Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Great: Should I Sell Some Guns To Pay My Bills Debate...

...has been raging in my head between between a good little angel and a little devil. The good little angel keeps telling me not to be an asshole and to be responsible and to do the right thing and to hold onto my guns while that nasty little devil keeps telling me the boogey man debt collector will soon be at my house seizing them from me anyway because I most certainly am not going to be able to pay my debts on time for the first time in a long time. Oh great and pontificate Obamessiah, where art thou in this citizen's time of need, with thou edict of Obamacare!

Seriously folks, I have a few to several thousand dollars of medical bills looming. While I am not even sure how much yet because the bills have not all arrived, I do know I will be something above $3,500.00 because I have met my out of pocket catastrophic limit for the year ans back in August when this started I had only met about $1,500.00 of  $5,000.00. Now, in and of itself, a bill of about $3,500.00 plus maybe another $1,000 at most for things that did not go toward the limit, would not be to bad. I could pay on time. But being that someone in my household decided to bring 3 of the 4 dogs to the vet for check-ups at the same time (for fleas no less) @ of about $ 788.00, then just kept piling stuff onto American Express and VISA regardless of me warning not to do so, we now also have credit card debt of about $4640.00, almost $1,900 of which has to be paid by the due date because it is on Amex. Mind you, the VISA account balance is a lot higher and I readily admit that a lot of it is because I charged my son's college tuition on that card, as I have been doing each August & October for his Fall tuition each year for a few years now.  Someone else knows that, yet that someone else decided to add that vet bill to the AMEX!

Now in addition the credit card bills and the doctor and hospital bills, the first half of the school tax is due on my property taxes. Ouch that is another 2530.00. For some reason unbeknown to me, there is not enough money in the account that I use solely to pay our property taxes and our homeowner's insurance. We are short at least a few hundred bucks on that and I cannot figure out why since a set amount goes into the account each month.

Of course that is not the end of it, just found out yesterday that the drain pipe under the kitchen sink was leaking so badly the water was pouring through the floor into our basement.That was, or will be, one of those all of a sudden 'oh holy crap' type of expenses. Last time I tried to fix something like that, I tightened the collar around the drain pipe and the pie fell apart in my hands. Joe the Plumber I am not, I am more like Curly the Stooge, so a call to my local plumber is in order. For now, we will use a bucket under the pipe so dishes can get done or we will use the slop sink in the basement. On Monday, I will call the plumber to see if they do not celebrate the holiday and consider a call out on Monday to be a regular call. If not, then we wait until Wednesday.

Again, all would not seem so bad until I consider that I just handed in my retirement papers and my official retirement day is to be November 3rd. After that I get one regular pay check, my lst, then go to my retirement pay or what will pass for my retirement pay for anywhere from 3 months to 6 months or even up to 8 months. I will receive about 55% of my retirement pay in that time until the gooberment figures out precisely just what my retirement pay should be - or that is what I have always heard until a few days ago. In actuality, they know exactly how much I should be receiving early on yet, for some bureaucratic reason, or just to screw the federal employee one last time, they delay full pay for up to that long. That means I will be receiving about 39 to 40 percent of my regular pre-retirement pay) for 3 to 8 months of my retirement. Now that would seem to mean I would get a windfall at the end but oh no, that is not the case. I was recently informed that they do not withhold or pay my portion of my health insurance or life insurance and use the windfall to make up for missed payments (yes my coverage continues during that time). I would normally only retire at on the last possible day of any pay year because we can build up 448 hours of annual leave and be paid a lump sum for that. Being this was my planned retirement year, I wanted to go out with no sick leave so I used it all up. I planned to have the maximum amount of annual leave. That is not going to happen now, not with the cancer. I will be forced to use a substantial amount of my annual leave because I have so little sick leave left. That means much less of a lump sum annual leave payment, which is then taxed at 25% for federal taxes, and I will not have as much of it to carry me over during that period of 3 to 8 months of reduced pension payments. Ouch, some little creepy imp just shouted in my ear to sell some guns.

Yes the bills are adding up and that annoying little bastard, the "Hey pal, just sell some of your guns to pay the expenses' creep has really begun to sound quite tempting to me. I have done it before too, sell guns when in financial need to pay bills. If I remember correctly, the last time I sold some guns to pay for things like household expenses was, right after I got married, when I suddenly realized that two cannot in no way, shape or form, can live as inexpensively as one - especially newlyweds who needed everything. My idea of furniture had been a few boards atop cinder blocks for a TV sand and atop and in between the blocks for bookcases, a fold out couch for just about everything else, oh and maybe I had a dresser. My wife had different ideas. It was over 25 years ago when my Spartan living accommodations came to an end and I helped accomplish that by selling several of my guns including a Remington 870 Wingmaster to die for. Yes, I have sold other guns on that time frame but not to pay off household, or medical or college debts (or any other debts of which I can think) and the number of guns I have sold since then probably does not add up to all the guns I sold at that one time (if it does add up to it, it certainly does not surpass the mark by more than 1 or 2). Oh what to do, what to do. I hate having bills I cannot pay. I hate having an American Express bill higher than my biweekly take home pay.

I may have to sell some guns! hat would suck if it comes to pass. Of course, there is the wife's bank account, the one she has been shoveling at least part of her paychecks into to buy herself a car. Hopefully she will realize the need and step up and help out with getting the bills paid this month. Don't get me wrong, she helps out, I think she does anyway. This time though - more help than usual is needed.  would hate to have to part with my Remington 241 Speedmaster, or the Remington 513T Matchmaster or the Marlin 336, or one on my Beretta 92 SB pistols, or the Beretta 92SB of Ballseye fame, or any other one of them. I guess before I freak out, I should ask her and I should check the few lottery tickets that have been sitting in my wallet for the past two weeks or so. I buy a few dollars worth at most now and then and who knows. I know, my luck sucks. Oh well, if I have to sell any guns, my readers likely will be the first to know but for now that little angel, the one with the rosy red cheeks and cute little face is telling me "If you sell them, I'll kick your ass" (what language for a good little angel but well intentioned for sure) so maybe I had best hold off on any sales for now.

All the best,
Glenn B