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At the beginning of a new year, I like to develop a target spending amount for that years wants and needs. To address the wants, I make out a "wish list" and then I go through and priortize it. In past years, I could easily pay for everything on the wish list and still save for FIRE. However, post-FIRE it is different--to do everything on this list would mean that I would need to go back to work. So for each item on my list, I have come up with a viable alternative that could fit into my current SWR. It helps me see that I truly have choices: RWOL or go back to work for a while.
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So for each item on my list, I have come up with a viable alternative that could fit into my current SWR.

Would you be willing to post some examples? I for one would find it very useful.

Thanks.


dreamer
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dreamer asks,

Would you be willing to post some examples? I for one would find it very useful.



- My dishwasher gave up the ghost last year and getting a new one is on my wish list. I want stainless steel one and had originally budgeted $800 for a new one. The alternative I came up with is to simply wash my dishes by hand until I can find a good used one for $300 or less.

- Another item on my wish list is purchasing storage cabinets. My cheaper alternative is to remove the need for the cabinets by throwing stuff away.
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- My dishwasher gave up the ghost last year and getting a new one is on my wish list. I want stainless steel one and had originally budgeted $800 for a new one. The alternative I came up with is to simply wash my dishes by hand until I can find a good used one for $300 or less.

If you are lucky, there is a Sears Appliance Outlet near you. They have "damaged" (usually very minor cosmetic) appliances that are still new and covered by the manufacturer's warranty. I first expected major damage and little discount but found very minor damage (had to have them point out the "dent" on my washer and dryer) and major discount from the cost of new. Selection is heavily weighted towards Kenmore but it is a great way to get high-end appliances at entry level prices.

My dishwasher has been dead for about 8 months... I think I may hit Sears' Outlet before long myself.

FoolNBlue (With dishpan hands)
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<< In past years, I could easily pay for everything on the wish list and still save for FIRE. However, post-FIRE it is different--to do everything on this list would mean that I would need to go back to work. So for each item on my list, I have come up with a viable alternative that could fit into my current SWR. It helps me see that I truly have choices: RWOL or go back to work for a while.

>>


Interesting. May I ask what kinds of activities are getting screened out of your retirement budget, and how much you might miss them. Heh, heh ---- not enough to go back to work, apparently!



Seattle Pioneer
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<<- Another item on my wish list is purchasing storage cabinets. My cheaper alternative is to remove the need for the cabinets by throwing stuff away.
>>


Heh, heh! My theory is that storage containers and stuff are the SPAWN OF THE DEVIL!


I was in a retail shop that specialized in selling container stuff a couple of years ago. A sales clerk asked me if she could help me, and I replied with the line I gave above.

Well ---that set her back on her heels a bit until she decided I was kidding, and then she stage whispered back, "Yes, but don't tell anyone or we'll all be out of a job!"


Pretty funny, I thought.



Seattle Pioneer
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<<My dishwasher has been dead for about 8 months... I think I may hit Sears' Outlet before long myself.

FoolNBlue (With dishpan hands)
>>


My dishwasher died ten years ago or more. I prefer washing dishes by hand, and it gives me the chance to use rainwater from my rainbarrels rather than citiwater.

So my present aim is to let the old dishwasher retire in place until I eventually sell the old homestead. I would replace the dishwasher at that time, and that would probably justify buying a new dishwasher as a replacement.



Seattle Pioneer
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My dishwasher died ten years ago or more. I prefer washing dishes by hand, and it gives me the chance to use rainwater from my rainbarrels rather than citiwater.

So my present aim is to let the old dishwasher retire in place until I eventually sell the old homestead. I would replace the dishwasher at that time, and that would probably justify buying a new dishwasher as a replacement.
-Seattle Pioneer

You've mentioned washing dishes with cistern water before. It is the only thing you've mentioned on the boards in all the years I've "known" you that I thought "eww." At least you don't use gray water.

Since I live alone I often wash by hand even with a working dishwasher (obviously it isn't that important to me -I've wasted more than the cost of replacing it on toys since it broke). However, I think a full load probably uses less water than doing a full load by hand. Also, I prefer to clean things "contaminated" with raw meat in the dishwasher where they will get cooked!

My dad will be visiting next week so I may go ahead and replace it when I have a second set of hands available. I'd have to replace it before I sell the house anyway so I may as well get some use out of it myself in the meantime.

FoolNBlue
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SP,

So far I've screened out a second "toy" car, a newish Porsche Boxster S, late '80s Ferrari 328 GTS, or '71 MB 280 SL. A late '68 Ferrari 330 GTC remains on my distant list.

Boy, if you have to wait to buy a dishwasher, you really are living too close to the edge for me -- I'd rather work. A study showed that a subtantial proportion of the "homeless" folks are homeless more or less by choice, i.e. for various reasons thay would rather not work or live with their parents. I suppose homelessness can be thought of as an extension of RE.

db
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<<You've mentioned washing dishes with cistern water before. It is the only thing you've mentioned on the boards in all the years I've "known" you that I thought "eww." At least you don't use gray water.

>>


Heh, heh! I like my rain barrels. In reading about the use of cisterns, I've seen suggestions that the first runoff of rainwater that washes a roof after a dry spell be discarded as, well, wash water. I don't really have a way of doing that.

I suppose that creates a small risk of contaminated water, primarily from bird droppings on a roof. I suppose a reasonable person might "eww" to that.

I consider water harvesting to be a hobby in a small way, and quite a few people's hobbys contain elements of risk. So far from what I've read, such risks are small, and they are risks I accept.


<< Also, I prefer to clean things "contaminated" with raw meat in the dishwasher where they will get cooked!
>>

My understanding is that "hot" water in dishwashers (max 180 degrees) isn't going to reliably kill food bacteria. When canning non acid foods, food must be steamed under pressure to 250 degrees or so for several minutes to kill off bacteria. The detergent and hot water probably do a pretty good job of washing bacteria away though.


I keep a separate plastic cutting board for poultry. Everything else gets cut up on a decent wood cutting board, which gets washed more or less everytime I wash dishes. I consider myself to be reasonably careful about cross contamination of food and about bacterial risks in preparing food. I haven't studied up in detail to identify weaknesses though.

As I understand it, bacterial contamination from beef and pork isn't that much of a risk, and using and cleaning a wood cutting board is reasonably safe for that purpose.



Seattle Pioneer
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hey FnB
I'd have to replace it before I sell the house anyway so I may as well get some use out of it myself in the meantime

you could remove it, slap a door on the front of the space and call it Devil Spawn :-)

Ralph
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you could remove it, slap a door on the front of the space and call it Devil Spawn :-)

Cute.

I'll replace it eventually, not a rush. I do miss it occasionally, especially when I have company over for dinner. As it is now, the dishwasher is a crumb collector. I have my coffee pot on the counter above it. On mornings when I spill grounds, I open the door and push them off the counter and into the D/W. I recon I have a few hundred years before it gets full and I have to remove it.

FoolNBlue (Finding utility in all kinds of junk)
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SP wonders,

Interesting. May I ask what kinds of activities are getting screened out of your retirement budget, and how much you might miss them. Heh, heh ---- not enough to go back to work, apparently!


As I look at my budget, I mostly screened out buying things as opposed to activities. I gave up cable TV and high speed internet access--miss them but like you said not enough to go back to work!
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Boy, if you have to wait to buy a dishwasher, you really are living too close to the edge for me

They're not waiting to buy a dishwasher because they don't have the money, but because they're waiting for a good deal to come along.

For example, my old sweatpants are falling apart so I've been looking for a new pair. I'm not going to pay for a pair that aren't perfect for me, nor am I willing to pay $100 for a fancy pair, even though I'm perfectly able to afford $100. I recently located a pair that fit me and look great, and I waited a few weeks until they were on sale and used a gift card for the purchase.

That's not living close to the edge, it's more like delaying gratification in order to save money and get a better deal.
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Giving up cable -- well, I'll give up cable just as soon as DirectTV is permitted to beam down ABC and NBC to the Santa Barbara area -- and high speed internet, waiting to replace sweat pants or a dishwasher. I thought the originating idea of this board was retiring well, not eking by with minimal expense. As I understand it, FIRE stands for financially independant, retired early, but FI seems to have gotten lost in these posts. As I've said in a prior post, the subset of homeless folks who rebel against working could be thought of as an extension of RE, and living on the street will really save you money.

db
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FoolNBlue writes:

If you are lucky, there is a Sears Appliance Outlet near you.

Actually, if she is lucky, there won't be a Sears Appliance Outlet near her so she won't be tempted to buy anything from Sears.

Recently, for the third time in my life, I swore never to buy anything but handtools again from Sears. I think it will probably stick this time. Sears is often cheaper up front but they are more expensive in the long run.

- tmeri
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Recently, for the third time in my life, I swore never to buy anything but handtools again from Sears. I think it will probably stick this time. Sears is often cheaper up front but they are more expensive in the long run

Huh, so if you buy a GE appliance from Sears it is more likely to break than from Toms Appliance Barn? I doubt it. Most of the appliances are Kenmore in their outlet and Kenmore Brands usually compare favorably in Consumer Report's repair histories.

I can say that I've had my washer and dryer for 2 years and have had no problem (and wouldn't be able to find the "damage" if you paid me too -but I'd make something up if you were paying!). I bought high-end Kenmore for what a entry-level GE would have cost new.

FoolNBlue (Who hasn't been burned by Sears yet.. although they came close on his mower)
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Huh, so if you buy a GE appliance from Sears it is more likely to break than from Toms Appliance Barn?

Yes. You have to dig into what's going on here. Too much to tell you in writing, but suffice it to say that Sears has GE, Whirlpool, etc. manufacture things "differently" (meaning different parts/part numbers) so that you cannot get replacement parts without going through Sears. Then Sears has the manufacturer change the design periodically, so that you can't get older parts because they are no longer being made. When that part breaks, bingo, you're going to have to buy a new appliance.

Of course, Sears will have the cheapest....


Remember that song, "There's a hole, in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza..." Same thing.


Most of the appliances are Kenmore

Therein lies the problem. GE makes it, puts Kenmore brand on it. Don't buy it. I don't care what CU says, I've been burned. Everyone I know has figured this out, I just wish I would have stuck with my guns the first time I swore off of Sears.

Come back and let us know when you do, though. ;-)

- tmeri
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Actually, if she is lucky, there won't be a Sears Appliance Outlet near her so she won't be tempted to buy anything from Sears.

Recently, for the third time in my life, I swore never to buy anything but handtools again from Sears. I think it will probably stick this time. Sears is often cheaper up front but they are more expensive in the long run.


I can't believe I'm sticking up for Sears.

We just recently replaced our dryer. It was a 16 year old Kenmore, purcahsed just before my son was born. We bought a washer at the same time, and it is still going strong. In our limited experience the cheap Kenmore models just keep working.

tutone
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<<Giving up cable -- well, I'll give up cable just as soon as DirectTV is permitted to beam down ABC and NBC to the Santa Barbara area -- and high speed internet, waiting to replace sweat pants or a dishwasher. I thought the originating idea of this board was retiring well, not eking by with minimal expense. As I understand it, FIRE stands for financially independant, retired early, but FI seems to have gotten lost in these posts. As I've said in a prior post, the subset of homeless folks who rebel against working could be thought of as an extension of RE, and living on the street will really save you money.

db
>>


Well --- I'll certainly grant you that retiring early and foolish spending patterns rarely go together.



Seattle Pioneer
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At the beginning of a new year, I like to develop a target spending amount for that years wants and needs. To address the wants, I make out a "wish list" and then I go through and priortize it. In past years, I could easily pay for everything on the wish list and still save for FIRE. However, post-FIRE it is different--to do everything on this list would mean that I would need to go back to work. So for each item on my list, I have come up with a viable alternative that could fit into my current SWR. It helps me see that I truly have choices: RWOL or go back to work for a while.

That is the main reason we have the online business. We like our toys. We could retire on Hubby's retirement amount only and if we scrimped on enough things, we could get by, but we like our toys. My husband is an over-grown 12yo (and I've had people tell me I give him too much credit for that), and I'm not very far behind. Kids of all ages LOVE coming to our house, including teens. It's like one big video arcade, movie theatre, and playground. Hubby even has steering wheels and pedals for the networked computers so they can play NASCAR and race against eash other.
So we have the business. It earns us some income, and allows us to write off a lot of the toys we are going to buy anyway. Because we like our toys so much, we can also take the business anywhere with us as we are traveling.
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- Another item on my wish list is purchasing storage cabinets. My cheaper alternative is to remove the need for the cabinets by throwing stuff away.

Or selling it (ebay, yard sale, etc.) and make some money at the same time.
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If you are lucky, there is a Sears Appliance Outlet near you. They have "damaged" (usually very minor cosmetic) appliances that are still new and covered by the manufacturer's warranty. I first expected major damage and little discount but found very minor damage (had to have them point out the "dent" on my washer and dryer) and major discount from the cost of new. Selection is heavily weighted towards Kenmore but it is a great way to get high-end appliances at entry level prices.

Ooooh, I LOVE Sears Scratch-n-Dent!! We got our refrigerator from them. It was originally $1200, but it had a huge visible scratch on the side, so it was marked down to $599. Our kitchen is designed so that the fridge slides into a cubby hole. Little more than half price for a fridge with a scratch that will never be seen anyway??!! WooHoo!!
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So far I've screened out a second "toy" car, a newish Porsche Boxster S, late '80s Ferrari 328 GTS, or '71 MB 280 SL. A late '68 Ferrari 330 GTC remains on my distant list.

We have an Austin-Healey. Unfortunately, it is in pieces and not much more than a pile of rust - but we have one!!
Kathleen
(trying desperately to get Hubby to get rid of it)
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My understanding is that "hot" water in dishwashers (max 180 degrees) isn't going to reliably kill food bacteria. When canning non acid foods, food must be steamed under pressure to 250 degrees or so for several minutes to kill off bacteria. The detergent and hot water probably do a pretty good job of washing bacteria away though.

I do a lot of canning and the "several minutes" is usually a minimum of 15 minutes. Most dishwashers do not run any hot water that long, but the soaps usually contain anti-bacterials of some type, so it sort of evens out.

I keep a separate plastic cutting board for poultry. Everything else gets cut up on a decent wood cutting board, which gets washed more or less everytime I wash dishes. I consider myself to be reasonably careful about cross contamination of food and about bacterial risks in preparing food. I haven't studied up in detail to identify weaknesses though.

I use the disposable cutting sheets for meats. I absolutely love them, the clean-up is so easy and you never have to worry about cross-contamination of any type. My wood board gets used mainly for bread and occasionally for a small veggie. I have a large plastic board that I use for my usual amount of veggies (20lbs of onions at one time, etc.).
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At one time, we had 7 cars: '58 VW, '67 Ferrari 330 GTC, '69 MB 280 SL, '70 Porsche 911, '71 MB 300S 6.3, '87 Jag sedan, '89 MB 300E. Then the VW and 911 were replaced with a '85 Ferrari 308 GTS; the 300S and 300E were replaced with a '95 320E wagon; the Jag sedan was replaced with a '89 560 SL; the '85 308 was replaced with a '90 Ferrari Testarossa.

Now we have only a 2000 MB 320E wagon, a nice general-purpose car to live with. But the climate is so fair in Santa Barbara, and there are so many rural roads we drive daily, a roadster is seemly.

db
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Yes. You have to dig into what's going on here. Too much to tell you in writing, but suffice it to say that Sears has GE, Whirlpool, etc. manufacture things "differently" (meaning different parts/part numbers) so that you cannot get replacement parts without going through Sears. Then Sears has the manufacturer change the design periodically, so that you can't get older parts because they are no longer being made. When that part breaks, bingo, you're going to have to buy a new appliance.


I think you may need to double-check your facts. I have a dishwasher that I bought at Sears, and I had it repaired and a part replaced by Mr. Local Dishwasher Repair Guy with a generic part.

Therein lies the problem. GE makes it, puts Kenmore brand on it. Don't buy it. I don't care what CU says, I've been burned. Everyone I know has figured this out, I just wish I would have stuck with my guns the first time I swore off of Sears.

I'm sorry you've had bad luck with them, but I've had wonderful luck with their appliances.
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At one time, we had 7 cars: '58 VW, '67 Ferrari 330 GTC, '69 MB 280 SL, '70 Porsche 911, '71 MB 300S 6.3, '87 Jag sedan, '89 MB 300E. Then the VW and 911 were replaced with a '85 Ferrari 308 GTS; the 300S and 300E were replaced with a '95 320E wagon; the Jag sedan was replaced with a '89 560 SL; the '85 308 was replaced with a '90 Ferrari Testarossa.

Now we have only a 2000 MB 320E wagon, a nice general-purpose car to live with. But the climate is so fair in Santa Barbara, and there are so many rural roads we drive daily, a roadster is seemly.


Want to adopt me?
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I thought the originating idea of this board was retiring well, not eking by with minimal expense. As I understand it, FIRE stands for financially independant, retired early, but FI seems to have gotten lost in these posts. As I've said in a prior post, the subset of homeless folks who rebel against working could be thought of as an extension of RE, and living on the street will really save you money.

db, did you miss the complete name of the board? It is Retire Well On Less. Most people would not associate giving up cable TV with being akin to, say, having no indoor toilet, or living in a cardboard box.

I realize it is all a matter of perspective. I just don't think cable/satellite TV is going fall in the category of "essential" for many people.

- tmeri
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I think you may need to double-check your facts.

No. I have already triple-checked my facts.

- tmeri
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I realize it is all a matter of perspective. I just don't think cable/satellite TV is going fall in the category of "essential" for many people.

If I plan on staying married, it is.
Kathleen
(married to a sweet, wonderful, couch potato)
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If I plan on staying married, it is.

Awww. You've got a good guy; he's surely worth paying for cable!

- tmeri
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Awww. You've got a good guy; he's surely worth paying for cable!

I think that's what I said. Besides, cable is one of the cheapest toys he's got.
Kathleen
(whose sweet, lovable couch potato is also an overgrown 12yo with expensive tastes)
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I realize it is all a matter of perspective. I just don't think cable/satellite TV is going fall in the category of "essential" for many people.

- tmeri


It sure doesn't in MY house! We aren't retired yet, and I won't admit to some of the things we blow money on. But cable/satellite/etc isn't on our list (though we do subscribe to Netflix - half the cost of cable and better stuff).

And as far as "eeking by", as always that's relative. Washing one's own dishes (of one isn't serving 4 people 3 meals a day) isn't a big deal. And if that saves you $xxx dollars that you could instead spend on a great trip, then it's brilliant.

All of life involves trade offs. And there are many things that one person finds essential but another person wouldn't want even for free (cable is something I refuse to have in my house at any price).

On the one hand, some people wouldn't live without those little comforts just for the ability to retire earlier.

On the other hand, some people wouldn't work an extra 5 or 10 years just to have those little things.
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Retire Well On Less

I just don't think cable/satellite TV is going fall in the category of "essential" for many people.

I understand this issue is highly individual but being an avid sports fan, I enjoy my cable/satellite that provides me with plenty of viewing options for my favorite sports, as well as things I did not even realize were sports. :-)

Each person needs to find that balance between well and on less. And that balance will be different for each unique person. Personally, I am not sure I would consider being retired well unless I can afford this and some of my other interests.

dt
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On the one hand, some people wouldn't live without those little comforts just for the ability to retire earlier.

On the other hand, some people wouldn't work an extra 5 or 10 years just to have those little things.


What's wrong with both?
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Personally, I am not sure I would consider being retired well unless I can afford this and some of my other interests.


Apparently, you have not had a job from hell yet. I used to think I needed a much higher standard of living than I have now, until I had a few really really bad experiences with working. That has opened my eyes to a new view on what is really required to live happily. Believe me, it is probably much less than you think.

I do agree with you that the balance is different for each person. I just wanted to point out that I've been where you are, and now I'm here in a different place, and my wants had nothing to do with me moving. It was all external. I would not wish my life experiences on anyone, though.

- tmeri
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<<<On the one hand, some people wouldn't live without those little comforts just for the ability to retire earlier.

On the other hand, some people wouldn't work an extra 5 or 10 years just to have those little things. >>>>

What's wrong with both?

What's wrong with working longer to have more money AND doing without the things you could buy with more money?

Well, unless you plan to leave an inheritance to someone it sounds like a dreadful waste of time and life.

Of course there are many people who intend to work until they drop and who will then live on next to nothing due to poor planning. But they probably aren't participating in any discussion board whose name includes the word "retire" nor in any community dedicated to managing one's finances.
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Personally, I am not sure I would consider being retired well unless I can afford this and some of my other interests.

For me it would be books, rather than TV. But I don't think I'd be happily retired without them.

OTOH, I can buy a LOT of used books for $50/month or whatever cable costs these days.

I will also want to travel and dine well. But I'd rather do less of it and start earlier, rather than work longer so I could do it more often.

It helps that I like my job. But I still don't intend to work longer than I have to to finance the retirement I want. But the retirement I want includes some luxuries.
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What's wrong with working longer to have more money AND doing without the things you could buy with more money?

Well, unless you plan to leave an inheritance to someone it sounds like a dreadful waste of time and life.

Of course there are many people who intend to work until they drop and who will then live on next to nothing due to poor planning. But they probably aren't participating in any discussion board whose name includes the word "retire" nor in any community dedicated to managing one's finances.


I think it's funny that you use this in a reply to one of my posts.
Kathleen
(considering myself retired since I was 36)
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I think it's funny that you use this in a reply to one of my posts.
Kathleen
(considering myself retired since I was 36)


I replied to yours, because you raised the subject of "both." All my other comments were just my usual ranting, not directed at you.
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I replied to yours, because you raised the subject of "both." All my other comments were just my usual ranting, not directed at you.

BTW, my "both" comment meant why not have both the toys and retire early?
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BTW, my "both" comment meant why not have both the toys and retire early?

Yes, of course it did. That's what I was responding to.

Not everyone can save or inherit enough to have everything they want, exactly when the want it. Most people have to make some choices along the way.

If you managed, in your 30's, to be able to retire with enough money for everything you want, bully for you. But since that isn't an option for most of the world, please try to work within the parameters we have.
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Sorry, the sarcasm evidently wasn't clear in my first post. And in reviewing my response to this one, it wasn't clear enough either. Let me try again:

Yes, we would all love to retire early and still be able to buy everything we want. But reality intrudes, so we have to make choices.
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