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Old 09-15-2016, 12:21 PM   #21
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Our "regular" spending continued very much as we'd expected.

We had some planned "extra" spending (travel, kid's weddings) that worked out well.

We had some unplanned extra spending (lost employer-subsidized health insurance before ACA, helped some relatives financially). That was more frustrating.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:25 PM   #22
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Overall, my spending is what I expected it to be as I was putting together my ER plan. Some items have risen slightly, though. Health care expenses has been the most erratic. In 2010 and 2011, my insurance premiums rose 50%, so I switched to a bare-bones plan, leaving me underinsured while my premiums dropped a lot. But when the ACA exchanges began in 2014, and I bought a more comprehensive policy, my premiums rose to nearly their 2009 level. In 2015, I got sick and was in the hospital for 12 days. I maxed out my deductible and copay which sent my overall expenses up. But this year, they have come back down to about where they were before that. I switched to a better ACA policy which has also helped.


In 2010 I increased my auto insurance liability limits so that annual expense has risen. That same year, the unusually good deal I had with my cable TV ended, so I had to pay the normal rate. That increased my overall expense bill, too.


One condition I had for my ER was that my day-to-day lifestyle would be unchanged. If I wanted to go out to eat once in a while or go on a trip, that was fine. If I went on a small spending spree once in a while, that was okay. It wouldn't bust my budget or cause me to make any big changes to it.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:14 PM   #23
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I am spending twice as much as when I was working and even that is not "enough" to put a dent in the "egg"

But that is pretty much what I planned, not unexpected. All this free time to buy more goodies and go to more concerts and more "nice" restaurants as well as ordering up sweet expensive goodies off the internet.

I'm like a kid in a candy store -
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:44 PM   #24
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In 4 years of retirement our average expenses are 4% less than the last 4 years of work. Expenses for mortgage and college are gone, but have been replaced by higher health care insurance, vacations and my dog's arthritis meds.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:55 PM   #25
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You took a mortgage into retirement ? That is an uncommon choice and just was curious how that is working out for you.
A lot of Americans seem to do this.

I have three mortgages, but they are all on investment properties and all have interest rates <2.6%.

I am spending approximately what I expected to spend.
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:36 PM   #26
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We're spending about what we thought we would. One surprise was having to replace a car sooner than we thought. DW wore it out going back and forth to FIL's house when he was needing a lot of assistance, especially after he couldn't drive anymore. Very often DW was over there five or even six days a week, almost a full-time job for her for a while. She was grateful that she didn't have to think about holding a job during that time.
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:39 PM   #27
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We are spending much more than we expected due to a never-ending onslaught of home-related expenses. It seems like we are rebuilding our house from the ground up. It is 26 years old and some buyer will get a new house.
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Do you spend more or less than you thought you would pre-FIRE?
Old 09-15-2016, 03:35 PM   #28
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Do you spend more or less than you thought you would pre-FIRE?

I spend about what I had forecasted which was something around. 6000 a year more than my expenses while working. Spent a bit less on gas And things like that, but more for health care which was not a huge factor since I am single and using Kaiser in California which is what I had when I was employed. Also spend a bit more on travel than before


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Old 09-15-2016, 04:42 PM   #29
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We had a lot of fat and poor spending habits in our budget before so now we are spending quite a bit less these days for a nicer lifestyle than we had before. I have time now to watch for discount tickets and Groupons so we go out a lot more on a much smaller restaurant and entertainment budget.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:23 PM   #30
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You took a mortgage into retirement ? That is an uncommon choice and just was curious how that is working out for you.
I took out a mortgage just prior to retiring (quitting in my case) Has worked out great am way ahead.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:47 PM   #31
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You took a mortgage into retirement ? That is an uncommon choice and just was curious how that is working out for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I took out a mortgage just prior to retiring (quitting in my case) Has worked out great am way ahead.

I did the same. Renting a similar place would cost as much or more and it will most likely be paid off in time for the kids to inherit it.
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Old 09-16-2016, 12:10 AM   #32
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Thanks for all the input. Healthcare is the most unpredictable I think. We are in our 50's with pre ACA high deductible plan. So far very healthy, no ongoing meds or issues. I increased our travel and eating out and entertainment budgets - figure we'll have more time to play. Didn't decrease anything except taxes so hopefully we will come out ahead.


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Old 09-16-2016, 01:44 AM   #33
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Before I retired I paid off all debt... including my house... so I could live comfortably on a smaller income.

Since retirement I've added to my nest egg every year.

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Old 09-16-2016, 02:36 AM   #34
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Just 2.5 years in and we are spending pretty close to exactly what we have budgeted over the course of a year, which is a bit over what we spent the two years prior to retirement, where we were saving, paying off bills etc.

We have a bank "Savings" account where we deposit any excess each month for the months we splurge on travel, something for the house, want to help out a family member, etc. We never want to go over our annual budget, but see no point, at this stage in our lives, in trying to spend less than we can. Nice to be able to take some trips (we are now on a 5 week trip to Italy) that we were not able to do before.

We plan to stay on this course, spending 100% of our budget each year, but no more. Right now our fixed expenses are low enough that if push comes to shove, we can cut down on the travel side and extras.

We also set aside in another account each month enough to cover the things like insurance and property taxes, that come annually or semi-annually, so we always have enough to cover them when they come up.

Seems to be working so far, but as I say, we are only 2 1/2 years into it.
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:31 AM   #35
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Many costs have dropped: cell phones, transportation (we only have 1 car now), mortgage (3.5%, and cut it by 40% when we downsized), clothing, eating out (lunch and early bird specials) and Fed. taxes. Some of this has been offset by having the free time to just "pay attention" (How much is our cell phone plan Let me research that one!). I turn 65 this year, so my health insurance costs will drop with a Medicare Supp.

Our largest increases are health insurance ($300 a month more than pre-retirement), improvements to our "new" (60 years old) home, and the vacation condo we purchased shortly after "retirement". But the condo is being held as an investment (foreclosure purchase), and many of the home improvements are for improved livability (finishing the basement, new windows), which were taken into consideration when we made the purchase offer.

Overall, it is going better than planned.
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:46 AM   #36
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For us, saving was a big part of our pre-retirement budget! It was a double advantage to save so much of our income- more saved for retirement, but also used to spending a lot less than we took in.

If I take a simple ratio of (total withdrawals since retirement/beginning retirement assets) and divide it by the number of years since I retired, I get 3%. Not perfect since withdrawals were uneven over time, but I'm happy with that, especially since I should get maximum SS based on my earnings and plan to wait till age 70 to file for it.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:33 AM   #37
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My medical insurance and dental care went up about $300 per month (expected). Fuel and auto maintenance dropped a bit (expected). Invested about $125k in home upgrades/remodel (planned). All other expenses remained about the same.
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:50 AM   #38
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Our non-healthcare spending is in line with what I had planned, no big surprise there. But healthcare premiums are going up faster than anticipated.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:13 PM   #39
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The first year, spent much more due to pent up spending demands, such as house remodelling, replacing things, etc. Thereafter, such spending evaporated as there's nothing left to buy. Spend (much) more on travel, much more on healthcare due to COBRA, but these were budgeted for. Mysteriously, somehow am spending about $100/month less otherwise (which could be due to no commuting costs, no daily $5 mochas as a reward for daily slavery, no dry cleaning, etc.). It's a pleasant surprise.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:04 PM   #40
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My spending has gone much as I had planned with no big surprises. I do spend much less on gifts and virtually nothing on clothing. Have invested energy in decluttering and find i don't want more stuff. I also decided to ramp up travel and do more sooner rather than some over many years. Happy with all my choices.
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