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Old 05-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alex in Virginia View Post
Hello, ER Eddie...

Thanks for replying to my post.

The short answer to your question is "yes, the $15,000 does include health insurance." You can find the full answer regarding my health care coverage, its cost and how I arrived at my health care insurance choices in the post I wrote on that subject entitled http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f38/taming-my-healthcare-cost-monster-66527.html.

Take care,

Alex in Virginia
Well, that's impressive. I'll have to check out how you tamed the beast.

(reads a bit, comes back) Oh, I see, you're 65 and on Medicare. That's cheating.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #22
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...and in a separate, recent thread the OP explained that he and his wife split their household expenses 50/50. So the $15,000 is Alex's half.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:13 AM   #23
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...Oh, I see, you're 65 and on Medicare. That's cheating.

Hello again, ER Eddie...

Thanks for contributing to the discussion arising from my post.

It took even me, who wrote the post, a few minutes to realize that http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f38/taming-my-healthcare-cost-monster-66527.html actually fits in perfectly with this post regarding wants and needs. But it really, really does!

Take a look at this excerpt from my healthcare cost post.

"... I had been riding the coattails of my wife’s employment, and paying sometimes nothing and sometimes a token amount for soup-to-nuts health insurance coverage. But no more... Goodbye, free ride. Hello, Medicare... I started making lists and evaluating policies...[but then I realized] that I had begun my policy search implicitly trying to replace what I was losing: soup-to-nuts coverage. But did I really need that?"

Bottom line is that I had to navigate myself from having a zero-cost, whatever-you-want health care policy in 2009 to a keep-it-to-what-you-need combo of policies in 2013 that costs me $2076 a year in premiums.

So, in my case, going on Medicare increased my basic living costs. But, by staying focused on what I really needed in health care coverage, I managed to keep that increase to "just" $2076 a year and to fit it into my personal basic living expenses budget of $15,000 a year.

I hope that helps to bring the two posts together.

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Alex, here I am today trying to talk myself into a camcorder purchase (that is, of course, the camera, the memory cards, the cable, the new external hard drive) and I read this.

Dang you! Do I really need it? Am I actually good enough at editing to own a specific piece of gear like this? Won't the iPhone and the GoPro suffice?

Sigh...yes, yes, they will. Thanks, Alex.
Same here, <sigh>

That Nikon D4 ($6k body only) would be sweet, but maybe settle for a D800 ($3k) but dang it, the D7000 ($800) I have does work just fine.

And if I got the full frame camera then I'd "have" to have the fast lenses to go with it.

And that's how it starts....
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #25
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Same here, <sigh>

That Nikon D4 ($6k body only) would be sweet, but maybe settle for a D800 ($3k) but dang it, the D7000 ($800) I have does work just fine.

And if I got the full frame camera then I'd "have" to have the fast lenses to go with it.

And that's how it starts....
Guitarists call this "GAS": guitar acquisition syndrome...
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:56 PM   #26
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...and in a separate, recent thread the OP explained that he and his wife split their household expenses 50/50. So the $15,000 is Alex's half.

Yes, SecretlyFI, and thanks for your reply so I can clarify that point in the context of this post regarding wants and needs.

In the post you referred to in your reply, My FI Ducks Are All in a Row! (reply 23), I explained:

"My individual basic living expenses are $15,000 per year. That includes my half share of joint expenses (such as home operations and maintenance, groceries, etc) plus my personal living expenses (such as my truck's operations and maintenance, my insurance premiums, etc.)... [For my wife,] factoring in savings from her present employer-provided health insurance on the one hand versus other higher personal expenses she has on the other hand, her individual basic living expenses are close to the same as mine. So, yes, added together my basic living expenses and my wife's basic living expenses total around $30,000 per year."

In this present post, all the numbers have been calculated to include and cover my own personal finances, separately from my wife's. So, in this post, the comparisons between my 2009 numbers and my 2013 ones do in fact compare apples to apples: my personal expenses (including my share of joint expenses) in 2009 versus my present 2013 personal expenses (including my share of present joint expenses).

And, of course, the cost reductions I write about in this post are my share of the cost reductions we have achieved in the four years in between.

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Alex, here I am today trying to talk myself into a camcorder purchase (that is, of course, the camera, the memory cards, the cable, the new external hard drive) and I read this.

Dang you! Do I really need it? Am I actually good enough at editing to own a specific piece of gear like this? Won't the iPhone and the GoPro suffice?

Sigh...yes, yes, they will. Thanks, Alex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Same here, <sigh>

That Nikon D4 ($6k body only) would be sweet, but maybe settle for a D800 ($3k) but dang it, the D7000 ($800) I have does work just fine.

And if I got the full frame camera then I'd "have" to have the fast lenses to go with it.

And that's how it starts....

Hello Sarah in SC and Walt34,

Thanks so much for your real-time "aha!" replies to my post.

What you just learned (relearned?), I had to recognize the hard way -- after I had made many, many "have to have" gadget purchases. This included many digital cameras, several specialty computers, a tablet pc, tv/internet devices, and who knows what else. All in all, several thousands of dollars for things that went from the "incoming" table to a shelf for future use, to staying on the shelf -- in many cases the gadget having never even been taken out of its box.

Now, I finally know better. Before even considering pulling that credit card out of my wallet, I know to go through the same critical thought process you both have displayed in your post replies.

Thank you both for sharing!

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Alex in Virginia View Post
What you just learned (relearned?), I had to recognize the hard way -- after I had made many, many "have to have" gadget purchases. This included many digital cameras, several specialty computers, a tablet pc, tv/internet devices, and who knows what else. All in all, several thousands of dollars for things that went from the "incoming" table to a shelf for future use, to staying on the shelf -- in many cases the gadget having never even been taken out of its box.

Now, I finally know better. Before even considering pulling that credit card out of my wallet, I know to go through the same critical thought process you both have displayed in your post replies.

Thank you both for sharing!
Don't be too hard on yourself. How do you think I learned?

When I need reminding I go downstairs and look at the $600 Betamax on the shelf in the basement. We did use it a lot but the lesson was that the latest and greatest rarely remains so.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #29
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Great post. We ar ein the process of doing the same: seperating needs and wants, so as we can pull the pin early next year at 37 and 41.
It's been a bit scary too see just how much we spend that is unnecessary; and we thought we were frugal!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:24 AM   #30
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Thanks, Alex! I am still waffling on my purchase, but am now considering borrowing a camera for the trip, with the understanding that if I lose or break it, I'm replacing it for the friend.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:06 PM   #31
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Cameras that were state of the art just a few years ago sell for about half their original value on ebay. And cameras hold up well for years and years. Lenses do not depreciate as fast. I just bought an EOS 450 (a perfectly good dSLR) for just above $200 and will get about $100-$125 for my 10 year old EOS 20D.

That's another way to be frugal, but not compromise.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #32
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Good OP. Pretty basic Joe Dominguez.
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