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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (7/4/12) 2:24pm - ... wherein there are so few *pleasant* financial surprises.

Well, that's exactly what I did *not* want to have happen.

Around the start of this year, I figured I would put off signing up for dental insurance.  I figured I'd sign back up when it was time to get my next cleaning, and in the interim, I'd take really good care of my teeth.  Worst case, I'd get a cavity or something and take a financial hit from that, but eh, no big deal.  Result?  I have a cavity, and I need not one but *two* new crowns.  And my proper coverage doesn't kick in for six months.

Whew.  So between that and the massive tax bill a few months ago, that's ten thousand dollars of unforeseen expenses this year.  Fun!

So where does this leave me?  Well, I still have enough in liquid assets to see me through to the end of September.  And I'm going to go through with all my scheduled travel because I'm stubborn, I've bought my tickets already, and I'd like to have fun finishing off my unemployment.  And if worse comes to worst, I can carve out some retirement investments to tide me over for a while.

But basically, this means that now I *have* to find work when I get back from Chicago -- I'm under the gun in a way that I never wanted to be going into this.  My plan was, I'd set aside a year's worth of money, I'd spend a good long time not-working, and then I'd leisurely research what I might want to do for income, and then I'd deliberately pick jobs that seemed interesting and rewarding.  There wouldn't be any stress involved.

Now: stress.

Mind you, I'm keenly aware that I still have it really good.  Programmers are still in demand, and I still have assets in reserve that will keep me from starving.  Mainly, I'm fighting this depressing and irrational belief that I should have seen all this coming.  Somehow I should have known that I'd get a tax bill larger than, I think, every tax bill I've ever received in my life, *combined*.  I should have reckoned the odds better w/r/t dental coverage, and signed up for it as soon as I left NI.  Intellectually, I know that this current outcome is several sigmas out from what I could have reasonably expected, but still, I feel like I screwed up.

In any case, this is hardly the end of the world.  My original plan was to start finding freelance work once I got back from Chicago.  That's still the plan, only now it's a bit more imperative, isn't it?

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From:majcher
Date:Wednesday (7/4/12) 1:26pm
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If you want to work way too many hours for a whole bunch of money and good benefits, let me know, and I'll see if I can tell you what to start studying...
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (7/4/12) 1:52pm
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Thanks!  I'll hit you back about this if it doesn't look like the "reasonable amount of hours for enough money to get by on" plan isn't working out.
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From:gregstoll
Date:Wednesday (7/4/12) 9:13pm
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Yikes - teeth suck. I hope you find income-generating activities!
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From:kevin_hogan
Date:Thursday (7/5/12) 10:35pm

If you haven't already got the work done...

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If the dental work costs enough in the US, then medical tourism is a real option. I've heard that good dental care is available and affordable in Mexico - haven't had any work done there, but had work done in India wherein a root canal and european made zirconia crown was done for about $650. Mexico's probably a cheaper option given your location - but even for India, I think even if you factored in a visa and plane ticket and guest-house stay for a couple of weeks, it'd come out to less than two root-canals and crowns in the US. (and, at least for now, I've got a spare room in Bangalore :) )
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (7/13/12) 2:57pm

Re: If you haven't already got the work done...

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Thanks Kevin -- I'm now looking over this site w/r/t getting the work done in Mexico....
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From:fraeuleinchen
Date:Sunday (7/8/12) 4:16pm
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Okay, that totally sucks. But I will share this, which may be reassuring (if it's true): dental insurance is notorious for not covering everything. In many cases (vision/eye insurance is same way) it seems to offer a discount on things instead of covering them outright. Having dental coverage will definitely help, but may not have covered all of that anyway. The other day it occurred to me that my savings may be used for expensive dental work, at some point in the very distant future. Yuck. In reality, I'm saving for travel and fun, but the other, uglier thought did cross my mind.
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