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Subject:  Re: How low can you go? Date:  1/15/2000  5:27 AM
Author:  hocus Number:  2222 of 876373

the best thing to do is keep track of your expenses for a while, and then work from there.

But you'll have quite a bit of work from that point if you want the estimate to be accurate. You'll need to add in insurance

Actually, there are several items that need to be included in a Retire Early budget that one might overlook if basing the budget only on expenses that have been incurred while working. There's health insurance, as you mention. There's the fact that health costs (presciptions, etc.) increase as one ages, and so a long-term budget needs to account for what these will be in the future, not just what they were in the past. The purchase price of an automobile is another expense that you might not have incurred for several pre-Retire years, but which needs to be included in a Retire Early budget. Home repair expenses and appliance replacement expenses are similar.

This is one reason why, even though you generally want to track your own expenses and use those figures to develop a personal Retire Early budget, it's a good idea to supplement those numbers with numbers obtained from sample budgets provided by others (and possibly a "how low can you go?" budget). These budgets may include items that didn't occur to you because you hadn't incurred the expense for a year or two. You can always change the numbers in a sample budget to fit your own circumstances, but it's helpful at times to look at how others are handling things.

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