Friday, 7 December 2018

Edinburgh, Scotland (6 Glencairn Crescent)

For whatever reason I didn’t sleep well last night. Perhaps it was the late nap I took after dinner or that I was looking forward to traveling to London today. In any case, I was up early and was packed by 9:00 when the Uber driver came by to pick me up for my ride to Waverley station. I almost went to nearby Haymarket station to catch the train, thinking that my train would stop there after Edinburgh. As I later discovered, it had already stopped at Haymarket (Edinburgh’s other train station.) That would have been a disaster.

The four-hour trip to London went by quickly as I kept busy playing the Hearts game on my phone, emailing, texting, looking out the window, etc. I’ve been thinking I should read a book sometime. I used to read constantly but now I tend to doze off after reading 20 pages or so. I’ll give it a try after the first of the year.

The last couple of days I had two very productive and informative meetings. The first, on Wednesday, with my GP who reviewed my test results with me. And the other with my financial planner on Thursday. All of this fits into planning out the next few years, at least until I turn 70. The new world of being on Medicare when I turn 65 brings up questions regarding how much medical insurance do I need now and later on. Combined with that is the question of where do I want to live. Both are now very much connected.

Good news came from the doctor, who I met with for nearly an hour. The only concern was my cholesterol, but she thought it could be managed by adjusting my diet and it wouldn’t be necessary to take a¬†statin. She recommended I drop at least 20 pounds. I’ll get a full written report in a couple of weeks. She also wrote out a prescription for¬†efudex for my skin treatment. The cost will be around $60 rather than the nearly $200 as it costs in the U.S.

Meeting with my financial planner yesterday also turned out good as well. I’ve been working with her to align my investment income with my financial needs. She was able to take my budget planning spreadsheets and input them into a financial modeling application that her company is now using. I really have two plans. One is my plan from now until I turn 70 and the other is for after the age of 70 when I rely exclusively on my investment, pension, and Social Security incomes. We proved that I can stay in Europe until (or even after) age 70 and that I’ll have enough steady income to last my remaining years, however long that may be. Though, after I turn 70 I’ll have to spend within my means. If I start tapping into my annuity, the income from that income source decreases.

So now I have to face the fact that my body needs to be on a diet as well as my finances. The good news is that I only need to make minimal changes. So much easier when I had a full time job, but I’ll get used to it eventually.

After I arrived in London and got settled in my hotel room I met up with a friend and we got caught up before he leaves to see his family tomorrow. Prean and Viktor are in Wales and Csabi is working in Milton Keynes outside of London for the next 3 days. So, I guess I’m on my own. Which is okay. I made reservations to see a Christmas concert at Albert Hall on Tuesday, but I need to book other venues before they get sold out.

I’ve been posting more pictures on Instagram. Think I’m getting the hang of it now. Still so much to learn, but I’m not in any rush. Good to know that all my travel pictures are backed up, but at some point I need to organize them. Definitely an activity when I have more time off from traveling.

Tomorrow I’ll probably sleep in and get organized before exploring London. I couldn’t think about everything I wanted to do in London when I was in Edinburgh and now that I’m here, I don’t know where to start. A good dilemma to be in.

In the morning, I’ll start with my daily Hilton breakfast where I will substitute my buttered toast and jam with fresh fruit.

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