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Old 07-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #21
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Yes, I know I can spend less and I will have to start doing that once I retire. I grew up with nothing and have supported myself since I was 18, including supporting two husbands who were in school or ill so I can be pretty disciplined (when I want). And, moving to somewhere other than San Diego is not an option as my family and friends are here and thatís important to me.
Itís rather interesting what is important to some people is not really important to other people. I starting saving for my own retirement when I was about 30 years old and thought I would be by myself when I retired. I have actually worked for pocket money since I was 12 so working is not a foreign idea to me either. I know that having an all wheel drive vehicle in San Diego is very important because people, in general, do not know how to drive (my Audi has saved my life on more than one occasion. I grew up in Los Angeles where people, in general, do know how to drive.) Having good health insurance is a VERY GOOD THING and I am lucky that my second husband, who is deceased, was a retired Marine Corp officer and left me with excellent health insurance. I know that having good house insurance is important as I live in an area of San Diego that was close to the fires of 2003 and 2007. I know that good food is important because it keeps you healthy and your health is the most valuable asset one as (in my opinion). I know that good hygiene is important and that is why I pay for good manicures and pedicures. I know that keeping your mind and body fit is a good thing so that spending more money to do that is worth it. So, what I am saying is that yes, I will spend less in retirement but I will also weigh more closely what is really important, getting rid of spending habits that were built up over the years; buying things at the last minute because of time constraints, will shop for items on sale instead of whenever, comparing prices instead of just buying to get out of the store quicker, etc. Just rambling here.
Ron, my late husband was in Vietnam, Chu Lai from 1967-1968; was a RIO; flew F-4 Phamtom jets, in Thailand from 1970-71; flew 467 sorties in 13 months. Thanks for your service.

Thanks.
Susan
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:02 PM   #22
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Welcome Susan,

I too am in San Diego and know all about the expenses.

What's your retirement account balances look like? Have you run FireCalc on your portfolio yet?

My plan involves a paid off house, about $2 million in accounts and a non-cola'd pension at 55, and I'll retire earlier if I can. But that's 21 years away for me, so things can change.

In theory we could wait for housing to come back, sell at the next peak and move someplace super cheap and retire in my late 40's...but that just ain't going to happen since DW's family is way to tight to break up that band.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:08 PM   #23
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A 2007 poll* on the forum indicated more than 75% of the 267 who responded had net worths in the seven figure range. Add the fact that many also have very nice pension benefits, and I think it shows you are attempting to make a "case-in-point" where the evidence does not offer support.

*Net Worth 2007
Keep in mind that he pretty much views anything with less than $11mm, a staff, and private school for the kids to be poor... one man's poverty is another man's wealth.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:10 PM   #24
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Thanks for your service.

Susan
Your comment is greatly appreciated ..

- Ron
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #25
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Thanks for sharing your expenses . After a quick review they look reasonable to me considering West Coast. And like you said if/when you WANT you'll cut your spending (because, yes there're areas you could do trimming). Afther the 2nd mortgage is paid off, that's almost $800 savings right there. Trim misc. and entertainment/gift spending and you've got $1,300 or so for your traveling budget after 2009. You could make small trips now if you trimmed your discretionary spending now. You just make different choices that's all, it doesn't mean you cannot afford traveling .
Overall it sounds you're very in control of your living standard.
If you don't have kids who need your support and your retirement portfolio is decent, it sounds you're ready for your retirement and its adventures.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:35 PM   #26
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. I know that having an all wheel drive vehicle in San Diego is very important because people, in general, do not know how to drive (my Audi has saved my life on more than one occasion. I grew up in Los Angeles where people, in general, do know how to drive.)

Thanks.
Susan

Susan ,I also think a safe car is a most . I was just surprized by how much it costs to repair your car. I drive a Camry Solara with 89,000 miles on it and except for brakes , a front end alignment , tires & oil changes it's been trouble free .
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
A 2007 poll* on the forum indicated more than 75% of the 267 who responded had net worths in the seven figure range. Add the fact that many also have very nice pension benefits, and I think it shows you are attempting to make a "case-in-point" where the evidence does not offer support.

*Net Worth 2007
I had a different perspective on pretty much everything covered. "Many" of us retire plenty early, with plenty of money and live very pleasing lives. Many of us also could or would work but financial independence combined with preferring to share our lives with our friends and family rather than a corporation makes that somewhat unappealing.

Also, it seems I accidentally Ignored the forum where we all sit around the campfire making each other feel better about our lives of poverty. Whats the name of that again?

I suppose I should just get used to the fact that some posts are going to be lengthy, yet entirely fact free.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:26 PM   #28
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$304 - HOA
$142 - Property taxes
$166 - Auto/house/jewelry insurance
$735 - Mortgage (will be paid off in 2034)
$774 - Second (which will be paid off on 12/1/2009)
$250 - Car repairs (average for two Audi vehicles)
$108 - Cable
$100 - San Diego Gas & Electric (sometimes lower, sometimes higher)
$600 - Gas (yes, that's right, for premium gas at $4.50/gallon)
$100 - medical insurance
$200 - parking at work
$400 - food out
$600 - food in/paper products/shampoos/other
$400 - Cash for misc stuff (sometimes lower, sometimes higher)
$150 - hair
$1000 - entertainment/clothing/gifts/other (sometimes lower, sometimes higher) for a total of
$6,029 per month
A lot of your expenses are car related. If you weren't working, they would go down, correct?
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
A 2007 poll* on the forum indicated more than 75% of the 267 who responded had net worths in the seven figure range. Add the fact that many also have very nice pension benefits, and I think it shows you are attempting to make a "case-in-point" where the evidence does not offer support.

*Net Worth 2007
There was actually a more recent one. Still, the results are from those members who specifically chose to answer the question, meaning not a "representative sample."

When comparing the number of people participating in the poll, as a percentage of total members of the forum, you'll see that it is way less than even 1%... So, you couldn't really conclude all that much from that sample group.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #30
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I suppose I should just get used to the fact that some posts are going to be lengthy, yet entirely fact free.
Why not? That's what I've done...
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:04 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by CaseInPoint View Post
There was actually a more recent one. Still, the results are from those members who specifically chose to answer the question, meaning not a "representative sample."

When comparing the number of people participating in the poll, as a percentage of total members of the forum, you'll see that it is way less than even 1%... So, you couldn't really conclude all that much from that sample group.
I'm not allowed to make conclusions from reading the forum but you are. I think I see a disconnect here.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:07 PM   #32
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I know that having an all wheel drive vehicle in San Diego is very important because people, in general, do not know how to drive (my Audi has saved my life on more than one occasion. I grew up in Los Angeles where people, in general, do know how to drive.)
LOL, so I missed this earlier, I too grew up in L.A. and now live in San Diego and I have the exact opposite take! Everyone drives 90+mph everywhere in L.A. unless it's bumper to bumper, then you can count on the shoulder having a bunch of #%$^!@ driving on it, only to cut in front of you when the see a cop, all the while using sign language to tell you "You're number 1!". I used to deal with L.A. drivers, but now I'm out of practice. I also don't remember the last drive by shooting in San Diego or road rage gun battle. When I have to go up there to visit Mom, as soon as I see that "Welcome to L.A. County, population 9 brazillion" I get a headache.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #33
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Those expenses are exactly why adios to California in retirement
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:02 PM   #34
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I'm not allowed to make conclusions from reading the forum but you are. I think I see a disconnect here.
The Great One judges and dismisses the lesser ones.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:57 PM   #35
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Going back to read the OP, then the reply by CaseInPoint, I saw that I missed something the first time.

The issue here is that some people are trying to see

a) If it would be possible to retire early, YET also keep their spending levels the same as when they still draw a salary.

b) If there has to be cutback, then it appears to the same people that it may be a miserable life in poverty.

Am I correct?

To answer the question a) one has to differentiate one's income level, and one's expenses. Most of people who ER limit their expenses, so that 1) they can save, and 2) to limit their spending level so that ER becomes feasible.

Many of younger members here, for example Firedreamer and Marquette, have told us how they have been able to save much of their income. But I will take myself as an example. In a previous good year, my main salary at a megacorp plus some outside moon lighting work earned me close to $200K that year. Ignore my wife salary for now. If we conditioned ourselves to spend all that money (or what was left after tax), we would need $5M in order to retire (at 4% withdrawal rate). But if we spend all of what we make, how do we save up $5M?

So, obviously, reducing expenses serves two purposes: a) allows you to save and b) reduces your expenses so that ER becomes feasible.

As for the feeling that the reduced expenses will make you feel miserable, that is a very personal thing. I do not feel deprived. Most of the members do not think so, either.

So, to answer the OP and CaseInPoint, it is true that it is VERY tough to be able to retire early, AND have income (read expenses) level same as when you work. Short of winning the lottery, or being able to hit the jackpot on the stock market roulette, or inherit a lot of money, I do not see how.

If you want to maintain high expenses as if you were working, in most cases you would have to work. It's that simple.

What I have learned is this: some people want to work and spend, and some people do not want to work and are willing to cut their expenses as the price to pay. Neither group should pick on the other. If you want to spend and not work, please tell me how (no illegal, nor immoral answers please) .


PS. Forget about ER. How about just R? Does any pension plan pay 100% COLA of full-time pay?

And I found myself in a subgroup that is willing to work if it is part-time, interesting, well-paid and no BS. In bad economic times, that may be non-existent, so I am preparing myself to join the ER group in a moment's notice.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:32 PM   #36
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If you want to spend and not work, please tell me how (no illegal, nor immoral answers please) .
Please forward these exclusions to my inbox.

Ha
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #37
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Why not? That's what I've done...
Exceptionally well.

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a) If it would be possible to retire early, YET also keep their spending levels the same as when they still draw a salary.
IIRC the guy who thinks we all live in poverty wants to spend a quarter million a year, have a house full of hired help and so forth. Anything less is grovelling in the dirt looking for bugs to eat.

And he's most welcome to the associated long work hours to pay for that, and its probably unsustainable without working.

I spent all morning at the beach with my 3 year old and the afternoon at our farm share picking up our vegetables. My son told me all about his wife Angelica who drives an SUV and will go to the fire station with him to help him put out the fires when they call him up. She has black hair by the way.

Priceless.

Now, I could have spent the day in a conference room arguing with people over what name we should call a program, or having some VP tell me I have to do a project in half the time it'll take to do a decent job, with half the money and half the people needed.

Tell ya what, I think I'm going to have to think it over a while. I'm just going to sink into the couch, suck up the air conditioning and take a little nap in my mcmansion in one of Fortune magazines 50 best places to live and wait for my wife to drive her Lexus home from her shopping trip and wake me up in time for dinner.

Ahhh...poverty...
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:32 PM   #38
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I spent all morning at the beach with my 3 year old and the afternoon at our farm share picking up our vegetables. My son told me all about his wife Angelica who drives an SUV and will go to the fire station with him to help him put out the fires when they call him up. She has black hair by the way.

Priceless.

Now, I could have spent the day in a conference room arguing with people over what name we should call a program, or having some VP tell me I have to do a project in half the time it'll take to do a decent job, with half the money and half the people needed.

Tell ya what, I think I'm going to have to think it over a while. I'm just going to sink into the couch, suck up the air conditioning and take a little nap in my mcmansion in one of Fortune magazines 50 best places to live and wait for my wife to drive her Lexus home from her shopping trip and wake me up in time for dinner.

Ahhh...poverty...
It's a rough life!!

Love hearing about your day. There's nothing more priceless than spending time with your toddler. They grow up so fast, and as you mentioned, soon he will be in school.

When Christina was that age, she wanted to be a fireman too. But she was a little insecure about leaving home, so I told her I would live in the house right next door to the fire station, and she could come see me any time she felt like it. Every day I would bring home-made cookies to her and all the other firemen. She thought that would be just fine.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:52 PM   #39
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Exceptionally well.



IIRC the guy who thinks we all live in poverty wants to spend a quarter million a year, have a house full of hired help and so forth. Anything less is grovelling in the dirt looking for bugs to eat.

And he's most welcome to the associated long work hours to pay for that, and its probably unsustainable without working.

I spent all morning at the beach with my 3 year old and the afternoon at our farm share picking up our vegetables. My son told me all about his wife Angelica who drives an SUV and will go to the fire station with him to help him put out the fires when they call him up. She has black hair by the way.

Priceless.

Now, I could have spent the day in a conference room arguing with people over what name we should call a program, or having some VP tell me I have to do a project in half the time it'll take to do a decent job, with half the money and half the people needed.

Tell ya what, I think I'm going to have to think it over a while. I'm just going to sink into the couch, suck up the air conditioning and take a little nap in my mcmansion in one of Fortune magazines 50 best places to live and wait for my wife to drive her Lexus home from her shopping trip and wake me up in time for dinner.

Ahhh...poverty...
And just to add to the point, I could care less about his lexus and his McMansion - I'm green with envy that CFB spent the day at the beach with his 3 year old while I did exactly what he described about office life above today.

DW got to spend the day with our kids, and just about every other day too. I could make more than I do now (low six figures) if I was willing to work crazy hours in a different career ladder. But I took a job with every other Friday off and 5 weeks vacation a year. I'll never get these days with Tori and Olivia again.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:58 PM   #40
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In response to eridanus, yes, a lot of my expenses related to my car would go down in retirement; however, the car expense of $250/mo for two German made vehicles, both over 5 years old (one is over 5 years and the other is over 8 years) is about right. Last December, I paid about $3,800 for some major work on my car (as it has two turbos, it heats up a lot and can cause issues that cars without two turbos would never happen). Between tires, brakes, oil changes, etc., every 5000 miles for two vehicles out of warranty, every time you take it in, it's about $250-$1,000, depending on what is the problem. If there is something really wrong, it can be much more, as in last December. I am waiting until after I retire to buy a new car as my car sits in a parking lot and gets tons of door dings, etc. However, I'm going to be more sensible and probably buy a Toyota.

In response to laurencewill, driving in Los Angeles, for me, is much more fun because you can drive fast. About 12 years ago, I used to race cars as a hobby...was officially licensed and raced for the SCCA in Southern California. Boy, was that amazing, having fun with the boys. Yes, I know, people try to run you off the road for kicks, you can the finger all of the time, but driving in those diamond lanes at 90-100 mph is great, as long as there is not too much traffic, about 2:00 am in the morning!!! I'm actually a very safe driver, don't cut in and out of lanes (like people in San Diego do) and I don't drive 40 mph in the fast lane (like people in San Diego do)...and use my blinker, a foreign concept for San Diego drivers...

Regarding retirement, yes, I'm going to be one who does not want to work and am willing to cut my expenses for not having to put up with the BS and complaining and unrealistic expectations. I'm tired and I want to go out and play, my way...as I said before, if I need to work part time to fund my fun, then so be it!!! I looooovvvvvveeeeee fun and hate BS, so fun wins everytime.

Susan
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