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Old 01-19-2014, 05:45 PM   #21
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You are tougher than I am. It's just not worth it to me. Each year I guess my skin gets thinner. I'm up to 71 and 68 while sleeping. I live in cold MO and including a subzero stretch a couple weeks ago, the monthly heat bill was $125 ( natural gas ). I am kind of a tight wad, but $3 a day to stay comfortably warm is cheap to me!
I have bumped the thermostat up to 74 lately, 75 at bedtime, and still I need my trusty wool socks to keep my feet warm. I never used to keep the house this warm. The older I get, the more sensitive to cold I seem to be. My last natural gas (heating) bill was $51, which I think is the highest it has ever been.

I think I'll file this under, "reasons why staying in New Orleans might not have been such a bad idea, after all"....
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:06 PM   #22
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I have bumped the thermostat up to 74 lately, 75 at bedtime, and still I need my trusty wool socks to keep my feet warm. I never used to keep the house this warm. The older I get, the more sensitive to cold I seem to be. My last natural gas (heating) bill was $51, which I think is the highest it has ever been. I think I'll file this under, "reasons why staying in New Orleans might not have been such a bad idea, after all"....
Something tells me even if your bill was double, you wouldn't drop the temp. any. . I certainly agree being warm and comfortable is worth a couple dollars a day.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:08 PM   #23
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The thermostat in my boonies home at 7,000 ft is left at 45F year round whether we are there or not. The highest bill was $82 for the heat pump, which is never needed to run in "cool" mode in the summer. No nat gas up there, although most fulltimers have a large propane tank outside the home. My neighbor spends as much as $350 on propane during the coldest winter months, and her home is smaller.

We do use a radiant portable electric heater in the bedroom. As the sun comes up, the large south-facing windows let in enough light that by midday the temperature rises from 45F to the low 70F.

PS. I sleep with a small portable fan blowing a breeze on my face. Same for winter as for summer.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:12 PM   #24
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Right now we're actually spending less than normal. When I turned 62 the pension dropped by what the SS amount would have been had I not worked since retiring in 2002. But since I was working then and it more than made up the difference I didn't apply.

I want to put off SS until I'm at least 65, I'm now thinking about 67 since the difference is $310/month for the rest of our lives. It makes a bigger difference for DW because the pension drops 30% when I croak but she would receive the full SS benefit when she's that age so the pension drop would have less effect. Based on her family history she can expect to see her mid-80's, ~30 years from now. We have plenty in the savings/investments to see her though comfortably if I "go" in the meantime. Some life insurance is icing on the cake.

Glad we socked away most of the bones when I was working at the last job. That gives us more options. But for the first time in our lives we are faced with the reality of drawing down on some of what we saved. Now I understand the mental anguish so many others have posted about that. Reasonably, rationally, logically, the numbers work easily with plenty of slack.

But it sure is hard to do.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:13 PM   #25
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The thermostat in my boonies home at 7,000 ft is left at 45F year round whether we are there or not. The highest bill was $82 for the heat pump, which is never needed to run in "cool" mode in the summer. No nat gas up there, although most fulltimers have a large propane tank outside the home. My neighbor spends as much as $350 on propane during the coldest winter months, and her home is smaller. We do use a radiant portable electric heater in the bedroom. As the sun comes up, the large south-facing windows let in enough light that by midday the temperature rises from 45F to the low 70F.
NW, am I understand you correctly when you are there, you ride the temperature wave all the way to 45 degrees in the morning? I assume if you drink coffee you set it on a warmer plate to drink it or do you stay in the bedroom?
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #26
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The bedroom is kept at 65F at night by the small heater. In the morning, when I go out to the living room, the temperature is indeed 45F as set by the thermostat. I sip hot coffee, while waiting for the sun to come up to shine through the six large glass panes going up to near the 25-ft crest of the ceiling.

Of course, I have to change from shorts and T-shirt before I leave the bedroom.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:12 PM   #27
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.....Have you bumped up fun spending?
Yes. Entering third year of retirement and am now much more comfortable with what our "belts tightened" level of spending will be. So between that and the run in the market the past two years, we are spending more on a new garage, travel, etc.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:24 PM   #28
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Yes. Entering third year of retirement and am now much more comfortable with what our "belts tightened" level of spending will be. So between that and the run in the market the past two years, we are spending more on a new garage, travel, etc.
Congratulations, you picked a really good retirement year. It's important to be realistic in our spending and enjoy life to the fullest. I have to constantly remind myself I'm no kid anymore. Bank accounts going up, but so is my age. Nobody has yet beat the grim reaper.

I've even bumped up my tipping a bit. We go out to eat a little bit more which makes DW really happy and restaurant staff too.

I retired in 2003 and things were nice until 2008. So this is a bit of a replay but I'm kind of convinced that we will see reasonable market performance going forward -- can't take this guess to the bank though.

P.S. Our energy bills are way down with spring like weather here in California. Most days recently the heater is off by 10am and the upstairs windows are opened. That is the upside to a possible developing drought.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:28 PM   #29
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I will be soon...planning a little mid-spring getaway for myself and a lady friend who had a full knee replacement done in October. She is an accomplished artist and will love drawing up there.

NEW RIVERFRONT HOME, Boonville (VR7984) - Adirondack "By Owner", LLC
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:28 PM   #30
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We've bumped up annual spending almost 20% from our first year of retirement, but I wouldn't qualify that as an increase in "fun spending". It seems inflation has devalued the purchasing power of our 2005 dollar by - you guessed it - almost 20%.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:17 PM   #31
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We've spent an average of 25% more each year in the 4 years since retiring and it is all fun stuff, mostly travel.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #32
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We have also increased our spending recently. New SUV for DW, new truck for me, new dishwasher for us and a cruise booked for end of February. We aren't getting any younger and we realize how fortunate we are to enjoy our lives while we are healthy and able to do what we want.
We are 3 years into retirement now and are more confident in our plans going forward.
Yes, the market does play a part in this recently.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:19 AM   #33
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Oh definitely!! New carpeting, kitchen remodel, traveling with the kids, going out to restaurants. And I'm just a bit over or 3.7% take.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #34
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The bedroom is kept at 65F at night by the small heater. In the morning, when I go out to the living room, the temperature is indeed 45F as set by the thermostat. I sip hot coffee, while waiting for the sun to come up to shine through the six large glass panes going up to near the 25-ft crest of the ceiling.

Of course, I have to change from shorts and T-shirt before I leave the bedroom.

We pay a plumber to blow out the water lines when we leave our cabin (at 7500 feet) to avoid the broken water lines, so the heat and power is off when we leave.
We have a pellet heater which pumps out the heat in the great room, and turn on the electric space heaters when we open it (in winter). In summer, I open the windows at night and close them when I wake up which works perfectly, as long as you can stand the 40s-50s temps in the morning. Coming from Houston summers, it feels great.
It was about 0-5 degrees a couple X-Mas's ago when we pulled down the driveway, and the stove took a couple hours to warm the place up.

This summer is our 30th anniversary, so we're planning an 8 day hike around the Lake District, then meet our youngest in London at the tail end. Just bought a fancy treadmill. But I'm still a year or so away from semi-retirement (all but the cabin is paid off). The England trip isn't really very expensive, other than the London piece and DW is looking for a flat at $120/night for those 5-6 days. If wife gets a bonus, we plan to replace the Subaru with a newer version which we hope will last 10-12 years. Going to do it now before FIRE (or semi-retire).
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #35
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I guess I like the cold, like the preacher in the song "California Dreaming".

The house plumbing was done such that the hot and cold main lines in the crawl space were sloped from one end of the home to the other (the ground was sloped). At the low corner are two frost-free faucets, which I use to drain the entire lines after shutting off the water at the meter. I always do that when I am not there as a precaution. The toilet bowls could still freeze, and I am taking a small risk with that, as I use no antifreeze and electricity could be out in a storm.

One year, the deep buried water meter froze! I did not have to pay for the lost water, and the co-op replaced the meter free as it was their responsibility. However, I once came up to see the meter being in the process of freezing up, which meant we would not have water. So, I ran an permanent electric line to the meter and wrapped a heat tape around it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:01 PM   #36
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I guess I like the cold, like the preacher in the song "California Dreaming".

The house plumbing was done such that the hot and cold main lines in the crawl space were sloped from one end of the home to the other (the ground was sloped). At the low corner are two frost-free faucets, which I use to drain the entire lines after shutting off the water at the meter. I always do that when I am not there as a precaution. The toilet bowls could still freeze, and I am taking a small risk with that, as I use no antifreeze and electricity could be out in a storm.

One year, the deep buried water meter froze! I did not have to pay for the lost water, and the co-op replaced the meter free as it was their responsibility. However, I once came up to see the meter being in the process of freezing up, which meant we would not have water. So, I ran an permanent electric line to the meter and wrapped a heat tape around it.
We're on a pump, a cistern in the basement, and septic (the cabin is built on a hill, so the "basement" is finished in cinderblocks on the back 3 sides). So it's at risk of freezing once the temps outside get below 0 to -5 as they do periodically.
I put a small amount of RV antifreeze (the degradeable type) in the toilets, after it froze once to create a microleak. Doesn't take a lot.
Since we've paid the plumber to blow the lines (his mother lives down the road from us), no problems--knock on wood.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:07 PM   #37
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We're on a pump, a cistern in the basement, and septic (the cabin is built on a hill, so the "basement" is finished in cinderblocks on the back 3 sides)...
Same here, with perimeter foundation wall all in cinder blocks. If the house interior is kept at 45F, there is no risk of the basement getting frozen as we have found out.

Still, if the pipe burst in case of electricity outage, the damage will be catastrophic if the mains is not turned off. We go up to our place year round, and always shut off the mains and drain the lines as described earlier. It takes but 2 minutes. The risk of a deep freeze runs from October to April.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:21 PM   #38
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Having reviewed the responses it is obvious that this group is doing more than its share to keep the working folks gainfully employed 😄
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:01 PM   #39
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Having reviewed the responses it is obvious that this group is doing more than its share to keep the working folks gainfully employed ��
That's for sure! I love it that so many members of this forum are able to buy some little (and sometimes even big!) luxuries for themselves this year while still living sensibly within or below our means.

After all the severe belt tightening that many of us did during 2008-2009, this is great.

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Old 01-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #40
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I've turned the heat up to 65 degrees for the winter.
I would be blue at this inside temperature
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