Level of income req'd in retirement? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2015, 08:46 AM   #15
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Name: Donna D
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One year after I retire, I'm selling my home (if the economy hasn't tanked again). I really, really want to downsize. I'm tired of all the maintenance and just keeping the dang thing clean. So, I'll either rent or look seriously into tiny house living. I've never aspired to be a world traveler, I can be happy touring North America in my trailer, meeting new friends, experiencing new things and making memories. I hope to do that for fifteen years after retirement... but with some sort of small home base.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:11 AM   #16
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I was 58 when I took early retirement (a great offer from my employer, my wife's poor health, and a bit of burnout) with no debt. My current income consists of Social Security, & a 403b funded through 32 years of teaching split at retirement equally between an annuity & stocks, & savings. On edit - my savings has generally increased every year, so I'm not sure I should list it as an income source... I also have the advantage that my former employer (NY State) pays both my Medicare & supplemental health insurance.

I keep a spreadsheet of retirement information, and over the years since retiring (I'm now 70), I've gone from as little as 63% of pre retirement income (the year after my wife passed away) to as much as 84% (this year). This year was a fairly large increase because of the minimum distribution requirement the IRS imposes on retirees the year they turn 70 1/2.

I've never felt that I needed more money, and have not changed my lifestyle other than shifting from a tent to a trailer for traveling. That said, I have to admit that I'm comfortable with less than many of my friends, for example, I live in a 1200 square foot home purchased in 1970 (for less than my present automobile or, for that matter, my Escape 17.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
One year after I retire, I'm selling my home (if the economy hasn't tanked again). I really, really want to downsize. I'm tired of all the maintenance and just keeping the dang thing clean. So, I'll either rent or look seriously into tiny house living. I've never aspired to be a world traveler, I can be happy touring North America in my trailer, meeting new friends, experiencing new things and making memories. I hope to do that for fifteen years after retirement... but with some sort of small home base.
Donna and Jon,

Like both of them Donna and Jon downsized to our present house, being sold, it is less than a 1/3rd the size of our previous house and even that size is an effort to maintain. We decided to sell 5 years ago but the economy....

Like Donna we have no further desire to travel outside North America. It's obvious to that after 15 years we won't live to see all of NA.

We have also run into the 70 1/2 issue as well and have more cash than previously.

We were very disciplined when we retired at 58 and had a good image of what we spend. As well we have never spent very much on RV purchase or our present home, like Jon the purchase price was less than the Odyssey.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:38 AM   #18
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I had a friend from work who retired and did a ton of traveling. I asked him how he managed on the amount of retirement income I knew he had. He said they saved for 1-3 years for a trip, took the trip, then started saving again. They went to Europe and Russia, among other places, before he passed away. I'm pretty sure he did retire debt free but his spouse didn't have retirement income other than social security. And I don't know how much savings they had going in. You can do a lot by tightening your belt.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:07 AM   #19
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So many good thoughts here. We were able to retire when Bruce was 60 and I was 59. I was a little hesitant to do it, thinking it might be prudent to work a few more years, but Bruce had had enough and didn't want to wait to do the things he wanted to do until "someday". Too many people say they'll travel or get that RV or take up scuba diving or whatever "when I retire". Guess what? They retire and then a few years later they get hit with some unexpected health issue or even drop dead. Even when we were working we tried to nake the time to do the things we wanted to do. Like Norm says, life is too short and uncertain to postpone things.

That said, we've always lived pretty frugally by choice and we've always been savers. We had a respectable nest egg built up by the time we retired and for many years we've been tracking our expenses, putting them by categories on our "Daily Money Log." Once you get into the habit of doing this it's really not hard to do. So many people don't really know just how much they spend each month and what they spend it on.

Our expenses have decreased some, but not dramatically. And yes, that's partly due to more money being spent on travel. The biggest difference though has resulted from our becoming eligible for Medicare which has drastically cut our health care costs. Before that, since we both had been either self-employed or worked jobs where health insurance wasn't part of the deal, we had to buy our own insurance and it was really expensive and only covered catastrophic things.

We live comfortably, but not extravagantly. I know we could cut back further and still be comfortable and have a fulfilling life. We have so many friends our age who are still working and complaining about it. They express envy over our trips and adventures and then say "I wish we could do that." I look at their lifestyles and just shake my head because you know, they could if they changed their priorities.
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:59 AM   #20
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I retired in 2007 which supports the sentiments of Robert Burns when he wrote....

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


So... the most important decision we made at retirement was to never look back and second guess the decision.
We know that a job or savings is not our source.
Despite the devastation of 2007, we are happy and prosperous and will remain so.

Burn's admonition is quelled by Matthew 6: 24-34.
Faith displaces fear.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:47 PM   #21
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So... the most important decision we made at retirement was to never look back and second guess the decision.
We know that a job or savings is not our source.
Despite the devastation of 2007, we are happy and prosperous and will remain so.

Burn's admonition is quelled by Matthew 6: 24-34.
Faith displaces fear.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Floyd, well put.
Dave & Paula
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:00 PM   #22
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I know I'd be better off selling my current house & moving into a small apartment, however I live on a road that is on the shore of Lake Ontario (well, on the inexpensive side of the road). Winters can be "interesting", but the summers are wonderful.

As others have said far more eloquently than me, it isn't how much you have, but how you live your life that makes retirement a joyful experience. I've met couples living on half of what I do that are enjoying their retirement, and couples that make 10 times what I do that only complain.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #23
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It all depends on who you are and where you come from. I watched the video "Without Bound" on the website and just loved it: Cheap RV Living.com-Home I think that a lot of people don't realize how much the economy has changed over the years and how little some people have but they can still have the "dream" and be as happy or happier than others.

Long, long ago I saw a TV show where a young woman had all of what meant something to her in a cigar box. It was a story about being a minimalist. I loved that too!

I have seen many people who go out and buy something just before they were going to retire and then say they must delay retiring. I believe for the most part that they wanted to avoid retirement. Some people are so hopelessly attached to their jobs to define who they are that they can't let go. That is fine too.

Choice is good. The right way is the way that works for you.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:25 PM   #24
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I retired at 54 when my employer made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and my wife retired 2 year later when she got tired of being on the road 4 days a week. We had always planned to retire early and always spent less than our incomes. We developed a budget based on our actual expenses, with a basic and expanded version. We have been living between the two versions. We have no pensions but have savings from 401K. My goal was to have sufficient savings that our spending is no more than 4% of our savings total, and that has worked well for us. We just both started getting Social Security this year and that means we dip even less into our savings. When we came to the decision to buy an new Escape this year, it was easy to see that we had the money to do so, and as it will be core to our travel plans, it will be a good decision. We live on less than when we were working because we have no commuting and lunch expenses, and our house is paid off. As others said, being debt free allows you a lot of freedom. We travel but all is within the US and most has been to national parks and to see relatives, and the trailer will enhance that travel.

Others have said that their income went up when they had to take IRA distributions, but I don't look at it as an increase in income but as a time to pay the deferred taxes. We plan to not spend that extra income but to reinvest it, now without the tax hit. Our spending won't go up even though our taxes will.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #25
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I retired early (60) because I could. The wife and I have never looked back. We generally have enough to live on, travel some, visit the kids and grand kids when we want to and enjoy not working. Although some would say retirement is just like working since we are both rather busy and have a full calendar most of the time. We tend to have more money in the checking account than we ever had when we were working and still contribute to our savings on a regular basis. It is just a matter of trying to estimate an annual income flow and a set up a reasonable annual budget with something set aside for emergencies.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:54 PM   #26
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Each person will have different requirements. If your house and vehicles are paid off and you have no credit card and other bills then you need to look at what you want to do and have and if you have enough saved, retirement and social security to give you the type of life you want, then you have enough. If you don't have enough to accomplish that, then you need to re-evaluate what you want out of retirement.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:55 PM   #27
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This has been an interesting thread, glad I started it. My situation is probably a lot different than most, I might be able to financially retire "early", but still can't/won't because of other obligations. I am the single parent of a young daughter who won't start college until I am 62. Even so, depending on her college plans (where she goes) I may need (health insurance) or choose to continue to work till I am 67. But it is all good, I enjoy my life and what I do for a living. And just this week at my check up my Doctor said that my results were better than last year. That is a good deal to be a year older and in better health!
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:55 PM   #28
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I've enjoyed all of your comments. I would like to mention one thing and that is short and long term disability insurance. I have had two friends become disabled - one in their mid fifties and the other 62. Both had disability insurance and it saved their retirement investments. Typically it is the least expensive insurance that we consider for ourselves. One friend was earning $85,000 and the insurance was $18 a month. For the past 16 months it has paid her $3,450 a month tax free. She has been able to pretty much maintain her lifestyle and pay medical expenses and not touch her investments/401k.
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