Taxes and the Retired Expatriate

15 Feb

Let me start by saying that Lisa is in charge of taxes. She tells me what to do and I do it as we prepare for a trip to the States and a visit with our accountant. This week I found myself in a familiar place, stressing about money. It happens every time we fly to the States which involves airplane tickets,  car rental, eating out and the laundry-list of purchases that we intend to bring back. My stomach knots, my head spins and I don’t sleep well. It’s not fun for Lisa and certainly not fun for me.


Trumpet Vine at Casita Carolina

This morning I was doing my tax assignment, gathering my W-2 and investment balances. The fog lifted and I came to the conclusion that I DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY! Stop it, cut it out, quit!


Blooming aloe on the patio. The bees love it.

As a partnership of two women, we have never made the big bucks. I have a small State of Texas retirement, social security and a portion of a former spouse’s retirement. What I did right was save a portion of every paycheck as soon as I made any money. I maxed out my IRA’s for years. Even though friends and fellow employees poked fun at my taking the bus, bringing my lunch, and general modest living.

Orchids on Cozumel Island

Orchids on Cozumel Island

This morning I did the math. I gave myself thirty more years on the planet, subtracted what we’ve put aside to build the house, and added in my retirement checks and voila. I’m fine. We’re fine. I have nothing to worry about.

Petaluma, CA last summer.

Petaluma, CA last summer.

It really has nothing to do with money, but my frame of mind. Remembering to be grateful, throw in all the people who love me and I really never have to be afraid about anything, ever. Relax, breath.


9 Responses to “Taxes and the Retired Expatriate”

  1. Jamie Ray February 15, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    I am fortunate that my parents were savers and not spenders (although this was annoying during my adolescence). I learned that slow and steady was much more reliable than “get rich quick” or “make a killing”. I got my first job at 14 and have been gainfully employed ever since (including a little consulting at my old job post retirement). Learning to control your spending and live within/under your means is very difficult if no one has taught you how to do it.

    I have co-workers who will always be in debt no matter how much money they make because they are constantly upgrading their car/house/boat etc. and they take out loans to do it. Having enough money is less about how much you have and more about how you live with it. Fortunately, Donna and I have similar outlooks, so no conflict and no sense of deprivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 16, 2015 at 6:02 am #

      You are so right Jaimie. Before leaving Texas, we had a ten year old TV with the big back on it, that we had gotten at a pawn shop. Lol. No cable but four or five local TV stations. Lisa now has a flat screen which is her joy. Retirement has some concessions 🙂


  2. emilievardaman February 15, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    I, too, have enough. Not a lot, but enough. I will likely never make it to Europe, but I think the US and Mexico can keep me occupied for some time!
    So, yeah, let’s relax.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 16, 2015 at 6:05 am #

      So right Emilie. It’s a bad habit of mine, to stress about money. I learned it well from my mother. We can all choose to be happy with the love we have. Thanks for being a regular.


  3. Garth February 15, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Yes! and even if you didn’t have as much as you might want. it still is all about love. The evidence that what you have determines your happiness is in: Americans should be one of the happiest peoples in the world if having lots of stuff or money equates to happiness. And the result is not so pretty. Fear is the problem and love the solution, we are so lucky to be able to ask questions and surrender to love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LJones February 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    I think this is my favorite post…as it has helped me to calm down about money and remember what is truly important in life. Thank you, Alex, and oh no: will you and Lisa be in TX when I’m in Bacalar (in Mid March?) … hope I don’t miss you. Thanks for this great post and lovely photos. With love…

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 16, 2015 at 6:28 am #

      I see so many people function with so little. Happiness is not precluded by wealth. Past a certain point, it actually becomes a burden.


  5. Pets to Go February 17, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    As we get older we realize what is important in life. I always feared being a bag lady. But did you know you can make a great shopping cart house! Really retirement you can live on a lot less and being the big wig or having all those toys mean nothing. It is about love and loving and living each day to the fullest and that is it! With good health a priority!

    Liked by 1 person

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