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Old 02-10-2016, 01:56 PM   #21
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FWIW - it would be easier if I could include my paid for house in the equation.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:16 PM   #22
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Depends on how much I'd have to pay for housing and how much of that $30-35K is subject to taxes. As long as housing is $1500 at most and only little in the way of taxes, yeah doable. No frills and practically no room for savings but doable. Granted, that's as long as I'm not faced with any medical issues.

Now my grandmother lived in a relatively upscale area in the Philippines for under $20k a year and that includes pay for two household helpers. If ever I have need for assisted living, I'm keeping that as an option.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:45 PM   #23
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We could do it but we wouldn't like it much. We know people who live on less so it can be done.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:55 PM   #24
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OP here:

When I posed the question, I hadn't figured my own actual expenses, so this was an exercise for me too. Below are my numbers "If I had to..." The actual current expenses that I would have if we did not still have our Florida and Woodhaven homes. Since we have Medicare, only the out of pocket expenses are counted (supplement and uncovered costs).

Costs for two:
Car $1800
(Registration $120, Insurance $780, Gas $500, Repairs/Depreciation $800)
House $14,000
Rent or own/ incl. Taxes/Insurance/Utilities
Food $6,000
In and out
Phone, Internet, TV, Subscriptions $2600
Misc all else $100/wk. $5200

Total $29,700/yr

Add another $9,400 for our share of medicare, medicare supplement, dental, glasses and out of pocket expenses.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:56 PM   #25
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For a data point. My MIL/FIL had income of about $30k between SS, OPM pension, small annuity. They had a paid for house - with the correlated expenses of property taxes, home owners insurance. Medical insurance was federal retiree benefits supplementing medicare. They were banking about $3-4K/year.

... until FIL went into a skilled nursing home.

Then after he passed, income dropped to about $20k/year. And MIL was breaking even.

... until MIL went into a memory unit.

But all of this is premised on having a paid for house and being of an age that medicare provides affordable insurance.

As I mentioned in my earlier post. Medical insurance for just DH is over $6k year. Rent would be between $15-18k/year in our area for a one bedroom. Add in my insurance (probably $4k/year because I'm younger...) You start running out of money.

It can be done. We *could* do it if it came down to it. But thankfully, we don't have to.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:20 PM   #26
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We could barely live on $35,000 for a couple in a larger, average cost city in the midwest without altering our budget too much. Add in medical & dental expenses plus extra taxes and large purchases like cars, vans, and travel trailers, and we need more like $50,000. We currently live on about $28,000 with a paid off house not including medical expenses, income taxes, or large purchases (but does include small & large house repair expenses).
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:55 PM   #27
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Since there is only one of me, I would not have to change much of anything in order to stay below $30K as defined by the rules given, although I would have to change one thing as dictated by this rule:
Quote:
3. Assume that you would be starting fresh... no home, no other income.
Therefore I would have to add the costs of a nice two bedroom apartment that is currently for rent in my favorite nearby complex, instead of the property tax and other costs of living in my paid off dream home.

I don't see any dental expenses in your overview, Imoldernu.(oops, I see them now)

Otherwise I could spend as always and it would come to about $29K total including the apartment.

I WOULD NOT LIKE THAT!!! I love my dream house! But I could easily continue my present life just as it is, other than that (sigh, oh boo-hoo!).
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
OP here:

Costs for two:
Car $1800
(Registration $120, Insurance $780, Gas $500, Repairs/Depreciation $800)
House $14,000
Rent or own/ incl. Taxes/Insurance/Utilities
Food $6,000
In and out
Phone, Internet, TV, Subscriptions $2600
Misc all else $100/wk. $5200

Total $29,700/yr

Add another $9,400 for our share of medicare, medicare supplement, dental, glasses and out of pocket expenses.
So you really need $40,000. Car Insurance, Utilities, and Food are different geographically. Someone else might need more than $40,000.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
OP here:

When I posed the question, I hadn't figured my own actual expenses, so this was an exercise for me too. Below are my numbers "If I had to..." The actual current expenses that I would have if we did not still have our Florida and Woodhaven homes. Since we have Medicare, only the out of pocket expenses are counted (supplement and uncovered costs).

Costs for two:
Car $1800
(Registration $120, Insurance $780, Gas $500, Repairs/Depreciation $800)
House $14,000
Rent or own/ incl. Taxes/Insurance/Utilities
Food $6,000
In and out
Phone, Internet, TV, Subscriptions $2600
Misc all else $100/wk. $5200

Total $29,700/yr

Add another $9,400 for our share of medicare, medicare supplement, dental, glasses and out of pocket expenses.
where is the golf/beer budget?
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:34 PM   #30
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So you really need $40,000. Car Insurance, Utilities, and Food are different geographically. Someone else might need more than $40,000.
Honestly, the biggest difference is likely housing and taxes. I expect compared to those two categories, the impact of cost difference for car insurance, utilities and food would be fairly minor.

Here's an interesting calculator for comparing cost of living:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/...alculator.aspx
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:40 PM   #31
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It probably sounds odd that health costs were not included in the original "If I had to..." but between age, (Medicare) and employer paid, as in some government or private company benefits, and expensive private plans, it would be hard to make reasonable comparisons.

In any case, it was interesting to see how close most posts were in dollar calculations. Never hurts to consider fallback positions.

Quote:
Honestly, the biggest difference is likely housing and taxes. I expect compared to those two categories, the impact of cost difference for car insurance, utilities and food would be fairly minor.

Here's an interesting calculator for comparing cost of living:
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/...alculator.aspx
Yeah.. great website.... using the$50,000 cited in the calculator as the basis, the difference between Naperville IL and our equivalent town Rockford Il, is a difference of $11,000.

So yes... location, location, location.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:44 PM   #32
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If anyone is having problems figuring out how to live in a certain location for less than $30K, also Imoldernu's original post said,

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
4. Assume that [...] you have already made any necessary move to a new location.
So, there's an option.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:50 PM   #33
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It probably sounds odd that health costs were not included in the original "If I had to..." but between age, (Medicare) and employer paid, as in some government or private company benefits, and expensive private plans, it would be hard to make reasonable comparisons.
Yes, thanks. I didn't quite get it at first, but now I realize what you are doing. It's logical to just omit medical and income tax expenses because they vary so much from household to household.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
In any case, it was interesting to see how close most posts were in dollar calculations. Never hurts to consider fallback positions.
Frank and I love to consider fallback positions like this. We often talk about how we could cut our budgets severely in case we had to for some reason. You never know what life can bring, and we worry less when we have thought through these things.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:02 PM   #34
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$30,000 US = $41,576.0 CDN today. ☹️

In 2015, my lifestyle expenses, excluding income tax, were $46,211 CDN, or $33,384.33 US. That included health insurance premiums ($864 CDN) and travel ($7,275). If I truly had an income < $38,000 CDN, I could avoid paying most income tax. So yes, I could do it. I wouldn't be too happy about it, though!
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:54 PM   #35
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I have in the past and I could again, but I don't want to.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #36
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It probably sounds odd that health costs were not included in the original "If I had to..." but between age, (Medicare) and employer paid, as in some government or private company benefits, and expensive private plans, it would be hard to make reasonable comparisons.

In any case, it was interesting to see how close most posts were in dollar calculations. Never hurts to consider fallback positions.
If not counting healthcare and income taxes, my individual expenses/personal support is already less than $30K then. For family of 4, mom and I provide $2500/mo each for household expenses. The budget actually has room for quite a bit of fat due to economies of shared living. I can afford to live on my own but it'll significantly cut into my savings. However, it'll likely be pretty hard for mom to support 3 people on just $2500/mo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Yeah.. great website.... using the$50,000 cited in the calculator as the basis, the difference between Naperville IL and our equivalent town Rockford Il, is a difference of $11,000.

So yes... location, location, location.
And from Rockford IL to Los Angeles Metro CA is this:

Quote:
Equivalent income in the city you are moving to: $77699.78.
Percent increase to maintain standard of living: 55.40%.


Read more: Cost of Living Calculator | Comparison Tool
Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:12 PM   #37
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Yeah sure $30,000 is very do-able.

Right now, me and DW can survive easily with $40,000 per year and that includes a monthly mortgage payment of $1,360. My house is my only debt. If we downsize to a smaller house and paid cash for a smaller home, we could live on $28,000 (of course that includes realty taxes and homeowners insurance). I live in a southern state, which is way cheaper than say Los Angeles or New York.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:24 PM   #38
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BTW, The median per capita annual income from 2009-2013 in New Orleans was $26,500.

Orleans Parish QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Looks to me like it's perfectly possible for a single person to live on less than $30K.
Well that settles it... I can do it too but I'll have to move in with W2R
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:20 AM   #39
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Well that settles it... I can do it too but I'll have to move in with W2R
I'll check with Frank on that and get back to you. Just kidding!
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:52 AM   #40
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My annual expenses are only $24k now so the answer is surely "Yes." My expenses did spike to $31k last year because of some unexpected medical expenses I do not expect to be repeated any time soon. I live in a paid-off apartment which keeps my housing costs low.
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