Thursday, August 6, 2015
The WOW Factor in Retirement Budgeting, and Other Thursday Thoughts
On Monday, I'll be sharing a full rundown of my visit to Dallas to see my daughter, check out her new house, shop and eat. As always, a routine trip still resulted in an adventure or two, as well as quality time with family and friends. More on that to come. I'll also be telling you about my super giveaway!
Meanwhile, one of the highlights of my trip was going out to dinner-the first time to a Viennese restaurant that is a family favorite, and the second to my daughter's high end restaurant. In one case the average cost per person was between forty and fifty dollars, the second dinner was $200 for two people-and that was with no wine and a single beer. Now, some might think this excessive and too luxurious on a frugal retirement budget. Heck, some might think it too expensive at all. In my case though, my reward for the money (or the wow factor) was extremely high and I have no regrets. This meal included high end appetizers, gourmet salad, excellent steak and seafood and a deconstructed lemon pie that was to die for. The ambiance was candles and I did want to be one of "those people" with my phone, so this picture is from their website.
As my son (who treated me mainly) looked at me as we were getting ready to leave, I just smiled and reminded him that I would rather have this kind of meal twice a year than visit The Outback, Chili's or Red Lobster once a week or twice a month. For myself, I feel I get a higher bang for my buck at the high end restaurant, than the average restaurant. Now I admit, I no longer work, so rarely feel the need to run from simple clean up and preparations. When I'm feeling lazy I rely on convenience food from the deli counter. And truth be told, I still go to some of those restaurants on occasion, usually for luncheons, family get together events or other required events.
Everyone their own wow factor and value/reward for money spent will be different, depending on personal preference. I do try and review my priorities every so often when it comes to personal value for money. In my case, when it comes to food, chain restaurant meals and takeout rarely make me feel that I have gotten good value for my money, while good food ingredients and a couple of really cool restaurant visits do just the opposite. Since I'm doing that mid year evaluation I expect there will be more on my personal wow factor biggies to come.
Meanwhile, I've had my car back for a couple weeks now, and have driven it to Dallas and back with it handling very well and certainly feeling no different that before my accident, thank heavens. Once the other parties' insurance company jumped in, I was fine. Unfortunately the adjuster did not contact me for almost a full week after my accident. Had I lived alone, not had another car in the house or had other issues, this would have been a significant problem and after some thought I will review or write a letter on that subject. That said, all the repairs were approved, the body shop worked as quickly as could be expected, and I am happy with the results.
In a change of plans, I've decided not to go forward with any major travel in August. September will still be warm enough for me to travel north to South Dakota and Wyoming, and school will have restarted and I should be able to avoid most of the tourist problem in places like Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Wyoming and Deadwood. I'll be enjoying Denver and taking a side trip or so a couple weekends to end up my summer-tomorrow I'll be gong on an art walk, and this weekend I'll be grilling, swimming and going to see the final (maybe), Mission Impossible movie.
And so it goes, this Thursday in Retirement!