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I think you make a good point about not ever having traded up begin with.

I'm willing to guess that most people who retire early (say, anytime before 65), never really traded up either.

Although I've been frugal most of my life, I think of my life as somewhat "traded up" now, only because I still have a child at home, live in an expensive area and pay lots of taxes.

Arguably, some of this could have been avoided (don't tell my daughter! LOL), but also it was the expensive area that provided us with earning opportunities we definitely could not have found elsewhere -and of course, high taxes are part and parcel of a high income.

Two income households also tend to spend more on eating out and paying for time consuming maintenance activities (although this can be managed).

My thinking is that when we leave our current jobs, this area and our daughter is an adult - we will be in a much better position to scale back expenses.

I wouldn't classify most of my co-workers as profligate spenders, but they do seem to enjoy luxury vehicles and larger homes more than I would.

In that case, it occurred to me that they might need to replace their current income in retirement in order to maintain that lifestyle.

When I half-joked about being happy to retire to a double-wide down by the river, I was met with the telltale nervous giggles.

No matter, my other co-worker joked that as long as he could afford a trailer near a toxic waste dump, he'd be happy. LOL


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