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Fri Dec 14, 2018, 01:55 PM

You wanna live into your 90's? Retire early!

When I was 57 years old, the symptoms began with high heart rate, feeling faint at work in
the morning. My HMO doctor was actually good and had many tests ordered to find out why
I was experiencing those symptoms. First I had high blood pressure and secondly I was
border line diabetic.

So I retired at age 57, and began retirement and soon was bored out of my mind. My wife is a
dozen years younger than me, and was working at a full time job. I had a great job at a lab
funded by department of energy, but what good is having lots of money if you retire after 65
and the body is in bad shape. You will be spending lots of money on healthcare, which is #1
cause of bankruptcy in USA.

To keep busy, I joined a cheap private golf club and began playing golf 5 days a week.
At first I had a real hard time walking the 18 holes which is 5 miles minimum if you hit
straight, 7 miles for me because I was rarely in the fairway.

But I kept at it, and played 18 holes five times a week. I played with the senior group
who teed off every week-day mornings at 10am. Every one chipped in $3 and whoever
played best that day with handicap got most of the money. It was lot of fun. Golf is more
fun once you begin to break 90 every round.

Living cost is very cheap in retirement IF ONE STAYS HEALTHY. I get senior discounts
every where, including property tax breaks in Florida. Now at age 78, I have no health
problems, no heart attacks, no strokes, no back pain, no knee pain, no hip joint pain,
no arthritis, good blood pressure, good blood glucose level etc. Before I took up full time
golf, I was border line diabetic, had high blood pressure, had hip joint pain, got chest pain
after eating a good restaurant meal of red meat, and used to get panic attacks.

That 6 to 7 miles of walking 5 times every week has done wonders for my body. Now at age 78
my legs are still good enough to walk several miles every day. Reaching Age 100 is looking possible. I rarely see a doctor and last time I was in hospital was at age 50 to remove my gall bladder. My healthcare costs at age 78 are near zero. Actually my Humana Medicare advantage
plan pays me $55/month!

Moral of my story is....exercise (just walking several miles) is the best medicine. Retire early,
begin any exercise routine which does not bore you, and live a long pain free life!

65 replies, 1649 views

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Reply You wanna live into your 90's? Retire early! (Original post)
at140 Dec 2018 OP
Ponietz Dec 2018 #1
at140 Dec 2018 #2
FSogol Dec 2018 #3
at140 Dec 2018 #5
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #28
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2018 #4
at140 Dec 2018 #6
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2018 #9
at140 Dec 2018 #15
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2018 #20
at140 Dec 2018 #23
Coventina Dec 2018 #57
at140 Dec 2018 #59
Coventina Dec 2018 #60
at140 Dec 2018 #61
violetpastille Dec 2018 #19
LisaL Dec 2018 #7
at140 Dec 2018 #10
virgogal Dec 2018 #14
at140 Dec 2018 #16
demosincebirth Dec 2018 #32
at140 Dec 2018 #35
demosincebirth Dec 2018 #42
virgogal Dec 2018 #8
at140 Dec 2018 #12
Siwsan Dec 2018 #11
at140 Dec 2018 #13
Siwsan Dec 2018 #17
at140 Dec 2018 #18
lame54 Dec 2018 #21
safeinOhio Dec 2018 #22
at140 Dec 2018 #36
AnotherMother4Peace Dec 2018 #24
at140 Dec 2018 #37
keithbvadu2 Dec 2018 #25
Buckeye_Democrat Dec 2018 #26
TDale313 Dec 2018 #27
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #29
TDale313 Dec 2018 #30
violetpastille Dec 2018 #31
at140 Dec 2018 #38
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2018 #33
at140 Dec 2018 #34
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2018 #39
at140 Dec 2018 #40
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2018 #41
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #45
at140 Dec 2018 #47
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #43
PoindexterOglethorpe Dec 2018 #44
at140 Dec 2018 #48
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #50
SoCalDem Dec 2018 #56
Texasgal Dec 2018 #46
at140 Dec 2018 #49
Texasgal Dec 2018 #51
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #52
at140 Dec 2018 #54
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2018 #55
violetpastille Dec 2018 #53
Coventina Dec 2018 #58
Kali Dec 2018 #62
at140 Dec 2018 #63
Kali Dec 2018 #64
at140 Dec 2018 #65

Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:06 PM

1. ...and floss!

Cheers!

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:11 PM

2. Never heard of flossing growing up, and lost half of my teeth!

I began flossing at age 40+, and by age 75, had half my teeth extracted.
I hate the partial dentures! So good advice...floss twice daily!

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:14 PM

3. So, your advice is to be rich and healthy?

Awesome advice!

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Response to FSogol (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:24 PM

5. just the opposite...

I gave up a good job 8 years before normal retirement, to stay healthy.

Advice is stop chasing money after age 55, because you will end up paying
most of it to doctors and hospitals.

So I gave up half a million dollars of future paychecks to retire early.

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Response to at140 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:09 AM

28. Having a younger working spouse must help too

I am single and 61. I will have to work, at least part time, until I die.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:21 PM

4. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't have the option of early retirement.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:28 PM

6. Mainly because they have healthcare expenses

The trick to living healthy is to retire early, give up chasing money,
and begin a good exercise program before your body begins deteriorating.

Anyone who has worked all life and bothered to save 10% of earnings can
retire at age 55. My only real expense is food and rent, zero health related
expenses, which is why my living expenses are easily covered by my social
security check.

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Response to at140 (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:35 PM

9. Not necessarily.

Many people also have family expenses not related to anyone's health - kids to put through college, job loss (remember 2008?), bankruptcy. You could exercise and eat well and be financially ruined as the result of a serious injury. You could get cancer or some other ailment that's not preventable by exercise. I'm glad it worked out for you but not everyone is so lucky. If you had a minimum wage job you won't be able to save 10% of your earnings anyhow, so you could be healthy as a horse and still unable to retire early.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:48 PM

15. Yes, some people experience unfortunate events such as

you mentioned. But my guess is 75-80% people do not, and they can't retire early
because they never learn to live below their means. Just look at the humongous
credit card debt held by public. I had zero credit card debt throughout my life. I
would save first and then buy what was needed. Most people want everything NOW!

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Response to at140 (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 03:43 PM

20. If you're a single mother with a couple of kids working a minimum-wage job,

your "means" doesn't allow you to live beyond them. In most cities a minimum wage isn't even enough to rent a two-bedroom apartment, let alone pay other necessary expenses. So let's say your kid gets hurt and your insurance, if you even have any, has a huge deductible, so you have to pay out of pocket. Or your crappy car breaks down and there's no bus service to your crappy job and you'll get fired if you don't show up. How are you going to pay to fix your car? You use a credit card, assuming you could even get one. Now you've got several thousand dollars on your credit card bill, which will take you years to pay off because you can make only the minimum payments.

You must live in a nice white professional-class bubble where hardly anybody has these problems. In fact, almost 30% of the US population makes less than $35K per year, and if you're trying to support a family on that you won't have that nice 10% to set aside for retirement. You probably will be lucky to retire at all.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 05:32 PM

23. I postponed becoming a dad until I had saved enough!

It is the same mentality of "I want everything now!" which gets people in trouble.
Credit card debt is at record levels and growing. Credit card buying ends up costing
you more than cash buying if you can't pay it off every month.

My wife and I are living a comfortable life on our 2 social security checks, which is
about $35k/year. And I started with nothing when I was age 22. I arrived with $25
in my pocket to attend University of Iowa, from India. I worked in the university
hospital washing dirty cooking pans to buy food. I studied very hard and received
a tuition scholarship in the 2nd semester. My parents in India had no money to give me.

My first job as a degreed engineer paid only $500/month. I lived very frugal, my
cheap roach infested apartment in Chicago cost only $50/month. But I saved a good
chunk of my paychecks every month.

Point I am making is do not buy on credit, do not have kids until you can afford them.
So your assumption is false in that I must live in a nice white professional-class bubble.
Very few Americans started as low as me on the financial ladder. America is an amazing
country, where a poor student like me can work his way into a much better life. I could
never do that in my country of birth.

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Response to at140 (Reply #23)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 06:41 PM

57. I postponed becoming a mom until I was financially stable.

Guess what?

My son had severe birth defects which led to his early death as an infant.

After that, I was never able to get pregnant again, even with expensive IVF treatments.

I've made peace with it all, but it was difficult.

Waiting to become a parent is biologically a huge gamble.

If it's something a person wants in their life, you can't wait past 30 without it being a real gamble.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #57)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 09:19 PM

59. Not only it is risky but being a new mom is hard work

so I agree, best get it done before age 30. But it does not always work out that way.
First a woman has to find a worthwhile dad for the future kids. My wife was 37 when
the first baby arrived. And I was 51. She did not want any more babies because she
had a difficult and painful delivery. The baby's head was larger than average!

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Response to at140 (Reply #59)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 11:21 PM

60. You've entirely missed my point, but whatever.

Congrats on your perfect life.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 11:34 PM

61. First half of my life...many sacrifices and

living way below means. Second half of my life...benefiting from sacrifices earlier!
So yes, I was able to retire early and improve my health tremendously. People can
not believe I am 78 years old. Just this morning I was in the Gym and a stranger
showed up to exercise. We chatted and when I told him my age, he said you are
among the 1% at age 78. That made all those sacrifices before age 45 worthwhile.
Many people in United States want instant gratification but I was different because
I have experienced life without money.

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Response to at140 (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 03:08 PM

19. Please.

I beg you,

"Anyone who has worked all life and bothered to save 10% of earnings can retire at age 55."

I'm glad everything has worked out well for you. Really.
But knowing way too many good people who work hard and work paycheck to paycheck I can't agree. It's not that they aren't "bothering". Please believe me.

I know you don't mean to be insensitive, but...that statement is over broad.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:33 PM

7. Most people can't retire at 57.

Your social security doesn't even kick in until you are 62 at the earliest. So what would one live on?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:35 PM

10. By saving 10% of every paycheck, and watching every penny,

and avoiding expensive houses and cars. That is how I could retire at 57,
until SS kicked in at age 62.

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Response to at140 (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:45 PM

14. You had a wife with a full time job-----I was self supporting.

HUGE difference.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:53 PM

16. Funny you noticed that,

because my fellow golfers were so jealous because my wife was working
full time and I was playing golf full time. But I saved much more than average,
so her paychecks were just a bonus. We could have got by without her job.
She retired early as well.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:50 AM

32. I retired at 58 and we lived on my teamster pension

Until 62, then collected social security

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 07:16 AM

35. Great move! You had many more youthful years to enjoy

Your retirement. I am now retired for 21 years and more healthy,
and have more energy than when I retired at age 57.

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Response to at140 (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 09:31 PM

42. I'm eighty, now, good health traveled the world after retirement.

Now, a caregiver for my wife who has Alzheimerís. Iím grateful to a certain extent for my good health and able to care for her and all her needs. Thanks for my teamster pension that didnít cost us a cent. I feel for those pensioners who only live on their social security

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:34 PM

8. I'm older than you are and wish I had worked longer.

I exercised regularly while I was still working but I would be better off financially if I had worked longer.

I liked my job and enjoyed it-----and wish I had worked until I was 70.

We are all different.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:39 PM

12. Can't disagree with you,

because as you said everyone is different. Some enjoy working.
I had the best time playing golf from age 58-76 full time, with
golf buddies I liked, loved walking on green grass with trees and
lakes, and got the exercise my body needed without ever getting bored.

There is absolutely nothing else I can do for 4 hours with getting bored
except golf with friends.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:38 PM

11. I realized I had two choices: Retire early or die young

I was dealing with my mom and sister's terminal illnesses, an elderly aunt who suddenly came under my care, and an incredibly hostile work environment. I was sleeping 2 to 4 hours a night. Far too often, when I ate, I threw up. I was losing weight and suffering from bad headaches, 'out of the blue' dizzy spells and severe anxiety and panic attacks. But, I was also debt free, had a 401K that had sufficiently recovered, and had been building a savings account, for decades. The only thing I worried about was my health.

So, the first day I was eligible for retirement, I left. The people at work didn't believe I was serious. It was a good 3 years earlier than I had ever planned. I had a very secure job with good pay and fantastic benefits. But I gave notice and officially retired on June 9, 2015 - my 62nd birthday. My main retirement benefit, other than the 401K, was that my health insurance was covered until I became eligible for Medicare. That was good enough for me.

Unfortunately, it was too late for me to spend more time with my sister and mom, who died in January and February of 2015. But I was free to spend more time with my aunt, until her death in September of that year.

Now I'm living a simple, thrifty, and much less stressful lifestyle. I have a great financial planner who has given me sound advice and guidance. I garden, read, travel to visit my sister's kids, spend quality time with my brother, and relax. I'm also starting to update and redecorate my house. And, slowly but surely I'm sorting through 3 estates worth of belongings and tossing, donating and holding on to memories. I see every single day as a gift and, most fortunately, I have 3 amazing young adults currently in competition to convince me to sell up and move to be closer to them. I hope to live only as long as I can without becoming a burden, be that two years or twenty.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:42 PM

13. You did great!!!

Do not forget to place any form of regular exercise in your routine.
It is the best insurance to stay healthy and pain free.

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Response to at140 (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:53 PM

17. I need to work on a Winter plan

Fortunately, I'm am blessedly free of aches and joint pains. I can still lock my knees and flat palm the floor, without tipping over, and take long, long walks with no bad side effect.

During warm weather, I'm outside working. I have a very big lot with lots of flower beds and I do all of the mowing, myself. But during cold weather, I definitely slow down. Maybe I'll become one of those mall walkers!

Right now I am getting lots of exercise by scurrying around, getting things ready for my nieces and nephews visit, over the holidays. We are all going to brain storm on how to drag my Brady Bunch style house into the 21st Century.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 02:59 PM

18. Sounds like you do keep an active lifestyle.

Never stop that active lifestyle. Working on yard is great exercise, if it does not bore you.
Now I am no longer a golfer, so force myself to go to the Gym 3-4 times a week but it
is so boring compared to golf. We do have excellent beaches in Florida to walk on and that
costs nothing. The Gym is part of my condo HOA.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 03:49 PM

21. What good is money?...

It keeps the snow off your ass

life is expensive and SS doesn't cut it

it's supplemental income to the job you have to keep

Glad you could pull it off but it won't work for everybody

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 04:35 PM

22. Retired 17 years ago, thanks to my union and 30 and out, so out I went at age 52.

Have kept more than busy with all my hobbies and some of them actually make me money. I run 3 miles 2 or 3 times a week. Doctor told me 8 years ago I'd never run again. He was wrong. My friends from work that sat down in front of the tube have died.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 07:21 AM

36. Great decision and happy for you!

Life is short. We work hard during our working years for 30-40 years.
We deserve 20-25 years of retirement, while your body is still not too old
to enjoy sports and other physical activities.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 09:14 PM

24. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm struggling with this decision now.

Your suggestions are reassuring that retirement can be successful and enjoyable. The concept that I don't have to work anymore for money is difficult for me. I also appreciate you addressing the issue of health, as I'm factoring this into my decision.

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Response to AnotherMother4Peace (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 07:28 AM

37. Please listen to me...if you keep working past 65,

most people's body is already weak. You will earn more money, but a lot
of it will be spent on healthcare. Healthcare cost for seniors is leading cause
of bankruptcies.

If you retire early, at 55-57 age, your body is still young enough to begin an
exercise program. And you will have the time to do it. When I worked full time
I had no time to exercise in any meaningful way. I was a weekend hacker golfer.

When I retired at age 57, I was able to play golf 5 times a week for a fixed
monthly cost. It was the best decision I made in my life. My body responded
and I got rid of high blood pressure, border line diabetic, pain in hip joints,
pain in chest after eating a good meal, and my sex life got better.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 02:26 AM

25. A lot of optimism and lucky to be able to do it but still some good advice in there.

A lot of optimism and lucky to be able to do it but still some good advice in there.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 02:31 AM

26. I easily walk over 10 miles a day at my job.

The stress might kill me, though.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:01 AM

27. Not an option for the huge majority of people

Still in the work force now. It wouldnít have been easy for most at that the time you did it. Itís damn near impossible for most now. Wages are not keeping up with the cost of living, and that has been the case for decades. Iím genuinely glad it worked out for you, but the reality most Americans are facing mean they wouldnít have a roof over their heads if they retired at 57. 10% of what they make being set aside certainly wouldnít cover the cost of a 30+ year retirement.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:15 AM

29. Exactly

And few get traditional pensions any more. Instead, they have self funded 401Ks and other retirement accounts subject to the fluctuations in the stock market.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:23 AM

30. Yep.

Add in many of those able to go to college can find themselves saddled with debt the size of a mortgage and jobs that pay no where near enough to pay that off.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:33 AM

31. +1

There was a sweet spot in the American economy. If you got in on that, good for you.

Donít let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 07:33 AM

38. Please note that older seniors spend more on healthcare

than food or rent. You don't have to scrimp to save money while working.
There are ways to downgrade without discomfort.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:59 AM

33. To everyone who stoutly asserts that it simply is not possible to save any money,

consider that there is some poor slob out there living on several thousand dollars a year less than you are.

I recall reading that nearly 50 years ago and it has always stayed with me. Even when I had a job that was a paycheck to paycheck one, I always saved a little money. It really is possible.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 07:10 AM

34. +1,000,000

I am living proof of what you said. In 1962 my wages were $500/month.
Instead of renting a $125-165/month apartment which is recommended 25%-33%
housing budget of your income, I rented a cheap apartment at Belden & Clark in
Chicago. It was $50/month and had bugs like roaches but was livable.
I did not buy a new car like my colleagues. I bought a used car for $250.
In 1962 you could buy a good used car for $250. Mine was Buick, 6 years old.

Result was I was able to save $200 every month. That was good money in 1962,
about $1000/month today?

I did not buy a new car until I had saved up $2100 to buy a 1964 Corvair. Never
had to pay any interest payments. I bought my first house in 1970 when I had
saved up $19,995. Never paid a dime in mortgage.

Moral of the story is, when you take a loan, the car or house is costing you a
hell of a lot more than paying cash. Once you buy a house for cash, you will
never need a mortgage again, because your current house will appreciate and
will finance your next house if you move.

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Response to at140 (Reply #34)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 01:04 PM

39. In 1969 my base pay was $440/month.

I was living in the DC area. I forget my exact rent, but it was about $90/month. I do recall that it was almost an entire bi-weekly paycheck if I had no overtime in it. I was having $25/paycheck put in the credit union. I didn't own a car. I took the bus to work and everywhere.

I was an airline employee, so I did make more money with overtime, which helped. Travel benefits were an important part of the reason I took that job, and I took full advantage of them. Because the pay scales were published, we all knew pretty much what each other made. both at our airline and at all the other airlines. One time a fellow employee asked me, "Poindexter, how can you possibly afford to travel so much?" I replied, "I don't own a car." It was that simple.

Once my ex and I did buy a house for cash. He still lives in it. We're divorced and I now have a mortgage, which at this point in my life is well worth it. I constantly stress that I can afford the payment. Sometimes life experiences make owning a home free and clear not possible at the present, but that's okay.

I do always pay cash for my cars, and recently bought a two year old car to replace a sixteen year old one I'd been driving for fourteen years.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:51 PM

40. Your posts should be read by everyone!

And yes, circumstances such as divorce in middle age makes it very difficult to pay cash for another house. But that is not even my main point of this thread. The more important thing to do is include
a strong exercise program in you life in your mid-50's. That is your last chance to stay fit and healthy and avoid expense and pain most seniors go through towards end of their life. Those who keep working past 65, will hand over most of their money to healthcare expenses, not to mention the pain caused by typical old age deterioration of the body.

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Response to at140 (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 03:59 PM

41. I'm 70, and I don't exercise regularly. However I'm not about to advocate

for a sedentary life.

I am astonished at how many of my age mates have serious health problems. Of course, the ones who smoked are the worst off, those that are still alive.

Sometimes exercise can be too much of a good thing. A friend of mine, all of a year older, ruined his knees by playing racquetball too hard and too long, especially as his weight crept up. One knee has been replaced, the other will happen sometime soon. I will say that things like knee and hip replacement surgeries are truly wonderful. Oh, and cataract surgery. I had mine when I was 63, on the young side, and I often say that cataracts were the very best thing that ever happened to my eyes.

I stopped working about four years ago, although I'd only been working part time that previous three years. I love not working. Like a lot of people I could certainly use more money, and I periodically consider a part time or a temp job, but I can manage just fine on my current income, and I'd rather the time for myself and my travels, than going to some work place, even for a short while.

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Response to at140 (Reply #34)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 10:11 PM

45. $500 in 1962 is equivalent to $4200 today

Could I live comfortably on that? Hell yes, especially if I had raises over the years. But my highest earning year was in 2003, and I'm not the only person who's lost ground over the years.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #45)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 11:00 PM

47. Thank you for that clarification...

US dollar did go long way in the early 1960's. It was almost impossible to spend $20 in a grocery store for routine needs. No wonder I was able to save so much money!! Surely made my older years so much easier financially.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 09:48 PM

43. Do you have kids?

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #43)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 10:08 PM

44. Yes, I do.

I had my children slightly late in life. 34 when my oldest was born, 38 for the youngest. We made them save money.

My younger son persuaded me to increase his allowance when he was in about 2nd grade. I agreed, but put in an enforced savings, which actually meant he got about fifty cents or a dollar a week less than before. When he figured that out, he was quite annoyed, to say the least. But he put the money in the savings account. His generous grandparents would send $100 as a birthday gift. Half of that had to be banked, the other half could be spent.

When the older son needed to buy a car, what he had for the purchase price was his savings. And he bought a car with that amount of money. A year or so later younger son asked me, "How much is my brother's car payment?" I told him, zero, he'd paid cash. He was clearly astonished by that idea, and I could tell that a topic of conversation among his classmates was the amount of a car payment. A couple of years later, when younger son was buying his first car, he had less cash available to him, but that was the rule: you could only buy the car you had the cash for. He got a perfectly adequate first car.

I will admit that because of generous grandparents (my husband's parents) we did not have the same financial concerns about college that many people have. But I will say that had it not been for them, I'd have cheerfully had my sons enroll at the local community college, and then transfer to the nearest State University. It's one thing to get a full ride scholarship. It's another to undertake serious debt for college.

For too many years I've watched parents pay for children's stuff they have no business paying for, especially if it endangers their own retirement. I well understand the impulse to rescue our kids, but it's a dangerous impulse.

When my younger son graduated from college -- cum laude, I must brag -- he went back to doing pizza delivery, which had been his summer job all through school. I tried very hard to get him to get a "real" job, but he really enjoyed pizza delivery. The crucial point is that he was supporting himself. He knew that if he asked either of his parents for money (by that time we were divorced and lived about 800 miles apart) we'd say, "Get a better job. Or get a second job." He'd made his choices. And he did support himself with pizza delivery and did the things he wanted to do. You can't ask for more than that.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #43)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 11:02 PM

48. My first kid was born when I was 51!!

By that time I was really well off financially with all that skimping and saving and using that famous formula of compounding interest.

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Response to at140 (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 11:34 PM

50. Male privilege n/t

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #33)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 03:51 PM

56. It is definitely possible,.. we did it

For the last 3 years my husband worked (I did not work outside the home) we LIVED TOTALLY ON SOCIAL SECURITY... and in Southern Calif.. We banked every penny of his salary for 3 years, and were able to move to Washington, and put down $150K on our house ..When our Calif house finally sold we re-fied to put more into this house...

How do you do it?

simple


own your cars outright
have zero credit card debt
cook your own food
don't buy anything you truly do not need

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 10:19 PM

46. Good for you.

Your story sounds great and I am glad you were able to have such a great retirement.

Most of us will be working until we fall over, healthy or not.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #46)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 11:06 PM

49. Awww...but you enjoyed your younger years more than me?

I was fanatical saver until I turned 45. Never went on a cruise or expensive vacation.
But beginning at age 48, I have already done 30+ cruises and love them, want 20 more.

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Response to at140 (Reply #49)

Sat Dec 15, 2018, 11:52 PM

51. Yay.

Enjoy.

Just to add that I am 49 years old and lost my husband to a sudden illness last year. Which has put my financial situation in peril. You should be counting your lucky stars instead of coming here and gloating about your fucking golf games.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 01:42 AM

52. THIS!

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #52)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 12:31 PM

54. Sorry about losing your husband suddenly

And yes I certainly count myself lucky to be alive and healthy at age 78. But few people can skimp and save like I did until age 45. Now in my golden years I believe I deserve a worry free financial life because of the sacrifices made during my younger years. Each person has to discover for themselves what will make them happy.

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Response to at140 (Reply #54)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 03:47 PM

55. You are correct. Few people CAN skimp and save until 45

You skimped and saved from the early 60s to the mid 80s. Consider what the economy has been like for someone just 20 years younger. By the dot com bubble of the late 90s, you'd probably moved most of your nest egg to bonds, right? You didn't lose your house in the 80s or the 2000s. Have you lost your job ever? I've been laid off (laid off with other employees, not fired) 3 times since 2010. You hit an economic sweet spot. Now please, grow a heart.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 02:55 AM

53. ...



I'm so sorry about your loss Texasgal.

Thank you for putting into perspective what is important in life.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 06:48 PM

58. My heartfelt condolences

And thanks for pointing out that having the stars align in one's favor doesn't mean the beneficiary is of exemplary moral character.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2018, 11:54 PM

62. this is probably somewhat sound advice

to give to some 20 year olds, but here where the demographic is a bit older it just comes off smug and kind of insulting to people that didn't have the same luck (or yes even the foresight) as you.

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Response to Kali (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 17, 2018, 12:02 AM

63. Appreciate your intelligent comment except on one point,

which is that anyone can begin doing what I did in their late 30's.
If you reduce living expenses by 10% in your late 30's, it is
not difficult to build enough capital by age 57 to retire early
and survive without any social security or pension until age 65.

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Response to at140 (Reply #63)

Mon Dec 17, 2018, 12:07 AM

64. the world is a different place than when you were in your 30s

people in their 30s now often are still living at home (or returned) because of education debt or cost of living. insisting that people can do what you did decades ago comes off smug. even if you are correct (and I don't really think you are), you are not accounting for change and variables that other people experience. try to show a little more compassion and humility. great that you have found good health and financial security. it is not possible for everybody. we all do what we can.

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Response to Kali (Reply #64)

Mon Dec 17, 2018, 01:08 AM

65. Did you read about how wretched life I was living in younger years?

I was living in a roach infested, poorly heated slummy apartment for several years beginning at age 21. And I drove clunker cars instead of buying newer cars like my co-workers. Attractive women refused to go out with me again after they rode in my car on a date. I never took a vacation until age 30. I have never seen any American with a college degree live as cheaply as I did.

So now I am living on the easy street in my golden years. Because I could retire early and had the time to improve my health through exercise of walking 6 miles on the golf course 5 times a week.

My only purpose here is to show an example of what can be done in life by not going with the crowd. Not everyone will enjoy my method of skimping during young years. But those few who do, can live on easy street during their golden years. I wish to encourage those few who will choose to follow my example.

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