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Old 10-17-2013, 06:33 AM   #241
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Crossed the $1.5 million in savings for the first time ever yesterday (not including our house which we will sell when we retire in 15 months). We are very proud of ourselves. Not too many cops make enough money or have the will power to save anywhere near that kind of money.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:13 AM   #242
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My 401K crossed $900K for the first time after market close yesterday. The government shenanigans were good to me financially.

I'm not expecting to stay at this level, but it feels good just reaching it, if only for a day.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:07 PM   #243
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Crossed the $1.5 million in savings for the first time ever yesterday (not including our house which we will sell when we retire in 15 months). We are very proud of ourselves. Not too many cops make enough money or have the will power to save anywhere near that kind of money.
Wow, you got that right. Even with COLA'd pensions I know a bunch of retirees from LE who are struggling to stay afloat and still working because they have to, not because they want to. Most of those will have to work until they're physically unable to.

I knew there was a reason I disliked loans and and loathed credit cards. Zero Debt is a good place to be, for me anyway.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:07 AM   #244
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I would have most likely crossed the $900,000 threshold yesterday. However, I've been cashing out, a bit at a time, and using it to pay down my HELOC.

Last nite's balance was around $849,100, and I've paid about $50,000 extra on the HELOC this year. I'm almost regretting paying it down, because the bragging rights would have been nice...plus that much closer to $1M. But, I guess that once interest rates finally start rising, I'll be glad I made the choice that I did.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #245
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Eh, no cheatin'.

One must count net worth, not just portfolio value.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #246
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Oh, cool...well if I throw in equity in the house, plus a few other things I forgot, I come up with $925K. So, woo-hoo, $900K threshold broken!

I don't know if this makes sense or not, but for some reason there are a few accounts I mentally separate out. When I think of "portfolio", I include 401ks, IRAs, after-tax accounts with mutual fund companies, Scottrade, etc. But mentally, I've always kept my checking account, savings bonds, and a money market account with Emigrant Direct separate.

And, I try to keep the home out of the equation, as well, even though there is equity there that could be raided. And when it comes time to sell, there would be some profit (provided I haven't raided the equity!)
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #247
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OK, here's my dubious milestone.

My recent illness has kept me at home, if not in bed. Hence, I have not been out spending money on frivolous stuff like travel, or dining, etc...

Thanks to Quicken, I could easily see that my expenses for the last 30 days, if extrapolated to a full year, would run a 2%WR annually. Wow!

And if I extended out to 60 days to capture some non-monthly bills, such as the semi-annual vehicle insurance bill, then it would be 2.16% WR annually.

Darn, being sick is cheap livin', particularly when one has already exceeded the $10K insurance deductible, which came out of an HSA account kept off Quicken and would not be counted anyway.

Just want to share a cost saving tip...

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Oh, cool...well if I throw in equity in the house, plus a few other things I forgot, I come up with $925K. So, woo-hoo, $900K threshold broken!
OK, with positive equity in the house, you are now talkin'...
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #248
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OK, here's my dubious milestone.

My recent illness has kept me at home, if not in bed. Hence, I have not been out spending money on frivolous stuff like travel, or dining, etc...

Thanks to Quicken, I could easily see that my expenses for the last 30 days, if extrapolated to a full year, would run a 2%WR annually. Wow!

And if I extended out to 60 days to capture some non-monthly bills, such as the semi-annual vehicle insurance bill, then it would be 2.16% WR annually.

Darn, being sick is cheap livin', particularly when one has already exceeded the $10K insurance deductible, which came out of an HSA account kept off Quicken and would not be counted anyway.

Just want to share a cost saving tip...



OK, with positive equity in the house, you are now talkin'...
Here's a similar comparison, for when you, hopefully, are fully recovered.

We have found that building our retirement lives around low cost physical activities like hiking and biking, have had a very positive impact on our spending habits. When we come in from a multi hour hike or bike ride, we are generally too satisfied and tired to have any interest in going out for the remainder of the day. Often are the times we've cancelled plans to go out to eat, or to the movies, because we're just too darn content at home.

It wasn't a deliberate strategy going into retirement - we've long enjoyed being physically active - but it has definitely had an unexpected and positive net impact on our overall spend tendencies.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #249
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As people who have been on this forum a while already know (or should know), I am fairly frugal.

And I am scroogey too, and enjoy seeing my portfolio grow and grow, which it has a fighting chance to, given the current 2.1% WR, which would drop even lower if I keep this up until SS drawing age. But I do not plan to remain sick.

As frugal and scroogey as I am, I already set my expense at 3.5% WR, which allows us to get to different interesting places to do the walking and hiking that keep us lean and mean.

Most foreign cities are so small, we almost can crisscross them on foot for sightseeing, and we usually do. We would drop into a place, not just museums or cathedrals, but even a plain grocery store to see what food they eat, what the local drink. Our activities during travel are usually low cost. Getting there is what costs money.

And even domestic travel takes some money, particularly gas money for the motorhome, although National Park annual permits are cheap. Again, hiking trails there is free, but getting there to camp takes many gallons of gas.

About eating out, I might have given the wrong impression that we eat out all the time. No, we do not, and I never even bother to budget for that. But when I am not well, I recall the times that we spent at my favorite local French bistro with family or friends, lingering for a couple of hours for a nice dinner. What a good time and money well spent!

Quicken told me that I was spending around 3.6% WR prior, and that even included 0.5% for donation and gift. So, I only spent 1% for discretionary pleasures. And that's money well spent, if I am well enough to spend it.

Hence, I called my current temporary low expense a dubious achievement.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:07 PM   #250
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What has actually surprised us has more to do with when we are at home then when we are traveling. Not previously having had the luxury to hike and bike for several hours a day while working, I'm very pleased with the impact doing so much of it in retirement has had on our at home spending habits. Not to mention our mental health. In my experience, very few people seemed to have made that connection in their day to day lives.

We would likewise consider monies allocated, but not spent, on travel to be more problematic than frugal, in that travel is meant to be a primary focus of our early retirement lifestyle.

I have more of a love hate relationship with dining out. Love the experience, hate the inevitable weight gain if I indulge to often.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:18 PM   #251
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I've been ignoring the market ups and downs during the shutdown, but I just checked Vanguard - total investments are officially over $500K today.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:27 PM   #252
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What has actually surprised us has more to do with when we are at home then when we are traveling...
My main home is within a 15-min walk of what is the world's US largest city park at 16,455 acres. That said, it is hard to take a long hike in the summer, when the high temperature may get to 120F. Right now, it is nice, and I hope I can resume my daily walk soon.

My second home is a bit further from a National Forest than a 15-min walk. I usually ride my motorcycle into the woods.

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I have more of a love hate relationship with dining out. Love the experience, hate the inevitable weight gain if I indulge to often.
Hence, the French bistro that I like. People do not leave that place with doggie bags.

They do make sure you leave their place with a full stomach though. They have brought out more free dessert for us a few times when seeing that I still like some more. Was the waiter always this nice, or was it because we often ordered plenty of wine to last the couple of hours there, I am not sure.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #253
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I've been ignoring the market ups and downs during the shutdown, but I just checked Vanguard - total investments are officially over $500K today.
Amazing--half a mil. Congrats!
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:48 PM   #254
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Our taxable trading account has hit a new all-time high of $643K. Haven't checked our retirement accounts (it's definitely over $500K though) because I'm too lazy! :-)
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #255
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My main home is within a 15-min walk of what is the world's US largest city park at 16,455 acres. That said, it is hard to take a long hike in the summer, when the high temperature may get to 120F. Right now, it is nice, and I hope I can resume my daily walk soon.

My second home is a bit further from a National Forest than a 15-min walk. I usually ride my motorcycle into the woods.


Hence, the French bistro that I like. People do not leave that place with doggie bags.

They do make sure you leave their place with a full stomach though. They have brought out more free dessert for us a few times when seeing that I still like some more. Was the waiter always this nice, or was it because we often ordered plenty of wine to last the couple of hours there, I am not sure.
Sounds like a nice place, and sounds like South Mountain Preserve in Phoenix. If so, it's #4 based on size.

The 100 Largest City Parks 2007 | Infoplease.com

It was interesting looking at the list. DW and I used to live in SF, and I expected GG Park to be much bigger comparatively. I was also surprised, having spent much time in both, that The Presidio is larger than GG Park.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #256
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Sorry, but the qualifier that I emphasized in italic was city park.

You see, the other larger 3 on the list are actually state or federal parks.

Actually, size is not all that matters. Here in the SW, the park is not green like GG park. And personally, I like green, hence my screen name.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #257
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Sorry, but the qualifier that I emphasized in italic was city park.

You see, the other larger 3 are actually state parks.

Actually, size is not all that matters. Here in the SW, the park is not green like GG park. And personally, I like green, hence my screen name.
Not to get picky but, I will anyway.

El Paso, Texas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

El Paso is home to the largest urban park in the nation. The Franklin Mountains State Park, with its over 24,248 acres, is completely located within the city limits. The park is open for year-round recreation including hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, scenic driving and vistas. There are also over 100 parks throughout the metropolitan area.

BTW, I agree with you on the "green" and quality being more important than quantity.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:27 AM   #258
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City officials like to make claims, mine included. In this case, they claim the largest "city park", meaning its funding is by the city, not by the state, nor by the fed. And there are other sources on the Web that validate that, for what it's worth. It's all about money, and if one has enough, one can do anything. Of course, when it comes to the Fed, they maintain the largest parks (called National Parks), but as we know these do get closed occasionally.

See: South Mountain - Official Site of the City of Phoenix and South Mountain Park - Wikipedia.

We have only been to the portion nearest to our home, and climbed some hills that let us have a panoramic view of the city. Any further exploration would need backpacking, or mountain biking, neither of which we do. Whether the largest, or the 10th largest, it's way more than we need.
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:43 AM   #259
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DW and I are now both at home on leave from w**k, each of us now convalescing from healthcare milestones, as in getting stuff fixed (new knee for her, and carpal tunnel surgery for me) before journeying off into retirement. Working days left soon to be dropping below three digits.

Reading the comments on the peaceful enjoyment of nature, and very much looking forward to doing that on an unconstrained schedule. After only one night of relief from the CT symptoms in my right hand, even with the surgical pain - I know the left hand will be getting done also. Huge relief from the numbness, which was such a slow and prolonged onset I had not realized how badly it was affecting me. I can already sense that bicycling & motorcycling will become much more enjoyable again.

Other milestone was sharing ER plans with my boss, he is astute enough to know I was getting close; shared with him my tentative (non-binding) intent so he could stop wondering and at least attempt to put together a succession plan.
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:38 PM   #260
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DW and I are now both at home on leave from w**k, each of us now convalescing from healthcare milestones, as in getting stuff fixed (new knee for her, and carpal tunnel surgery for me) before journeying off into retirement. Working days left soon to be dropping below three digits.
I hope you are both feeling better soon to enjoy your ER.
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