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Old 02-18-2015, 10:12 AM   #21
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We were spending $120-130K (excluding direct college costs) when the kids were in high school and college. I think it's wrong to assume that rate of spending continues forever, plus inflation. Our spending dropped like a rock once the kids were off the payroll and after I retired. DW and I now spend about 85-90K (excluding income tax) and our lifestyle hasn't changed a bit. We haven't sacrificed anything. I think you're fine. Even with the aggressive spending assumption, you're at 94%, which is a green light in my book anyway.
When my oldest daughter went off to college, I was shocked at how much spending fell. My kids were all responsible for their books and spending money in college. I covered tuition, fees, dorm and meal plan. I had been totally unaware of how much my high school daughter was spending for school activities and clothing. When my son left, there was also a big drop but mostly in the food bill.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:19 AM   #22
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Since I don't have kids I'm not the expert but to me they can be the wild card. If you are sure that you won't spend more than $200K and it's budgeted then you are probably good especially if (as others have said) you take a long look at your budget. If you are the type that will do anything for your kids though it might not be enough (i.e. what if they decide to go to grad school, study abroad etc). Also there is marriage and grandkid potentials...is that in the budget.

I think you are probably ok but you also need to decide if significant cuts from your current budget are worthwhile or not. You can do it with much less but do YOU want to do it with much less?
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:08 AM   #23
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Ok - what is Ting? Our cell phone bills are really high and will get higher if I retire and lose my company phone. And our DISH cable bill is over $100/month.
We use Ting also. At one time, our Sprint bill was over $200/mo for 4 lines. Kids are on their own plans now. DW and I pay $30-40/mo (depending on usage) for 2 smartphones on Ting. Top-notch MVNO with great, no-contract pricing. Just google 'Ting' and start reading.

Also used to pay $275/mo for internet, TV, phone, and a slew of set-top boxes. Now we just have internet, OTA TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for under $80/mo (most of that for 50/50 fiber internet). Lots of ways to cut-the-cord without giving up any functionality or content. Again, just google 'cut the cord' and start reading.

Those 2 items alone cut our annual expenses by well over $4K, and there are many other examples.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #24
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We use Ting also. At one time, our Sprint bill was over $200/mo for 4 lines. Kids are on their own plans now. DW and I pay $30-40/mo (depending on usage) for 2 smartphones on Ting. Top-notch MVNO with great, no-contract pricing. Just google 'Ting' and start reading.

Also used to pay $275/mo for internet, TV, phone, and a slew of set-top boxes. Now we just have internet, OTA TV, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for under $80/mo (most of that for 50/50 fiber internet). Lots of ways to cut-the-cord without giving up any functionality or content. Again, just google 'cut the cord' and start reading.

Those 2 items alone cut our annual expenses by well over $4K, and there are many other examples.
Wow. that is awesome. thanks
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #25
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I agree with others that you are probably in good shape but kids can be the wild card. I would feel uncomfortable retiring before most of our kids were through undergraduate college. This is a personal decision DW and I have made, to see them get their undergraduate degree without any debt on either their or our part. I was a lot more expensive than we thought, but with budgeting, extra work, and lucky timing of bonuses we have been able to meet that and were still able to save during the peak years.

We are budgeting for $110K yearly expenses to start so I have no problems with your target expense amount. Built into ours however is a "needs vs. wants" tier. Our goal is to pay "needs" (expenses that are required) from pension + (cash before SS, then SS), and "wants" from a high cash withdrawal rate + investment income.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:32 AM   #26
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Welcome to the forum.

We've had several recent threads on "is $3MM enough to retire on?" Generally, people are told they have plenty to retire on but the secret to success is controlling spending. You have a pretty high spending target which is a stretch on your $3MM. You have to ask yourself how much ER means to you.

I think the college costs are probably a little less than what you show but it won't make a material difference.

A FireCalc result of 94% is probably adequate if you are prepared to possibly cut expenses if you find yourself getting low returns in your first decade of retirement. I'm also confused by what you mean by the $140k after tax in 2016. Is this a deferred compensation payout? Have you plugged the higher medical costs into your expenses and FireCalc run? The "classic" 4% rule would say you could withdraw $120,000/yr which is before taxes.
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It seems lately the "I have 3M+ and wonder if I can retire" are coming in like gang busters. Must admit it's a bit demorializing to me and at times comes across like "I have a Dodge Challenger Hellcat and wonder if it will hit 100mph?" When we all know it will go about 205mph
Call me a whiner but for someone who has only 700K and a 36K pension and is considering retirement---uh--well. Yes if you have 3M u can retire and spend 120k a year.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:56 AM   #27
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I think the goal with the cuts, for me anyway, is to cut spending and improve quality of life at the same time, or at least not decrease quality of life. Many of the cuts we made were just because we were not careful with our spending before or didn't have time to shop around. Some of the things we did:

- Cut Netflix DVDs no one was watching
- Renegotiated the cable bill
- Weather stripped the house
- Started shopping at Costco more - I do have to drive 10 minutes further to shop, but our local Costco now has organic staples foods like beef, olive oil, potatoes, and much more for less than the regular prices of the local retail store. So we can eat healthier for less money.
- Cooking from scratch - We're all learning to cook from scratch more. It is healthier for us to eat less processed and fast food anyway. Today I made organic beef, onion and carrots in the crock pot, braising in French onion soup, where a few years ago we might have had Panda Express for dinner.
- Using library passes. We can get tickets for plays, museums and around 30 other local cultural attractions that normally cost up to $30 - $50 each for free with our public library cards.
- Swapped out the landline for Ooma

We just did hundreds of little things like this and like Rodi it added up to tens of thousands of dollars in annual household savings. Plus we also pay much less in taxes and no longer have to save for retirement. So we can live the same lifestyle, actually a lot healthier one, for much less money than we used to spend each year.

If you have always optimized your expenses, there may not be much to cut without impacting your lifestyle. But we were horrified at how much we were spending needlessly once we paid more attention to our budget.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:01 PM   #28
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I think the goal with the cuts, for me anyway, is to cut spending and improve quality of life at the same time, or at least not decrease quality of life. Many of the cuts we made were just because we were not careful with our spending before or didn't have time to shop around. Some of the things we did:

- Cut Netflix DVDs no one was watching
- Renegotiated the cable bill
- Weather stripped the house
- Started shopping at Costco more - I do have to drive 10 minutes further to shop, but our local Costco now has organic staples foods like beef, olive oil, potatoes, and much more for less than the regular prices of the local retail store. So we can eat healthier for less money.
- Cooking from scratch - We're all learning to cook from scratch more. It is healthier for us to eat less processed and fast food anyway. Today I made organic beef, onion and carrots in the crock pot, braising in French onion soup, where a few years ago we might have had Panda Express for dinner.
- Using library passes. We can get tickets for plays, museums and around 30 other local cultural attractions that normally cost up to $30 - $50 each for free with our public library cards.
- Swapped out the landline for Ooma

We just did hundreds of little things like this and like Rodi it added up to tens of thousands of dollars in annual household savings. Plus we also pay much less in taxes and no longer have to save for retirement. So we can live the same lifestyle, actually a lot healthier one, for much less money than we used to spend each year.

If you have always optimized your expenses, there may not be much to cut without impacting your lifestyle. But we were horrified at how much we were spending needlessly once we paid more attention to our budget.
What's Ooma?
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:06 PM   #29
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What's Ooma?
It is like Magic Jack. We get phone service via the Internet now. It is under $4 a month compared to the $65+ we used to pay for home and business landlines. That is $732 a year we saved, $7,320 in 10 years and $36,660 on a change that took maybe 3 hours total. I look for really high ROI cuts like that on recurring expenses.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:37 PM   #30
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It is like Magic Jack. We get phone service via the Internet now. It is under $4 a month compared to the $65+ we used to pay for home and business landlines. That is $732 a year we saved, $7,320 in 10 years and $36,660 on a change that took maybe 3 hours total. I look for really high ROI cuts like that on recurring expenses.
I looked it up. Looks like you pay $130 for the device and maybe $40 to keep your same phone number? Is that what you paid? I'd have to figure out how to get an internet line down to it somehow. I have 2 house phones, so would I need 2 of these devices?
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:40 PM   #31
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Other savings: we (I) was too busy to do basic housecleaning so we had a maid service $110 every two weeks. $2860/year. Our house is neater now that things are getting put away and into recycling a lot quicker.

Our next step is Ooma.

We've paid in full for son's college including one band trip to Europe. That was always our choice. I understand the sentiment about paying your own way through college, but that was not the route our family chose, with an only child.

There are many ways to cut costs without impacting lifestyle significantly.


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Old 02-18-2015, 12:44 PM   #32
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I looked it up. Looks like you pay $130 for the device and maybe $40 to keep your same phone number? Is that what you paid? I'd have to figure out how to get an internet line down to it somehow. I have 2 house phones, so would I need 2 of these devices?
I bought one for one of our kids in December for $89 on Amazon on sale. You can check the price history at camelcamelcamel.com:

http://camelcamelcamel.com/Ooma-Telo...uct/B00I4XMEYA

I don't remember what ours cost or if we paid extra to keep the number as it was a few years ago now.

We have 2 handsets on one Ooma, with one phone number. Do you need multiple handsets or multiple numbers? I have never tried multiple numbers on one Ooma so I'll leave that for someone else to answer.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:56 PM   #33
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I think the first thing you need to do is really track your spending. There was a time that I was shamefully being caught up in "lifestyle creep". I was still living below my means but I was buying unnecessary junk that I really didn't need and only temporarily wanted. I created a spreadsheet with 2 years worth of detailed spending (using my credit card bills and bank statements). Amazon and BedBathAnBeyond purchases were embarrassing.

As to 130k spend with $3.2mm, I'd say its close and doable if you are willing to cut back just a little. I would not have felt comfortable retiring with more than a 3% WR; SS not included in the nestegg calc. My $100k budget includes income tax (assuming that 75% of my spending comes from pretax sources) and 25k for Healthcare for 2. I used healthcare.gov to get premium costs and assumed that I will hit the out of pocket max each year. I needed to know that I could cover it if I had to. If I don't need to sepnd it then I will add it to my (very limited) travel budget.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:56 PM   #34
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I looked it up. Looks like you pay $130 for the device and maybe $40 to keep your same phone number? Is that what you paid? I'd have to figure out how to get an internet line down to it somehow. I have 2 house phones, so would I need 2 of these devices?
After years of procrastination, I bought Ooma a month or two ago. The box costs $110, and the phone number porting costs a one-time charge of $40, which is waived if you sign up for the $10/month premium service. Else, the recurrent monthly charge is less than $4/month.

One box will power the whole house circuit, just like your old land-line, where all phones will ring when a call comes in. The premium service will get you a 2nd phone number. Houses are usually already wired for two lines, but you need to how to make use of it by changing the wiring at each jack, or by using the right cord to make the crossover between the two lines.

PS. Oops! The Premier 2nd phone number does not work the same as a true 2nd physical phone line. For the latter, you will need two Ooma boxes.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:13 PM   #35
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I bought one for one of our kids in December for $89 on Amazon on sale. You can check the price history at camelcamelcamel.com:

Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service VoIP Phone and Device (B00I4XMEYA) | Amazon price tracker / tracking, Amazon price history charts, Amazon price watches, Amazon price drop alerts | camelcamelcamel.com

I don't remember what ours cost or if we paid extra to keep the number as it was a few years ago now.

We have 2 handsets on one Ooma, with one phone number. Do you need multiple handsets or multiple numbers? I have never tried multiple numbers on one Ooma so I'll leave that for someone else to answer.
So did you have to run 2 internet lines, one to each phone? Or does Ooma somehow connect to the wireless signal I have in the house?
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:16 PM   #36
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Regarding Ooma, you can accomplish the same thing with an Obi100 and Google Voice. The upfront cost is $35 and the ongoing cost is $0.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:27 PM   #37
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So did you have to run 2 internet lines, one to each phone? Or does Ooma somehow connect to the wireless signal I have in the house?
We just have one Internet line, one Ooma box and a regular cordless phone you can buy anywhere with multiple handsets, something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Expa...cordless+phone

Ooma replaced the landline connection, not the actual phones. We have the same cordless phone set with multiple handsets we had before.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:38 PM   #38
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The standard Ooma box does not have WiFi capability, only an RJ45 jack to connect it to your router. They sell a WiFi adapter that plugs into a USB port on Ooma; it has to be their own adapter, and a regular one for PCs or laptops would not work.

I place the Ooma box next to the Internet router, and connect the two using a RJ45 cable. Then, the Ooma box phone jack is connected with a nearby home phone jack, which allows all phone outlets in the home to become live. Note: I disconnect the phone line at the box outside the home, so that the Ooma output does not go all the way back to the phone company equipment.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:21 PM   #39
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Ok - what is Ting? Our cell phone bills are really high and will get higher if I retire and lose my company phone. And our DISH cable bill is over $100/month.
I use T-Mobile for our cell phone. 4 phone with unlimited minutes, texts and data. The data is 2.5 gig per phone and then just runs slower if you go over the 2.5 gig. I pay $116 per month. You can also add a line (up to 5 phones on each account) for only $10 more per month.

Picks up in 95 percent of the places we travel to.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:30 PM   #40
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I use T-Mobile for our cell phone. 4 phone with unlimited minutes, texts and data. The data is 2.5 gig per phone and then just runs slower if you go over the 2.5 gig. I pay $116 per month. You can also add a line (up to 5 phones on each account) for only $10 more per month.

Picks up in 95 percent of the places we travel to.
What the heck? We have 4 phones on T-Mobile with unlimited and pay $200 a month. Huh?
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