Author Topic: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom  (Read 3056 times)

lightmyfire

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Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« on: October 12, 2016, 01:22:21 PM »
Sometimes to assuage my daily anxiety and urban existential crises, I fantasize about the day when I throw the last of my ever-dwindling shit into a camper van or RV and head for a series of isolated boondocking locations for complete peace and quiet. This is not my permanent FIRE plan, but it's sounding really good for a couple or a few years. The best part about it would be the low, low spending levels. I could live that lifestyle very contentedly for no more than 12K, which is a good 5-6K less than my target SWR amount. My question: how do you compute that sort of thing for FIRE planning? I guess the same would apply to living abroad cheaply for awhile, then returning to the States. Is there a formula that could help me figure out divergent spending patterns in different years?

WilliamWallace

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 02:21:20 PM »
$12k/year?  Wow.  I'm budgeting that much just for health care.

But I have that daydream all the time!  Sounds amazing!

Full Beard

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 03:15:20 PM »
I also daydream about this too!  I'm planning on a 4% SWR for a $20K budget which would be more than enough for that lifestyle on the road.  It would be a sort of game for me to see how low I could get my expenses.  So my stash would more than likely grow to be more than the original $20K at the 4% SWR.  My current expenses are right around $30K so it would be easy for me to find some part time work to come up with the rest, if and when I get tired of life on the road.

 

therethere

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 03:23:03 PM »
I have a spreadsheet where I can change my spending and income each year (or it will auto calc based on previous years). It calculates out the % FIRE I am every year in two modes: one number for 60+ retirement and another for complete FI at current spending.  That way I can see scenarios for different drawdowns, part-time work, etc. There's no "easy" way to calculate it you need a fairly detailed spreadsheet!


lightmyfire

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 04:46:50 PM »
I don't know any formula but what I've done is have a specific amount ( $2k/month in my case) or your SWR or whatever, as my average spend in any given situation and whatever lifestyle arrangements I have, or plan to have in the future.  If one type of lifestyle (say van dwelling) only costs you $1k/month you can pocket the other $1k to add to your future $2k/month  for a more expensive lifestyle you many want in the future.  So you may have 2 years of living on $12,000/year as a van dweller, and then 2 years of living on $36,000/year as an apt dweller, but it still averages out to $24,000/year over that 4 year time frame. Anyways this is what I do.

ETA: While I've personally experienced my expenses going lower since ERing, you do have to be flexible enough when on a low FIRE # to consider that your expenses may go up - especially if you decide years down the road you want a more traditional lifestyle like your own apt or home. I'm set up now with a very low expenses lifestyle that, if I don't change it, will keep me at a very low spend forever. But once I want to change it then I'm more at the whim of possible increased expenses years (decades) down the road so will have to plan for that in my low ER budget.

This makes sense, thanks. I also agree about the personalized spreadsheet - I already have one, but it sounds like there's potential to make it more robust in order to account for various scenarios.

frugalsurfer

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 08:29:22 PM »
Sometimes to assuage my daily anxiety and urban existential crises, I fantasize about the day when I throw the last of my ever-dwindling shit into a camper van or RV and head for a series of isolated boondocking locations for complete peace and quiet. This is not my permanent FIRE plan, but it's sounding really good for a couple or a few years. The best part about it would be the low, low spending levels. I could live that lifestyle very contentedly for no more than 12K, which is a good 5-6K less than my target SWR amount. My question: how do you compute that sort of thing for FIRE planning? I guess the same would apply to living abroad cheaply for awhile, then returning to the States. Is there a formula that could help me figure out divergent spending patterns in different years?

I went and did this for a couple of years as a reward for completing studies and working for a couple of years and it was AWESOME!

I wish it didn't have to end, but the sensible side of me saw my savings slowly dwindle and my small income I was making as a writer wasn't enough. Since I am still young and I want to have a plot of land in the future I could see it wasn't going to work out and that I needed to suck it up and find a stable job or source of income (still working on that entrepreneurial angle) to save more money and buy some land. The issue with buying land in the countryside of course is that it often doesn't have a house on it and it's far away from town, so it's the sort of purchase you make when you are planning to live on it to get your money's worth, as renting it out while you work in the city is very difficult.

My new plan for early retirement is to have enough money saved to live off the returns, own a plot of land somewhere nice and quiet, maybe go in with some friends to share the cost, build a off-grid tiny home on it, and then spend 3-4 months of the year travelling around with a hand build campervan or backpacking/bike touring in a foreign country every couple of years.

I was spending about $250 (AUD) a week (about $12,000 AUD a year) including food and vehicle expenses while travelling and living in a campervan, and, interestingly, it was about the same to live and travel with a vehicle in South America as we had no other expenses back home while we were away.

And of course, living in a campervan means you aren't tempted into wasting money on fancy shit, consumables or restaurants as much as you are more conscious of your money and you kinda look like a hobo so it's more fun to just camp out in the forest, hang out with like minded travellers and make your own food too. :)

I posted in my own thread that I am back in the office and already dreaming of escaping again. Hopefully my experience and love of a low-cost, mobile lifestyle will mean that I can bail out and have financial independence sooner than later.. another few years of doing this work and I'll be finished.

use2betrix

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2016, 06:17:13 AM »
I've lived full time in a fifth wheel the last 3.5 years. I don't boondock or move it much since I work, but I'd love to hear your math on how you plan to live off $1000/mo. Maybe if you park somewhere, never move it, and have no power, electricity, or sewage somehow. So it's basically a shell.

I have a 2013 fifth wheel. My AC just went out and is getting replaced today ($800)

Tires are only good for around 3-5 years max regardless of tread life. My fifth wheel has about 5000 miles, Perfect tread, but needs new tires. That will be about $800.

You'll either have an engine on your RV or you'll have a tow vehicle. If you're budgeting $12,000 a year to live off of, I'd doubt you're budgeting a lot for the RV or fifth wheel, so maintenance will be much higher.

The list goes on and on and on. I definitely don't strive for "cheap", but I also don't foresee it being some huge expense saver either. I do it because I travel for work and jobs start and end abruptly, so I do it for convenience.

lightmyfire

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Re: Daydreaming about cheap, quiet freedom
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 09:21:01 AM »
I've lived full time in a fifth wheel the last 3.5 years. I don't boondock or move it much since I work, but I'd love to hear your math on how you plan to live off $1000/mo. Maybe if you park somewhere, never move it, and have no power, electricity, or sewage somehow. So it's basically a shell.

I have a 2013 fifth wheel. My AC just went out and is getting replaced today ($800)

Tires are only good for around 3-5 years max regardless of tread life. My fifth wheel has about 5000 miles, Perfect tread, but needs new tires. That will be about $800.

You'll either have an engine on your RV or you'll have a tow vehicle. If you're budgeting $12,000 a year to live off of, I'd doubt you're budgeting a lot for the RV or fifth wheel, so maintenance will be much higher.

The list goes on and on and on. I definitely don't strive for "cheap", but I also don't foresee it being some huge expense saver either. I do it because I travel for work and jobs start and end abruptly, so I do it for convenience.

I actually think $1000 a month might be on the high end, other than irregular maintenance type things. That would be if I was traveling around a lot and paying for gas regularly. I would hook up solar panels for electric, and I don't think other costs for a single person's resource usage would be terribly high. I know there are a ton of vagabonders living much more cheaply than that, probably only a few hundred dollars a month. I'm looking at a lifestyle similar to RV Sue (http://rvsueandcrew.net/), and I believe she spends around that amount living in a Casita, mostly boondocking but occassionally paying for an RV park or state park. This is taking into account that my current living expenses are around that much, and that includes $600 in rent.