Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sycamore 8--Friday Favorite

Sycamore 8 is my favorite local race.  About the only thing I don't like about it is that it's the first weekend in December, which means it is also on opening day of the shotgun deer season and the last weekend of Medicare Annual Election Period.  The stars have to align perfectly for me to be able to squeeze it in.  Unfortunately, they aren't lined up for next weekend.  But YOU can still register here.

The race director, Brad Dains, is top notch.  He's pretty impressive as a runner, but even better as a race director and all around good guy.  Here's what makes it my favorite local race.  In no particular order.

  • It's close to home for me.  Which means I don't need to drive there if I want to run or walk there.  
  • The weather both times that I've done it has not been above 80 degrees (I'm not much of a warm weather runner).  In fact, I don't think it's even been above zero.

  • The race finishes in a parking lot, so I can get warm, dry clothes right after the race instead of having to walk several blocks to my vehicle.
  • The proceeds go to a good cause (Central Iowa Trail Association)
  • A bus is available to take participants from the finish line to the start.
  • I am very familiar with the trail since I run and bike it often because of its convenient location.
  • Warm, tasty soup at the finish
  • Eight miles is enough of a distance to be a challenge, but not so long that it gets boring or I'm overly sore the next day.
  • (saving the best for last?)  Great swag.  I have plenty of t-shirts already.  From this race I've received a stainles steel pint "glass", a very nice bottle opener/key ring that I have attached to my computer bag, and an orange Buff that I use often.  This year there will be a small bag f "Sycamore Single Track" coffee.  Trail running and coffee.  Can't go wrong there.
Thank you, Brad, for directing my favorite race.  Someday I'll do it again.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanks, Mom

Thanksgiving has been a hard day for me since my mom passed away.  Today I'm thankful for the last lesson she taught me:  life is short, and every day matters.

As a kid, Thanksgiving was "our" holiday, the one where we were the hosts for Mom's family.  This is what it looked like.
(Got my best side)

I have a lot of great memories of Mom and I having rare one-on-one time every year on Thanksgiving morning, the two of us working together after my paper route was finished and everyone else was still sleeping.  With six kids in the family, there wasn't much time that it was just the two of us.

Every year on Thanksgiving I find myself irritable, usually getting into arguments over stupid stuff with my wife, etc.  I'm getting better at focusing on enjoying the good memories instead of thinking about the loss, but it's still a tough day.  

It's a tough day, but it's one day closer to the end of my life, so I'm going to keep making the most of every one.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dave Ramsey is Wrong--Part 2: Long Term Care Insurance

If you missed Part 1 regarding determining the right amount of life insurance to purchase, it gives a little background to this post.

Dave Ramsey's is wrong with many of his comments regarding long term care insurance.  Not completely wrong, but kind of like those true/false test questions, it only needs to have one little bit wrong to be "false".  And that one little false bit can really screw up a person's life.  Here's what he says on page 160 of Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money.  "Statistically speaking, long-term care coverage is pretty much a complete waste of money--until you turn 60.  Then, something dramatic happens.  Long-term care coverage goes from being a waste to being an essential part of your insurance plan.  You don't need it when you're fifty-nine, but you need to be on the phone setting it up the day you turn sixty".  Huh?  The other things I disagree with him on, I can at least see why he thinks the way he does, even if I disagree with it. But this is completely illogical.  At 59 and 364 days LTC insurance is a waste of money, but the next day I absolutely have to have it?  But what if I was born 2 months premature?  What if they had to induce labor because I was 2 weeks overdue?  Do I adjust accordingly?   Why isn't he recommending that I buy it to be effective the day before I turn sixty and "waste" the premium on one day of coverage so that I pay a 59 year old rate instead of a 60 year old rate for the next 20 years or so?  That argument would at least make some sense to me. It would at least be a "smart" financial move.

His first mistake is his first word: "statistically".  Statistics are extremely important when it comes to insurance.  To the insurance company.  But they are absolutely meaningless to you as an individual.  It doesn't matter what the average length of time needing long term care is.  It doesn't matter what the average age of a person needing long term care is.  All that matters to YOU is when YOU need it, how long YOU need it, and when or if it happens to YOU.

You don't buy insurance to protect you and your family from something that happens when and how you expect it to, you buy the insurance to protect you in cases where you are NOT average.  For example, no one in their right mind says, "I'm not going to buy home insurance because most people's houses don't burn down.  It's a complete waste of money.  If it looks like my house is going to burn, then I'll buy home insurance."  We all know what would happen if a person did that, even if you aren't like me where every time there's a forest fire I get a barrage of emails saying that no one in that area can buy a new home insurance policy.   That's almost what he's saying to do when he says that you should wait until your 60th birthday to by LTC coverage because younger people rarely (according to statistics) need LTC coverage, but after 60 they are likely to have a claim.  Does he think the insurance companies are not aware of these statistics?  And that they don't factor that into their underwriting and rates?  They don't issue a single policy that the statistics tell them they will lose money on.

Are there 60 year-olds who are able to qualify for coverage?  Sure there are.  Also from page 160:  "According to the American Assciation Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), 69 percent of those turning age sixty-five today will need some form of long-term care".   Translation:  31 percent of those turning age sixty-five today will NOT need some form of long-term care.  Who do you think the insurance companies want to sell their policies to?  The 31% or the 69%?  They aren't 100% right all the time, but they do a pretty good job of avoiding selling policies to 69%.

As I said, there are 60 year-olds who qualify for LTC insurance, but there are quite a few who don't.  People who would have qualified at age 50 or 55 or 59.  You can't just buy long term care insurance with money.  You have to be healthy.  If you've ever had a heart attack or stroke or cancer, you've got an uphill battle.  If it's been within the last few years, it's next to impossible to qualify.  Or if you've had back or joint surgery.  Or missed work because of a bad auto accident.  Or any other health issues.  Have you ever heard of anyone having any problems like that before they were 60?  Especially between 50 and 60?  If you haven't, then you haven't been paying attention.

That's only a small part of what's wrong with his views on long-term care insurance.  Looks like I'm going to have to have a Part 2-B at least.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dave Ramsey Is Wrong: Part 1

Tonight was the last night of Financial Peace University for my wife and I.  If you aren't familiar with FPU, it's a class by Dave Ramsey, usually hosted by a church.  Rather than misstate what they do, I'll quote his mission statement directly from his website.  "Ramsey Solutions provides biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment that give HOPE to everyone in every walk of life."  That's a pretty good mission statement.  I admit, they do it very well.  He's even better as a marketer, especially when it comes to knowing his target market and tailoring his message accordingly.  I've learned much more watching his marketing than I have from the content of the class.   I recommend taking it, even you are pretty knowledgeable regarding finances.  The lessons are more about changing behavior rather than financial knowledge.  Behavior trumps knowledge every time.

So why did I put "Dave Ramsey is wrong" at the top of this post?  Partly because it will evoke an emotional response from a lot of people who read it.  But mainly because as much is I like his stance on a lot of things (we both are big fans of HSA's and Roth IRA's, for example), he is wrong, contradicts himself, oversimplifies and/or uses too many absolutes on several topics.  Which is why this post is only "Part 1".

Since life insurance is my favorite financial product, I'm starting there.  From page 167 of Dave Ramsey's Complete Gude to Money  ( book of less than 400 pages is a "complete guide to money"?) under the heading,  "How Much Coverage?"
"You need to get coverage equal to ten times your income.  So if you're working and making $40,000 a year, you need $400,000  The ten-times rule of thumb is not an arbitrary number.  Remember, life insurance is designed to replace your income.  If your surviving spouse invests that $400,000 in good mutual funds at an average 10-12 percent return, he or she could peel off $40,000 a year from that investment to replace your income without ever cutting into the principal."

Sounds great, doesn't it?  It's easy to do the math.  10 x $40,000= $400,000.  $400,000 x 10% plus $400,000 principal = $440,000 minus $40,000= $400,000  It very much reminds me of listening to a politician.  We all stand up and cheer, and feel good.  Unless we start thinking too much and see the holes.  There are a lot of them.

  • Where does the income come from for the first year?  Unless you wait to take income until the mutual funds have earnings, you cut into the principal right at the beginning, so it's not $400,000 that is doing the earning.  Your initial principal for the investment is $400,000 minus whatever you used to cover funeral expenses and all the other additional things that came up due to the death
  • Dave Ramsey himself says in the same book on page 212, "Mutual funds make excellent long-term investments, but don't bother with them unless you can leave that money alone for at least five years.  This where you park your money for the long haul, looking toward retirement".  So what you're saying, Mr. Ramsey, is that if I die tonight then my widow should put my life insurance proceeds into a retirement investment and leave it there for at least five years?  And during that five years the bill fairy will come and wave her magic wand and all the bills will be paid and my kids will have their college tuition covered?
  • Page 211 says, "The average annual return from 1926, the year of the S&P's inception, through 2010 is 11.84 percent.  Just keep in mind that's the eighty-year average..  Sure, within that time frame there are up years and some down years."   Between now and 1970 there have been 9 years that the S&P has been down for the year, with the worst year (2008) down 37%.  I wouldn't be comfortable betting my family's future on something that had approximately a 1 in 5 chance of dropping in value the same year I died.  I don't call that "Financial Peace".
  • If I am a good, ambitious person, I should expect to be making more money in the future than I am now, and a lot of the plans for my family expect that too.  It doesn't give me financial peace thinking that if I died tonight then my family's income (assuming that I follow his plan and that the proceeds consistently earn 10% year after year in mutual funds, even though that has never happened) would never increase, that it would be locked at the same level it was on the day I died.
I could keep going, but going on and on about it isn't necessary.  If you haven't figured out by now that you should consider more than just "10 times your current salary" to calculate the right amount of life insurance, then you probably won't ever get it.  There are a lot of  other ways, often just as simple to calculate.  Listing them all here would be more confusing than helpful, since without knowing the particulars of your personal situation, no one can tell you what the best calculation method would be.  A good professional would get to know you in a way you are unlikely to get doing a web search or something like that.

 Anyway, I do need to go to sleep so I don't put my family in a position of using my life insurance proceeds to provide their financial peace.  One time of driving sleep-deprived  was more than enough.  (And I also recommend Dave Ramsey's book, More Than Enough--pun intended).

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back Country--Friday Favorite

There's lots of excitement about the new REI opening last Saturday in West Des Moines.  I haven't been there yet, but my son is convinced that I'll be taking him there tomorrow.  I don't have anything against REI and own a couple of their sleeping bags and one of their backpacks, but I don't see them replacing Back Country as my favorite.  Not just for Friday, but every day.

When I say "Back Country" I don't mean the online retailer Back Country Outfitters.  I mean our local store whose website is    I'm not one of those people who says we should support local businesses simply because they are local.  I think we should support local businesses who do things better.  That's why I support them.

When I go into Back Country, I know I'm going to get personal service from a knowledgeable person who will remember me when I come back and who actually backpacks, camps, runs, etc.  I also know that I'll get a fair price.  It may not be lower than the discount outfitters (sometimes it is), but I know it will be close.  And I don't have to pay shipping or wait or have to drive across town.  Which means less time shopping and more time for fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Great Race, Better People: Vet's Run "50k"

You know it's a good race course when you have to replace your shoes in the middle of it.
I didn't get any pictures of the course, but some friends got some pretty good shots.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Riessland
Photo by Sheri Pfeil
Photo by Angry Cow Adventures

This race report turned out much longer than I planned.  Most of it is for me to remember and reflect, so feel free to just look at the pictures and skim if you want.

For a few years I've heard lots of good stuff about the races that Jim Craig puts on with Angry Cow Adventures  I have heard that his races are very challenging but fun, and he treats every entrant like a super star, regardless of ability.  I wasn't planning to do a 50k this year, but I was going to be working nearby and bike racing season is over, so I said, "Why not?" and entered.  After seeing a map of the 5ish mile course (which I would run 6 times), I knew it was going to hurt.  The only question was how much.

I found my way to Indian Cave State Park Friday night just before they closed the gates at 10 p.m.  I had no idea where I was going, but another guy (who I'll call "Mercedes" since he was driving an older one) drove into the park just after me and looked like he knew his way around.  I said, "You here for the race too?"  He didn't even know there was a race, but was impressed that I was going to be doing a "supermarathon" as he called it.   He and his dog were there to camp with some friends, but he told me I could just drive around and should be able to find a spot.   I drove for 10 or 15 minutes through the park looking for a familiar vehicle or some kind of clue that I was at the race site.  Just before a "road closed" sign I saw an "Angry Cow Adventures" sign and figured I must be close.  I also saw someone parking a truck with a 50 mile sticker, so I figured I must be in the right place.  I introduced myself (found out his name was Jeremy, not realizing until later that it was Jeremy Morris, a super fast guy who won the overall title for the Red Dirt Trail Running Series) talked to him briefly, and decided that we were probably in the right place according to the maps.  I set up my tent just a few feet from my truck, rolled out my bag and fell asleep looking at the stars, which were still out when I woke up with a glow in the east.

I brewed a pot of coffee and ate some roasted beets mixed with sour cream and lots of salt (always have before a race) and a couple of small tortillas filled with a mix of boiled eggs, avocado, onion and lime juice that I'd brought in my cooler.  Then I got into my racing clothes and put on warmer clothes over the top since it was only in the upper 30's.  I had a few minutes before I could check in, so I relaxed in my warm truck for a few minutes until I could check in at 6:30.

After getting my number and putting it on my race belt, I started seeing some friends arrive and had a chance to chat with them.  I usually spend most of the actual running time alone at the majority of the events I do, but I love the social part of before and after races.

Of course just as everyone else was arriving and the parking lot was filling, my morning coffee and all the fiber from the prior three days hit me at once.  I hadn't seen any bathrooms in the immediate area but had seen some driving in.  I got in my truck knowing that I would lose my prime parking spot, but I didn't think I had time to walk to the bathrooms and make it back to the start. I started down the road and had barely gotten out of the parking lot before I found bathrooms that I had missed driving in.  By the time I got back my prime spot was gone, but I was able to still park at the end of the lot furthest from the start area.

I took off my warm clothes and got down to shoes, socks, compression sleeves, running shorts, hat, sunglasses, and my long-sleeved tech shirt from the Drake Half-Marathon.  I didn't realize until later that it's the one that says, "In it for the long run" on the back.  I later laughed thinking that I was wearing that for a 50k race with many people who have run 50 and 100 mile races.  I debated wearing gloves, but figured I would warm up quickly and wouldn't want them.

Just as we were about to start, someone, I think Reg Bollinger, suggested that we get a photo of everyone participating.  Great idea.

I briefly considered sprinting ahead at the start so I could say I led Kaci Licktieg in a race, but I knew I would be suffering plenty later in this race.  No need to make it worse than necessary.  If you don't know who Kaci is, you should.  She's one of the top trail runners.  Period.  Not "in the Midwest" or "on the women's side".  One of the top trail runners.  Here's her blog and you can find a lot more about her with a google search.

The first mile or so was mostly downhill, with some steeper and more technical sections of downhill, which I absolutely love.  Maybe from having so many bicycle crashes, I'm not scare of falling, so I descend faster than most people at my level.  I soon found myself running and chatting with a small group that included  Kevin Riessland, Angie Hodge and another lady that they knew but I did not.   Among other topics was the unknown lady saying that she always is afraid that Kaci would lap her at the GOATz 50k race, to which I replied that Kaci had never lapped me there.  Because I'd never raced it.  I also remember saying that I had made the wrong decision in opting to not wear gloves since I couldn't feel my hands. After more conversation I introduced myself to the unknown lady and found out that she is Kaci's mom.   No surprise that they are equally nice.

Even though I felt great, I knew I had no business at all running with that group.  I've seen Kevin and Angie run enough to know they are much stronger and faster than me.  I forced myself to slow down and go at my own pace, keeping a close watch on my heart rate.  I knew if I kept it in the low 140's I could maintain that for a long time.  But even doing that, I was able to occasionally see glimpses of Angie's pinkish/orangish hat up ahead of me even at mile 4.  I kept telling myself to slow down, but my running felt effortless, like I could go like that all day.  I was shocked that I was almost back to the start/finish area before the three leaders, Kaci Licktieg, Jeremy Morris and Miguel Ordorica, went past me on their way out on their second lap.

At the start/finish line aid station I just topped off my water and went back out.  I didn't check the time when I came I finished the lap, but I did look at my Garmin in the first mile of the second loop and realized I'd done the first loop in about 50 minutes.  Big shock since I was optimistically hoping to average an hour per lap.  I ran briefly with a few other people, but for the most part I ran alone, continuing to monitor my heart rate, feeling great and forcing myself to slow down through the 2nd lap.  It was very uneventful.  I started to feel a little hungry, so I took a little more time and ate a piece of foccacia bread, a muffin, and grabbed a small can of Coke to take with me but was in and out of the turnaround/aid station quickly.

Early in the 3rd lap I had my first minor difficulty.  I was feeling a hot spot on the bottom of my right big toe on a steep downhill.   Luckily I've paid attention to my smarter, more accomplished trail running friends and took their advice and took care of the small problem before it became a big problem.  I sat on a log, took off my shoe and sock, slathered on some Glide, put the shoe back on and got back on the trail.  No one passed me, and it couldn't have taken more than a minute.  The rest of the 3rd lap was pretty much a replica of the 2nd.  I finished the lap with the time showing 2:30, so I had averaged right at 50 minutes per lap!  I was way ahead of my goal time.  I got another Coke and piece of bread and headed out for lap 4 full of confidence.

The confidence drained in a hurry.  Down the first hill my legs hurt,  and I was putting on the brakes instead of letting it flow and enjoying the gravity of the downhills.  Instead of forcing myself to walk the uphills like I did the first three laps, I kept catching myself walking the runnable parts and had to force myself to run at all.  I wasn't enjoying the view any more.  My heart and lungs were good, but the lack of time on my feet had caught up with me.  Then I looked down at my feet and saw the hole in the side of my shoe.  It looked better  and less torn up than I felt.  The first 3 laps I averaged about 10 or 11 minutes per mile, but now it was 13 to 15 minutes per mile.  I still felt I could finish, but not anywhere close to what I had been thinking just a lap before.

I staggered up the last hill of lap 4 and headed to my truck at the FAR end of the parking lot to get different shoes.  "Mercedes" was just coming out of the woods with his camping friends, gave me a big smile and said, "You did it!".  I had to reply, "Not yet.  I'm only two-thirds done" and showed him my shoe. While at the truck I grabbed a couple of pickles from my cooler and filled my coffee cup with the juice.  I've never found anything better than pickle juice for fighting cramps, so I hoped it would work.  I drank half and put the cup against a tree in the drop bag area, hoping no one knocked it over so it would still be there for my last lap.  I refilled water, got another Coke and piece of bread and headed back out.  I walked the downhill, eating, drinking, and trying to refocus.

It wasn't good, but lap 5 was definitely better than lap 4.  I still had to force myself to run and didn't quite let it all out on the downhills, but it was better.  I hurt, but knowing the end was near, I was able to push through.  I did get lapped by a few people, including Angie and Kevin that I'd been with on the first lap, but that wasn't unexpected.  The unexpected part was that they didn't lap me sooner.

At the start/finish I downed the other half of my cup of pickle juice, got another piece of bread and Coke and headed back out.  It still hurt, but knowing it was the last lap, I was able to get a little more flow to the downhills and run the runnable parts.   I did yell out, "F' you, Jim Craig!" going up the steepest climb the last time, not because of disliking him, but because I had conquered the toughest obstacle he had put on the course for me.  That felt great!

Shortly after that I caught up with my friend Colleen Duda who was pacing Bill Lauer.  He was having some cramping issues, so I gave him an unopened gel containing some electrolytes that I had found on the trail, and then went on ahead.  Apparently it worked, because they passed me shortly after that.  I heard Colleen tell him, "only a mile to go".  Apparently part of being a good pacer is being a good liar, because I knew it was at least a mile and a half, probably two.  But it worked.  I never caught back up.  In the last mile I actually felt like I was "racing", which was a goal to be able to do that on the last lap.  I kept hearing a group behind me, but I was able to push hard enough to stay ahead of them to the finish line.

The finish line food was outstanding!  Colleen's Catering makes some incredible potato soup.  It was so good that I just kept getting more bowls of it instead of even trying the other stuff.  It even made up for me being too slow (official time of 6:11:42)to get any of the Hamm's at the finish.

I'm not going to call myself an "ultrarunner" since according to my Garmin it was just over Marathon distance, not a full 50k.  It was definitely more difficult than the one Marathon I had done before, however.

Jim Craig lived up to his reputation.  Even though we had just met that day, he knew me by name when I came into the finish, shook my hand and congratulated me, and thanked me for coming out for his race.

I got the same attitude from everyone there.  The top runners greeted me on the trail, congratulated me and made me feel like I was one of them, even though I'm nowhere close to them in ability.  the not at the top runners did the same thing.   They are exactly why I say, "I'm not a runner; I'm a bike racer.  I just run so I can hang out with the cool kids".

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

P.R.I.D.E. In Health

When I worked at Clarinda Academy, we had shirts that read "PRIDE" down the left side, with the words "Personal Responsibility In Determining Excellence" across.  That was our attitude.  I thought of that when I saw these billboards today on Fleur Drive.

Were I (God forbid!) the president or a candidate for that office, I'd be more than a little irritated if someone asked me what I planned to do about it.  My response would be something like this:  "Let me get this straight.  I'm responsible for making sure planes don't get brought down by terrorists.  I need to decide whether or not to launch a nuclear attack and possibly destroy the entire earth.  I have to make sure we get along with hundreds of other countries, balance a multi-trillion dollar budget, stimulate the economy, and get political parties that hate each other to work together, but it's ALSO my job to make sure your kid has something other than Pepsi and and candy corn for breakfast, that you exercise on a regular basis and your mom quits chewing Skoal?  Really?  REALLY???"

I did look at the website and saw that they at least say that they are for prevention, and some of their partners are organizations I support. However,  their policy platform  "proposes the following public policy recommendations to help our nation’s leaders – including the 2016 presidential candidates – address the growing epidemic of chronic disease and highlight commonsense reforms that will help the nation address this challenge".  We don't need "public policy", we need P.R.I.D.E.!  Don't ask what presidential candidates can do for you; ask what you can do for yourself.  Exercise.  Stop stuffing your face with carbohydrates.  Stop using tobacco.

The vast majority of chronic disease, especially Type 2 diabetes, is caused by bad decisions, not bad luck.   We don't need more government studies to find out what causes them or more funding for more expensive treatments for the symptoms.  We need grow up, to take responsibility for ourselves, and to stop acting like victims.  It's simple.  Not easy, but simple.  Bring back an insurance billboard.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Money Is Time, Part 2

Do you consistently calculate how much time a purchase costs you?  Try it some time.  Or all the time.  It will definitely change how you spend money when you also consider that you are buying time.

I've heard others talk about this, but the ones I've heard don't do it completely.  They usually say something like, "To calculate how much an item costs you in time, divide the cost of it by your hourly wage.  That will tell you how much time you have to work to earn the item".  So a person making $25 per hour would have to work 4 hours, or half of a work day to pay for a $100 item, right?  Not right.

I'm using estimations and round numbers here, but let's start with sales tax.  It's conservative to put it at 5%, meaning that you need to pay $105 to get it.  Assuming free shipping.  Or if you are going somewhere to buy it, you're going to spend money on gas, wear and tear on the car, or bus fare, or whatever.  Plus the time to get there.  Put that into your calculations too.

If you've ever had a paycheck, you know you don't bring home 100% of your hourly wage.  80% would be a very high percentage, so it would be generous to figure $20 per hour, so 5+ hours of working to cover the item.  If you have an unpaid lunch break your up to at least 6 hours.  If you have a commute, probably add another hour.

So in this case, the real time cost of a  $100 item is more than 1/4 of one of the limited number of days this person has on the earth.  He or she is never going to get that time back.  I hope it's worth it.

Try making the calculations with your own numbers.  It's eye opening.  For me, it's been a great help in getting me to not make frivolous purchases, increase my earnings per hour so things cost me less time, and to get more enjoyment from the smart purchases I make.  It's worth every minute.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Money Is Time

Among other things that I have let get in the way of me blogging consistently is my son's math homework that I've been helping him with.  I'm not really a very good math teacher because I don't understand how other people don't understand it.  Luckily, he's the same way, so I usually just have to explain it once.

Somehow in my mental ramblings while he was working on a problem, I started thinking about how people often say "Time is money".  Which, thinking mathematically, means "time=money".  So according to the symmetric property of equality, "money=time".  Just as I don't "get" how others don't "get" math, I also fail to understand how people comprehend "Time is money" but ignore "Money is time".

The older I get and less time I have left on this earth, the more I see how money is time.  With money I can buy more time by doing things to improve my health and extend my life.  More importantly, with money I can upgrade the quality of the time that I have.  I can pay someone else to do chores I don't like to do so I can spend my time doing things I want to do.  For example, even though I know how to do it and could save a few dollars doing it my self, I don't change my own oil in my truck.  I buy time.  It's worth it.

Here's something to try when considering paying for a service:  if someone offered to do the task for free, would you let him or her do it for you?  If so, you should probably pay for the service.  Your time is almost always worth it.  Example, I pay for someone else to work on my car, but I do my own mechanical work on my bicycles.  Not because I can't afford a bike mechanic, but because I like doing it, and would do it myself even if someone offered to do it for free.

And yes, this does relate to insurance.  I almost always think "money = time" when working with retirement and life insurance issues.  That's what it's all about.  Having enough money that you control your time.  If you don't or can't do that, you aren't "retired", you are "unemployed".