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Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 08:59 AM   #1
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Thanks for years of good info...

Well, I guess today is the day I join this forum too.* I'm embarrassed to admit that I to have been reading messages on this forum literally for years without actively taking part in the discussions.* I guess my sense of guilt has overcome my timidness.* In any case, here is a short thumbnail of my wife and I's situation:

I'm 57 and SO is 56.* We are both employed in high tech businesses.* My career is in the legal area, developing, drafting and negotiating contracts with suppliers of my employer.* My wife also works in the legal department of her company.* Unfortunately, neither of us are elgible for pensions......we've been saving and investing now for almost 27 years and have accumulated approximately $1.1 million.* Have no debt besides our mortgage of about $100k.* We reside in the Dallas area....my wife is a native Texan, I was born and raised in Indiana, but we have both been living here in TX since 1974.* My job is not that bad since I now work primarily from home.* Having said that, my wife and I are totally burnt out on work in general.* If I had a flexible work schedule and could take a few months a year to travel, visit family, sail, etc. I'd be able to tolerate the situation.*

Our plan was to work until 2008 when I turn 60.* Then we would have approximately $1.3 million.* We plan to pay the house off and live off our investments.* We both are planning on taking our SS as soon as possible.* I figure we could retire now if we wanted to, but we do want to travel extensively in retirement and we're not sure if we have enough for that now.* Health insurance is another big concern.* Neither of us would take a chance going without.* Our current ballpark annual living expenses are between $40-42k living as we do today (not including insurance since we are covered at work).* We really have no appetite for cutting back in this regard, want to live as well after retirement as we do now.* Oh, forgot to mention that our annual gross income from work is about $135,000.

So, the two big unknowns are health insurance and the travel budget.* We could probably figure out the health insurance budget....just get some quotes, but the travel budget has been a problem for us.* We both enjoy travel, and as we all know....you can spend an unlimited amount in this area.* Of those of you that plan to travel in retirement, or are already retired......how do you figure out how much you need for travel?

I've learned a lot from this forum and can genuinely say that it has been very entertaining.* I really value the different perspectives on the problems we all face planning for retirement.

BigMike
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Welcome, from another Hoosier turned Texan... 8)
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Mike
As to travel, the method, type and cost varies about as much as anything else on this Board. Some go to Thailand for months at a time and seem to spend little more that $30-40 a day. Others spend that on drinks alone!

Look at the places you've been, the cost, and try and multiply out the additional time you'll be travelling once the work load eases, and that should give a close estimate of your need. Then add the $30-40 a day for drinks, and you're set
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 01:20 PM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Thanks HWFR.......I've lived in Texas now longer than I ever lived in Indiana.....so I really feel like a Texas at heart; however my wife (a native born Texan) still sees me as an immigrant.

To uncledrz.....it's like anything else, you have to make a decision regarding how much money you want to spend on travel.

My wife claims I'll never have enough money and she says that deep down inside, I really never plan to stop working. She's wrong and I tell her that all the time. The way I figure it, you send roughly 20 years growing up and going to school and developing job skills, 40 years working, and I think its reasonable to allocate 20 years or so for retirement (provided you're lucky enough to live that long) to do all the things you set aside during the previous 40 years. Anyway, it's all a crap shoot, we could all be gone tomorrow.......
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Welcome to the board, BigMike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike
She's wrong and I tell her that all the time.
See, now she's motivated you for ER!

The ER travel difference is that you don't have to arrange things months in advance and try to cram it all in to two weeks. You can cruise the Internet for those last-minute discounted fares, and you can "live local" at your destination for months if you choose.

The Kaderlis and the Terhorsts have elevated perpetual travelling into an art form.

We grab the last-minute interisland cruise fares when our kid has a school break coming up. When she flies the nest we're looking forward to being able to go somewhere for two-three months of immersion living.
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 01:48 PM   #6
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

It looks to me that you need to bridge health insurance for 8 years.* If you moved across the border to Mexico you could buy cheap health insurance there and maybe buy a US high deductible in case you develop a serious condition that merits returning to the US.

Once you have an ER plan in place that you could live with, ask your employer for a sabbatical or leave of absence for a year.* The worst they could do is say no and you could execute your ER plan.* If they say yes then you could travel and decompress with the option of returning.* A sabbatical is no guarantee of a job but it usually leaves in place benefits (although you may need to pay the employer's share).* You could COBRA after the end of your sabbatical.
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-13-2006, 08:34 PM   #7
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

As I recall, the Terhorst's daily expenses scaled up for inflation would be about $90/day today. (Including travel?? Do I remember correctly?. They are Perpetual Tourists with no kids and are very creative about not spending money. So are the Kaderlis. Not everybody can live like they can, though.

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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-18-2006, 06:48 AM   #8
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Regarding travel: there are several inexpensive ways to travel if you are willing to think out of the box.
If you do not insist on staying in a ***+ hotel you may
- rent a furnished apartment or a room for a limited period
- swap houses (www.sabbaticalhomes.com)
- stay in private homes with real people (www.servas.org).
- volunteer for food and room.
By tracking expenses I learned that I usually spend as much per day during a trip as I would at home in the same time. (This excludes house/ insurances at home and flight/accomodation while travelling). So my real additional cost of travelling is just the way to my destination and back plus accomodation.
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...
Old 04-18-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Thanks for years of good info...

Good suggestions Chris2008.......

When my wife and I were much younger, we did take advantage of cheaper travel by staying in smaller hotels/hostels with limited amenities......however; as we have gotten older, we find that "roughing it" is not as confortable as it used to be. We have never stayed in 1st class resorts of hotels, choosing instead to pick something smaller, and more intimate.

We have friends/acquaintenances who have swapped homes with travelers from other countries and they have found this a good solution. Not sure if I want total strangers in my house though.....

Probably a better solution for us would be to spend more time in a centrally located city and rent by the week or the month. We've discussed the Kaderlis' lifestyle at length to see if it would be something we would like to do. Although we admire their adventurous spirit, we both feel that we need a more permanent home base and to then make extended trips from there.....

BigMike
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