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Old 04-07-2015, 05:08 PM   #61
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I agree. I would rather work longer than to be able to say I am retired but have to constantly worry about going over my budget every month.
but some don't constantly worry. i have friends that early retired on about 40k. they're slap happy as pigs in slop. they dont have kids and they stay active. they dont have a big house nor a car. They're expensive are low and they don't live in mortal fear of running out of money.


I'm with you in that I couldn't do it either but I certainly don't knock it.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:08 PM   #62
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have you considered semi retirement, meaning let's say you hit your target and can withdraw $30,000 a year on your investment. You can find a hobby or career part time that you enjoy to bring you in $15-20k a year that money you can live or use for recreational while allowing your pension and other money to grow. you should always have a small sum of money working for you even in retirement it will grow for decades and you can withdraw as you need it


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Old 04-07-2015, 06:10 PM   #63
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I think you can do it depending on what you debt and expenses. make a budget try living in that range for 1-2 years


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Old 04-08-2015, 12:56 PM   #64
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The SS retirement age of 65 was set back when most people were expected to be dead by that age.

So maybe they'll set SS at 80 in the future.


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Old 04-08-2015, 04:11 PM   #65
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The SS retirement age of 65 was set back when most people were expected to be dead by that age.
Not quite right. See Social Security History
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:31 PM   #66
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I agree that semi-retirement might be perfect. WE do it because we love our work.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:25 PM   #67
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.... Medicare will not be enough for nursing home intense care level.
Watching my mother die in one of those places, I hope to never be wheeled through the doors of one myself.

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Old 04-10-2015, 08:31 PM   #68
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.... I think there's a happy medium somewhere.
Found her!

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Old 04-10-2015, 11:11 PM   #69
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The household in the Mother Earth News article below claim to live off around $10K a year. They have a mortgage free home, grow a lot of their own food, use rain barrels and a pond for water, have paid for high MPG cars, alternative energy systems for heat and electricity, no smart phones -

9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living - Homesteading and Livestock - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

They have a B+B and do assorted hobby jobs for income. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they seem to have all the basic necessities of life covered and they don't have to work at high stress jobs.

I don't want to live off $10K a year but I am intrigued with how much we have been able to cut expenses using sustainable living ideas from sites like ME News. One of our goals for this year is to get our water and energy bills down to the nubbins.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:28 AM   #70
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How does one get a mortgage free home? The average price is $100000 to $300000. Find article s that effectively say first you start with a $100000 house and then make everything else free to be disingenuous.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:15 AM   #71
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30k is not dirt cheap in my book. My basic expenses (housing, food, car, ins) are 16k. The OP can do more to get his expenses down.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:01 AM   #72
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How does one get a mortgage free home? The average price is $100000 to $300000. Find articles that effectively say first you start with a $100000 house and then make everything else free to be disingenuous.
It's feasible, especially if you're n a LCOL area and especially if you can do a 15-year mortgage. DH and I bought a house for $240K in 2003 when I was 50, putting 20% down, and got a 15-year mortgage. Halfway through we refinanced, also 15 years, but I put the extra (between what we had been paying and the new payment) into a "sinking fund" so the mortgage would still be paid off when I was 65. I ended up retiring at 61 so we're just paying the principal and interest and we'll have a balance when we downsize in the next few months. We could still pay cash for a new place with the equity in this house if we weren't too picky, but will probably go for something more expensive and take on a mortgage of $100K or so. Our equity, BTW, is more paid-off principal plus some % of the upgrades we made than market price increase.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:15 AM   #73
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How does one get a mortgage free home?
By paying it off. He says in the article the $10K is with their mortgage retired. Part of that was because their other costs were so low, like their food bill because they grow a lot of their own food, that money could be used to pay down their mortgage. It is a 5 page article where he explains this all. Plus they live in a farmhouse in Southern Wisconsin which would not be a high real estate cost area. From the article:

"Why rent a movie when you can get it free from the library? “Shop” at clothing swaps, where you drop off the clothes your children have outgrown while picking up something new for yourself. We chop cords of firewood with neighbors and enjoy cooking with our Sun Oven solar cooker. The combined savings from these creative ways to share and use free resources, along with our food and energy production, allowed us to pay off our mortgage."

He is not claiming to live in an expensive house in a high cost of living urban area and traveling all over the globe for fun and then excluding these items in his budget. Nor does he claim to be retired - just self employed. So personally I don't see any glaring discrepancies in this article between his lifestyle and claimed expenses.

Many people profiled in Mother Earth News and related sites like faircompanies.com live in low cost, alternative type housing - earthships, cob houses, air streams, mobile homes, tiny houses, RVs, a van down by the river, etc. which is often what allows them to live with lower expenses and pay off mortgages earlier (if they have one) than families in mainstream housing.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:49 AM   #74
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30k is not dirt cheap in my book. My basic expenses (housing, food, car, ins) are 16k. The OP can do more to get his expenses down.
+1 $30K is not dirt cheap for a single person in New Orleans, that's for sure. It's actually spending more than most people. The median income per capita here is $26,131.

Although, it does depend on what part of the country one chooses to live in. If one chooses to live in Manhattan or San Francisco, that is a valid way to spend money but the expenses can add up. A few people do manage to live on less than others in those areas, but they would probably live on less than others in LCOL areas, too. I would suggest that most people could consider location choice to be a spending decision.
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How does one get a mortgage free home?
As for paying off one's home, buy a cheap home in a LCOL area so that you can afford to double down or (even better) triple down on the mortgage payments. If you do that, it doesn't take too many years of working your tail off and living like a pauper before the house is paid off; 4 years in my case, and it would have been 3 except for Hurricane Katrina. It seems like the trick is to buy a small, low priced, lesser home that still won't require much maintenance.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:59 AM   #75
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It seems like the trick is to buy a small, low priced, lesser home that still won't require much maintenance.
It also helps if people who plan on living in a house over a condo or an apartment for most of their life learn how to do simple maintenance and repairs. If not, then expect to pull out the wallet or credit card every time something needs service.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:03 PM   #76
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It also helps if people who plan on living in a house over a condo or an apartment for most of their life learn how to do simple maintenance and repairs. If not, then expect to pull out the wallet or credit card every time something needs service.
That's a great idea too, although I must admit that in this economy, at least in my location, I find that if you look around you can find a handyman that knows what he is doing and is CHEAP. People need work, and handymen get discounts on parts that homeowners don't get. I don't think that most people save as much as they think they are saving, by doing their own work. The maintenance shouldn't cost much to begin with if you choose the house wisely with that in mind. Also a small house helps to keep maintenance down too.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:08 PM   #77
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I think paid-off houses at retirement used to be the norm; after all, if you bought a house in your late 20s and financed it with a 30-year mortgage, you'd have it paid off by retirement. Home equity loans and constant refinancing have changed that a lot. If you refinance 5 years into the mortgage at a lower rate that's great, except that you just started the clock again. Part of your "savings" is that you just extended the date at which the mortgage would be paid off unless you make extra principal payments.


Another change, I think, is the "need" to upgrade. The availability of the HELOC and/or cash-out refinancing is SO tempting- after all, you'll get it back when you sell, right? DH and I have made improvements over the years but we paid cash and considered them a sunk cost.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:20 PM   #78
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A paid off home is really an easy way to retire with less $. That is the biggest expense for most people. That was our goal & we reached it.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:32 PM   #79
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A paid off home is really an easy way to retire with less $. That is the biggest expense for most people. That was our goal & we reached it.
I hear this, but what about maintenance and property taxes? A $300,000 home might have $5,000 in property tax and $3,000 a year in maintenance, for a total of $8,000 a year even if the loan is paid off. You may very well be able to rent a similar dwelling for $1500 a month or $18,000 a year and make more than the $10,000 difference with investment gains on the $300,000 you don't have tied up in the home (only need a 3% return after tax).
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:41 PM   #80
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We live in a very low cost property tax state so only pay 700/year. Before we retired we replaced & updated everything so set for a long while.
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