$1 million would go a long way in retirement but..... - Page 3

$1 million would go a long way in retirement but.....

This is a discussion on $1 million would go a long way in retirement but..... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Lots of things are possible if you are willing to change your assumptions. We have been a single-income family for all of our adult lives, ...

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  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array GraySkies's Avatar
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    Lots of things are possible if you are willing to change your assumptions.

    We have been a single-income family for all of our adult lives, and we don't live in a particularly cheap area. I work in a trade/industrial job, and I have never made six figures yet.

    What we HAVE done is KEEP EXPENSES DOWN. We don't buy cars on credit, when we can avoid it. We don't carry balances on credit cards when we can avoid it. We budget carefully, content ourselves with a simple life, and save where we can. We don't go to Starbucks every day. We go shopping once a week at the discount supermarket where all the EBT folks shop because it's the cheapest. We do most of our own repairs on car/home/stuff. We keep our cars in well-maintained condition, until they are actually completely worn out, and have no further value except scrap. For vacations, we strap on the packs and head into the mountains, rather than going to the Bahamas (and have a FANTASTIC time). We have raised two kids and launched them successfully. One is a college graduate and works in medical research and the other is a welder.

    What I mean by changing the assumptions is this: A lot of people assume they NEED things, when they really don't. They just WANT them. You don't NEED that smartphone with the expensive airtime plan. You don't NEED to change cars every few years, and you don't need a BRAND NEW car... EVER. You don't NEED a bigger house every few years as your family grows. You are NOT too busy to make food from scratch, and grow a lot of your own. You CAN learn to live within your means, and sufficiently to set aside some savings along with it.

    As I said, we are single income, in a moderate to high-cost area with property taxes that suck, and our income is from a trade/industrial type of job.

    I have 12 years left until my planned retirement. My house will be paid off in 10 more years. I currently have $350k set aside in my retirement savings. I probably won't make a million in there before retirement, but if you count the value of the house/property after it's paid off, it will be WELL over that. You CAN do this on a single income, if you adjust your assumptions. It is harder than it has been in the past, because our economy is so geared to the two-income household, but it IS still possible. I am living proof.

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  2. #32
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I retired from the military at 38. I took an early retirement, a large severance package, and an early signing bonus from a corporation during a merger when I was 53. The retirement package included life insurance for me and medical insurance for me and my wife for life. My wife received a large severance package and early signing bonus from the same corporation. We both contributed 17% to our 401K plus the corporation matched with 3% the entire time we worked there. Everything was rolled into self-directed IRAs.

    I was recruited by another corporation which paid for our move to Florida. I took a severance package from that corporation during a downsizing when I was 55. I got bored with retirement and sold real estate until we decided to move to Oregon. I sold a luxury brand of cars. I was recruited by a government law enforcement agency and worked as a consultant for over five years.

    I receive the maximum social security, military retired pay, and VA disability pay. Our IRAs are mad-money. We are debt free except for a small home mortgage that we could pay off, but we are making more on our IRA equities.

    With Medicare, Tricare, and corporate health insurance, we never see a medical bill or copay.
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  3. #33
    Distinguished Member Array NECCdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    I would. I have lived in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Montana and finally here in Wyoming. Best place we have ever lived and my wife has lived in 43 states. Great hunting and fishing, great gun laws or rather lack of gun laws, no income tax and a 4% sales tax.The massive open space and the weather scare a lot of people away but, they don't know what they don't know. BTW, we have a small newly remodeled 2 bedroom house on 1/4 acre in a small blue collar farming and ranching town with a garage and three storage buildings. Twice a week garbage pickup and street sweeping. Great hospital, solid Sheriff's and Police departments and my annual property taxes are $340 bucks.
    The kids here say "Yes,Sir" and "Yes,Ma'am" and not a skinny jean or man bun in sight. People here don't spend money on flash. Pickup trucks are used as trucks and not status symbols. Open carry is common and nobody freaks out. The town is empty on Sunday until Churches get out. Its not for everyone, thank God, but, its our last, best place.
    I lived in the Rock Springs-Green River area for 9 years. If it hadn't been for such a good paying job I would've left sooner since I hated the location. It was tough moving from Denver to there but it was the only decent paying job at the time. I'd rather live in a large city like Denver but I don't see that happening mainly because I really don't want to move. Besides, there isn't any place that beckons me to move. But, for a red state, Nebraska sure has high taxes.
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  4. #34
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraySkies View Post
    Lots of things are possible if you are willing to change your assumptions.

    We have been a single-income family for all of our adult lives, and we don't live in a particularly cheap area. I work in a trade/industrial job, and I have never made six figures yet.

    What we HAVE done is KEEP EXPENSES DOWN. We don't buy cars on credit, when we can avoid it. We don't carry balances on credit cards when we can avoid it. We budget carefully, content ourselves with a simple life, and save where we can. We don't go to Starbucks every day. We go shopping once a week at the discount supermarket where all the EBT folks shop because it's the cheapest. We do most of our own repairs on car/home/stuff. We keep our cars in well-maintained condition, until they are actually completely worn out, and have no further value except scrap. For vacations, we strap on the packs and head into the mountains, rather than going to the Bahamas (and have a FANTASTIC time). We have raised two kids and launched them successfully. One is a college graduate and works in medical research and the other is a welder.

    What I mean by changing the assumptions is this: A lot of people assume they NEED things, when they really don't. They just WANT them. You don't NEED that smartphone with the expensive airtime plan. You don't NEED to change cars every few years, and you don't need a BRAND NEW car... EVER. You don't NEED a bigger house every few years as your family grows. You are NOT too busy to make food from scratch, and grow a lot of your own. You CAN learn to live within your means, and sufficiently to set aside some savings along with it.

    As I said, we are single income, in a moderate to high-cost area with property taxes that suck, and our income is from a trade/industrial type of job.

    I have 12 years left until my planned retirement. My house will be paid off in 10 more years. I currently have $350k set aside in my retirement savings. I probably won't make a million in there before retirement, but if you count the value of the house/property after it's paid off, it will be WELL over that. You CAN do this on a single income, if you adjust your assumptions. It is harder than it has been in the past, because our economy is so geared to the two-income household, but it IS still possible. I am living proof.

    Live a simple life, mind your own business, work with your hands, treat other people well, and take care of your own sh**. It works.
    Amen brother, living within ones means is very possible from another one income household. In America we buy our blues away. I live modestly and I now owe nothing to nobody with retirement planned for 12/31/20. Paid for pickup truck and RV is our travel plans and we explore our own backyard which most people do not. We know more places to go camping and hiking than most of the locals do. I won't have a million dollars in retirement but, we will be comfortable and content. We feel like we have everything we need and then some.
    LimaCharlie, SAXDM9 and GraySkies like this.

  5. #35
    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NECCdude View Post
    I lived in the Rock Springs-Green River area for 9 years. If it hadn't been for such a good paying job I would've left sooner since I hated the location. It was tough moving from Denver to there but it was the only decent paying job at the time. I'd rather live in a large city like Denver but I don't see that happening mainly because I really don't want to move. Besides, there isn't any place that beckons me to move. But, for a red state, Nebraska sure has high taxes.
    I don't blame you, I don't like that particular part of Wyoming either. The goals for our retirement location were: Cheap taxes, gun freedom,no tourist attractions, no colleges, no traffic, no ski hill or large lakes, no deep snows and for certain no towns on the interstates. We are close to Montana in the north. If you prefer large cities our location would suck though.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novarider View Post
    My father recently retired. He paid off all of his debt before doing so. He lives comfortably on $3100 a month. If he had $1M in the bank that would last 26.88 years without interest or investment.

    He has decided to rent instead of own in retirement. That way he has no high dollar unexpected expenses. AC goes out? Leely roof? Septic system needs to be replaced? Someone else pays for it.

    Maybe you can't live comfortably on $3100 a month in FL but you certainly can here.
    My house is paid for. I don't pay any rent. I have no credit card balance. The AC goes out? Guess what, it did just last month. It was 16 years old, so I decided to go with a new (and more efficient) heat pump. Someone else doesn't pay for repairs, the renter does. Landlords have maintenance costs built into rent, and rent keeps getting higher and higher.
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  7. #37
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    - debt is slavery
    - if you're in debt you'll be getting up at 5am tomorrow (Monday morning) and sitting in the rat-race
    - if you're not in debt Monday=Saturday and you're excited that there will be less people everywhere you are planning to recreate on that day




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  8. #38
    Distinguished Member Array Novarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    My house is paid for. I don't pay any rent. I have no credit card balance. The AC goes out? Guess what, it did just last month. It was 16 years old, so I decided to go with a new (and more efficient) heat pump. Someone else doesn't pay for repairs, the renter does. Landlords have maintenance costs built into rent, and rent keeps getting higher and higher.
    I understand the benefits of home ownership. I own my home and it's expensive. My AC went out last year and needed a new unit. It cost us $6k. The roof is going to need to be replaced soon, that's gonna be pretty expensive as well. The water heater is well beyond it's expected lifespan. While that's not that expensive it's still something I have to pay for.

    His rent is only $100 more per month than his mortgage payment would have been. For $100 a month and at his age he'd rather not worry about having to pay to fix anything.

  9. #39
    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novarider View Post
    I understand the benefits of home ownership. I own my home and it's expensive. My AC went out last year and needed a new unit. It cost us $6k. The roof is going to need to be replaced soon, that's gonna be pretty expensive as well. The water heater is well beyond it's expected lifespan. While that's not that expensive it's still something I have to pay for.

    His rent is only $100 more per month than his mortgage payment would have been. For $100 a month and at his age he'd rather not worry about having to pay to fix anything.
    The problem with renting is when the roof needs to be replaced and you have a landlord who doesnt want to spend the money, and there is nothing you can do about it. Same with the water heater, A/C and anything else. I plan to be mortgage free when I retire. I think the only way I could ever go back to renting would be in a nicer apartment/townhome community where I know everything will be taken care of. There is certainly a benefit to not needing to worry about taking care of the place. I just dont think I could toss away the money except as a last resort.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAXDM9 View Post
    Rent/buy and keeping vs paying off mortgage are both “it depends” decisions (as are so many we face like, “which gun should my friend buy for plinking?”). There’s no right answer without looking at all the variables involved.
    Exactly right. I retired at 52, to get a great retirement package (and not have to move). Stayed retired for 2 years, and am now back to working part-time for the same very large international tech company. Great retirement gig, work from anywhere, my own hours, nobody ever breathing down my neck. Been collecting my full pension since I retired. Waiting on full SS benefits until I re-retire, but we'd be fine today if I was no longer working. Wife is 10 years younger and still working. She will also get a pension. So between both pensions, dual SS income, living in a lower tax state and having no debt, our 7 figure retirement savings is just a savings account to us. We worked hard to get here, though.

    I have been after my son and his wife to start saving early for retirement, but I'm sure they are not. Both in their 30's, both with good jobs where they can apply their masters degrees. I'll keep after him.

  11. #41
    Senior Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    The wife and I always worked hard and maxed out our 401K's.
    I have stayed with my jobs a minimum of 12-15 years each.
    One job will give me a company pension. Rolled over another 401K to an annuity.
    Hopefully between the pension, annuity, 2 401K's and our social security we will make it.
    We stayed in our "starter house" now paid off.
    Helped put both sons through college, they are both self sufficient.
    Never took expensive vacations and kept our cars for 10-15 years.
    Now we are starting to travel more and enjoy being empty nesters

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    . . . I live modestly and I now owe nothing to nobody with retirement planned for 12/31/20. Paid for pickup truck and RV is our travel plans and we explore our own backyard which most people do not. We know more places to go camping and hiking than most of the locals do. I won't have a million dollars in retirement but, we will be comfortable and content. We feel like we have everything we need and then some.
    @forester58 , that’s us in a nutshell. 14yo pickup truck, 15yo RV, no debt, spending is a joint decision, more likely to spend on experiences than on things, and we pay off our card balance every month. We’ve traveled and lived in our RV all over USA & Canada for over 12 years so far. Our truck and RV are depreciating assets so property tax goes down every year. No problem, man.

    We’re comfortable, we can move when we don’t like the weather, we can stay anywhere as long as we want. BLM stays are mostly free, state forest camping is usually very low cost, and many small towns have very low cost municipal park RV sites. Our average nightly site cost is under $20 over the past 12 years and no added utilities or fees. YMMV but we’re still loving the untethered lifestyle and don’t mind spending well less than we would have with a house and jobs.
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  13. #43
    Distinguished Member Array GraySkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    I don't blame you, I don't like that particular part of Wyoming either. The goals for our retirement location were: Cheap taxes, gun freedom,no tourist attractions, no colleges, no traffic, no ski hill or large lakes, no deep snows and for certain no towns on the interstates. We are close to Montana in the north. If you prefer large cities our location would suck though.
    What general area of Wyoming have you settled in (or what town, if you are willing to say)? Sounds like an area I might want to visit. We are always looking for places that might be candidates for retirement locales. When we want to take a road trip, that is what we do a lot... "check out" other areas... Sounds right up my alley!
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  14. #44
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I had very little savings when I retired from the military at 39. I landed a decent job and packed away the income like a squirrel sensing a hard winter. It wasn't hard as I still had more income than my mil pay and had two kids in college to boot. My wife and I get along fine on our SS and my mil retirement and don't touch the "savings" except for major projects, like a much needed bathroom renovation. My financial adviser says I did it right.
    Ditto, although I was a few years older when I retired from the Navy. I landed a great job as a consultant with some of the best benefit packages in existence. I was able to bluff my way through 20 years as an "expert" while continuing to live well within our means (no exotic foreign vacations, no new car every 2-3 years) while socking away as much retirement income as allowed by the tax code. We moved to TN to a larger house, cheaper cost of living, and no state income tax. When I have to start withdrawing retirement funds in a few years when I turn 70 1/2, I envision most of those funds will simply go into my brokerage accounts and CDs as our rainy day fund should a health catastrophe arise.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I considered paying off my house, but my adviser pointed out that at this point, I'm paying so little interest it would have insignificant impact.
    I paid off my house as with the new tax code (compliments of the Trump presidency) the standard deduction exceeds any itemized deductions I'd get from a principle house mortgage and the mortgage on a second home I own. My investment returns far exceed the mortgage interest deduction I would have gotten. I prefer to be as debt free as makes sense with the current tax code.

    Others' mileage may vary.
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