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Old 01-05-2010, 10:18 AM   #41
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In 2009, my first full year of retirement, I spent less than half of my pension. For 2010, I plan to correct that with more travel and will likely relocate as well. Of course, my pension will increase by about 60% in 2010 due to a reclassification of positions held during most of my career (in progress when I retired), putting me in a more beneficial retirement system. So I may still have to work on my spending habits. It can be more difficult than I thought to spend lots of $$ in retirement.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:30 AM   #42
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I was aiming to spend less than last year. I came in about 1% less.

Looking back, about 35% of my budget was for travel and home repairs. I can live with that.

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Old 01-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Yes NW-Bound, your memory is impressive.
I wish that were true. My brain selects seemingly random facts to remember, and I do not know its selection algorithm. I am otherwise very absent minded, and often misplace things. I like to show off my random memory whenever possible, for self-assurance that I still remember something.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #44
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I know exactly how much it takes for us to meet OUR recurring bills. We each transfer in a certain amount each month and pay everything directly out of that. There is a certain amount of leeway in that joint fund.
We went on a cruise in 2009 and stayed within the allotted amount, budgeted for and saved up for over 1 year. We bought a new mattress and cut back on other discretionary areas to achieve that.
Equlibrium has been achieved.
dh2b and I had a surplus of $1300 left in the OUR account on Dec 31, 2009. That paid for county property taxes due in Jan 2010.
My own personal savings account was fine, in fact I had a higher balance than year end 2008. I continued my DCA as planned in 2009 and see no problems for 2010.
dh2b is highly constrained in his ability to save due to divorce related court orders for support, so he rarely comes out ahead of the game. He recently increased his 401(k) contributions to 10%.
All in all, a good year.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:39 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Sam View Post
Shawn, you must love what you do more than anything in the world, correct? If not, I'm having a hard time imagining why you're still working.
Actually, I hate my job more than anything. I have a hard time understanding why I'm still working, too.

My plan for the last several years was to retire when I turned 50 and became eligible for lifetime medical benefits. That was last November, but I'm still working. There are a few more financial incentives in the next couple of years, but I could easily retire today with a low withdraw rate. In fact, I'd remain in the accumulation phase due to my pension. So I can't really explain it. I don't know what the future will bring so it may be out of fear of not having enough.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:58 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
There are a few more financial incentives in the next couple of years, but I could easily retire today with a low withdraw rate. ....
Those financial incentives are the equivalent of golden handcuffs.

I had to leave options behind when I quit my big corp job. It was hard to do since I worked for them - but there is never an end to those carrots dangling just in front of you.

From a financial standpoint, you feel comfortable, so there must be something else holding you back. Taking time off to really think about it may be work. Whatever you decide, it will be a deliberate action.

It took me a long time to decide to go back to work (even though it is part-time), but once I made the decision (thanks to a push from this board and friends to make up my mind), it has been a great.

All the best.

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