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Old 09-13-2016, 06:59 PM   #41
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I am surprised by how many people think they need $40-$60k per yr to retire on. That is a ton of bucks


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Nah, only 90 to 130 pounds.

A ton of money is a little over 900 grand.

I don't know, guys. The way I figure it, a ton of bucks is somewhere between a half-dozen to a dozen and a half, depending upon whether we're talking mule or white-tail.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:05 PM   #42
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I have only worked seriously for 18 years. It makes me uneasy to think about a retirement life of potentially 40 to 50 years in the future. Think about how much the world has changed in the past 18 years.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:18 PM   #43
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Fuego, hard to imagine how a family of 5 can spend so little, travel so much and make big improvements to the home. Your COL must be really low.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:19 PM   #44
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I have noticed that, the older I get the more I want. Three years ago I didn't have a strong desire to move, but now I want out, and to a nicer, more expensive area.
I feel exactly the opposite. I want much less than I did 10 or 15 years ago- also I care far less about what anyone thinks of how I dress, what I drive or how I live. I'd downsize if I could after the kids leave for college, but hubby says they're carrying him out of this house in a pine box, so I guess we're staying...
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:22 PM   #45
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Gosh, my annual spend of ~$17K would absolutely terrify you then , though thanks to about $5K of dental work, it will be in the low 20's this year.

Each to their own. We all have a material standard of living that we need/want to maintain in order to feel comfortable and happy. I think people get into trouble when they are not in touch with that and either overdo the frugality, or overdo the spending.
This is an amazing achievement, to live in the close-in SF Bay in easy reach of BART and spend so little. Your discipline is impressive. And that is a wonderful place to live. Last few days we have had beautiful Indian Summer weather in Seattle, but while your pleasant weather will continue, ours will get rainy before long.

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Old 09-13-2016, 07:26 PM   #46
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And I'm surprised at how many people waste money by poor choices, too much house, too many new cars, etc., and spend $80k - $100k a year when they can live just as good on $50k with nothing more than a few simple smart painless choices. But they don't and then they can't retire in their late 40's or early 50's like many of us.

They are doing it wrong...the rest of us did it right.
These are your opinions, not theirs. And for their lives, theirs are in charge.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #47
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So no. Tag line says ER's in 2015, now back for TMY's. 2 more years.
Ah, gotcha. Didn't catch the TMY acronym.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:38 PM   #48
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I retired in my early 50's and I would have to try really hard to spend $60K a year. It's just not in my DNA.....
Yep, same here. We live a very comfortable life on quite a bit less than that. We have a very nice home, we travel as much as we want, we eat great home-cooked meals, we see the grandkids a lot, I have time for daily exercise/fitness, and I have a variety of hobbies and seasonal activities that I enjoy immensely. I could have worked longer (I retired at age 54.5) and padded the 401k so that we'd have more $$ in retirement, but to me it wouldn't have been worth it (and I really don't know what I would have spent the extra $$ on anyway). The freedom I've experienced to do whatever I want to do over the last 6 1/2 years has been something special, and I'm pretty sure I'll not regret retiring when I did.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:40 PM   #49
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Fuego, hard to imagine how a family of 5 can spend so little, travel so much and make big improvements to the home. Your COL must be really low.
It's Raleigh NC, in a mixed blue-white collar neighborhood. A paid off house and low property tax (~$1500/yr) helps a lot.

We also travel hack like crazy and usually get free flights to wherever we're going and most hotel stays are free. We try to stay in one place for a week at a time and get airbnbs so the nightly rate is somewhat low. Our 3.5 week trip to Canada this summer was a road trip in our new(used) minivan, so travel costs were very low ($200 in gas) and we only spent $1000 total (though landed 4 free nights in $400/nt hotel in Niagara Falls).

Cook most meals at home (though not bare bones rice and beans at all!). In the fridge: NC BBQ pulled pork (homemade from $.99/lb pork shoulders of course), some ribs waiting to be cooked (found at the store for $1.20/lb today when we walked down), and some sausages for some kind of pasta or sub.

Drive a used car, and only own one car right now (insurance is $350/yr total for 2 drivers for a half million coverage). Though we don't drive a whole lot because so much is walkable in our neighborhood (just today, tennis, park, trail, library, kids' school, grocery store). Walking = gym time (plus some yoga-ish calisthenics and a treadmill at home).

We host parties at our house occasionally. If it's for kids it's usually whatever kind of pizza has a BOGO deal, plus some beer/wine for the adults ($50-60 max usually).

Somehow we make it work.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:13 PM   #50
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Fuego: thanks for telling how you do it. I don't travel hack and we like to eat out, etc and spend about 400/month on that. We have 2 cars but when one dies will go down to one because some days our cars just sit in driveway. Our house is paid for and our taxes low too. our biggest expenses are our old pets and our health insurance -10k/year. WE also live in a walkable neighborhood. It was one of the reasons we down sized to this home.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:25 PM   #51
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The young wife and I are FI with respect to our current expenses. We are essentially working for First Class airplane seats right now. But not much longer.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #52
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Fuego: thanks for telling how you do it. I don't travel hack and we like to eat out, etc and spend about 400/month on that. We have 2 cars but when one dies will go down to one because some days our cars just sit in driveway. Our house is paid for and our taxes low too. our biggest expenses are our old pets and our health insurance -10k/year. WE also live in a walkable neighborhood. It was one of the reasons we down sized to this home.
You aren't kidding about old pets! We are lucky in that we have a family friend that's our vet, so we get a nice discount. Nonetheless, we spend a not insignificant amount of money on those bastages!

It has been mentioned a couple of times and I have to agree...having a paid off house (especially in a low COL area) sure helps with being ERd.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:52 PM   #53
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I always leave a CC for my son to care for the pets when we leave. This time I told him Josie has a DNR since she is 20 and if he could get a hold of us call before spending thousands. However, we only had 4 port dates out of 10 days. Luckily nothing happened. I had never had dogs before so had no idea how expensive they would get. Even when young we had some huge expenses. Some people said put them to sleep but I could not.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:07 PM   #54
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Well to me as long as you can sustain greater than poverty income, technically your FI.. ie you won't starve and people survive on it, so anything more than that is for the extras in life... that is the bare bones level of FI.

Then theres the if we made some sacrifices, we'd be fine, but there would be sacrifices. That's the level we are living at right now.. just to test our boundaries. After 1.5 years, we've agreed the 1 car thing is not something we want to continue long term. That we will want a little bigger place as we downsized a little too much... etc.

Then there is of course, the lifestyle you would like, where you don't have to sacrifice anything and you have money left over...but are you willing to keep working to get to this level? We are currently in between Level 2 and Level 3... so my BF will keep working part time until at least we know the bigger house and second car is taken care of, plus a little more for health care (especially with the drug prices jumping), Since he only needs to work 15 hrs a week for the next 5 years to make up that gap.. he's fine with that as long as we don't sacrifice our food budget. I'm a cook so supper was a curry tomatoe shrimp bisque.. he would not be ok if we switched to campbells tomato soup.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:15 PM   #55
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By the time our cars wear out it will be another 10 years and we will be in our 70's and with cheap alternatives such as uber I think one car will be fine then. We downsized to 1400 sq ft which has been fine with a yard, small garage and big shed. If we had went much smaller it might have been a problem. I knew we each needed our own office and own tv space. S0 we have big tv in our bedroom and one in the LR. I still work about 10 hours/week by choice and my DH when he gets consulting work.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:28 PM   #56
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he's fine with that as long as we don't sacrifice our food budget. I'm a cook so supper was a curry tomatoe shrimp bisque.. he would not be ok if we switched to campbells tomato soup.

Lol. Cheers to the cook!


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Old 09-13-2016, 09:33 PM   #57
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I am happy with what I have in retirement. I retired in 2009, and the market has soared since then. I didn't expect that or plan for that.

Year after year in retirement I kept thinking that OK, surely NOW the market would crash. Year after year it hasn't. At least not yet. My nest egg grew and grew. So, as many here know, last year I spent the accumulated excess on the only thing left on earth that I really wanted: a nice home that is suited for me as I grow older.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:42 PM   #58
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Fuego: thanks for telling how you do it. I don't travel hack and we like to eat out, etc and spend about 400/month on that. We have 2 cars but when one dies will go down to one because some days our cars just sit in driveway. Our house is paid for and our taxes low too. our biggest expenses are our old pets and our health insurance -10k/year. WE also live in a walkable neighborhood. It was one of the reasons we down sized to this home.
Yeah, no problem. We spend about $100/mo on dining out which isn't more than 2-3x with a family of 5. Probably chinese restaurant 1-2x/month and/or some chinese takeout. Maybe pizza. Sometimes a lunch or two out with an old friend to catch up.

I'm on an ACA plan, and with family of 5 you get subsidies up to $115k income. At $42k AGI we pay about $125/mo for a $0 deductible plan, so we're "saving" about $10k/yr on health insurance premiums from the ACA tax credit, plus several thousand $ worth of not having a deductible (probably saved us $0.5-1k this year).

We drove the car once this week so far to pick up a prescription at walmart and go downtown to a museum. The museum is directly on the bus line and we almost walked to walmart, so a car wasn't really necessary, but it needs its exercise too so we drove it to both places on one trip on Monday. I think I have 14 miles on the current tank of gas that I bought last week sometime. I see enough 70-80 year olds out and about walking around my neighborhood, and I hope I'm one of them too (in another 34-44 years).
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:00 PM   #59
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Our health insurance is through a former employer. At 65k income if we take ACA insurance the premium plus the high deductibles we aren't any better off. I have spent a lot of time checking. I was much more frugal when raising my kids but now is our time to eat out, travel, entertainment, etc because at 62 you don't know how much time you have left. I have had a few friends die in 50's and 60's and one now with brain cancer. We walk a ton everyday because we love it and want to stay in shape.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:50 PM   #60
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And I'm surprised at how many people waste money by poor choices, too much house, too many new cars, etc., and spend $80k - $100k a year when they can live just as good on $50k with nothing more than a few simple smart painless choices. But they don't and then they can't retire in their late 40's or early 50's like many of us.

They are doing it wrong...the rest of us did it right.
I don't relate to this "they are wrong and we are right" way of thinking at all. It is not a virtue, in my opinion, to live on a very modest income, neither is it a grave misdoing to live on a larger income. If I had a portfolio that would support a high income, I'm pretty sure I could find ways to spend it - not to blow it, but to use it to purchase goods and experiences that I would enjoy and derive satisfaction from. My portfolio, at ~$780K, with a modest amount of SS coming online in the future, will only support a very modest income, so I find a way to live on that. I am a happy and content soul at heart and whether I have a lot of money or (more likely) a little, there will still be a base level of contentment in my life.
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This is an amazing achievement, to live in the close-in SF Bay in easy reach of BART and spend so little. Your discipline is impressive. And that is a wonderful place to live. Last few days we have had beautiful Indian Summer weather in Seattle, but while your pleasant weather will continue, ours will get rainy before long.
Ha
Thanks Ha, but it is not such a difficult thing to do, if needs and desires are simple, and one has the good fortune (as I did) to find cheap accommodations. If I am one day no longer able to live in this characterful old house in Oakland , I will most likely have to move further afield to find affordable living options, which is what I will do.

This part of the East Bay has just about the most pleasant weather of anywhere I have lived. Even in the summer when it becomes hot, we only have to wait for a few days before the weather breaks and turns cooler. There is enough variation to keep things interesting (clouds, rain, wind, as well as sunshine) but not so much as to truly test the spirits. I expect to have to move when the current cheap rent situation changes, and don't expect to ever live in such an agreeable climate again. We adapt though, and life continues.
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