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60, retired with lots of plans!
Old 08-03-2017, 12:43 PM   #1
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60, retired with lots of plans!

Already spent a month out West, Moab UT, Dillon CO, Mesa Verde, Sante Fe NM,
Salt Lake City...can't get enough of it! We're off to Ft. Lauderdale in November then Czech Republic following Sept. Starting with 1.9 M and live frugally when not traveling.

I've been monitoring our expenses for 3 years, watching every single penny as it goes out and have a pretty good idea of what we can spend for the next 40 years. I figure $70 K a year should do it with SS and a small pension. We own our home with 2 yellow labs, so boarding costs must be figured in for travel.

We're thrilled with Vanguard who have guided us for 30+ years on an average salary.

Always looking for savings tips, every bit counts.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome!

Yes, two dogs can impact expenses! For us it's either a dog sitter or the kennel, we all prefer the former! Lately our two females have had repeat UTI's and we'er logging about $500 a month at the vet. We've always had 1-3 dogs but swear that when these go, that's it. Would be wonderful to just go away for 3-4 days on a quick whim without finding doggie lodging.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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If your schedule permits, you might like Olomouc in the Czech Republic. It's a couple hour train ride from Praha, but it is beautiful, has great dining and low cost. The Pandolina trains are a great way to whisk around in comfort and speed.

Olomouc is a college town, so lots of bars and pubs. And again, mostly inexpensive. There are several magnificent churches and cathedrals; sadly, little usage after the communist "reeducation" of all believers.

The NH Hotel is nice and has decent (but not equal to downtown) dining.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:14 PM   #4
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Red Badger, Thanks for reply. Good info about Olomouc, my relative is doing a Fulbright scholarship there, that's why we're going.
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Congrats and enjoy!
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:07 AM   #6
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Welcome to the community. Keep us posted on your travels as well as your progress through ER.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:35 AM   #7
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Red Badger, Thanks for reply. Good info about Olomouc, my relative is doing a Fulbright scholarship there, that's why we're going.
That's great news! I hope your trip is memorable.

Here is the web cam at city center.


Webkamera Olomouc - OLOMOUC.CZ
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:28 AM   #8
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That's great news! I hope your trip is memorable.

Here is the web cam at city center.


Webkamera Olomouc - OLOMOUC.CZ
So cool. Looking at @ 3 pm right now. He will be heading there for fall 2018 through spring 2019. We'll probably consider moving there as extended family is from Slovakia. If it's inexpensive and it sounds like Americans are welcome
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Awesome replies
Old 08-04-2017, 10:21 AM   #9
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Awesome replies

I've soaked up so much information in such a short time.
First, we can travel because we have friends and family that provide homes, apartments to stay. When we went out West, 16 of the nights were at friends and family. We rented a Tahoe SUV and drove 4000 miles. $62/day for Tahoe. Gas pretty cheap.

To Czech Republic, staying at relative who is teaching/research at university. And it is super cheap in that beautiful country, might move there!

Overseas plane tickets can be a steal. We refuse to stay in $200/night hotels. I took an 8 week class for $15 on how to travel cheap.

Our biggest expenses are health care and property taxes. Average monthly total expenses, $5000. Can't seem to get below that. I count pennies going out weekly and charge almost everything on one credit card which organized our expenses nicely for us. I just feel like I'm missing out on something big about spending less.

Every child and teenager should be logged in on this forum to learn how to save and live.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:46 AM   #10
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Have fun!

I used to board the dogs, but have much better results with a "visiting" dog sitter. They come 3 x a day, feed, water, play with and walk the dogs. Take in my mail too and make sure the house is ok.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:45 PM   #11
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Your travel plans sound wonderful. Hope we get to hear more about your adventures.
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Old 08-04-2017, 08:56 PM   #12
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"Our biggest expenses are health care and property taxes. Average monthly total expenses, $5000. Can't seem to get below that. I count pennies going out weekly and charge almost everything on one credit card which organized our expenses nicely for us. I just feel like I'm missing out on something big about spending less."

Do you own 2 autos, or more? Can you make do with one, now that there is no tight schedule due to j*bs? You would most likely save $300-$400 a month if it is a newer (1-6 yrs. old) auto. We doubted we could do it, but have now gone 4 years with only one. It is all about letting the other person know in advance when you are planning to use the car. After about 6 months, we hardly noticed the difference. Many times we walk or bike when the car is not available.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:01 AM   #13
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"Our biggest expenses are health care and property taxes. Average monthly total expenses, $5000. Can't seem to get below that. I count pennies going out weekly and charge almost everything on one credit card which organized our expenses nicely for us. I just feel like I'm missing out on something big about spending less."

Do you own 2 autos, or more? Can you make do with one, now that there is no tight schedule due to j*bs? You would most likely save $300-$400 a month if it is a newer (1-6 yrs. old) auto. We doubted we could do it, but have now gone 4 years with only one. It is all about letting the other person know in advance when you are planning to use the car. After about 6 months, we hardly noticed the difference. Many times we walk or bike when the car is not available.
We've thought about that. We own our cars, both Camry's. 2002 has 260,000 mi and the 1997 has 180,000 miles. Paid them off years ago. About once a year we have to fix something semi-major (around $400-$600) and go to a locally owned small time car mechanic who buys used parts. 1997 has some rust, not bad. I could care less when I hear "why don't you get a newer car?" New cars are much more expensive to fix with all the bells and whistles.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
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"I took an 8 week class for $15 on how to travel cheap"

Interesting class. Do you have info or link to it?
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:42 AM   #15
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Welcome! Eager to hear your tips to reduce travel costs.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:55 AM   #16
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So cool. Looking at @ 3 pm right now. He will be heading there for fall 2018 through spring 2019. We'll probably consider moving there as extended family is from Slovakia. If it's inexpensive and it sounds like Americans are welcome
I spent a day in Bratislava a few years ago. Took the "Twin Cities" jet boat from Vienn and back. Bratislava was a welcome relief from the crowds, chaos, and cost of Vienn. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I was w*rking, so only had the weekend for sightseeing.

If I remember, the boat ride was about an hour each way. I do remember that the beer was good.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:09 PM   #17
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Welcome! Eager to hear your tips to reduce travel costs.
I took the class through local Olli (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Classes all over the country for 55+ only. Google "Olli" in your local area, should be offered if you have a university or university extension near you. The classes are super cheap and offer a wide variety of topics.

This travel class was taught by 2 professional travelers I was skeptical as usual. One instructor went on extended European trip (about a month) with a tiny carry on suitcase that had a C Pap machine in it along with clothes...lol. So packing was a big part of it because they stressed not checking luggage. Also mentioned in Europe there are few handicapped cool places to go. Thousand year old buildings are not handicapped accessible. Traveling light was stressed. A few outfits, easily laundered in a sink (their advice) was essential. 2 or 3 huge suitcases are not suitable to drag around.

Also, rather than take a big planned out trip, buy cheap tickets to major city anywhere in Europe. Most speak English in large cities. Stay one or two nights in a nicer hotel and use their concierge for information. Day trips, maps, train schedules etc are usually provided or very inexpensive and often have guides.

The big message was fear not, explore and trust the adventure. The stories were priceless. Often, the highly planned out vacations with meals included and pre organized tours take away from the excitement of the adventure.

Was a great class and the students, seniors only, had great stories and $$ saving tips.
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Old 08-05-2017, 01:50 PM   #18
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I also retired with lots of "things to do planned." I did/am doing most of what I planned and even added to the list. Now, I am busier than when I was working. Some of the things I am doing: Golf, stock trading, gardening, baduk, internet surfing, reading, learning new languages, ....
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