If you were to set up your budget just a mere year ago, based on these CNBC findings, your net income per year would be recommended to look like this: Needs (50%), Wants (30%) and Savings (20%). Doesn’t matter if your income is $50K, or $100K or $25K a year. The percentages (50/30/20) should be the same.

Today, thanks to high inflation, soaring gas energy prices and food shortages, most people’s budget would look more like 100% of their income is being used just to cover their needs. That’s how it is for my immediate family (husband, wife and dog). Our entire monthly income is being used to cover our essential, immediate needs. None of our wants are being covered. There is no going out to eat in a restaurant nor is there take-out. No entertainment (unless it’s free). No new clothing (make due or buy used) and there is absolutely no cable TV (either antenna or ROKU). We do have a category for our RV as we used to travel south for the winters and camp out in the summers. That’s not feasible for us anymore. Based on the rising costs of fuel and rising camping fees, we’re waiting to see if we can permanently re-locate our RV to Florida. Think of it as our ‘Florida Get-A-Way Condo’ (because the odds of us ever buying a vacation home has been reduced to zero!) If that’s not possible then the unit will be sold (probably at a loss….however, some people are using RVs as their home, so it might retain some sellable value).

My housing category (no mortgage) includes property taxes, home owner’s insurance, repair and maintenance, utilities (electricity, propane, wood pellets, cellular service, internet access). Medical insurance includes Medicare Part B for my husband and myself, as well as supplemental insurance, Part D (drug care), co-pays, deductibles, vitamins and monthly prescriptions. Food and clothes is self explanatory. We currently drive two cars (no car loans). We both carry life insurance. We’re not driving so much as many things we want to do or need are within a 10 miles radius of our home. And lastly, we have 1 smallish pet (only weighs 11 pounds) and we carry a must-have pet insurance policy because small dogs, when ill, can be very costly to cure. We have no credit card debt.

I consider our RV loan as a vacation expense category. The monthly payment is minor and if need be, I do have the ready cash in savings to pay off the loan immediately. As it stands now, however, should we sell it, I might have to cough up the difference. I have no idea what’s it value is anymore. It depends on how it’s sold: recreation or residence (the latter being more valuable).

Lastly, since we are already retired, we are no longer putting money away into a retirement savings account. Nor are we invested in the stock market so the roller coaster Wall Street values do not affect us. Our savings, while not making great financial gains, does compound, is consistent and is guaranteed not to be worth less than what we have put in. However, based on the current horrific, worldly financial economic profile, any extra cash that comes our way gets deposited into a liquid FDIC savings account. Should our current income no longer cover our basics, we understand the need for an additional savings account.

This is not the way I thought my retirement years would be: worried and scrambling for survival. Keeping a roof over our heads, food on our table and gas in our car tank in Prime Number One now. I wasn’t expecting on how to keep warm in the winter, cool in the summer and how to keep operating when a sporadic power grid goes down. We did not do this to ourselves. It was done to us by others. We no longer have control nor freedom over our lives. All our futures are going to be survival of the fittest. NOT a good place to be in retirement. Please don’t fool yourself. Things are not going to get better any time soon. This is a worldwide, deliberate attempt to take over our lives and force a new world order upon us.

And please don’t think that the coronavirus is under control. If any of us Americans would take the time to sit down and read the periodicals coming out of the CDC we would soon realize that each and everyone of us is going to get covid-19. You can wear a mask from here to kingdom come, get every vaccine invented by man, they can not control it. Covid-19 will be with us forever in our lifetimes. Every living thing right now has covid-19: the birds, the animals, the humans…..There is no escape. Every single one of my neighbors currently has covid-19. We’re all vaxxed and boosted. Even a recent new homeowner, his wife and new-born baby came down with covid-19. We think we all caught it from one of our neighbors who refuses to get vaccinated. He went to an indoor party in NYC and brought an unknown variant back to this block. One by one, as each neighbor spoke to another neighbor, the entire road I live on has now been infected. And we will catch covid-19 again and again and again. Till death do us part.

I’ve changed my whole prospectus on my life now. I see how ridiculous I have been all these years. You work hard, you save your money, you try to do the right thing, live a good honest life….and all….for what? We’re nothing. Just pegs in a poke easily cast aside. Our only importance is to our family and friends. No one else cares about us. We’re constantly being lied to. Ask yourself: are you better off now than you were a year ago? Do you believe it when President Biden says his administration is doing all it can to lower gas prices, lower food prices? Have you looked in the harbors lately? All the supply ships are gone. All the crap has been unloaded. Have any of your prices come down on anything? Use your own eyes. See for yourself? Are you richer or poorer? Are you healthier or sicker? Are you safer or are you living in fear? We have to worry now about our children in schools, taking the subway or mass transportation….will we be shot and killed when we are at church, shopping in a mall, walking down the street or just sitting in our living rooms watching TV. Do you believe or trust in anything?

I no longer have any desire to travel or see the world. Thank God I did it all when I was young, strong, solvent and healthy. I pity anyone who waited their whole life to retire and finally enjoy life because guess what? Your days of ‘enjoying life’ are limited. I’m perfectly content to stay home. I have 3.5 acres to roam around in, grown my gardens and practice my skeet shooting. I have my bird feeders in the back and I love to sit outside and watch the birds pick at the seeds as my new entertainment. I have the deers, the wild turkeys, the squirrels, the ducks, the turtles, the black snakes, the chipmunks, the Norwegian mice, an occasional bear or bobcat. I guess God knew long ago (21 years to be exact) that this would be the perfect place for me to live out the rest of my life and die. Everything I want or ever need is no more than a 10 miles radius from my front door.

Instead of planning for my future, I’m going to write my memoirs. At 71, it was a life well lived. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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