A Quarter Million Here, A Quarter Million There…

moneyrain.jpgWe here at Doc Gurley went through a phase of getting quotes for major repairs on our 1942 Bay Area crumbling home high-tech office. Each time–no matter what the problem–the contractor’s estimated price, eerily, came back as some number close to $8,000. Eight thousand for air conditioning, eight thousand for an advanced pool cover, eight thousand for re-doing drainage, eight thousand for fencing. Hmmm, was eight thousand the new “black” for contractors? Had there been a training course to get everyone on the same number? Was it the Year Of Eight?

The same feeling began to creep up on Doc Gurley’s extensive, unpaid (grumpy) staff when we saw this article stating that Fidelity now estimates that a couple will need (in addition to Medicare coverage) approximately a quarter million dollars for health care costs after retirement. Hang on a sec, we thought, it was a quarter million to raise a child, a quarter million for my thirteen year old’s private college costs, and a quarter million for the median price of a 2007 U.S. home. Heck, there’s even a quarter million miles on our 1989 burgundy Volvo. Coincidence?

Seems like everyone ought to try to come up with a new number, if for no other reason than to make it look like they put some work into it. Otherwise it seems all too possible that some guy just sticks his head out of a cube and shouts, “How about $350,000?” and someone says, “Nah, too big,” and goes back to chewing Doritos until the guys sticks his head out again with “$187,000?” “Too small!” and so it goes until we get to the Goldilocks-perfect quarter of a million.

P.S. We got an updated estimate for air-conditioning. Let’s just say it’s now the Year of Ten…

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