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Old 12-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #101
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I don't get this.. Doesn't anyone on this site give to Charity or gift to family at all??
We give around $800 to our church or about 5% of our 16k budget.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:12 PM   #102
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Exceeded the budget this year by 7% but still held the withdrawal rate to 3.5% of our initial portfolio. Using the 4% rule and adjusting for inflation over the last eight years the withdrawal rate would have been ~4.7%, so I think we're still in the comfort zone.
I look at WR as well... I take the balance of the port in January of each year.

The first four years I wanted to stay at 3% and in 2013 going forward, 3.5%. Once SS kicks in for DH at the age of 62, WR will probably be 3% or less.

Retirement years....(age in 2009 DH 54 and I was 51)

2009.......0% ........(DH worked part of that year)
2010.......2.71%.....
2011.......3.27%.....(hit max out-of-pocket expense medical)
2012.......2.87%.....
2013.......4.95%.....(paid cash for new car, house renovations)

Stuff happens.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:17 PM   #103
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...and generator were much more expensive...
Our 20KVA unit (installed in March) along with the electrical hook-up, trenching (for propane lines), 500 gal. propane tank (along with a full load), and landscaping to put it all back together cost $18K.

That single cost alone probably was more than some folks live on in a year ...

Add in our travel $25K+ (2 separate trips - West Coast U.S. and China), along with our kitchen "refresh" (new floor, counters, backsplash, appliances) for $35k, it was a bit more than anticipated at the beginning of the year.

BTW, our travel expenses always come in as the highest budget line item, so that one came in "lower than normal" this year ...

But heck, we can afford it (we drive old cars )...
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:24 PM   #104
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I just recomputed.

Past 12-month expense / Current portfolio = 3.39%, not 3.5%. The market god has been generous.

Are we irrationally exuberant yet?
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #105
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Does anyone include reserve funds in their annual expenses for eventual replacement of big ticket items? For example, if you drive a car approximately 10 years before replacing it, and your car typically costs around $30K, do you include $3K in reserves each year? Or do you just have an extraordinarily high year of expenses in the year you buy the car?

I would think without these types of reserves we might underestimate our true long term expenses?
Each year at the beginning of the year I budget a few thousand dollars to an unspecified irregular expense fund. That is meant to fund the inevitable, but somewhat unpredictable, expenses that pop up. That is, for example, I budget a certain amount of "normal" household maintenance/repair based upon past history. If it were to go over that, then I could take from the irregular expense fund. Similarly for auto repair or medical expenses. (It is very unlikely that all of those would go significantly over budget in the same year).

Of course, none of that budgets for really significant much more rare expenses such as a car or a new roof. I don't reserve for those each year. However, I set the withdrawal rate in my budget each year about $4k less than would still be 100% at Firecalc. That way, when I eventually have to spend some $20k expense it has been effectively accounted for by budgeting less in prior years (and budgeting less going forward).
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:28 PM   #106
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I don't keep a detail expense recap like many. But earlier today I went back and made a budget for next year. I have been thinking about buying a condo on the AL coast and found even with the additional expenses associated with having one, I will still fall slightly below a 2% w/d rate next year(not including the purchase itself). I haven't considered the money for the condo as part of my portfolio as I have had it set aside for this for quite some time.

So being a cheap old bastard frugal helps keep the overall expenses down. And being single too.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:06 PM   #107
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My plan is to keep track of expenses this year. I already know that I'm going to be spending a bunch on a wedding. I'm impressed with the level of restraint here. My goal is to keep spending below 85 thousand including the wedding.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #108
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My plan is to keep track of expenses this year. I already know that I'm going to be spending a bunch on a wedding. I'm impressed with the level of restraint here. My goal is to keep spending below 85 thousand including the wedding.
Oh jeez...spending tons of money on weddings. That's another thing I've never understood. I think mine cost maybe $300 including pub lunch for family afterwards. Nothing like a UK registry wedding.....
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #109
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I don't keep a detail expense recap like many. But earlier today I went back and made a budget for next year. I have been thinking about buying a condo on the AL coast and found even with the additional expenses associated with having one, I will still fall slightly below a 2% w/d rate next year(not including the purchase itself). I haven't considered the money for the condo as part of my portfolio as I have had it set aside for this for quite some time.
Sounds like fun! Spending part of the year at the beach, getting tan, and having fun, sounds like a great way to enjoy retirement. And below 2%? It sounds quite affordable on your budget.

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So being a cheap old bastard frugal helps keep the overall expenses down. And being single too.
Another thing that causes me to keep my overall expenses down, is that I am so set in my ways. I am so happy right now, and I have a hard time imagining or wanting to change my lifestyle. I guess age has lessened any inclination to change that I might once have had.

Also living in the South is a big help in keeping expenses down. The cost of living is so much lower here that we might as well be a different country.

Sometimes I am so surprised when other members tell us how much more it costs to live in expensive East Coast and West Coast locations, for example. They are getting so much less for their dollars than the rest of us are, and at times I wonder why they would choose that life. But then I read their posts, and see that they are buying location with those dollars. Whether it is scenery, an interesting cosmopolitan area, a desired humidity level, a delightfully high walkability score, or dearly beloved relatives in their area, they are buying location.

Nothing wrong with that, but I can see why it seems impossible to some that one could live on a lower budget, when one is not factoring in location as a genuine and very real expense.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:26 PM   #110
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Yes, living in the South makes a huge difference financially.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:38 PM   #111
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Sounds like fun! Spending part of the year at the beach, getting tan, and having fun, sounds like a great way to enjoy retirement. And below 2%? It sounds quite affordable on your budget.



Another thing that causes me to keep my overall expenses down, is that I am so set in my ways. I am so happy right now, and I have a hard time imagining or wanting to change my lifestyle. I guess age has lessened any inclination to change that I might once have had.

Also living in the South is a big help in keeping expenses down. The cost of living is so much lower here that we might as well be a different country.

Sometimes I am so surprised when other members tell us how much more it costs to live in expensive East Coast and West Coast locations, for example. They are getting so much less for their dollars than the rest of us are, and at times I wonder why they would choose that life. But then I read their posts, and see that they are buying location with those dollars. Whether it is scenery, an interesting cosmopolitan area, a desired humidity level, a delightfully high walkability score, or dearly beloved relatives in their area, they are buying location.

Nothing wrong with that, but I can see why it seems impossible to some that one could live on a lower budget, when one is not factoring in location as a genuine and very real expense.
Lately I have been watching The Property Brothers. I really wish that they would tell what city and neighborhood they are in. I think they live in Las Vegas, but the homes they show and renovate look like they are in much older Eastern and Midwestern cities. Some of them are very junky and cost a lot for how awful they look, others are junky and seem cheap. They manage to redo them all to look extremely good on budgets that seem so inexpensive I can't quite figure it out.

Pretty entertaining show, not the least in watching the couple members try to get what they are after.

I've seen a few where I can't imagine how they might be able to stay together.

Ha
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #112
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I have watched a few episodes. They are Canadian, and I am not sure if the location was in Vancouver or Toronto.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #113
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Property Brothers is mostly filmed in Canada, I think. They did film some in Austin, TX, but I believe primarily someplace in Canada.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:59 PM   #114
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I understand most of their shows are taped in Vancouver, Calgary or Las Vegas, although they did do some shows in Austin one season.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:59 PM   #115
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My plan is to keep track of expenses this year. I already know that I'm going to be spending a bunch on a wedding. I'm impressed with the level of restraint here. My goal is to keep spending below 85 thousand including the wedding.
I do not think that is excessive at all. I mean your total, not the wedding as I do not know how much that will be.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:05 PM   #116
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Lately I have been watching The Property Brothers. I really wish that they would tell what city and neighborhood they are in. I think they live in Las Vegas, but the homes they show and renovate look like they are in much older Eastern and Midwestern cities. Some of them are very junky and cost a lot for how awful they look, others are junky and seem cheap. They manage to redo them all to look extremely good on budgets that seem so inexpensive I can't quite figure it out.

Pretty entertaining show, not the least in watching the couple members try to get what they are after.

I've seen a few where I can't imagine how they might be able to stay together.

Ha
Wikipedia - They do have an office in Las Vegas. Season 3 half in Austin, TX, & half in Canada.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:57 PM   #117
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[QUOTE=rescueme;1395745]Our 20KVA unit (installed in March) along with the electrical hook-up, trenching (for propane lines), 500 gal. propane tank (along with a full load), and landscaping to put it all back together cost $18K.



Ours cost about $13,000 for the same size Honeywell unit. Roof was $50,000 as we required a lot of remedial work but budgeted only $35,000. The car, you don't want to know. Way over on gifts too. Under on quite a few other things.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #118
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Obviously I don't have my FINAL spending totals for 2013 since the year is not over. I might need gas for my car this week, and plan to add about $30 to the restaurant total, for example. But anyway, here are my preliminary spending totals for 2013. Income taxes are not included but everything else is.
.
.
Groceries$2,488.66Includes toiletries, detergent, etc.
Restaurants$2630.79lunch every day plus some dinners
Gasoline$965.24I live in an inner suburb, and everything is close by.
Car$1443.91insurance, maintenance, registration, safety inspection, driver's license renewal
House$4904.48insurance (homeowners' and flood), property tax, lawn care (no other maintenance/upgrades)
Utilities$4947.11Cable TV,internet, nat. gas, electricity, water, trash, sewage, cell, landline
Fitness$1140.43gym fees, weight watchers
Clothes$527.37casual "retiree wear" and shoes
Miscellaneous$4009.33Gifts, books, new 55" TV & stand, router, laptop, financial software, furniture, etc.
Video Games, apps$904.19also includes yet another two video game consoles
Medical$4968.25dentist, implant & crown, optometrist, prescription sunglasses & eyeglasses, prescriptions
Health insurance$2,967.26federal retiree health insurance + 7 months of Medicare Part B
Total$31897.02 plus income tax
.
.
This is about $5,041 more than last year's spending. Medical + health insurance accounts for $4014 of that increase, but I also spent $1151 more on miscellaneous (on the "fun stuff" part of miscellaneous). It looks like I can afford to spend more than this, so I am loosening the pursestrings and next year, look out! Time to stop being such a tightwad as I was earlier in retirement.
No travel_vacations huh? Maybe it's part of Misc? Thx.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:20 PM   #119
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No travel_vacations huh? Maybe it's part of Misc? Thx.
No, thought about it but was just having too much fun here! So, I chose to stay in New Orleans this year. If I had taken a vacation, most of it such as airfare and hotel costs would have gone in Misc. or maybe a new "Vacation" category. But still, the food would have gone into Restaurants, and gas into Gasoline, vacation clothing into Clothing, and so on.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:42 PM   #120
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Does anyone include reserve funds in their annual expenses for eventual replacement of big ticket items? For example, if you drive a car approximately 10 years before replacing it, and your car typically costs around $30K, do you include $3K in reserves each year? Or do you just have an extraordinarily high year of expenses in the year you buy the car?

I would think without these types of reserves we might underestimate our true long term expenses?
I put in annual reserves for car replacements, home repairs and one appliance replacement, and a decent amount for medical and dental costs each year. If something else major pops up it would come out of savings.
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