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Old 12-17-2010, 11:37 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I am surprised not to see "mortgage payment" on anyone's list. Alan says he no longer owns property—is that true of the other responders as well? Or was the mortgage paid off before retirement?
I paid off my mortgage 10 years before I retired. Having 10 years of greatly lowered expenses was very helpful in being able to retire 2 years ago.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:00 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
Alan, just a little splitting hairs here, but if you live in a property tax state, you pay property tax. You may not right a check to the tax collector, but you do pay the tax. Just like the corporate income tax the consumer through higher prices pays the bill. I will admit that is some areas you can rent cheaper than your can buy, and you may be in a market where the owner of real estate can not recoup his cost. If so that is most likely temporary. As I said, just nit picking.
We were renting a 3 bed apartment where we were working, and then moved to a 3 bed apartment when we retired. The rent is $100/month higher, and talking to some folks here, they pay more in property taxes than our entire rent. I agree that we must be paying property taxes some way, but the fact is that for our personal circumstances I stopped paying State income tax and now only pay $100/month extra in rent so for us that is an expense that has gone down in retirement.

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Alan,
While I agree we all loose these Tax items, most of these are taken out of your check, and you have no control over them. Maybe it's just the way I budget, but I look at what I have to pay out of my take home. I had Income Tax there, but it was a sum over and above what was taken out in with holding.
No disagreement there, and in fact if you look at my reply (post 10) you'll see that I didn't include State or Federal income taxes at all in my response as I still pay them now.

But I no longer pay SSA or Medicare. As you say, splitting hairs, but it is something that used to automatically come out of my pay check along with disability insurance, group life insurance and health insurance.


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SSA
Only need 1 car now so we sold one
Gas for car (2 x daily commutes of 50 miles for me and DW)
Medicare
Retirement savings: 401k, IRAs
Gardener
Reduced auto insurance rate (based on mileage and not being used for work, plus we moved to a cheaper State and city)
Daily lunches, which I used to eat at the work cafeteria
House cleaning service eliminated. We now do it ourselves
Clothing - much reduced
Dropped my disability insurance coverages
Home insurance - downsized and moved to a cheaper State and City
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:14 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
We were renting a 3 bed apartment where we were working, and then moved to a 3 bed apartment when we retired. The rent is $100/month higher, and talking to some folks here, they pay more in property taxes than our entire rent.
Let the record show Alan ignored my repeated warnings and retired in Texas.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #44
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Auto expenses have gone down dramatically, since I was a salesman. Food expenses are down also. I cook at home making meals that last 2 or 3 days. I follow a very low carb diet and eat a lot of meat, pork, chicken, fish, and fat. I make stews that are meat based, cooking them in the slow cooker allows for cheaper cuts of meat. My golf expenses are down significantly as I quit the country club. We use the excuse of our reduced income to give less and lower valued gifts. We reduced our cell phone plan and are planning to get rid of our landline in 2011. Taxes are at a lower percentage of income as I still receive commissions on my old customers orders. We have lowered our charitable giving. We buy cheaper liquor. I use the library. However things will remain tight until we can withdrawal from our tax sheltered accounts in 3 years.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:15 PM   #45
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Let the record show Alan ignored my repeated warnings and retired in Texas.
That's where the kids settled. If they had settled elsewhere I'm sure we would be living close by.

If I was following your advice rather than DW's then ..... I would probably be single now
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:34 PM   #46
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That's where the kids settled.
Ahhh... Another case of "The tree doesn't fall far from the acorn."
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #47
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Ahhh... Another case of "The tree doesn't fall far from the acorn."
Exactly.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:39 PM   #48
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I can't add much to the points that have been previously made. We live a lot cheaper day to day than we did before retirement. But a few areas have increased expenses (not so much that we mind it):
- fitness center (me) and yoga (wife) fees. Previously I went to free military gyms and she didn't do yoga.
- yard care. We now live in rural VT and I have a long (about 1/10 mile) driveway. I pay to have it snow-plowed in the winter. This past summer I decided I was sick of mowing the large (2 - 3 acre) lawn myself, so we now pay for that.

All the other savings - especially on clothes - more than make up for what I mentioned above.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:16 PM   #49
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Expenses that have gone down for me:
-clothes (not that I spent a lot before, but I spend very little now)
-auto insurance has gone down a little bit because of no more commute to work
- dropped life insurance
- the state I live in does not tax pension income
- food. This has gone down because I now have time to shop more carefully for items on sale, plus more time to cook good meals at home. We probably eat out less than we used to also.

Expenses that have stayed the same or gone up:
-gasoline. I thought this might go down, since I no longer commute to work daily, but as it turns out I use the truck nearly as much for other stuff, now that I have lots of time.
- travel expenses have gone up, but we knew they would. We now have time for more travel.
- recreational items in general. I find myself purchasing a few more things related to my various hobbies, but I knew that would happen also.

So, there haven't been any big surprises so far (almost one year into retirement). I could cut expenses more if I had to, but we are doing okay, so we'll probably just continue on this path for now......
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:17 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I am surprised not to see "mortgage payment" on anyone's list. Alan says he no longer owns property—is that true of the other responders as well?
After resisting buying here in Hawaii for 23 years, we finally bought a house in 1994 with a 10 year mortgage and finished paying it off, accordingly, in 2004, 6 years before we both retired last summer. I thought we needed to buy when we did, because we could no longer find a rental for less than our prospective mortgage payment. In retrospect, it would probably have been better to buy a place sooner --- but I just hated the idea of going so far in debt, when, at the beginning, we couldn't even afford a down payment.

Not saying I always made optimum decisions, nonetheless, it's a load off my mind that we don't have to worry now about having a place to live, provided we can come up with the $2350 annual property tax.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:55 PM   #51
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I am surprised not to see "mortgage payment" on anyone's list. Alan says he no longer owns property—is that true of the other responders as well? Or was the mortgage paid off before retirement?
We loaded up on mortgages on our residence and our rental before we ER'd.

At the time we were both employed, mortgage debt was easy to get, and we had high credit ratings.

Since then we've just kept on refinancing it.
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