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My Retirement Financial Ducks Are All in a Row!

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alex in virginia
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My Retirement Financial Ducks Are All in a Row!  Reply with quote  

My Financial Independence Ducks Are All in a Row!

This is really great. I finally have got my spending, income and investing ducks all set up for financial independence. Hey, folks! I am FREE!.

The last piece of the puzzle just fell into place. With the help of cash I just got from selling some vacant land, I have eliminated my mortgage payment. This in turn has dropped my annual individual living expenses to a mere $15,000. And, since my gross ďpassiveĒ income is $53,800 a year, Iíve got a whopping $28,000 after taxes available to spend for fun. Whoppee!

Before we start getting into details about the kind of living I (or you) can do on $15 thou a year, and the specifics of my income stream, I think it would be a good idea to give you some context about my situation.

I am a 65-year-old guy living in Virginia. (I know, I know, 65 is not early retirement by any means. BUT I only started hands-on planning for retirement 4 years ago. So I think thatís still pretty good.) I am married and my wife still works and covers half of our $30,000 joint living costs. Thatís the way weíve run our finances for the last 20 years, each of us having to cover our half of those joint expenses. So no, IMHO Iím not being carried or subsidized. My working career included jobs in chemistry, marine science, sports diving, marketing, advertising, management, and non-profit administration. And now I spend my fun time hiking, biking, reading history, exploring civil war battlefields and national parks, blogging, watching movies and playing computer war strategy games.

Now, whereís my personal $53,800 a year income coming from? Hereís the breakdown: $20,600 from Social Security, $27,500 from stock dividends and bond interest, $1500 interest from peer-to-peer lending, and $4200 from a little consulting side hustle. Why take social security nowÖ what kind of investing is thatÖ consulting howÖ Iíll get into all of that later on. Right now, letís keep this moving.

Now, whatís that $15,000 a year getting me for a basic lifestyle? Well, letís see.

I live in a 1500-square-foot house on 2+ acres, with a nice big 2-car detached garage and a 500-square-foot detached workshop. I eat just fine, thank you, with lots of meats and vegetables, and no keeping-the-cost-down reliance on pasta, or rice-and-beans.

Iím insured up the wazoo (or so it feels). Okay, I do have Medicare, (which Iíve been paying for through paycheck deductions over my entire working career) but Iíve also made sure to have supplemental coverage to keep my retirement stash safe from hospital-cost-threat. Same goes for insurance to cover long term care, personal liability, the house, the cars. (Nope, no life insurance; my wife and I agreed we no longer need it.)

Iíve got a 1996 Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup truck in super good shape -- and no loan payment. And Iíve got all the hiking, biking, computer, photography, workshop and what-not toys I could want.

Oh, yes. That $15,000 a year for my individual living expenses includes reserves for truck maintenance and repairs, and my half-share of home repairs and pet care.

And hereís the typical ďbasicĒ day I get for my $41 (times 365 days = $15,000). Get up when I want (usually just after first light) in a paid-for house, enjoy my breakfast without any time-pressure while listening to classical music, surf blogs a little, then spend an hour or so managing my stocks and bonds. After that, go do something physical (in the workshop or on the grounds) until lunch. Then Iíve got 4 hours of totally open time to have fun hiking, biking, computering, netflixing, taking an online history course, blogging, etcetera. (And none of that costs me anything over and above whatís already included in my $41 a day basic living cost.) Right around 5pm I get back to my ďworkĒ desk to do some home administration paperwork until itís time to cook up and enjoy a steak/ chops/ ham/ chicken/ fish dinner. After that, itís hang-out time with the wife -- and the dogs and the cats -- while doing some more reading or netflixing or pc game playing. Not a bad deal, I think, for $41!

Of course, Iíve also got another $2300-plus available each month in personal discretionary income to spend on anything I please. But, as youíll see later, most times I really have to work at finding something to spend that money on.

Yes, all right. What does it take to keep my individual basic living costs at less than $1250 a month? Iíve always been a thrifty guy. (My wife sometimes thinks I cross the line into skinflint territory.) But I have to give a big, big thank you to deleted and his blog for really opening my eyes to just how much you can lower your living costs by pursuing a strategy of what I would call no-sacrifice frugality.

Inspired by deleted, in the last few months Iíve lowered my annual costs for stock trading by $1000Ö for phone/internet/tv utilities by $750Ö for debt interest costs by $2700Ö for electricity/propane/fuel oil by $750Ö and for a stack of other miscellaneous budget line items by $850. Thatís over $6000 a year sliced off what used to be my living costs 6 or 7 months ago! Without giving up any comfort, convenience, or capability.

More on how all that got done later, too.

And so now here I sit, expectantly planning what adventures Iím going to have with my annual $28,000 spend-for-fun discretionary money pot.

What about YOU? When will you be able to set yourself free? What will it take? How could you make it happen sooner?

Alex in Virginia
Post Fri May 10, 2013 2:39 am
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coaster
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I removed the references to the blog and with those gone allow the post to remain. You may put the blog in your profile signature area if you want it mentioned.

~Tim~
Post Fri May 10, 2013 5:32 am
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blixet
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All that chum and now the hook has to be rebaited. Wink

Information is more valuable sold than used ‚Äď Fischer Black
Post Fri May 10, 2013 1:39 pm
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littleroc02us
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Not sure what I'd be able to say to you, it looks like you've got life figured out and are happy. That is what retirement is for right? For me retirement isn't necessarily quitting work, but doing work I love. I personally don't think I'll ever stop doing some type of job and that isn't due to needing the money, it's just a passion of mine. I believe that my wife and I are doing quite well planning for having enough money invested as to continue our passions as long as we see fit. Now the sleeping in part I could handle.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Fri May 10, 2013 2:33 pm
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coaster
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quote:
Originally posted by blixet
All that chum and now the hook has to be rebaited.

Laughing Laughing Laughing
Pretty good one!!!

I don't know whether promotion was the primary intent or the secondary consequence, but once in a great while even spammers have something to say worth keeping.

~Tim~
Post Fri May 10, 2013 3:24 pm
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oldguy
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quote:
I am a 65-year-old guy living in Virginia


Very Happy The story sure sounds like a 30-year-olds version of what old people are supposed to want.
Post Fri May 10, 2013 3:36 pm
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blixet
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quote:
Originally posted by coaster
I don't know whether promotion was the primary intent or the secondary consequence, but once in a great while even spammers have something to say worth keeping.


I've noticed the OP pimping that blogger elsewhere; call me a skeptical, cynical [fill in the blank]. Not really worth the time to parse the details for credibility. Long time in the human nature business may have (over)tuned my antennae.

Information is more valuable sold than used ‚Äď Fischer Black
Post Fri May 10, 2013 5:35 pm
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littleroc02us
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I feel duked! :/

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Fri May 10, 2013 7:40 pm
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raemart
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I think this guy would be really, really PO'ed if his wife ever =bestestsss= :-/ him. lol After all.....it's 50/50 all the way!
Post Tue May 14, 2013 4:11 pm
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