Your Potential is Unlimited

This post Your Potential is Unlimited appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

In generations past, “hobbies for retirees” meant things like knitting, hanging out at the VFW, and flipping through TV Guide to see when Matlock would be on again.

Sure, some people were a little more active, but the expectation was that once retired, the adventures in life were pretty much over.

These days, it’s possible to retire earlier, live longer, and stay healthier than ever before, so there’s no need to relegate your newfound free time to the dusty hobbies of yesteryear.

Toss those knitting needles and set down the remote control – no matter what age you retire at, these are some of the best hobbies for your retirement years.

Hiking

No matter where you live, there’s probably a beautiful mountain, a well-worn trail, or even an urban park just waiting to be explored close by.

Some of the great things about hiking are that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, there’s no steep learning curve. and you can dedicate as much or as little time as you like to it, so it’s quite easy to get started.

Search for “best hikes near me”, and Google will give you pages and pages of results with varying degrees of difficulty.All you’ve got to do is pick the right one for you, pack some water and snacks, put on your sturdiest shoes, and head out there!

The fresh air, new sights and the beauty of nature are reward enough for anyone.

Mountain Biking

If you really want to get your heart pumping, there are few activities more thrilling than mountain biking.

Much like hiking, you can find locations almost anywhere, and you need little more than a sturdy bike, a helmet, and a water bottle to get started.

Also, mountain biking is a great way to explore nature in a new way – you’ll constantly be covering new ground, so it’s fantastic exercise for your body and your brain.

Surfing

If you’re looking for a cool factor with your new hobby, look no further – surfing has got to be the coolest activity out there, and it’s a personal favorite of mine!

While it’s restricted to those folks who live in driving distance of the coast (or those willing to travel a bit to fulfill their surfing dreams), it’s a fantastic workout and an intense experience unlike any other.

Once you get started, you’ll see why surfers get up early and paddle out in freezing waters – the thrill of catching a great wave is worth it.

Fishing

This is a traditional hobby for retirees, but it’s a classic for a reason.

The greatest part about going fishing when you’re retired is that you can hit the lake or river any day of the week – no more waiting for Saturday to enjoy yourself!

The best spots won’t be crowded on a Tuesday morning, so it’ll be just you, the water, and all you can catch.

Blogging

If you have a knack for writing, blogging could be a perfect hobby for you.

With drag and drop website builders like Squarespace, it’s never been easier to create your own site and then start blogging. If you’re wondering what you should write about, the answer is, well, anything you’re passionate about!

From cars to cooking, fitness to politics – whatever you’d like to write about, there are readers out there who’d love to read your take, and unique perspective on it.

Photography

Digital or darkroom, photography is a great hobby to pick up in retirement.

If you haven’t shopped cameras in a couple of years, you’ll be stunned at all the options out there. Great cameras can be had at a variety of price points these days, and you can take stellar images with everything from a compact micro 4/3rds camera to a large dSLR with interchangeable lenses.

If you want to get started on the cheap, you could even take a course in smartphone photography – the latest iPhones, Samsungs, and Androids can produce world-class images with a little bit of know how.

Yoga

Maybe you’d like a hobby that’s good for your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga certainly fits the bill.

Not only will it keep you active, it can help to give you greater strength and flexibility. You’ll find beyond the physical benefits it can grant you peace of mind and a better sense of awareness, too.

Best of all, with several different forms to choose from, there’s a yoga for everyone.

Metal Detecting

This is a hobby that can pay for itself – literally.

With just a metal detector and a little bit of time, there’s no end to the treasures you can find!

Whether you like collecting coins, you want to look for jewelry you can sell, or you just like helping out by locating precious mementos that have been lost or left behind, metal detecting can be a great hobby.

Car Restoration

Remember that car you dreamed of having when you were a teen? You know, the one you could never afford at the time, but still think about today?

Well, guess what – it’s never too late. You can find one at an auction or on in an issue of Auto Trader.

It might not be in perfect condition anymore, but that’s actually good news! Since you’re retired, you now have the time to lavish on the car to bring it back to its glory again.

Selling On Amazon

There’s a fortune to be made in eCommerce, and there’s no reason you can’t cash in on it, too.

If you get your start by selling on Amazon, either by creating written content for their Kindle Direct Publishing platform or by selling physical products, you can make good money without a lot of upfront costs.

This isn’t an overnight path to riches, but if you approach it as a hobby, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you can make while having fun.

Cooking

You’ve probably made what I call “maintenance meals” for years now, but if you enjoy cooking, why not dig in and learn how to make dishes beyond the typical fried chicken or spaghetti?

Stores like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table offer in-person cooking classes, or you could get an entire education just by following along with Food Network or YouTube videos.

Push your culinary boundaries. You might find you have a creative knack for creating new delicious recipes.

The best part is you get to eat the end results!

With a variety of hobbies to choose from, there’s absolutely no reason for retirement to be boring. Pick one of these, or go with your own! Either way, try something new and remember to have fun with it!

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

The post Your Potential is Unlimited appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

How My Medical Mishap Could Save You Hundreds

This post How My Medical Mishap Could Save You Hundreds appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Okay, let’s just get it out there…

A few months ago, I had another surfing-related trip to the ER.

Without going into all the gory details, here’s a quick picture:

IMG 1

As you can see, I ended up with a small sideways smile right below my original one.

Essentially, I was tumbling under the water and the pointy nose of my surfboard went straight under my lip – all the way through, in fact – and eventually stopped when it hit my gums.

Nice.

“Hey, how does this look?” I asked a friend after it happened.

“Uh, yeah, that’s definitely stitches,” came the reply.

An hour and a half later, stitches it was – five on the outside and one on the inside. Also a quick trip to the dentist the following day since the blow had damaged a tooth.

In the grand scheme of my major lifetime injuries…

  • Four broken ribs and a collapsed lung from surfing back in December (I know… I know…  Two surfing injuries in 12 months!?)
  • A middle finger bent at a 90-degree angle while mountain biking back in college
  • A torn medial collateral ligament spinning off a jump on my snowboard
  • A broken metatarsal skateboarding on a ramp

This one was relatively minor. Painful, and a bit demoralizing to be sure, but with a one-week heal time, not too big of a deal…

IMG 2

… Until it was time to get the stitches out.

That’s where the real pain (and self-discovery) began.

Do as the Doctors Say

Now, before you suggest giving up my favorite hobby, recommend I buy a soft board from Costco, or blame me for skyrocketing insurance premiums…

Let me just say one thing.

I do these things for you!

How else would I have discovered the money-saving power of self-surgery?

My high-deductible health insurance plan requires me to pay out of pocket for most medical procedures until an annual cap is met. However, it does typically provide discounts on services performed by in-network facilities and specialists.

When I was discharged from the ER, they told me I had several options for getting my stitches removed:

1. Go back to the ER. (“The downside is you might have to wait a while.”)

2. Go to an urgent care facility.

3. See if a primary care physician (PCP) would do it.

I first called the ER. After a discussion with their billing department, I learned that I would be charged for another visit if I came in to get the stitches removed.

Ouch!

Emergency Room Alternatives?

Next, I started calling PCPs.

I don’t currently have one since I’m healthy as a horse unless I’m going to the ER from sports-related injuries.

One wasn’t taking new patients. Another couldn’t see me for four months. In a nutshell, it started becoming clear that even if I could get in to see someone, it wouldn’t just be a “get stitches out” appointment. Instead, it would be a full office visit and then another charge for the stitches part.

So I moved on to urgent care facilities.

The one in my network couldn’t tell me how much it would cost.

Minimum charge of $160. And then, once you get in there, it could be more depending on a lot of factors.”

What about my in-network discount?

“Don’t have any information on that. You’d have to pay and then submit everything.”

We went around in circles like this for quite some time. Multiple phone calls to all the different groups involved.

At the end of it all, they still couldn’t tell me what it would cost for a simple procedure.

I thought maybe it would be better to just go in person.

Once they saw me, and the simple procedure we’re talking about, perhaps it would all crystallize.

Ha!

The first thing I saw was a 1.5-hour wait time prominently displayed on a big digital clock.

Urgent care, indeed.

Next, I started discussing my situation with the receptionist.

It was pretty much the same conversation all over again. There was no guarantee on how much the process would cost.

Mystery Medical Charges

This is where I like to step back and think about the same type of idea in a different context – say, a car mechanic.

You pull up to your favorite oil change place and ask how much it is to swap out the 10W-30.

Maybe they ask you if you want synthetic or regular, but either way they can give you a price right upfront.

You can shop that price around.

Or, if you don’t like the prices, you can simply go get some oil and open the hood yourself.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

When faced with the idea of paying at least $160 … waiting several hours … and then possibly ending up paying far more once in the actual room … I opted to just open the darn hood myself and change the oil.

Now before I go any further, let me just put this out here. I’m not a doctor (obviously). So don’t take what I’m about to do as the “right” way to solve your medical problems. In this situation I was able to shop around and take matters into my own hands, but that isn’t the right reaction in every circumstance, especially when you have a medical emergency.

Anyway, back to my story…

I headed to CVS and bought a pair of small scissors.

Then I went on Youtube and watched a quick tutorial on stitch removal.

A couple minutes later, I was snipping my way to massive time and money savings.

Hey, it’s only my face, right?

Of course, I’m not telling you this story because I think WebMD should be your default care provider.

I just want to highlight a couple important points:

First, in some cases, it is entirely possible to avoid our frustrating medical system. In my case, removing stitches is now one of them.

Second, there should be no reason why our medical system is this frustrating in the first place.

I had a minor injury and I have health insurance.

Why on earth should a simple procedure like a few stitches cost me a couple thousand dollars at my local hospital and still not even include taking the darn things back out?

I’ll give you some more of my own thoughts on that soon… Until then, if you have the opportunity, and it’s not a medical emergency, consider shopping around a little.

Don’t be afraid to ask what procedures are going to cost. If you aren’t comfortable with the price, get a quote from someone else!

Just because it’s a medical procedure doesn’t mean that you have to pay whatever the first person quotes you. Make sure you get the best price available for your care, like you would with any other major purchase.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

— Nilus Mattive
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap

The post How My Medical Mishap Could Save You Hundreds appeared first on Daily Reckoning.