Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Stupid Debt!!

GRRR!!! Will we EVER get out of debt!!

Just last week we had raided Grump's retirement account "yet one more time", and cashed in $3,000.00.  The plan was to finally pay off the American Express credit card, (current balance $2,000.00 +), and sock the rest away in our short term savings account, where it would be ready to be thrown at the next bout of nonsense.  I had anticipated the next batch of "nonsense" would be the roughly $800.00 we owe a lawyer for drawing up an estate plan for us.  Which means we would be close to eliminating all our high-interest short term debt. 

Ha, ha ..... jokes on me, only it's not funny at all.  In the mail today we just received a bill for $1,200.00 from the dentist, which apparently is the remainder due for the broken tooth incident Grump had in early June.

We just can't catch a break on these unexpected, large expenses!  Start with our car troubles, add in Grump's busted tooth, and finish with Sweetie's Sister's medical emergencies, and since spring of this year we've had $5,000.00 - $6,000.00 of unplanned debt.  YIKES!!

But we can't do anything about it other than keep pounding away at the debt, and hope these rainy day expenses eventually dry up and blow away.  Grump is getting heartsick at all the repeated withdrawals from his retirement savings, but what can we do?  Credit card debt costs us 18%, more or less.  There is NO WAY we can consistently earn that amount in the stock market.

Clarifications for the curious:

1. The "retirement" accounts we are cashing out are NOT tax qualified.  They are simply mutual fund accounts Grump has built up over the years.  While it sickens him to withdraw money from them now, we do not pay a penalty to do so, and it does make financial sense to whack high interest credit card debt, even with money you've saved for the long term.  Grump is just concerned about the "moral hazard" of these withdrawals becomming a habit.

2. The estate plan is being set up to help shield Sweetie from request for financial assistance from back home.  Grump is older than her, so hopefully she will outlive him.  We have already taken a financial pounding from her sister over the years, (don't even ask!!).  Once Grump is out of the picture, the pressure on her to "loan" money to the friends and family in the Philippines will be enormous. 

Actually, in a way we have been lucky here.  We haven't been put in the situation where someone's hope for survival is in our hands, thank God!  What do you do if someone urgently needs to go to the hospital, but you are the only one who can pay for it?

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