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Old 06-08-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,612,888 times
Reputation: 27566

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post

So, how is the food on Amtrak now? Hey, I am really looking forward to this trip. When the time comes I want to be on the train within a week of my last day at work.
The food is not bad.
Within the past year I took the Texas Eagle from Austin to Ft. Worth.
Talk about comfort ! Loved it over the usual 3.5 hour drive.
We ate lunch in the dining car..nice and relaxed, no rushing to get folks in and out.
Sat with another couple who were going all the way to Chicago and they had a compartment.

We did the observation car for a while and then back to the coach seats.
On the trip home we went to the snack car and I wouldn't recommend it.
Prepackaged sandwiches, cans of soda and bags of chips..nothing really fresh.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,143 posts, read 12,410,961 times
Reputation: 13997
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
nicet - your property taxes are only $1000+ a year? ($90/mo.) Yikes that is cheap. Our would be (now) $575 a mo. And we are sure they will go up in this "we need to generate more revenue" state we live in.
Yep, it really is that cheap.

We sold our other home up north in a Great Lakes state and that alone saved us at least $400 every month in property taxes. We have city utilities where we get a single city utility bill that includes electric, water, sewer, natural gas and once a week garbage pick up and the highest monthly bill I have ever received was last August when it hit $285 for the month. It gets very hot here and I keep my house well lit and temperature comfortable because I didn't spend my working life to end up roasting to death in the dark.

Last months total utility bill came to $170.11 but that will go up as summer progresses. Back in our northern home in winter (I will die a happy man if I never see another snow flake) total utility bills of $500 to $700 were not uncommon. Understand our house is half the size but even so it is worth saving the money.

As an added plus up to $60,000 in retirement income for a couple is exempt for state income taxes. Back "home" our income tax would be around $1,200 or $100 per month.

All in all by moving and "buying down" my conservative estimate would be we are saving $700 per month as a couple. $700 every month is a lot of money in my opinion and worth saving.

Let me put it in perspective for you.

It's easily two Vegas vacations a year as long as you don't go nuts gambling.

It's a cruise twice a year in an upscale room. (I got to have the port holes or balcony).

I just did some pricing on Amtrak and it's my western travel adventure with sleeper compartment. It is also the rental cars where we lay over and motels as we might need them for a side adventure.

I like my adventures and just because I am retired doesn't mean I want to give them up to watch television.

I've been three times now, the first time I was 11 years old, but I want to white water the Green River through Dinosaur National Monument one more time. It's great, Don Hatch River Expeditions has been at it for a long time and they do everything for you so you just go along to enjoy the scenery and adventure!

Ok, I want the Yampa River too. The Yampa is the last major river in the country that isn't dammed up yet.

Know what I like most about it? Watching the kids react. Great fun! Take the grand children when they are in early teens. Gotta learn how to swim good before you head out with grandpa.

Oh man, I gotta hold my hand back because it wants to schedule a trip so bad!

And dinosaur fossil hunting. Couple that with my desire to follow the adventures of Bonnie and Clyde with a 3,000 mile long road trip and I am a well rounded guy.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Northern IL
241 posts, read 227,298 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by adams_aj View Post
Just signed up with a wealth advisor and financial planner. They both said (and I know it sounds crazy) that one of the hardest things they find in doing their respective jobs is teaching people how to SPEND their retirement money.

And, just because you "retire" from a "regular" job, doesn't mean that you have to stop "working". Call your local election board: they always need people to work the precincts on election days. Our local middle and high-schools have recently put out requests for people to help them proctor their final exams. Volunteer down at your local animal shelter. Work a food pantry at your local organization or church. Become a master gardener and work as a volunteer at some of their partner sites.

You need to develop "things to do" BEFORE you retire, so you're not just sitting there saying to yourself "now what?". You want so many other outside interests while you're working, so that you're thinking: "wow, I wish I was retired, as I have so many other things I'd like to do."

DO NOT FLAME ME if you haven't been able to save enough yet to have a comfortable retirement. This is more directed to those people who were LUCKY enough to pull it off. Because, there was a lot of hard work and LUCK which made it possible.
Love your post on a few levels. We have worked hard and have had some luck as well. I like reading the frugal posts and lean that way....but if we have the means, I plan on spending it. If you don't have you need to be frugal and there are a ton of options. If things go well, spend it IMHO.

Also agree with the things to do comment......................
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,316 posts, read 12,547,140 times
Reputation: 19566
I retired 3 years ago, and haven't touched my retirement savings. My wife and I both maxed our IRA contributions last year. We both have 2 years to age 70.5 when we have to start taking distributions, but until then the nest egg will continue to grow.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:19 PM
 
29,837 posts, read 34,918,975 times
Reputation: 11752
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
I retired 3 years ago, and haven't touched my retirement savings. My wife and I both maxed our IRA contributions last year. We both have 2 years to age 70.5 when we have to start taking distributions, but until then the nest egg will continue to grow.
Are you adding to taxable accounts. Will you be when you start RMD's?
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Saint Johns, FL
1,195 posts, read 945,609 times
Reputation: 1267
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
Yep, it really is that cheap.

So where is this place Nice?
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,316 posts, read 12,547,140 times
Reputation: 19566
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Are you adding to taxable accounts. Will you be when you start RMD's?
I'm fortunate that both my wife and I have pensions in addition to social security, no mortgage and a home in an area where property taxes are only $1400/year. Living is easy. I work 10 hours a week, some weeks, when the urge strikes me, which is why I could contribute to an IRA. My wife is the classic type A personality who is still working full time. After last year's tax bill, she has started to see the folly of her ways. We also logged about 20 acres last year that put an extra $47,000 net in our pockets, so yeah, I'm increasing my unsheltered savings too.

Between the two of us, just pensions and SS bring in $75,000 a year without lifting a finger. With no bills to pay, that's a very comfortable lifestyle. Plus, our pensions subsidize a deluxe group Medicare supplemental policy, so our medical bills have a hard cap. We'll probably have money left over every year for the foreseeable future.

My wife and I set retirement goals years ago, and met them. It's the pits to be old and poor. We didn't want to be there. Eventually we will have to shell out for nursing care and/or assisted living, so we are reserving much of our savings for end of life. We'll eventually downsize from 93 acres in the country to an apartment in an assisted living facility. The hardest part will be letting go of a lifetime of beauty that we have enjoyed so much. The money is not really relevant.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:33 AM
 
1,774 posts, read 2,448,787 times
Reputation: 5169
I think it's really sad to read that retirement advisors say the most difficult thing is getting people to spend their money and these people can't find where to spend it. Donate it and do good!!!! I donate far too much probably because I remember how difficult life was when I was a student, very poor, young and trying to make a house payment. Where is the empathy!!!
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:42 AM
Q44
 
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 768,264 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Part of the study is that folks are not touching and or adding to. We are not fully in the post pension era. Lots in the study including education and assets and who us doing the best and applying their wealth the most to make more. As you and others have noted previously the devil is in the details and this provides some of that. Another interesting thought to ponder is. Are those with pensions also more likely to have work place savings plans 401/403 etc and take advantage of them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I did. Had a pension and also had a 401K which I gradually came to max out as my salary increased over the years. All the other engineers I worked with also participated in the 401K.
Very useful report, the means and medians were helpful in providing some sense of being on the right path.

I switched careers in my late 20's going from one major Corp that only had a 401K to another major that had both a 401K and a pension. I fully maxed the 401K in the early days because I knew that money invested and compunded would do more over time than if i contributed a higher percentage later. Also as I've posted before, though i reduced my percentage of contribution, salary increases actually still allowed me to put in near the max.

The real benefit of contributing early and often was when my company did away with the pension plan. I was grandfathered in and will get a pension (or lump sum if I choose) but it will be about half what I originally thought. They did increase their 401K match and that's doing well, knock on wood. I'm in Network Engineering and I think it's intersting that like HappyTexan I took nothing for granted and contributed the max to the 401 even though there was a pension in place.

If my wife and I choose to take the pension and our SS as soon as we retire we can also leave the retirement account alone to grow or only tap it when it's in positive territory and we want to enjoy something.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:48 AM
 
29,837 posts, read 34,918,975 times
Reputation: 11752
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
I'm fortunate that both my wife and I have pensions in addition to social security, no mortgage and a home in an area where property taxes are only $1400/year. Living is easy. I work 10 hours a week, some weeks, when the urge strikes me, which is why I could contribute to an IRA. My wife is the classic type A personality who is still working full time. After last year's tax bill, she has started to see the folly of her ways. We also logged about 20 acres last year that put an extra $47,000 net in our pockets, so yeah, I'm increasing my unsheltered savings too.

Between the two of us, just pensions and SS bring in $75,000 a year without lifting a finger. With no bills to pay, that's a very comfortable lifestyle. Plus, our pensions subsidize a deluxe group Medicare supplemental policy, so our medical bills have a hard cap. We'll probably have money left over every year for the foreseeable future.

My wife and I set retirement goals years ago, and met them. It's the pits to be old and poor. We didn't want to be there. Eventually we will have to shell out for nursing care and/or assisted living, so we are reserving much of our savings for end of life. We'll eventually downsize from 93 acres in the country to an apartment in an assisted living facility. The hardest part will be letting go of a lifetime of beauty that we have enjoyed so much. The money is not really relevant.
Congrats
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