I have to say I have needed some good news with one thing after another for the last two years. DH's work is giving a 2% raise across the board. It goes into effect starting next week, so it won't be on the next paycheck, but the one after that. And they are starting reviews for merit raises on top of that in July. DH's isn't scheduled for his until the end of July, but it means there is a chance of an additional raise, too. Since he never got one when he got promoted because Covid happened and they cut back on a lot of things, I am hoping we will see that now. Either way, the 2% raise is $11 an hour more, so nothing to sneeze at and I am very grateful for it. It's been 3 years without a raise.
One of the verses I look to a lot is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you hope, and a future." I have it posted at eye level on the wall by my computer. I have kept that in the forefront of my mind as much as possible during the last year and a half, constantly reminding myself that there is a future with hope in it, even when I felt hopeless at times with all the medical issues and expense they brought.
I was starting to feel it worse when I found out that the state of Washington is going to force long-term care insurance on anyone who is working and they were going to enforce it by taking it out of paychecks. There was a one time chance to opt out if you could prove you had other long-term care insurance. DH opted out and we are getting some in place. While it would be more convenient to do it through the state, they only offer $36,000 lifetime coverage and for every $100 they pay you have to pay $100 if you use the insurance. And there is no provision to guarantee they won't raise how much they are taking out whenever they feel like it. And also you have to pay more in based on your income so you are subsidizing other people.
We are getting one that is $50,000 lifetime coverage and a slightly cheaper premium and we have control over it and can shop around if it goes up, unlike with the government. DH and I had been talking about getting long-term care for a while anyway, I just don't like being forced to. It's another monthly bill coming in of $48.71. I was able to pick the date it comes out of the checking account, though. And with the raise I won't have to cut back in another category. And I really ought to get some long-term care insurance for myself, but I can't get it through the same place as him as that is only offered to their employees, not spouses.
So if we both get the insurance that'll be around $100 in a new bill. Allowing for them taking out 15% for the 401k pre-tax, about a third of what is left to payroll taxes, and taking 10% off for tithe, we should end up with an additional $400 a payday unaccounted for, give or take. That's just a guestimate, of course, and I won't know for sure until we get the first paycheck without any overtime on it. That'll make it a lot easier to save for both medical expenses and the Emergency Fund. Assuming nothing else in our lives goes blooey.
If he gets an additional 1% merit raise, that would give us $1000 to save to medical and EF each month and that would be great. Merit raises are generally higher than 1%, usually 2 to 5%, but I'm not being greedy. I do wish, though, that they'd go back to contributing 5% to the 401K and not just the 2.5%. I'd rather have that than a merit raise, to be honest. The 2% of the regular raise is enough to help us out and ease the pressure tremendously.
On the bright side, just with the first 2% raise we are going to hit the $19,500 401k max for the year right at the first payday of December, assuming no more overtime at all this year, which is unlikely. That is a huge milestone I didn't think we'd make this year. Technically since he is over 50, we could put $26,000 into his 401k as a catch up amount, but I don't think we will have an additonal $6500 lying around to do it with and if we did, we'd more likely open a spousal IRA for me.
It is nice to have a little more hope for the future again, though part of me is still holding my breath waiting for Murphy to whack us again. Does that ever go away?
Oh, and I got my second Moderna Covid vax on Sunday. It took me until today to feel like a human being again. Hence the big post.