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View Poll Results: Choose one - but ONLY if you have been retired for a year or more PLEASE.
I mostly spend as little as possible, below projected expenses - better safe than sorry. 28 37.33%
On average my expenses are as projected by my financial plan, I'm not going to risk depriving myself - but I don't want to go crazy. 36 48.00%
I try to stick to my plan, but if I want something and go over so what - I can always get a part time job or cut back expenses later. 11 14.67%
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Are you unnecessarily frugal?
Old 02-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
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Are you unnecessarily frugal?

As I get closer to retirement, I find myself living further below our means than ever, and having no regrets about it. And I suspect I will spend less than budgeted expenses in retirement too, but thought I'd ask some experts in the form of a poll.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Where's the poll?
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #3
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Um...no poll appeared.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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That's interesting, the thread posted before I submitted (the poll)? See above!!!
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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I won't respond since I'm not part of the target audience, but "unnecessarily" is a tough one to define here.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 02-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #6
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Yes!.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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I voted for the second option. I have to discipline myself to be careful with money to tell the truth.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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We know what we are "allowed to" spend as dictated by the OUR budget, and we stick to that.
I save up and maintain a reserve of HER money for things like annual trips to FL. I spend very little on personal whims so I can plan and go on these "Escape from NY" adventures. Delayed gratification and all that jazz.
HIS money is heavily constrained by court orders, but dh2b still manages to buy himself some low to medium price techno-toys here and there.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
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I voted for the 2nd option, "On average my expenses are as projected by my financial plan, I'm not going to risk depriving myself - but I don't want to go crazy.", but also leaned slightly toward the 3rd option of "I try to stick to my plan, but if I want something and go over so what.....", until I read the second part of that, ".....- I can always get a part time job or cut back expenses later."....homey ain't gettin' no part time job!!! NO way, NO how!!! Cut back a bit on expenses later maybe....but WORK? Huh-uh!
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #10
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Yes, I am not part of the target audience either.

However the two categories including "as little as possible" and "not going to risk depriving myself" in their descriptions, are VERY far apart.

Seems like with these choices, one could turn to one's spouse and say, "See, dear? The majority on the forum are not going to risk depriving themselves, by any means. They're all out there buying boats and RV's (so can't I, please, huh, huh, huh?)"

While I didn't vote, I just have to say that I am spending less than my financial plan calls for me to spend, and I will continue to do so in the future. This doesn't mean that I spend, or plan to spend, as little as possible. I am doing my best to stimulate the local economy down here.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
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I'd choose the option of "I don't NEED to be quite so frugal, but I enjoy the challenge and I try not to get too hypercompetitive about it"...
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:46 PM   #12
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I have been fully retired for two years and I am usually cautious especially in the first few months of the year and then as I see my plan working I loosen up a bit and by November I am carefree . I have noticed that some people have slightly bizarre approaches to the 4% budget . They will be on budget for basic living expense but they make a huge purchase and somehow that does not count towards the 4% . I can understand doing that once but more than once and aren't you eroding your nest egg especially if your 4% is based on the original amount ?
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I have been fully retired for two years and I am usually cautious especially in the first few months of the year and then as I see my plan working I loosen up a bit and by November I am carefree . I have noticed that some people have slightly bizarre approaches to the 4% budget . They will be on budget for basic living expense but they make a huge purchase and somehow that does not count towards the 4% . I can understand doing that once but more than once and aren't you eroding your nest egg especially if your 4% is based on the original amount ?
Well, if the huge purchase (like my Venza, for example, which was a huge purchase from my perspective) is something that they have been saving for for 10 years before they retired, and the money for it was set aside apart from the portfolio, then maybe that is how they manage to do it? I dunno. That is how some of us do that, anyway, sometimes.

I would suggest just computing the SWR based on your portfolio at the time of retirement MINUS the big thing, or things, that you planned to buy in the first few years. As I recall, you don't spend all of your 4% so after a few years of retirement, you would have set aside enough from your SWR money to buy more big things.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:55 PM   #14
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Midpack - I would have voted for:

"On average my expenses are well under that projected by my financial plan. I haven't tried to spend more to meet plan, but if ever I find something important to spend the excess on, I'll go right ahead."

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Old 02-08-2010, 06:58 PM   #15
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Unnecessarily frugal? I'll let you know in 60 years, give or take.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:07 PM   #16
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I accuse my sister of being the cheapest rich person I know, but frankly, I'm almost as bad.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Well, if the huge purchase (like my Venza, for example, which was a huge purchase from my perspective) is something that they have been saving for for 10 years before they retired, and the money for it was set aside apart from the portfolio, then maybe that is how they manage to do it? I dunno. That is how I bought my Venza, anyway.

I would suggest just computing the SWR based on your portfolio at the time of retirement MINUS the big thing, or things, that you planned to buy in the first few years. As I recall, you don't spend all of your 4% so after a few years of retirement, you would have set aside enough from your SWR money to buy more big things.

My post was just wondering . It was not directed at anyone . Sorry if it looked that way . It was a general post wondering whether they then subtract that amount and reset their 4% . Several posters have purchased Rv's , second homes and some really big items and I was wondering how they handle it .I don't really consider a car a big item unless it's a Lexus or a BMW .
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:32 PM   #18
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I cannot vote!

Plan? What plan? In the past 10 years, my annual expenses have ranged from more than $110K down to $40K, both numbers not including income taxes. Again, my 4%SWR is somewhere in between, and I still haven't figured out what it should and will be.

So, to play it safe, I am still w*rking, and for the last couple of months, it has been more like full-time than part-time.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
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My post was just wondering . It was not directed at anyone . Sorry if it looked that way . It was a general post wondering whether they then subtract that amount and reset their 4% . Several posters have purchased Rv's , second homes and some really big items and I was wondering how they handle it .I don't really consider a car a big item unless it's a Lexus or a BMW .
You've got a point. That is a lot of money to set aside! Maybe they have other sources of income like pensions or SS and they spend that on mortgage or loan payments. Maybe you are saying that they should include the mortgage payment in their housing expenses, or their RV loan payment in their expenses too, somehow. I just assumed that they did, I guess.

I guess it's possible that they subtract that amount and reset their 4% but that sounds pretty complicated, especially if they are giving themselves COLA's each year. I think that if I lost my mind and decided that I wanted to spend a couple of hundred thousand on something like that, I'd make myself a "loan". Then from my 4% I would subtract whatever those hundreds of thousands would have earned, and I would only withdraw that lower amount until I "paid back the loan" to myself. But it gets complicated because that money would miss out on being compounded during that time. I'd have to charge myself interest! Ugh!
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #20
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What Nord said: I don't NEED to be quite so frugal, but I enjoy the challenge and I try not to get too hypercompetitive about it"...

And part of the reason is that I've got a 5th & 6th grader at home. I work part-time and tell them my pension covers the basics, the part time stuff gives us a little extra for vacations, etc. Over the past 10 years, I 've maxed out at a withdrawal rate of about 2%, and that was when we were remodeling the interior of the house.

Guess old habits die hard, which are the habits that enabled me to retire at 50 with pre-schoolers. I don't much track things to closely anymore, my autopilot seems to keep expenses down.

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