Author Topic: FIRE on a modest salary, in a HCOLA  (Read 2280 times)

jane x

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FIRE on a modest salary, in a HCOLA
« on: May 25, 2017, 03:41:42 PM »
I've been turning this around in my head and I might as well post it.  Some of us decide to pursue FIRE in a HCOLA for one reason or another and that's challenging.  And some of those are doing so on a modest salary, another challenge.  In order to achieve that goal some sacrifices must be made.  And it also places us in the role of outsider within our peer group. 

DH and I are in this situation.  We want to retire early, or earlier than traditional, or at least have the option to do so.  We live in Silicon Valley and want to retire here.  We also hear about millionaires being made everyday here, but it's not us.  DH works at a non-profit and I've been on a sabbatical/early retirement for a few years.  So one modest income, in a very expensive place to live, and the desire to reach financial independence early.

I thought this might be a place for folks in a similar situation to encourage each other and share tips on saving money in a HCOLA while also enjoying life.

BayAreaFrugal

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Re: FIRE on a modest salary, in a HCOLA
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 05:10:30 PM »
I'm probably in a similar situation. I dream about moving to a LCOL area in early retirement, but my parents and my in-laws all live nearby, and DH and I love the Bay Area, so I just don't know that we'll ever actually move. In the meantime, we're maxing out all our retirement accounts, saving a bit extra, and hoping our house continues to increase in value. Our son is 1, and we plan to make a decision before he starts kindergarten, so we've got a few more years to figure it out.

jane x

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Re: FIRE on a modest salary, in a HCOLA
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 10:12:25 AM »
I'm probably in a similar situation. I dream about moving to a LCOL area in early retirement, but my parents and my in-laws all live nearby, and DH and I love the Bay Area, so I just don't know that we'll ever actually move. In the meantime, we're maxing out all our retirement accounts, saving a bit extra, and hoping our house continues to increase in value. Our son is 1, and we plan to make a decision before he starts kindergarten, so we've got a few more years to figure it out.

Ah, kids and grandparents - that would be tough.  What areas have you considered moving to if you leave the Bay Area? 

jane x

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Re: FIRE on a modest salary, in a HCOLA
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 10:26:09 AM »
Two recent challenges in our quest to keep expenses low so that we can build up our FIRE stash but still enjoy a good quality of life and stay here in this HCOLA that we call home:

We've been debating the buying of a new vehicle and selling of our existing old ones.  That debate continues.  :)

Also debating installing A/C which would require an extensive amount of work: new furnace (23 yrs old), new ductwork (55 yrs old), asbestos removal, and adding some attic insulation.  We got a quote using the Costco program with Lennox products and people here were shocked at the pricing.  :)  Today I have another installer coming to give a second quote using Trane products.  This company was recommended to us by a neighbor.  They also install products other than Trane, but since we are planning to retire in this house we'd like to invest in quality that will hopefully last for decades.