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Old 07-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #81
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Looks nice, and with French doors too!

Too bad that one storm and it will be all over.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:55 PM   #82
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My budget is approx 100k / year. Of that 6k is income tax, 28k is HI / OOP.

Major discretionary expense is travel (5k) which I could cut and not really care about. So thats only 5% of my budget.

Obviously I have other discretionary expenses in the budget (Dog - 4k, Entertainment 2k, House vs Condo 4k) but I'd rather work than give those expenses up ... which is why I have serious OMY syndrome.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:51 PM   #83
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There are many ways I could cut spending if I wished. My biggest waste is hands-down expensive cable TV. I categorize it as a waste as there is frequently nothing of interest to watch to justify the expense. I also don't need my pricey smartphone plan as I rarely use all the features, especially the data. I could do very well with a budget mobile phone as I also have a landline. I could also get a pretty good workout walking and cycling and switch to a cheaper gym for machines and weights. Now that I am retired, I could go at off hours. I spend a lot on food (don't care what something costs if I want it) and I also spend unnecessarily for clothes and shoes and books I don't need and have an expensive hairdresser. I have never done my own yard work, but I guess I could learn although it might be a shock to my system. My taste in vehicles runs to the luxury, but not excessively so. I don't travel much but when I do, I don't skimp in any way except for flying coach. None of this really matters, as I certainly live within (read: below) my means. I pay off credit cards every month and have no mortgage or financing on anything. If I had to, though, I could do a lot of belt-tightening without impacting my quality of life much.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:20 PM   #84
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Then I came up with some larger items. In Tx., over 65 can defer property tax. That is about $7,200 for us.
Rustic..... isn't deferring property tax equivalent to taking a loan rather than reducing spending?
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:53 PM   #85
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I guess I could cut my spending by at least 10%, and maybe 20% when I finally retire.


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Old 07-15-2014, 11:22 PM   #86
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We have already cut back, with our income being between 1/2 to 2/3 of what it was when DH, now retired, worked. We moved to a cheaper city, sold our NYC condo & 2nd home in the Poconos and bought a house outright. House expenses are about 1/4 of what they were before - property taxes are high in a no-income tax state, even with a homestead and over-65 exemption. Our retirement house is just shy of 1600 sq ft, a veritable luxury after living in a 980 sq ft condo for many years (that included the terrace).

If needed I would cut cable (I'm ready now but DH isn't), get cheaper cell phone plan(s), sell 1 car, stop eating out (another desire of DH on Friday & Saturday night - but in deference to me Friday night is a pretty frugal dinner), use less A/C - doable in TX but uncomfortable, stop buying things on Amazon, not go to as many cheap classical music concerts and plays - for $200 here you can get a one year subscription for 2 people for 10 plays, that's $10 a ticket. I would not give up organic vegetables or my vitamins/supplements/twice a month acupuncture appointments - I want to age well.

Some hobbies are more expensive than others but it takes so long for DH to make something in the woodshop it's not really too expensive and my abstract painting goes in fits and starts.

Would definitely use less gas once I stop working; I have a wild commute now.

Might not be able to give kiddo so much $ to launch himself - this remains a big worry. And an expense.

In all honesty I would ditch it all in a minute for a little place on the Pacific coast of Mexico. At least for a while. DH, not so much.

OTOH just heard about another former colleague who died at 66 (I'm almost 63). Makes one think about mortality and spending one's money while one can still enjoy it.


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Old 07-16-2014, 07:46 AM   #87
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We have a "trim back" budget which we'd use if we have to cut back in a bad market (~10% cut), and a "dramatic cut" budget we'd use if things became very dire (~25-30% cut). To cut back beyond 30% would require major lifestyle changes: move to low cost area (biggest chunk of our RE budget is housing), essentially eliminate travel, etc.

Here's a link to Darrow Kirkpatrick's blog that's very informative as a point of reference regarding RE living expenses.

Our Retirement Expenses: Where Does the Money Go? - Can I Retire Yet?
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:52 AM   #88
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We spend $1349 a month. If we stopped buying organic I guess we could cut it $100-$200. Beyond that without moving to a very small house I don't see a lot more cuts.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:50 PM   #89
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Current estimate is that I plan on targeting 100% of current spending in retirement (increases in health care and travel offset by decreases in convenience costs of eating breakfast and lunch out most days). That would drop to ~75% once I downsize to a smaller house/condo/apartment(hopefully in the next 2-3 years). And I have a more extreme budget that would be about 45% of current spending (mostly lowering entertainment, travel, grocery/wine, etc.). Could go lower, I'm sure, if I had to. But let's hope it doesn't come to that!
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #90
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Most everyone I know retiring has to cut spending...When I first sit down with a client that is retiring...we make budget...we start slashing all kinds of things like, memberships that never get used and dining out all of the time and too many trips to the grocery store without a list or meal plan...and guess what? we always find quite a bit of money. This is so helpful because most people take a pay cut when they retire.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:55 PM   #91
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... most people take a pay cut when they retire.
You need to spend more time on the forum and learn about us before lumping the members here in with "most people". Many of us - perhaps most - spend as much or more in retirement as when we were working.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:19 PM   #92
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Many of us - perhaps most - spend as much or more in retirement as when we were working.
I think most people on this forum also plan for and discuss almost every conceivable possible scenario and contingency, with buffers of all kinds. Like this thread.

And as a result none of those plans are ever needed

Very few people I know have a financial plan for when aliens might invade (as was referenced in an earlier thread ). On this forum most of us seem to have such a plan.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #93
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Very few people I know have a financial plan for when aliens might invade (as was referenced in an earlier thread ). On this forum most of us seem to have such a plan.
Don't be silly. Alien invasion contingencies are outside the span of planning for most of us. But asteroid strikes are another story...
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #94
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I guess we are latecomers to the ER idea and fall into the "most people" category on being able to reduce spending. I am still in shock and awe at being able to actually live better for so much less than we used to spend.

Today we took one of the kids' cars in for major maintenance work. I used to just have the dealer recommended service work done, but now had time to compare what they said was needed to be done to the actual factory recommendations. The result was $700 savings on just one car alone. I guess we were paying a stupid tax before for not really having the time or making the time to price shop more, especially on big ticket items.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:30 PM   #95
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... Alien invasion contingencies are outside the span of planning for most of us. But asteroid strikes are another story...
How can we be sure?

About the aliens I mean.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:35 PM   #96
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hmmm..."I said most people I know" no lumping of members!
Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers REWahoo! #cantunderstandwhyitdid
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:36 PM   #97
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I've outsourced all my alien invasion contingency plans to T-Al.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:39 PM   #98
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A plan like this?

Just for fun: What would you taste like?
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:44 PM   #99
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Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers REWahoo! #cantunderstandwhyitdid
It isn't you personally, just a reflex action that happens whenever I'm around insurance/annuity sales professionals. It disappears quickly if they resist the urge to market their financial products on this board.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #100
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No, that thread is specifically why I went with T-Al, not Lsbcal on the outsourcing.
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