April 06, 2007

Scrooge McDuck

I have become aware of a slow-growing obsession with things financial.

Late in the day I check the financial page to see how the Dow and NASDAQ did. Early in the morning I log in to my IRA to see how it fared. I am pleased (and obsessed) with stuffing my new Health Savings Account (HSA) with the full allocation ($2850) this year, to be able to use these tax-free funds for things like dental appointments and eyeglasses, and to squirrel away the extra for future decrepitude or retirement. I strive to pay off an insurance bill immediately (without using the monthly payment option, or to keep a credit card balance at zero.

Perhaps I can be forgiven this; at 46 many of my peers are planning retirement in the short term with large retirement savings. But the past 15 years have not been times of financial health - divorce, self employment, upside down in house for 10+ years, a near forclosure, a gender change, and a bankruptcy that I forestalled for about 5 years too long have all taken a serious toll. I had learned to live without a net, to be blind to the financial monsters and the abyss of looming financial ruin that were my constant companion.

So to have the luxury of health insurance, of some retirement savings, of some extra money ferreted away for the future is luxurious. Like coming home from a 4 day folk fest and enjoying a clean commode and a long hot shower.

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