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What expenses were reduced or eliminated when you retired?
Old 12-15-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
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What expenses were reduced or eliminated when you retired?

For those of you who are retired, I am curious to know what expenses that you were able to reduce or eliminate when you stopped working? Please be as specific as possible about the type of expenses. Some are obvious, for example, if you don't have earned income, you don't have to pay social security taxes or medicare withholding taxes. In any event, I am curious about your specific experiences. For example.... commuting costs? Clothes? Lunch? Travel? Daycare? Vehicle wear and tear? Gas? Housekeeper? Gardener? Dry cleaning?

Obviously, if an expense was reimbursed while you were working (like travel expenses), that would not count. Also, an expense might be eliminated (like paying to go out to lunch with coworkers), while another expense may take its place (like going out to lunch with friends/spouse/family). I also understand that other expenses may go up like travelling for pleasure, or spending on hobbies, etc., but I am just curious about the expenses that were reduced or eliminated. Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #2
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Gas for car
Medicare
Retirement savings: TSP, IRAs
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:47 PM   #3
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No state income tax on pension
Shirt laundry costs
Dry cleaning costs
Reduced auto insurance rate (based on mileage)
Auto maintenance (do myself now)
Reduced gasoline costs
Daily lunches, which I used to eat out
Soap, razor blades, hot water
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:49 PM   #4
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- commuting costs by train/subway eliminated
- cleaning service eliminated. We now do it ourselves
- Clothing - much reduced
- Dry cleaning - almost eliminated.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:53 PM   #5
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With the exception of a few months in late 2008 and early 2009, my booze budget dropped significantly.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
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Now that I don't have to commute to work every day, I drive my car a little bit less and I save maybe a few hundred dollars a year on gas. I spend a few hundred dollars less on clothes as well.

The largest reductions have come from my ability to drop my disability and life insurance coverages. That saved a couple thousand dollars a year.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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With the exception of a few months in late 2008 and early 2009, my booze budget dropped significantly.
In late 2008 - early 2009, our booze budget was lumped in "meds: others" which is filed under "health care: essential costs".
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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DH retired 6 months ago and I moved from full time to very part time work.

Some expenses that have gone down:

Dry Cleaning (a lot)
Toll road
Gasoline (but only a little since we have teenagers at home still)
Clothing
Dining Out (yes we do eat out some but don't eat lunches out as much as in past)
Auto insurance (slight decrease due to vehicle not driven to work any more)

Some expenses that have gone up:

Health insurance (DH has subsidized insurance but still higher than it was)
Fitness -- Now have time to go to Y and have personal trainer once a week

Things that didn't change much:

Groceries
Utilities
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FD View Post
In late 2008 - early 2009, our booze budget was lumped in "meds: others" which is filed under "health care: essential costs".
Alcohol: Cheaper than a Therapist
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #10
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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 12-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #11
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When I stopped working in late 2008, some of my expenses declined while others increased.

My FICA taxes dropped to zero.

My commutation expenses dropped to zero.

My general cash expenses dropped slightly because the cost of my eating lunch out twice a week while working exceeded the extra cost of doing one of my hobbies one more night per week plus having lunch at home twice a week most of the time. My hobbies are local so any increase in gasoline purchases is negligible.

My health insurance costs increased quite a bit compared to paying only 50% of my employer's group health insurance up to 18 months before I retired. I was on COBRA for my last 18 months of working (I wokrked only 12 hours per week and was ineligible for group HI) and that was still a lot cheaper than buying an individual HI policy.

Having higher HI costs caused my income tax bill to drop a bit, too, because they are deductible on both my state and federal returns.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:01 PM   #12
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Dry cleaning. That's it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
With the exception of a few months in late 2008 and early 2009, my booze budget dropped significantly.
.. but your intake went up as you perfected drinking OPW (other people's whiskey).
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #14
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Health insurance (was $68.68/month X 2, for me and my wife, now pension plan pays)
Dental insurance (was $6.86/month X 2, now pension plan pays)
Parking fee (was $15.72/month X 2, now $0)
Union dues (was $16.57 + $17.86/month)
SS ($179.13 + $193.72/month)
Medicare ($41.89 + $45.30/month)
State income tax withholding (was $173.79 + 198.63/month, now no state income tax)
car expenses for 10 mile commute to work (not precisely known)

overall $12597.24/year savings
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:45 PM   #15
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No more monthly pension contributions
State income taxes way down
Fed. income taxes way down
No more 403b monthly contributions
No more commuting costs to drive to work
No more contributions to state disability insurance
No more premiums for life insurance
Cheaper auto insurance after moving to a different state
Cheaper Homeowner's Insurance...
Less money spent on clothing
No more union dues
No more gifts/contributions to co-workers
Less money spent on car maintenance
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
For those of you who are retired, I am curious to know what expenses that you were able to reduce or eliminate when you stopped working? Please be as specific as possible about the type of expenses. Some are obvious, for example, if you don't have earned income, you don't have to pay social security taxes or medicare withholding taxes. In any event, I am curious about your specific experiences. For example.... commuting costs? Clothes? Lunch? Travel? Daycare? Vehicle wear and tear? Gas? Housekeeper? Gardener? Dry cleaning?
Well, clearly we "insourced" all childcare, housekeeping, yardwork, car maintenance, and other chores. Some of them were "child-sourced", but now she's escaped to college so I have them back in my purview again.
Commuting-- I spend less on bicycle repairs and we spend far less on gas/maintenance. We went from driving over 10K miles/year to under 3K/year.
Clothes-- military uniforms & aloha attire were replaced by t-shirts, shorts, and rubbah slippahs. Annual expenses went from $100-$200/year to literally single digits. Military uniforms got a lot more wear-friendly in the '90s so I haven't drycleaned anything in decades. I also haven't polished a pair of shoes in over eight years.
Meals-- I mostly brownbagged. However in retirement we frequently find ourselves uninterested in dining out. It's surprising that although we have more time to go out for entertainment, more often we choose to stay in and enjoy each other's company (and cooking). The biggest impact on our grocery budget has been launching our teen from the nest.

Other areas:
Insurance-- Ask your home, auto, & liability insurers for retiree discounts. Some do, some do not. Make sure your auto policy indicates "Pleasure", not "work", and possibly reflect lower annual miles.
Home expenses-- you're burning the lights at home all day, but you're also more attentive to leaky faucets and other sneaky problems. You have more time to upgrade insulation, lights, and other home features. I think we're ahead on maintenance, although operating costs have risen.
Home improvement-- we do just about all our own projects. In the last eight years that includes a photovoltaic array, solar water heating, solar-powered attic exhaust fans, lots of reflective foil insulation, fixing a nasty little roof leak that eluded two other roofing companies, and untold amounts of painting & primping.
Bargains-- what we might have just bought from Wal-Mart or a furniture store can now be relentlessly stalked on Craigslist & garage sales, and bought used for a fraction of the price. I'll also never buy a new vehicle again.
Sports-- if I was still working then I think I'd struggle to keep up with taekwondo. In ER, however, I find myself signing up for extra clinics & tournaments, so that expense has gone up. However I would need to do something anyway to stave off the effects of aging.
Entertainment-- again we find ourselves enjoying our own experiences more than paying for possessions or for guided tours. Rather than paying for a "resort experience", we're more likely to find a cheap rental condo and spend our time on the beach or driving around.
Healthcare expenses are way down-- I get sick much less often and I'm off the prescription decongestants. Overall health is way better, too, so I'm unlikely to need maintenance meds in the future.
Haircuts-- my last one was 30 April 2002. I have, however, had to invest in a number of hair scrunchies. I think I'm ahead of the game.

Travel-- undetermined. Yes we can pick up and go, but we have to arrange care for a geriatric bunny so that raises all sorts of expenses for shorter trips. Spouse also has this problem with just "picking up and going", so many of our trips tend to be for volunteer work that pays for her plane ticket & accommodations.

When our bunny goes to his great reward, however, we will definitely be spending more on travel, and it will be on our own itinerary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
.. but your intake went up as you perfected drinking OPW (other people's whiskey).
Sounds like a sea story personal problem! Did he also plug his RV's air conditioner into your driveway's 30-amp receptacle?
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #17
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A little less on gas and car insurance. Not much gas, because I only live 1.5 miles from my former w*rkplace. Not much insurance since the retiree discount isn't HUGE - - it is just nice to get.

Retirement savings of roughly half my gross pay eliminated!

Income taxes amazingly low now, in comparison to income taxes while working.

Less on clothes, though not as much less as I had imagined since I had more time and inclination to order on the internet. Yes, I bought all new underwear as well as lots of shorts and other casual clothing. Not that I really needed it.

More on fun and leisure activities and electronics like my new laptop, although this increase in spending was pretty much due to the fact that I have the money, as well as the time and the inclination to enjoy it. Wants, not needs.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:41 PM   #18
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commuting expense
Gas, some tolls, auto maint.
Auto, when I retired we got rid of one of our cars
Lunches
On average i spent five to ten bucks on lunch five days a week
That peanut butter sandwich I have now is a lot cheaper.
Laundry
I wear shorts, and dockers all the time now and the never go to the cleaners
Dress shirts, some are still hanging in the closet, and we seldom if ever send anything to the cleaners
Eating out
With both of us working we ate out a lot, now seldom
Misc. Charitable contributions
These are 'My little girl is in the Brownies would you buy some cookies' or 'My son's baseball team is trying to go to the little league world series' I would say I got hit with five or ten of these a year.
DW's side, she was a teacher, school supplies for the classroom.
lunches
laundry
Girl scout cookies
commute cost
continuing education i.e. the cost of a Masters Degree

I left off Taxes, as they are lower, but so is our income.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:45 PM   #19
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With the exception of a few months in late 2008 and early 2009, my booze budget dropped significantly.
The Soapbox era?
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:57 PM   #20
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The Soapbox era?
Ding! Ding! Ding!

Hold your calls folks, we have a winner!
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