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Old 08-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #41
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If you are flexible and patient, business class (or domestic first) can often be had for 2x-3x coach. If you're flying to big business cities on big work flying days, you'll get into the 5x+ range.
I'll try tracking some business flights as well as coach.

However, I have a lot of miles to use up too, so ...

Plus there's lowest-price, non-refundable coach vs. full coach, which is often higher than non-refundable business.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #42
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I'll try tracking some business flights as well as coach.

However, I have a lot of miles to use up too, so ...

Plus there's lowest-price, non-refundable coach vs. full coach, which is often higher than non-refundable business.
We've flown in first across the US and in biz from the US to the Caribbean, UK and Europe for ~2X coach. The middle east, Asia, Africa and other places seem to be higher/harder.

We use miles quite often as well, but will pony up cash for business if required and if the flight is long enough.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #43
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Do people dine out more or less after ER?

After all, a lot of the restaurant expenses is tied to work, like lunches of dinners when you've been too busy at work to prepare your own dinner?

Of course, this thread is discussing more the finer dining, though if one was regularly spending over $100 on a meal, that would make FI more difficult.

Certainly not something most of us are budgeting for as a regular expense in retirement?
No change in retirement for us WRT dining out. We scaled back dramatically before I retired, and continue with the same frequency now that I am retired. And FWIW we eat better/healthier at home now - without an increase in grocery spending.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #44
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Do people dine out more or less after ER?

After all, a lot of the restaurant expenses is tied to work, like lunches of dinners when you've been too busy at work to prepare your own dinner?

Of course, this thread is discussing more the finer dining, though if one was regularly spending over $100 on a meal, that would make FI more difficult.

Certainly not something most of us are budgeting for as a regular expense in retirement?
We still have a small business, but work at home and don't have the mega-corp salaries any more so we are part way to full retirement.

DH no longer buys lunch out for work and we cut out most fast food since we are home to cook.

I budget $50 for going out three times a week for dinner or a movie. For movies we can go to the early matinee or use a Costco discount ticket. The local sports bar has free pool on off nights, Taco Tuesdays ($3 Magaritas!), and all sorts of specials for the off hours when other people have to work or get up for work the next day.

For eating out, the local Chinese restaurant has great lunches for $5.75 each, rice, entree, egg roll and soup. We use a lot of Entertainment coupons for other half off meals that end up costing around $14 total with tax and tip.

The library has free passes for local residents for events like plays, museums, a zoo, gardens, a mine, and an aircraft carrier. Some are major tourist attractions, so it is pretty cool we can go all sorts of places during the work day for free that other people pay for and see only on vacation.

Add in free days at the museums, free workshops and star gazing at the planetarium, reciprocal museum memberships, parks, beaches, tide pools, public archery ranges, bike trails, gardens, low cost hobby and social club meetings and events and we really can do a lot without spending much money at all.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #45
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Do people dine out more or less after ER?

After all, a lot of the restaurant expenses is tied to work, like lunches of dinners when you've been too busy at work to prepare your own dinner?

Of course, this thread is discussing more the finer dining, though if one was regularly spending over $100 on a meal, that would make FI more difficult.

Certainly not something most of us are budgeting for as a regular expense in retirement?
We eat lunch out every day now that we are retired, although our meals are more likely to be $5 or $6 including tip, than $100. Average for the past week, for example: $6.11 each, including tip.

We love lingering over lunch at our local Creole-Italian hole-in-the-wall restaurants, where they know us and treat us like family. It is great to have all the time in the world these days. The effect of this type of eating out on our spending is negligible.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #46
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The only time we spend $100 on meals is when we are out with friends or family and go some place they suggest. But then many of them are under some kind of financial stress. A bottle of wine with dinner is great if you can afford it. But for many people we know they don't see the link between the bottle of wine and related spending habits and living with the constant worry of getting laid off because they aren't financially independent.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:52 PM   #47
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The only time we spend $100 on meals is when we are out with friends or family and go some place they suggest. But then many of them are under some kind of financial stress. A bottle of wine with dinner is great if you can afford it. But for many people we know they don't see the link between the bottle of wine and related spending habits and living with the constant worry of getting laid off because they aren't financially independent.
So true. I think the last time I ate a restaurant meal that cost over $100, was in 1972! Certainly no work related meal ever cost very much, even if paid with personal money, for reasons of avoiding the appearance of wrongdoing.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #48
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Well the pricing of wine at restaurants are a ripoff. Bottles are at least double the retail price.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #49
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I have never been one to revere an ascetic lifestyle and I have always enjoyed small luxuries.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:14 PM   #50
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I have never been one to revere an ascetic lifestyle and I have always enjoyed small luxuries.
How would you quantify/define "small"? That is always my quandry.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #51
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How would you quantify/define "small"? That is always my quandry.
Luxury IMO is relative to your means so only you can judge what "small" is. For me, it is something that feels like an indulgence without breaking the bank. At my current level of income, it could be a short stay at a luxury hotel or a $500 dinner. When I was a poor student, a meal at McD probably constituted a small luxury.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #52
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Do people dine out more or less after ER?

After all, a lot of the restaurant expenses is tied to work, like lunches of dinners when you've been too busy at work to prepare your own dinner?

Of course, this thread is discussing more the finer dining, though if one was regularly spending over $100 on a meal, that would make FI more difficult.

Certainly not something most of us are budgeting for as a regular expense in retirement?
Personally I go out usually once a week tops with my GF. I could afford to do way more, but my waistline cannot. I am a plate cleaner and am not going to waste my money on a low carb/calorie meal. So therefore I cannot go out often as it takes me 2-3 days to work off the weight gain from gorging myself at a restaurant.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #53
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So true. I think the last time I ate a restaurant meal that cost over $100, was in 1972! Certainly no work related meal ever cost very much, even if paid with personal money, for reasons of avoiding the appearance of wrongdoing.
Ah, the good old days, I recall a trip to South Africa where our objective was to get Megacorp to send us home, based on how much we were in spending.

We ate and drank very well, sometimes multiple dinners per day. The waitresses loved us as we were tipping close to 50%.

No matter what we did we were stuck till we 'fixed the whole country' luckily it was just Megacorp's issues. Great food, some of the best wine in the world. Capetown was great, Joburg not so much. I have great memories, but I'm never going back there.

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #54
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We're definitely spending more on travel and eating out but not so for luxury goods. Cashflow still supporting increased spending. Only exception is that we are pulling cash account money to fund improvements to home. (Hurricane Shutters, Adding bath, Impact Sky lights).
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #55
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Luxury IMO is relative to your means so only you can judge what "small" is. For me, it is something that feels like an indulgence without breaking the bank. At my current level of income, it could be a short stay at a luxury hotel or a $500 dinner. When I was a poor student, a meal at McD probably constituted a small luxury.
I agree with this sentiment as well. When my wife and I were poor students, eating at Burger King from BOGO coupons for Whoppers was a major part of our food budget one semester. (BK ran a coupon deal with no expiration date in our student newspaper and it seemed every other day we were in BK, after having clipped around 100 coupons; after that semester, we didn't go back to BK for many years.) For the first 25 years of my life, I was below the poverty line. In fact, when I became a VISTA volunteer in the early 70's, my standard of living increased despite living off a monthly stipend of $138.

We've been living below our income levels for ages, and I'm about to break bad in retirement and balance the past deprivation, now that I have the will to engage in some decadent spending that won't break my bank. I can't see the point of not enjoying the fruits of our labor with responsible spending on a few luxury items that might give us great joy. We might even buy that crazy Pro 48 Sub-Zero Refrigerator, or even pay people to cut our grass occasionally or paint rooms in our new home. I intend to do a lot of spending in retirement on some good stuff. I have no time to delay gratification for many items on my wish list that I can now afford in retirement.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:34 AM   #56
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...a nice IWC Portuguese.
Nice choice. I've had one for over a decade - a wedding present from my wife.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:03 AM   #57
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Like most here, watching every penny was the way I've lived. Now, FI means I can relax, buy the nicer car, the better airline seat, the nicer watch, if I want, and it won't affect my ability to cover future retirement expenses. Life is good.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:16 AM   #58
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I guess I was hoping to get some kind of feel for what the relative ratio of small luxuries is (versus NW or income) and what you guys think of it while working/ESR'd vs FIREd.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:10 AM   #59
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I guess I was hoping to get some kind of feel for what the relative ratio of small luxuries is (versus NW or income) and what you guys think of it while working/ESR'd vs FIREd.
I'd be surprised if there was any consensus at all. Maybe a poll would suit your purpose?
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #60
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Now that I am retired, I must admit I am spending a bit more on things I would have never bought if I was still working. Why? I did not have much time to enjoy them while I was working. However, I do not intend to let any of my expenses threaten the greatest benefits of ER: a healthier lifestyle, and freedom to choose what I do with my time.
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