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Old 09-12-2008, 10:50 AM   #21
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Sorry, being over here in Bahgdad with just dirt and rocks to look at is making my brain addled.
When my good friend John got a furlough from Iraq in 2007, his wife planned a getaway vacation to the Caribbean beaches. When she told him of her plans, he had ONE simple answer:

"Honey, cancel that trip..........NO SAND"!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:01 AM   #22
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When I came home from Desert Storm we went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was great. There are only two reasons to go on a cruise......food and sex. They could leave the ship tied up at the dock and I would be happy.
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:56 AM   #23
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I'm currently in the Navy Serving in Iraq. I Have been active duty for 21 years, I'm 43 years old. I plan on retiring next year after completing my tour over here.
I have been lurking and dreaming for about a month now and decided to sign up and let everyone know that I am grateful for all the great information that I have found here that made me see the light so to speak and decide to retire.
Thank you.

I will recieve a pension of about $2000 a month after taxes, I am married, no children, My wife and I currently spend an ave. of $1350.00 a month. This does not include the
mortgage wich I will have paid off before I retire. We have no other bills as as the car is new and no credit card debt.
We are going to downsize the house and move to a more tax freindly state, I really have no intention of getting another job, but look forward to fishing and traveling.

I would like to hear about any others that are living on around $2000 a month.

Thanks for your service. I'm in a similar situation - US Army. I (45) retire next Summer (2009) at 23 yrs at the rank of 0-5 - giving me about $4300/mo before taxes. I'll live in FLA where there isn't a state income tax but real estate taxes and home insurance can be higher than most other states.

I have a nest egg of $560k, single, don't own a home, own my car. Although I don't have an exorbitant lifestyle, I'm not sure if the $4300/mo will be enough to cover my needs (mostly golfing, entertainment, utilities, rent/mortgage, etc). I don't want to work anymore either.

I think that $2000/mo will probably not be enough for the avg couple to live, even with a paid off home.

Be safe in your final year in the Navy. Thanks again.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:19 AM   #24
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Hi, Welcome and Stay Safe Over There. I got to the library every month and get some retirement books. This month, the Book "America's Best Low-Tax Retirement Towns" was one I picked up.

Published in 2002 - it has the property taxes for a $350,000 house in Port Townsend as $4,498 and in Friday Harabor, $3,557 - so you really need to budget $400 or more for property taxes and insurance.

So if you are budgeting $400/mont for property taxes and insurance, $300 for replacement values and $500 for travel - that leaves you with only about $800/month for everything else. Don't mean to be a damper.

I currently live on $2170 a month, working.(after taxes, insurance). I am single though and my house is paid off. I put $160 a month into an IRA and save about $500/month for home repairs/improvements. My property taxes/insurance are about $200 a month. So I live on about $1300 a month - and I wouldn't call it the good life by any means.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:18 PM   #25
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welcome and thank you for your service.

if you are looking for tax friendly, promptly cross NY (my home state) right off your list.

NY has many positives...if you like 4 seasons and are a skiier or snowmobiler and like to breathe fresh air and good old fashioned country living...we also lack floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, pestilence (except for Elliot ), forest fires...

but taxes are beyond terrible here. but then again...your military retirement will be state tax free, last time i checked that was the case.

good luck and stay safe!
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #26
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When I came home from Desert Storm we went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was great. There are only two reasons to go on a cruise......food and sex. They could leave the ship tied up at the dock and I would be happy.
Hey, thanksalot JC, if my spouse reads this post then she's going to want to join me on my next cruise...
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:23 PM   #27
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I'm pretty set on getting a place up around the puget sound area of Washington. The cutthroat trout fishing up at Jim creek is to die for and the salmon fishing isn't too shabby either, not to mention the golf courses like gold mountain.
Are you referring to the Naval Radio Station at Jim Creek? Near Arlington? If so, this may be a good time to have a look at property, as prices in areas like this at a good remove from Seattle are down quite a bit.

If you should have to work, this is a high wage area so you should have some good choices. We haven't had a truly bad economy here in years.

ha
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:18 AM   #28
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Published in 2002 - it has the property taxes for a $350,000 house in Port Townsend as $4,498 and in Friday Harabor, $3,557 - so you really need to budget $400 or more for property taxes and insurance.

No way I would buy a 350k house. I've been looking on the WWW and around 250k-300k for a 2 Bdrm seems about right.
They average 1k-1.5k prop taxes a year.

My wife and I have been living on $1300 a month (not counting mortgage) for the last few years, And I have never made more than 60k a year so it's not like we will be missing anything.
Remember the 2k is after taxes and no house note, no kids, no CC bills.

I think maybe I'm in the wrong forum. I don't want to offend anyone but maybe most of you are just used to a higher cost of living than us. You all are rich compared to me, heck most of you make more in retirement than I have ever made working.
Well thanks for the advise and well wishes, I hope you all live long and enjoyable lives. Bye.
Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:49 AM   #29
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hey shipwreck

i'll level the playing field field a little...i paid $63K for my house in 1984, current value is maybe $180K at best. i'm in dairy farm country in upstate NY.

we all come from different backgrounds and have different levels of income. there is no admission fee here.

so please reconsider and do stick around - this is a great forum to be part of.

FB
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:02 AM   #30
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My wife and I have been living on $1300 a month (not counting mortgage) for the last few years, And I have never made more than 60k a year so it's not like we will be missing anything.
Remember the 2k is after taxes and no house note, no kids, no CC bills.

I think maybe I'm in the wrong forum. I don't want to offend anyone but maybe most of you are just used to a higher cost of living than us. You all are rich compared to me .....
Your in the right forum....

I think your picture of what is "rich" is may be skewed .... As I commented before , My parents have lived off a similar amount to the $2000 after taxes that you qoute retiring on. At that income level, in the state of Maryland, they are hovering near poverty levels, (at least for utility and real estate tax considerations) according to the state. They get reduced utilities each year as well as their real estate tax is cut in nearly half.

What you propose to live on CAN be done (with a paid off mortgage, health ins. and no debt) but realize that you WILL be limited in your activities to hobbies that cost little to nothing (fishing etc). Also you have lived on $1300 a month while working ---- now you will have 24 hours a day 7 days a week of time to occupy and one thing you will not be able to do is increase your spending because of your budget limitations. **Especially** if you hold to taking the Italy/Jamaica trips and using the $500/mo of the $2000 for that. This works fine for a couple that are 69 years old and can hardly move around but for an active 44 year old you may get a bit bored fishing and camping etc etc.. (maybe not) BTW --- My parents do very little extra per month and definitely take no Italy trips so I am not sure how you manage that $500 of the $2000 towards travel but good for you if you can do that ***longterm***. $2-300 for car repairs/purchase/ and Home related repairs will prove to may be cutting it quite close ***longterm***. Definitely start out with a substantial emergency fund if at all possible.

Folks that are retiring on even double what your proposing to retire on are in no way rich.... One or two hobbies can increase a monthly budget rapidly. Or perhaps they just **want** more of a pad then you are providing and if it works out they have extra to pass on to heirs then great! :P
I would also wager that while it is possible to retire at 44 on the conditions you've laid out most would not consider it a tradeoff worth making if they had the option of working an extra 5 years perhaps and increasing their standard of living in retirement greatly. (ie going for E7, E8 or E9...)

I know it must seem like a cut and dry proposition now since your so young and could "always" go back to work if you needed more padding in the budget but consider 20 years down the road when your 64 and cannot work (for whatever reason) and here you are things are reallly tight because gas is now $8 a gallon and milk is $9 , oh, and the Tri_Care that used to be $400/yr is now $1200 or $2000 and the copays for Rx are now $50 per etc etc etc. Ooooo and what if your wife wants to take up golf?

Jus saying....
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:23 AM   #31
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Shipwreck, stick around. Unclemick will be by shortly to tell you how he retired on $12K/yr.

This place has a wide spectrum of income levels - if you believe what anyone says. Rumor has it many posting here are bored teenagers living in rural Montana or prison inmates with internet privileges. You can get a general idea of which is which since the teens post at night and the inmates during the day. I'll leave it up to your imagination as to the identity of those of us who post 24/7.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #32
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Hey Shipwreck, you got to look at your plans honestly. As a recent USN retiree, my experience is that for military retirees costs in retirement go up, not down, for the reasons I already cited and others.

Your estimate that you're already living on 1300 a month is not totally accurate. For example, that 53k car that's worth 5k in 2018? That's written down to the tune of 400$ a month over that ten years. That's what that car costs you, regardless if it's paid for, and that's not including the opportunity cost of that 53K over ten years had you banked the money instead (perhaps as much as 53k even fairly conservatively invested). Include maintenance (foreign car--not cheap), gas, repairs, insurance...that car is a big hit to 2k a month.

Sure you can do 2k a month. Will you do dental insurance at 100 a month? SBP at 165? Tricare at 50? You could live without the first two--take real good care of your teeth and don't die early--but the final class 1 dental status I left the USN with turned out to require two crowns at 500k apiece (paid for my first year of dental insurance, glad I took it).

That's part of why I earlier recommended school, if you want to live light on your feet. Married student housing, GI Bill, inexpensive dental (Dental students often pay you to clean your teeth), cheap entertainment, and an education too. You still get the whole summer off when you can get paid to do things you like to do (we used to teach at summer camps, but there's a slew of great summer jobs to be had). You often don't need a car at all (save 10k a year), and life in a college town is great.

You ought not depart the forum without at least considering all that folks have said. It would be frustrating to be told your plans might not work, but I've had a bunch of my former shipmates retiring at the First Class and CPO level who didn't take a dispassionate and realistic look at the real cost of living, and they're not doing as well as they could as a result. Hate to see you in a similar posit.

Hoo Yah/DeepC
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:31 AM   #33
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It is very scary for me to make the transformation to civilian life, the military is all I know. My wife and I really don't need much, we both come from lower middle income families and don't put too much stock in keeping up with the Jones'. We were stationed in Puget Sound Washington back in 1993 and fell in love with the cleanliness and beauty of the place, so we plan on selling our 320k home in Virginia to purchase a small place on the sound.
Hi shipwreck, I live in Seattle. Have you priced "a small place on the Sound" recently? If you mean actual waterfront property it will set you back a pretty penny. I think I would be worried about being able to keep up with the property taxes on a budget of $2000 a month. Prices & taxes may be lower on the Kitsap Peninsula than here in town. Maybe check out some real-estate sites first to see what prices/taxes are in areas you want to consider living in? I myself am planning on moving out to the ocean coast region (Grays Harbor or Pacific County), which I think is probably less expensive than the Sound shore, although not alas as far below in-town prices as it was ten or fifteen years ago, but also a longer drive to get to major cities....

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(snip)So anyone who wants to give me advice or tell me I'm NUTS please feel free I can take it.
IMO, it's absolutely not nuts to prefer Western WA to Baghdad! But then IMO it's not nuts to prefer Western WA to pretty much anywhere!
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:51 PM   #34
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I retired as a Chief from the Navy in 1995. Air Traffic Controller Rating. Never saved much money, because of child support payments. I worked in the airline industry for a few years, and didn't like the "civilian" workplace. My child support obligation ended, my Mother died and left me a modest house and $75K. I'd never seen $75K in one place in my life, and had no idea of the value (or lack thereof) of such a sum. I quit the airline job, moved into the house (small rural town, same house I grew up in). This was in 1998.

I underestimated the cost of retirement. Used the GI Bill for supplemental income (veterans get free tuition in my state), and got a teaching degree. Around here, nobody hires 50 year old male teachers, and the disparity in real estate prices between here and the "real" world, made moving inpractical.

The airline industry is a disaster area, and any old Navy buddies for networking purposes, have disappeared after all these years.

Options, work at the usual suspects in the retail sector for $8-10 an hour, or live on my pension. I choose to live on my pension.

Moral of the story: Unless you are extremely confident in your ability to reenter the workforce a decade or so from now, I would say to seek immediate employment after your Navy retirement. It is very difficult to restart an old, or restart a new career once you enter your 50's. Especially if your work experience is entirely military and a decade or more old. These 30 somethings running HR departments, don't have a clue about the military and are not receptive.
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:32 PM   #35
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Hey Shipmate...oops that is a bad word because of us Chiefs!!!!

Anyway, Shipwreck....I am 24 days away from beginning my terminal leave journey (83 days of free, paid vacation!!!!). My official date is 31Dec08, after which I plan on doing NOTHING!!!

Since I found this board and gone thru RETAP, I have found I am not cut out to go back to work full-time. After reading many of Nords posts, I found out that it can be done.

My plan is to sit at home and take care of my girlfriend and her 3 kids while they are at work and school. I am gonna take care of the house, goof off, play alot of golf, and knock out my last 6 semester hours of my Bachelor's Degree. After that, I will find my way to the school system and subsitute teach and see if I like it, and also plan on umpiring/ref some games in the local area. I also will go to the base golf course and see if they need some part time work as a marshall or whatever.

It can be done. I know for one, I am not ready to go back to work and play the games as a civilian, etc... After 20 years, 7 months of Navy life, I need a break from the mumbo-jumbo.

Good Luck and Stay Safe over there. My brother is over there working as a civilian in the North. I was in Afghanistan last year, so I know how weird it is for us "salty-dogs" to be around desert!
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:59 PM   #36
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Hey Shipmate...oops that is a bad word because of us Chiefs!!!!
Man, I've been out of the loop for six years. That's a bad word now?!?

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... and also plan on umpiring/ref some games in the local area.
Due to bad athletic scheduling over Title IX concerns, Hawaii now has a crying need for basketball referres. That could be quite the snowbird career...
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:47 PM   #37
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Nords....

"In a recent article in Navy Times, sailors sound off on "shipmate" -- a term that to many has come to mean "screw-up." Talk of heritage and tradition is taking a back seat as some compare the word’s current usage to an insult. Who's to blame? How can the Navy rescue "shipmate"? Or should the term just be sunk?"

More than a few blamed it on the Chief's Mess...haha!

As far as refferring, I have been in contact with the local group I am moving to, and they are glad I am coming and want me to do all sports.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:34 PM   #38
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Nords....
"In a recent article in Navy Times, sailors sound off on "shipmate" -- a term that to many has come to mean "screw-up." Talk of heritage and tradition is taking a back seat as some compare the word’s current usage to an insult. Who's to blame? How can the Navy rescue "shipmate"? Or should the term just be sunk?"
More than a few blamed it on the Chief's Mess...haha!
Gosh, I miss this stuff. NOT.

Don't miss reading the Navy Enquirer, either, although I occasionally glance at a headline at the checkout stand. I just read Jeff Bacon's cartoons.

Our euphemisms for "screw-up" used to be the sad stories of the legendary Petty Officer Schmuckatelli & their division officer Ensign Schmeckel. Of course there were no euphemisms for Chief Petty Officers because none were ever observed to actually screw up.

I'm sure the pendulum will swing at least two complete arcs in the next five years, and Navy Times will breathlessly report each change of position...
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:03 PM   #39
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My plan was to live on $2000/month for my all non-rent spending, but it was a bit too tight. My portfolio is about 1.2 million right now, which supports $4000/mo spending by the 4% rule, and I'm paying $2000/mo rent (yeah yeah that's high, it's a big city and I think it's worth it). For me it has been just a bit too tight; my first year my spending averaged $4300/month and the second year it averaged $7000/month, due to moving and other situation-change expenses. This year I'm looking at averaging close to $4500/month, but I haven't done any serious travel or replacement purchases, so my spending will likely be higher in the future. And I'm pretty aggressive about avoiding spending on things that don't serve me. My plan is to eventually find some satisfying side work to take up the slack.

So yeah, it can be done, but it's not anything near a slam dunk, especially if this is not something you've been planning like most of us have been.

I suggest you start scrupulously measuring all your spending. The way I do it is that I have a dedicated checking account that all my spending comes out of, including cash and credit card spending. I fund this account with regular transfers of $4000-$5000/month, and this way I know that my total spending is exactly the amount that I put into that spending account.

You'll find that there's lots of times when money goes out of your spending account that you might not have otherwise considered "spending", like big home or car repairs, loans to your buddy, income taxes, property taxes, etc. Most people budget $500/month for total owership costs of an average $25k car. Since your Audi is worth twice that, I'd guess your total ownership costs will be about $800/month. Taxes, insurance, and maintenance on your home can easily cost $500/month. So that's $1300/month spending on car and home only, before you've even got to food and healthcare.

BTW you are definitely in the right forum. There are plenty of people living on thrifty budgets here.

At any rate, many thanks for your service to our country, and good luck.
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:06 AM   #40
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What you propose to live on CAN be done (with a paid off mortgage, health ins. and no debt) but realize that you WILL be limited in your activities to hobbies that cost little to nothing (fishing etc). Also you have lived on $1300 a month while working ---- now you will have 24 hours a day 7 days a week of time to occupy and one thing you will not be able to do is increase your spending because of your budget limitations.
That was my experience also. When I retired my net income increased (no deductions for SS, retirement plan, deferred comp.) but we found that with all that free time, even just going to the park costs $5 in gasoline. Fishing is okay but I can't do that all day every day, or in the winter. DW is happy going back to school one class per semester to finish her BA then plans to get a part time job next spring.

So foo on the advice that you need 70-80% of pre-retirement income to maintain the same lifestyle. You need 120-130% if you go out much, and probably will want to, if you're in anything near good health. Of course, YMMV.

That's why I'm back working. I tried a variety of jobs, finally found one nearby that pays nearly what I was making before retirement and almost doubles our income. Gets me out more, and I'm going to buy some toys, like a touring motorcycle. Damn the torpedoes - if I end up roadkill at least I won't go sitting in a chair.
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