Author Topic: How to spend your money?  (Read 3340 times)

skip207

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How to spend your money?
« on: July 12, 2017, 03:16:47 AM »
I have been thinking about FIRE a lot recently.  We are hopefully around 5 years out.

The way our numbers are stacking up I think we will hit FIRE at around 750-1M. (excluding own home)
We could use SWR (kind of as our money is mostly in rental property) and let the capital sit there.
I think we might have an income of around 25-30k at FIRE after tax etc.

OR we could liquidate and front load for our early FIRE years.  This would give us an income of whatever we wanted but being realistic lets say 50k (so up to 2x) for 5 years followed by reducing it down to say 30, then 25 then 20.  Etc.  I think we could do that and still have enough left for living costs in our old age.

We don't have kids or any dependants so don't need to pass anything on.

Whats the general idea here?  We could live just fine on 2k a month but if you doubled that to 4k a month we would live great travel much more and be able to take extra long trips rather than say 2 or 3 2 week trips a year we could take real long trips and not have to worry about costs of hotels and flights etc.  Given we don't have to hand any of it down what do people already FIRE'd think?

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 09:49:55 AM »
If you front load your spending and the market goes against you, you could end up with less than you need in your later years, this could be really uncomfortable for you.

An income of 25-30k is pretty low on a stache of 0.75 - 1M. How have you worked this out?

It is more fun living on 25k when you aren't used to spending 50k.

How would you feel about using real estate for your 'base' spending and then taking the dividend and growth above inflation of investments - you top up your spending in good years and leave it sit in bad years.

skip207

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 01:23:42 PM »
I think my main issue which I did not explain really is that our income would come mostly from rental income.  This is fine, but it would leave the asset probably appreciating and we might get into our 60s and wish we liquidated and spent it in our 50s.  IYSWIM. 

ixtap

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 01:48:05 PM »
I think my main issue which I did not explain really is that our income would come mostly from rental income.  This is fine, but it would leave the asset probably appreciating and we might get into our 60s and wish we liquidated and spent it in our 50s.  IYSWIM.

I do not understand this "wish we had spent more." It frequently comes up when people see big accounts left by people they think lived too frugally, but I have only heard individuals actually say it about individual purchases. Even I have said, "I wish I had spent more for quality, so I didn't have to deal with this problem again." However, I am never sorry that I didn't spend money just to spend money.

So, since you have said it about yourself, how do anticipate regretting not spending money?

skip207

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 06:30:55 AM »
As an example lets say you live reasonably frugally for the first 10 years of your retirement then you get sick and die.  That would really p*ss me off!! 

So what I was meaning is you can front load and enjoy yourself whilst you are still young. 

It is not my intention to retire early and live like a hobo, but there would be limits to my income if I were to play the long game.  i.e 25k pa generally speaking.  Hopefully that makes sense.

Just reading the other thread on here about how people expect their stache to be worth 2,3,4 x what it was at FIRE makes me wonder you see.  For those with children and grandchildren I can understand wanting to leave something behind.  But I am not in that position. 

I was wondering if people who have FIRE'd already give this thought at all?

ixtap

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 10:14:36 AM »
As an example lets say you live reasonably frugally for the first 10 years of your retirement then you get sick and die.  That would really p*ss me off!! 

That is what I am asking: why would it piss you off? I mean, beyond the getting sick and dying part which sounds crappy. Why would living "reasonably frugally" piss you off?

Maenad

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 11:05:25 AM »
I strongly recommend that you don't live so frugally that you'd feel cheated if you died tomorrow (or after a short amount of time retired). Definitely challenge yourself to spend less and see how low you can go and be happy, but don't save until it actually hurts. Also work on retraining yourself to stop equating "happiness" with "spending money", otherwise you'll end up resentful of the sacrifices you're making.

DH and I periodically stop and think, "If [spouse] died tomorrow, would I be upset that we hadn't traveled more/gone out to eat more/etc.?" If the answer is yes, loosen up the purse strings and do those things now - you never know how much time you actually have.

FWIW, when I ask myself that question, the answer is almost always no - losing each other would be catastrophic emotionally, but the remaining spouse would still be glad that we had prepared sufficiently that they could still retire early.

bobechs

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 11:59:44 AM »
Sounds like you expect cost-of-living inflation to be zero to negative if you plan on spending less in the out years than at the beginning of retirementl.

Any reason you think so, if you do?

steveo

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 07:03:41 PM »
Also work on retraining yourself to stop equating "happiness" with "spending money", otherwise you'll end up resentful of the sacrifices you're making.

It shouldn't even feel like sacrificing. I really don't understand how people think spending more money will make you happier unless you are tightening things way too harshly. I think sometimes about what I would do if I had a billion dollars. I then think that is what I should do now within reason. The only thing I'd do differently is give money to my footy team to make them win more games.

skip207

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 01:42:15 AM »
Crikey a lot of strange energy in the room.... it was just a question guys yikes!

I am not going to go into my personal requirements but I don't think I am talking about massive sums here but there is going to be a big difference in QOL between say 25k PA and 50k PA, I am just saying do post FIRE people prefer a flat (ish) like of income or do they front load to go and enjoy themselves for a few years.  Just to put context into this I am expecting to FIRE in my early 40s.  We plan to travel for at least 10 years.  That's going to need money, quite a lot of money.  The more we have the more we can travel, the further we can go, the longer we can go for. 

I think I just answered my own question.

As for inflation, in the first post I said "including tax etc" that was taking into consideration c.3-4% inflation.

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 06:22:08 AM »
We had plans to spend much less than our goal in the first 5-10 years of retirement due to sequence of returns risk. (Past tense because we've decided to go back to work for a bit, so that we won't have to worry so much about this!) but basically if you are less than 5 years in and a recession hits, it can mess up your retirement. If the recession hits 10 years in, you will be much less affected by it. Spending less up front would allow us to weather a recession more easily, and once the 10 year point has passed we were planning to spend (travel) more.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2017, 01:08:41 AM »
Crikey a lot of strange energy in the room.... it was just a question guys yikes!

But it is a question based on the premise that is anathema to what we do here. Imagine that you went onto a camping forum and started going on about how much better camping would be if it was in a solid building that had plumbing and a maid service. You are fully entitled to have that opinion, but a more constructive place to talk about it would be a hotel forum not a camping forum.

We are struggling to see why you believe that spending more would necessarily make you happier. If we understand that then we can offer strategies for planning your spending.

We plan to travel for at least 10 years.  That's going to need money, quite a lot of money.  The more we have the more we can travel, the further we can go, the longer we can go for. 

It is fairly common to travel after FIRE. Many people go to lower COL countries and spend less than they would have at home.

jim555

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2017, 07:18:24 AM »
I am doing low spending in the front years and bigger spending in the later years.  Every year I underspend in the front it "backs up" for spending later.  With so many uncertainties of things like health insurance I am reducing my risk of overspending while I am able to.  For me it is the most conservative approach available.

skip207

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 08:28:42 AM »
Thanks Jim - interesting info.

PWF- I think you are being a bit OTT tbh, but each to their own.  I am hardly suggesting I buy a Lamborghini and squander my stache on coke and hookers!  The basic question is about spending to get maximum enjoyment, that's what life is about!  Yes you can be happy with little money but it certainly helps if you have some.  I have not spent the last 20 years working my fingers to the bone (literally), 50 weeks of the year to then sit at home watching my investments grow.  I already said I have no one to pass it onto so there is no benefit in not spending it.  It would be like buying said sports car and never actually driving it..


Woodshark

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 03:54:09 PM »
We retired with a touch over two commas in our mid 50's, two years ago. Our plan was to keep our modest lifestyle.  To certainly spend no more, but likewise, spend at least as much as needed to maintain our frugal but full lifestyle. To date we spent as much as we NEEDED, some on what we wanted and had a few great vacations. (Month in Italy, two weeks in Belize, week in Florida, etc) We are blessed by a good health care benefit from the spouses career so that helped also. Even with all that spending, due to the market our stash is greater than it was when we retired.



Life is good.

life_travel

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2017, 07:27:52 PM »
Thanks Jim - interesting info.

PWF- I think you are being a bit OTT tbh, but each to their own.  I am hardly suggesting I buy a Lamborghini and squander my stache on coke and hookers!  The basic question is about spending to get maximum enjoyment, that's what life is about!  Yes you can be happy with little money but it certainly helps if you have some.  I have not spent the last 20 years working my fingers to the bone (literally), 50 weeks of the year to then sit at home watching my investments grow.  I already said I have no one to pass it onto so there is no benefit in not spending it.  It would be like buying said sports car and never actually driving it..
We are not retired yet but our plan is to spend LESS in our late 40s, earlier 50s and then increase it as we move into our 60s . Why ? Because we like to travel full time and live in cheaper countries first . We also like doing fun things like camping in tents , couch surfing , staying in hostels , taking long distance buses , etc because it's all " adventure " :) . Coincidentally they are also cheap.
When we move into our 60s I would see us wanting more comfort , more privacy and perhaps having more health issues . Thus increased spending .

zinethstache

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2017, 11:43:54 AM »
+ Life_Travel

We travel full time. We are 49 and so far love this lifestyle. Our income sources are such that we will earn more as we get older and we feel this will serve us well. It is why we chose to travel first while we are physically able to enjoy it.

spartana

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2017, 12:45:48 PM »
I expect I'll probably spend about the same thru out my retired life but I'll be spending on different things. Travel (budget/ possible full time) while younger, with a more at-home, own or rent a place, involved with local stuff when older. I have a desired max annual budget I have in mind for either scenario (or any scenafio) and plan to  stick with that. Will flex my lifestyle around in order to stay in that budget. I retired at 42 and imagine by the time I am in my upper 60s and 70s I'll be done with most big long distance cheap trips and looking forward to being in one spot more. In my case being in one spot will likely cost the same if not more than my type of travel or the kinds of activities I currently do which are mainly sports and recreational outdoor things.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 12:47:20 PM by spartana »
Retired at 42 to play!

GenXbiker

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2017, 03:09:12 PM »
I can relate to skip207 saving all those years and no kids to pass it on to, so after retiring, that's a good time to do some of the things like traveling that you've been planning for years.  Front-loading your spending vs. wasting money are two different things, and yes, I've thought of front-loading spending as well, although not because I was afraid of leaving money on the table.

I plan to be very flexible when I FIRE within the next 2 to 4 years, but I do expect to be most active during the early years since I'll be in my low/mid 50's when I pull the trigger as it is, therefore, I'll probably be using a higher SWR (perhaps 5+%) during those early active years as well.  But I'll remain flexible and scale back if needed, and about 10 years into retirement, SS will also kick in, and I'll probably cut back on my SWR, although that will depend on how my investments are doing as well.  I'm building in enough of a cushion with my SWR that I could cut way back if I had to.  I'm at about 73X my current "bare bones" budget, but it translates to about 45X for a more practical FIRE budget, and of course, I want to have a monthly cushion for extra spending and unexpected expenses.  I might try out that slow travel in an RV - I've got some time to think about it.

life_travel

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2017, 03:53:58 PM »
+ Life_Travel

We travel full time. We are 49 and so far love this lifestyle. Our income sources are such that we will earn more as we get older and we feel this will serve us well. It is why we chose to travel first while we are physically able to enjoy it.
Great to hear that someone who is already doing it  thinks we have a sane plan :) I actually caught up on your journal last night , well I was pretty tired so I skimmed last 3 posts thinking " oh that will be nice reading material when I'm awake " :)
I'm so happy for you and honestly can't wait to do it too but due to some bad luck GFC related investments we are 10 years behind to where we would be . Not that it bugs me too much it's just life :) I never thought I'll be in a corporate office for 15 years yikes ! In my 20s I was always flexible and entrepreneural but life happened :)

onewayfamily

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2017, 12:55:53 AM »
Psychologically we prefer to stay within our budget which is based on not spending down any 'capital' whatsoever, even though we know there's nothing wrong with going over a bit some or most years even.

As long as our daily life and travel plans don't go over the budget we're happy to spend liberally - mostly on healthy food and travel.

There are also a lot of ways to travel for less, especially once you're FIRE'd and are much more flexible than 98% of the rest of the travel population - I'm talking about housesitting, using campervan/motorhomes, cheap medium-term AirBnB's with the monthly discounts, travelling to cheaper areas of the world etc. etc.
We FIRE'd at age 28 (me) and 29 (Mrs. OneWayFamily) and are now trying to travel to every country on Earth - it takes longer with 2 toddlers!

If you'd like to keep track of where we're at - check out our photos @ Instagram or our lame attempt at a blog at onewayfamily.com

nottoolatetostart

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2017, 05:44:59 AM »

There are also a lot of ways to travel for less, especially once you're FIRE'd and are much more flexible than 98% of the rest of the travel population - I'm talking about housesitting, using campervan/motorhomes, cheap medium-term AirBnB's with the monthly discounts, travelling to cheaper areas of the world etc. etc.

+++1

Please check out credit card hacking. Once I got started with this, and it takes little effort, it seems so backwards to actually use our DOLLARS for travel vs using some saved points. Not gonna happen! This has dramatically reduced the budget I thought I needed too.

SailorGirl

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2017, 06:51:58 AM »

There are also a lot of ways to travel for less, especially once you're FIRE'd and are much more flexible than 98% of the rest of the travel population - I'm talking about housesitting, using campervan/motorhomes, cheap medium-term AirBnB's with the monthly discounts, travelling to cheaper areas of the world etc. etc.
I'm traveling the US in an older RV, spending~ $700 a month with a separate budget for repairs. I've traveled Europe while working and this is giving me a chance to see my own country while maintaining a super- low WR. My lifestyle is probably too minimal for most people but it's ideal for me. I'm actually trying to come up with ways to spend more money without compromising my gritty lifestyle. 
Follow my adventures and see some cool pictures!   http://rigadoonrv.blogspot.com/

life_travel

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2017, 01:29:09 AM »

There are also a lot of ways to travel for less, especially once you're FIRE'd and are much more flexible than 98% of the rest of the travel population - I'm talking about housesitting, using campervan/motorhomes, cheap medium-term AirBnB's with the monthly discounts, travelling to cheaper areas of the world etc. etc.
I'm traveling the US in an older RV, spending~ $700 a month with a separate budget for repairs. I've traveled Europe while working and this is giving me a chance to see my own country while maintaining a super- low WR. My lifestyle is probably too minimal for most people but it's ideal for me. I'm actually trying to come up with ways to spend more money without compromising my gritty lifestyle.
SailorGirl what's your lifestyle while traveling ? $700 is very low ... We are quite minimal ourselves(and don't require luxury ) and we would love to travel US in a small RV. Whats your spending while traveling and how much your separate fund for repairs ?

SailorGirl

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2017, 04:43:17 AM »
I'm traveling the US in an older RV, spending~ $700 a month with a separate budget for repairs. I've traveled Europe while working and this is giving me a chance to see my own country while maintaining a super- low WR. My lifestyle is probably too minimal for most people but it's ideal for me. I'm actually trying to come up with ways to spend more money without compromising my gritty lifestyle.
SailorGirl what's your lifestyle while traveling ? $700 is very low ... We are quite minimal ourselves(and don't require luxury ) and we would love to travel US in a small RV. Whats your spending while traveling and how much your separate fund for repairs ?
I have solar panels which gives me the option of not plugging in so I spend most of my time either boondocking in forests or dry camping in parking lots. A National Parks pass gets me into those sights for free and I seek out free entertainment when in small cities (parks, beaches, museums, etc).  I have plenty of room in the budget for sightseeing and never shirk on doing something to save money. 

To take a break from cooking I'll stay in a casino parking lot and eat at one of their restaurants to "pay"  for my stay. I see fewer RVs doing that in the east, but in the west it's incredibly popular.  I've talked to people that plan all their travel around casinos.

I made it a goal to keep gas costs to around $100 a month.  This reminds me to take things slow. I also plan to volunteer at National Parks eventually and that will keep me in place for three months at a time.

Since my RV is older I have a huge repair budget- $10k.  This is for 10 years and I don't expect to use it all. Normal maintenance and small repairs come out of the daily money pot.

I pay for groceries for me and the cats, fuel, propane for cooking, insurance (really cheap for older RV) , phone and prescriptions. For pricey meds I park near the border and walk into Mexico (my insurance is only valid for er visits outside my home state).  I just joined a national gym chain for showers since my water tank is quite small and use baby wipes to keep clean when I'm in the woods.

I use Overdrive to check out ebooks from the library and librivox and project Gutenberg for other free books. I have a bunch of movies with me but haven't watched any.

Park near businesses for free wifi and be sensible about using it safely.  I filed my taxes from a Walmart parking lot at six in the morning because, really, what bad person is going to camp out at WM in the early morning in the hopes of being able to steal information?

I can't think of anything I miss having or doing that spending more money would get me.
Follow my adventures and see some cool pictures!   http://rigadoonrv.blogspot.com/

skip207

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2017, 12:58:52 PM »
Very cool thanks for posting that.  We used to own a camper van here in the UK and would spend every other weekend wild camping so I like the sound of that. (sold it to put the money to a new house - still miss it!)

We plan to visit the US at some point when we fire and rent an RV for a couple of months, might see you around!


GenXbiker

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2017, 03:21:15 PM »
I looked into RV rentals on rvshare, and the lowest cost class B / camper vans that I would have considered were $2000/mo on the low end, others were $3500/mo or more, and that doesn't even include additional costs due to mileage/generator restrictions.  One rental I saw said it was a non-drive rental, they just drove it to the campsite for you.   I don't think these rentals are worth it for even a single month vacation compared to a car and hotels/airbnb, but as far as slow travel for FIRE, not even close.  I've seen decent ones I could buy for $10,000 to $15,000.... $30,000 on the high end for what I would probably ever spend. 

life_travel

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2017, 03:33:17 PM »
I'm traveling the US in an older RV, spending~ $700 a month with a separate budget for repairs. I've traveled Europe while working and this is giving me a chance to see my own country while maintaining a super- low WR. My lifestyle is probably too minimal for most people but it's ideal for me. I'm actually trying to come up with ways to spend more money without compromising my gritty lifestyle.
SailorGirl what's your lifestyle while traveling ? $700 is very low ... We are quite minimal ourselves(and don't require luxury ) and we would love to travel US in a small RV. Whats your spending while traveling and how much your separate fund for repairs ?
I have solar panels which gives me the option of not plugging in so I spend most of my time either boondocking in forests or dry camping in parking lots. A National Parks pass gets me into those sights for free and I seek out free entertainment when in small cities (parks, beaches, museums, etc).  I have plenty of room in the budget for sightseeing and never shirk on doing something to save money. 

To take a break from cooking I'll stay in a casino parking lot and eat at one of their restaurants to "pay"  for my stay. I see fewer RVs doing that in the east, but in the west it's incredibly popular.  I've talked to people that plan all their travel around casinos.

I made it a goal to keep gas costs to around $100 a month.  This reminds me to take things slow. I also plan to volunteer at National Parks eventually and that will keep me in place for three months at a time.

Since my RV is older I have a huge repair budget- $10k.  This is for 10 years and I don't expect to use it all. Normal maintenance and small repairs come out of the daily money pot.

I pay for groceries for me and the cats, fuel, propane for cooking, insurance (really cheap for older RV) , phone and prescriptions. For pricey meds I park near the border and walk into Mexico (my insurance is only valid for er visits outside my home state).  I just joined a national gym chain for showers since my water tank is quite small and use baby wipes to keep clean when I'm in the woods.

I use Overdrive to check out ebooks from the library and librivox and project Gutenberg for other free books. I have a bunch of movies with me but haven't watched any.

Park near businesses for free wifi and be sensible about using it safely.  I filed my taxes from a Walmart parking lot at six in the morning because, really, what bad person is going to camp out at WM in the early morning in the hopes of being able to steal information?

I can't think of anything I miss having or doing that spending more money would get me.
Thanks , that's great to know . It doesn't sound too extreme to me so completely doable :) lots of tips for us, non US residents , too. While we still have to save for a few years ( planning for 3) and our stache would still be low compared to others here but I think we'll be fine :)

spartana

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2017, 03:41:54 PM »
I looked into RV rentals on rvshare, and the lowest cost class B / camper vans that I would have considered were $2000/mo on the low end, others were $3500/mo or more, and that doesn't even include additional costs due to mileage/generator restrictions.  One rental I saw said it was a non-drive rental, they just drove it to the campsite for you.   I don't think these rentals are worth it for even a single month vacation compared to a car and hotels/airbnb, but as far as slow travel for FIRE, not even close.  I've seen decent ones I could buy for $10,000 to $15,000.... $30,000 on the high end for what I would probably ever spend.
I agree. I think buying a used RV for a multi month long trip is much better than renting. RV rentals in general are super expensive plus fuel and mileage charges as well as campsite fees if you dont boondock are high. I've seen a few forum members here get very cheap "repositioning" RV rentals. However they are generally only for a few weeks and you are limited to where you have to end your trip.  If its just one or 2 people going, they can just rent a regular van cheaply by the month and get a few basic camping supplies cheaply. Or rent a car and bring a tent. I go solo with my dog and just use an older small truck with a shell.
Retired at 42 to play!

jim555

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2017, 03:59:11 PM »
I was looking at youtuber's who RV.  One guy likes a mini-van with a bed because it is very stealthy and gets good mileage.  Lots of towns and cities are clamping down on RVs with new ordinances. 

Cassie

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Re: How to spend your money?
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2017, 05:40:46 PM »
Skip, we were 53 and 58 when we semi-retired. 5 years later we have been spending more $ then I think we will when we hit our later years. WE wanted to travel, etc while our health was still good. I have had a few friends either die or become very disabled by 50-60's so wanted to make sure I did not miss what I wanted to do. We also are going out to eat more, festivals, etc. WE are not so tired since not working f.t.  So I do understand what you are talking about.  My Mom actually did the same thing after my Dad died and it worked out for her. Her spending went way down by choice in her 80's.  she did have great healthcare so that may be one thing that is different then now.  We rarely shop or buy things at all anymore. In fact, I have been steadily getting rid of stuff so it is faster to clean.