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Old 06-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #41
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Dental- 2 cleanings yearly $150 total
Wow. That's crazy cheap. That almost just covers the cost for 1 cleaning+short exam here, and we are not a high cost area. And insurance is happy and says the charge is in line.

Mulligan, you are finding all the deals in health care, I have to say.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #42
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Wow. That's crazy cheap. That almost just covers the cost for 1 cleaning+short exam here, and we are not a high cost area. And insurance is happy and says the charge is in line.

Mulligan, you are finding all the deals in health care, I have to say.
Joe, it would be $85 but they knock $10 off for paying cash. I probably benefit not only from a low cost area, but probably people just wouldn't or couldn't pay for it if they charged more. I had all the XRays done a year and a half ago, so that bill was higher, $165. My teeth feel fine, and I felt cheap so I skipped the XRays this time. Health insurance is the good ol underwritten plan that is going to probably yanked away from me next year. Eyes, well I am being cheap, but I don't need a doctor to tell me I need to buy glasses. I know that, so I bought the readers. Still have 3 inches left in arm extension, if I don't want to use the readers.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #43
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Joe, it would be $85 but they knock $10 off for paying cash. I probably benefit not only from a low cost area, but probably people just wouldn't or couldn't pay for it if they charged more. I had all the XRays done a year and a half ago, so that bill was higher, $165. My teeth feel fine, and I felt cheap so I skipped the XRays this time. Health insurance is the good ol underwritten plan that is going to probably yanked away from me next year. Eyes, well I am being cheap, but I don't need a doctor to tell me I need to buy glasses. I know that, so I bought the readers. Still have 3 inches left in arm extension, if I don't want to use the readers.
Yeah, add bitewing x-rays and it is over $200 here.

I've never understood vision plans offered at work, so I agree with you there. They seem to be insurance to buy designer frames? Not necessary.

It is important to get the pressures checked every now and then. In LBYM spirit, you can usually get this done at community "health fairs" that many providers pool together to do as a public service for free. Just have to search for them.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:25 PM   #44
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Yeah, add bitewing x-rays and it is over $200 here.

I've never understood vision plans offered at work, so I agree with you there. They seem to be insurance to buy designer frames? Not necessary.

It is important to get the pressures checked every now and then. In LBYM spirit, you can usually get this done at community "health fairs" that many providers pool together to do as a public service for free. Just have to search for them.
This site is helping slowly as there are many responsible people on this forum. But, I have been so fortunate with my health that I take it for granted even though I do live an active healthy lifestyle. Being cheap is just a byproduct as I can certainly afford to pay for it. I told myself I can continue to act like I am young until I am 50, then I will grow up and be responsible. So I have one more year of being a immature cheapo.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:17 AM   #45
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A lot of interesting comments and insights. I suppose it really does depend on where you are in life. My plan has always been to try and get to the million dollar mark as soon as possible in order to take advantage of compound interest for as long as possible . I still think it is a lot of money even now. I try to find accurate statistics on the prevalence of millionaires, but reliable numbers seem hard to come by, and as many of you pointed out, a big part of achieving FIRE is ignoring the 'noise' so maybe I shouldn't be so concerned.

As non-Americans and expats, my wife and I do not have SS to look forward to, or any other form of pension. It is sink or swim for us, so this all takes on a different level of importance. Then again, as a member of Generation Y, I wonder how different it will be for my friends in Canada, Europe or the US in 30-35 years time. I wonder how many will be able to rely on anything but their savings.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:59 AM   #46
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One problem I see with the "$$$ isn't what it used to be" attitude is that it discourages a good number of people from even trying to accumulate anything. Even if it is not, it is still nice to have that size cushion to make it easier to deal with a lot of things.

I remember when 401ks first became available at my Megacorp in the 1980s, and the Megacorp literature showed how through contributions and time you could accumulate a million dollars. More than a few folks had the attitude of "it won't be worth much 30-40 years from now, why bother, have fun now" and did not have an intention of trying. I was almost swayed by them, I'm glad I listened to others.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #47
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jollystomper I totally agree. The idea that inflation, market crashes, or various bubbles will ultimately decimate your wealth is a strong theme in the mainstream, especially since 2000. I would say it is the main reason most of my peers have not started saving for retirement. It is hard not to start believing this rhetoric when you are just starting out.

I know many blame the financial service industry for suggesting that we always need more than what we have and that retirement is only possible with XXX amount, but I find that we FIRE folks are sometimes guilty of perpetuating this ourselves. I am not an Extreme Early Retirement believer, but I have lived in enough places overseas to know what true poverty is and what having 'enough' can sometimes look like. Anyways, I hope that my number doesn't keep growing and moving further away as I get older. Life is too short (RIP Mr. Gandolfini).
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #48
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One problem I see with the "$$$ isn't what it used to be" attitude is that it discourages a good number of people from even trying to accumulate anything.
I think you've hit the nail on the head with that. Although, taken as a literal statement, a million dollars is obviously not worth what it used to be, people who say things like this are making more of a value judgement, by implying that it's not worth even trying to accumulate. It's a very pessimistic and short-term view.

"_________(insert amount here) is not what it used to be"

Translation "It's hard to get ahead, so I might as well not even try."


What a self-defeating outlook.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:04 AM   #49
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In the 1960's, a Millionaire was someone who, along with his wife, packed an awful lot of luggage for what was supposed to be a "three hour tour"!

One thing I've noticed, is that I get closer to the $1M mark, the less it seems to be. When it's far off, just like any goal, it seems lofty and almost unattainable. But, as I get closer to it, it just doesn't feel as "special", I guess. Still, I'm grateful for what I have, and will be very happy when I hit the $1M mark!

As for throwing around the phrase "millionaire", I guess the problem is that it's a very wide range. If you have $1M, you're a millionaire, but if you have $999M, you're also a millionaire. Or, if you have $2M or more, should you be called a multi-millionaire then?
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #50
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Or, if you have $2M or more, should you be called a multi-millionaire then?
That's what I'm aiming for... multi-millionaire still has a nice ring to it.

Whether being barely a multi-millionaire is enough to retire very early on is another matter.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #51
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:53 AM   #52
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Does anyone else get sick of hearing that a million dollars isn't what it used to be or isn't that much money anymore?
I don't get tired of it. Although, I don't pay much attention to it.

I think many folks underestimate or completely fail to consider the impact of inflation on their retirement finances. The stories about a million bux not being such a big deal anymore is simply another way of saying that inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the dollar. Not a bad reminder.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #53
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Does anyone else get sick of hearing that a million dollars isn't what it used to be or isn't that much money anymore? As someone in the early accumulation phase who has worked hard to save and has gone without a lot of the luxuries, I have to admit I get a bit tired of this.
It's just a simple fact, so it doesn't bother me hearing it...
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:38 AM   #54
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The vast majority will never achieve it, so I still think it is a worthwhile goal and will be glad when I get there

Mostly an issue of expectations. When you think about it, $1M and a paid off house will allow you to live a reasonable middle class lifestyle WITHOUT WORKING. That is pretty incredible. Most people need a paycheck just to eat for the next 2 weeks, forget living without employment.

One million will not buy a Mercedes for every day of the week, private jet, $30k vacations, $M beachhouse, etc. etc. but it never really was a sign of that kind of megawealth since I have been alive. If you sign an NBA or movie contract or launch an IPO for $100M then you can live that kind of lifestyle, but a comfortable lifestyle without working sounds pretty good to me and is achievable by high income people in 15-30 years and everyone in 40-50 years due to compounding if you make the investments.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:56 AM   #55
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Mostly an issue of expectations. When you think about it, $1M and a paid off house will allow you to live a reasonable middle class lifestyle WITHOUT WORKING.
That assumption gets debated here quite often. I think it would be a close call. Yes, it can be done. Live in an inexpensive area. Avoid any hobbies or travel that run up any significant expense. Find low cost health care. Avoid any unplanned expenses. Etc. Etc.

But if you're retiring young and have no other resources (than the paid for house), $35k/yr (3.5% WR on one million bux of portfolio) will require some careful management.

I know there is a current thread where some of the participants are living on even less, but things like "free clinics" and a bit of part time work are mentioned, so probably a bit of a stretch to call it "middle class - without working."

It's all terminology and outlook of course.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #56
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Mostly an issue of expectations. When you think about it, $1M and a paid off house will allow you to live a reasonable middle class lifestyle WITHOUT WORKING. That is pretty incredible. Most people need a paycheck just to eat for the next 2 weeks, forget living without employment.
One requirement for me to be able to ER was that my day-to-day (read: middle-class) lifestyle would be unchanged. All of my bills would be paid from my investment income (replacing my last wage income which was not much because I was hardly working anyway) with a comfortable cushion, another requirement for my being able to ER.

But, as you pointed out DJRR, I can "live a reasonable middle class lifestyle WITHOUT WORKING" and that IS pretty incredible.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:14 AM   #57
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That assumption gets debated here quite often. I think it would be a close call. Yes, it can be done. Live in an inexpensive area. Avoid any hobbies or travel that run up any significant expense. Find low cost health care. Avoid any unplanned expenses. Etc. Etc.
Some of this may depend on age. Yes, for a couple who is say 40 or 45 who had a million and no prospect of a pension and only SS far away, then, I would agree with you.

OTOH, if you assume a couple on SS, living in most areas in the US, I think it is a fine life. DH is already on SS. I'm not old enough yet, but if I took at 66 (FRA - haven't decided when I will take it yet), our combined income from SS alone would be $50k so adding portfolio withdrawals from a million would be a fine life and certainly wouldn't mean avoiding hobbies or travel.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:11 AM   #58
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Some of this may depend on age.
I guess you didn't read all of my post. I said "But if you're retiring young and have no other resources (than the paid for house), $35k/yr (3.5% WR on one million bux of portfolio) will require some careful management.
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OTOH, if you assume a couple on SS, living in most areas in the US, I think it is a fine life. DH is already on SS. I'm not old enough yet, but if I took at 66 (FRA - haven't decided when I will take it yet), our combined income from SS alone would be $50k so adding portfolio withdrawals from a million would be a fine life and certainly wouldn't mean avoiding hobbies or travel.
Hearing about your personal situation is always facinating Kat, but my comments were in the context of the OP, a younger person, and not at related to older folks at or near SS.

You and I are just visitors here in the "Young Dreamers" section of the FIRE board.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:27 AM   #59
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.... my comments were in the context of the OP, a younger person, and not at related to older folks at or near SS.

You and I are just visitors here in the "Young Dreamers" section of the FIRE board.
The OP also says within this thread that he will not have SS anyway.

I love the Young Dreamers section and the different scenarios and plans presented by them, being not young myself but still dreaming. They are sooooo much smarter than I was then and now.

Also love the OP's name.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:33 AM   #60
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I guess you didn't read all of my post. I said "But if you're retiring young and have no other resources (than the paid for house), $35k/yr (3.5% WR on one million bux of portfolio) will require some careful management.

Hearing about your personal situation is always facinating Kat, but my comments were in the context of the OP, a younger person, and not at related to older folks at or near SS.

You and I are just visitors here in the "Young Dreamers" section of the FIRE board.
Just to be clear - I was using the example of SS only for DH and I. I wasn't discussing my personal situation in terms of portfolio, expenses, or anything else.
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