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Old 12-11-2007, 07:40 PM   #201
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There seem to be a lot of folks who live on $30K or less who are under 65 who have no health insurance, no life insurance, no LTC incurance (assuming they are somewhere over 50 or so).
I have health insurance and LTC insurance; I don't need life insurance.

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There is also talk of keeping cars forever, not budgeting for any emergencies and such. To me, that's living on the edge of disaster, not being remotely comfortable knowing that one major expense would put things over the edge.
My last car only lasted 18 years.

I'm putting about $5000/yr into MMA and I have untouched retirement funds.


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Sure, some may say they have $500K in the bank, but why live a lifestyle that denies yourself things? Where do people think the money is going to end up? You certainly can't take it with you. And what happens if you have severe problems later in life - go on medicaid? Ever been in a medicaid facility?
So are you for or against saving money? I can't make out which from your comments.

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The other thing I can't quite understand is the desire to have a fully paid off house - do people really think that when they need the money in the house a bank is going to just throw money at them with little or no income? Maybe 5 years ago, but certainly not now. Banks like to loan money to people who don't need it, not the other way around.

I know I feel a lot more comfortable with a relatively small mortage ($150K or so - and for the Wash, DC area, that's tiny) and know I have the money in case of an emergency. If it's all in the house, how do you get at it??
I've lived here going on 30 years and the house is paid for and worth maybe $70K; what is your advice?
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:48 PM   #202
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Thanks Khan--you are once again my hero!
Now if only I could set you up with my single girl friends, but no one wants to move!
I am delighted with my paid-for house as well! And imagine wanting a bank to throw money at me--no thanks!
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:50 PM   #203
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and know I have the money in case of an emergency. If it's all in the house, how do you get at it??

You can always get a home equity line of credit for emergency's.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:58 PM   #204
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Agree on life insurance - mainly needed if you still have dependent kids at home - but some of the younger ERs do. DINKS probably have no need for it.

I'm all for saving - just not to the point where I deny my wife or myself reasonable (in our opinion) things we want. I'm not about to buy a Mercedes, but even a mid-range Honda costs about $20 - $25K new. Some people are lucky with cars, some not. I have always kept ours until the wheels fall off - but I drive those beaters. My wife has an aversion to breaking down and getting stuck on the road. And, as another poster said, there is a cross over point where repairs become more expensive than payments or worthwhile. I had a Chevy Vega for 10 years that burned oil so fast I took the used oild from my neighbor's oil changes and put it in gallon milk jugs. At a quart every 50 miles, you used a heck of a lot. Had to get rid of it when the rust got so bad the structural integrity was compromised. But I feel a lot better with cars I can rely on - 3 paid off ones now - 12 years old, 7 years old and 4 years old. And no plans to get a new one anytime soon.

Your last point is well taken - if your house is not worth a lot, there is no point in having a mortgage. But, again, where I live, a house worth $500K is either somewhat old, not in a great area, or real small. Our home value has tripled in value since 2000, even with the recent and continuing price drops. We have a 15 year mortgage that's half over , so we will be finished in about 8 years - and I'm not going to start a new one. But, if we buy elsewhere to retire, I'm certainly not going to put down $400K or so, even if it all comes out of the sale of the old house. I'd rather keep some of the money in reserve and have a small mortgage.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:00 PM   #205
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You can always get a home equity line of credit for emergency's.
Not in an emergency. If you have no money and no income, the bank is not going to make you a loan. Lending standards have undergone a huge change in the past few months.

And, if you have the money in savings, why would you need a loan?
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:28 PM   #206
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Not in an emergency. If you have no money and no income, the bank is not going to make you a loan. Lending standards have undergone a huge change in the past few months.

And, if you have the money in savings, why would you need a loan?

Say you have 700,000 equity and a high fico score you think they will not be fighting to give you a 100,000 eguity line of credit whether you are working or not ?
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #207
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Say you have 700,000 equity and a high fico score you think they will not be fighting to give you a 100,000 eguity line of credit whether you are working or not ?
Last year I would have said yes. Now I'm not so sure. The only way they could collect is to take your house. Not exactly at the top of the list of things they want to do. But I don't know - maybe someone who is fully retired with little or no assets other than the equity in their house, no income stream and a great FICO score can ask a bank? I wouldn't be too eager to give them a loan - how would they handle the monthly cash flow? They're not just taking out the loan to pay back the loan - the money is for something else.

I don't really think banks are fighting to give anyone loans these days. So until someone tries, it's all hypothetical.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:35 PM   #208
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Even if you can get a HELOC the rate will be higher than a mortgage and not usually fixed.
I can get a HELOC for prime minus .75 so if prime is 8.25 my HELOC is 7.5, I wouldn't pay 7.5% for a mortgage probably less than 6. When I sell this house I could get a new one without a mortgage but paying 6% for say 100K while I have 100K in mutual funds is decent bet and around here a 100K mortgage would have a payment lower than anyone pays for rent. Right now I have 180K mortgage and at 15 years is it about 1,500 for a 30 year it would be about 1,000. As a single person I only need a couple of thousand in interest before it is starts giving a tax deduction because I already have property taxes of about 3K
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:44 AM   #209
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I don't really think banks are fighting to give anyone loans these days. So until someone tries, it's all hypothetical.
Really? Almost every day I get an offer in the mail for yet another HELOC from somebody or other. I already have one, for about 25% of my (paid off) home's value. I haven't used it at all, but I could in an emergency.

I have been thinking about calling to cancel it, because it is not worth the yearly fee ($40? I have forgotten, but something like that). At this point, with only 2 years to ER, I have sufficient resources to deal with emergencies without borrowing on the house.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:58 AM   #210
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I have a HELOC ($100K) which I do not use but it is good for an emergency. No fee, no cost, I like having the possible use of the money by just writing a check. Never know when you will find a good deal on the road you may want to take advantage of. Of course after getting home I would just pay it off - no prepayment penalty either. Seemed to be a simple EMERGENCY source of funds. I took it out during November 2007 and it was no problem getting it (took about 7 days from application to availability) and the rate, if used, is Prime MINUS .5%, which seem reasonable, if it was ever used.

The only thing I do not like about the HELOC (and probably any other mortgage for that matter) is that after you take one out and it is recorded you get lambasted with many offers of "how to pay it off" for a cost, of course, two payments a month etc., and then all of the Life Insurance offers so that "your survivors are not left with a mortgage". Come on folks it is a HELOC with no prepayment penalty, and Zero balance until used.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:25 AM   #211
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Really? Almost every day I get an offer in the mail for yet another HELOC from somebody or other. I already have one, for about 25% of my (paid off) home's value. I haven't used it at all, but I could in an emergency.

I have been thinking about calling to cancel it, because it is not worth the yearly fee ($40? I have forgotten, but something like that). At this point, with only 2 years to ER, I have sufficient resources to deal with emergencies without borrowing on the house.
I have one, too, that doesn't cost anything to have, and of course has a zero balance. It is for $60,000 and the house is worth around $450k, paid off.

I will probably keep it indefinitely, just in case. Since there is no cost associated, it seems like a nice way to hedge against those more stringent banking standards that we keep hearing about coming.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:41 AM   #212
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There seem to be a lot of folks who live on $30K or less who are under 65 who have no health insurance, no life insurance, no LTC incurance (assuming they are somewhere over 50 or so).
Well,I disagree on the health insurance part. A number of folks on here don't have life insurance, but are either single or have enough money to live on, but not enough to do massive wealth transferring to family or charity..........

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There is also talk of keeping cars forever, not budgeting for any emergencies and such. To me, that's living on the edge of disaster, not being remotely comfortable knowing that one major expense would put things over the edge.
That's a pretty blanket statement.......I think sa lot of folks on here have a lot of cash on hand for such "emergencies"..........come on, if my car threw a rod I could get a car for $3-5000 to get me through, not a real emergency........

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Sure, some may say they have $500K in the bank, but why live a lifestyle that denies yourself things? Where do people think the money is going to end up?
I thought America was about personal choice,or has that changed??

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Ever been in a medicaid facility?
Yes, I have. My FIL lived in various ones the last 20 years of his life............

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The other thing I can't quite understand is the desire to have a fully paid off house - do people really think that when they need the money in the house a bank is going to just throw money at them with little or no income? Maybe 5 years ago, but certainly not now. Banks like to loan money to people who don't need it, not the other way around.
So get a HELOC and never use it.........most if not all people on here know that's available to them.....
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:35 AM   #213
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There seem to be a lot of folks who live on $30K or less who are under 65 who have no health insurance, no life insurance, no LTC incurance (assuming they are somewhere over 50 or so).
I am 59, single, still employed, living on less than $16K/yr (actually, $9.6K and the rest has gone for emergencies and unusual large expenses, replacement of big ticket items, and so on).

I have health insurance through my job, and will qualify for the same group health insurance for my entire life by the time I retire, at the same rate that employees pay (currently around $151/mo). I didn't count that in these figures, so that would bring my expenses up to around $17.5K including the emergencies and unusual expenses and such.

I have no life insurance, and no need for any.

I plan to self-insure for LTC; my SWR will be quite low, and much of my nestegg will be just sitting there growing from now on.

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There is also talk of keeping cars forever, not budgeting for any emergencies and such. To me, that's living on the edge of disaster, not being remotely comfortable knowing that one major expense would put things over the edge.
Not from me. My present Toyota Camry Solara will be 10 years old and will have about 45,000 miles on it when I trade it in on another brand new one. That will be in early 2010, right after ER. I don't think 45,000 miles is excessive for such a car. The new car will last me through the first, most critical 10 years of ER. I will probably put less mileage on it per year, since I won't be driving back and forth to work. How can I be putting such low mileage on my car? By planning in advance. I considered the distance to work when I chose my house. A long commute is essentially extra time at work that you pay for, though gas and automobile wear and tear. Likewise, I am planning to buy my ER home close to town, and commerce, so that I don't have to drive forever just to get groceries and could even walk where I need to go.

I always keep enough emergency cash to buy a new car in cash. In ER, I plan to keep that much plus more to deal with other emergencies, should they happen simultaneously.

After all, I'm not living on $16K of my take-home pay prior to ER because I have to. I make a rather hefty salary and the rest goes into savings and investments.

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Sure, some may say they have $500K in the bank, but why live a lifestyle that denies yourself things? Where do people think the money is going to end up? You certainly can't take it with you. And what happens if you have severe problems later in life - go on medicaid? Ever been in a medicaid facility?
In Walden, Thoreau said, "My greatest skill has been to want but little." Some of us really do not feel that we deny ourselves anything. I don't want to end up in a medicaid facility, and I can't take it with me, so I will think about spending it on a luxury, resident-managed continous care facility such as my mother lived in for the past quarter century, and died in. They tended to her every want and need, and treated her with dignity and compassion.

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If it's all in the house, how do you get at it??
A similar argument could be used to justify renting, like Ha does. That would give a person a lot of flexibility about where to live, too. It's a perfect decision for some, though not all, of us.

But as far as paying off a house goes - - all I can say is that it sounds pretty difficult to live on $30K/year if you have to have the purchase price of your house in your checking account, ready to spend (on mortgage payments, and other things that you want to buy, I suppose). It might be easier just to pay it off and get a HELOC before you retire, that you don't plan to use, or else to retire on enough $$ that the money in the house is irrelevant. Each to his/her own, and good arguments have been made for paying off the mortgage, not paying it off, and renting. That sort of thing has to be decided depending on your individual situation.

Personally, when I was paying for my house the P&I was $798/mo, so even with the regular monthly house payments included I was living on less than $30K. That varies regionally, a whole lot, though, as do your other expenses. That's one of several reasons why a specific dollar amount is of questionable value.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:18 PM   #214
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I have one, too, that doesn't cost anything to have, and of course has a zero balance. It is for $60,000 and the house is worth around $450k, paid off.

I will probably keep it indefinitely, just in case. Since there is no cost associated, it seems like a nice way to hedge against those more stringent banking standards that we keep hearing about coming.

The problem with posting is that it takes too long to type what you are trying to say, so you tend to leave a lot out, as I have done, resulting in confusion as to my meaning.

I agree on HELOCS - as long as you are working when you take it out. I still can't imagine that a bank is going to want to loan money to someone applying for a HELOC who is living on social security and nothing else. And, again, if you have a lot of money available to pay off the HELOC even though you are not working, why would you apply? You already have money for emergencies.

LTC is a very personal issue and very dependent on what familiy you have, whether you want to leave anything to kids, relatives or someone else. I did like the idea mentioned of spending your real twilight years in a facility that will cater to your every whim. I guess there may be some medicaid facilities somewhere that are wonderful, but in visits I have made in the DC area they all stink - as in smell from unnamed bodily fluids. And the staff are about as friendly as ... bankers when you really need a loan :-).

It is true that the earlier you retire, the more careful you have to be about savings and expenditures as everything has to last a lot longer. I am planning to retire next year, about the same time as my wife, when we both turn 60 and I have booked a second pension. Waiting that long is not the true spirit of ER being discussed here, but I have seen others posting elsewhere on this board who plan to wait until 70 and full SS before they quit working - and they call that ER. But each to his own.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:30 PM   #215
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It is true that the earlier you retire, the more careful you have to be about savings and expenditures as everything has to last a lot longer. I am planning to retire next year, about the same time as my wife, when we both turn 60 and I have booked a second pension. Waiting that long is not the true spirit of ER being discussed here, but I have seen others posting elsewhere on this board who plan to wait until 70 and full SS before they quit working - and they call that ER. But each to his own.
For folks like me much younger than you, with no pensions to count on, I just put zero in for my SS calculations, and see where the chips fall. I figure both DW and I will collect something, and probably collect as early as we can, because I'm not waiting until 70 to take a full benefit.

To each their own............although our family has longevity on their side, I can take the SS and book it for the very expensive healthcare I may need at some point..........
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:30 PM   #216
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I agree on HELOCS - as long as you are working when you take it out.
Glad you agree.

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LTC is a very personal issue and very dependent on what familiy you have, whether you want to leave anything to kids, relatives or someone else. I did like the idea mentioned of spending your real twilight years in a facility that will cater to your every whim.
Yep. I think many of us have included the cost of such a facility in our long term financial planning.

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It is true that the earlier you retire, the more careful you have to be about savings and expenditures as everything has to last a lot longer. I am planning to retire next year, about the same time as my wife, when we both turn 60 and I have booked a second pension. Waiting that long is not the true spirit of ER being discussed here, but I have seen others posting elsewhere on this board who plan to wait until 70 and full SS before they quit working - and they call that ER. But each to his own.
I noticed that you have not been posting here very long. A recent poll showed that the majority of those on the forum are in their 50's, though some are much younger, and some older. As far as I can tell, the "true spirit of ER as discussed here" most definitely includes those of us who plan to retire in our early sixties, so I wouldn't worry about it. I have been made to feel more than welcome here.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:31 PM   #217
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The other thing I can't quite understand is the desire to have a fully paid off house - do people really think that when they need the money in the house a bank is going to just throw money at them with little or no income? Maybe 5 years ago, but certainly not now. Banks like to loan money to people who don't need it, not the other way around.

I know I feel a lot more comfortable with a relatively small mortage ($150K or so - and for the Wash, DC area, that's tiny) and know I have the money in case of an emergency. If it's all in the house, how do you get at it??
Maybe it's something you can't really understand until you get there. Making that last payment after years and years of of them is truly a liberating experience. It is not the end all be all, but certainly contributes to being able to KNOW one can live nicely on there individual budget to maintain their chosen lifestyle. For us paying of the Mortgage at the time of FIRE allowed that outlay to transfer itself into what I'm calling our Accrual figure for those big ticket items, but the beauty is most months we get to watch a designated savings account "grow" buy significant dollars just adding to that warm and fuzzy feeling that "we can continue to thrive in this ER Thing we committed our lives to doing"
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:38 PM   #218
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I am 59, single, still employed, living on less than $16K/yr (actually, $9.6K and the rest has gone for emergencies and unusual large expenses, replacement of big ticket items, and so on).
Wow. I admire your discipline!
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:55 PM   #219
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I am 59, single, still employed, living on less than $16K/yr (actually, $9.6K and the rest has gone for emergencies and unusual large expenses, replacement of big ticket items, and so on).
Wow, your down there with Unclemick's all time best 'cheap old bastard' year. No wonder you can afford $125 running shoes.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:11 PM   #220
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Wow. I admire your discipline!
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Wow, your down there with Unclemick's all time best 'cheap old bastard' year. No wonder you can afford $125 running shoes.
LOL!! Well, thank you. I buy what I want or need. I buy expensive groceries, too, and I buy cheap art now and then. I don't feel deprived at all (though some day I'd like a full digital TV package, I admit). Compared with the East or West Coast, it's not very expensive to live down here (though apparently it's even less in southern Missouri).

As far as shopping goes, it seems like during the week I work all the effing time, and the rest of the time I'm doing laundry or other chores, or sleeping. Who has time to shop? On the weekends, I'm out with Frank. So I really don't have the time to spend very much.
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