It's been 16 months since we left the workplace. So far, so good. We keep our eye on our investments and on the news swirling around Medicare and Social Security. For the most part, though, we've lived without giving a lot of thought to scrimping. We're frugal, but we're not scrimpers.
In the last month I've been considering how we spend. And yesterday I made a material decision.
We'd planned to take a cruise in March along the fjords of western Norway. I want to see the Northern Lights, and the Hurtigruten cruise line was an attractive option. We made a 20 percent down payment back in September. As I thought about the remaining 80 percent, and the airfare, and incidentals before and after the cruise, I wavered. A lot of money for a weeklong trip.
And then Art broke a tooth.
We have dental insurance through my COBRA, but our share of the oral surgery and subsequent repair will be close to two thousand dollars. And the COBRA coverage ends on January 31. Then Art will have mediocre dental insurance through Medicare and I will go without. Looking at the current bill, which is a known, and future dental issues, which is an unknown, I considered whether the mental anguish of future unknown bills was worth a weeklong cruise. Particularly since we've got other more economical trips planned for December, January and February. And, more significantly, Norway is not on my bucket list. An undeniably beautiful place, but not one of my "must sees".
So I canceled the cruise. And felt relief rather than regret.
We will still travel. We have several timeshares, and we belong to two home exchange clubs and two hosted exchange clubs. And we can do the Norway cruise another year if it's still appealing. Or we can see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is much closer and for which we can use our frequent flyer miles.
When I think about that, I feel relief rather than regret too.
I don't worry about being a bag lady any more. But I do need to be responsible.