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View Poll Results: How does your retirement spending compare to your last 10 years working?
Frugal - I have/plan to spend at least 20% less in retirement than I did when I was working. 38 17.67%
Live it up - I have/plan to spend at least 20% more in retirement than I did when I was still working. 40 18.60%
Smoothed - I have/plan to spend about the same in retirement as I did when I was working. 137 63.72%
Voters: 215. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #41
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Smoothed.

We plan to live about like we do now, but hope that investments will grow over time to such an extent that we can slowly ramp up spending. Not an ER deal breaker if that doesn't happen though.

We do have an extra retirement vacation budget that represents around 20% more than we spend now if we didn't take any vacations, but some years we do spend a significant amount on vacations, so on average the increase would be less than 20%, hence roughly smooth (pun?) spending before and after ER.

I largely ignore work related expenses in our budgets and planning since I view those as a cost to produce income. Of course post-ER work expenses will be zero as compared to thousands we spend right now annually on work related expenses.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #42
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I voted smooth, although my expenses have gone down slightly - mostly in gas and food. No big surprise that my gas expenditures has gone down. I attribute my lower food spending on the fact that I'm cooking more and eating at home more.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:16 AM   #43
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Definitely in the "live it up" camp here. Before FIRE, we lived on about $5K/mo (take home after taxes, SS, medicare, HCA, etc). We were socking away 25% of income for retirement.

Now after FIRE the after tax situation is $8250/mo. So going on vacation, eating out (hmmm, think I'll have 2 appetizers and yes that desert looks good too), theater, and charity, all get a higher amount and we still LBYM.

Life is good.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:48 PM   #44
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I voted "smoothed" as day to day things aren't much different. Some things are higher and others lower. Although our official IRS income is much lower, we budgeted to maintain our charitable giving at ~10% of our pre-retirement income, so that's a much higher percentage of our budget than it used to be.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #45
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It appears that I saved more than I needed to so now I need to learn how to spend before I lose out on the fun of being FI. I think I'll have 2 beers tonight.

Cheers!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #46
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Definitely spending more in retirement. Health care, vacations, and eating out are the main culprits. And I can't believe how much we are spending on clothes. Hubby had always been the shopper in the family but I'm running right along side him lately. Luckily for us he took a part-time job that pays well and he loves so that's our fun money. Haven't dipped into retirement money yet but if we keep taking vacations at the rate we've been lately we will be withdrawing from the IRAs.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:22 PM   #47
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We expect to spend more in NYC than we do now in flyover country. Probably not the full 20% though. Will eat out a bit more, have access to higher quality/variety of groceries, and go out more. Will give it a 6 week test drive this summer (we did a 3 week in 2010). Report upcoming.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:37 AM   #48
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We will have quite a bit more to spend in retirement than we have been spending. I attribute this part to luck and part to hard work and LBYM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #49
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My plan is "smooth" for spending. We will have a smaller income stream, but will no longer be saving for retirement, paying FICA, etc. And if the timing of retirement works out - no more mortgage. (I may retire earlier than the official plan if I get laid off. House due to be paid off Jan next year... so it's a race.)

Higher health insurance costs will eat some of that savings. We'll also continue to fund the kids 529's for another 8 years.... so that's another big expense that isn't going away.

But day to day spending should be smooth once you take out mortgage p&i and 401k contributions.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #50
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I've already replied once to this thread, but I've been thinking about it some more:

Does spending directly correlate to standard of living? I have to say that, by not working, I no longer have the opportunity to eat at high-end steakhouses on work related dinners. However, I also do not have to "endure" those dinners that sometimes lasted 3-4 hours. So, while the poll was structured around money, I have to say that even though we spend less, my "living" standard has improved. I eat better, I sleep better, I get more exercise, have less stress, and most of all, I have more time. Is this not a higher "living" standard?

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:19 PM   #51
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So it appears almost 2/3rds are smoothers, with a slight tilt to frugal for the balance. Kinda what I expected, though spending 20% more in retirement for this member audience surprises me. That implies working longer no? And this is ER.org right?

No reply necessary...
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:20 PM   #52
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I voted Smoothed, but we'll be "spending" less than half of what we do now due to the amount of money we're saving now for retirement.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:19 PM   #53
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I voted about the 'same'. Granted, I won't be saving any further, but more of the expenditure will be for enjoyment and less for necessities.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:20 PM   #54
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I am probably spending more but I never really keep close track of it. This year I'm doing a lot of traveling so my expenses will be up. Also having a sprinkler system put in - we have a large house which we like and don't plan to downsize. I'm setting up the yard so that there is no more lugging of hoses - because I can't do it myself any more due to some arm damage. If I'm going to use my arm and make it hurt, it's not going to be from watering the lawn!

Also having a flower bed put in and buying new patio furniture - ours is 14 years old and it is moldy plastic... it's time.

But overall, we live very frugally so it probably balances out. There are always periodic home expenses. I hardly drive at all and live in jeans and t-shirts. My clothing expenses are mostly for fun clothes and if I couldn't afford them I could easily cut back. I buy my jeans at Costco
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:39 PM   #55
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The plan is to spend more as I will have more free time to travel and keep myself occupied. I have been saving/LBYM for 30+ years. Now the hope is I can make the switch from saver to spender. With only four more weeks to my last day (April 25) I already have 5 trips booked between May and October. So it looks like I am on the right path to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauAnn View Post
The plan is to spend more as I will have more free time to travel and keep myself occupied. I have been saving/LBYM for 30+ years. Now the hope is I can make the switch from saver to spender. With only four more weeks to my last day (April 25) I already have 5 trips booked between May and October. So it looks like I am on the right path to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Congratulations in advance!!! I think it's important to spend money in the early years of retirement - traveling and so on - because you don't know how long you'll have the energy to do that stuff. I'm sure by 75 I'll be traveling a lot less. I

I love your plan. I have 5 or 6 trips between now and the end of the year. Wheeeee!
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:58 PM   #57
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I voted for "smoothed", though we spend less now than when we first retired. A change in location has helped us keep the same standard of living with a lower cost.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #58
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My projected budget is currently estimated to stay about the same - just the line items change. So, for example, the mortgage(s) will be paid off but that money is in the "Travel" line after we retire. The good part about that is that if we run into financial issues, the non-discretionary budget is lower, and the "fun" money, which is easier to cut, is higher.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaudrey
My projected budget is currently estimated to stay about the same - just the line items change. So, for example, the mortgage(s) will be paid off but that money is in the "Travel" line after we retire. The good part about that is that if we run into financial issues, the non-discretionary budget is lower, and the "fun" money, which is easier to cut, is higher.
I have a $700 slotted line that will be filled too from future expenses. The child support ends this summer and then that slot becomes finishing the college cost fund. Then it in 3 years will be replaced with a new car payment and all accompanying expenses. Of course that is provided that my long in tooth car will agree to stay out of the retirement home for three more years, as I haven't received its approval for this plan.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #60
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We are spending about the same.

But our spending patterns have changed. We downsized the house and have significantly reduced the property tax, utilities, upkeep, and insurance that we pay. Commute costs have been eliminated...gas, parking, and our car insurance is less expensive. Our vehicles will require less on going mtce because of reduced mileage.

We have significantly increased our travel budget and time spent away from home. No more money spent on suits, dress shirts, ties and very little spent on dry cleaning. No more money spent on lunched while working.

It is all good.
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