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Subject:  Re: How much is enough? Date:  1/6/2011  2:44 PM
Author:  akck Number:  68103 of 98940

Since we have become retired we find our expenses have gone up, slightly. We now both have more leisure time. We travel more. We go to more movies (matinees, mostly). We entertain a bit more, and go to friends' houses for the same (bringing along a not-cheap-but-not-expensive bottle of wine). Health insurance has gone up, dramatically, obviously, since there is no employer.

And none of our other expenses have come down. We don't heat the house less, or feed the pets less, and Mrs. Goofy's volunteer activities mean she's driving more and contributing more to those causes than when she was just a "remote" supporter of them.

For me, health insurance is part of my retirement benefits, so we won't see increases there (we'll actually see a decrease). If that wasn't the case, we'd need a lot more for retirement. The clothes budget will go down as work clothes won't need to be replaced (granted, I don't replace that much each year). For us, commuting would be shorter for any activities and wouldn't be a daily thing. Lunches out would still happen, but should be less than while working. RetiredVermonter is one person I've followed that has shown you can retire on less if you need to do so.

We have a higher travel budget planned and hopefully we'll be able to live within it. If we end up moving, hopefully any increase in expenses (i.e., commute likely longer), will be offset by decreases in other expenses in our current location (i.e., less for food, travel). Housing will be the same or less (wife informed we won't be up-sizing in cost).

What it all comes down to is choices. You can choose to spend more or choose to spend less. If you have the income to spend more, great! If not, you either need to take steps to increase income or reduce expenses. Granted, sometimes you have little choice in some expenses (i.e., health insurance), but for most, there are ways to reduce costs in other areas.
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