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Old 02-01-2018, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,969 posts, read 1,372,407 times
Reputation: 6740

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I retired at 50. The only reason for this was the great package that was offered. I was not ready for retirement, but financially we could. We also had rental property's, if things got tight I would sell a rent house. Health insurance paid by company for life.

Looking back, I made some major mistakes, one being that I cashed out my retirement and rolled it into an IRA. I would have been far ahead if I had taken the monthly amount that would have started at age 55. That’s 21 years of retirement payments so far.

By age 62 we sold all the rentals, this made life much more enjoyable. In retirement, our income is much higher than what we earned working. We don’t need the RMD’s from our accounts.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Out West
272 posts, read 178,948 times
Reputation: 547
Txfriend, 5 years ago I thought we would hold on to the rentals through our retirement. Now with the exception of a small condo that is in the city to which we plan to move, I think we are just about done being landlords. My plan at this point is to sell three properties pay off any remaining mortgage and put the rest in index funds. Looking forward to mundane, passive investing!
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124
I was hesitant to unwrap the details of our finances, but here goes.

When I retired, we had some residential real estate properties scatered around various places where I had been stationed. We consolidated our holdings down to one property, filled with tenants. It is in a city with big new casinos on either side. The city had just gone through a boom cycle, which had drawn thousands of workers into the area making a housing shortage. We made some repairs and re-financed. We brought the mortgage up as high as the bank would go. At that time we had never had any problems with keeping tenants, so we were confident that the new mortgage would be paid off in good order.

We used the cash from the refinancing to buy our retirement homestead in another state. Where we settled into our new life as retirees.

Then the recession hit. The casinos had huge layoffs, all our tenants lost their jobs, people left the area, the city became a ghost town. There was nobody left to be a tenant. It was like all renters left the city.

My pension would have covered the new mortgage if we lived there. But we no longer lived in that city.

2009 was an ugly year for us. As we went through bankruptcy and we lost that apartment complex.

Our finances have been a roller coaster ride.

I am glad that we owned rental real estate, it made us a lot of money. Those profits bought our retirement home.

We recently came into some more money, so we bought another building that we are remodeling. It is combined commercial/residential real estate. We already have four tenants in this building and we will soon have additional ten tenants in it.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,426,347 times
Reputation: 15678
Some advisors talk about getting by on a percentage of your pre-retirement budget because some expenses go down. My view was to double my pre-retirement budget because I wanted to have fun in retirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PartIrish View Post
For those who mention healthcare, I am budgeting $15K/year until I reach Medicare age (4.5 years).
Yes, health insurance costs are the big wildcard. There is no magic answer except to plan to spend a lot of money, and then don't be surprised if it turns out even worse than expected. If not, be pleasantly surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PartIrish View Post
House in the new location is already purchased and will be 1/3 smaller than current house, so we will see some marginal savings there.
Some people downsize and adapt. Some people downsize and then realize they made a mistake. We fit into the latter category. We thought we would downsize from a 5300 sf house (with an 1800 sf shop) to a 3800 sf condo with a private 4 car garage. It turns out we are not small space people. So, we upsized to build a custom 7500sf home for our primary residence in Las Vegas. Our vacation ski condo in Park City was 1350sf; we upsized to a 4000 sf vacation home... and after several years Mrs. SportyandMisty complained the vacation home was too small for entertaining, so we soon close on a 6500sf ski-in/ski-out vacation house. I hope you adapt to your new home and its size is not an issue for you.

Of course, house acquisition is really just asset transfer and not an expense. Furnishing, decorating and outfitting the house is an expense however.

Expense-wise, we've still not spent as much as we thought we would. So we've ramped up our charitable gifting quite a bit for 2017. I expect not to spend as much as my budget will allow for 2018 because I'm not traveling as much as I thought I might. The balance will go to our alma maters.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,227 posts, read 4,119,698 times
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I've been retired for over three years now and I never tracked expenses before I retired and I don't track them now. It hasn't been a problem.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,517 posts, read 20,889,630 times
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I spend more now, but I’ve got more than I thought I’d have. The market, whether it’s Trump or not, has been a gold mine for me — and plenty of others.
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,216 posts, read 12,651,511 times
Reputation: 21945
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Some advisors talk about getting by on a percentage of your pre-retirement budget because some expenses go down. My view was to double my pre-retirement budget because I wanted to have fun in retirement.

Yes, health insurance costs are the big wildcard. There is no magic answer except to plan to spend a lot of money, and then don't be surprised if it turns out even worse than expected. If not, be pleasantly surprised.

Some people downsize and adapt. Some people downsize and then realize they made a mistake. We fit into the latter category. We thought we would downsize from a 5300 sf house (with an 1800 sf shop) to a 3800 sf condo with a private 4 car garage. It turns out we are not small space people.
3,800 square feet plus a 4-car garage (for 2 people) is a "small space"?

Quote:
So, we upsized to build a custom 7500sf home for our primary residence in Las Vegas. Our vacation ski condo in Park City was 1350sf; we upsized to a 4000 sf vacation home... and after several years Mrs. SportyandMisty complained the vacation home was too small for entertaining, so we soon close on a 6500sf ski-in/ski-out vacation house. I hope you adapt to your new home and its size is not an issue for you.
Your sentiments are very nice, but you must realize that you are far, far, far from the "average retiree," right? Seriously, 2 houses with 14,000 square feet total?

And I know the OP was not looking only for the "average retiree," but when I see posts like yours I just kind of shake my head. I am NOT saying that you are deliberately bragging, but there are so many retirees who struggle to get by while living in senior housing (my 85-year-old mother is one of them ... and she worked her entire adult life, actually starting at age 16). Or retirees who own their own houses but worry about property taxes going up every year and the insane cost of health care. You know, retirees who really NEED to track their expenses against their relatively meager incomes to see what they can afford to do next year, and what they need to do without.

Sorry, again, even as I'm writing this I realize I am probably coming across as mean or jealous. I'm actually neither; thanks to my job (and a good dose of luck, which most people never attribute their own situations to), I will likely have a very comfortable retirement, although I may decide to leave NH because of its high property taxes (no sales or income tax here, which benefits me tremendously as a working person making a good salary but won't help me much if at all in retirement).

And not to get overly personal, but I cannot imagine being married to someone who complained that a 4,000-square-foot vacation house was "too small for entertaining." Clearly, my working-class roots are showing.
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Out West
272 posts, read 178,948 times
Reputation: 547
karen_in_nh_2012, my sentiments echo yours. Whatever floats your boat, I guess, but over the past few years I have become far less interested in acquisitions, and actually look forward to simplifying life with fewer possessions and less house. The home waiting for us is about 2000 sq. ft. on a relatively small lot, and I'm interested to see how that works for two people who have been living on 3 acres in a much larger house for more than 20 years.

When we bought the retirement home, we bought most of the furnishings (we purchased new mattresses) as well because the sellers had much better taste than us, so there will not be much additional expense there. Our current home's furnishings, except for a new mattress, have been the same for all the time we've been in our house, and most will be sold or given away when we leave.

The people on this board are typically not the average case, but it has been informative to see the range of responses about managing retirement assets. We are fortunate in that we have sufficient resources for retirement (I think!), and I look to the experiences of others who have taken the plunge to reassure myself that if others can do it, so can we.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,979 posts, read 1,798,750 times
Reputation: 4027
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
I am only two years into retirement and the wife is in her first year now so I cant tell you what year three is yet but I can tell you that like Ariadne22 said of her time, nothing has really changed. We still have the same house and maintenance costs. We traded saving for retirement to spending in retirement. My income is still the same net wise. We are both young I am 60 and DW is 59.8. We live comfortably but did make the change of a paid off mortgage so that expense is gone. But truly we really haven't changed very much as far as our spending habits. We just spend as we see fit. We are lucky that our income will increase as we get older. Currently we are living on some savings, and two pensions. Both of us will wait until at leas FRA for SS payments and I might go to 70 but that will depend on how taxes will affect us on if I will wait or take it then. Until then we will spend down 1/4 of our savings.
How can your health insurance costs be the same? Assuming you are in the USA you are not old enough to qualify for Medicare. Assuming you were covered by employer's plan pre-retirement. Health care costs are the biggest hurdle by far for most people.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:12 PM
 
Location: New Oxford, PA
120 posts, read 59,048 times
Reputation: 464
Although I have only been retired for just over two years, I figured I'd chime in, since my pension will be the same in the coming years as it is now. While working, I boosted my pension amount by working overtime, until my projected pension matched my base pay. This has allowed me to maintain the exact lifestyle as when I was working (as all that overtime money was basically "gravy", and never relied upon).

As far as healthcare costs, they were free throughout my career, until the last contract we signed. We agreed to contribute a small percentage while working, and revert to zero contribution upon retirement, so my healthcare costs have actually decreased since leaving my job.
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