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Old 07-14-2014, 06:30 AM   #41
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Living in the Midwest isn't that bad....especially compared #7 on the list you didn't mention....going back to work.


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Living in the midwest isn't nearly as bad when you don't need to go to work every day in snow and ice. If you're retired then you can stay home on bad weather days and get things done on the few nice-er days. Makes a big difference.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:06 AM   #42
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For those that are interested in tiny houses, there is a TV series on called 'Tiny House Living' (along those lines) on the FYI network (used to be the Bio channel, I think?)

It's interesting to see people (some with kids) size down to a home that's less than 200 square feet!

Sent From My Motorola Startac. Please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #43
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I think we could cut 30-50%. Cut back a house, a couple of cars and some travel - that would do it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:32 AM   #44
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Living in the midwest isn't nearly as bad when you don't need to go to work every day in snow and ice. If you're retired then you can stay home on bad weather days and get things done on the few nice-er days. Makes a big difference.
DW and I both grew up in the Midwest and lived there for 20 years while raising our kids. DW says there are only three reasons why she won't move back: December, January and February.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:07 AM   #45
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Living in the midwest isn't nearly as bad when you don't need to go to work every day in snow and ice. If you're retired then you can stay home on bad weather days and get things done on the few nice-er days. Makes a big difference.

And we get a bonus this week....San Diego weather minus the ocean view for the rest of the week without the high real estate costs. I am going to take advantage of it, too.


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Old 07-14-2014, 08:21 AM   #46
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DW and I both grew up in the Midwest and lived there for 20 years while raising our kids. DW says there are only three reasons why she won't move back: December, January and February.
That's a good year. In a bad year you can add the second half of November, all of March, and part of April.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:48 AM   #47
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Living in the midwest southwest isn't nearly as bad when you don't need to go to work every day in snow and ice 110-degree heat. If you're retired then you can stay home on bad weather hot days and get things done on the few nice-er cooler days. Makes a big difference.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #48
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It would be impossible for me to cut my spending by any amount without affecting my lifestyle. I get utility out of every dollar that I spend today, so spending less would mean giving up something that I like.

The real question may be "How much could my lifestyle drop without me feeling like I am so poverty stricken that life isn't worth living?"

If I were single (so I don't have to negotiate with anyone else), that would be a long ways.

I could certainly downsize housing, stop traveling, downsize car, eat a simple diet, etc. before I'd decide that I might as well be dead. Give me a chance to live indoors, travel to grocery store and park and library, ride a bike, get on the internet when I like, watch OTA TV (maybe a basic Netflix subscription), see my kids photos and communicate a little with them, and life is worth living. Everything else is luxury.

The big, difficult to control, dollar cost is medical care.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #49
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The big, difficult to control, dollar cost is medical care.
I am learning to be extremely grateful for the healthcare system I enjoy here.

In my home country (Belgium) when you have low income you'll almost never spend more than 2000 USD per year on healthcare. Everything above that is picked up by the state.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #50
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It would be impossible for me to cut my spending by any amount without affecting my lifestyle. I get utility out of every dollar that I spend today, so spending less would mean giving up something that I like.
Wow, tight budget! Good luck with that.

I wish I could say that I get utility out of every dollar that I spend today, but honestly I don't. I could get rid of a lot of expenses that wouldn't affect my quality of life (my landline is next! ). I could stop shopping so much at Amazon and instead play video games or read more free Kindle books for entertainment, for example, and I would be perfectly happy. I could put off house upgrades and that wouldn't change my lifestyle either. There are so many ways in which I could cut back with minimal if any disruption of my lifestyle.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:46 AM   #51
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The real question may be "How much could my lifestyle drop without me feeling like I am so poverty stricken that life isn't worth living?"...
For me, that would be living under a bridge and scrounging garbage cans for food.

Most people, particularly those here who have managed to save enough money to retire early or to contemplate doing so, would know to manage their finance so that they would never get there, short of an all out war or an asteroid strike.

I found a blog of a full-time RV'er, a single man who was diagnosed with leukemia in his early 50s. After a terrible treatment involving full-body radiation, he did OK despite the slim chance, and successfully received a bone marrow transplant. Of course he never came back to work, and has been boondocking in a trailer with his two cats, going up/down the state of New Mexico which has a generous policy regarding camping on state land. His active lifestyle involves a lot of hiking and biking in nature, and is a lot healthier than that of many other city dwellers like myself.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:26 AM   #52
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Not yet retired but I also expect we could cut maybe 30% (drop CATV, eating out...buy in bulk grow more vegetables etc). To do much more than that we would have to move since we live in an expensive area in general. That and because we already don't spend a lot the floor is much closer than the ceiling
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:52 AM   #53
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It's a good thread, and I have considered what happens in the disaster scenario where I would be forced to cut expenses. I am always stunned and impressed with those folks who can live on $2,500/month (or in many cases much less!) when my current lifestyle costs about $10K/month (with about a 3% WR). That alone tells me that I could probably cut 50% out of my budget if I needed to, but also like others, I can tell you I wouldn't like it. But I could probably do 20% if I was creative without too much of a lifestyle change. Things like buying less grass-fed beef and more chicken, perhaps downsize to one car, call the cable company every 6-9 months and threaten to shut it off to get a better rate, eat out a lot less, and cut back on wine. Okay, I was just joking about cutting back on wine, but that's sort of the general idea.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:06 PM   #54
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Last year I spent a little less than half my allotted amount without any cut backs and I sure did not live frugally . If I had to cut back farther I could downsize my house . We could cut one car & not eat out as much . I could also cut my charity giving & present budget . The one thing I will not cut is visiting my daughter & grandchildren at least one or twice a year .
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:27 PM   #55
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Our current expenses could be cut back about 40% without changing our lifestyle today one bit. All we'd have to do is stop sending the kids to private school (ok, this would change the kids' lifestyles a bit), stop sending extra mortgage principal payments, and stop contributing to 401k's.

Coincidentally, along with mortgage P&I that we expect to be gone in a handful of years, the lack of these expenses is the same thing that should enable us to ER.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:29 PM   #56
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My expenses are already pretty low. I pretty consistently spend around $2k per month. Half of that is for rent. So if I wanted to save more money the obvious way would be to reduce my housing expenses by moving to cheaper accommodations.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #57
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Living in the midwest southwest isn't nearly as bad when you don't need to go to work every day in snow and ice 110-degree heat. If you're retired then you can stay home on bad weather hot days and get things done on the few nice-er cooler days. Makes a big difference.

You don't have to shovel sunshine though.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:50 PM   #58
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That's a good year. In a bad year you can add the second half of November, all of March, and part of April.
What can I say, she's an optimist!
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:11 PM   #59
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You don't have to shovel sunshine though.
True.

But the SW sun can burn you to a crisp if you are not careful. Yesterday, I had to be out in my garage for a bit, and man, it was HOT! My tolerance of the heat has diminished a lot since my younger days. My t-shirt was soaking wet. Gah! If there's a power outage, I might be among the first who go.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:09 PM   #60
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Or tiny house living seems like it could be pretty cheap -


I could see having a tiny vacation home like this some day. DH thinks we would get on each other's nerves if we lived in that small a space all the time.
I agree. While I love my wife dearly, and she loves me, one of us would have to take up some outside activity and spend most of every day at it.

But if I was single I would take a hard look at that type of house.
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