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Old Yesterday, 04:03 AM
Location: Las Vegas & San Diego
347 posts, read 59,174 times
Reputation: 346


I did a fairly detailed spreadsheet putting together projected income and projected costs under several scenarios and then used some of the programs like Firecalc, AARP, Fidelity, Principal (401K) and some others - always came out to should be fine and so far we are good.
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Old Yesterday, 04:18 AM
73,047 posts, read 72,838,664 times
Reputation: 50597
one thing we found that can make projections way off is the fact that time cost money for a lot of us and retirement gives you plenty of time .

we can list all our expenses for our non discretionary spending but the discretionary side is now almost as much ...

many times it is all the stuff not accounted for on that list of expenses that really is what makes life and retirement so nice as well as the biggest factor -having choices .

it is not just a matter of covering the bills .. it is a matter of building in enough slack in the plan so there is flexibility . when everything is close to being a non discretionary expense , you may be living below your means , but not nearly enough below to allow cut backs if expenses on something go over budget or markets are in an extended down turn , etc .

Last edited by mathjak107; Yesterday at 04:48 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:10 AM
Location: Wooster, Ohio
1,055 posts, read 804,578 times
Reputation: 1524
Extensive, no. I had long ago decided not to retire until my net retirement income exceeded my net working income. I also needed to leave enough time after retirement to get a part-time job and earn the remaining Medicare credits I needed before I turned 65. OPERS has said they will pay Medicare A for us grandfathered employees, but I was not comfortable about relying on that promise.

I retired at 61, and have earned the additional Medicare credits I needed with a couple of years to spare before I turn 65.
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Old Yesterday, 11:04 AM
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,525 posts, read 2,269,532 times
Reputation: 1504
For many years I have been keeping track of what I spend and save. I use a set of 5x9 cards each month with a set list of categories, and as I spend, I log it on the cards, and at the end of the month I summarize each category and the total of everything. I staple each month's cards together after I summarize. I KNOW EXACTLY what my spending habits are. If I put something on a credit card, I log it when I spend it as I pay off the full balance every month. I round up to the nearest dollar when I log things to make it simpler. I have found this to be simpler than logging on a computer or app, as it is easy to just go write it in the log, rather than have to start up the computer, etc.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 PM
1,785 posts, read 2,469,790 times
Reputation: 5218
No. Money has always bored me and I've always just winged it. So far, so good. After all, you can't take it with you.
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Old Today, 02:04 AM
73,047 posts, read 72,838,664 times
Reputation: 50597
it is never about taking it with you .

it is about living as much of a financially stress free life as you can with the ability to MAKE THE CHOICES YOU WANT
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Old Today, 03:55 AM
Location: R.I.
1,047 posts, read 635,973 times
Reputation: 4485
Having been the only income generator, spender, and bill payer in my home since my husband passed in 2001 I have a pretty good handle on what comes in and what goes out. So with me retiring in place my non discretionary expenses like electric, home owner's insurance, etc. will be no different the day after I retire than the day before. What will be a change for me as for most is I will be paying for my health insurance premiums with after tax money in retirement instead of pre tax money. Since I can and will keep my Federal BC/BS which will act as my Medicare Part B supplement along with my dental and vision coverage, I know what those costs are, and knowing what my income will be in retirement I know what that will generate as a Medicare Part B premium so no real surprises there.

The big unknown for me is having more free time to pursue activities that I do not have the time for now, so I focused a great deal of my retirement income planning efforts with that in mind because that is really the only area of expenses if need be that can be cut back on since I have little control of the costs of my non discretionary expenses. In the ideal situation it would be great to have a higher bucket of money for discretionary expenses or at least 50/50, but for me living in a HCOL area and not wanting to move I am looking at 57% non discretionary and 43% discretionary. I will have to make due with that, but looking at what I spend now in discretionary expenses that 43% is > than 2 x that. So hopefully it will all work out as best as it can along with being able to throw some of that 43% back in the bank to keep the rainy day fund topped off.
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Old Today, 06:52 AM
299 posts, read 119,584 times
Reputation: 628
I had a fairly detailed budget going back several years. It was fairly easy to make assumptions about retirement based on the history of our spending/expenditures. The hardest part was allocation of monies because we moved from NY to TX. My totals were good but my allocation was way off.
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Old Today, 07:54 AM
Location: Miami, The Magic City
2,997 posts, read 2,086,636 times
Reputation: 1995
Had a couple of brokerage firms prepare an analysis for me based on monthly expenditures and my assets.

Also had my CPA--not motivated by commission nor trying to get me to invest more with him--prepare a similar cash flow analysis, also based on above, showing which monies and when to use them that would have the least tax implications.

Didn't cost me anything, other than a Harry & David gift basket that I sent to my CPA.
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Old Today, 10:39 AM
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,185 posts, read 12,496,827 times
Reputation: 14158
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I am nearing an age needing to do this. I wonder how detailed i need to do this.

I can be very meticulous and itemize the food and gas i will buy in one month, but I wonder if that's overkill.

Is it enough to Just make a general estimate?
I made up my list which includes all medical and dental insurance/supplements plus the following items:

Mortgage &Tax
HOA Fee (includes water, garbage and exterior work on condo)
Homeowners Insurance
Utilities (gas/electric)
Cell Phone (Right now $200/month but once I do retire I am looking at cutting it way back)
HVAC Furnace Maintenance
Auto Insurance
Auto Maintenance & Gasoline

These are pretty well fixed month to month but not on that list is food, beauty shop, clothes, entertainment and emergencies. According to my budget I have $1,709.88 left over for food, beauty shop, clothing, entertainment, gifts and emergencies.

We do have a separate emergency fund that will take care of big ticket items. Should the washer, dryer, air conditioning, furnace, hot water heater and garbage disposal go out at one time there's enough to fix everything so emergencies to us is unforeseen stuff.

We have experimented and can do very well on $1,700 and by not being silly with the money we can get along comfortably on $1,082 or $250/week.

Of course the amount needed to be comfortable is going to vary around the country a lot. $250/week is very comfortable in Ohio but probably not New York.

I want to be comfortable or even at 71 I will continue working.
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