The Intersection of FIRE and Disney

4luv2cdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Getting to Financial Independence, even if you don't Retire Early is a great spot to be in. To me, it means you have choices - which is always a great thing.

I like sharing with people that it is possible, and with far less money and far less time than is normal.

I always expected to retire at a normal age. So still cackle to myself that we were able to hack it to retire before I turned 40.

I am not minimalistic enough to say that I would choose to live at my current spend level if I had unlimited money unlike some - but in a money vs time tradeoff, I am perfectly content with less money not to have to work every day.

That's fantastic! Congrats!
 

Starport Seven-Five

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Getting to Financial Independence, even if you don't Retire Early is a great spot to be in. To me, it means you have choices - which is always a great thing.
One thing that I wish more considered is that many don't get to choose when they retire. I feel like everyone should have a bare minimum of reaching FI by age 55 to avoid the stress of job hunting near retirement age.

I am not minimalistic enough to say that I would choose to live at my current spend level if I had unlimited money unlike some - but in a money vs time tradeoff, I am perfectly content with less money not to have to work every day.
This is something I still battle with. I have a few very expensive items on my "want" list but I'm trying to put them off until we are close to FI. I figure at that point it'll be a very simple equation of "Is it worth working 1 more year to buy a 911?"
 

elaine amj

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
I think we managed so well partly because we had such a short "want" list. But man oh man - after a year of lockdown, I'm longing to redecorate. And since stocks did so well during the pandemic, I actually have the money to do so "properly".

But I am dying a bit at the cost of a a large sectional for $1500-2500 (Cdn). Most of my couches cost me $300. My most expensive couch was purchased 2 yrs ago for $600 and I hate it. The other couch in my living room cost me $50 at a yard sale and still makes me smile. As for refurnishing the rest of the house, ouch, ouch and more ouch. I'm gasping a bit at how much " grown up" furniture costs. Not sure I can do it - still haunting listings for secondhand furniture.

I dunno. This spending thing is crazy. I just spent a $100 on a pair of waterproof trail running shoes. Never spent more than $30-50 before. And then $40 for running shorts. Eek! All my other stuff is $1-5 from thrift stores.

All these "must-haves" are going to kill my annual expenses lol. They are generally well-considered purchases. But man, do they add up. I am getting a bit too spendy and feel the need to tighten up a bit more. Just don't want to go too miserly and living with too inconveniently (like I have the tendency to do).
 

tzolkin

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
I dunno. This spending thing is crazy. I just spent a $100 on a pair of waterproof trail running shoes. Never spent more than $30-50 before.
Sometimes I also have a difficult time spending money. I try to weigh out whether the item is worth it. Your redecorating is more subjective because it will be more like “will my family get enough enjoyment out of this $2000 sectional to justify the purchase?”

Your shoe example tends to be a bit easier for me. More expensive is not always better quality, so you will need to do a bit of research. But I tend to find that “good” shoes are actually cheaper in the long run. My sister and I have had this conversation multiple times. She won’t buy an expensive pair of shoes because her family “goes through them too fast”. But, from my experience the more expensive shoes last longer. If you need to buy a pair of $25 sneakers every 3-6mos, a $100 pair that lasts several years is actually cheaper over the same amount of time. My husband and I have some shoes that last 10+ years.
 

georgina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Just don't want to go too miserly and living with too inconveniently (like I have the tendency to do).
I'm sure a lot of us have spending issues. We're retired and comfortable but have watched our spending all our lives. Just moved into a smaller townhouse, and our old sofa and recliner wouldn't fit well. So we splurged on a fancy electric reclining sofa (was comical when the power went out last Friday night!). We bought a good brand on sale that should last, probably the last sofa we will ever buy.

Shoes are the one clothing item I spend on to get good brands. I go through 2 pairs of Asics a year with walking, and need a particular model because of my feet/knees. I treat myself to a new pair of Haflinger slippers every year; I wear them year-round. Sandals are Keens and Merrill, walking leather shoes are Clarks. Having just moved I decided I may never have to buy any clothing ever again except for socks and underwear, I have too much.

Some things are just worth spending on, we all have to decide what those are. Travel is still our biggest expense
 

elaine amj

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
I agree in many ways. I am quite picky about running shoes (because I walk/run frequently and have messed up my feet before). I joke that I am an Adidas addict - usually walk out with 5-7 pairs for my family when there is a good sale. But I have always been able to find good quality shoes on clearance for $30-50. My last pair of waterproof Teva trail running shoes were awesome - and scored at a athletic goods warehouse sale in a clearance bin for just $30.

This time I can't shop around so much due to the lockdown (even without it, we'd be staying home anyway). And since I hike on trails a lot, waterproof shoes have bumped up my "need" list so I finally decided to pay more.

Also really missing my thrift stores lol.
 

AmyAnne

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
I'm sure a lot of us have spending issues. We're retired and comfortable but have watched our spending all our lives. Just moved into a smaller townhouse, and our old sofa and recliner wouldn't fit well. So we splurged on a fancy electric reclining sofa (was comical when the power went out last Friday night!). We bought a good brand on sale that should last, probably the last sofa we will ever buy.

Shoes are the one clothing item I spend on to get good brands. I go through 2 pairs of Asics a year with walking, and need a particular model because of my feet/knees. I treat myself to a new pair of Haflinger slippers every year; I wear them year-round. Sandals are Keens and Merrill, walking leather shoes are Clarks. Having just moved I decided I may never have to buy any clothing ever again except for socks and underwear, I have too much.

Some things are just worth spending on, we all have to decide what those are. Travel is still our biggest expense
Do you mind sharing what brand sofa you bought? We have been looking to upgrade ours for while but I am so stuck on deciding what is worth the cost--I am prepared to splurge but only for something of sufficient quality.
 
  • georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Do you mind sharing what brand sofa you bought? We have been looking to upgrade ours for while but I am so stuck on deciding what is worth the cost--I am prepared to splurge but only for something of sufficient quality.
    Well as usual reviews are all over the place, but we went with the Flexsteel. It wasn't a huge splurge as sofas go (but a lot for us) about 2500 + tax on sale. I am liking the leather more than I thought I would, and the power recline is fun. Since we've only had it a month I can't comment on the longevity but as 2 retirees we are pretty gentle on furniture. I am always cautious about recommending anything because someone else may get a lemon!
     

    AmyAnne

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2012
    Well as usual reviews are all over the place, but we went with the Flexsteel. It wasn't a huge splurge as sofas go (but a lot for us) about 2500 + tax on sale. I am liking the leather more than I thought I would, and the power recline is fun. Since we've only had it a month I can't comment on the longevity but as 2 retirees we are pretty gentle on furniture. I am always cautious about recommending anything because someone else may get a lemon!
    Thanks. I'm not sure about leather with our cats--we have two dining room chairs (yes, only two, it's a long story) that have leather seats and the cats scratched them a bit before I could cover them, although that was many years ago when the cats were little. They have pretty much left the furniture alone once we found other things they like to scratch on. And I promise not to blame you if we do get Flexsteel and end up with a lemon. Having researched mattresses lately, I am quite convinced that even the best company produces a bad product at some point.
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    We have a leather couch and chair--probably 20 years old now--that have stood up well to pets. We do have a cover on the couch now, but that's mostly because the dog (a) loves that couch; and (b) the dog likes to "dig" on it, and we don't want her ruining the couch. I love that couch! Just try getting the dog off of it!
     

    4luv2cdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2008
    Been really trying hard to wrap my mind around a realistic retirement budget.

    Good news: "found" another small pension. Bad news: I can't even come close to figuring out what it will payout. lol

    I'm completely confused about medical coverage post retirement. Seems like once you qualify for medicare, you still need some sort of gap coverage, correct? How much does that cost (any kind of ballpark would be helpful).

    Unfortunately, I'm realizing that our post retirement expenses don't seem like they are going to be all that much lower than our empty nest expenses. (We don't have an empty nest yet, so it's still a reduction from current!) DH has a company car, gas card, ipass, phone......all that he can use for personal as well. We don't pay anything for health insurance and have very low deductibles on OOP portion. So, we will have to add all that back in I guess. Also, most of our retirement contributions are employer paid, so it's not like that gets redirected to our monthly spending. Ugh! Looks like we are still very much on track regardless, but I was thinking our expenses would really shrink and it's just not so.
     
  • Bobb_o

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2015
    @4luv2cdisney you definitely need to figure out what that pension will pay out. Is there not someone you can contact for more info?

    I'm not well versed but for medicare there's part a (hospital stuff) part b (non hospital type stuff) and then you can buy supplemental which will cover things like dental, vision, etc. I believe there's also medicare advantage plans which are private companies basically taking over the government's responsibility to provide you part a and b along with some other stuff. I'm pretty sure all of this depends on your income and state.

    For your reduction in expenses start taking a look at things, is the company car you're only car? If you have two now do you need two in the future? For phone service there's plenty of low cost options that may suit your needs.

    You should also think about how your tax bill will change, there's a decent chance without really knowing your situation that you will have a much lower effective rate. Your standard deduction is 24k for married filing jointly and capital gains is 0% on the first 80k. This means you can have a significant amount of income without having to pay any taxes on it.

    What you think of your income now may not be that accurate either. As an example if a couple made 200k gross you might be saving 15% in a 401k (30k) which leaves you with $170k which you'd pay roughly 17% federal taxes (29k) leaving you with a take home of 141k. The thing to remember here is you don't need 200k to maintain that lifestyle, you'd only need a max of take home 141k and if we said if your effective tax rate shrank down to 12% you'd only need 158k. Long story short your income stream may be 21% less than your working income but would give you the same amount of cash to spend on your expenses at the end of the day.

    Take this all with a grain of salt and know that each situation is different. There's plenty of info out there and all it takes is time and effort to plan.
     

    Starport Seven-Five

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2019
    After an exceptionally bad week last week I decided to finally sit down and calculate our actual time to FI. Previously we had just tracked our progress towards a number thrown at a dart board knowing we needed at least that before RE was an option.

    Found that we're 35 months away from covering all household expenses assuming some pretty low numbers for our side businesses. I find that both encouraging and depressing haha.
     

    Bobb_o

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2015
    After an exceptionally bad week last week I decided to finally sit down and calculate our actual time to FI. Previously we had just tracked our progress towards a number thrown at a dart board knowing we needed at least that before RE was an option.

    Found that we're 35 months away from covering all household expenses assuming some pretty low numbers for our side businesses. I find that both encouraging and depressing haha.
    I'd be jumping for joy if I was 3 years away.
     

    QueenIsabella

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2016
    We recently got our monthly statements for April. We know that every month is different, but in April, at least, our investments gained more in the month than DH makes in a year. This is great news for those in our family who (a) plan to go to college in the next few years, and (b) love to travel. We were explaining to DS15 last night, how our goal isn't to leave him buckets of money so much as to be able to pay for long-term care, should we need it (we call it the "Million Dollar Disease" fund). And, should we die quickly and easily, he and his siblings are welcome to whatever's left.

    On another note, we got yet another offer from our bank to refinance. While we would get a slightly lower rate, we're currently at 3.625%. Dropping to 3.25% wouldn't save us much, especially when you count in closing costs. Plus, we plan to pay off the mortgage before DH retires (not in any rush, with that rate). That's in 9 years or so. So, I don't think there would be much of a payoff in refinancing. But, it's always good to run the numbers, as a mental exercise, if nothing else.
     

    georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I'm completely confused about medical coverage post retirement. Seems like once you qualify for medicare, you still need some sort of gap coverage, correct? How much does that cost (any kind of ballpark would be helpful).
    DH has medicare parts A & B, also D for drug coverage and a medigap plan. He pays a monthly premium for B, D, and his current medigap through AARP (United healthcare) is about $131 a month (it was $148 when we lived in PA).
    Part B has a set fee, might be $144 a month now?
    Part D will vary based on your plan, his is less than $20 a month, but covers most of his prescriptions completely.
    His AARP plan does not pay for the medicare deductible, which is pretty low (few hundred/yr maybe?) That price also goes up every year based on AARP's schedule. It does NOT include dental or vision, those might be in a medicare advantage plan but there are limitations on which doctor you can go to with those, and we travel frequently.
     

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