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Old 01-16-2014, 04:46 PM   #21
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I've always been a careful spender and conscious saver. DH was quite the spender until he retired. Now he's much more aware of spending and has found that if he learns some frugal habits his retirement is more secure.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:51 PM   #22
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I've always been a careful spender and conscious saver. DH was quite the spender until he retired. Now he's much more aware of spending and has found that if he learns some frugal habits his retirement is more secure.
Oh my gosh....that's our story too.

When I see he's looking for a better deal or decides not to buy something, I say, 'Who are you...what have you done with my husband?!'
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:16 PM   #23
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I see this is your first post. Welcome to the forum, Palmtree. As you read more of the threads, I think it will become obvious to you that forum members in general like to analyze financial data at nauseam and are way beyond heuristics such as the ones you have mentioned. Expenses in retirement bear no direct relationship to previous income. They do have a foundation in previous expenses. For example, if you are saving 70% of your income while working (as I was) the 80% rule of thumb obviously has no validity. I couldn't spend that much in my wildest dreams.
I agree that savings have to be backed out of it. I also think that previous expenses can be a guide to future expenses. But, depending on the situation even those can change markedly in retirement. We are spending about 30% of our pre-retirement income and some of that difference is because our expenses are very different.

Before we were spending about 3 times as much overall on our home. We have downsized to a smaller house (this was a choice we wanted to make), maintenance is less, and taxes are way less.

We don't have as high kid-related expenses as we did at one time. Still high (two in college) but before we had 3 kids at home and had a lot of related expenses.

Of course, we don't have a lot of the work related expenses. Much lower auto costs since not commuting, lower clothing costs, lower dry cleaning costs, etc.

We do more stuff ourselves around the house so no cleaning service and no yard service.

We don't eat out as much. We still eat out a couple of times a week but way less than we did before.

Anyway, the point is that we actually do spend way less than we did before.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #24
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More frugal in retirement? Not at all.

We planned to spend 100% of our pre-retirement net income, adjusted for our PROI (Personal Rate of Inflation).

Retired 6+ years for me, 2 for wife and that's exactly what we have done.

In fact, last year was quite a bit more expensive, since we "refreshed" the kitchen (new appliances, counter tops, backsplash, flooring) along with having a whole-house backup generator installed.

Our largest expense (other than last year, for home improvements) was, and remains the same in pre/post retirement, and that is for travel. For a lot of folks who retire - especially in the early years, travel is an added expense. For us (each going on our 3rd passports), it's always been part of our lifestyle, and part of the base budget.

We didn't plan on entering retirement on a shoestring and have been fortunate that our reality has matched our plan.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:33 PM   #25
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We're definitely less frugal in retirement.

When we were both working and pre- FI, it seemed like we questioned every expenditure, especially discretionary expenditures. After all, those were dollars that could be added to the portfolio bringing us closer to FI! Now, 7+ years into FIRE, we understand our retirement wants and needs, are comfortable with our budget and portfolio survival projections and spending is less likely to be followed by regret or buyer's remorse.

Sure, we still look for good buys and are careful not to waste, but we've got a discretionary budget we're comfortable with and really enjoy the activities that spending those dollars make possible. And without questioning whether we should have or have not spent the dollars so we'd be "closer to goal."

Said another way, pre-FIRE it seemed like no amount of spending was too small, no sacrifice too great if it brought us closer to FI. Frugal, frugal, frugal! As FIRE'd vets, we're now comfortable with our plan and worry more about letting time pass without doing things we enjoy than we are about beating the FIRE financial plan.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:36 PM   #26
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I am not more frugal at all in retirement so far! I spend more and I think less about LBYM. I don't have to save for retirement any more. Imagine how that would feel! It frees up a lot of money.

Happiness seems to be the default condition in retirement (at least for me), so there is no longer any motivation to buy things in order to cheer oneself up. On the other hand, I ended up with more money to spend in retirement than planned, unexpectedly. So, it is there, and can be spent.

I try to think of ways to LBYM and save money, for the next market crash. I am pretty sure I will go to OTA television, drop my landline, go to a cheaper cell phone service, and more. But all of this is pretty theoretical for me this year.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #27
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I just remember why our expenses went down the last few years: the children were done with college, and even flew the coop.

PS. Just the other day, looking at Quicken annual expense summaries, I saw that we spent significantly less for food in 2013 than earlier years. I asked my wife if she knew of any change in our diet or eating habits. We could not come up with any theory until we remembered that our youngest started working full-time last year.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #28
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Oh my gosh....that's our story too.

When I see he's looking for a better deal or decides not to buy something, I say, 'Who are you...what have you done with my husband?!'
+1 to this .. I showed this link to DW and she spit out her iced tea laughing. She's always been *very* frugal and has been waiting for the day when I would join her on the dark side. I of course hope to have enough $$ to not care, but that would require too many OMYs.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:30 PM   #29
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In my second year of retirement now, and base expenses have stayed pretty constant. The last couple years before retirement had some high one-time infrastructure expenses that I wanted to get done before I pulled the plug on income - heat pump, furnace, sewer connection. But travel expenses are up since retirement - we're taking longer trips because we can. All planned, so no stress.

However, the first year coinciding with great investment returns has made it a lot easier to ignore the lack of earned income - 'earning' four to five years of expenses in investment paper profits can do that. I'm curious if I'll feel the need to go into financial lockdown mode when I have the first down investment year - that will be the real mental test. I know it's dialed in, but that doesn't mean I'll handle it quite as well emotionally.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #30
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I'm not retired but I work about half a year every year and have done that for the last 4+ years. Definitely spend more when I'm not working (about 20% more/month) but always felt like I didn't have the time to spend money how I like to spend money when working (long lunches, non-rushed traveling, non-rushed shopping, renovating...)
When I'm working, I could care less about going out for lunch more than once every couple of weeks, very little I wear needs drycleaning and commuting costs on public transit get offset by driving more etc. when not working just as an excuse to get out and see the world every once in awhile - well, frequently.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:29 AM   #31
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Not retired yet but I expect I will spend about the same as I am frugal by nature.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:52 AM   #32
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We're pretty much staying the same. When I stumbled into the post-retirement job we did loosen the purse strings a bit but the bulk of the unplanned-for income went into savings. Now that the job is gone we're dipping into those assets until I start SS in a year or three. Not decided on exactly when to do that yet.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:05 AM   #33
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No, but our spending and our lifestyle has changed. Downsized from a large house to a 1400 ft rental. Spending less on housing, clothing, and much more on travel. Second car is about to go to my son. The other one, 2006 Accord, will be good for another 10 years by which time the technology should be just right for hybrids.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:23 AM   #34
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Yes, much more. When you have a good income, and likely also have kids, there are legitimate calls on your income, and usually adequate income to fund them easily enough.

I also felt good about spending money on a young pretty wife Not all wives are pretty, but all will eventually be no longer young- so I felt that while I have one I am not going to be an idiot.

In retirement things change. Kids are gone, wife if you still have one is no longer as pretty, and you no longer have such a handsome income to take care of it all.

Ha
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:53 AM   #35
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I'm still a newbie to ER (only 8 months in). I'm still paranoid about running out of money since my plan is to live another 45 years w/o any pension and I'm assuming no SS benefits. So I believe I'm being more frugal now then I was when I was w*rking. Not having that steady paycheck makes it more difficult to justify spending more money then you have to. Based on other posts I have seen on this forum I will probably become more comfortable spending more as I see my ER plan in action and proves to actually work. But for now I'll stay on the frugal side until the data is in.... One thing I have notice after retiring I do not feel the need to get out of town (vacation). I assume this is because of not having the j*b stress and feeling the need to just get away from everything. I have allocated funds for vacations, but do not feel the same pull for taking them. The freedom I have everyday is kind of a vacation ...
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #36
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Yes, much more. When you have a good income, and likely also have kids, there are legitimate calls on your income, and usually adequate income to fund them easily enough. I also felt good about spending money on a young pretty wife Not all wives are pretty, but all will eventually be no longer young- so I felt that while I have one I am not going to be an idiot. In retirement things change. Kids are gone, wife if you still have one is no longer as pretty, and you no longer have such a handsome income to take care of it all. Ha
I occasionally tell my long time GF I can't wait until she is old and ugly so I don't have to spend as much money on her. She doesn't appreciate my humor for some reason.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:23 PM   #37
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I occasionally tell my long time GF I can't wait until she is old and ugly so I don't have to spend as much money on her. She doesn't appreciate my humor for some reason.
No idea why! I guess women are just inscrutable.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #38
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We make it a point to lower our recurring costs and increase our recurring income as much as possible on an ongoing basis. That is pretty much my hobby these days - to try to have more fun, live better and eat healthier for less money than we spend now and to improve our passive and semi-passive income.

I liked the quote from an article someone posted recently: freedom is low overhead.

Every $100 a month we cut means needing $60K less in the retirement plan, or it frees up $60K long term for something more meaningful to us like travel or charity, instead of seeing it slip away by not shopping at Costco and ethnic markets or paying too much for car insurance.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:59 PM   #39
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How about tipping? Do you tip less now? (This may be a strange question, but when I was in college in AZ (This was in the 80's and the average dinner plate at this restaurant cost about $10 then, so in today's dollars around $21) , I waitressed, and many of the snow birds (in their 70's I think) were very poor tippers.
I think that had more to do with the era those folks came from. They were in their formative years during the Depression. My Dad was one of them and I don't think he was a very good tipper although he thought he was.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:06 PM   #40
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My spending has gone up. I have a lot more time to drink beer and work on old cars. Both are quite expensive.
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