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Old 06-14-2007, 04:13 PM   #41
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How far from the house in the backyard is the finished bathroom?
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:21 PM   #42
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hehe I meant basement
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Bigritchie View Post
Alot of people can come and buy a house here for 150k that would cost them 600k+ somewhere else.
Thank you Bigritchie for the reply. As far as house price is concerned, Houston is not that much more expensive than your area.

So you have no mortgage on the house. Your health care is free. But you still have to pay for

-Property tax
-Electricity, water, sewer, and natural gas
-Phone, TV
-Food
-Household items
-Health care for your wife (I assume she's not a veteran)
-Car depreciation, insurance, fuel, repair, maintenance
-Clothes
-Misc.

So I'm still completely amazed on how you're able to pay for all those expenses for yourself and your wife (2 people) with $600 a month. We have a few members on this board who have very low expenses, but nothing approaching your level. Don't know about others, but I would love to see the details if you're willing to share.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #44
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Thank you Bigritchie for the reply. As far as house price is concerned, Houston is not that much more expensive than your area.

So you have no mortgage on the house. Your health care is free. But you still have to pay for

-Property tax
400 bucks a year

-Electricity, water, sewer, and natural gas
maybe 100 if we run the air alot with all things combined

-Phone, TV
Internet/tv around 100 , both of which are expendable (well not the internet Im not a caveman hehe)

-Food
Seeds only cost a few cents, rain is free, you can also get amazing deals shopping at little country farmer markets, I also normally buy in bulk from my store, and plan to still do this when new owners take over, not to mention you can eat a long time off a nice size deer, or you can just fish every day. Man lived for thousands of years without having to pay 400 bucks a month for food. The state stocks the rivers with trout, and a fishing card is like 15 bucks a year or something. What we pay for a month of food, would get some families by for a year in other countries. Chicken eggs are free too.

-Household items
We don't buy crap unless we need it

-Health care for your wife (I assume she's not a veteran)
Tenncare = win

-Car depreciation, insurance, fuel, repair, maintenance
We are hermits, and when we sell the store, I would say the only time we drive will be to travel, insurance is cheap too 400 bucks a year. My neighbor is a mechanic, he is also a disabled veteran, so we fix each others stuff when we can. Car is brand new too, bought a retirement car, and a extended warranty on it

-Clothes
I am still wearing the same clothes my mother bought me in high school, I have worn a uniform for the last decade plus. My father in law actually bought me 2 pairs of shoes several years ago, because I am so cheap, and had taped my old shoes together, still wearing those, and barring my feet getting bigger should get a good 10 years out 2 pairs. Also wore the same thing every day in the service. Relatives usually buy me new clothes for birthdays and Christmas also. I cant really see a pair of shirts and t-shirt costing much in the carribean I can wear alot too

-Misc.

Probably 1-2 used games at 20 bucks every couple of months, and a movie rental. We live in the blue ridge mountains, hiking is free, sitting on the porch and just enjoying our lives is free too (although we do have to buy the coffee hehe)

So I'm still completely amazed on how you're able to pay for all those expenses for yourself and your wife (2 people) with $600 a month. We have a few members on this board who have very low expenses, but nothing approaching your level. Don't know about others, but I would love to see the details if you're willing to share.
So as you can see 600 bucks is actually more then I would really need, depending on how much groceries we buy, and how much I hunt/fish. My insurance will go down too as I will be selling 1 of my vehicles. And I mean sure I gotta buy toothpaste and crap like that, but those are minor things

Edit. I replied to stuff inside the quote box, not real internet forum literate.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:52 PM   #45
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Damn, Possum Living has struck again.

Possum Living has all the answers that you're probably already aware of.

If you consider this lifestyle a "high quality of life", well then, "more power to ya' ".

-CC
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:54 PM   #46
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So as you can see 600 bucks is actually more then I would really need, depending on how much groceries we buy, and how much I hunt/fish. My insurance will go down too as I will be selling 1 of my vehicles. And I mean sure I gotta buy toothpaste and crap like that, but those are minor things
I now have a backup fallback plan, in case I can't afford the "Trout Bum in a Trailer Park down by the River lifestyle" - I can become Ernest T. Bass in the Blueridge Mountains of Tennessee.

They even had Al Gore as their Senator, so it can't be all that bad!
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:56 PM   #47
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Bigritchie,

Allright, I bow, bow, bow to you my friend. That's is amazing, especially about the food and the clothes.

Note to myself: Stop calling yourself simple. Stop calling yourself cheap. You don't deserve it.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:09 PM   #48
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I am not a big fan of possum as their little baby like fingers freak me out.

But yea I kinda wish many times I had been born in a different age, with no taxes, no health insurance, just living off the land and enjoying life.

I have ate as some pretty expensive fish places traveling too, and it is hard to beat fresh catfish and trout out of a clean river.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:40 PM   #49
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I do not want to sound like nothing but a silly redneck.

The point is though, I think so many people complicate their lives and their retirement by going after material things. Not that 200k a year retirement income is bad, but isn't the point of ER to get away from that chase the dollar mentality.

My goal was to sacrifice all material things, retire at 30 a millionaire, and along the way I realized I don't need material things as they are just vanity, they do not make you happy, and tend to cause even more problems.

it is also a good thing to know how to live off the land, what if a EMP bomb goes off and wipes out everything electric in our country? or Solar Flare, or insert any earth changing event.

We go on vacations to these paradises that are so laid back and simple to relax, and they live even more conservatively then I do.

Another good thing is most people do not think I have a dime, which is great, why would someone rob a poor man? if I get solicited for money at my store I tell them I am disabled and ask them to give me some money and support the troops :-) I dont have to worry about some ass, breaking his leg in my yard and trying to sue me, my family thinks I am dirt poor except my brother, so they leave me alone.

When people ask me why I am selling my store, I tell them I cannot work anymore because I am so disabled (which is true), I do not tell them I am going to go travel the world for the next couple of years.

Thankfully my wife has been my partner during all this, and understood the value of sacrifice, and understood if we gave everything for 10 years, we could goof off the rest off our lives.

When it all boils down to it, money is a tool, nothing more then a hammer, would you be a slave so you can have 10 hammers instead of 1 hammer?

I have never cared what the "jones" thinks. I see them as sheep and slaves. Why would I want to keep up with someone who is going to work till they are 69 and then drop dead 2 months later, and during those 40 years of work were utterly miserable, and divorced 10 times.

I meet so many people who make even more then I do, who are in debt up to their necks, have nothing. How much you make doesn't matter, it is how much you save. Buying silly crap at a store is no different then paying uncle sam to me.

So many people make 20k a year and have 10k a year in bills, blow 4 grand, and then save 1 grand. This pattern continues as they get older, so they may make 500k in a year, but they still only bank 1k a year.

I guess my point is if your expenses are 10k when you make 20k, and you save 9k of that, when you make 500k you should still have 10k in expenses, and bank 580+ k of that.

One of the most best lessons of my life was when I went to my grandfather's house, who was the happiest, wisest man I have EVER met in my life, he owned acres of land, always had a full fridge and lived a full life with all his family living close by. He lived off 800 bucks a month, yet he had people from a 200 mile radius come see his for his advice and wisdom. but anyways, I took my brand new Sebring Silver C5 corvette in 1997 the year the only made a couple hundred and you could not find them anywhere, up to his house to show him that I was moving up in the world. I could tell that he was proud of me, but he gently asked me what special roads they made for my car, that he couldn't take his little 1985 used Buick on. it hit me like a ton of bricks, I sold the Car and eventually invested in Euros.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:45 PM   #50
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$0, assuming I was eligible to draw social security. It would also help if my spouse kept working.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:52 PM   #51
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We should probably remember that about 50 MILLION Americans have no health insurance. Lots of people drive beater cars, some have only the minimum liability required. If you have a small income, you don't pay any Federal income taxes, and if you're handy, ingenious, inventive and have skills, many of you would be surprised at how good a life you could manage to put together with very little money. We see examples of that every day in our nomadic life, examples that humble us.

For every person we know with a comfortable retirement living, we know several who have very little, yet satisfaction with life, interesting activities, good friends, and lots of fun and freedom seem to be as present in those with little as we see in those with a lot.

Not everyone thinks that a meaningful life can't be lived unless they have a cell phone, broadband internet, world travel and gourmet food.

It would probably be good for a lot of folks who lay awake at night worrying about their portfolios and whether their withdrawal rate from portfolios is "safe", to realize that huge numbers of people are getting along just fine with very little.

Money doesn't have a lot to do with your ability to enjoy life, although middle and upper middle class people in this country seem to think that life would be unbearable without their assets. It's just not true. Ya'll need to get out more and meet more people in different circumstances. It's a wide, wide world out here, and most of the folks don't have great big ole retirement accounts, but they manage and manage well.

If you did, and got to know some of the people we have been lucky enough to know and learn from, you'd probably sleep a lot better at night. There's a wonderful freedom to recognizing that even if your money mostly disappeared, you'd still be all right. That you'd still have a meaningful life.

I wish I could introduce you to such people as "Dumpster Diver Charlotte", or "Steve" the $400 a month liver, or our friend Richard who maintains a serious meditation practice as he caretakes a facility in a national forest on the tiniest of disability incomes.

People who would be flabbergasted to realize that there are folks out there who think that they'd have a hard time getting along with "only" a half million or a million or so in their brokerage accounts......

I'm glad we know differently. We have the nice big fat brokerage account, but we also have lived differently enough to know that if it all disappeared tomorrow, we'd be fine. And THAT is freedom and security. It almost seems a joke that our money has grown so, as we really don't need all that to be happy, and we were just as happy before it multiplied over the years.

I was floating in the pool last night with a 38 year old guy wanting to achieve early retirement. He works for a big corporation, has a six figure income, a paid for home and, as he said, about a half million in his 401k right now. He was talking about how he was hoping that he could manage to leave his job in about twelve years.

I didn't know quite what to say as I happen to know that the other two guys we were floating around with are younger than "normal" retirement age, already retired, and both are spending less than $1,000 per month.

So who's got the world by the tail? After the guy left, the rest of us had a good chuckle.


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Old 06-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #52
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Bigritchie: Sounds like your a little extravagant on your phone and internet. The last time we talked about it, my brother paid about $50.00 a month for both. The internet is $10 &the phone is about $40. No long distance service,caller ID etc. He has to pay extra if he makes more than 10(I think) calls a month(he doesn't). I don't know what his electric bill is, but he doesn't have AC, and usually the only light in the house is the blue hue from his TV. He doesn't hunt or fish, but gets alot of free meals from the older people in the neighborhood who he helps out around their houses. We live in a small town in WV, so I guess we are neighbors. We better not post here too much anymore or all those people who want to move to Mexico for the cheap living might drop their Spanish lessons and move to our area.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:09 PM   #53
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Bigritchie: Sounds like your a little extravagant on your phone and internet. The last time we talked about it, my brother paid about $50.00 a month for both. The internet is $10 &the phone is about $40. No long distance service,caller ID etc. He has to pay extra if he makes more than 10(I think) calls a month(he doesn't). I don't know what his electric bill is, but he doesn't have AC, and usually the only light in the house is the blue hue from his TV. He doesn't hunt or fish, but gets alot of free meals from the older people in the neighborhood who he helps out around their houses. We live in a small town in WV, so I guess we are neighbors. We better not post here too much anymore or all those people who want to move to Mexico for the cheap living might drop their Spanish lessons and move to our area.
Yea atm I have free nation long distance for the business which cost me like 50 a month, till I get the store sold Im stuck with that, I keep joking with the wife telling her I am burning the phone when we sell it, her family calls us Alot, which isn't such a bad thing really.

And I do consider high speed internet a must in life now too. Since I cannot always get around real well with my back, I play alot of online games, and I just enjoy gameing. Been one of my secrets to saving money during my life, is playing video games to keep me busy
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:14 PM   #54
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hehe I meant basement
So you've been peeing in the basement all this time?

Man, and I felt bad about peeing in the yard.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:29 PM   #55
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I wish I could introduce you to such people as "Dumpster Diver Charlotte", or "Steve" the $400 a month liver,
LooseChickens
I had a friend Steve who was a $400 a month liver, the booze finally kilt him

There is much dumpster diving in my wife's family (hence me) but sometimes things get carried a bit too far. My FIL is the neighborhood CIA as he can read peoples garbage, and he usually does.

I do feel that it is not too difficult for two elderly people to live on $1200/mo in the midwest.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:55 PM   #56
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I do not want to sound like nothing but a silly redneck.

The point is though, I think so many people complicate their lives and their retirement by going after material things. Not that 200k a year retirement income is bad, but isn't the point of ER to get away from that chase the dollar mentality.
There are a lot of things I just don't want.

I don't have a clothes dryer.

I have not yet used the A/C this year.

I have cable(basic tier digital) and DSL and a cell phone(pay as you go).

The house is paid for and I have too much stuff.

I am in the process of giving away stuff.

Perhaps our society needs a modern 'potlatch'.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #57
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Dang BigRitchie, you know how to live cheap! The funny thing is I know a lot of people who live on less than $1,000 a month. Most of them are happy because they have learned to appreciate the little things in life that cost nothing: tasting the first tomato of the season right off the vine, go hike, smell the fresh air and appreciate the beauty of nature, sharing a meal with friends, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. All the money in the world can't buy that. I used to live on much less than $1,000 a month as well when I was single. I personally could see myself do it again. But my wife would never go for it. I am pretty sure it would end up in divorce...
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:32 PM   #58
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Dang BigRitchie, you know how to live cheap! The funny thing is I know a lot of people who live on less than $1,000 a month. Most of them are happy because they have learned to appreciate the little things in life that cost nothing: tasting the first tomato of the season right off the vine, go hike, smell the fresh air and appreciate the beauty of nature, sharing a meal with friends, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. All the money in the world can't buy that. I used to live on much less than $1,000 a month as well when I was single. I personally could see myself do it again. But my wife would never go for it. I am pretty sure it would end up in divorce...
yea thankfully my wife all though not as much of a cheap bastard as me, is on the same page with me at least. ER becomes much easier when your spouse is as dedicated as you are. I kinda did it in a "look we sacrifice now, we can goof off the rest of our lives"

And do not get me wrong, I do not plan on living a utter bare bones life, we plan to do a ton of traveling, ala Akaisha and Billy.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:37 PM   #59
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I'm interested to know the smallest annual income folks have retired on.
Should I feel guilty about buying "Rags to Retirement"? It's not carried at our local library yet...
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:42 PM   #60
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Nord, do you happen to have a website about living in Hawaii?

That is one place all my life I have kinda wanted to eventually settle down in.
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