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Subject:  Re: What it takes to escape work??? Date:  5/17/2004  10:51 AM
Author:  decath Number:  558 of 1929

Also, I didn't see if the $65K recommended applied to a family of four, a retired couple or a single person. A retired single person could live like a millionaire on $65K. (I could).

With FIRE on the horizon of 7-9 years, my wife and often find ourselves observing the lifestyles of those in my neighborhood, while comparing their's to ours.

For example:
Cars: Us - 9 YO Honda Civic for me; 4 YO Honda CRV (both paid off); HS son uses my car occasionally; college age daughter is paying for her own 8 YO Honda civic
Them - SUV's; new 20k+ cars every 3 or 4 years; each 16 YO up has at least a 10k+ car or pickup

Home: US - Not exactly LBYM but because of making extra payments on our home, we are around 50% equity with a pretty small P&I payment of $715 per month on a home valued at 270k.
Them - 300k - 600k homes all around us; enormous payments of $2000+. My neighbor next door paid $2800 in P&I and he is a fireman and his wife is a school teacher. He spends his off hours doing side jobs as a gutter installer just so he can make his 4 car payments and the house payment
consumer debt Us - none!
Them - The few I've talk to have continuous large credit card payments each month. They give my puzzled looks when I tell them we pay off our CC balance each month
Furniture and play things: Us - look for used and do the refurbishing ourselves. Bought 2 $500 mountain bikes for me and my wife and we use them almost every week.
Them - buy brand new on the CC. The playthings (boats, ATVs etc..) get used occasionally but for the most part sit in the garage since the owners are working all the time to pay for everything.

I could continue but you get my point. My neighbor and extended family lifestyle's eat up 67k per year plus some. My family with a SAHM & kids, by living frugally and spending money on the things that matter the most to us, am able to save around 30% to FIRE investments and another 12% to my E-Fund off of just my annual income.


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