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Old 06-01-2016, 07:45 AM   #21
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Well, it's simple you weren't happy living in a small 3 bedroom house with 2 kids.Why did your kids have to share a bedroom. And that's fine, It also sounds as if you might have spent more then planned on your new house.

A lot of people who feel they need to upgrade homes have the habit of collecting too much "stuff"which costs more money to buy and maintain. Your comment about having room for your "hobbies" , which also tend to drain money makes my point. Now there is nothing wrong with doing any of these things, but it does kind of point out that ER isn't your number one goal.

Our oldest DD bought a cape cod in an established close in suburb when she was 25 years old with a 15 year loan. It's a great high demand area, 2 kids later they are about 12 months from having it paid off at 40. They have 3 bedrooms and she is great at watching what she puts in the house and when the kids were small very proactive about weeding out toys and such to keep down the clutter.

A smaller house saves you money in the buying clutter department, there is no doubt about it.It's also cheaper on the utilities.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:49 AM   #22
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I agree this is not lifestyle creep. This is invasion of the body snatchers....or nest egg snatchers.

I actually think the term "lifestyle creep" is pretty accurate, at least in my case. Thinking back on almost 40 years of marriage, work and raising a family, there were never any big changes in lifestyle that happened quickly, or even noticeably. But, comparing today vs. when DW and I first started out, I find it hard to believe we got by on so little. Now, if we had maintained our pauper life style, we could have FIRE'd long ago (we're looking at two or three more months of w**k for me and three more days for DW &#128512. But, I think we struck a pretty good balance of enjoying our accumulation phase (even if it was longer than most on this forum) and now ready to move on to the next phase. So, no regrets for the lifestyle creep or even invasion of the body snatchers.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:04 AM   #23
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Well, it's simple you weren't happy living in a small 3 bedroom house with 2 kids.Why did your kids have to share a bedroom. And that's fine, It also sounds as if you might have spent more then planned on your new house.

A smaller house saves you money in the buying clutter department, there is no doubt about it.It's also cheaper on the utilities.
Average US Family spends majority of income on Hosing and Transportation. This is area that one needs to trim if he/she wants to FIRE ASAP.

BTW Family of 4 could live very comfortably in 1500 square foot house IMO provided house is located in good school district.

We own things and things own us.
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:07 AM   #24
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FIRE is a great concept, but it should not become so important as to deny yourself a life along the way
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:20 AM   #25
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If it's any consolation, my original goal was 45 as well. Well, here I am, 46, and still at w*rk. I've bumped my goal now to 50, maybe 51. And yes, lifestyle creep has set in. I've started casually looking at houses in neighborhoods in the adjacent county, that I'm interested in moving to. And it's amazing how much more house an extra $100K will get you. And then, how much nicer one another $100K over that is! I figure once I get really serious about moving though, I'll scale back my delusions of grandeur.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:09 AM   #26
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I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how expensive our lifestyle has become, and how much longer we will have to work before we can retire.

My plans for FIRE at 45 have become plans for FIRE at 60.

Anyone else in that position?

Yup. Story not unlike yours. But finally retiring in two months at 64 after going part-time a couple of years ago. Original plan of 50 went down in flames. But one look at my 6 beautiful grandkids and I'm ok with it. And honestly, the number I might have retired with at 50-even had I stayed single-scares the hell out me now. So heading into pure NSER (not-so-early-retirement) with more padding in the belly but more padding in the wallet. I'll take it...
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:40 PM   #27
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It's all about choices, balance and adaptation.

Several years ago, I got very serious about early retirement. Upped my 401k/ESPP contributions, cut back on the lifestyle, defined what I could spend in retirement, set a tentative date.

Since then, a couple of things have happened.
  • Choice: I realized I would be more comfortable being able to spend a slightly higher level in retirement than originally thought.
  • Balance: I didn't want to give up quite as much now (e.g., limited vacation) as I had thought. Especially if things were going to be slightly delayed.
  • Adaptation: Benefits at work have been curtailed a bit. Pension frozen as of early next year. Not a huge impact to me, but still, enough that I will rethink.

So my "plan" right now is that it will be a year or two longer than originally thought. That's ok. I'm comfortable with those decisions, and no doubt more will come along to require other adjustments.

Looks like you're finding the right balance for yourself. Enjoy the journey!
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:20 PM   #28
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Nothing creeped.
You chose.
The daughters did not come along. You made them.
You are in the driver seat of your life.
And each choice you make FOR something is a decision AGAINST something else.
Over time we all plan and revise plans.
The revised version often is better, more fulfilling, than the first draft.
Enjoy!
I did what you generally have done but it was pretty much what I expected rather than unexpected. We are empty nested now and will RE next year at 57.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:40 AM   #29
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What I love about this thread is that people are not stuck on any particular cookie cutter retirement dogma. For most of us with finite means, it's really about coming up with your own solution based on your choices in life and how they fit against your own values. You can have anything in the world but not everything.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:38 AM   #30
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Been there, done that and FIREing at 40 ended up FIREing at 47 (although both of us work part time for non-financial reasons).

We chose to have children and accepted the price tag that comes with them but managed to keep costs in other areas under control to some degree - downgraded holidays and never bought a car etc. We also found that household income rose quite nicely which helped a lot.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:55 AM   #31
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Good for you. Life isn't a balance sheet exercise. Life is to be lived with intelligent money management as a component of a well lived life. It's a means to an end rather than an end unto itself.

A lot of people I know who are miserable at work have built a family lifestyle that makes losing their jobs a near term catastrophe. Make sure you have near term security and you will have greater career flexibility -- which is valuable both financially and emotionally

Enjoy the ride!

Both of these pieces of info are very wise.

My FIL and I were just discussing to always look for the back door exits first in any business situation. So true. So true.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:42 AM   #32
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Wait until you get a second wife, it will cost even more and be FIRE at 70.
This is a really good comment. The point of a plan is just to be able to quickly assess the impacts of the many choices you are faced with. In my case, the second wife only took RE from 55 to 60.
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My FIL and I were just discussing to always look for the back door exits first in any business situation.
If you have no option open to you, then you will resent your current situation. I always had relationships with headhunters for exactly that. And FIRE made me realize the value of the DB Pension when compared to any of these other options.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:22 AM   #33
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We make tradeoffs. Yes, retirement is important as is saving and investing for it. So I think it's foolish to not save for retirement, and to try to set aside part of your raises to put into IRAs and 401K/403Bs before you can be tempted to spend it and engage in "lifestyle creep".

That said, there is no guarantee we'll be around to enjoy the retirement we are saving for, or a guarantee that we will be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of our deferred gratification. OTOH, we *know* we are here today, so it's OK to take some of it and enjoy it today as well! Sometimes a few indulgences today make it easier to put up with working life for a little while longer, too. Balance, folks. Balance!
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:29 AM   #34
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BTW Family of 4 could live very comfortably in 1500 square foot house IMO provided house is located in good school district.
Of course, a good school district tends to drive up the cost of the housing considerably....
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:31 AM   #35
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True on the school district but a small house will be cheaper then a bigger house and the taxes will be lower for the same school.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:46 AM   #36
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Of course, a good school district tends to drive up the cost of the housing considerably....
Yea but you are way better off living in 1000 square foot house in great location, school system, parks, bike paths, commuting etc then living in 3000 square foot house in so so location. Even from resale angle..... Plus it is way cheaper to maintain, insure, furnish.

Kinda like Buffet said:
"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."

What I am trying to say in great majority of cases moving to bigger house will not give you much in terms of life satisfaction. Maybe moving to better location will, but one should think about that when buying initial property.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #37
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That said, there is no guarantee we'll be around to enjoy the retirement we are saving for, or a guarantee that we will be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of our deferred gratification. OTOH, we *know* we are here today, so it's OK to take some of it and enjoy it today as well! Sometimes a few indulgences today make it easier to put up with working life for a little while longer, too. Balance, folks. Balance!
Well said! We've taken some trips that have undoubtedly added to my work years, but we enjoyed some bucket list type experiences while in our healthiest years. My attitude toward my job is much better by balancing fairly aggressive retirement saving with liberal use of my generous paid vacation time for life enhancing adventures.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:25 PM   #38
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I'll just add this: FIRE is a mentality, a way of life, a philosophy, a mantra. No matter where you are in your life, married or single, kids no kids, house here, house there, you still espouse it, live way below you means and never pay anyone to do anything that you can do yourself. I "decided" that I wanted to retire at 55 when I was in my 20s, single, no kids. I am '54 now and will FIRE a month before my 55th birthday. (one) wife, 2 kids, 2 houses, and I made it.... (well, 6 months and 30 days, but who's counting) Granted I have been VERY lucky with corporate America and a supporting, trusting wife how makes a great salary also, but I have often asked myself what would I have done if......

I am sure I would have done whatever I needed to do and never let go of my dream....
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:44 PM   #39
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I'll just add this: FIRE is a mentality, a way of life, a philosophy, a mantra. No matter where you are in your life, married or single, kids no kids, house here, house there, you still espouse it, live way below you means and never pay anyone to do anything that you can do yourself. ....
Basically agree with the spirit of your post, except for the emphasized part. Maybe, never pay someone to do things that I could do without carefully considering the cost/benefit tradeoff? If one puts their mind to it (and skips a lot of sleep), there is little that one can't do for oneself. Rather than giving examples, let's just say that I do a lot less for myself now than when I was a SAHD. So too, if I could count on having a day off every weekend, I'd do more....
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:59 PM   #40
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Yea but you are way better off living in 1000 square foot house in great location, school system, parks, bike paths, commuting etc then living in 3000 square foot house in so so location. Even from resale angle..... Plus it is way cheaper to maintain, insure, furnish.

Kinda like Buffet said:
"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."

What I am trying to say in great majority of cases moving to bigger house will not give you much in terms of life satisfaction. Maybe moving to better location will, but one should think about that when buying initial property.
I agree to a point. Our current house is about 1500 square feet. It has two bedrooms upstairs and a small bedroom in the somewhat damp basement. There is substantial value to me for moving into say a 2000 sqft house with 3-bedrooms on one level so that I can separate my kids. So moving to a $300k house in the school district we wanted would be perfectly sensible to my mind, and it would've had a pretty small impact on our FIRE plans given our income level.

That would have been the sensible, FIRE-friendly approach. Instead, we bought the 3400 sqft house with 5 bedrooms, a master bath, a walk-in closet and a 3-car garage. That will likely push back the FIRE date a fair amount.

Although, having just locked my mortgage rate at 3.6125 for a 30-year mortgage, I'm starting to think a 55 FIRE date may still be in the cards.

We just need a little inflation.
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