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Old 05-22-2013, 10:17 AM   #101
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He is 84?! From the back, he could pass for 30 years younger. And hot, besides Look at that great, er, posture.

Amethyst
He does look younger! In real life, I guessed he was about 53 at first until I found out his true age. I asked him once if he had been athletic in high school or in his youth, and he said no, that he only started getting fit for the first time a few years ago. He is truly inspiring. He is at the gym a lot, though.

His wife comes with him and is recovering from a stroke, so she uses a walker and is not as athletic as he is. Both always smile and say hi to everyone.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #102
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A bump here, for a moment of reflection on the present, and the future...

Now, 24 years of being fully retired, and not one day of paid work, DW and I spent a few hours of looking back and marveling at how happy we are, and how bright the future looks. Despite our early health challenges, we are both as well as, or much better than our friends and neighbors.

While our early retirement years were always shadowed by cares about "money", we now feel secure with our financial decisions. Whether by chance or luck, the ultra conservative choices that we made, worked to our best advantage. While most of these were covered in earlier posts, here is a reprise... some of the choices were good for the time, and could not be repeated, while others might have a similar benefit in the future, depending on the economy.

1. I Bonds... 2001 through 2003, the best years for the higher base rates.

2. Social Security at age 62 in 1998. Instead of using our invested monies, which were earning more than 10% in one year CD's, the tax free social security worked out to our advantage. (this is one area of SS that hasn't received much attention here since the interest rates have been so low).

3. A point that was made recently, by Major Tom, about taking advantage of state assistance programs was very beneficial to us for about seven years. Our state offered these programs based on adjusted net income, rather than means testing (net worth). Over the period of 7-8 years these benefits (pharma, drivers license, tax freezes, and transportation benefits etc. totaled more than $10,000). All legally available, but not commonly applied for by most eligible people.

4. Long Term Care policy. We would not do this today, but with rates that have been frozen for 17 years, the potential benefits far outweigh the investment dollars.

5. Keeping a small annuity account that began @ 12% but was reduced after 2 years to a permanent 4% return which has accumulated over the past 30 years.

6. Securing the advantage of home ownership as a hedge against having savings depleted in the case of extended nursing home care. (ie. purchasing a more expensive home as a residence vs. the lower valued mobile home and park model housing that we had lived in during the early (more frugal) years.

7. Maximizing the tax advantages on our 1040's, by taking out IRA dollars to the 'below the taxable level' after turning 65. Fully legal, we have not had to pay taxes during our retirement. (this will probably change within the next 2 years as we begin to draw down our savings).

8. Calculating the cost of our two older vehicles over the period of ownership (excluding fuel, insurance and licensing... but including initial cost, maintainance and repairs), the cost per vehicle, per year... has been less than $1300.

In truth, over the past 24 years, we probably would have done better financially if we had invested our limited capital less conservatively, but neither one of us has an appetite for risk.

Re: the future... Age has changed our perspective. At ages 50, 60 and even 70, the future looked to be infinite. Now, not so much. it's more of a "Phase II" and more finite. It's a period of acceptance, for whatever may go wrong, health or otherwise. We plan only for things that are pleasurable, and don't dwell on the "what if's". Frugality is ingrained and second nature so even where we could afford to do more, spend more, it's not in our nature.

We'll likely reurn to Florida this coming fall/winter, and keep our Woodhaven camp for a few more years, but we recognize that we're slowing down, and are ready to accept any changes that happen.

Traveling the road to memory problems may be the limiting factor on the horizon. I am already keeping some notes on this, and expect to share the experience in a positive way. Hopefully a long term process, but who can say? Dementia is not on/off, but more of a dimmer switch.

In the meantime we have never been so happy, and free to do the things that please us. A wonderful game of bucket list... in whatever interests come along. Biking, canoeing, working like a slave on the seawall, watching politics on TV, adding to the new LP and Casette collection, sorting the thousands of family pictures going back to the mid 1800's, playing with my vintage computers, and trying to keep up with the newer technologies... and most recently enjoying the birds and animals the fill our campground. Most importantly... waking up and not having to catch the 7:05 train in to the city.

All of this in pretty good health, and with no worries about family, w*rk, or money. Life is truly good, and waking up each day is like a trip to Disney, only better.

Just a rumination o some things that came to mind over the last few lazy weeks at the camp...
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:30 PM   #103
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Just a rumination o some things that came to mind over the last few lazy weeks at the camp...
I love your posts ! I hope someday to be able to post similar experiences.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:53 PM   #104
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I am hoping that our retirement lasts as long and as well as your retirement. I am also hoping that you have many, many more years of retirement, because I enjoy your posts too!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:00 PM   #105
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Off topic, but looks like you are near The Villages. I've thought about retiring there. Didn't know there was so much water around.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:36 PM   #106
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Thanks much for sharing your journey, imoldernu. I like your overall optimism, and down to earth approach to details.

Best wishes with your golden phase II.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:51 PM   #107
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I love your posts ! I hope someday to be able to post similar experiences.
+1
Thanks for the wisdom and common sense that you bring to the forums, imoldernu. (It took me a while to figure out your forum name)
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #108
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Re: the future... Age has changed our perspective. At ages 50, 60 and even 70, the future looked to be infinite. Now, not so much..
Damn! 71 in three months, and thinking "Hey, this ain't so bad"......now you've jerked the proverbial rug from under.....

Ah well.....onwards & downwards.....
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:46 AM   #109
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I really enjoy the practicality and optimism in the accounts of your retirement, imoldernu. It's an inspiration to read about how frugality in the earlier stages has paid off now for you both. I'm hoping that my frugality in the first part of ESR/ER will also allow me to ease up a bit in later years.

You are both lucky to have each other - it sounds as if you are having a wonderful time!
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:32 AM   #110
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imoldernu is the coolest old guy ever!

Really, really like your posts. Great insights. I think you did fine with your investing. In perspective, I think everyone can say some variant of this:
Quote:
In truth, over the past 24 years, we probably would have done better financially if we had invested our limited capital less conservatively, but neither one of us has an appetite for risk.
Always easier to see in hindsight. But from what you describe, you did and are doing fine.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:42 AM   #111
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I also hope to have the type of retirement with my DH like you have with your DW It truly is the little things in life that mean the most!
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #112
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Now, 24 years of being fully retired, and not one day of paid work, DW and I spent a few hours of looking back and marveling at how happy we are, and how bright the future looks.
Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #113
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I had to go grab a hankie. Thanks for sharing! I want to be you when I grow up.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:45 PM   #114
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I also enjoy your posts imoldernu. You've got us intrigued on the camping lots in Florida with the low cost manufactured housing. It sounds like a pretty cool lifestyle, especially for the money.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #115
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For those who have been to this thread in the past... nothing new. Just bumping because
some friends with whom I've shared this thread, have asked about parts of our retirement that are on some other discussions... In particular, in the the area of "what are your plans, now that you're older.?", and the part about CCRC.

I have referred to Phase II... as a part of the retirement continuum that is indeed different
from the heady early retirement days. Perhaps it could be "The Final Ten Years"...
Different... everyone is different... A dear friend is a world traveller... alone... no tours, no companion... Traveling to many many dozens of countries by himself, living with the natives and corresponding with hundreds of friends all over the world. ...and he's now into his eighties. Not so for us...

And so the purpose of this post is to tell our own plans, and how things have worked out
for us, in retiring early at 53, with quite a bit less money than even we can hardly believe.
It worked out by accident, as we didn't plan it this way in the beginning. The part that is looking to be good... is the idea of splitting retirement into two parts...

The active, and the slow down, wherein the latter years can be calculated for a spending
rate, far less than what one usually uses in planning a 20, 30, or 40 year horizon. If I were to do it again, I would split my planning into two different expense structures, and that would have allowed us to retire even earlier.

I'll try to cite some actual dollars, but must note that phase II is as much physical and
psychological as it is having to deal with dollars. We DO slow down. More content to laze around in the AM... to take naps... to accept less of a leadership role in activities of the family or the neighborhood. Much, much less desire to travel or seek new vistas. More content to accept friendship, than to promulgate it. Less interest in decorating, upgrading, rehabbing, or even things like new appliances, clothes, or other household goods. Reducing the "obligations"... cards, phone calls, gifts, emails... and we have not joined the on-line social life of facebook, twitter, circles and the like. We haven't "withdrawn" in the sense of being hermits, but manage to maintain the freedom that comes from not being the "organizers"... our position for the past 20+ years. In short, life has become simpler than ever.

Now, here are the details, and the money planning part... obviously every one is different here... no suggestions or recommendations intended... just what IS, for us.

In 2004, at age 68, we moved into a Continuing Care Retirement Community, buying a new single family home 1600 sf, designed for seniors. The community has 65 single homes, 65 apartments, 44 assisted living units, 65 nursing home units, a fitness center, a rehabilitation center, and numerous function rooms, dining rooms, library, hairdresser etc.

For the apartments etc, no "buy in" fee. (usually 1/4 million dollars according to Forbes). No contract... only a $1500 refundable downpayment. Here's are the apartment rental details for one person. 2BR, 2BA... 750sf...
2 meals/day in an elegant dining room. free transportation to malls, supermarkets, and dinners, shows, functions etc and to doctors or hospital any time all utilities paid: water, sewer, heat, electricity, cable TV and internet service, weekly simple housekeeping, free access to all facilities in the complex first option to transfer to other parts of the CCRC.

Now the costs, and our 10 year plan to pay for this and our (explained earlier) "de minimus" expenses. Apartment (built 2000) 1 person $2000/month, second person $500/month... Total increase since the year 2000 about 10%.

Cost:
$30,000 Room, Board and most other costs and activities.
$10,000 Healthcare
$ 3,000 Misc.
Tot. $43,000yr.

Paid for by:
$18,000 yr sale of house $180,000/10 years
$25,000yr Social Security
Tot. $43,000yr.

In effect, that leaves our nest egg intact.
.................................................. .................................................. ....

The important part of this simple exercise is to point out that separating the final, less active 10 years... whenever they may be planned, could be expected to be much less costly than the earlier years... and that those who could be looking at a fixed formula may be over planning.

Still working on the memory thing... Explains a lot of factual lapses between postings...

BTW... Our CCRC is one of a number of similar communities... 19 in Illinois, 2 in Iowa and 3 in Nevada.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #116
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"In 2004, at age 68, we moved into a Continuing Care Retirement Community"

I'll be 71, ( 3 weeks from today), and that sounds like hell to me.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #117
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"In 2004, at age 68, we moved into a Continuing Care Retirement Community"

I'll be 71, ( 3 weeks from today), and that sounds like hell to me.
What is it you don't like about it?

I know what I don't like about it. I personally like light regulations. I currently do live in a home with an HOA but it is an acreage community so regulations are relatively light. For me, I have pets so don't want much in terms of pet restrictions. I can't imagine ever living somewhere where I couldn't have pets (thankfully, even many assisted living communities how allow pets). I don't think that in early old age I would want a place that had too many restrictions.

On the other hand, if the community allowed pets and I was at an older age I could see what imoldernu described being quite appealing ("a new single family home 1600 sf, designed for seniors. The community has 65 single homes, 65 apartments, 44 assisted living units, 65 nursing home units, a fitness center, a rehabilitation center, and numerous function rooms, dining rooms, library, hairdresser etc.")
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:58 PM   #118
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Two phase retirement plan. Presented in a way that is most valued by me: By someone who is actually doing it. Have to rethink things. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:09 PM   #119
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Just realized that it sounds like we're already in phaseII. Ummm not yet. We still have our home in Florida and our place on the lake, here in Illinois. Phase II kicks in when the slowdown makes sense to us. The point was that this was a plan that establishes a major change in expenses... when we're no longer traveling.
When and if we do decide to move into the apartments, (which hasn't happened yet), the benefit will be the peace of mind that comes in knowing that money won't be a major worry. No more expenses for house taxes, car expenses, insurances, or the myriad of cost possibilities that come along with ownership... new roof, water heater, airconditioner/furnace maintainence or replacement, lawn care, waste removal, or those fluctuations in energy useage that creep up without warning. Just one bill per month.

Currently, we live in the Villas... a regular home... which is in a very nice neighborhood, next to a public park, and within a mile of all major stores and services, yet two miles away from the country roads and the two major north and south national highways that cross Illinois, and three minutes from one of the best hospitals in the state.




The rest of the complex is a few hundred yards away from our home.

Oh yes... One more thing to think about as far as living in a CCRC... by moving into the complex early, and making the social contacts with residents and neighbors... rather than experiencing the shock that some older people suffer when moving out of homes they can no longer handle. We see much of this as people move and become lonesome and discouraged...losing the social contacts.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #120
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Awesome. Thank you for your thoughts, opinions and incredible journey.
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