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Old 11-10-2010, 03:34 AM   #81
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Thanks for keeping us updated.
Nord's contribution is excellent - I will keep a printout in my ER file and re-read it when it comes to sending DH's and my termination letter at the end of 2011.

It seems that the recession related slowdown has also taken away much of your stress and thus the ambition to ER. This is perfectly ok.

If you continue to think about ER, here is what I have noticed in your posts:
You seem to have nothing to ER TO but just contemplate about ER FROM something. For a happy retirement decision I believe you need to find out what you want to get out of retiment - other than only free time.

You might also be shy to implement changes in your family life. Do you feel that the other members have a right to keep their lifestyle as now and uneffected from your ER?
Have you talked with them about your desire to ER, how stressful your work can be and what they would think about your ER? Or do you want to maintain a certain image?
If not, now that you have the numbers it is time to have the talk with your wife how to reduce your spending as a family in the best possible way.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:19 AM   #82
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Another exercise in addition to the brown bag approachis to go through your closet and ID those items that have not been out for a month. Aside from seasonal items, such an exercise will illustrate that most of what you buy is not essential.

Similarly, look at your communications bill. It will be shocking to see what dribbles out every month that is not strictly required. Eliminated duplication and redundancy.

But only if you are serious about retiring...
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:18 AM   #83
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Hi Mustard. Nords post rings pretty true to me. I don't think your lifestyle is extravagant but agree you could reduce expenses if you were motivated. if I were you I would buckle down for a few years till kids were further along and your portfolio grew. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with your savings level and in my case waited until we had 8 figures and a big pension. As you may recall I retired at 56. Stick it out for a while and get your head around ER more. In the end it will be determined by how much you dislike your job I think. Interesting about the expenses, eh? in our case there were no surprises as we had tracked for years. One thing we did find is that with more time available we found more exciting things to spend our money on. Now spend about 30% more than pre retirement. Work as long as you can take it. The extra money will come in handy.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:04 PM   #84
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Work as long as you can take it. The extra money will come in handy.
But cf. Thoreau: "No one but a fool ever sold more of his time than he had to".
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:35 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by meanmrmustard View Post
Thought I'd check in and update. ....
Do I want to commit to working a few years in return for some big signing bonus (i.e essentially sell my firm)? Stay where I am? Pack it in now? Am I being too cautious? Guide me, anonymous sages and oracles!
You are consulting the lumpen slums of cyberspace for advice?

I have worked for a large corporation in downtown Toronto. You environment is so far removed from the average respondent here that it is unlikely that you will get definitive advice. A parallel might be a player on Wall Street trying to learn here.

Before going any further, you should schedule a meeting with the family to discuss the issues you are grappling with. I did that and discovered some serious disconnects. Ten years later, I retired. But the ten-year trip was not easy...
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:22 PM   #86
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You are consulting the lumpen slums of cyberspace for advice?

I have worked for a large corporation in downtown Toronto. You environment is so far removed from the average respondent here that it is unlikely that you will get definitive advice. A parallel might be a player on Wall Street trying to learn here.

Before going any further, you should schedule a meeting with the family to discuss the issues you are grappling with. I did that and discovered some serious disconnects. Ten years later, I retired. But the ten-year trip was not easy...
Good advice. Agree about the huge disconnect re him and the average poster here.
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Thank you O Oracles and Sages
Old 11-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #87
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Thank you O Oracles and Sages

Whether or not there is a "disconnect" between me and the average poster on the board, I don't know. The benefit of the board seems to me that there are a lot of people at different stages of life and different financial situations, which is a good thing.

What is clear is that the responses I have had have been far more helpful to me, and thought-provoking, than I expected when I first started the thread last summer.

Many posters bludgeoned me over the head a few months ago until I started tracking expenses carefully. Had I not posted, and gotten an earful on that subject, I might not have started doing it. The forum made a difference.

As to latest batch of posts:

katsmeow, you seem to have a somewhat similar situation to my own, lawyer with teenage kids, and thanks for helpful comments about spending. The amount you spent on restaurants even in your extravagant glory years looks pretty economical to me! I guess that means if I wanted to cut expenses in a big way, all I have to do is get the wife to do more cooking. That probably makes me sound like a chauvinist pig, but I have no time or knowhow myself in that department, while she is at least “at home”. Effect on marriage may be negative, however. Is it worth it?

Nord, thanks for drill sergeant rant to the effect that if I wanted to retire I would just do it and stop whining. Maybe it’s true, I’m too much of a wimp to retire! I had always though of it in the opposite way: do real men ER or eat keish?

Danmar I remember you from last summer. As I recall you retired later in life than where I am now, with more money, and also higher spending, so you represent the “Keep on Plugging for a While, It will be Worth It One Day” point of view.

Chris2008: you’re right the recessionary slow down has been OK with me in some ways. I spent a reasonable amount of time this past summer and fall in a kayak, which was just fine.

Thanks to all others who took the time to post. I appreciate it! I’ll check in and update now and then.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:33 AM   #88
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Mr Mustard does not sound very mean to me
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #89
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The amount you spent on restaurants even in your extravagant glory years looks pretty economical to me! I guess that means if I wanted to cut expenses in a big way, all I have to do is get the wife to do more cooking. That probably makes me sound like a chauvinist pig, but I have no time or knowhow myself in that department, while she is at least “at home”. Effect on marriage may be negative, however. Is it worth it?
Well I'm in US so remember to convert dollars to Canadian.

Truthfully I do much cooking myself. I also don't cook for kids except for special occasions. My kids basically fend for themselves (they are all teenagers). One of my sons and my daughter enjoy cooking. My other son doesn't cook but he sometimes can get his sister to make extra for him and he is good at using the microwave. They are all good at eating fruit which, after all, requires no cooking.

And, that is really the type of things that we eat. I eat a fair amount of frozen foods. I also enjoy buying already prepared salads from the store. Target here sells great prepared salads. I don't do much actual cooking. Sometimes I buy a prepared item from the grocery store and then heat it up. All that is probably more expensive than cooking from scratch. But it is all significantly less expensive than eating out.

You can also look at where you eat out. There is a huge variety in price out there. Also, around here restaurant portions are huge. DH and I went out to a Chinese place the other day and shared one entree and one spring roll order. We had plenty of food for half the price.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #90
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I think you appreciate the various points of view. Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #91
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I eat a fair amount of frozen foods.
Mmmm. Crunchy!
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:37 AM   #92
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If you think about christmas gifts: how about joining a cooking class together as a family or with DW? Some chefs of great restaurants give lessons and it can be a lot of fun.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:29 PM   #93
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[QUOTE=Katsmeow;1002220]Well I'm in US so remember to convert dollars to Canadian.

Canadian dollar pretty close to par now, due to US dollar nosedive.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:22 PM   #94
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I guess that means if I wanted to cut expenses in a big way, all I have to do is get the wife to do more cooking. That probably makes me sound like a chauvinist pig, but I have no time or knowhow myself in that department, while she is at least “at home”. Effect on marriage may be negative, however. Is it worth it?
While I - of course - don't know all the ins and out of your marriage, I very doubt it would be worth it.

(1) there once was a time when you and your wife implicitly, if not explicitly, divided up your respective roles: including the fact that she would stay home and not work. The extent of her cooking responsibilities is something that should have been discussed then ... it is now probably a bit too late to renegotiate.

(2) any amount of money you manage to save from your food budget is likely peanuts compared to the emotional stress resulting from a negative effect on your marital relationship.
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