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How frugal are you in ER?
Old 03-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
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How frugal are you in ER?

I think most posters here are sensible, smart and flexible folks. That's why they're in ER.
How frugal are you? Did you have to make major changes in ER?

I'm thinking of downsizing house and cars.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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While we shop at yard sales and thrift shops, we go on several cruises a year. So, maybe just different priorities on what we want to spend on.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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I havent made any changes since retirement. I just tracked my expenses for 2 years to make sure it fit within my monthly pension before I ER'd. I wont say Im a 100% frugal, but I dont waste too much money. Originally I planned to spend my monthly pension, and just reload the following month. But I have found my desire to spend money has decreased in retirement, and now I set a goal to save a $1000 a month. When I was younger and making less money, I always had a new car and an accompanying payment. Now that I can afford a new car, I have one that is 12 years old, and have no desire for a new one. While I will never be "rich", the security of building a bigger nest egg independent of my pension is more satisfying than spending money needlessly. Of course everyones definition of spending needlessly is different.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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I am definitely less frugal since retiring 5+ years ago.

My spending used to be constrained by a feeling that it would postpone my FI and retirement dates, which I had long looked forward to. I rarely ate out, most of my travel was bicycle tours, no cell phone, etc. This was a deeply ingrained habit, not really a set of conscious decisions, and did not affect my enjoyment of life.

Once I retired, those feelings went away. My vacations have gotten more expensive, I buy more electronic toys, and basically spend all of my 'income" (72t withdrawals, covered by dividends in my IRAs) with no guilt at all, even though my net income (after taxes, health insurance, etc) is about 50% higher than when I last worked.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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I don't subscribe to magazines or newspaper, I only have one car and one house (oh poor me! ) and unlike some here I don't have a boat, RV, plane, or travel much. This was all true before ER as well. As always, I turn lights out when I leave a room, and don't stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open. I don't waste food. These and other lifetime habits will always be a part of who I am.

Now that I am retired, I am spending slightly more than I did before ER. There really isn't any need to spend more, but due to some good fortune I am better off now. When I couldn't afford much, there were so many things I dreamed of. But I have been surprised at how little I really want now that I can afford more.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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I'm frugal. I track every penny I spend, but I allow myself to spend money on just about anything, as long as I stay within budget.

Two years into ER, I can't shake the feeling that all the @ssholes I ever worked for or with are out there, watching me, and salvalting at the thought of my being forced back into their corporate hell, where they can take possession of my soul again.

Never!
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:56 AM   #7
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I am not ER'd yet but plan to do so this year. I have always been frugal, and it is likely to remain the same way in ER (except for spending due to medical missions in Central America and other trips to Europe).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
How frugal are you? Did you have to make major changes in ER?

I'm thinking of downsizing house and cars.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
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Less frugal. We planned for a lot of travel in ER and have done just that. We could have retired earlier by constraining our life style but work wasn't bad and we wanted to enjoy ourselves.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #9
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We spend about the same as before retirement. However, we made major reductions beginning at least 6 years before retiring to make sure we really could be happy with less, and we were. I'd be a little afraid of expecting/planning to cut expenses after I retired, what if I couldn't reduce or was unhappy at that new lower level of spending? YMMV
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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I preach frugality better than I practice it.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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I preach frugality better than I practice it.
+1
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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I'm pretty damned cheap frugal, but DW seems to have not gotten the memo. Luckily she's found a career/passion that is keeping her busy and should, over the long run, bring in more than she spends. So things are good.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #13
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I wasn't frugal at all before I ER'd. I spent what I wanted and always had money left over. My unrestrained spending habits were never exorbitant. After ER'ing 15 months ago I started watching my budget more closely and tracking on a spreadsheet. At least during this first year, it turned out that I just wanted or needed less than when I was working. I think some of my spending was just rewarding myself to compensate for job stress. I cut out expensive wines (I live in norther CA). We don't have a taste for expensive restaurants anymore but we continue to eat out a couple of times a month to try out new places. I think about the cost of stuff but not in a way the depresses me. I guess I was always living below my means so the transition to retirement spending was pretty easy.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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I say set a budget and try to live with in it. That said, we are not looking to pare back our lifestyle in the process and may very well spend more due to travelling and hobbies. As to downsizing house/cars, that depends on your individual circumstances. For example, our house is ~ 4200 sq ft and it made sense at one point in our lifes, but with empty nest, downsizing is definetly in our future to reduce maintenance, utility and property tax expenses. Also contemplating the same for the cars, but haven't made a firm decision on that one.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:56 AM   #15
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I always thought I was frugal until I installed Quicken, let it download all transactions automatically for me to see how much we spent. Computers do not lie, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I preach frugality better than I practice it.
Anyway, I must be frugal enough to have saved enough money to goof off, while friends making the same money are still toiling, and also put my children through college without ever seeing a FAFSA form (did not even know what that was until seeing it here in this forum!). So, I must have been plenty frugal.

Now that my children are independent, I will be able to spend more on travel, and yet my total expenses will drop. Oh, and I may also stop working part-time too.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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Frugal is a comparative term. By the standards of this group we are not frugal at all. Having a great time in retirement and spending about 30% more in retirement than before if you ignore the big real estate purchases recently. We are excellent planners and trackers though. Have found that we are getting more out of the same spend level though, by understanding what is most important to us and spending more on that.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:13 AM   #17
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When I first retired in 06 I was very frugal & afraid my money would not last. Over time I have become much more comfortable with "nest egg geometry" and how to manage/grow/protect my money. I am still frugal, look for the best deal - but, do spend w/o worry unlike back before and during the "repression".
I love every day with out the stress of work and BS of the corporate world!
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #18
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Oh yes, the "nest egg" is a "very sacred thing" as told by the main character in the movie Lost in America. Forward to 2:30 in the following video clip to hear him explain it to his wife who just gambled it all away in Las Vegas.

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Old 03-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #19
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Have not yet ERd but are frugal. We have tracked expenses for 6 years and however our projected retirement budget is 30% higher than our current budget due to HC , travel and entertainment exp will increase. Always have lived below our means save 33% spend 33% give government 33%.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #20
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Oh yes, the "nest egg" is a "very sacred thing" as told by the main character in the movie Lost in America. Forward to 2:30 in the following video clip to hear him explain it to his wife who just gambled it all away in Las Vegas.

I love that movie....and I hate it! What a nightmare.....really shows how important it is to have a fiscally like minded partner.
I could not forgive that behavior. It's like burning the book Your Money or Your Life........Heresy!
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