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Old 07-30-2008, 11:10 PM   #41
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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
LOL! Well that explains it, NASCAR driver! I suspect when somebody is driving 70 in front of you it feels like 40. Like I said, I didn't really notice the race track of death feeling of L.A. freeways when I lived there (Northridge specifically), but after living in slower, more polite San Diego for the last decade, driving up there makes my teeth grit!

Just one bone to pick, are you saying L.A. drivers use their blinkers?? Only if you mean hand signals!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:38 PM   #42
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lawrencewill: did I say that LA drivers use their blinkers? heh? Well, they keep you guessing, just to make sure you're awake!!! Yes, I am your nightmare in your rear view mirror...just keep going faster or slow down really fast, because I'm going to pass you, either on my terms or on my terms; it's your choice...lol

Just kidding...yes, I know a lot of LA drivers are fast but inpolite and San Diego drivers are slow and polite, but if you have a fast car like mine...it doesn't matter!!!

You know the best thing I ever did was learn how to race cars because it taught me to be a very defensive driver and patient, which a lot of people, no matter where you drive, never learn. And to be quite honest, the traffic in San Diego is getting bad (not as bad as LA, I agree), but I'm not getting so many speeding tickets as I used to because I can't drive as fast (and be safe). And, I don't drive 90-100 miles per hour in San Diego because I would probably kill myself. If you drive less than 90 mph in the diamond lanes in LA, you will get killed for sure.

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Old 07-31-2008, 12:05 AM   #43
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lawrencewill: did I say that LA drivers use their blinkers? heh? Well, they keep you guessing, just to make sure you're awake!!! Yes, I am your nightmare in your rear view mirror...just keep going faster or slow down really fast, because I'm going to pass you, either on my terms or on my terms; it's your choice...lol

Just kidding...yes, I know a lot of LA drivers are fast but inpolite and San Diego drivers are slow and polite, but if you have a fast car like mine...it doesn't matter!!!

You know the best thing I ever did was learn how to race cars because it taught me to be a very defensive driver and patient, which a lot of people, no matter where you drive, never learn. And to be quite honest, the traffic in San Diego is getting bad (not as bad as LA, I agree), but I'm not getting so many speeding tickets as I used to because I can't drive as fast (and be safe). And, I don't drive 90-100 miles per hour in San Diego because I would probably kill myself. If you drive less than 90 mph in the diamond lanes in LA, you will get killed for sure.

Susan
I'm getting tired of the clutch here in San Diego now, it's true. Camp Pendleton protected us from L.A. and Orange for some time, but the morphing of San Angeles was inevitable! My turbo Passat was fun in L.A., the Volvo not so much!
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:12 AM   #44
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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.
Good thing I didnt lay it on then. Before we went up to the farm I whipped up a little osso bucco and dropped it in the slow cooker and when we got back, washed up and threw together some garlic mashed from garlic and red taters that had been in the ground an hour earlier, along with a mixed green salad of fresh cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, and mixed baby salad greens...some arugula, some radish sprouts and some baby turnip greens. I'm afraid the produce aged almost a full hour before being prepared because I had to spend a good 30 minutes with my son while he fed the farm horses some apples that we picked together off our trees earlier in the day.

This evening as we sat nibbling on our dinner and watching our 65" high definition set with HD satellite feeds sporked into a 1000 hour high def digital video recorder, I continued to ponder on our wretched poverty stricken lives.

I'm think i'm going to go jump out of a window now, but its going to be the new kitchen garden window we put in last month, and thats maybe a 4' drop to the foot or so of fresh redwood compost I pushed under there last week.

So I'm afraid that I'll be okay and probably posting again tomorrow, shortly after drinking half a pot of starbucks and noshing on some fresh bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon along with maybe a slice or two of dry cured bacon while my dogs enjoy a couple of frozen waffles. Oh, and all of that is after sleeping in until whatever freakin time I feel like.

Then after we get to the lake for our morning beach time, we'll lay comfortably on our chairs and lament the sad, sad moments that make up our lives.

Perhaps I'll consider hiring some outside help to come rake up the disturbance in the redwood compost that I'm likely to create during my attempt to end my horrible, worthless life.

Oh, and I'm somewhat sorry for the mess we made of your thread Susan. My very best wishes for the happiest early retirement that you can muster. Welcome to the wonderful world of no longer having to serf yourself to the nameless, faceless dictators of the working world, replete with the apologists and people with weird priorities...
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:00 AM   #45
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Hmm...

I don't know if I would be envious of your 3-yr old... being of an age where I may be grandpa.

But how can you eat so much? I have to limit my calorie intake to prevent weight gain. I often tell my friends that I quit working because I cannot eat anymore. Why work if you cannot eat?
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:40 AM   #46
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CFB you're a cruel cruel ^%$#%$@!

Now it's back to the calculator to see how I can squish more money off to the savings account...

Arrrrgggh!
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:58 AM   #47
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CFB you're a cruel cruel ^%$#%$@!

Now it's back to the calculator to see how I can squish more money off to the savings account...

Arrrrgggh!
He EXCELS at sadism, doesn't he?
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:23 AM   #48
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Oh come now, I put an angel in there. Do I need the full minimum of three for that to work?

Mmmmm...good coffee...
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:30 AM   #49
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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.
NW-Bound,

Kudos on a very well written post.

Often, "veteran" forum members forget that newer members want to get back to the basics and discuss the very issues that brought them here in the first place. Many new members wind up here trying to answer the questions of how much money is needed to FIRE, and what life is like for those who have done so.

For those who concluded that they can retire under certain circumstances, it's not so much that people want to spend as much as they did when fully employed. It's more a question of how much will they need to give up to be able to FIRE. It's a matter of trade-offs.

It's silly to think $11M is needed to FIRE, or else the alternative is digging in the dirt for bugs. Definitely not my opinion.

But I do see that many people have chosen to FIRE with just enough income to live on the edge of poverty. Yes, some of them may be very happy, and I sincerely congratulate them. Who am I (or anyone else) to judge that living in constant financial stress does not outweigh the benefits of escaping the work world?

Getting back to the OP asking how people cope with living on less than they are accustomed to, I would refer back to my original answer at the beginning of the thread, whether certain cute, fuzzy people here like it or not.

To the cute, fuzzy, snuggly bunny,

I'm going to guess that you want to show that I'm mistaken in saying that many early retirees live in the edge of poverty, by pointing out your own enviable lifestyle. How that shows that I'm mistaken, I'm not really sure, but I do want to congratulate you on being able to afford to buy and cook food for yourself, buy a $2,000 TV, and still have air-conditioning.

I'm very proud of you, that you've been able to afford the lifestyle of a typical stay-at-home mom, complete with cooking, cleaning, laundry, and providing non-stop day-care for a 3-tear old. Those are all honorable pursuits, and I want to give credit where credit is due. Nothing more important than properly raising a child.

And, all this success by flipping your family's primary residence at the expense of moving them each time. If that makes you happy, more power to you. Everyone should pursue whatever makes them happy. Again, I'm not totally sure how that contradicts what I wrote.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:07 PM   #50
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But I do see that many people have chosen to FIRE with just enough income to live on the edge of poverty. Yes, some of them may be very happy, and I sincerely congratulate them. Who am I (or anyone else) to judge that living in constant financial stress does not outweigh the benefits of escaping the work world?
Someone doth protest too much.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:21 PM   #51
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Time for more popcorn!
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:57 PM   #52
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Phew, just wait for it! I'm stepping back so I don't get my new shirt splattered!
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:49 PM   #53
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To Cute Fuzzy Bunny: don't worry about my thread; I've made my decision and I'm sticken to it, unless I change my mind (aren't women supposed to be able to do that?) I'm also enjoying the barbs going back and forth but I'll duck if any foreign objects fly my way

Susan
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:54 PM   #54
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Here is a picture of my poverty stricken life . I know it's pretty sad but I'm making do !
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:58 PM   #55
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Hush you paupers and back on yer heads!

Moemg, you'd better get back in the basement before the owners come home!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:00 PM   #56
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Familiar view, Moe. I assume we're looking west, maybe Boerner to the south and St. Armand to the north? Or is it a whole other area of the city?

Anyhow it's a beautiful view. You're very fortunate - enjoy.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:13 PM   #57
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CaseInPoint,
...Have you ever considered the possibility that some people on here with FAR less money than you might be living a happier life than you are? Perhaps they even spend less time worrying about money than you do? Which one of you would be the richer person? Los Angeles California may be your idea of the center of the universe but it would rank very low on my list of places to live. You have mentioned "poverty" a couple times here. It seems to me that poverty is a term that is pretty difficult to set an exact number to. The gubmint has some number that they consider the poverty level of income but it does not take into account whether someone has a paid off mortgage or is making mortgage payments or paying rent. I would imagine that a retired couple living below the federal poverty level with a paid for house in some parts of the country could be living a pretty nice life. While you are stuck in traffic they might be out hiking or sitting by a pond fishing. Their income and lifestyle would not be my ideal just as your 11 million dollar Los Angeles lifestyle would not be for me and my DW. I have said before that the people on this forum who can retire early and happily on a very small income impress me just as much as those on the forum who have the skills to amass great financial wealth. I would guess that CFB would not want to trade the time he gets to spend with his youngster for all the money you could ever make. To each his own.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:15 PM   #58
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Familiar view, Moe. I assume we're looking west, maybe Boerner to the south and St. Armand to the north? Or is it a whole other area of the city?

Anyhow it's a beautiful view. You're very fortunate - enjoy.

We look across the bay to Longboat Key and Holmes Beach .
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:21 PM   #59
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Here is a picture of my poverty stricken life . I know it's pretty sad but I'm making do !
Moemg,
...Pretty nice view for a retired nurse. I am having a pretty rough time making nursing career decisions. I usually work one shift a week but am taking the summer off and considering not going back. That PIC does not make the decision any easier.
Jeff
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:22 PM   #60
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Someone doth protest too much.
Dang ya beat me to it.

Dear CIP. You're not wrong because I live a fairly pleasing upper middle class lifestyle. You're wrong because many of my fellow forumites live as well or better than I do.

Envy and jealousy coupled with a lack of guts or intelligence to get off the hamster wheel. How else to explain someone who keeps moaning about the 'fact' that while 'many' have managed to do it, that its only because they're doing so by living in poverty...when the vast majority of the available evidence suggests otherwise?

I suspect we'll shortly see some sort of thread about how our lives are immoral, unpatriotic, or fattening.

In closing I dont think you've made enough of a case yet to have risen to the level of being merely 'wrong'. Keep at it though, you may get there.

You are a bit bothersome and somewhat annoying though, so I'm pleased to put you on my 'ignore' list. Not the fastest someone has gotten there, nor the anywhere near the most irritating. So again you've underperformed.

Oh, and here's your sign...
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