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Approaching first 1M
Old 08-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Approaching first 1M

Hello everyone. I've been lurking for a day and am ready to get my feet wet in this forum!

DH ,54, and I, 46, are still on the treadmill and hoping for FI by 2M or so ( current income is roughly $7500/mo after taxes and deductions) .DH will qualify for a small pension next year and we hope to get him ER by 61 due to health reasons.

We've got one in college, entering his last year this month. Our oldest just moved back home after finishing his degree. He leaves school with $5500 in loans ( his brother will leave with the same level of debt).

We have some debt to tackle and the last year of university expenses to deal with this next year ( just paid $4K of the 6k tuition for this semester this week) but we are also at 60% home equity with nearly 900k in IRA/401/Roths.

I just upped my contributions to 14% and will likely have DH up his as well.
Currently working on reducing expenses- I cancelled a premium cable channel ( DH loves his cable- so will need to work harder on that) , discontinued the newspaper subscription recently and was able to reduce car insurance by $600 per year.

We keep dining out costs low by going out for lunch instead ( if at all) and I'm a recovering couponer so we're still living off a nice stockpile of non-perishables, household and personal supplies.

We are monitoring expenses/NW on Mint and hoping to work our way through the debt/mortgage we have now that we are down to only one in school.

We'd love to move "back home" where there's a lower cost of living after FIRE and probably buying a house outright with proceeds from our current home which is more than we need or want to continue to pay high property taxes on (almost $1k per mo)

I'm glad I found this forum to help catapult us to our upcoming milestones!

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Old 08-02-2014, 06:03 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
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Congrats Nezz. Keep up that savings and you'll reach your goal sooner than you think. It's a great relief for you that kids are almost done with college. How about health care? Would either of you receive corporate retiree insurance? I know how it feels to pay 1K/month(NJ property taxes are among the highest in nation) in property tax…makes me feel like that I rent my own house even though I paid it off 13 years ago. I've one entering college this year and two are entering 5th grade -- long way before I'll be done paying for Kids' education…):

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, you are on your way to meeting your retirement goals. Second the question on if you get health care after stopping work, that can be an expense you need to budget for, and could be $1000/mo.

Get last kid done with school and then crank up the savings. You already made some changes, so look for more. Just remember the more you save, the sooner you can get out of working. Also good to consider cost of living, if you need less in your old hometown, then that also means less required in nestegg.
I used to have a handle on life....... but it broke!

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
Dryer sheet wannabe
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Since I'm a few years younger than he is I can continue to work for a bit and keep him on my coverage- I really miss the days when I had 100% family health care coverage with no oop. I was pretty much counting on using his small pension to cover the health care premiums until medicare kicks in and definitely keeping an eye on the status of Obamacare programs. Originally I thought we'd be ok with 1.5M but with health being an issue I definitely want more of a cushion.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:21 PM   #5
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You're well on your way to FI. The first M takes the longest. The second will happen much more quickly. And with college tuition payments coming to an end soon, savings will get a huge boost.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:47 AM   #6
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Welcome nezz! It looks like you have it figured out - tackle the debt, reduce spending, and save.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
Dryer sheet wannabe
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
Welcome nezz! It looks like you have it figured out - tackle the debt, reduce spending, and save.
Your statement to reduce spending has been one of the most powerful tools in my 'towards FIRE fast' armoury because it not only accelerates progress towards the goal by increasing savings rate but also brings the goal posts closer.

Reminds me of a quote by Epictetus - Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. For my family and I this certainly rings true. Many people at first glance would think that by my moving my savings rate to 55-60% of gross earnings I'm depriving myself and my family. In fact I've found the opposite - we are happier and healthier than we have ever been.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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I was good today! Only bought 1 thing that wasn't on the grocery list -some croissants for sandwiches. Still, I spent $100 but my refrigerator was looking a bit bare. Feeding 3 adult males and myself on <$100 a week is not so bad, right?!

Got a bike lock for the DS20 using reward points and that's it for spending for the weekend. Walked to drugstore instead of driving. Making dinner from scratch and not grabbing fat food (sic) since I am pretty much on my own tonight.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:07 PM   #9
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Welcome, nezz!

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