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The First year under my belt!!!
Old 09-30-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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The First year under my belt!!!

Today marks my first year in retirement!!!

Pulled the plug September 30, 2007 after 35 years in the salt mines and moved on to the fun of retirement.

It's been a busy year with many projects and things to keep me busy and out of DW's hair. Lots of house projects and woodworking projects going on. If I look a little bored for a few minutes, DW's pulls out her TO DO list to get me back on track.

Financially things are looking good so far, even with the market turmoil. The nest egg is in a nice CD ladder that is all FDIC insured, about 40/60 split taxable/tax deferred.

Monthly income is currently from my non-cola pension and DW's SS. All taxes, healthcare, and monthly expenses are paid from those. The nest egg continues to grow and I am reserving my SS for the future. Right now the nest egg is planned to be used only to offset the declining value of my non cola pension. According to FireCalc we're good to go for 30 years at 100% success rate with our current spending.

One thing I've found out about retirement is with all the extra time on my hands and interest in hobbies, spending can be above what you might have planned. Currently we are running between $800 and $1200 above projected expenses, but within our monthly income. My policy is, if it's in the check book, it's spending money. Just have to keep an eye on cash flow.

Pull the plug if you can, it's FUN.

Uncle Honey
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #2
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I'm Jealous!

So what HAS your average monthly budget looked like?
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

thank you for a very uplifting post - glad to hear a postive FIRE experience to offset other less cheerful things lately. i certainly needed that!

re the "honey-do" list...get yourself a round TUIT and go from there.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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Congratulations.

BTW, it gets better.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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I'm Jealous!

So what HAS your average monthly budget looked like?
Right now the major monthly expenses are;

Medical and drug coverage, company plan for me and Medicare + Supplement for DW, $331

Dental for 2, $40

Income taxes, state and federal; $600 ( Includes taxes for taxable accounts)

Property taxes; $250

Gas for heat and hot water; $107

Electric; $94

Water and sewer; $35

Auto insurance for 2 cars; $80

Cable TV and internet, $77

Phone, $22

I usually spend about $400-$500 a month at the grocery store.

No mortgage and no car payments and a tank of gas about every 6 weeks.

All this comes out of an income of about $3900/ month.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:22 AM   #6
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Nice --- Lots of slop factor in that income --- Don't forget trash and Home Owners Insurance.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #7
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Nice --- Lots of slop factor in that income --- Don't forget trash and Home Owners Insurance.
Oops, forgot about homeowners insurance, it's about $45/month. Trash comes out of city income taxes, which are on earned income only and since I don't earn anything my neighbors foot the bill.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:24 PM   #8
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Always great to hear a "come on in--the water's fine" report. You bring up something I have thought about---and that is--I will want to spend more when I am retired. Right now my time to indulge hobbies, etc. is very limited. I just don't figure the projections that say you will need a less in retirement. The only expense that I project to go down is the amount that I am saving toward retirement!
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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Always great to hear a "come on in--the water's fine" report. You bring up something I have thought about---and that is--I will want to spend more when I am retired. Right now my time to indulge hobbies, etc. is very limited. I just don't figure the projections that say you will need a less in retirement. The only expense that I project to go down is the amount that I am saving toward retirement!
So right you are on spending more. It's not that you have to, but you may want to. The old idea of calculating your retirement needs based on a percentage of you pre-retirement income is ok if you want to continue on with your previous lifestyle. But people have to remember there are going to be an extra 40-50 hours a week available for spending if you want.

The single most valuable bit of information I have gleaned from the FIRE forum is figure out what your expenses are going to be when you retire. Plan for hobbies and other fun things to do, not that you have to have expensive pastimes, but keep in mind what they might cost.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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Today marks my first year in retirement!!!

Pulled the plug September 30, 2007 after 35 years in the salt mines and moved on to the fun of retirement..........

Pull the plug if you can, it's FUN.

Uncle Honey
Congratulations on your 1 year mark!

A week from today marks 18 months for me.......and your right on target....it certainly is FUN.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:08 PM   #11
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Read an interesting article today that stated if your spouse was collecting SS and you were eligible but waiting, that you could collect at the spouse rate based on their collection and not impact yours. Actually went on to say that the spouse could file and then suspend payments to increase their later draw too.

Don't know if you're spouse collect eligible but something to consider to cover those extra expenses.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:55 PM   #12
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Read an interesting article today that stated if your spouse was collecting SS and you were eligible but waiting, that you could collect at the spouse rate based on their collection and not impact yours. Actually went on to say that the spouse could file and then suspend payments to increase their later draw too.

Don't know if you're spouse collect eligible but something to consider to cover those extra expenses.
There is a small catch to this. If I am eligible for SS, which I am, payments come from my record first.

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Old 10-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #13
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September 30th marked my second year of retirement. I love it and haven't been bored one day!
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:43 PM   #14
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Wow. Today also marks my first year of being retired. I still can't believe it. I was at a charity golf outing that my former employer puts on every year. My former boss actually gets a kick out of introducing me and telling everyone that I retired at 50.

I wish the marked was doing better, but I knew there were going to be years like this and so far so good.

I sure don't regret retireing early. Sounds like you are doing good also, congrat's.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:17 PM   #15
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Congratulations , Glad you are keeping busy maybe too busy and enjoying your retirement.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:26 AM   #16
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Congrats. At 50 I have some more years to go. Right now with the decline of stocks 2012 is the goal.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:41 PM   #17
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At this time next year, I'll be enjoying my first few weeks of retirement (age 46). Good to hear that you're doing well and not bored stiff or having regrets. Thanks for sharing your budget as living off of 57% of my income without the benefit of a military housing allowance will be a possible challenge (or maybe not).
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #18
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Seven months for me, got in a trip I had planned for from before I started working 35 years ago through arctic Canada & Alaska. Although I liked my job and this down market is a better time to be working I do not see any reason to look back. Still have not caught up on the years of deferred maintenance on the house.
Good to hear that retirement is working for other folks too.
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:41 PM   #19
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Unclehoney,
Congratulations on your 1st year of retirement. Have mined salt for 30 years myself and expect to be digging away at it a while longer.

While your grocery expenses are about the same as mine and spouse's, some of your expenses (especially property tax) seem very low to me, as a MD resident. Would it be considered nosey, on this forum, to ask what state/region you reside in?

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Old 10-05-2008, 04:39 PM   #20
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Unclehoney,
Congratulations on your 1st year of retirement. Have mined salt for 30 years myself and expect to be digging away at it a while longer.

While your grocery expenses are about the same as mine and spouse's, some of your expenses (especially property tax) seem very low to me, as a MD resident. Would it be considered nosey, on this forum, to ask what state/region you reside in?

Own2Feet
O2F

We are in Columbus Oh. House is worth, current value, maybe $275k-$300K, about 1600 sqft, 3 bdrm, 1-1/2 bath, 2 story.

One of the reasons for the low tax bill is we get the homestead exemption from the state because DW is over 65. That lowers the bill by about $400 per year. The actual monthly tax bill is $259.......about $3100/ year.

An interesting side note, the house across the street just sold for $261.5k, up from $258k when it last sold in 2006. The new owner joked with me when he said, "I found the nicest house on the street, and bought the one across from it".
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