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Old 10-18-2016, 05:49 PM   #61
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I am on Medicare. I own my condominium outright. My expense categories in order of size are food at home, Medical (Medicare B, Medigap and Pt D premiums, plus small amount of cash for pharma); housing (condo fees, utilities and RE taxes). Next but quite a bit smaller is entertainment which includes eating out, bar tabs, movies, concerts, etc.

I am frugal in that I never ignore price. I would never try to see how much I could spend on truffles, fine wine, or anything else. Nevertheless, I like foods that are often expensive. Some, such as wild sea scallops, sashimi grade tuna or scallops or sea urchin or salmon eggs or wild Sockeye or Chinook salmon, sable fish or some other seafood will never be meaningfully less expensive than they are now. So I will buy it, because I love it. So my budget for food at home is very similar to what some others here and elsewhere post for a family of four.

Some of these are much cheaper when living right on the beach and harvested directly, but that is not my situation now.

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Old 10-18-2016, 06:55 PM   #62
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In the almost 5 years since semi-retiring we had to buy 2 cars, did 60k in home improvements and have spent about 10k/year in travel. We spend about 500/month of eating out, movies, events, etc. However, now there is nothing left to do to the house and the cars will probably last 15 years or more since we don't drive as much as when working f.t. Travel will continue to be our biggest spend.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:09 AM   #63
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Travel, high quality groceries.

We also gift a significant chunk to family/charity, otherwise our after-tax spending would usually be below $100k.

No spendthrift here - we still underspend compared to our annual withdrawal from investments.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:47 PM   #64
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#1 expense: housing; #2: healthcare; #3: food

As far as discretionary spending goes, the order varies from year to year. This year, travel was #1 (2 trips to Europe plus several road trips stateside); Next year, home improvement will be #1 as we will completely renovate our 40-year old house from top to bottom. We also provide financial assistance to family, as needed. No expensive hobbies anymore (only writing, sketching, walking/hiking, etc...), very little eating out (by choice), only one basic automobile for the two of us, etc...
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #65
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Photography is my main hobby, and we have just upgraded my ultra-wide angle lens, and also the camera body and lens that my wife uses. We are going to list all the old stuff on Ebay this weekend.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:43 PM   #66
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Finishing a backyard landscaping project - $12K
When we retired we splurged on a Yamaha digital piano - $4K
Those were out of the ordinary extras, our monthly discretionary spends are on a country club for golf (both of us) and a tennis club for my DW.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:13 PM   #67
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Eating out is a big one for me. Love it. lol, right now me and a girlfriend are on a search to find the best Pizza in Philly.

Next year, I'll be doing a lot of traveling, in the country though. I want to see many of the state parks.

I'm a disney fanatic so I'll be hanging out at the mouseworld a few times a year. lol, my secret occupation is to become a train conductor.

And yes, for my 60th I may treat myself to a LV bag. Ive been drooling over one for about 4 years but haven't wrapped myself around the price.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:31 PM   #68
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Travel;

1. +2 international trips per year, both cursing and otherwise, including business class upgrades.

2. Camping in our Airstream Trailer.

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Old 10-19-2016, 09:57 PM   #69
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We currently have a city house, a lake house, our daughter's house and have not sold our last house. And we have 2 autos, 1 truck, our daughter's car, a fifth wheel trailer and 24' boat to keep up.

Our biggest expenses are house insurance, car insurance boat/rv insurance and utilities. End of year extra expenses are ad valorem taxes on vehicles and property taxes. I also pay for BCBS individual insurance on our daughter who has an abnormal number of doctor visits for existing physical problems.

I'd be a dead duck if I owed anything on our assets.
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:17 AM   #70
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Poop. Er upgrading the 1951 Farmhouse bathroom and septic system. Upgrading the electricity and lighting in six outbuildings. Plus a strategic compost toilet or two in the outer outbuildings.

And of course the usual suspects - West Coast. Texas and Florida trips with possible side jaunts to New Orleans, Quebec City and Alaska still in the planning stage.

Paying to tune up, cleanup and otherwise ready six tractors, one bulldozer three pickups, two ATV's and misc. other farm stuff for an auction before spring planting. Corn and beans are harvesting right now.

heh heh heh - All praise to being a cheap spender early in ER (1993 on) and Mr Market. Now getting more frivolous.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:20 AM   #71
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Where in the world does your cash draw 7%? Want me some of that!
yea where did that %7 come from? should have been 5%
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:28 AM   #72
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Poop. Er upgrading the 1951 Farmhouse bathroom and septic system. Upgrading the electricity and lighting in six outbuildings. Plus a strategic compost toilet or two in the outer outbuildings.

And of course the usual suspects - West Coast. Texas and Florida trips with possible side jaunts to New Orleans, Quebec City and Alaska still in the planning stage.

Paying to tune up, cleanup and otherwise ready six tractors, one bulldozer three pickups, two ATV's and misc. other farm stuff for an auction before spring planting. Corn and beans are harvesting right now.

heh heh heh - All praise to being a cheap spender early in ER (1993 on) and Mr Market. Now getting more frivolous.
I'm impressed with the complexity you've lived with. I guess a farm is like a business. Just a house + 2 cars is enough complications for me.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:02 AM   #73
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Will ER in early Nov so not sure what we will actually spend but budget is well over 100K. About 45% is discretionary with travel budget at $35K, eating out and entertainment at $15K plus sizable budgets for wine and gifts. Healthcare is a big category too although not optional.


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Old 10-21-2016, 09:56 AM   #74
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DD told me a story about me not giving her a piece ol aluminum foil for some craft project when she was little and telling her it was too expensive. I'm sure it was generic, bought with a coupon, and on sale, too. Now we have more net income than before REing, and we can squander all the aluminum foil we want!
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:15 AM   #75
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DD told me a story about me not giving her a piece of aluminum foil for some craft project when she was little and telling her it was too expensive. I'm sure it was generic, bought with a coupon, and on sale, too. Now we have more net income than before REing, and we can squander all the aluminum foil we want!
But it is difficult to give up old habits. DW's mom still cleans off and smooths her aluminum (or aluminium for our GB friends!) for reuse. No financial need whatsoever to do so, but why waste?
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:14 AM   #76
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Charitable Donations
Kids (example - helping w/student loans)
Cost of Paradise (includes keeping one foot in the midwest)

These comprise perhaps 90% of our discretionary expenditures. One of our back-ups is to live on half of what we now spend. That would entail returning to the midwest and letting the kids and favorite charities fend for themselves. Hope it never has to come to that. As most people do, we spend the most on what gives us pleasure. To each his own and YMMV, etc.
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:16 AM   #77
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The only way we will be able to RE next year is because we got frugal and started doing the whole LBYM thing. But once you're in that mindset, it's hard to change it. Five years from now we'll have a *lot* more discretionary money in our budget than we have had for the last five years, yet we'll not spend it all. I can almost guarantee that.

Part of the reason is that we've shifted our thinking about enjoyment from things vs experiences. Thus I no longer desire a sports car and we no longer own a house w/ 3-car garage full of motorcycles. No more pool table or wine room. No more sound system with speakers in every single room. We traded all that in for early retirement. We wouldn't be a year out from ER if we hadn't.

And five years from now we *could* buy a really nice upgrade of a house in Mexico and live 'like kings/queens' if we wanted to. Instead, we'll rent a furnished place w/ a nice view and travel a few months of the year. I'll probably grab a decent used car for convenience. (my dream car is an ugly VW bug w/ renovated interior/drivetrain) We'll enjoy nights out with friends and wine and live music and dancing. We'll hike and bird and I'll write and the wife will work with the dog shelter. We'll dress like beach bums mostly, w/ a few clothing options for nicer venues. We will do everything we *want* to do, but with a much lower spend than most people here -- mainly because we just don't want to do most of those pricier things any more. Those things have an unacceptable price-to-value ratio for us now.

I'm not making any moral judgments here. I'm mostly surprised at how *our* thoughts have changed about this, not that our view is right or wrong. None of this is moral, just a difference in what we perceive as desirable. And yes, some of this would change if we won a big lottery and had a lot more in the bank, but probably not as much as you would think.

OK, I've written entirely too much on this topic! lol
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:25 AM   #78
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We also "downsized" our lifestyle several years ago. We used to own 3 properties, eat out at really expensive restaurants ($200+), and drink expensive wines nearly every night. We cut down to one property (1600 sq ft oceanfront condo), and while we still eat out at decent restaurants often, we don't go super high end unless it's a special occasion. We still enjoy wine but only 2-3 times per week now. As a result of these changes, we will ER in 2 weeks! We also each lost 20-30 lbs and are in the best health ever, having traded fancy dinners with lots of wine for long walks with the dog or the occasional moonlit outing on the water on our kayak and SUP.

Many on this forum seem to value experiences over things. Seems to be a good mindset to enable ER.


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Old 10-22-2016, 10:51 AM   #79
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Scuba, you are becoming an ER role model. Two thumbs up.
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Old 10-22-2016, 11:21 AM   #80
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Many on this forum seem to value experiences over things. Seems to be a good mindset to enable ER.


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Ditto!!

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