If you recall I have already boasted about negotiating two new trade deals: telephone and electricity, both saving me hundreds of pounds each year. Well, as this is the week when the truth about Brexit is starting to come out (impact assessment paper published) I feel obliged to confess that I could have made those deals without retiring. I was just making out they were a benefit because I actioned them after I retired (call them my Blue passport benefits).
Where was I? Oh yes... Continuing with this new found openness I must also confess that the first real deal I tried to do for myself failed. It was health insurance. Sure enough my employer and insurance company were happy for me to take over my own arrangements but the best I could negotiate meant a 350% increase in cost! 350% and with much reduced income. That was unreasonable. Following the Brexit model I had expected to take over on the same terms but apparently I didn't have the negotiating potential of my employer; I was a single risk, not part of a shared pool and, horror of horrors, as an older person I was considered a higher risk. It didn't matter I had been paying for twenty years and had made almost no claims for myself or family.
What is that? If I hadn't made any claims I didn't need it so I'd been wasting my money, paying for others and not getting the benefit so now I was saving the money. What about the NHS, wasn't that good enough? I suppose you could see it like that, and yes the NHS is good enough (at least for now) but it was the principle you see. I had wanted everything, well just the benefits, to carry on the same, after all I'd promised it to my husband before we decided I'd retire. It could have been one of my red lines if only I had thought about it sooner.
It won't be long before I have to admit we will have less money and need to live on beans. I've got a plan though - I'll tell him its because we are going vegan like my daughters, saving the planet, making an environmental and political stand and persuade him beans are tastier than meat and healthier for him. All benefits. I won't have to say it's because meat is too expensive. Fingers crossed he'll fall for it and believe the beans are tastier than the steak.
He's already bought in to the plan to revive the vegetable garden. That was easy. He thought it was for extras, a healthy pastime, not to replace the supermarket order. I'm hoping that by the time he realises it will be too late.
As for the missing red lines, my only consolation is that Mrs May seems to have tied herself in knots with hers so maybe I'm better off without them. Hopefully I can get my Brexit style retirement back on track although now that cake and eat it optimism seems to be rapidly deflating and "succeeding through believing" is sounding increasingly desperate, if I'm being completely honest, I'm becoming disillusioned with the Brexit style opportunities and wonder if it might be time to revert to realism, with one proviso: I'm not going back to work.
I'll call that my red line.