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What are you spending on?
Old 10-15-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
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What are you spending on?

So here is my question - there seem to be quite a few people on here who expect to spend $100k + in retirement. Assuming we all have different "base" expenses (utilities, taxes, etc) lets ignore those for now. What I am interested in is understanding the discretionary expenses e.g.

- Cars and motorbikes
- Holidays
- Expensive hobbies
- Eating out

So for the spendthrifts out there - what's your money weakness?
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:15 PM   #2
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Our extravagance is boats, but we can stop that if it becomes necessary. I am sure we'll get too hold to handle a boat eventually anyway. We also spend more "eating out" than most people, we don't cook on weekends, some holidays, or vacations ever. DW & I have a $400-600 dinner coming up in two weeks, a real splurge - but we don't do that crazy often...
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:24 PM   #3
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Motorcycles - 4
Fine foods - caviar, lobster, truffles, wagyu beef and FL stone crabs
Fine dining - $40 lunches at the sushi bar and $100 dinners
Good booze - $50 to $300 a fifth
First class airfare
Hotels with in room jacuzzi
High fidelity audio & video
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:45 PM   #4
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We plan to meet three of your four extravagant categories (and depending upon what we do with RV, maybe we will qualify on cars too!)

Travel. Yeah. We've been making a list and checking it twice since the 1980s. Our jobs have been good for accumulating cash, but not for taking more than a week off at a time.... We don't have a taste for Ritz/Four Season places, but DW's back is not a friend of coach on transpacific flights and the four or five cruises we are interested in are outrageous.

Eating out--we enjoy hitting places that pop up in the James Beard nominations. Time constraints have been real on this too though, so intend to bump up dining out to once or twice a week when we retire. I'm afraid that we could start doing $400 meals (for two) more than occasionally--although cheap ethnic will never be surpassed in number of visits.

Expensive Hobbies: 1) See "Travel" and add Scuba and nice liveaboard boats; 2) wine (although keeping cellar stocked is only 10-12K a year, and will go down when we aren't home so much); 3) whatever additional sins we develop a taste for once we aren't so focused on work.

I doubt we'll have difficulty spending our target each year--even if we never experience huge losses again (yeah, right!); then again, most of it is discretionary and we will be fine in the years that we slash our spending to meet fixed percentage withdrawals.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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I wouldn't say I have any money weakness. I gave all that up and chose liberation from gaining happiness through spending back in my forties. Although that feeling has only grown over time, I have no problem spending whatever is needed if an occasion calls for it. This past year, occasions have called for spending lot of money (for me) more times than they have in the past ten. OTOH, while my level of contentment has increased markedly over the past fifteen months, it had nothing to do with spending or material things.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:48 PM   #6
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Don't smoke Cigars, but my purchases of Rum from Cuba are going up very soon.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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You made me look -

Yeah Baby! Cigars and rum. Imma gonna order up some cigars real soon -
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:53 PM   #8
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We like to cruise at least twice per year, and take the extended family on a vacation every couple of years. We also bought a condo on the beach in Florida this year, so we're officially snowbirds.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:03 PM   #9
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Country club dues and everything associated with my vacation condo. Eliminate those and my spending would be very very low. Not sure these are really weaknesses tho.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #10
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I certainly don't consider them weaknesses, I consider them wanted and much enjoyed luxuries that I look forward to.

Girlfriend said those lobster rolls were the best (lobster) she ever had and I've made her grilled tails before. Fresh claw meat was wonderful. I'm not dreading "the urge" to buy them again, I'm looking forward to it -
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:25 PM   #11
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Craft Beer is big in these parts.

We probably spend several hundred dollars per month for DW and myself at the various local breweries.

-gauss
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:44 PM   #13
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1. Home remodeling/decorating projects. We're reinventing our 50 year-old house, one room at a time.
2. International travel. Once per year, usually 3-4 weeks, sometimes combined with a cruise.
3. Upgrading several machines in the woodworking shop. Next up is a 3HP 15" planer.
4. Gifts for grandkids. That satisfies DW's shopping habit.
5. Good wine. Starting to experiment more.
6. Going to our favorite Japanese restaurant once a month. It's usually about $250 for the 2 of us.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:52 PM   #14
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Our big discretionary expenses this year in order of more to less spend are:
- Donations
- Travel - several trips, many by car but a couple airplane trips
- Toys - this year bought a new camping trailer and new bicycle
- Eating out
The above are all 100% discretionary and look like they make up about 30% of our spend this year.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:53 PM   #15
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I try to keep auto expenses under control, and little eating out. Weakness is travel. We want to have 2-3 big trips per year ($3-5K each) and 2-3 small trips ($.5-1K).
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:06 PM   #16
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Our main splurge is travel. We go mostly by car, on the west coast. But for the very infrequent occasions we fly x-country, we found that first/business class is well worth it for us. And I'm pretty good at finding not-too-exorbitant fares.

Our next splurge is eating out, although we cut back on that quite a bit -- not for financial reasons, but because we don't want our waistlines to expand too much more
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap_Scarlet View Post
So here is my question - there seem to be quite a few people on here who expect to spend $100k + in retirement. Assuming we all have different "base" expenses (utilities, taxes, etc) lets ignore those for now. What I am interested in is understanding the discretionary expenses e.g.

- Cars and motorbikes
- Holidays
- Expensive hobbies
- Eating out

So for the spendthrifts out there - what's your money weakness?
Last year I spent over $100K, although this year I'll come in under $100K.

It's not cars and motorbikes.
$2600 maintenance last year
$600 gasoline last year
$818 maintenance so far this year
$266 gasoline so far this year

It's not holidays.
$0 last year
$0 so far this year

It's not expensive hobbies.
$609 video gaming last year
$39 video gaming so far this year. (dying to spend more)

Eating out isn't breaking the bank either.
$3636 last year
$2416 so far this year

So what is it? Of course, buying, moving into, and doing extensive landscaping and other fixing up of my wonderful dream house! To me, this is discretionary because I could have stayed where I was and I would have been absolutely fine. But I wanted to move, just as much as somebody else might want a Ferrari or a summer in Rome. Life being as it is, adding insult to injury, just after moving I had several uninsured dental implants and a bridge, which add up fast, and my entire HVAC system other than the ductwork had to be completely replaced. Hopefully I haven't bought , but watching that movie is comforting.

Although I love my dream house and adore living next door to Frank, still, spending this much is pretty unnerving. I'm ramping up the LBYM at least a little bit, hoping to return to a more reasonable spending level before the next market catastrophe. But anyway, you wanted to know where all that discretionary money is going, and that's where it's going.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:07 PM   #18
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Mostly travel. Lots of support for friends and family as well as charity. Eat out a lot but it's rounding. Dont view this as a weakness given our retirement cash flow ie divs and pensions covers our spending.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:34 PM   #19
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Travel is our biggest expense each year. This last 2 years we have also bought 2 cars.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:01 PM   #20
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I don't really qualify for this thread do I? My spend for the last few years has been ~$17K, but is set to shoot up to a little over 20K this year due to $5K worth of dental work.

Not much room for discretionary expenses here, as I don't own any property or vehicles (other than a bicycle), don't travel, and don't eat out (unless you count the occasional $10 - $15 meal). I don't have any expensive hobbies, other than ham radio and photography, both of which I manage to pursue relatively cheaply.

I'd say that my discretionary spending averages out at around $150/month, though that's a complete guess. I'd love to be able to confess that my innate creative allows me to amuse and inform myself without spending any money at all, but I'm not that good. I seem to always have some discretionary spending, whether it's buying parts to build radio gear with, or photography/computer stuff. If I'm not taking up my time with these pursuits, then I tend to spend a bit more money going to see films and eating a few more cheap meals. Gotta spend my waking hours doing something
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