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Old 01-16-2019, 08:54 AM   #1
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I joined the site a few years ago when I was working full time to learn about members experiences in preparation for retirement. The short history is that the DW and I decided to buy a home in Florida in 2014 and were fortunate to buy a nice home in a great planned community about 85 miles north of Tampa. Bought the home directly from Bank of America at a great price at a time there were still a lot of foreclosures and short sales from the 2008 meltdown. Rented the home for a year and then my full time gig as a Nursing Home Administrator came to an end when the place was sold. Youngest daughter graduated college and moved to PA so we had a big house (paid off) with big taxes (Connecticut) and big utility bills. Sold the house. Hired a moving van that dropped off half our furniture at my daughters new apartment in PA and brought the rest to our smaller much more energy efficient home in Florida - our renters departed of course. Taxes went from $10,000 / year to $1500 / year in Florida. Utility bills here average $75 / month. We paid like $300 / month to heat and cool the CT. house.

Got a part time job with Hershey selling chocolate to convenience stores and did that for three years. My accountant and I were finally able to convince my frugal wife that we would not starve any time soon. She still works part time, however. Live on about 3% of portfolio value. Dividends and interest generate more than we budget / spend. Portfolio allocation is 45% stock with about 5% in preferreds. 45% bond funds both domestic and international. 10% cash.

I hit the gym each day. Joined a fishing club. Bicycle here and there as well as do some volunteer gigs in the community. That's my update... now fully retired at 58. Learned a lot from many of the members of this forum and have finally pulled it off. Life is better without work...
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:02 AM   #2
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Quite a successful journey, congrats! You didn't mention healthcare expenses. Are you on ACA? My older brother lives in Ft. Lauderdale. His property taxes are super low. He's lived there 30 years. I think they're grandfathered as he's lived in the same place all those years.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:05 AM   #3
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Rianne, thanks for the question. Yes to ACA. It is the largest monthly expense. I don't take a subsidy, but have in the past gotten a tax credit at the end of the year.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:05 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your FIRE success story! Thanks for sharing it to inspire others.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:10 AM   #5
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Congrats on the retirement! It's a freedom that is unmatched and beyond compare. Hopefully, your wife will join you soon!
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:13 AM   #6
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Congrats on your FIRE. Joined the club. 1,500 in taxes is pretty good for FLA.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:54 AM   #7
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Welcome to the club! I joined last year - it's pretty darned sweet. Thanks for sharing your story. I too am a nervous nelly about starving to death, but it's getting better as I realize we're not eating cat food.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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Congrats! Growing up, I used to love watching Hogan's Heros reruns in the 1970s!
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #9
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Sounds good to me!
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:00 AM   #10
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Congrats on a new chapter for you both!
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:37 PM   #11
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Congratulations! Loved hearing about how you moved to a Lower Cost of Living area, and reduced expenses!
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:38 PM   #12
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Congratulations! I bet that you are enjoying your winter in FL more than CT. I know that I would be.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:12 AM   #13
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Congratulations on finally meeting your goal. Enjoy life on the other side!
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:01 PM   #14
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congrats!
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:46 AM   #15
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From your original post on this site, to this point were a well laid out plan, congrats.
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