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Reaching Ravioli
Old 02-28-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
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Reaching Ravioli

Hello all. Bryan Barnfellow here. Uncloaking. I have followed the discussions avidly for some 4 years now and at times wanted to jump into a conversation; but, darn, I hadn’t formally introduced myself yet, so I resisted the urge. I had a great comment back in, what was it, October '05?, but nevermind...Today I did some calculations that gave me confidence to shave a full year off my FIRE plan and I’m so happy that I decided to become a card carrying member of this dryer sheets club and shout it out!

The short details. 53 and married, no kids. My wife is a just few years older, but that’s as specific as I’ll get in a public forum! I work for a nonprofit and my wife retired about 15 years ago – by simply deciding she couldn’t take it any more. And I knew she couldn’t. So, single earner family.

We are inveterate savers and have been budgeting for “the plan” for 15 years straight – we do six month budgets in January and July. My wife does the operational spending/tracking and I do the investment stuff, but we insist on keeping each other in our respective loops. She will now pick up my copy of the WSJ from time to time and read an article. Recently she asked me about Fed policy!! (This from a poet)

We save at least 60% of our take home and have maxed out the 403(b) and Roths for many years. No two people are more dedicated to the FIRE idea than we. We live way below our means…so much so that we worry that once we are retired we’ll still feel like we need to save half our income! But that’s another story. Our major goal is to spend our time together – we really like each other that much. Truly best friends.

Now, about that subject heading. We love Italy and hope to live there maybe six months out of the year in the future. We live (and plan to stay) in New England, so you might guess which six months. So, we were reading Waverly Root’s great, classic book on “The Food of Italy” and in one chapter he described something he planned to discuss (filled pasta) in more detail later in the chapter, “when we reach ravioli.” That is, when he got to that part of the chapter. So, we appropriated this phrase as a shortcut to mean when we are finally (early) retired, as in, “I plan to read so much more when we reach ravioli.” Or, “When we reach ravioli, we’ll have time to exercise properly, won’t we, sweetie?” (“Yes, dear….”)

Some details: Plan to reach (seize?) ravioli on Jan 1, 2010, when I’ll be 55. We’ll have a carefully assembled portfolio of about $750K in solid, blue chip dividend stocks that will/should provide most of our $45-50K in annual income until I’m 59, and then we’ll take some annual distributions from our 403(b) until I’m 62 – to allow the Italy travel to begin (say, 25K each year). Then, increase that over time. We’ll save the Roths until old age. We own our home outright (paid down the mortgage in December!). Our car used to know Jimmy Durante personally -- you get the idea. You younger readers can Google him.

Health care will be a major issue -- I can't get it from my employer so will have to use the private market on my own. I plan to use a high deductible and put aside some cash savings to cover the worst case scenario's of reaching the deductible. It's the catastrophic stuff I want to insure against.

It’s a private pleasure for me to check in (nearly every day) with all of you on this forum. Now that I’m uncloaked and have given you an intro of sorts, I hope to join in the fun – including piling on those financial advisors/brokers who clumsily try to hide their true intent. This community is truly amazing in terms of the helpfulness of its members and its fierce protection of its values. So, count me in, at last.

Now, any questions for me?

- BB
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:35 PM   #2
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"Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

No questions; I'm sure you'll love retirement.


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Old 02-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard and enjoy the search for ravioli. I tend to enjoy mine with a nice red! Most here are not too nosy about the details unless needed to address a question. Seems we mostly have enough to worry about at home. So, enjoy the journey while preparing for the destination!
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bryan Barnfellow View Post
We live (and plan to stay) in New England, so you might guess which six months... - BB
I hear ya'. We just finished the snowiest February ever here in VT. Overnight temps predicted to be minus 10 - minus 20 (atypical, I know.) Italy sounds pretty good right now.

Good luck with your planning.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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Welcome! I'm a newbie here myself. Sounds like you've got a great plan.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:16 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard!

You couldnt pay me enough to move back to MA. It was in the low 70's here today. We grilled up some steaks and sat out in the sun in our bathing suits. But it might dip down into the 50's tonight...so pray for us!
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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What an interesting introduction. Welcome aboard and truly best wishes.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:32 PM   #8
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"Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

No questions; I'm sure you'll love retirement.



Ah, I see a fan of da old schnozzola!

-BB
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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BB, welcome aboard! That was a great intro.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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So what was funny back in 05?

Me, I have to reach for a lot less ravioli. Winter piled on the weight.

Nice to have you join in.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:17 AM   #11
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welcome to the board. great intro!

"reaching ravioli" - love it.

re Health care will be a major issue -- I can't get it from my employer so will have to use the private market on my own.
a tip - check out AARP for their offerings. not always the best, but there is strength in numbers. i use their dental plan. very satisfied with rates and service.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
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Me, I have to reach for a lot less ravioli. Winter piled on the weight.
"Step AWAY from the ravioli..!"

Bryan, what a charming post! As one who has attained ravioli there are things pulling me back in the other direction, to New England (would love to reach bluefish, would settle for sweet corn). Health care in the US would be a HUGE issue, though. We, too, would love to have the luxury of splitting our time between the two places. The low dollar is causing us pain here and the heating bills, frankly, are likely lower in winter where you are!

A good board for researching the ex-pat life in Italy is.. Expats in Italy Forum - Powered by eve community
Lots of excellent info on buying, renting, visas, bureaucracy, appliances, utilities, lifestyle, you name it.

The dreaming and planning part is loads of fun.. Best wishes for reaching, not just the ravioli, but the secondo, contorno, frutta & ammazzacaffe.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:14 PM   #13
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Welcome, Bryan! Enjoyed your post very much.

I reached the ravioli at the end of '06 -- after five years of running a non-profit and 20 years of managing MegaCorp's charitable giving. Look forward to hearing more from you...
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:59 PM   #14
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Hi and welcome.

Amusing post. Since I plan on retiring at 7000 feet, I need to figure out how much longer to cook my pasta.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Hello all. Bryan Barnfellow here. Uncloaking. I have followed the discussions avidly for some 4 years now and at times wanted to jump into a conversation; but, darn, I hadnít formally introduced myself yet, so I resisted the urge.
Welcome! You were very much like me to resist the urge. Since joining, the experience is much better. As you most likely know from reading, there are many smart people here with good advice.

Quote:
We save at least 60% of our take home
This is impressive and a sure way with any sizeable income to RE.

Quote:
Health care will be a major issue -- I can't get it from my employer so will have to use the private market on my own. I plan to use a high deductible and put aside some cash savings to cover the worst case scenario's of reaching the deductible. It's the catastrophic stuff I want to insure against.
Start studying up on this issue. As you have said, "will be a major issue". It has for me.

Quote:
This community is truly amazing in terms of the helpfulness of its members and its fierce protection of its values. So, count me in, at last.
Exactly why it was the first forum I ever joined. The Mods are great and don't put up with too much crap.

Quote:
Now, any questions for me?
Yes,
Have you ran FIRECalc to see how you stand today? (Psst with your savings background, you may already be at RE level or at least FI)

Again Welcome, Hillbilly
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #16
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Reaching Ravioli

Sounds like a good book title. Do you have a book inside you?
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:30 PM   #17
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welcome to the forum, I enjoyed your post. Sounds like you started saving for RE the same year we did 15 years ago. I am also 53, plan to RE March 1, 2010 and my best friend is DW (been living together now 34 years).

We also plan on living months at a time abroad. our first targets are England and Australia. Apart from health insurance concerns I also recommend that you look into residency status and be sure you don't get caught in a tax trap. For example, in England if you stay in the country an average of 3 months a year over a 4 year period you become liable for UK taxes. 6 months a year every year in Italy may have similar consequences so be sure you take advice from a tax consultant otherwise the ravioli may give you indigestion
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:45 AM   #18
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You won't have to pay any Italian income tax if you are not a resident. You are only supposed to apply for residency if you spend more than 6mo/yr here. Non-residents can still buy property (you will of course have to pay taxes related to the property).

At 3 months, the UK is harsh! ouch.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:12 PM   #19
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You couldnt pay me enough to move back to MA. It was in the low 70's here today. We grilled up some steaks and sat out in the sun in our bathing suits. But it might dip down into the 50's tonight...so pray for us!
I hear ya' but to each his own. Snowshoed for about two hours yesterday in a beautiful spot where we could see Lake Champlain, the Green Mts. and the Adirondacks from the same spot. Spent too much time in muggy southern summers during my Navy career to want that again. I'll trade chilly winters for cooler summers, but that's just me. Realize others see things differently.

Hope temps in the 50's weren't too tough on you.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:30 PM   #20
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We're out west...no muggies here.

And lake tahoe with 350' of snow is just a little over an hour from here.

That 50 degree stuff was mean to me! I had to put socks on!
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