Super idea! Retiring well on less is what we have done since February 2001. At that time, I completed 28 years of military service (the maximum I could serve at my rank) at age 52 and took an approximate 35 percent cut in pay. We have lived well since then and here's how.1. Despite DW's severe medical problems, we have been able to keep medical expenses manageable by using a supplemental insurance I purchased while on active duty. This supplemental insurance has paid for itself many times over and having it has allowed my wife to see the physicians of her choice instead of being limited to a certain plan's list of participating doctors.2. I have taken advantage of my disabled veteran status to lower our costs on one automobile license plate and I took advantage of a small reduction offered in the assessed value of our home. Every little bit helps.3. We live in a relatively low cost area of Texas. Although the school taxes are outrageous, the city and county taxes are as reasonable as those type taxes can be.4. DW supplements our income with a steady custom baking and gift basket business that she runs from our home. She barters for our haircuts, at a top salon in the city, by providing the salon a basket of home made goodies every day. DW has picked up many clients after they tasted her goodies at the salon.5. I have a large vegetable garden. For many years, I gave away veggies to family and friends. This year, though, at the repeated urging of people to sell my produce, I went commercial. I sent information to those I thought would be interested and developed a client list. There is a charge to join the list but half of the charge is credited toward purchases. I made enough money to cover most of my expenses, which is OK by me, since I would have a garden anyway. Family and those I did not offer to be a client still get their veggies for free.6. DW incorporates much of the garden produce into products for our use or to sell. Her tomato soup is TDF, especially when creamed. We have not purchased commercial ketchup or mayonnaise in years since DW makes both! Again, every little bit helps!7. I drive a 1991 Mazda MPV and DW replaced her 1986 Mazda RX-7 with a Toyota Celica in 2001. Both are paid off. Our debts total about $4000 and are being paid off monthly at a zero APR (DW's dental bills and the balance of an air conditioner replacement in 2002).What more can I tell you? We wish we had children but such a blessing was not to be. DW's physical condition limits our social life to almost nothing but we don't miss it. We enjoy our home life and interaction with family, friends, and clients. Our days are full. Oh yes. We are known as the Home For Wayward Dogs; we now have five strays or rescued doggies. Each is the best dog ever.So, we are truly retired well on less and wish the best for others trying the same path.Gently,jak
I retired in January 2003 at age 47. I'm single with no dependents. Until I draw social security and a very small pension, I'll live primarily on my savings. Here's what allows me to live rich on less:- To keep my medical costs manageable, I shopped around to find a reasonably priced, high-deductible health insurance policy while I was still working. So I didn't have to worry about COBRA whenever I quit.I also practice preventive care: diet, exercise frequently, get enough sleep, and take supplements.- I have no debt. I paid cash for my car and my condo is paid off. - I live on a modest budget, however 25% of it is allocated to leisure costs. I retired to enjoy myself so spending this much on leisure is my way of maintaining quality of life. I scurtinize all my elective spending to make sure that it adds to my quality of life. If it doesn't, I eliminate it. - Sometimes increasing quantity equals increased quality of life. For example: Since I want to enjoy as much leisure as possible, I stretch my leisure dollars. Taking 3 low-cost camping trips makes me happier than taking 1 high-priced trip for the same price! - My total annual income (dividends, interest and retirement account withdrawals) is very low. So low that it qualifies me for certain proverty programs, such as discounts on my electric and phone bill.
WWL"- Sometimes increasing quantity equals increased quality of life. For example: Since I want to enjoy as much leisure as possible, I stretch my leisure dollars. Taking 3 low-cost camping trips makes me happier than taking 1 high-priced trip for the same price! "You might find that stop the camping trips too. Why not look into leisures which don't cause anything. Maybe fishing locally or maybe there's a nature walk close to where you already live. I find many ways which I live are as good as anywhere the leisure destinations, if I look into my area. People pay money to come to where I live so maybe I should look at this too.When I lived in New York. I never visited to the Statue of Liberty. This is what I'm saying. Look around where you are and then take your vacations for local places. It will keep the cost down to the various amount.Blackduff
jak, thanks for the nice post. It sounds like you and your wife are very fortunate to have one another. Keep up the good work!Bennie
You can see all the best plays, symphonies, art exhibits, etc., if you are willing to volunteer (usher or whatever). A friend and I used to kid about out $80 seats to the Phantom of the Opera; we sat on the step at the end of the $80 row! Makes for a fast get-away, too.Sumap10
What more can I tell you? We wish we had children but such a blessing was not to be. DW's physical condition limits our social life to almost nothing but we don't miss it. - jakMy wife and I are in our early 50's, been married and really enjoy not having children. We are childless by choice. We were so busy with work, saving for retirement, traveling, activities that we thought children would be a lot of extra trouble. Let's face it, when you have kids you never know what your getting. There is a LOT of mental illness in my family. All of my brother's and sisters have kids with problems, from schizophrenia, depression, to chronic rage syndrome. I never made a lot of money and if we'd had kids I think it would have made it impossible to save any money. One time my aunt and uncle visited us and asked us if we minded not having kids. I think they were childless because they just couldn't have kids. I told them that not having kids could be considered a blessing. - Art
Let's face it, when you have kids you never know what your getting. True, but it's also true when you get married. When we were married 24 years ago, I had no idea that DH would be diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, panic, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and whatever else is wrong with him. He is in constant pain and can't really work or drive any more, and he loves to work, although just part time. We're making the rounds of doctors to see if there's anything more that can be done for him, but it's beginning to look as if he'll just be in pain until he dies at a ripe old age -- and he's only 45 now.I'm awfully glad we have our kids. They are a source of great joy to us, even the one who is going through a difficult time and drives us nuts. But hey, as you know, your mileage not only may vary, it does vary.phantomdiver
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