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Old 01-02-2008, 12:52 PM   #81
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I think 2 years out of a lifetime is a good bet for assured health coverage, no matter what the pols may promise. By the time there is anything definite, you will have almost reached you goal.
You're right. I'm thinking (rather cynically) that with my luck, probably national health coverage will go into effect within a year after I retire.

But at least if I have private lifetime medical coverage I have a better probability of being covered. I have also heard stories about people in Canada sometimes having to wait months for heart surgery, and such. These may or may not be true, but still, it might be nice to have private coverage just in case.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:10 PM   #82
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Thank you for helping to provide me with the motivation to work until I qualify for lifetime medical, 675 days from now. I could retire sooner or maybe even immediately if it weren't for that.
I'm in an almost identical situation. I could retire now but I'm holding on for the lifetime medical. It's 696 days for me. Well, make that 697 days. Dang leap year. I may reduce this by 80 days or so by going half-time and taking vacation at the end.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:45 PM   #83
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Wow how did you only spend 2.6k in food?
Two things helped out a lot here.

First, my employer provided free breakfast and lunch to me for the majority of the year.

Second, my parents living in an adult independent living place where they get punch cards for their meals in the cafeteria. For a variety of reasons, they don't use up their punch cards fast enough, so they invite me to dinner about once a week to help them out.

Other than that, I do a lot of the standard cheapskate tricks. I shop at Walmart. I buy generics. I maintain a price list. I avoid expensive stuff like steak and alcohol. I try not to waste food. My kids actually like oatmeal, which helps also. I don't clip food coupons, though. I also lost about 17 pounds from about March through December (~205 -> ~188).

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Old 01-02-2008, 02:17 PM   #84
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ugghhh...including business expenses....i spent

$110k
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:34 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
I'm in an almost identical situation. I could retire now but I'm holding on for the lifetime medical. It's 696 days for me. Well, make that 697 days. Dang leap year. I may reduce this by 80 days or so by going half-time and taking vacation at the end.
Wow! I was going to "crow" over being 22 days ahead of you, but I think you are the one that's ahead. That's because there is no possibility of working half-time at my job unless I came up with ironclad medical reasons. Terminal leave is frowned upon (or prohibited?) as well at my agency, though I intend to take a whole lot of leave sprinkled throughout 2008 and 2009.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:05 PM   #86
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W2R, I really love that statue on your new table. What is it made of?
Martha, I remember now. It's just resin. I was having a "senior moment" and couldn't remember the word! Anyway, it is not carved from marble or stone, even though it looks like it (to me).
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:08 PM   #87
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About $575,000.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:24 PM   #88
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I'm impressed with all the record keeping. I can only give a WAG ...
I am impressed by the detail as well! I use Quicken, but just can't get used to entering all the data. Any suggestions on how you do it would be greatly appreciated! (Sorry to hijack the thread)

Back to the original question: DH and I spent about $96,000 in '07 -- including a new roof and other major home improvements totaling >$15,000 and helping DD with college/living expenses. Expect '08 to be closer to $75k

EDIT: Oops, proving once again that it's better to read the whole thread before posting. Thanks for the suggestions on how to track the spending. Now, back to our regular programming....
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:25 PM   #89
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I didn't track by category, simply kept a track of the total actual spent each month (payments from bank, credit card monthly total etc).

$63,933 in 2007
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:44 PM   #90
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Over Budget

Spent 76,299 including everything. Budget was 66280. I track everything in Excell daily. It only takes a few minutes. To many catagories to list

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Old 01-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #91
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I use Quicken, but just can't get used to entering all the data. Any suggestions on how you do it would be greatly appreciated! (
I hardly enter any data manually. I download data from Vanguard, from my bank, and from my credit card.

This works pretty well, although there are a few unnecessarily complicated things you have to get used to. For example, here's the note I have to myself:
Download transactions

REMEMBER: Sometimes the "SWEEP TO BROKERAGE" amount is the combined total of two checks.

Accept the Prime MM transactions first, like this:

In Prime MM, click on transaction, then choose to edit it. Set proceeds to go Vanguard Advantage Checking

In Vanguard Advantage Checking, you'll see two transactions for every check. One is the Sweep to brokerage, and will match the transfer that you set up above (amount in black). The other is the check itself (amount in red), and should match a transaction if you entered it ahead of time. Accept both.

If you didn't enter it ahead of time, edit the transaction.

Note that PG&E will have a transaction, and there will be one for Mastercard.
Every once in a while, I'll have to scratch my head when things don't come out right (cash balance of zero). I don't I will be able to handle this in 10 years. Also, Quicken often makes mistakes. For example, it will always match the bank's interest with an interest transaction from years ago.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:17 PM   #92
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Home totals 3900
Daily living totals 6300
Transportation totals 11550
Entertainment totals 2677
Health totals 3293
Vacations totals 5687
Recreation totals 804
Dues/subscription totals 302
Personal totals 2603
Property tax & additional 93
Misc. payments totals 3711
Total expenses ~41000

This is take home pay for expenses and does not include Co. sponsored medical and dental which is about $1500.
Included in here is $5700 for food and get this.....$64 property tax.
Transportation totals include ~$3200 for gasoline because I have a fishing passion.
Last year we put $47K into savings and megacorp put $10700.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:28 PM   #93
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I'm very impressed by all the posts, some quite detailed. So am going to give a FIRECalc view of this for our 2007 spending. We spent about 6.2% of our available funds. But because our portfolio went up about 8.0% (55% equities) we just about kept up with inflation. Our portfolio is now 23% ahead of the inflation adjusted starting portfolio.

So I figure that if the market falls 20% we will still be OK and will not have to eat cat food in 2008. Since we only have a dog that is for the best.

Items that pushed up our spending over a more comfortable level we're:
9k -- trip to France (you only live once )
10k -- new carpet for house
16k -- helping our son out as he discovers that he really needs an education to avoid slave labor

Oh yes, and we spent a bundle at Whole Foods which I hear is lovenly referred to as "whole wallet".
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:41 PM   #94
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About $575,000.
I do beleive we have a winner!
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:03 PM   #95
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So I figure that if the market falls 20% we will still be OK and will not have to eat cat food in 2008. Since we only have a dog that is for the best.
In an episode of "Red Dwarf" the hero is starving and has to eat dog food, after which he says, "now I understand why dogs lick their genitals - it's to take away the taste of the dog food"
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #96
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About $575,000.
"I do believe we have a winner! "

Or a loser?!?
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:10 PM   #97
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About $575,000.
He paid cash for his new house?

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Old 01-02-2008, 10:20 PM   #98
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I am impressed by the detail as well! I use Quicken, but just can't get used to entering all the data. Any suggestions on how you do it would be greatly appreciated! (Sorry to hijack the thread
It's 99% AUTOMATED!!

That makes it SO easy.

I enter very little by hand. 99% of the data is electronically downloaded - checks from the bank website (this also picks up all the electronic bill paying), credit card charges from the card website, investment transactions from the brokerage website. I download these once or twice a month.

Quicken learns "categories" very quickly, recognizes who a check/credit card is paid too, and automatically assigns the category used the last time. This is so smooth!

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Old 01-02-2008, 10:39 PM   #99
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We spent about $115,000 not including taxes, FICA, health insurance and 401(k) contributions taken out of gross pay before we get to net pay. Biggest category in MSMoney was "credit card" at $60,000 which includes anything we charged on any credit cards such as gas, groceries, clothes, hobbies, eating out, charitable contributions, vacations, health care, etc. Next biggest was "Bills" at $17K which includes mortgage, utilities, phones.

So we were only $35K over budget. Biggest leak appears to be charitable contributions this year.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:52 PM   #100
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9k -- trip to France (you only live once )
Hopefully, you will live more than once and go to France/Europe multiple times
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