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Old 01-20-2014, 07:04 PM   #61
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I was very frugal before and after retiring. I wondered what to do with my extra money, then started giving it away. 2013 was over the top with air travel and upgrading my future home. Expenses should decline much once I am part of one household.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:14 PM   #62
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One condition of my ER was that my day-to-day lifestyle would be no different than it was when I was working, even working part-time. So I can't say I became more frugal after I retired. I have tweaked my budget at the margins over the last 5 years but nothig big. In fact, it is likely I would have those changes even had I still been working.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #63
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I am not retired yet, but if I had no earned income and if I had to rely solely on my saved money (plus SS at some point, but with no huge pension that could replace say 80% of my current expenses), I would be.

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 Or since you have a budget, you look at yhour withdrawn money like a paycheck and spend it the same way as before (although you don't need to save anything from it anymore..)?

Just curious.
Our daily living budget has been the same for years.
Our vacation budget has gone up a lot.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:55 AM   #64
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Our daily living budget has been the same for years.
Our vacation budget has gone up a lot.
Same here. Our daily living expenses haven't changed one bit (we both worked at home so no commute or business attire costs that went away).

We travel a whole lot more - who had the time before!

(For us there are no more "vacations", just travel)
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:06 AM   #65
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I kept track of our expenses for four years before retiring four years ago (eight years of records as of now). No real increase in expenses except for inflation. We spent less than half of our gross income, not including bonuses and stock options which went directly into the retirement fund. Now spending less than 1.5% of investable NW. We plan to increase our expenditures by moving from the Gulf Coast to the mountains of Western NC, resulting in an average of 10 degress temperature reduction yearround. Yes, there will be higher expenses for heating and some other items, but the results will be well worthwhile. Also can indulge in more canoeing/kayaking/fly fishing than I can now. We decided to move now so that we can enjoy the outdoors while we can still get around well physically; that may not be the case in ten years.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:11 AM   #66
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No.

I finally had time to spend more.
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Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #67
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As I said in an earlier post we are spending more. I thought about this and there are some reasons.

Savings, pensions, and SS replaced about 75% of our pretax income in retirement. However when you take out taxes, both higher income tax, and SS, medical cost, (medicare is cheaper) and you begin to compare disposable income the number is closer to 90%. Then when you take into consideration we are no longer savings for retirement, along with the cost to work, i.e. lunches, transportation, cleaning bill, etc. the bottom line we have considerably more disposable income, and we have begun to spend it!
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:36 PM   #68
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Spend, spend, spend...

Better do it now when the money still brings some pleasures, before old age creeps up on you if it has not done so already. Lurking around the corner are illnesses, physical limitations if not disabilities, diet restrictions, etc... Let's party!

If I were not so lazy, I would spend the time to figure out our SS, then to adjust my WR upwards from 3.5% to spend more on travel.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #69
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Frugal does not accurately describe my spending patterns in the year or so immediately following my cessation of work - "moderate tightwad" would be a better description. I came into ESR via a lay-off and am living on a lower stash than I was aiming for. However, my desire to seek more work was shaky at best, so I decided to see if I could make a go of it on my modest portfolio.

My penny-pinching ways would even have me declining social invites because they entailed a $10 door fee, or would require me to spend $10-15 on food and drinks. This was not as bad as it sounded because, truth be told, it was a good excuse for my INTJ personality to avoid going to things I didn't really want to attend anyway.

After a year or two of being a major Scrooge, two things happened -

1) I realized I could ease up a bit and occasionally spend on frivolous things, and
2) I also discovered (at no great surprise) that living on less than I had previously was actually quite pleasant. My transportation and food costs were lower in ESR than when I had been working, and I hadn't exactly been breaking the bank then either.

With the exception of a very minor part-time gig (which probably involves no more than a few days work a year), I stopped working almost 5 years ago, and have been withdrawing the same amount from the portfolio for almost 3 years now (no cost of living increases in the withdrawals so far). The plan is to continue to withdraw the same amount for as long as I can (within reason) in the hope that I can increase the withdrawals quite substantially later on. Given that my current WR is ~2.5% of the portfolio starting value (~2.1% of the current value), and also considering that a moderate amount of SS will feature in my future, I think there will be more spending money available at some point
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #70
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Better do it now when the money still brings some pleasures, before old age creeps up on you if it has not done so already. Lurking around the corner are illnesses, physical limitations if not disabilities, diet restrictions, etc... Let's party!.
Well, what an optimistic start to the week

However, these things do have to be considered. At the age of 50, I already have early onset arthritis in both knees which threatens to slow me down later on. I want to wait a few more years before beginning the big full-term RV'ing adventure but at the same time, don't want to wait too late in case the old legs make ambulation a lot harder.

Our bodies can be a bit of a PITA, but we have to deal with what we've got!
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #71
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Eh, nobody ever accuses me of being optimistic.

And I have been disappointed a few times. I have always chuckled when reading about people's plan to live to 100. The fully ambulatory 90 year old ones you see at the airport, surely who would not want to be like that. But I have seen the 70-year old in really bad shape in nursing homes and hospitals. Those, the public does not see too often, and also not the ones already ended up in urns, or sprinkled around places.

Spend, spend, spend...
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:25 PM   #72
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I did not retire so I could pinch pennies or be profligate.

I figure I have X many years left, and X-n years left where I can still do things like enjoy a good meal without worrying about my health, play with the grand-kids, and take a 5-8 mile day hike in a national park.

Alas, I don't know the value of either X or n. So, if something comes up that requires spending a few dollars or maybe even a small pile of dollars, and it won't cause me to lower my quality of life in the future, I will spend it.

Of course, I still look for a deal where I can get it.

Oh, I do seriously think about the things I spend money on. Fewer bright, fancy things, more experiences is the direction I am leaning.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:43 PM   #73
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Speaking of RVs, I have noticed more used RVs being offered now, and at better prices than 2 or 3 years ago. I suspect that with the booming economy, more people are upgrading to newer ones, hence the better availability in the used market.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:57 PM   #74
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Speaking of RVs, I have noticed more used RVs being offered now, and at better prices than 2 or 3 years ago. I suspect that with the booming economy, more people are upgrading to newer ones, hence the better availability in the used market.
I think another reason is the manufacture of RV's came to a literal standstill in 2009/2010, reducing the number of used units on the market the past couple of years. RV production rebounded nicely in 2012/2013, which helped ease the pricing pressure.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:08 PM   #75
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I think another reason is the manufacture of RV's came to a literal standstill in 2009/2010, reducing the number of used units on the market the past couple of years. RV production rebounded nicely in 2012/2013, which helped ease the pricing pressure.
You're probably right. When I was looking into a travel trailer (never could convince DW) one dealer flat-out told me he was just trying to stay in business and while he couldn't take a loss on it he wouldn't make anything either.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:53 PM   #76
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Eh, nobody ever accuses me of being optimistic. And I have been disappointed a few times. I have always chuckled when reading about people's plan to live to 100. The fully ambulatory 90 year old ones you see at the airport, surely who would not want to be like that. But I have seen the 70-year old in really bad shape in nursing homes and hospitals. Those, the public does not see too often, and also not the ones already ended up in urns, or sprinkled around places. Spend, spend, spend...
I agree with you 100%, but it sure would help me in planning to spend this extra money by having a more accurate estimate of what age I am going to fall apart. BTW- funny you mention an ambulatory 90 yr. old. I was taking my father to a doctor appt yesterday and a 90 year old man was showing me his recent scar in the doctors office. He took the opportunity a few weeks ago of a large snow pile pushed up from the city snow plow next to a tree to cut a limb down. The chain saw fell out of his hands and gashed his leg a bit while on the snow pile. His daughter who took him there to the unrelated appointment was not happy hearing him brag about the story again.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #77
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Despite my gloomy outlook, I may just last till my 80s, but from the people that I have seen like my mother, my inlaws, and other relatives, most people slow down quite a bit. And other than travel, there is already not much I care to spend money on. So, I think I should step up in that area, while I still can instead of waiting until later when life enjoyment may not entail more than a rocking chair or a swing on the deck, with a petunia pot by my side.

And speaking of travel, it's not like we have deprived ourself. We always took two domestic vacation trips a year when we were working. In the last 12 years, we have stepped that up to as much as two international trips and two domestic trips a year. Since getting the RV, I have done a couple of month-long trips a year. When my health recovers, will want to intersperse one or two international trips a year there too.

Spend, spend, spend...
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:37 PM   #78
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... I have always chuckled when reading about people's plan to live to 100. ...
I think there is a big difference between 'planning to live to 100' and having a plan 'in case you live to 100'.

While I don't expect to live to 100, who knows? Or maybe my spouse will? I don't want to be a burden on my kids if I do. And I want to have resources for good care if I do.

So I used to run FIRECalc for 45 years, I guess I can move that back to 40 years this year. Time flies.

-ERD50
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:51 PM   #79
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And I can only eat and drink so much.
It's about quality not quantity. :-)

For instance, organics, nicer restaurants, premium liquors, a private chef if you really have extra cash to burn...
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:00 PM   #80
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I would not care about private chef, even if I were that rich. I get more fun out of learning to cook myself.

In terms of higher quality, it does not necessarily mean higher cost. It's diminishing return after a certain point. While I like filet mignon, it does not taste better than a good rib-eye for example, and often less. And as my taste bud is getting dull, I can barely tell the difference between XO cognac and VSOP now. Also, after having prosciutto for a few days, I start to crave for plain American ham. I do not normally eat at McDonalds, but after a week or two in Europe, a hamburger really hits the spot. It's not always that more money brings more pleasure.

I read a book by Anthony Bourdain, where he said that cooks at fancy restaurants often ate cheap stuff like Kentucky fried chicken when they got together after work hours. It's comfort food!
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