Annuities – crazy or smart?

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With all the drama occurring with President Cheeto, including the defunding of medical care, the potential for allowing employers to stop making payments on employee’s benefits, etc., etc., etc., I’m very worried about finances.

While I can make it through (barely) with the the amount I get from Social Security Disability, my current matching benefits will stop when I reach age 67, should I live that long.

I am in the process of signing up for COBRA medical coverage to get me through the end of the year (since they have terminated my employment, and medical coverage ceases as of 31-AUG-17).  That’s going to be $605 that I don’t have in my budget should my employer ever be excused from paying my matching benefits.

Additionally, while I hope to qualify for some kind of medical coverage, I’m not able to even approach that topic until March 2018.

So, I’m listening to Wealth Management Guru’s, looking at annuities, and trying to figure out how to repair my tin can home economically, while still being able to afford to live.

I’m hopeful that annuities may work well for me as a steady, “safe”, supplemental income.

Heavens knows, I’m really concerned about leaving my savings in my 401K in a very volatile stock market, as I can’t make that money again, should it become necessary to fund myself.

While my plan is still to opt for euthanasia to not outlive my assets and ability to take care of myself, it behooves me to plan ahead to protect what assets I have as I live to spend $ recklessly.

I love art.  I love to travel.  I’ve been wasting $ on both.

Add in house repairs / upgrades, and you can see that there’s a lot going on.

Fingers crossed that annuities are the way for me to go to protect what limited income that I have, as well as my limited savings.

 

Screened in Deck

Repair work.

Construction.

Hate it !

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I’ve also found out that I am biased, as I wouldn’t hire the hispanic guy without a contractors license, but I (apparently) have no such problem with the white guy who is working on a unit down the street.

Sadly biased.

But, I can see the quality of the work he’s doing (even if he’s slow), and I can figure out how to put in my own make-shift ramp at some point, if we can just get the danged screened-in porch done, and done correctly.

The first guy wanted $1,600.  This new guy wants $1,800 + a possible $950 more if we do the steps the way I want them done.

Not sure how it will all turn out, but for now I’m just doing what I must to get this part of the work done and moving on in life.

I guess I am a racist, though, since I’m paying more for what amounts to the same type of work.  Only time will tell if it’s going to be worth the extra cost.

For now, I don’t want a built-in (visible) ramp, and I don’t want an elevator to get me from the street level to the porch.

Mostly, I’m thinking about what is needed to get this done with the least amount of cost but which will give the best bang for resale value and actual, practical, use while I own it.

This guy has also quoted $300 per window for replacing them.  Those are next, after the screened in deck is completed.

I’d also like to replace the front and back doors with something sturdier, but I can live with what I have, if I must.

At some point, it will be time for repainting the entire thing, and seeing if I’m going to replace the skirting with something a little better looking and which, given its design, is easier to hide any angles or tilting of the skirting.  Time will tell what I can afford vs. what I desire for the finished product.

 

Milestones.

It’s the end of an era.

End of an Era - retired

Today, I finally accepted that I won’t be going back to work and updated my LinkedIn settings to “retired”.

Yes, it’s a lie – as I’m on disability – but it’s the closest I can get to acknowledging the loss of my old life and confirming that I’m trying to move on with my new reality.

So much of America is about “what do you do” (for earning a living), that it’s been two years into my COPD disability journey, and I still don’t know how to answer that question.

Regardless of what happens in Trump’s America, I am in the process of trying to map out a path to success for accepting who I am, what I can and cannot do, and to survive if my matching dollars are taken away at some point in the future.

No answers here, but I have finally accepted the first milestone.

Care Team Challenges

I get it that I’m a pain-in-the-butt when it comes to my medical care.  I am not some automaton, blindly following orders and hoping for the best.

However…

When I read on another COPD writer’s blog that he is pre-diabetic AND he’s on Metformin, “just in case”, I see red.

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I was raised to believe that I was supposed to speak up, and participate in my healthcare.

I was raised from a very young age to understand that the Docs didn’t have all the answers, and that we were making educated guesses about what “might” work, provide relief, give me better quality of life – even if the problem couldn’t be eliminated completely.

Not having an ability to resolve my health and move on, I was educated to believe that my opinion and education on options was crucial for my best quality of life.

So, it’s maddening to be reading another’s COPD-based blog and find that the drug I asked about specifically – Metformin – has been given to him, “just in case”.

Look, I know I’m not an easy patient.  I know I come across as challenging and frustrating to deal with BECAUSE I am a patient without a medical degree who is suggesting alternatives to try, and challenging the authority.  What is maddening, though, is that my inquiry into whether or not that same drug might aid me in fighting my diabetes and related NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and possible cirrhosis of the liver was dismissed.

To paraphrase:  I need to be a “mindful” eater, and I need to handle my underlying inflammation with diet and exercise.

How can one be part of their medical care team if the Doc won’t give you time at bat?

How can one be part of their medical care team if one’s opinions are dismissed because, unspoken, the medical care professional at key points appears to believe my neglect, laziness and lack of interest in my health, as represented by my obesity, caused everything that I am experiencing?

No thought is being given to the underlying inflammation that has been intrinsic to my system from birth.  No thought is being given to even trying what I’m suggesting – Metformin – because the doctor is God and I’m just a lazy, undisciplined, patient seeking an “easy” fix.

Seriously, does the Doc hear her unspoken judgement ?!!?

If Metformin could be tried and didn’t make a difference, that’s one thing.

But, to refuse to try because I need to be more disciplined?  That is the height of oxymoroic behavior.

So, I write all this today because I’m loaded for bear.  My endocrinologyst wouldn’t consider putting me on Metformin, but she’s perfectly fine with my participation in a clinical trial – with medicine not yet tested on humans, and which may help or hurt or do nothing.  But, she’s not ok in allowing me to participate in my own care by using a product already on the market to see if it will help.

Crazy, much?

A friend of mine (T1 diabetes after the removal of her pancreas), who is on an insulin pump, had to deal with an energency room doctor recently.  A 27 year old doc who was also a T1 diabetic – and has his meds dispensed by a pump – but who also felt that she didn’t “need” the pump  and could manage her diabetes with diet and exercise.  Even though she has no insulin-producing pancreas and wasn’t in the hospital for a diabetes-related issue.

Now, that’s truly crazy input from a medical professional.

So, yes, I’m hoping to be picked for the Science 37 clinical trial.  Yes, they have pre-qualified me, and are in the process of collecting my medical records from my pulmonologyst and my latest endocrinologyst, and we’ll see if I make the cut.

Meanwhile, I will close with a link to a 15 minute TEDmed Talk which discusses the lack of basic civility and credibility given to patients by Docs who have all the answers.

Today.

Today, an ever-improving and always changing medical environment.

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/blaming-the-patient-then-asking-forgiveness/