Well, where to begin....
First of all, I want to thank all of you for your kind, supportive and helpful comments in regards to my situation with my brother.
I was finally able to speak with him, and I feel much better at least in the sense of not being so angry with him anymore. I'm still not sure that he'll be able to get it together to actually close out the estate, but I tried to help him craft a plan with concrete steps for moving forward and he did actually follow through with step one. So we'll see how it goes.
So, I sorta feel like it's been an entire lifetime since I last posted. I've been really sick - caught a bad case of bronchitis about a week an a half ago, and then I did something to my neck and have been dealing with muscle spasms, so I feel a bit as though I've been in a stupor of sorts.
On top of that, the weather has been downright schizophrenic. Over the course of 24 hours we went from 80 degree (27C) summer-like heat, to this:
It got down into the teens the night after the snowfall (-9C) - holy moly! Truth be told, we were long overdue for some winter weather - this was the third latest first snowfall in Denver history, but still - a temperature swing of 65 degrees over 36 hours felt a tad bit extreme and otherworldly.
Then, of course, there's the election. I was as shocked as everyone by the outcome, and while I have plenty of political opinions on the whole thing, there doesn't seem to be much point in focusing on that stuff. Instead, I'm trying to craft a plan to deal with the very real fallout that the change of political climate will have in my own life.
As a self-employed person, I get my health insurance through the exchange, and no matter what happens, I think it's a safe bet that the ACA (Obamacare) will be going away. Trump has promised that they will replace it with something "better," but if house Republicans have their way, they'll be repealing the ACA immediately. Either way, I think it's prudent for me to be prepared.
Of course, that begs the question... prepared for what? I think it's sort of hard to say, but since all of the proposals I've heard involve doing away with both the subsidies and the restrictions on how much insurance companies can bump up prices for older people, I'm pretty sure my insurance costs will skyrocket - that is, assuming I can still get insurance.
The only thing I really have to go on is what things looked like for the self-employed before the ACA, and well... it's sort of grim. Back then, most self-employed people I knew who were over 50 were lucky to get a catastrophic care policy for under $1000/month. Many were paying in the neighborhood of $1200-$1500 per month, and often that was for a policy that excluded pre-existing conditions. Gulp.
So, I'm sort of figuring that I'm gonna need somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-$20K annually for health care costs. And since they're also talking about dismantling Medicare, I think it's safe to assume that even after age 65, I'll be paying a lot more for health care than I thought.
As you may have guessed, that amount of money is simply not in my budget at the moment. All of this means that I'm gonna have to make some big changes in my life strategy, and focus all of my energies on making money for a while.
To that end, for the past week and a half I've spent pretty much every waking moment (or at least those when I wasn't coughing up a lung or swacked out on muscle relaxants) working on my business.
Whether I'll be able to continue to support myself being self-employed remains to be seen, but I've put my geek hat back on, and so far I've taught myself to write Wordpress themes, I'm learning how to write apps, and I'm researching cloud hosting and other strategies to cut my business costs to the bone.
What this all means for the future of this blog... well, I'm not sure. I hope to continue blogging, though it will certainly have to take a back seat for a while, and I may end up reworking some of the material I've written into a eBook or two.
I'm not really happy about that prospect, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and if that move allows me to continue to be self-employed rather than becoming an employee again, it will be well worth it.
So there you have it. Heavy sighs all around.