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Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 12:36 PM   #1
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Going it alone

I'm curious: how many of you saved up the bulk of your pre-retirement monies while living alone without a spouse or "significant other"? It seems like kind of a lonely path and I'm wondering how many have done it alone and what the advantages and disadvantages are. I think for most people it would be easy to get side tracked, although I don't think I will...knock on wood...
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Going it alone

I'm not retired yet, but I've saved the most towards my goal during times when I've been single.

I think whether a spouse/SO/Partner is a hindrance or an advantage depends largely on their personality and with warm smiles for all the men who have made it here, most of the men I've dated are horrible money wasters (and/or shiftless bums).

(The shiftless bum part I can handle, I'd like to be one myself someday.)

This doesn't address the question of the "lonely road" part. That depends what else you fill your life with I suppose. But I wouldn't say having a mate automatically puts you in a stronger savings position. Two might be able to live as cheaply as one, but few do.

amy
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: Going it alone

Quote:
I'm curious: *how many of you saved up the bulk of your pre-retirement monies while living alone without a spouse or "significant other"? *It seems like kind of a lonely path and I'm wondering how many have done it alone and what the advantages and disadvantages are. *I think for most people it would be easy to get side tracked, although I don't think I will...knock on wood...
Not me, certainly. My DW and I were married when I was 21 and she was 20. I had to hitchhike across the state to someplace where I knew I could find day work (in this case, putting up hay) so I could earn enough to buy the marriage license. We saved everything together starting from near zero. We are both RE'd now. She has been retired off and on since 2001. (After a career as an electrical engineer, she tried being a park ranger and has tried teaching . . . but is currently retired again). I retired last year at age 49.

But regarding your observation that saving while single might be a lonely path, maybe that has something to do with why so many REs are I-type personalities. Supposedly an I-type doesn't need external stimulation.
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 03:54 PM   #4
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Re: Going it alone

Quote:
It seems like kind of a lonely path and I'm wondering how many have done it alone and what the advantages and disadvantages are. *I think for most people it would be easy to get side tracked, although I don't think I will...knock on wood...
Whisper, you don't disclose whether you are a man or woman. I assume you are a man. If you are a woman, some of these things may be different. Just clothes and grooming for a single woman can be expensive.

I think it is much easier to save when you are alone. If habitation cost are high, get one or more roomates. Otherwise, all other costs are per person, not per household. Some people share a car, but not many who are working.

Dating may cost more than married entertainment does, or it may be cheaper. You can keep changing partners until you find someone who actually likes whatever you like, cheap or not. If you are married, that process is more involved.

In my mind the biggest advantage is that you don't have to get two separate people on board for every decision. Living is somewhat easier if you are able to spend money. Not spending what is the background normal level can be stressful. Easier to handle that alone, I think.

Mikey

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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 04:02 PM   #5
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Re: Going it alone

Quote:

Not me, certainly. *My DW and I were married when I was 21 and she was 20. *I had to hitchhike across the state to someplace where I knew I could find day work (in this case, putting up hay) so I could earn enough to buy the marriage license. *We saved everything together starting from near zero. *We are both RE'd now. *She has been retired off and on since 2001. (After a career as an electrical engineer, she tried being a park ranger and has tried teaching . . . but is currently retired again). *I retired last year at age 49.

But regarding your observation that saving while single might be a lonely path, maybe that has something to do with why so many REs are I-type personalities. *Supposedly an I-type doesn't need external stimulation. *
Thx for the story. What's an I-type personality?
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Going it alone

Quote:

Whisper, you don't disclose whether you are a man or woman. I assume you are a man.
Good assumption. *I can't imagine dating w/o the "wine and dine" part of it. *Are you telling me there's females out there who will accept a date at an inexpensive ethnic restaurant for example?*

It was interesting to hear Amy's perspective about males. *I know a lot of males who have the impression that all females are a huge money sink hole. *I guess it has nothing to do with gender and all to do with personality and ethics...
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 04:38 PM   #7
 
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Re: Going it alone

I have pretty extensive experience with women
(not all good). I agree that MOST women are
"a huge money sink hole". Ah, the stories I could tell....

John Galt
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 08:50 PM   #8
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Re: Going it alone

Part of my impression is based on going online to a well-known singles site and reading the profiles. *I think out of the hundreds of profiles I read - yeah, I know I need a life * - every female wanted the "royal carpet" treatment. *And I can't say as I blame them. *Who wants to be married to someone non-fun and boring and non-romantic, etc.? *

But it's just sad to me cuzz so often on the profiles all of those things are associated with high dollar items: *vacations, houses, entertainment, etc...

But you're story is interesting: sounds like you found many gals who were willing to go out with you even as you were living a more frugal lifestyle...
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 09:09 PM   #9
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Re: Going it alone

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. . . *What's an I-type personality?
http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/mbti.html
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 09:16 PM   #10
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Re: Going it alone

I wondered. Interesting link. I'm an INTJ and so I am an I-type. My score on the "I" was 89%.
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-21-2004, 09:17 PM   #11
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Re: Going it alone

And, btw, one of my hopes with this thread: some "inspirational" stories of those who made it alone. I know everyone's circumstances are different, but I'm just looking for a little encouragement...
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Going it alone

I'm a single white female (never married) but have been living with the same man for years. We keep our finances completely separate. I learned at a young age that I and I alone would be responsible for myself in terms of financial support and started investing heavily (almost obsessively) in my early twenties. The pressure cooker of my chosen field (television production) is best left to younger folks so I figured I'd be ready to leave by the time I was 50. And that's turned out to be true.

Actually, my story is not all that out of the ordinary. Many of my female friends grew up with the same set of values: you're responsible for yourself and for your future. I credit some of this to my education. Academically focused Catholic prep schools where the girls were treated as equally as the boys and pushed even harder to succeed.

Is going it alone a lonely pursuit? Not in my case. It's been as natural as breathing.

BTW, I'm an INTJ, too.
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-22-2004, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: Going it alone

Great story - thx. I wish I had started in my 20's!
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 05:18 AM   #14
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Re: Going it alone

I am not retired yet but have been living together for the past 5 months. I keep finances separate but since we are living at my place, my bf gives me money every month to help pay common expenses.

I found that my RE goal singles me out among my peer (30's) so I don't really talk about it much. My bf is a saver also but until recently, his goals are "shorter" term than mine (save to buy a house together, toys, etc). Now he starts thinking about saving for retirement (he is 31, I am 30).

Do I find it lonely and uninspiring? Not really, but I am a strong I-type personality. I don't need much support/encouragement from other people in order to reach my goals.

Advantage/disadvantage: cost of living together is cheaper than living alone, but not that much cheaper. In our case, It is because both of us are not big spenders so cost of living doesn't drop dramatically when we start living together.

Women as money pit: I know women who are money pits and women who are frugal queens and women who have been both. It really depends on their outlook and values. Some value expensive clothing etc (I have to admit I used to buy them in my 20's) and expensive dates, while some will cut their dryer sheet in half (now I am under this category). Some will spend thousands of dollars on new furniture and some (like me) who have access to a power sander, will prefer to re-finish some free, old furniture. I think I may be too inexperience to say this (considering I am not yet RE), but if you want to RE, it is easier to do it alone than with a spender partner. If your partner is a saver, then obviously you are well on your way to RE.

Same with men, some men are money pits and some are frugal kings.

Jane
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 06:28 AM   #15
 
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Re: Going it alone

Jane is pretty smart for a "youngster". BTW, my comments about women being a "money pit" were
meant to be provocative and hyperbolic.

I had to ER. It was a no-brainer decision. My spouse
couldn't come where I was going, which made that
a no-brainer decision also. In our case though, we were
both "spenders" up until I decided to quit. Thus I set
myself up for trouble, and got plenty of it.

John Galt
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 03:31 PM   #16
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Re: Going it alone

Well, I'm not too worried about it. I know I'd never get in another relationship where money was at the center. I'd rather live alone than suffer with that again...There's something to Pavlov's Theory you know...
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 04:36 PM   #17
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Re: Going it alone

Whisper,
I'm not retired yet, but hope to in about 18 months. I've been single for 16 years raising 2 kids who still live at home. I make the most I ever have right now, and that is 75K.

My net worth is around 600K, mostly because of buying and selling houses in CA. My parents have been gifting, and all extra money went to paying the mortgage off.
I'll have to sell the house I just bought to ER, live off the proceeds until my pensions kick in at 55 and 62. My house is curently worth about 450k and might continue to increase.

It took me years to get my 401K up to the max and fund a Roth IRA, but eventually I did.

If you feel the need to take a second job now, do it. As you get older and your net worth increases, you'll have a better idea of where you're headed and you might go back to 1 job.

Good luck.
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 05:00 PM   #18
 
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Re: Going it alone

Whisper,

I'ma 53-year old single never-married female engineer who started saving seriously at 32. Every year since then I've tracked my net worth and set aggressive savings goals for myself. I could've saved even more, but I had no idea that ER was even possible. When I stumbled onto intercst's REHP website about 5 or so years ago, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. That's when I got really serious about saving and not frittering money away.

I'm planning on working for another 1-1/2 years to get an early pension from work.

I reached FI (Financial Independence) at 50. My paid-off house is worth 250k. I'll be able to live very comfortably on a 4% SWR plus my pension and SS at 62.

Recently, my long-term BF moved in. Unfortunately, he's a spender, so we keep our finances separate. He chips-in 50% on monthly expenses.

EngrGal


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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 05:52 PM   #19
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Re: Going it alone

At 60, if you are still intact, go for 5%.
8)
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Re: Going it alone
Old 08-23-2004, 06:16 PM   #20
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Re: Going it alone

Quote:
Whisper,
I'm not retired yet, but hope to in about 18 months. *I've been single for 16 years raising 2 kids who still live at home. *I make the most I ever have right now, and that is 75K. *

My net worth is around 600K, mostly because of buying and selling houses in CA. *My parents have been gifting, and all extra money went to paying the mortgage off. *
I'll have to sell the house I just bought to ER, live off the proceeds until my pensions kick in at 55 and 62. *My house is curently worth about 450k and might continue to increase. *

It took me years to get my 401K up to the max and fund a Roth IRA, but eventually I did.

If you feel the need to take a second job now, do it. *As you get older and your net worth increases, you'll have a better idea of where you're headed and you might go back to 1 job.

Good luck.
Great story. *Similar to mine in some ways - I've got a EE degree and a five year old, etc., so I can identify. I just wish I had a few properties in SoCal right now.
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