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Old 01-17-2014, 02:06 PM   #41
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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 have always tipped well, but now likely better. I tend to go to quality places, and/or the same places over and over, so the staff knows me and is attentive. I look upon the tip not as way to be generous, but as a way to reward someone for helping me enjoy my life. Who want some friendly waitress complaining to her coworkers, "that old guy Ha is a real pita!"

Ha
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #42
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I might be wrong, but it would seem careful and considered spending while working is possibly the reason many of us have actually been able to retire early. We've had money to invest as a result.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:13 PM   #43
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We had a LBYM lifestyle before retirement, and we didn't change our attitudes after retirement.

We no longer have some work-related expenses (commuting, clothes, eating frozen entrees because nobody has time to cook).
We paid off the mortgage long before retirement.
We spend more on travel and entertainment.
We spend a lot more on medical, but that's not being less frugal, just more medical problems.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:17 PM   #44
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We have always been frugal, meaning we rarely buy the best of anything, nor shop for apparel just to load up our wardrobe. We do not drive fancy luxury cars. Still, the expenses add up to more than one would think.

We constantly remind our children to watch their expenses, and not live a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle if they want to ever retire, let alone early. Just recently, in order to show our children how much it would take to retire early like we do, I asked them to estimate what our annual expenses were. I wanted them to understand that it took a lot of savings over our working life to get to where we are.

I did not want to pose this kind of question until they were mature enough to understand typical houseshold expenses (they are 28 and 24). They knew our lifestyle, which was comfortable but not extravagant, that we do not go shopping nor eating out at fancy restaurants every weekend. We also have no expensive toys other than the used motorhome which was paid with cash.

While my son did not venture a guess, my daughter gave a number which was less than 1/2 of our actual expenses. I sent them the summary list taken of Quicken to show them that our not-so-luxurious retirement lifestyle took more than the gross income they were making. And they were reasonably well-paid for their age, being employed in the professions that their college education prepared them for.

We did not travel much in 2013, but if we did what I wanted to do if my health permitted, our expenses would be in the 6-figure. But I cannot take it with me, right? Here hoping that I will be able to get back in my saddle later this year.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:51 PM   #45
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We're definitely more considered in our spending decisions. Like everyone here we've been LBYM for a long time but having 2 school aged kids and a possible 50 year retirement ahead of us causes us to be more intentional about our spending.

We live a nice lifestyle but it is definitely dialed back from 18 months ago, when we made the jump.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #46
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In the first couple of years, yes, however, as we settled in and got a better idea of where our money was going and coming from, we have loosened up.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:39 PM   #47
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We're actually spending a good bit more. Always LBYM, still driving a 10 yo car and 3 yo pickup, same paid off house we paid cash for 18 years ago. Between a DB pension I never really thought I'd realize, always saving 20-40%, we clearly went past what was necessary. BUT, until last year or two enjoyed the job and there was a really big penalty to not wait until 60. So now by FIDO or Firecalc we can spend $60-80k more for the next 30 years than we used to. We haven't gotten even close to that but eating out, travel when we can pawn elder care on BIL, buying more high quality foods (and BEER), and recently completely revamping my woodworking tools are examples of how we're trying to not leave as much to the kids. However, we're still only pulling 2.5% out of investments.

So no, we're not spending less. But it's all very discretionary and motivated by the assumed need to enjoy it while we can. It's taken time, but I am getting to letting loose of bucks is way easier than it used to be. But, we still save when we can on stuff. Hard to break old habits. And yes, I know we're very fortunate.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #48
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I've been a lot more frugal since FIRE in 2007. I knew I was exiting very early at age 48, and had to make it on 2 sources of income (1 fixed, 1 COLA'd) to age 56 when I would be eligible for my own deferred FERS pension.
Being single, it was all on me, myself and I as far as reliable income goes.

I did have a steady committed relationship going when I FIREd, but deep down I had to account for the possibility that would not be permanent over the full duration of my retirement. Call it hindsight being 20/20, I freely admit that.

These days, I am happily awaiting the month of September 2014, when I will collect my pension. It won't be a lot, but it will allow me to break out of my strict budget and GO WILD a bit. Domestic travel is at the top of my list.

I may even look at buying (not preferred) or being a frequent flier renter of a small lakeside cottage in the Adirondacks or Lake Ontario. Both are accessible within a 2 hour drive.
Nothing fancy, just a small place that will serve as a getaway in good weather. I love nature and being close to any body of water. I grew up on the Hudson River, and now want to have an option to be able to do lakeside getaways. Resorts and crowds no longer interest me.

Mr B does not share my love of water or boating, so this will be my own little adventure spot while he builds his tax practice and does his Legion/VFW stuff.
I have several lady friends who are thrilled with the idea, and will gladly split the rental fees. I also know a few older veterans who would welcome an invitation to get out of their cramped apartments and enjoy a few days on a lake in fabulous fresh air.
Build a campfire, go out in a kayak, fish, whatever comes to mind.

Lots of ideas are running through my head...
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:42 PM   #49
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I have several lady friends who are thrilled with the idea, and will gladly split the rental fees. I also know a few older veterans who would welcome an invitation to get out of their cramped apartments and enjoy a few days on a lake in fabulous fresh air.
Build a campfire, go out in a kayak, fish, whatever comes to mind.

Lots of ideas are running through my head...
It sounds wonderful. I hope you find a way to make it all come true.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:07 AM   #50
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Are you more frugal than when you were wo*king? Or since you have a budget, you look at yhour withdrawn money like a paycheck and spend it the same way as before (although you don't need to save anything from it anymore..)?.
I've only been retired since April. Spending is much higher as we retired to Maui and my daughter is now in a private school. But that's why I saved and scrimped my whole life.

Being FI, to me, means I can now do things I never dreamed I'd be doing.

Turning 60 this year. Feel like I'm in the 4th quarter of the game of life. Time to use all the plays in the play book before I can no longer make the plays.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:59 AM   #51
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A little bit, but this was planned and isn't really necessary:
  • We cut from our usual three holidays a year to two for 2013 and may or may not do the same this year.
  • My term life policy was cancelled.
  • I'm spending less on lunches and snacks from places near the office.
  • I tend to uses buses instead of taxis because I now have the time.
  • Our home redecoration project was deferred for another year.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:41 PM   #52
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Are you more frugal than when you were wo*king?
We are definitely LESS frugal than when we were wo*king~ mortgage paid off, no car payments, kids no longer @ home, lots of guaranteed income stream cash (SS/pensions), untapped passive investments, expenses less than income, future SS income will increase about 500% in November.

All of these goodies are now available because we were MORE frugal when we were wo*king.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #53
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We are definitely LESS frugal than when we were wo*king~ mortgage paid off, no car payments, kids no longer @ home, lots of guaranteed income stream cash (SS/pensions), untapped passive investments, expenses less than income, future SS income will increase about 500% in November.

All of these goodies are now available because we were MORE frugal when we were wo*king.
Pretty much same for us as far as why we "used to be" frugal.

Now, one could say we are MUCH LESS frugal - or probably more accurately, we spend a lot more money now that we are retired. We still very carefully evaluate all expenses to insure that they give us the value/pleasure we are paying for.

The single biggest expense (compared to our old life) is housing. Decent housing easily costs 4 times as much here as our old life (either purchase price plus maintenance or rental costs, which ever way one chooses to live in Paradise). Most other consumer goods cost 1/3 more simply due to their being shipped 2500 miles or more to get here. So, living about the "same" as before costs considerably more. That probably qualifies us as no longer frugal. Still, it was in the plan and we are working the plan and the plan is working (so far). If the time comes that the plan no longer works, we believe we can use a back-up plan (as simple as moving back to the old life is the "default" back up.) No plans for that at this time. YMMV
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:26 PM   #54
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I am somewhat more frugal than before in the sense that before ER I spent what I wanted vs now I am more conscious of having a budget. The first year was just trying to live on a budget for the first time to see what it was like. It turned out to be no problem at all and in fact is somewhat liberating.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:08 AM   #55
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Only 3 months in here, so still a noob. I'm currently more frugal than prior to retiring, for many of the reasons already stated: more time to find good deals, fear of my money not lasting 45+ years, frugality so ingrained it is hard not to be.

On this last point, we just recently increased our spending budget by about 37% as we realised we had been far more frugal than required last year with our ER test run budget. Nearly a month into it, we are still tracking to the old, much lower, budget and are having to dream up ways to spend more money without considering it wasteful, and it is hard! We've an OS holiday coming up next month where we will get some higher expense runs on the board, so I'll see how I go then.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:24 PM   #56
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More or less the same. I have been living with a budget, no matter how much I earned. The transition to ret. means that we expect to have the same budget. We wonder that perhaps, should loosen the purse string at some point. Some big travels, and perhaps to replace the car and truck.
The frugal habit remains for most part the same.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:38 PM   #57
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Good thread. We went super frugal in late 2007, about a year before we retired. We played the "how low can you go" game in terms of a budget (we did not track our expenses otherwise, I admit). Once we figured out that bare bones level, and yes pb&j sandwiches were involved, we knew we could ratchet things up (we were not going to be happy if we had to live at that bare bones level). But most of our previous spending had involved our kids, who by then were on their own, so we really did not know how to spend money on ourselves.

Six years later we are moving to less frugal as quickly as possible.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:19 PM   #58
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Speaking of splurging, other than travel, I do not really know what to spend a lot of money on. I am indifferent to fancy cars, and electronic toys. I may spend some money on home remodeling, but do not look forward to the hassle of it. Even with travel, I would have to space it out even if I had more money, or it becomes a chore. And I can only eat and drink so much.

Still like to have more money though. Just counting it (with Quicken) is a pleasure, though I am not stingy to the point of not giving large gifts and charity donations.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:52 PM   #59
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Pretty much same for us as far as why we "used to be" frugal.

Now, one could say we are MUCH LESS frugal - or probably more accurately, we spend a lot more money now that we are retired. We still very carefully evaluate all expenses to insure that they give us the value/pleasure we are paying for.
Our plan has always been to spend substantially more in retirement (starting in a little over 4 years) than we do now. The primary driver will be travel, since we'll have much more time to do it. But, like you, we didn't get here by being stupid with our money, so we won't be wasteful.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:01 PM   #60
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I really had to think about the answer to the OP's question. DH has been retired for less than a year. We had been fairly frugal throughout his working years, FIRE being our main goal. I learned how to shop smart so that we could save more.

We still shop smart (no reason not to), but since there is no longer the need to save for FIRE, we spend more freely than we did before - lobster from Costco, eating out when we feel like it, airline tickets for a long weekend stay, etc. DH does receive a non-COLAd pension that, although substantially less than what he brought home when working, still feels like earned income. I think I'd be hesitant to spend so freely if there was no pension that covers most of our everyday expenses.
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