washington I discovered Ooma. Ooma has been great. And dirt cheap! My VOIP phone serves as my "landline" (it's still useful because cellphone service is spotty in my house) and it only costs me $5.58/month, plus what I paid for equipment nearly 6 years ago. If you add in the cost of the adapter and a new wireless phone and handsets, my land line for the past 6 years has cost me less than $9.50/month. What's more I can take it on trips with me if I want.

So if you are paying $$$ for a landline, consider switching. It's much more economical, you get pretty much all the same services and you're not beholden to the phone company and it's crappy no-service.

- Joel
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You wrote, change phone service--cancel landline (keeping for a neighbor who only calls that - she's 95, it's worth it)

Some good suggestions so far. The simplest one I’ve found is to port your number to Google Voice for $20, then you can just forward it to whatever phone number you use most often.

-Agg97
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You wrote, change phone service--cancel landline (keeping for a neighbor who only calls that - she's 95, it's worth it)

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The simplest one I’ve found is to port your number to Google Voice for $20, then you can just forward it to whatever phone number you use most often.


Had not considered this.
Hmmm...



peace & I will miss my rotary phone
t
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