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bass player with no strings!
Old 09-28-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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bass player with no strings!

Hi!
I'm 61 and have had full time jobs most of my life. Playing bass guitar is my passion and I plan to continue playing as long as I physically can. For a few years when I was younger I actually was able to survive playing professionally. I was laid off my last full time job in July and am currently collecting unemployment, about $1620 a month. Truth be told, I have no great desire to go back to work. If I can escape the need for a full time job and just focus on music and playing bass, that would be a very satisfying life for me. Most likely the unemployment payments will continue until around February/March 09. I'm looking at the option of retiring when I am 62 and eligible for Social Security in April 09. I will collect about $1000 a month.

My last job paid about 38K of which I took home roughly $2000 a month. I can live fairly cheap and was quite comfortable on that much.

I have no dependents and no debt. I have a mix of bank accounts, IRA's and a small 401k from my last job. None of the current assets are particularly strong investments. Most are very conservative (savings accounts, CD's, Money Market, etc.) altho I am losing a bit right now with this current mess. I rent an apartment so I have no real assets other than these. All together it comes to about $400,000.

I have talked with a financial adviser at HSBC and another at Fidelity and they have offered some options but I'm still looking around and trying to decide the best way to do this if I can. Most of my peers have good pension plans or other arrangements where they can't really advise me much. I'm hoping to get some advice here.
Thanks and hello to everyone!
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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Welcome!

How about health insurance?

(Perhaps you can supplement income giving lessons? I pay $20 a session for my daughter's bass lessons - officially 30 minutes, but they average 45, sometimes more, sometimes less.)
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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Welcome!

How about health insurance?

(Perhaps you can supplement income giving lessons? I pay $20 a session for my daughter's bass lessons - officially 30 minutes, but they average 45, sometimes more, sometimes less.)
Yes Health Insurance is a consideration. Health insurance is available thru unemployment on a program called "HealthyNewyork" for about $250-350 a month. I'm just about to sign up for it. I'm not sure if I will continue to qualify for it later on, income must be under $2100 a month.

It's quite possible I will supplement income with teaching or playing. I would enjoy doing either or both. Or I might even decide to take on some other form of work. I'd still like to see if I can become financially independent of any need for a job.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mikedb View Post
Yes Health Insurance is a consideration. Health insurance is available thru unemployment on a program called "HealthyNewyork" for about $250-350 a month. I'm just about to sign up for it. I'm not sure if I will continue to qualify for it later on, income must be under $2100 a month.

It's quite possible I will supplement income with teaching or playing. I would enjoy doing either or both. Or I might even decide to take on some other form of work. I'd still like to see if I can become financially independent of any need for a job.
Do you live NYC area? I think you will really be stretching with the reserves you mention, without working a lot.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:25 AM   #5
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Do you live NYC area? I think you will really be stretching with the reserves you mention, without working a lot.

Ha
Hey, Ha
You may be right but when I was working, my take home was a bit under $2000 per month. That was enough for me and, yes, I'm in New York City. I live very cheap. It can be done even in Manhattan. I ride a bicycle to get around, as I always have, I don't have cable, just Netflix, I live in a small studio. Even now on unemployment I am getting by OK admittedly feeling a pinch here and there.
It is expensive to live in Manhattan and I may choose to move but $2000 a month can be enough even here.
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Old 09-29-2008, 01:53 AM   #6
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Hey, Ha
You may be right but when I was working, my take home was a bit under $2000 per month. That was enough for me and, yes, I'm in New York City. I live very cheap. It can be done even in Manhattan. I ride a bicycle to get around, as I always have, I don't have cable, just Netflix, I live in a small studio. Even now on unemployment I am getting by OK admittedly feeling a pinch here and there.
It is expensive to live in Manhattan and I may choose to move but $2000 a month can be enough even here.
Good going, Mikedb. You clearly have the right stuff for cheap living.

Ha
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:09 AM   #7
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The "no health insurance" is the HUGE consideration. The 400K can be wiped out in one instance of a major health issue. I would try to find any job that would get me Health Insurance until Medicare age. OR I would figure a way to LOCK UP the 400k so a health issue would not affect it.

For instance, purchasing an annuity at 62/single for 400k with increasing payments (for inflation) would bring in another 1800+ per month.

If he did that wouldn't this protect him if he had a major medical issue?
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:50 AM   #8
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What would you get from Social Security? If you can live on 2K/month in NYC, you can probably live on 1.4K in rural area.

If you really want to do this, you could. Here are some steps I'd take:

1. Get a high-deductible health insurance plan
2. Move to a small town which has a lower cost of living, but enough gig opportunities (this only works for bass players and drummers).
3. Become an expert on investing
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:41 AM   #9
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What would you get from Social Security? If you can live on 2K/month in NYC, you can probably live on 1.4K in rural area.

If you really want to do this, you could. Here are some steps I'd take:

1. Get a high-deductible health insurance plan
2. Move to a small town which has a lower cost of living, but enough gig opportunities (this only works for bass players and drummers).
3. Become an expert on investing

He said $1000/mo from SS at 62
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
What would you get from Social Security? If you can live on 2K/month in NYC, you can probably live on 1.4K in rural area.

If you really want to do this, you could. Here are some steps I'd take:

1. Get a high-deductible health insurance plan
2. Move to a small town which has a lower cost of living, but enough gig opportunities (this only works for bass players and drummers).
3. Become an expert on investing
Yes I will get about $1000/month

1. I am setting up insurance thru a program called "healthyNY". Individuals are eligible if income is under $2160. It'll run me about $260/month with Empire blue cross.

2. Small town with gig opportunities? where?
My assessment:
Small town=car=maintenance=insurance=gas$$
big city=no car needed=more gig options
big city=bicycle=exercise=healthy, cheaper, greener

3. I've never been very savvy with investing which is why I am here. That's where I do need help.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:41 PM   #11
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Yes, you're right, you'd probably need a car in a small town. Other savings might offset that or not.

As to more gig options in a big city -- that's probably also true, but there will be more gig competitors as well. Pay/gig is probably lower in small town.

I'm still guessing that there are towns that would, overall, be cheaper for you to live in than NYC.

Here's a thread about recommended books.
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