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Old 01-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #221
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Shawn - my condolences on the passing of your kitty. What a conscientious and devoted cat Dad you have been! 17 1/2 is a good age and from your description, it sounds as if she had a good quality of life until very close to the end - an indication to me that the money spent on her healthcare was money well spent.

rec7 - thanks for the props. As others have said, the main difference in cost of living between some of the major cities and the lower cost of living areas is usually housing. The 2 pricey areas I have lived in are Los Angeles and the SF Bay Area and for these kinds of areas, anyone who has owned their house for a good number of years and bought at the right time probably has a manageable mortgage. Long-time renters who stay in the same apartment usually do OK too, due to rent control laws. Once housing costs are taken care of we, just like anyone living anywhere, have a good deal of control over what else we spend our money on (or don't, as the case may be!)
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #222
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I spent $80k in 2013. The usual monthly expenses are around $5000:

$2300 mortgage, prop taxes and utilities.
$750 transportation (gas, ins, AAA etc)
$700 food/groceries
$200 pets
$780 child support and school tuition
$300 misc stuff

Planning to stick to $65-70k for 2014
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:58 PM   #223
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From the suburbs of a large midwest US city (living with another adult).

2013 yearly expenses (for 1 person):

Food: $3110 (259/month), including $2562 in / $548 out (This year switched to organic foods somewhat - around $1500 of $2562 are for organics from Whole Foods.)

All housing related: $4335 (361/month), including:
- property taxes: 4440
- hired services: lawn mowing, snow removal: 450
- other hired services: 350
- house insurance: 550
- utilities:
--- primary phone and internet - $0 (paid by employer ~100/month)
--- second / backup phone: 90
--- TV cable: 590
--- water/sewer: 560
--- electricity: 560
--- gas: 1040
- Home Depot purchases: 40
Total is 8670 for two people (or 4335/person)

All car related: $1252 (or 104/month), including
- car insurance: 310
- gas: 355 (working from home)
- maintenance / registration fees: 587

Entertainment + trips: $1662
Gifts: $397
Medical: $308
All other: $272 (clothes, haircuts, misc other).

2013 total: $11,336 / year

(No one-time expenses this year)

Does NOT include depreciation for car, house, furniture, etc.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:01 PM   #224
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Good life, you are motivating me to see if I can do a lot better on my home insurance. If your house has 250% more property taxes than mine, yet I'm paying 65% more in home insurance, surely I can do better than what I am currently paying.


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Old 04-29-2014, 02:48 PM   #225
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GoodLife I printed your budget to compare to mine to see where we could cut back. Thanks for the post.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #226
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Goodlife: How do you get away with only $308 for medical for a year? What about insurance, prescriptions, etc?
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:48 AM   #227
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Aja, I have done better than that the past 4 years in retirement. Accounting for HSA tax deduction, I actually have made a small profit on medical each year, and I receive no employer benefits. Obamacare is going bust me in the wallet come January 1 though and eliminate that "problem" unless my insurance carrier decides to extend underwritten policies for another year.


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Old 04-30-2014, 10:14 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Aja, I have done better than that the past 4 years in retirement. Accounting for HSA tax deduction, I actually have made a small profit on medical each year, and I receive no employer benefits. Obamacare is going bust me in the wallet come January 1 though and eliminate that "problem" unless my insurance carrier decides to extend underwritten policies for another year.


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It's just surprising to me to see what some folks have experienced with healthcare/insurance costs. Granted, some folks are young with no illnesses.

For us, both on Medicare with Plan F supplemental insurance, and Part D drug plans, we spend over $8K before either of us takes an aspirin.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
It's just surprising to me to see what some folks have experienced with healthcare/insurance costs. Granted, some folks are young with no illnesses.

For us, both on Medicare with Plan F supplemental insurance, and Part D drug plans, we spend over $8K before either of us takes an aspirin.

I'm almost 50 and on no meds. I guess I'm healthy, or at least I feel that way. I'm sure if I let them poke around on me long enough, they could find something wrong and then put me on some meds....but I am not going to give anyone that chance yet.


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Old 04-30-2014, 05:16 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888
Goodlife: How do you get away with only $308 for medical for a year? What about insurance, prescriptions, etc?
I am on HSA plan via my employer, and the employer is covering my premiums for it (they have special "points" that can be used for medical and other benefits I select). I am not on any regular meds and a couple of doctor visits + associated prescription cost me that much in 2013...

If I were to include medical, dental, misc disability and other insurances, and other employer-provided benefits, that would add ~$3650/year but I then also get ~$3840 in these "points" for income. If I were not working for this employer, who knows what kind of insurances I'd be buying and for how much...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888
For us, both on Medicare with Plan F supplemental insurance, and Part D drug plans, we spend over $8K before either of us takes an aspirin.
Regarding folks on Medicare by the way, a close relative of mine in same area is spending ~$600 yearly on medical costs by using Medicate Advantage plan which includes drug plan. $0 in premiums. Pretty low costs for doctor visits. They are on 12 regular medications, most of which are generics.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by GoodLife View Post

Regarding folks on Medicare by the way, a close relative of mine in same area is spending ~$600 yearly on medical costs by using Medicate Advantage plan which includes drug plan. $0 in premiums. Pretty low costs for doctor visits. They are on 12 regular medications, most of which are generics.
Medicare Advantage plans are essentially HMO's and are OK if you are healthy. The problems with them stem from the choice of doctors as you may not be able to choose one(s) you want. Also, some Advantage organizations went under in recent years as gov funding is shrinking. Plus, certain meds are not available under their plans.

My DW has a very serious lung condition and other ailments and we elected to choose her doctors, etc. I had a total hip replacement by the best surgeon in the West and cost to me was $0.

While Advantage plans vary from area to area (some as quite good, but none in Texas), many retirees elect to go with pricey supplemental plans for the long run, even though the premiums are high. It's a matter of you get what you pay for.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #232
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Medicare Advantage plans are essentially HMO's and are OK if you are healthy. The problems with them stem from the choice of doctors as you may not be able to choose one(s) you want. [...] It's a matter of you get what you pay for.
I understand. The relative I mentioned has a number of chronic conditions and is on 12 meds as I said - far from being healthy. Also, the plan has max out of pocket of ~4k per year (which does NOT include drugs I believe but should involve any doctor charges, hospital stays, etc). In any case, I understand your point about choosing doctors and other things you mentioned. I guess you've got to pay for that choice if it's important enough to you... The only thing I did not get is why you are surprised below ;-)
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It's just surprising to me to see what some folks have experienced with healthcare/insurance costs [...] we spend over $8K before either of us takes an aspirin.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:03 PM   #233
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Hmm, I just tallied up my expenses through the first 4 months of the year, came to about $20k. However, over half of it was for federal and state income taxes and the first quarter tax installment.

No medical, since I'm not FIRE'd yet.

Will have property taxes to pay, about $5000-5500 and have some travel planned.

Spent about $63.5k last year but almost $17k were for non-recurring things, like remodeling costs, new computer, DVR, etc.

That would be more or less in line with 2012, which was under $48k, though I'd need to add about $5-10k each year for income taxes, not from earned income but from dividends and cap gains distributions.

Both years, travel spending was $11k or more.

This is in the Bay Area.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:32 AM   #234
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2013 total: $11,336 / year
Incredible!
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