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Financial Round-Up

November 27th, 2009 at 10:43 am

Dh woke up with hearing loss, again, this morning. Ugh!

His appointment was Monday, but I could not make it. We postponed until Tuesday. Regretting that a bit - did not expect he would have issues since it had been 3 years in between his first and last episode. (He lost and regained most hearing, twice). We are starting to wonder if surgery will be rushed to try to preserve hearing. I am not sure how early they could possibly do the surgery. Tuesday seems a million years away.

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His family is intent on cashing out retirement to send him to the world-renowned place I mentioned. Ugh, on that.

We did discuss it and I said I could see borrowing the money, because he could return to work and pay it off in a few years' time. Could be worth it. Though, we both are leaning towards sticking close to home and sticking with what is covered. Just thinking to if we are not impressed with our covered options. Of course, the risk is that dh could become disabled, and could not ever work again. Then we are just stuck with a six figure medical bill. I just gotta hope our HMO has good options. I don't really see why they wouldn't...

Of course, MIL said she already talked with this surgeon and he would come up here. This is not anything I have read, and sounded odd to me. I had to wonder if the economy had less people cashing out their savings and left with less equity to borrow with, for this type surgery. (Everything I read was that everyone who could, went for this surgery there. Seems there would be a waiting list of sorts?). If we lived down south it is reasonable we could be referred there. But since we live up North, if we are referred "outside" our HMO, I am sure it would be somewhere up here. Which I think we would prefer anyway.

Just to say, we have gone down the "six figure medical bill" road a bit. Obviously I hope we feel extremely warm and fuzzy about our covered options. Would be a lot easier.

On the flip side, it may be more important to save money to save hearing after surgery. Though it's apparently far more cheaper to gain hearing back than to remove a tumor. More amazing technology. Who knew, that regaining lost hearing was "affordable?" In our world, much more affordable.

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2009 is not quite over yet, but my brain is in 2010. Financially.

All of our December bills will be carded and paid in January, so I guess in some regard, 2009 is about over for us, financially.

I sat down to see where we were at. Before all this mess, I wanted to stop ROTH contributions while the market was high, and tackle our cash savings goal. I also figured I would just put aside our $3k deductible at Jan. 1, and only contribute to "mid-term savings" for 2010. I have been contributing to mid-term, medical, and retirement. I just wanted to make 2010 simpler, and achieve my goal.

Of course, obviously if the market fell, ROTHs would become more of a priority.

I guess it works out to be already in this mind-set.

In the end, our medical deductible remains $3k, but our out-of-pocket was doubled to $6k. I suppose after the deductible, we are relegated to smaller co-pays. But if there is a year we will manage to get $3k in co-pays (in addition to exhausting our deductible), 2010 would be it!

Of course, I am starting to worry that dh will have surgery end of December and we will max out 2009 and 2010. I suppose we have $1500 deductible remaining for 2009, which isn't huge. But would save $1500 if we could just do it all next year.

So, anyway, I just threw $6k into the "medical fund," (on paper - I don't have separate savings accounts). I already had $1k in there, which hasn't been billed yet - but will cover most the MRI. So really, $7k in the medical fund, should cover 2010, for now.

We still have $12k emergency fund. Obviously, all this stuff falls under the realm of emergency.

The sad thing, is I only have about $1k left in mid-term savings. I built it up from $0 to $10k, in 2009. Guess I will just have to try and do the same, again for 2010.

Of course, this year, the ROTH will probably be sacrificed. We were on track to put $5k away, and even as I built up cash, I was sure I would transfer some to the ROTH at year's end. Or if the market dropped substantially, etc.

It looks more likely we will just ignore the ROTH this year. We still put 10% away to retirement, and that has ALWAYS been our "bare minimum." To face all this and still be able to put away 10% is a blessing, in my opinion.

If all goes well, I should be able to save $15k-ish this year, cash. Who knows, we may make our cash savings goal and/or put some money to the ROTH anyway. I know it is likely some of this will be diverted to daycare and more eating out/convenience.

The only other large expense on the horizon is we need a few thousand to paint our house exterior. I worry how much it will cost. & why I am not happy to see me mid-term savings dwindle to $1k for a time. (DIY is not an option - house is too large. I don't do heights!!! Would need some super-sized ladders and some bravery to boot. Plus the time to tackle the whole thing). Willing to pay more for a good job that would last a while though. Original paint job sucked.

Of course, I have always said I wouldn't touch my efund with a 10-foot pole. But this is precisely the kind of exception an efund warrants. & you know what? It feels awesome to have that $12k sitting there. Big Grin The kind of emergencies I always envisioned were job loss or major house destruction (flood, etc.). I suppose its hard to foresee every possible emergency.

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That's the long and the short of it.

Thanksgiving went amazingly well and we had a great time.

Not sure what we will do this weekend. Not much planned. Will enjoy any "peace" we can before the storm. Though it kind of sucks we pretty much have 3 days with "nothing to do" as we eagerly await dh's big doctor appointment next week.

5 Responses to “Financial Round-Up”

  1. Homebody Says:

    I'm not sure if I ever shared this, but my SIL has juvenile macular degeneration and will most likely eventually lose his sight. Thank goodness he went before the medical board and the Marine's kept him in. But in a way, I do know what you are going through and believe me if there was a chance we could cure SIL, I would cash out my retirement too, so I understand where the parent's hearts are. It definitely helps put life in perspective.

    I think you and DH are doing a great job for your age. Heck I still lecture my daughters to put more aside for retirement!

    I am glad you had a good Thanksgiving and it is fine if your blog turns into living with a brain tumor, we will all still follow it. (((Monkey Mama))

  2. fern Says:

    You've been in my thoughts. I hope all goes well on Tuesday.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm glad to hear that your Thanksgiving went well.

    It sounds as though you and DH are prepared financially for what is coming, which is good.

    Is painting the outside of your house something that could be put off til 2011? Or, could you find someone that needs the skills of an accountant, or perhaps some videos made, that would do the painting? Kind of a barter.

    {{{MonkeyMama}}}

  4. LuxLiving Says:

    What a time! Hope all goes well on Tuesday and that you love your covered surgeon/options.

    On the house paint - we used a brand of paint that is particularly good - called Flexcoat by Anchor. I'm not sure on it's ecological footprint, but it has a bit of a rubberized feel to it, and that makes it stick well to the house.

  5. monkeymama Says:

    Thanks again, everyone.

    The house should have re-painted years ago, though the light color we chose seems to be holding up better than most. Most of the houses around here look terrible, but with all the foreclosures and financials whoas, NO ONE has painted. Basically, I refuse to be the first. (Though will paint if it starts looking REALLY bad - have pride in my home. Just hard to have pride when no one else does). HOA has started clearing its throat on the matter, and I think we will wait until it is enforced. So just trying to be prepared. Could be 2010 or 2011. I don't know. I really wanted some neighbors to paint, and to get some recommendations. The builder did a shoddy job - don't know if it's cheap paint, or just didn't put on enough layers. (As much as I hate the HOA, it's kind of annoying how little they have done as our neighborhood looks in shambles, as far as paint. They were going to enforce painting every 3 years - which is ludicrous - but they are too busy enforcing stupid stuff - and no word on painting 8 years in - I am really frustrated by it all).

    The Flexcoat tip is good. I don't want to feel like I should paint the house again in 5 years. It's been 8 years, but the paint has been looking bad for a couple of years here.

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