Well, we’ve survived the first 2 weeks of hubby’s retirement years and I have to say that it’s not exactly what I expected. What did I expect? I honestly can’t answer that question because I have actually kind of dreaded this time of our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that he is able to retire . . . he deserves it after over 50 yrs of working . . . but it’s such a change to our daily lives that I just was afraid of what was going to happen after he stopped working. What are we going to do all day? Sit around and watch TV all day? It’s been so long since we have done anything together, that I just don’t know what we’ll do.
So? What did we do our first 2 weeks of his retirement?
Hubby spent most of his time working on getting all his Social Security & Medicare filed and finding out how the COBRA option would work for me. I am not close to 65 which means I need a separate insurance plan for me. We’ve decided that the plans we were finding on the MarketPlace (OBAMA CARE), were way more than what we wanted to pay for nowhere near the coverage that we have now with the insurance he had with his company, I wouldn’t be able to keep my doctors, they were ALL HMO’s and I’d have to buy separate plans for Dental & Vison. For less than $100 more than MarketPlace I can stay on his insurance plan thru COBRA and have a PPO plan , the same coverage we had while he was working and have Dental & Vision for 36 months (3 yrs). We felt it was a No Brainer for me to go on his COBRA for 2017. Then after we can research it some more, have one full year of his retirement income under our belt, we can check out the MarketPlace again for 2018. With his income will be so much lower in 2017, I should be able to get a bigger subsidy for 2018 making the MarketPlace insurance less than COBRA.
We are still dealing with getting the truck running properly and buying new tires for it. Yep . . . we replaced the brand new monster mud tires for more economical road worthy tires. BOY!! What a difference in gas mileage so far!!!! We were getting about 9 mpg in town. Since putting on the new tires, it looks like we should get about 12 mpg in town!! We are anxious to see what we get pulling the trailer now. On our last trip we got between 6-8 mpg!!! That was going to make for some expensive traveling!!!
After we got the new tires, we notice that they were noisier than the monster mud tires we replaced them with!!! SERIOUSLY?? Can’t we catch a break on anything? However, after driving on them for a few minutes the sound leveled out . . . WHEW!! BUT . . . we now have developed a very noisy and annoying surging sound. So we took it back to where we bought the tires . . . thinking they are just out of round. NOPE!!! Apparently, we have several more issues . . . both front and back drive shafts are bad and fuel booster (which was just replaced) was leaking. So it’s back in the shop again!!
There was just so much to do to get hubby retired that we decided to hold off on doing anything about the 5th Wheels electrical for now until after he retired. But now that we’re having these issues with the truck, we don’t feel comfortable pulling it back to the RV Dealership in Oklahoma until it’s road worthy again. We did find out that the parts have finally been shipped to the RV Dealership in Oklahoma. So they should be there when we get a chance to pull the 5th Wheel back there.
Before we can take a trip to Oklahoma, we are heading to Nashville, Tn to visit our daughter and her family. Originally we were to take the 5th Wheel there . . . but for obvious reasons, we can’t do that. So we are using our airline award miles to fly there instead. When we get back from there, we will prepare for our trip to take the 5th Wheel to Oklahoma and drop it off at the RV Dealership. Then we will continue on to Dallas, to have a cruise control put into the truck at the dealership we purchased it from. That will probably take a couple of days and then we’ll head back to Oklahoma to pick up the repaired 5th Wheel. Our plans are to stay there for 3-4 days to make sure we don’t have any more issues before we, hopefully, head up to Colorado for a while on our very first REAL trip.
Another item we had to deal with this week . . . we got new passports. Our daughter and her husband bid on and won a trip to St John. However, they can’t go and decided to give the trip to us for hubby’s retirement gift. HOW COOL IS THAT!!!???!!! Granted we don’t need a passport to go but if we do any excursions off that island, we’ll need one to get back. So we bit the bullet and got new ones. Now if we want to take the RV to Canada, we are set with passports!!
While hubby has been on the phone handling all the above issues and both of us driving back and forth to the auto repair shops, I have been trying to get our taxes done and getting our apartment set up and decorated. There are still boxes that are unpacked. PLUS, we have been shopping for some furniture for the apartment. We are sleeping on air mattresses right now . . . mine is great but hubby’s has developed a leak. So he wants a real mattress. We’re also looking to add a wall unit in the living room for the TV and a small electrical fireplace. Since we are staying here, I have some decorations in boxes that I have no were to use them. So a set of bookcases will be perfect.
Things brings me to the COMPROMISING part of this blog post. We have been married for 40 years and for about 25 of those years, I have done all the shopping by myself. . . . Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, Weddings, for household items, furniture and even most of our vehicles. Even when we built our last home, I shopped for EVERYTHING from the cabinet pulls to the furniture. I hauled samples to/from the stores to show them to him so I could get his input. But I did the shopping. . . ALONE!! There have been very few times where he has come with me. Mostly because he worked 24/7/365 and partly because he really hates to shop, hates crowds and absolutely HATES lines. I have to back up a bit . . . he will do some grocery shopping but hates to do any other shopping unless he has to. He grocery shops for ‘specialty’ items that he wants to use for a special he wants to make. Yes . . . he does most of the cooking. When we talked about him retiring, I was really excited for him to be able to accompanying me to do all the shopping. I didn’t realize that I was going to have to do some compromising for that to happen.
So why am I having to compromise for him to come shopping with me? Anyone who knows me, knows that I shop all day long. I will go to a handful of stores while I’m gone. While in those few stores, I walk every single isle to pre-shop. Then I will go back, make some selections and then change my mind about 15 times before I finally decide on what I am going to purchase. That will/does drive hubby absolutely NUTS!!! He is a walk in, grab the item(s) he wants and be out of the store in 5 minutes!!!! I can’t do that!!
I warned him the other day that this is the way I shop and that he was going to have to get used to it. Then we went shopping last night and when we got home I realized something. Why am I making him change his ways without me changing my ways? That isn’t fair! So I expressed my feelings to him by saying that I realize that I can not expect him to go spend an entire day shopping with me to find one item . . . wall unit for the living room. We can just take more time finding what we want vs doing a marathon shopping spree. He just laughed at me. But I think he was glad to hear that I was willing to compromise the way that I have done things for the last 25-30 years and maybe he’ll be willing to compromise too. Actually, he did last night. He went to a few more stores than we planned on. Because he did, I think we found the book shelves that we both like. SCORE!!!
This will be a work in progress as we both figure out how to live together and compromise on things that we never even thought about in our old “working world” lives. But that’s part of the journey, right?
Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .