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  1. fosterscik

    Where to retire early

    Access is very good in the Chattanooga area. We have two major systems: CHI memorial (Catholic health initiative; CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga | CHI Memorial) and Erlanger health (Erlanger). We're not Catholics, but use the CHI system. They have a preventative focus and seem to have an...
  2. fosterscik

    Help Identify 'Holes' In Mulched Yard

    We get lots of holes like that in our mulch. I think they are more likely dug by squirrels (and used by the toads you see). Certainly see squirrels digging them in our yard.
  3. fosterscik

    Where to retire early

    I think you'd be happier further east in Tennessee given your stated mountain/waterfall desires. Chattanooga (we're on an elevated "mountain" just outside Chattanooga) or Knoxville or one of the many smaller more rural areas along the mountain backbone that runs through the state. No income...
  4. fosterscik

    Global Entry - usage after interview

    Good to know! I would never use it that way as I always carry my real-ID driver's license (we generally rent a car somewhere on our overseas trips but even when we don't I always carry my DL), but I could see where some may prefer to leave their license at home.
  5. fosterscik

    Global Entry - usage after interview

    I've never used my physical card - I'm not sure why they even mail you one. Once you're in the system all should work automagically ;). The card does have your trusted traveler number on it which you enter into your airline's booking system to get you automatic precheck status at US airports...
  6. fosterscik

    New scams

    I think I got lucky (doesn't happen often ;) ). When we moved home changing our state of residence we kept our old cell phone numbers. It makes it really easy to detect scam calls which usually originate from our "old" area code. I generally answer calls with our current area code - they are...
  7. fosterscik

    flying domestically without ID

    From the TSA Get there as early as possible and she'll probably be ok with you there to help confirm her identity
  8. fosterscik

    Electric rates throughout the year?

    Sounds like you have a pretty good deal. Like many here we can't choose our power provider. For your reference we live in a much more moderate climate here (we're on one of the "mountains" surrounding Chattanooga and we have a newly constructed home (1900 sq ft) that's well insulated and sealed...
  9. fosterscik

    Health Insurance Dilemma

    Another vote to drop your current coverage and pick up an ACA policy on your return. If I were you I'd explore other areas in TN if you are wedded to this state. We live in the east of TN and there are lots of ACA plans over here (and no shortage of dermatologists and urologists in our area.
  10. fosterscik

    My adventures in collecting and using home weather data

    I just saw this thread after the latest post and thought I would mention another off the shelf option. I have a tempest weather station in my yard (Tempest Weather System) which also allows you to see other stations in their network (Station map). I'm also a weather nerd, but I got it to...
  11. fosterscik

    Soc Sec Notice of Award Detail Error?

    I'm sure others are more knowledgeable, but DW has claimed SS and her part B AND part D are deducted from her award (without any request from us). So I think all is OK with your payments.
  12. fosterscik

    Saudia Airlines?

    Wow. I've yet to book our seats (we can't decide how long to spend in Australia after our diving trip) but I can only hope we get that lucky!
  13. fosterscik

    Trip Report: Fiji dive resorts

    Thanks for posting! We are going to the Banda sea later this year and then on to Australia for an extended stay, but your trip may inspire our next visit down under.
  14. fosterscik

    Airline mileage programs

    It's true that it's hard to get status with airline credit cards, but we're keeping our AA and Delta credit cards. They cost us ~$100/year to maintain but the free checked bags they provide easily covers their costs. If they remove that perk I'll close those accounts. I rarely charge anything to...
  15. fosterscik

    Walmart limit one Sodastream cartridge per day

    We have 4 sodastream cylinders. We just order 4 replacements (because shipping is free on that quantity) when we are most of the way through the 4th. Free shipping back on the empties. It's much less hassle than trying to exchange cylinders in the local store.
  16. fosterscik

    Croatia advice?

    Krka is interesting, but doesn't compare to Plitvice. We enjoyed Krka, it was made very special because we stayed at a fabulous agritourismo just outside the park.
  17. fosterscik

    Cayman Islands update

    That's depressing. We were in Roatan last November and the ocean temperatures were very high. There was lots of bleaching, but probably 50% of the coral looked healthy and the divemasters assured us the reef would recover quickly. We are returning there in May and we have our fingers crossed...
  18. fosterscik

    UHC/AARP Medigap Plans

    Call the gym and see if they accept renew active (UHC's gym program). If they do it should be free. We use the Y. Their fee here is $68/month for a 65+couple. It's free to us because we have renew active.
  19. fosterscik

    UHC/AARP Medigap Plans

    Further information: my inflationary increases have been 2.2% the first year, followed by 5.5% last year.
  20. fosterscik

    UHC/AARP Medigap Plans

    I think you can look the discount up directly on the UHC/AARP site - or at least I could in TN. There were no surprises in the rates charged
  21. fosterscik

    UHC/AARP Medigap Plans

    One more data point: I signed up directly (no broker) 3 years ago. I also got the premium schedule based on age 81 = 100% premium. DW also has the same premium schedule (signed up later directly) and we get the 7% family discount and the direct debit discount.
  22. fosterscik

    Top Ten Expenses?

    Another Travel #1 spender :dance: In our case 41 % of our total spend: 1. Travel 41% 2. House (mortgage & escrow) 16% 3. Groceries 8% 4. Taxes 7% 5. Dentist 3% 6. Lawn and Garden 3% 7. Automobile 2% 8. Other medical (Eyes, Ears, Insurance) 1.4% 9. Electricity 0.8% 10. Water 0.5%
  23. fosterscik

    Saudia Airlines?

    Thanks for the reply. It helps a lot to know you experienced attentive staff. That seemed to be one of the biggest complaints online. It's always difficult interpreting reviews - it's much more likely people post complaints than praise.
  24. fosterscik

    Saudia Airlines?

    Thank you! I will be sure to update once we get back (it'll be a while...)
  25. fosterscik

    Would it be better to take Social Security at 62?

    That's a nice spreadsheet. FYI if you wonder about the data used (the 2004 joint life expectancy tables) you can easily copy the latest available data here: and then paste into the supplied sheet. BUT it makes little difference. I get minor changes...
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