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Dentist & Low Savings Rates

February 22nd, 2014 at 06:27 am

**Holy Freaking Murphy! BM's filling fell out. $300 to replace. I am thinking of paying mortgage a few days early before my snowflakes melt. Big Grin The year is young and we save for this kind of random stuff, so for now can pull from the "short-term savings". & I can leave the snowflakes untouched (latest snowflake just happens to be about as much as the filling, though).

**On a related note, I was at the dentist last week and I asked for some ortho referrals. They gave me a bunch of info I didn't ask for. But I feel great relief about the information I received. IT seems to be one of those things people make an unnecessary big deal about. I know everyone is in debt up to their eyeballs. But it's just people who know us - that we are not in debt up to our eyeballs - and still seem to go on and on about how expensive it is. Running through the numbers? I am not seeing what the BIG deal is. I won't hold my breath or get too relaxed until I get REAL numbers though. We have no insurance, but I expect we will knock 1/3 off the top with cash discounts and income tax savings. When we do full-on braces we will also switch our kids to our "dirt cheap" dentist. Which is adding to the overall cost savings and my feelings about it all. Of course "dirt cheap dentist" recommended more reasonably priced orthos.

So yeah - all of the above won't amount to a hill of beans.

{I personally was probably a fairly worst case orthodontist patient, so I have just always assumed the worst. & then the way everyone goes on and on about it. Like, my in-laws are beside themselves how we will ever afford braces. I think both in-laws and us are fairly debt-adverse. But I find myself thinking lately, "So maybe we would have to get payments? The world wouldn't end?" I mean, they are just so melodramatic. I think somehow we survive. & I have been thinking the payment thing, though hell would freeze over before we actually take on any payments. But they are also overly obsessed how we will ever afford to replace cars. We have enough cash saved to easily replace both cars. BUT, I just think, "We'd get a payment? We'd survive with one car? We'd buy a really used car, like we have in the past? Dh would get a job??" We certainly aren't going to have to go bankrupt over these kinds of expenditures...}.

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**I think I am getting crankier with age. I suppose I found it hard to believe that people could get more financially stupid after watching all our friends in the debt bubble. & all the foreclosure madness. But, with time and money and age it seems people just make bigger money mistakes. Maybe it's because I think we just get more frugal with age, so the juxtaposition is ridiculous.

Anyway, as a background, most my clients are fairly upper middle class and/or just very fiscally conservative. But their kids? Egads! I do a lot of their kids' tax returns. Maybe it doesn't matter because these people will just be taken care of by mommy and daddy.

I haven't formed much a of a strong opinion in the past, but this year I have just been disgusted by every single tax return I touch. I am thinking, "None of these people have been out of work for one second in the last decade. Absolutely no hardships that I am aware of". & I Want to be clear that is the case. Because it is particularly unusual to be so well employed in my region. The unemployment is pretty terrible here.

Nope - these are the people who have every advantage. Every single one of them has a six figure income. & the average retirement savings rate seems to be around 2%. They are mostly age 40-50. None of them has a penny saved outside of retirement.

I've got a couple of lower income clients who are doing MUCH better. They are boasting by far the highest savings rates. Just another reminder of that it's not what you make but it is what you keep. {& I have a couple of $500k income types who are also living FAR beyond their means}.

8 Responses to “Dentist & Low Savings Rates”

  1. scfr Says:

    "it's not what you make but it is what you keep" - Indeed!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Agreed...not what you make but what you keep! We paid for my oldest daughter's braces up front, received a 5% discount. I want to say $3200 maybe a little more. Insurance paid the maximum benefit of $1500. The insurance company made quarterly payments. It sure was easier to not deal with making payments during that time. I'm sure I put it on a credit card, but at the time we weren't doing bonus rewards, so we didn't get any big reward for it.

  3. Buendia Says:

    This is good to hear! I'm not sure braces are in our future (F's teeth are - knock on wood - coming in straight, and the dentist hasn't said anything). But maybe she'll have just "light" braces; is that a thing?

    Anyway, you're not cranky! It makes me crazy when I hear things about people's financial situations. Maddening! My parents still have a mortgage, and my dad is almost 81, and they just refinanced for another 30 years. Can you refinance past your life span? I think it's weird, and I feel sorry that this is still a monthly expense for them. I'm going to feel even worse when our mortgage is paid off and they still have theirs.

  4. snafu Says:

    Another take...It's ok to ask the dental office business manager about payment options. Do they offer a discount for cash? What process is available for 'pay as you go' since each process has an ascribed fee? How do you feel about a new CC like often mentioned Sapphire that offers cash after $ 3K spend? If there is a payment plan offered by that office, I don't see the problem. You're in control free to increase or double-up payments as fits finances providing there is no interest.

    ...just a random thought, I wonder if in-laws fear you might ask for help for the cost of orthodontics for DKs or wish you would ask if they would consider helping with the cost so they could exercise their generosity gene?

  5. monkeymama Says:

    I think in-laws are projecting onto us. MIL had to go back to work when her eldest was 10, and our eldest is 10. I would bet you a million bucks that she felt she had to work to pay for car and ortho expenses. They have never said as much, but I get the picture. Wink

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    That's interesting....I guess you can form a fairly good picture of someone's lifestyle and priorities by delving into their tax return.

  7. Joe Says:

    I hope you get a discount on the filling. Not sure how old it was, but mine have lasted decades. My wife too.

  8. monkeymama Says:

    @Joe - Yeah, it's not that simple. Not every filling is going to last for decades. It's just unfortunate that the tooth is not ready to come out yet. The filling was past its expected life.

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