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Old 12-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #141
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Ha, I hope you are just talking about food costs per day, not everything.
Neither actually, I am just blatantly lying.

Ha
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:00 PM   #142
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Neither actually, I am just blatantly lying.

Ha
And how do we know for sure with a signature like "Ha" ?

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:10 PM   #143
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We are ALL the good guys, Lsbcal. Every one of us. We are all doing our best to set goals that are reasonable for us as individuals, and to meet those goals as best we can. It's just interesting to read where others are on their parallel, though often different, journeys through life.
It's posts like this that make me instinctively look for the "like" button, before I realize that I'm not on Facebook!

I think you've summed it up well W2R.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #144
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I for one am getting tired of all the frugal posts...
I do not get enough of the frugal posts!

So, I have been reading blogs of full-time RV'ers who live in the boondocks to get more. They live close to nature, and get lots of exercise. Good stuff! The smaller their RV, the more interesting story they tell.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #145
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Including taxes, we spent over $280K this year - so far.
I could live on that for 5 or 6 years with 0% return on investments.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:29 PM   #146
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Including taxes, we spent over $280K this year - so far.
Including taxes, I could get by on that for 4 years, and save too.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:41 PM   #147
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Including taxes, I could get by on that for 4 years, and save too.
We could too. DW just needs to retire (it would go a long way to cut our tax bill) and we can move back into our paid for house in the South where we used to live very comfortably on less than $75K a year until last year.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #148
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Wow, impressively low for someone who lives in CA. I am humbled. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you cook most of your meals?

Congratulations on the kitties. We adopted a kitty this year too, she is a wonderful addition to the 2 existing doggies. Everyone getting along and are spoiled
I'm not particularly proud of it - just happy that I can lead a life I'm comfortable with on this kind of money. My lifestyle is very simple. I was lucky to find a nice studio apartment in a lovely 100 year-old house in a good part of town for only $640/month including utilities. In the metro area I live in, that is very reasonable. The older gentleman who owns the house rarely raises the rent, so it's a deal that has worked well for the very long-term residents. Hopefully the "outside world" won't come as too much of a shock to them if they have to move out (he is getting rather old, and I'm not sure that a new owner would want to continue to run it as a rental property.)

As well as low rent, I have a landline telephone only with DSL (total internet and phone bill is $30/month including long distance), no cable or satellite TV, and no car - just a bicycle I bought for $100 from Craigslist. The bike also gives me much-needed exercise.

Other than rent, my only other significant expense is food, for which I spend about $300 - $350/ month. I tried eating very cheaply before, and it was affecting my health so now I include lots of fruit and vegetables in my diet.

Maintaining this low-cost lifestyle is made easy by my rather reclusive personality. My favorite place to be is at home with my cats. I rarely go out to socialize and hardly ever eat out, yet this is my preferred way of life - for many it would feel like self-imposed hardship. I'm sure a few of the other introverts here can empathize!

Glad to hear you're a pet-owner too. They are my pride and joy - both of which were adopted this year. Common wisdom says that you shouldn't expect an older shy cat to get along with a kitten but after a few bathroom incidents on the sofa, my older cat has accepted the kitten and they get along just fine. In fact, I think that the outgoing little girl has helped the shy older lady come out of her shell.

I LOVE these 2 babies very much indeed!

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #149
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Including taxes, we spent over $280K this year - so far.
I would venture to guess that the biggest portion of your annual spend went to taxes, and perhaps a rented apt in SFO?

Here is just another perspective...hope it isn't taken the wrong way by anyone:

Some of us who still work, or have a partner who work, in a professional or senior management position, pay much more in taxes than we spend. That is certainly true in our case, and I would suspect it to be similar for FIREd. I have only a vague idea of how much we spent on living this year because the exchange rate and high cost of living in Tokyo makes it hard to keep track of. But I believe that we have most likely paid 4-5x in income taxes than we spent on living, plus we saved quite a bit.

Next year, my first year of retirement, will also be very skewed with high taxes due to some final compensation, as well as on the cost side due to some start-up and repair items at our home in CA.

I have set a budget that is much higher than most in this thread, but even then, I sometimes worry about it. That said, it is so high because we live overseas in a very high cost of living location, and have no clue how much it will cost to live at our home (we left almost 14 years ago), and do the things we want to do. It does hearten me some that so many are able to have a pretty fulfilling and enjoyable life for 100k or less...that would mean that maybe we won't need nearly as much as we have planned for...which would give us more play money. In any case, we will be tracking our spending much more carefully next year, when we are back home.

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Old 12-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #150
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I would venture to guess that the biggest portion of your annual spend went to taxes, and perhaps a rented apt in SFO?
Exactly right. Those 2 items alone account for 75% of our spending. The other 25% include a large, one-time contribution to our charitable gift fund.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:57 PM   #151
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One might avoid Fed & State tax by either (1) spending from savings, (2) taking from a Roth IRA.

We payed a lot in taxes this year.

I will be retiring in a state that will not tax any of my retirement income (Texas or Louisiana). That includes my federal pension(s) & withdrawals from my TSP. Also, I expect to be in a 10% or so federal tax bracket. My retirement planning is all calculated on net income numbers, since that's the only part that actually makes it into my checking account.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #152
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I started this thread off talking about % withdrawal rates.

Now I'm thinking the $ figures really juice up the dialog here.

And wow what a spread, from maybe 20k/year up to 250k/year.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:05 PM   #153
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We are ALL the good guys, Lsbcal. Every one of us. We are all doing our best to set goals that are reasonable for us as individuals, and to meet those goals as best we can. It's just interesting to read where others are on their parallel, though often different, journeys through life.
W2R, I will vote for you if you run for some political office.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #154
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Here is just another perspective...hope it isn't taken the wrong way by anyone:

Some of us who still work, or have a partner who work, in a professional or senior management position, pay much more in taxes than we spend.
R
I know exactly what you mean, and that is one of the reasons I quit.Working 12 hr days/ 7 days a week. I made a lot but 50% was gone before I ever got to touch it. I knew I could live comfortably on a lot less and without the stress involved so I quit.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #155
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I'm not particularly proud of it - just happy that I can lead a life I'm comfortable with on this kind of money. My lifestyle is very simple. I was lucky to find a nice studio apartment in a lovely 100 year-old house in a good part of town for only $640/month including utilities. In the metro area I live in, that is very reasonable. The older gentleman who owns the house rarely raises the rent, so it's a deal that has worked well for the very long-term residents. Hopefully the "outside world" won't come as too much of a shock to them if they have to move out (he is getting rather old, and I'm not sure that a new owner would want to continue to run it as a rental property.)

As well as low rent, I have a landline telephone only with DSL (total internet and phone bill is $30/month including long distance), no cable or satellite TV, and no car - just a bicycle I bought for $100 from Craigslist. The bike also gives me much-needed exercise.

Other than rent, my only other significant expense is food, for which I spend about $300 - $350/ month. I tried eating very cheaply before, and it was affecting my health so now I include lots of fruit and vegetables in my diet.

Maintaining this low-cost lifestyle is made easy by my rather reclusive personality. My favorite place to be is at home with my cats. I rarely go out to socialize and hardly ever eat out, yet this is my preferred way of life - for many it would feel like self-imposed hardship. I'm sure a few of the other introverts here can empathize!

Glad to hear you're a pet-owner too. They are my pride and joy - both of which were adopted this year. Common wisdom says that you shouldn't expect an older shy cat to get along with a kitten but after a few bathroom incidents on the sofa, my older cat has accepted the kitten and they get along just fine. In fact, I think that the outgoing little girl has helped the shy older lady come out of her shell.
Your housing cost is indeed very low for your location. I do not know much about rental markets, but recently, when wandering around downtown Fort Bragg which consisted of about 4 blocks, I saw a sign for a rental apartment on top of a storefront for $950. I thought that was high for that location, which should be a lot lower than where you are.

The problem with living so cheaply is that it might cost you more to move out on an RV, so you will not do it, and won't get to experience it.

Anyway, I like to read people's blogs on how little they live on. I have always felt that beyond some basic necessities, one's expenses are very elastic. While it is true that it is a lot easier to adjust up than to scale down, when it comes to it, people will find a way to adapt. So much of what people have is just fluff anyway. Hence, I have been itching to do an experience of my own with RV living for a few months. The problem is my family will think that I have gone crazy.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:30 PM   #156
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I do not get enough of the frugal posts!

So, I have been reading blogs of full-time RV'ers who live in the boondocks to get more. They live close to nature, and get lots of exercise. Good stuff! The smaller their RV, the more interesting story they tell.
Common NW, surely you could stand one opulent post! I'm still waiting as our wealthier brethren are way too modest here to write about it. I want to read a Trump like post so I can really know what I am missing out on. I remember being so poor in my 20's (but never in debt fortunately) that my best friend and I for entertainment would drive to the city to look at the new cars and big tvs and decide which ones we wanted if we had money to actually buy them. Now that I can actually afford some of these "extras", I somehow have become too cheap to buy them.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #157
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I'm not sure the dollar figures are all that meaningful. A single person with retiree medical coverage in a cheap area is going to look really different expenditure-wise from a couple with children in an expensive area buying their own insurance and having a bad year for deductibles.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #158
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The problem with living so cheaply is that it might cost you more to move out on an RV, so you will not do it, and won't get to experience it.

Anyway, I like to read people's blogs on how little they live on. I have always felt that beyond some basic necessities, one's expenses are very elastic. While it is true that it is a lot easier to adjust up than to scale down, when it comes to it, people will find a way to adapt. So much of what people have is just fluff anyway. Hence, I have been itching to do an experience of my own with RV living for a few months. The problem is my family will think that I have gone crazy.
That could indeed be a problem. However, I think it quite possible that I will have to move out of here at some point - the owner is older and after a sale, this may well not remain a rental property. If forced to move, I may use it as an opportunity to try RVing for a while. We'll see. I'd like to do it if for no other reason than to get it out of my system so I can move back to a "sticks and bricks" abode, but without the RV fantasies!

Like you, my SO doesn't share my RV fantasies. I have a bit more leeway though as we don't live together and see each other about once a week. I could probably live out of town and come back to see her, say, every 2 weeks. She is open to the idea of flying out to meet me on her time off from work if I am doing a bit of extended traveling. However, if I do this, it will be quite a serious challenge to the relationship. I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it. I'm not sure how you'd work that out with your DW though. Do you have any ideas for that?
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #159
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However, if I do this, it will be quite a serious challenge to the relationship. I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it. I'm not sure how you'd work that out with your DW though. Do you have any ideas for that?
I have hinted that if she cannot go for a long Alaskan trip with me, I might have to do a solo trip. My wife didn't say anything to that. The truth is we will both feel lonely when separated for longer than a couple of weeks, so it may never happen.

One thing about full-time RV'ing is that so many bloggers I follow quit after about 5 to 8 years on the road, and settle down again in a home. Very few people can be a perpetual traveler. And travel in an RV is not cheap due to the fuel cost. It would not be a lifestyle of $15K/yr as I said earlier. To keep costs low, one has to camp in a place for a period and to limit driving. And if one just camps out in the wilderness without travel, then I already have my rural boonies home where I can have some solitude in real comfort.

So, right now, it's just a fantasy, but I am really curious to see how I would feel being alone in the real Alaskan wilderness. Perhaps just after a month or so, I would crawl back home to the safer surrounding. I don't think I can be a "saint" according to my earlier definition.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #160
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I have hinted that if she cannot go for a long Alaskan trip with me, I might have to do a solo trip. My wife didn't say anything to that. The truth is we will both feel lonely when separated for longer than a couple of weeks, so it may never happen.

One thing about full-time RV'ing is that so many bloggers I follow quit after about 5 to 8 years on the road, and settle down again in a home. Very few people can be a perpetual traveler. And travel in an RV is not cheap due to the fuel cost. It would not be a lifestyle of $15K/yr as I said earlier. To keep costs low, one has to camp in a place for a period and to limit driving. And if one just camps out in the wilderness without travel, then I already have my rural boonies home where I can have some solitude in real comfort.

So, right now, it's just a fantasy, but I am really curious to see how I would feel being alone in the real Alaskan wilderness. Perhaps just after a month or so, I would crawl back home to the safer surrounding. I don't think I can be a "saint" according to my earlier definition.
Would your wife consider traveling with you one way and then flying home while you continue to commune with the wilderness for a few weeks? Could be a win-win.
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