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Old 01-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #21
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Agree with others - we have a lifelong habit of being SAVERS, then to throw the switch and become SPENDERS is difficult. DW comes from a family of savers. And I, by nature, am one too. So we had a somewhat difficult transition to make when I retired. It took a WHILE, but we are getting there, in our own fashion. We are doing MUCH more, but still doing things... I dunno... on the cheap I suppose.

Our RV - A Scamp Trailer 5th wheel. 19'er. TINY, but it suite OUR purpose. MUCH cheaper to travel by trailer and camp our way across the country. Plus we have a delightful time.

DW subscribes to Travel Zoo and most of our trips are modest. ALWAYS an inside cabin when we cruise.

Car - she DID get a "new" BMW Z-4 in the spring of 2011... well new to HER. I was willing to pop for a brand spanking new one. SHE wanted, and got, an '08 coming off a 3 year lease, and it had less than 30k miles on it. She is VERY happy with it.

We tend to "DIY" around the house. Saves TONS of money.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #22
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We have always been frugal, but in early retirement might be living right at our means instead of below it.

Yes, without any pension and a few years to SS, 3.5%WR is all I am allowing myself. And that turns out to be about what we have been spending before retirement. Until I have a few years of complete retirement with no earned income under my belt, I don't know if I really have any surplus to worry about.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:28 PM   #23
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OMG, I had no idea! You're worse than I am. I have been withdrawing right at 2% so far in retirement.
How low can you go? I think there's another contest in the works here.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:41 PM   #24
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Well, some people here will even retire very well on 0%WR!

Yes, having a nice pension will let you do that, in contrast with people who manage their own retirement funds. The personal WR has a more real meaning for the latter group.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:53 PM   #25
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I am with Meadbh on this. Put 80% back in your stash and then reward yourself with 20% of mad money. Try Random Acts of Kindness. Go to a diner where plates are $8-10. Pick 2 people that are eating. I prefer that one is young 10-16 yo. Plop down $40 and say treats on me. Then tell the young one if he wants to feel good a 2nd time give the balance to someone else before he leaves.

You will feel good and you can bet the young person will not forget and at least pass on the story. Cheap thrills.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #26
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Pick 2 people that are eating. I prefer that one is young 10-16 yo. Plop down $40 and say treats on me.
I did that! Well, sort of...

You see, recently my children wanted to take us out for dinner for my birthday. And as they are in their 20s, working, and no longer in their teenage years, they should be able to afford that. And we went to a French bistro, which cost a bit more.

But I did not want my children to pay, as I am "loaded" compared to them. So, when it came to settling the bill, I picked up the tab. My children insisted that they would pay the tip. I think they wanted to share in the cost, but also wanted to be sure that the tip would be more generous than I would give.

Yes, they gave 30%!
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #27
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I am with Meadbh on this. Put 80% back in your stash and then reward yourself with 20% of mad money. Try Random Acts of Kindness. Go to a diner where plates are $8-10. Pick 2 people that are eating. I prefer that one is young 10-16 yo. Plop down $40 and say treats on me. Then tell the young one if he wants to feel good a 2nd time give the balance to someone else before he leaves.

You will feel good and you can bet the young person will not forget and at least pass on the story. Cheap thrills.
It would be fun to start a chain reaction like this (a good return on investment!)

Tim Hortons customers pay it forward 228 times in Winnipeg | TheSpec.com
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #28
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+1 jayc
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You will feel good and you can bet the young person will not forget and at least pass on the story. Cheap thrills.
To this day I still recall and retell with fondness a 'random act of kindness' story that happened when I was hitchhiking through Texas just before Christmas in 1976 en route back from Central America to New Jersey, dead broke after four months of on-the-cheap travel. We had been out in cold, pouring rain for hours when a man picked us up to take us along a few more hours on our way. When he dropped us off in the early hours of the morning near Beaumont, he handed us a crisp $20 bill so we could get a hot meal and dry off some more. Now, 35+ years later, I've never forgotten that wonderful act of generosity and the delicious diner breakfast we had, with money left to spare to help us on our way home for the holidays. Pay it forward!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #29
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..........
Our RV - A Scamp Trailer 5th wheel. 19'er. TINY, but it suite OUR purpose. MUCH cheaper to travel by trailer and camp our way across the country. Plus we have a delightful time. ...........
Wow, you popped for the big 19 footer? My limit was a 13 footer.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:11 PM   #30
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Like so many that replied I too have been a saver and frugal all my life. It is difficult to change and I really doubt it is possible for most people - if you were frugal all your life that is your nature and conversely if you spent every dime and were in debt all your life you can't change that if or when you retire.

I have a 0% WR since retiring. I haven't changed my spending habits, my pension more than meets my spending requirements with a fair amount saved each month. That was cut by 25% but now I'm collecting SS so I actually have more than before. If need or really want something I'll get it but I'm not a gadget person, new toys don't interest me, I don't need or want anything. I sometimes wonder what I would, not could, buy cuz I don't need or want anything.

Maybe I'm just content, I'm not bothered by it. I know I can't take it with me but I want to leave as much as I can for my sister who may well need it for basic living expenses so I don't want to just spend it cuz I don't need it. Yeah a Ferrari would be sweet but then why?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:12 PM   #31
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Well, some people here will even retire very well on 0%WR!

Yes, having a nice pension will let you do that, in contrast with people who manage their own retirement funds. The personal WR has a more real meaning for the latter group.
Exactly. Currently my pensions provide 70% of expenses, but they are not COLA'ed, so in these early years the WR should be low. As I said before, starting with 3 strong performance years makes a big difference.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:16 PM   #32
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But I would appreciate any feedback, input or tales of lessons learned
You asked...
Life story... on a lower scale but with the same propensity for limited spending.

Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:30 PM   #33
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Currently my pensions provide 70% of expenses, but they are not COLA'ed, so in these early years the WR should be low.
My situation on the other hand is reversed. When we pick up our SS, the WR can then be lowered. Having Medicare at 65 should help some too. Or we can spend more then.

I still have not logged onto the SS site and figured out how much we will get. Darn! By then we may be too old to spend much. This is all messed up. I need to recompute all this WR stuff. I pick 3.5%WR simply because it is right at our existing spending level.

Perhaps I should spend more while I still can, but then other than travel, I have no desire to buy anything. I have enough things to take care of. And then, we cannot travel that much yet with my wife's familial duty. And with my fantasy idea of travel being boondocking in Alaska, it does not cost much more than the gas to get up there. And I am too chicken yet to drive through Siberia!
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #34
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Wow, you popped for the big 19 footer? My limit was a 13 footer.
Ya, it was a pre-retirement gift to ourselves. We got it in 09/2008, 15 months before retirement. Picked up The White House in Backus then headed EAST - New England fell colors, Niagra Falls, so on and so on. We figgered if we could spend 4 weeks in it without John Law getting involved we had a winner. So far we have ALSO taken eldest g'son to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and WE have had it to Key West. Along with MANY MANY other trips. We LOVE it. Tows like a dream.

Funny story... we were in a campground here in the Sacramento delta region, me, DW and two g'kids. Sitting under the awning enjoying life... There is a fella across the way with one of those GINORMOUS rigs. He's a-studying us... and studying us... Finally he sez - Can I ask you a Question? Of Course. How many people does that thing sleep. With a complete straight face I answered.... 12...... then sat still for about 5 seconds. I could SEE the look on his face while he was OBVIOUSLY trying to process THAT piece of information. Then I let him off the hook and continued..... Just 2 at a time, though. His wife nearly fell out of her chair she was laughing so hard.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #35
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I think Brewer's TT is about the same size. Yet, he has his wife, 2 kids, and 2 dogs with him.

I once hauled my two grown children with me on just a short one-nighter trip out-of-town for them to see what RV'ing is all about. There's plenty of sleeping room for 4 in my 25' class C: the main bed for the 2 of us, converted dinette as a bed, and the over-cab bed. But when everybody was up, it was tight walking around in it, as the MH does not have any slide.

Still, if we have to do longer trips, it might still be OK, as we are supposed to be out enjoying the outdoors, hiking, and sightseeing, not cooped up inside any RV, no matter how large. Not much chance of that though, as they are working, and have their own life now.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #36
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Exactly. Currently my pensions provide 70% of expenses.

Funny, I **JUST** added that calc to MY long term forcast.

I am at 49% Defined Benefit pension, which has a COLA of UP TO 5%

25% SS (right now disability)
and
26% scheduled porfolio drawdown - designed to reach Zero @ age 90

Pension has survivor for DW @ same amount in the event that I pass.


To clarify - this is a CASH BASIS forecast, with income tax withholdings ALREADY deducetd to a level where the 1040 should be close to a push each year. So that is $100k SPENDING money.


TOTAL package = $101k per year.

No debt, lots of fun.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:47 PM   #37
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.....
Funny story... we were in a campground here in the Sacramento delta region, me, DW and two g'kids. Sitting under the awning enjoying life... There is a fella across the way with one of those GINORMOUS rigs. He's a-studying us... and studying us... Finally he sez - Can I ask you a Question? Of Course. How many people does that thing sleep. With a complete straight face I answered.... 12...... then sat still for about 5 seconds. I could SEE the look on his face while he was OBVIOUSLY trying to process THAT piece of information. Then I let him off the hook and continued..... Just 2 at a time, though. His wife nearly fell out of her chair she was laughing so hard.
Good story. My 13 was set up to sleep two adults and two kids originally. So, to keep on topic, I guess I can't spend money either.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:24 PM   #38
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Funny you should mention this because we are in the same situation and I've persuaded DW to spend some money to alleviate pain and suffering on an individual - me.

Before Christmas I could see that this was the 3rd straight year after ER'ing that we are well in surplus and have drawn no more than 1.3% in any given year. We have a trip to Europe coming up in April so I told her than since we hurt so much on those long-haul flights that we should fly First/Business, and for the dates we want it would cost ~$4,400 each instead of ~$1,000. It took a couple of weeks for the idea to take root, and then today she came to me with some figures. If we fly to New York we can sail over to Southampton for $699 on the QE II, returning in September on the Queen Mary, which is more expensive but with all the added expense it is still substantially cheaper to do this than fly Business Class.

Plus, we get 8 days sailing each way with all meals included and entertainment etc. There are even lectures on a variety of subjects we could attend.
Alan, I love the way your wife thinks. That is so neat, that she has worked in 2 cruises for cheaper than flying. I hope that you have a wonderful time. I am envious of the long trips that you are able to take with your wife and hope to be able to do the same with my DH some day.

I am another poster who is frugal and has a hard time spending money. I really have to feel that I am getting good value. I am going on a cruise later this month with 4 of my longtime friends. I did not mind spending the money at all, because for me, it is being able to spend 9 days with my friends. I value that time with my friends, more than the money. They are all older than me (65, 69 and 70) and I know there will come a day when we will be unable to do these trips. However, at Christmas, I was thinking of asking for an Ipad or some good headphones, but could not make myself do it. My DH was at wit's end because he wanted to buy me some Christmas presents. I grew up poor and money represents security to me. My DH grew up poor also, but he loves to get material things. I know that my way of thinking is not good, because I am too frugal and you can't take it with you. If I die before my DH, he is going to have a good time. If he dies before me, my kids are going to have a good time. Not one of them will have a hard time spending it. I am really going to work on my attitude toward money this year and I hope that anyone else having this problem does so also. Maybe we should form a support group for each other.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:28 PM   #39
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Maybe we should form a support group for each other.

Perhaps on a CRUISE?
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:30 PM   #40
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Alex, you cannot change the way you are wired. I spend a little more than I should but am still saving right at 60% of my take home pay. You could always do some charity work or help a local school.
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