Tuesday, February 18, 2014

World Passes By?

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

I've come to a a question that my land-based friends and blog readers can answer better than I can. In the past few weeks we had a number of unpleasant reminders of how out-of-date we are.

  • We wanted shingles vaccination shots. I expected them to be like flu shots; just go to the pharmacy, no prescription, cost about $25. No. We had to both do a doctors visit, get prescriptions, and then get the shots. Cost for the two of us: $600! Ouch. 1200% more than I expected.
  • I had to buy a new alternator for the engine. I saw the wholesale price on the dealer's screen: $73. But my bill was $188! Ouch. 173% markup. I thought that retail markups were max 50-100%. Ouch.
  • I was criticized as a piker for tipping only 15% in a restaurant. I was told that the 15% expectation had long ago been raised to 20% minimum. Raised by who? When?
  • I had an attack of gout. 10 years ago I had the same thing. A single pill of Colchicine cured it. Now I needed one pill once again. Google says the list price for one pill is $0.09 A doctor's visit and 2 prescriptions later, and my bill was $243. Ouch! 270,000% more than I think it should have cost.
  • As I remember it, getting a prescription for pills filled at the pharmacy was something that took 15 minutes. Now, the norm for time to fill seems to be 5-8 hours, or better pick it up the next day. When did that happen?
  • Libby and I both have a Medicare Part D prescription plan, for the past 4 years. This is the first time I've gotten a prescription in those years, so the plan paid nothing because of the deductible. But after checking, I was shocked to learn that the premium for our plan increased 350% in the past four years since we signed up for auto-payment, while the price for other plans had dropped to about what we paid in 2010. I didn't notice because I was not monitoring it closely. Ouch!
I'm a news junkie. I'm very much aware of the modest cost of living increases in the past decade. Why then, am I so ignorant of the skyrocketing increases in these areas? Is it merely a symptom of getting old, or is it a consequence of the sheltered fantasy life we live as cruisers? I think readers of this blog could answer that better than I.


  1. The pill cost .09 cents. 243 dollars would not be 270,000% would it? Perhaps 2,700%. I would be willing to talk to you if you want but by E-mail svsatori at clearwire dot net. (Retired RN of thirty years)Ken

  2. Ken...2700% is the same as multiplying it by 27...in this case 243 is 2700 times more than 0.09 therefore it is 270000% percent.

  3. My above post is just one reason I don't live on a boat anymore. Can't do sixth grade math in my head. I got on a calculator and indeed I was wrong. Aging is just awful. I think Dick's question is not merely aging. It is just at our age we tend to not process all the details of life being blasted at us all day. We have learned they are just not as important. I think cruisers tend to this also. So Dick is getting a double dose. And to the above gentle correction I thank you. Done with class. Ken


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