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No. of Recommendations: 8
It would be interesting to hear from others that took the bare bones option (like the 20-22k) instead of waiting for the more comfortable one like my current plan entails.

That would be me. A household of one, I retired on less then I had planned (15-17k vs 25k plus house replacement fund).

So back to Leolo's original question: If had could do it over again would I still RE on a bare bones budget? The answer is a resounding "YES"!

I have been retired for 1.5 years now. I definitely now live a low stress life. Since I've LBMM while I was working and did a good job of projecting my ER spending, there haven't been too many surprises. So I say that one of my success factors is that my overall lifestyle hasn't changed even though I live on a bare bones budget. Perhaps you could try out your bare bones approach while you are still working to see if you really can tolerate it.

When I was working, I made a good wage and had low fixed expenses. Even after savings, I had a lot of discretionary funds. So if I had a problem, I had a tendency to just throw money at it. Now that I live on a bare bones budget, I may not have that option and have to think more creatively. Some might find this stressful—I find it fun.

Another potential stressor is a feeling of loosing control. An example of this is worrying about whether or not entitlement programs like Medicare or SSN will disappear after I'm too old to work. This is how I deal: I am using my belief system to reach a place where I realize that having control is just an illusion. I think this is a healthy place to be. After all as we age we all ultimately reach that realization at some time---so why not learn while we are still young. This doesn't mean I won't do something to deal with the issue—I just don't stress about it.
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