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Old 09-20-2017, 10:33 PM   #61
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Most people are cool with a trip to Las Vegas, see a show and talk about it for the next 20 years.
+1. I grew up in a blue collar area like that. I've been a few more places than Las Vegas, but I'm pretty happy to just not have to work these days or worry about money. Having some extra for plays, concerts and dining out is just icing on the cake.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:22 PM   #62
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I can see how some members might benefit from an arrangement that would make it easier for them to see posts from, and interact with, other members of the <$1M club.
I have asked this question a couple times and the answers have been very helpful. My questions centered around expenses. I don't really care what someone has for a NW or what they could spend, I love the stories of how people live on a certain amount of money. I think I asked about less than $75K. Of course, there's a lot of variability, but it helps a future RE dreamer come to grips with what kind of life is out there given certain income ranges.

So along with interacting with people with <$1M, I like to hear about people that live on $50K - $75K. It's easy for me to visualize meeting my essential needs, it's what kind of life one can have after that point that helps focus the reality of what early retirement will be like in my individual situation. In general, this forum has been very helpful in that regard and I assume many of the responses come from members who far exceed those parameters.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:28 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
I would say anyone with 25-50 times annual expenses saved up is in an exclusive club.
Me too - and there are a lot of folk like that in this forum.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:15 AM   #64
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Right, a forum sub-section for <$1MM NW retired folks without pension or inheritance is what I meant. I have several similar threads bookmarked so I know there are several here who are living the good life on <$1MM but they don't post much likely because all the belt-suspender types tell them how they're doomed etc. So legitimizing their way of life by creating a sub-section here would generate a lot more interest from those of us who can't really relate to the $1.5M+ folks.
I joined this forum to learn from others smarter than me, not to feel good. I also can't think of a better place to learn how to grow beyond the <$1MM NW group.

Remember that done right, you're not drawing down from a static NW; your starting point at RE is often lower than where you'll be 10 years from now. What you learn here could help you get there.

I'd hate to see folks wall themselves away from others just to 'legitimize their way of life'! What's the point of coming here then? The idea is to become "financially independent" (that's what the FI in FIRE stands for)

As far as others making one feel bad about their situation, I can't think of a more welcoming, friendly, non-judgmental place on the entire internet than right here. Really. But you're not going to get support from people here if you're only retirement plan is 'quit my job and hope for the best'.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:29 AM   #65
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I like to hear about people that live on $50K - $75K.
I'm not retired but I live on less than that now, typically 3500/month. No debt, no mortgage. Relatively HCOL (ie over 5K in real estate taxes on a smaller than median for the area house). I cook a lot from scratch, rarely go out for meals since mine is better. Cheap hobbies, local travel in modest hotels. Buy most clothes at consignment stores or on clearance.

I either need to get to >1.5 million to be comfortable retiring (assuming present lifestyle + taxes+ healthcare expense), get my expenses way down, or change my assumptions (ie add in SSN which I think will be reduced if its still there). Getting the 1.5 million would mean more years working than I want, bringing the expenses down further would likely mean doing without a lot of the basics or moving. So a little frustrating.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:11 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
I have asked this question a couple times and the answers have been very helpful. My questions centered around expenses. I don't really care what someone has for a NW or what they could spend, I love the stories of how people live on a certain amount of money. I think I asked about less than $75K. Of course, there's a lot of variability, but it helps a future RE dreamer come to grips with what kind of life is out there given certain income ranges.

So along with interacting with people with <$1M, I like to hear about people that live on $50K - $75K. It's easy for me to visualize meeting my essential needs, it's what kind of life one can have after that point that helps focus the reality of what early retirement will be like in my individual situation. In general, this forum has been very helpful in that regard and I assume many of the responses come from members who far exceed those parameters.
I've been spending more time on Reddit's financial independence sub forum these days. There are more posts about frugal and middle class living, which is what I'm interested in. Plus the posts there get voted on so the humble brags, the not so humble brags, and passive aggressive comments, "it so great you can live on only $75K but I require 89 times that to be happy" and "I'm so glad I don't have to skimp" kind of posts get downvoted into oblivion.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #67
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, "it so great you can live on only $75K but I require 89 times that to be happy" and "I'm so glad I don't have to skimp"....
, I scared the dog when I started to laugh at this
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:51 AM   #68
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I semi-retired at the age of 35 with less than $75K, no debt, and did a career change. It has been the best thing ever! I am now 42, still semi-retired, got married, bought a house, sold a house, and have moved to NM from NJ and we have started two businesses here...my massage therapy practice which can be run from the house and my husband is a home inspector and will be working as a contractor with Vanguard who works with FEMA. Our NW now is a bit over $500K, no debt even after a very expensive cross country move with our four animals. Our expenses here are around $3200 which includes healthcare and we are living very well on that. We are both DIY'ers, do woodworking, have inexpensive hobbies, love to cook, and try to find the best deal. I remember when I had first joined this forum and had asked for advice if I could pull the plug on corporate with less than $75K, some members thought it was a horrible plan! There are many ways to finding your happiness...this has worked for me.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:06 AM   #69
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[QUOTE=citrine;1940115 and have moved to NM from NJ ,....[/QUOTE]

Most people move From NJ not to it. Im happy its working well for you 2 , and your 4 furry friends. This might be the first post I ever read from you, but just from this 1 post, I can tell your a survivor and will succeed in most situations.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:08 AM   #70
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As far as others making one feel bad about their situation, I can't think of a more welcoming, friendly, non-judgmental place on the entire internet than right here. Really. But you're not going to get support from people here if you're only retirement plan is 'quit my job and hope for the best'.
+1

I've perused some of the other ER forums and they don't exhibit quite as much neighborliness I find here.

Of course, most of the discussion topics overlap, and the consensus advice regarding LBYM and index investing is similar everywhere. And it's true that commenters will voice concern when they sense a fellow poster is walking into a trap.

But I detect more encouragement and less confrontation at ER.org than with the heads/handlebars/katanas crowds. Props to the moderators here for keeping it positive.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:15 AM   #71
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+1

But I detect more encouragement and less confrontation at ER.org than with the heads/handlebars/katanas crowds. Props to the moderators here for keeping it positive.
100% agree. One of the best on-line communities for sure.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:16 AM   #72
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Most people move From NJ not to it. Im happy its working well for you 2 , and your 4 furry friends. This might be the first post I ever read from you, but just from this 1 post, I can tell your a survivor and will succeed in most situations.
We moved from New Jersey to New Mexico. You cannot pay me enough to ever move back to the east coast!
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:18 AM   #73
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We moved from New Jersey to New Mexico. You cannot pay me enough to ever move back to the east coast!
Hahahaha, Im dyslexic too. Well in that case, you also a smart survivor.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:25 AM   #74
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I've been thinking a lot about leanFIRE vs fatFIRE (and even "regular" FIRE). The biggest thing I keep coming to is the differing attitudes toward things like yard work, deal searching, couponing, etc. Same with spending a lot of time working on cars or going out of my way to save money on cars. I'll call this "retiree work".

If I spend 10-15 hours a week doing retiree work, that's a part time job as far as I'm concerned, and at something that I neither excel at nor particularly enjoy. So on enjoyment alone, I'd rather do my real work because it's so much more interesting and challenging. If I include money by considering my effective hourly rate at real work vs. the rate to hire retiree work out, it's even more in favor of doing the real work.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:29 AM   #75
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I am now well over that but when I initially FIREd 2/2004 I had 80k in 457 (after paying 66k shortage on my pension acct) + a house. Lived well but bored on my pension of 2300m. So I went to work PT and let it ride .... still living on my pension + acts are now 303k IRA, 305k legacy acct for grandkids, 60k Roth, 25k play investment account, 20k savings, properties. Last 13 yrs + compounding has been good to me. Still living on 60% of pension
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:39 AM   #76
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Traveling around in an RV to various parts of the country and then buying some cheap mountain property in eastern Washington, I have realized the basics are just not that expensive, especially while you can mostly ignore healthcare costs (might change, might not).

We are renting a 1bd-rm apartment in the local town for $525 a month, WSG included. Not a section 8 place, rather a quite cute little complex with mostly older retired folk (we will be the young uns). We are going to use our mountain property to stretch our legs and we plan to ride snowmobiles, ski, and snow shoe this winter. It is just going to be too cold to try and live in the RV on the mountain property without the few outbuildings we plan on constructing next year.

So $525 for rent, maybe $100 a month for electricity, $55 for unlimited internet/cell phone, $105 for health insurance (per couple, $550 max OOP). The apartment is right smack in the middle of town and walking to Safeway is a couple blocks. Library is one block away.

So what investments do you need to support this? $785 a month, $9420 a year, so at 4% that is a nest egg of $235,500.

That covers your bare basic shelter plus healthcare (and internet)

Now you just need food. We cook all of our meals now because of sodium content and spend about $700 a month but that could be toned down bit if you don't eat so much meat. We make lamb khorma, thai stir fry with ginger and garlic plus about 12 different veggies, beef stew, steak and baked potato. Quite a long way from eating cat food. $700 a month, $8400 a year requires $210,000 at 4%

So shelter, healthcare, food for $445,500 invested. A lean lifestyle perhaps but walks in the park, hiking in the mountains, visits to the library, working on various computer games and projects...it is not prison.

Now consider an additional $1,000,000 invested. $40,000 a year to take trips and buy luxuries. What is that, at least 6 to 8 cruises a year?

And $1,445,500 would be considered a quite low net worth on this forum.

It is when you support two homes, have two cars, kids in college, etc. For some people who are willing to simplify, it really allows for quite a vast amount of spending on frivolous stuff.

Healthcare could change and take a big bite out of this, but even at $20,000 a year health care costs, you could still have $20,000 left per year for luxuries and cruises.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:43 AM   #77
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We are renting a 1bd-rm apartment in the local town for $525 a month, WSG included. Not a section 8 place,...
Hahahhaah,.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:48 AM   #78
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I've been spending more time on Reddit's financial independence sub forum these days. There are more posts about frugal and middle class living, which is what I'm interested in. Plus the posts there get voted on so the humble brags, the not so humble brags, and passive aggressive comments, "it so great you can live on only $75K but I require 89 times that to be happy" and "I'm so glad I don't have to skimp" kind of posts get downvoted into oblivion.

My wife and I "only" live on $75K (a bit less actually) and I was commenting the other day how good we have it!

Fixed expenses: $33K which includes groceries (Whole Foods and Publix), non-subsidized health insurance premiums, dental insurance premiums, cell phones (2 iPhones with unlimited data plans), utilities, fast speed internet, Netflix/Amazon Prime/HBO Now, property taxes, fuel, car/home/umbrella insurance, termite control, hair cuts, gym membership, car registration, pets, income taxes

That's for 2 people with a fully paid home (average house in a safe neighborhood), one car (new, non-luxury), 2 cats, no cable TV, no landline, average COL area.

Relatives on lower budgets usually keep fixed expenses even lower: no iPhones, slower but still adequate internet connection, no shopping at Whole Foods (Aldi is a fave), some form of subsidized healthcare, lower utilities (we keep the temperature inside the house on 74/70F in summer/winter, they go for 78/68F), etc...

Variable expenses: $12K. It is money we set aside each year to pay for things like medical out-of-pocket expenses, car replacement, home and car repairs, and miscellaneous.

With a $75K budget, it leaves about $30K to blow on... whatever! That's a lot of money! Well I think so at least...
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:53 AM   #79
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Hahahhaah,.
It *does* sound like it would be section 8, doesn't it?

3bd-rm homes in this town rent for $700 to $800 a month. Not a place where I would want to be a landlord!
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:56 AM   #80
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I joined this forum to learn from others smarter than me, not to feel good. I also can't think of a better place to learn how to grow beyond the <$1MM NW group.

Remember that done right, you're not drawing down from a static NW; your starting point at RE is often lower than where you'll be 10 years from now. What you learn here could help you get there.

I'd hate to see folks wall themselves away from others just to 'legitimize their way of life'! What's the point of coming here then? The idea is to become "financially independent" (that's what the FI in FIRE stands for)

As far as others making one feel bad about their situation, I can't think of a more welcoming, friendly, non-judgmental place on the entire internet than right here. Really. But you're not going to get support from people here if you're only retirement plan is 'quit my job and hope for the best'.
Woah woah woah there! I think you're making a lot of assumptions in your post. Are you suggesting people retiring on less than <$1MM aren't smart or you can't learn from them? I find it to be quite the opposite. Folks that have less to live on are often more creative. They've figured out how to lower their expenses. They've figured out why they don't have to wait on the OMY cycle and they can do it much earlier than those who are waiting for the perfect time, perfect weather, perfect balance etc.

I find all these inspirational. I see posts here 'I have $5M I'm afraid to retire' I never click on those because I can't relate to their situation. There's nothing for me to learn from their situation. Why? because in 8-10yrs before I hit my FIRE age I can't come up with an additional $4MM on my $100k salary.

Lastly there are several sub forums here already, just by having another doesn't mean you now can't read the others. That's what's great about having choices. You pick what you like.
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