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Old 04-03-2014, 06:03 AM   #61
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I have tracked my expenses over the last 3 years, and I have added $6k a year for medical insurance. I hope this prediction is accurate.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
We'd rather pack our own groceries and recycle ink cartridges in the morning and then have the afternoon free to walk around the lake near our house with fountains and a rose garden or visit a museum for free with a NARM or library pass.
When we first retired, we had the same old habits. But within 6 months, we realized that our only source of leverage was to control outflow. So we have applied our best skills at doing just that. There is a liquor store that sells selected stock at 10 and 20% off on Wednesdays. It is unadvertised. Usually it is older stock like wine that must be consumed in a short time. So we only buy enough wine for 2 weeks (and keep it in our wine fridge). But getting brandy for 20% off is a pure win!
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:03 PM   #63
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When we first retired, we had the same old habits. But within 6 months, we realized that our only source of leverage was to control outflow. So we have applied our best skills at doing just that. There is a liquor store that sells selected stock at 10 and 20% off on Wednesdays. It is unadvertised. Usually it is older stock like wine that must be consumed in a short time. So we only buy enough wine for 2 weeks (and keep it in our wine fridge). But getting brandy for 20% off is a pure win!
Good find. I love finding bargains like that.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:00 AM   #64
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Our local grocery store has quality clearance meat for 50-60% off with one day use by date left. Now that I'm ERed, I go down every day and see what they have on offer - sometimes nothing but sometimes enough for tonight's meal and to freeze a couple of meat packs for later days. This alone saves us about 25% of our grocery bill from before ER. This is but one of many savings we now make through being ERed and having the time to value shop.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:11 PM   #65
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I am spending more on home improvements and maint. I fell behind when working then I met a handyman who has been coming to my house 3 days a week doing all my chores. I keep having to buy him sandpaper, paint, boards, light fixtures, hinges, door pulls and other stuff. With his wages and having to buy stuff I am spending maybe an extra $500 a week. Now I need to buy a new back door because mine is ugly and paint for the outside of the house, new porch lights, never ending list. The house can use some work done and my handyman needs the work. I need motivation to get things done so set a schedule and keep him working.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:41 AM   #66
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I am spending more on home improvements and maint. I fell behind when working then I met a handyman who has been coming to my house 3 days a week doing all my chores. I keep having to buy him sandpaper, paint, boards, light fixtures, hinges, door pulls and other stuff. With his wages and having to buy stuff I am spending maybe an extra $500 a week. Now I need to buy a new back door because mine is ugly and paint for the outside of the house, new porch lights, never ending list. The house can use some work done and my handyman needs the work. I need motivation to get things done so set a schedule and keep him working.
Just what every woman needs...a good Handyman.



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Old 08-31-2014, 02:12 PM   #67
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We were pretty accurate with a couple issues mentioned: we needed dental work earlier than we thought (in year 2)....and we are one of the 400K people in Mass who's application for ACA could not be processed due to problems with the SW. So we have been on Medicaid from Aprl until the end of the year. So he money we budgeted for healthcare is sitting there. That will end up giving us 7K we did not expect.

I do not recommend this....what a hassle. I have a total appreciation for poor people and their healthcare needs. Luckily my doctor accepted it, but my hub's doctor left the field and he needed to find a new one. He called 30 doctors, no one would accept him. He ended up with a doctor more than an hour away that is associated with a hospital. This will not happen for next year they say.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:31 PM   #68
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My planned expenses have been mostly accurate, and I also factored in the once in awhile purchases (new roof, car, appliances, repairs, new HVAC,...), but I never thought that a once-in-a-1000-year storm (sandy - combination of high tide/Noreaster/Cat 5 taking a sharp left turn into NJ) would happen. My insurance covered most after the deductible, but it was definitely not a category in my original budget.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:51 PM   #69
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Hmmmm. . . plan?

I did plan for retirement by investing for 30+ years, but that was just to get us to about $80K/yr with a 3.5% WR. Have a military pension that adds $30K to the amount plus the low cost of health. So when I got retired early "right sized", that turned into our plan.

Seems we have enough to cover everything. No excel sheets.


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Old 08-31-2014, 05:47 PM   #70
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My planned expenses have been mostly accurate, and I also factored in the once in awhile purchases (new roof, car, appliances, repairs, new HVAC,...), but I never thought that a once-in-a-1000-year storm (sandy - combination of high tide/Noreaster/Cat 5 taking a sharp left turn into NJ) would happen. My insurance covered most after the deductible, but it was definitely not a category in my original budget.
My heart goes out to you.

I actually have set aside a hurricane deductible outside of my portfolio because I live in hurricane country. Hopefully I never have to use it.

The dental expenses listed have put a grain of worry in me. Good grief is dental work expensive ! I don't have a reserve for that but perhaps I'll put aside $500 for a Vitamix blender !
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:59 PM   #71
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I expected to spend much more in retirement and I do.

As predicted.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:42 PM   #72
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So far we are underspending our budget. We planned on $32k per year and we aren't spending quite that much. We should have spent $21k by this point and we are closer to $17k YTD.

I may bust the budget pretty hard later this year since we are planning on a roof replacement and siding replacement. Could be $8k or $16k once I get the quotes in. Busting the budget for 1 year isn't too concerning since the siding and roof are 20 year life cycle items (at least) and I've explicitly budgeted periodic replacements in my long term housing maintenance category.

Overall, I've had more time to economize and save money here and there. We've had a ton of things to replace or upgrade and the time to shop for them now that I'm not working, and we're still making the budget numbers work. I just entered year 2 of retirement, so seeing that the first year wasn't any more spendy that budgeted is good news.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:02 PM   #73
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We never tracked expenses by category or any other way.

When we were preparing for retirement I simply reviewed two years of bank statements-cash withdrawals, automatic withdrawals, monthy CC payments etc. We came up with an after tax number.

We made adjustments to that number for travel etc, then grossed it up to be conservative.

We still only track an annual basis even though I keep a running monthly tally. After three years, we are exactly on the same projected spend. We may go over a little this year but not my much. Time to increase by a few percentage points to take inflation into account.

And in those three years we have completely changed our lifestyle and travelled even more that we thought. We eat much healthier, we shop more carefully. We buy wine buy the case when it is on sale. We buy staples at Costco when they are on sale. We do not have to do this but it is difficult to break habits of a lifetime. This week it was Starbucks French Roast coffee beans at just over $7. lb for 2 1/2 lb bag vs about $15. lb at the Starbucks store. We travel to places on our respective bucket lists when the list item, the travel offer, and the currency all intersect in our favour. So far it has worked for us.

I think it was dumb luck. Because coming up with the two year spend took no more than one hour with my paper tape adding machine. The rest was by guess and by golly. We sold a large house, became renters, got rid of car...all things that delivered some unexpected consequences and benefits. Figured the only way to do the calculation was on an after tax, net basis. Besides, I really do not care what we spend on toothpaste or dry cleaning each year since it will not impact how much toothpaste we use or how often we use the dry cleaner.

The biggest surprise...and a very pleasant one is the growth of our investment portfolio over the past three years. Sequence of returns has made a huge difference to our portfolio and will do so into the future....just like the books said it would. Lucky timing I guess.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:17 PM   #74
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So far everything is very close to what I expected except for medical which has been more than double over plan.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:55 PM   #75
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Like most, I did the detailed spreadsheets, and monitor of expenses before retirement - nailed them pretty well - it is the unexpected expenses that really got me. Wife died, and after some time, found a new girl friend cum future wife -dating is very expensive compared to married at home life, also health insurance and medical expenses due to cancer caused significant higher costs, foundation work on house, and having to support kids and grandkids due to poor employment for their working (also one is going to college to get better skills). All of this occurs at same time for 3-5 years, who knows what is ahead, fortunately investing has helped some, but not enough to cover all of that. May have to increase beer and wine budget to cope with some of these.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:02 PM   #76
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So, I've got this elaborate multi-tab spreadsheet I've built up that does all sorts of calculations to estimate our retirement.

One tab has our expenses, which I've been tabulating over time from our expenses when we settle up to write/pay bills.

I'm pretty confident that it captures our current expenses.

But - was wondering, what else may jump out later in retirement that I may not be accounting for.

For those already deep into retirement - did you do a good job of estimating post retirement expenses, or did something jump out at you I should consider and budget for?

Thanks!
2.5 yrs into retirement:


we have the same living budget we had before retirement.
so I would say we estimated that pretty good.

We have a travel budget that we greatly over estimated and so far we are
happy on about 1/2 of it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:21 AM   #77
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I didn't predict specific expenses. Instead my target was, and is, a monthly total which I thought would be adequate. I'm well under that but two expense types surprised me.

First was photographic gear. After a 25 year layoff I'm avidly in photography again. At least the equipment will have long lifespans if not dropped or stolen.

Second was travel in higher cost countries than I visited before retirement. I want more. Retirement is the first time I've seen 'Travel' have a substantial impact on a years spending. I have the willpower not to spend 2 months following spring from south to north in either Japan or Italy. But I really want to.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:15 AM   #78
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Today's review of expenses since ER 11 months ago was a shocker good thing for severance and DW still w*rking, a little contract work for me, but portfolio is still 6% ahead of planned value at this time.

Unplanned expenses:
3 dog surgeries @ $1800/each, knee issues with small dogs
Dog dental $1.000
DW dental $1,200
New Furnace $3,300
New Carpet, $5,000

Paid off one car and CC (new Windows & water heater last year $14,000) with 40% of severance the rest into savings to offset my salary and unplanned expenses.

Most one time expenses to get house resdy to sell next year when DW ERs', but WOW. When house sells, we will pay off last car and be debt free for our move to Ireland.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:26 AM   #79
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Today's review of expenses since ER 11 months ago was a shocker good thing for severance and DW still w*rking, a little contract work for me, but portfolio is still 6% ahead of planned value at this time.

Unplanned expenses:
3 dog surgeries @ $1800/each, knee issues with small dogs
Dog dental $1.000
DW dental $1,200
New Furnace $3,300
New Carpet, $5,000

Paid off one car and CC (new Windows & water heater last year $14,000) with 40% of severance the rest into savings to offset my salary and unplanned expenses.

Most one time expenses to get house resdy to sell next year when DW ERs', but WOW. When house sells, we will pay off last car and be debt free for our move to Ireland.
Sometimes those unexpected expenses really pile up! I think we have all had years like that and can sympathize. Glad you are making progress on paying off debt and not letting the unexpected ruin your plans.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #80
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So early in the game, but it looks like I overestimated living expenses by quite a bit. I planned for $2500-3000 monthly, but it looks like we are hovering around $2000 without breaking a sweat. In Vancouver no less. Spending much less on alcohol, eating out, entertainment, and that nefarious Miscellaneous category... could do better on groceries, but we like our quality (and sometimes pricey) ingredients for our new healthy eating regime.

There are some major purchases (ER hobby related) looming in the near future that may blown things up for a month or two. But things are progressing wonderfully marriage, health, happiness wise...
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