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Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 05:37 PM   #1
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Did you continue to save in retirement?

For those of you who are retired, did you continue to be a net saver? Were you able to turn off that part of your brain which tells you to save and not spend all of your income?

It seems to me that for those of us who LBYM, it becomes such a part of who we are and how we deal with our money that it might be hard to stop saving even if we reach a point where we don't have to save anymore. In other words, we save and LBYM most of our adult lives so that we can be in a position to live comfortably with a SWR. But do we really spend all that we can spend in retirement, or do we keep saving because it is so ingrained in us that we can't stop saving? What is your experience?

NOTE: I just noticed there is a similar thread in "Life after FIRE" called "How to switch gears to spending."
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Hmmmm. Interesting question. I'm not there yet, so I'm not qualified to answer, but I am sure you will get some answers from some all ready retired folks. Maybe you should have posted under "Life after Fire".
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 05:55 PM   #3
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

I've been retired for less than 4 weeks at this point, and I really don't feel any differently about saving, figuring that whatever income I don't spend this month will provide more of a cushion for the months that I need (or want) to spend more than that month's income.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:08 PM   #4
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

I'm still saving.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Been "retired" for over 15 years and save more per month than I ever did, even more than I earned 20 years ago. Just never need to touch the savings. When large expense arrives, new car etc., I usually pay cash although, on the last one, I just diverted the saving to the low interest car loan for a while (last car purchased in late 2004 with a 2.5% loan from a CU and was "paid off" within 5 or 6 months). SS at age 62 (5 years ago) helped quite a bit.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

We still save, and regularly reinvest a good percentage of our interest and dividends......the habits of frugal living have served us well over the years, and serve us still. I think what changed over time was the habit of "wanting", "desiring" and responding to advertising. And once that is gone, it doesn't seem to return. I can enjoy seeing beautiful things without having the desire to possess them. It's quite freeing.

It's not that we deny ourselves. We genuinely spend in a way that meets our needs and desires, but that still results in us living way below our means.

A safe withdrawal rate would allow us almost twice our customary yearly spending, but what do you do when you already have everything you want? Just go out and spend more money because you can? That seems silly to us.

We are trying to loosen up some. We're traveling in Europe for two months this fall, but even then, our tastes run to modest travel. We'll still probably spend as though we were on a budget.

I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing, unless one is deliberately "doing without" unnecessarily. There is nothing that we want that we are doing without. That's the difference, I guess.

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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:38 PM   #7
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
For those of you who are retired, did you continue to be a net saver? Were you able to turn off that part of your brain which tells you to save and not spend all of your income?
I will retire in less than 2 years with a federal pension sufficient to fund well in excess of the amount required to fund my desired standard of living. With any luck at all, my brain cells will work for many years in retirement the same way they did during my accumulation years . . . . . . that is to say that all funds not required to meet living expenses will be saved and invested. Based on the amounts accumulated beyond my pension, it seems inevitable that I will save more in retirement than I did while working.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

We continue to LBYM (but not at any great personal sacrifice), so our nest egg keeps growing (knock on wood) and we like it that way. I suppose there is some financial security in knowing you aren't drawing down on funds too aggressively. Plus I keep in mind that there might be some lump some expenses one day - what if we decide to buy an expensive property? what if a family member needs financial assistance for a dire medical emergency or a nursing home? So instincts are to keep plenty available for a rainy day. We are also self-insured for long-term care.

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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Most definitely. I am still covered this year by my former employer's health insurance plan. Next year I will have to pay that big COBRA premium and 18 months later, a similarly big risk pool premium. We are trying to spend as if we had those costs now. That portfolio better continue to grow!
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 07:26 PM   #10
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
For those of you who are retired, did you continue to be a net saver? Were you able to turn off that part of your brain which tells you to save and not spend all of your income?
In other words, we save and LBYM most of our adult lives so that we can be in a position to live comfortably with a SWR. But do we really spend all that we can spend in retirement, or do we keep saving because it is so ingrained in us that we can't stop saving? What is your experience?
We don't spend anywhere near as much as our teen thinks we should.

The first problem is "finding the time" to spend it. Among school, homework, tae kwon do, surfing, and all the other activities of daily living there's not much time left over for meaningless entertainment-- let alone frittering. We enjoy home improvement and we haven't even really spent a lot on that yet.

The second issue is value. If we feel stupid spending the money then it won't get spent. I'm no Mother Theresa by any means but my idea of a really hedonistic day would be a good book (Amazon.com) with a nice cup of coffee (Kona) followed by a day of surfing and a nap. After you buy the longboard that doesn't take a lot of money. After groceries, mortgage payments, & taxes, the biggest chunks of money in our budget are vacation airfares & hotels. Our kid's in school 45 weeks a year so that doesn't happen very often either.

Third is affluenza. It doesn't do our kid much good to practice spending like Paris. It does her a lot of good to learn all the tricks we used (and maybe still use) when we were just starting out. "Remember when you used to" is a lot more effective and likely to become a habit than "Here's what you have to do".

Fourth is material, maintenance, & repairs. Our kid is thrilled that we have a color laser printer now, but five minutes later she noted that her (mother's) laptop couldn't wirelessly send the files to the new printer. I told her that she could have a wireless network as soon as she could buy it, learn how to operate it, and keep it running. (She earns enough part-time money to afford it.) Suddenly the wireless network isn't such a hot priority in her life anymore, either.

Fifth... well, we appear to have hit some sort of critical mass on our ER portfolio. Didn't spend our 4% last year and we won't spend it this year, either, at the market's current upward mobility.

It was my turn to cook last night and the grocery store was out of ground turkey. I didn't really have a backup plan and I was feeling lazy anyway so I declared that dinner would be either Chinese or Thai, and which takeout menu did everyone want? From the ensuing ruckus you would've thought I was lighting cigars with Benjamins...
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 07:41 PM   #11
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OAG
Been "retired" for over 15 years and save more per month than I ever did, even more than I earned 20 years ago. Just never need to touch the savings. When large expense arrives, new car etc., I usually pay cash although, on the last one, I just diverted the saving to the low interest car loan for a while (last car purchased in late 2004 with a 2.5% loan from a CU and was "paid off" within 5 or 6 months). SS at age 62 (5 years ago) helped quite a bit.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 08:10 PM   #12
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Cut-throat: -- I agree with your response --"... heirs will thank you..."

My daughter, a Villanova senior, called us earlier tonight and ask us if we knew the death tax was going to expire in 2010 --- (tax acct prof told her class). She said that we might consider giving her the money before the expiration date.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 08:34 PM   #13
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre
Cut-throat: -- I agree with your response --"... heirs will thank you..."

My daughter, a Villanova senior, called us earlier tonight and ask us if we knew the death tax was going to expire in 2010 --- (tax acct prof told her class). She said that we might consider giving her the money before the expiration date.
If the tax expires, shouldn't you wait till then?
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre
My daughter, a Villanova senior, called us earlier tonight and ask us if we knew the death tax was going to expire in 2010 --- (tax acct prof told her class). She said that we might consider giving her the money before the expiration date.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
If the tax expires, shouldn't you wait till then?
Sounds like a veiled threat to me-- waiting might be a bad idea!

Maybe she's just trying to get her hands on enough money to afford all those CPA study courses.

Our kid wants us to give her the college fund so that she can ER right out of high school... considering her logic, we've advised her to continue her education.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-16-2007, 11:20 PM   #15
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

i never received much satisfaction by spending money. and i never needed to spend to be happy. i don't like shopping. i'm not into things which to me are just things to dust (and i'm not into dusting). i don't like wearing metal & so-called precious stones hold no meaning for me. i'm not crazy for anything more constricting than a tee shirt, shorts and sneakers. i don't even like to shave. i'm just a lazy slob and i'm probably the last person on earth who needs this much money.

money for me was never much about what it buys. rather it was always about well-being, security and freedom. if you take care of yourself, stay out of trouble and run with the more-or-less right crowd then, with a little luck, those things pretty much take care of themselves. what is left, i suppose, is mostly savings. it is not that i am saving in retirement; i'm simply not spending what someone else might.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-17-2007, 07:24 AM   #16
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Our budget is $100k per year ($40k is rentals here and in PV) and yes we are saving towards our goal of 3.5% SWR. Most of the discretionary expenses have switched to travel and entertainment. e.g. 1998 TV 1995 BMW 1993 Explorer

The only new gadgets are a GSM cellphone, and a cordless phone system with ringtones and big memory (Uniden).
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-17-2007, 07:28 AM   #17
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

I have not retired yet.

My (future, assumed) ER income requirements are based on the assumption that I need enough to keep saving. I do not base my ER planning on my expenditures alone.

Like some others here, I prefer to insure myself for any long term care that I might need when I am elderly. So, I will be saving to add to that pile.
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?
Old 04-17-2007, 09:18 AM   #18
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Re: Did you continue to save in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
money for me was never much about what it buys. rather it was always about well-being, security and freedom. if you take care of yourself, stay out of trouble and run with the more-or-less right crowd then, with a little luck, those things pretty much take care of themselves.
Well said. I agree.
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