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Nope, $30,000 not possible for me
Old 12-10-2007, 01:42 AM   #161
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Nope, $30,000 not possible for me

because my rent, phone, healthcare, food and insurance alone cost $29,140. One person, living in 1 bedroom apartment.

And weirdly enough I have a few expenses beyond these. Like my car, etc., etc.

Ha
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:18 AM   #162
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Nupe ... my kid's college expense alone is almost $20K per year.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #163
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Cool! We're going next Sunday for the CSO Christmas concert! We don't have box seat though.....we're about half way back in the middle section on the main floor. We're going to Lawry's for a nice prime rib dinner before the Symphony....YUM! IIRC, transportation, dinner, and concert is 19000 pennies for the 2 of us. Money well spent!!!
That should be fun. I've never done any of the pop type concerts from the CSO, but I'm sure they would be great. Have not been to Lawry's in years, but I suspect it is still a great place for prime rib & steak ( a quick check of Chowhound.com confirmed that). Another lower-cost CSO ticket option to consider in the future- Terrace seats. Those are the seats that are above and *behind* the orchestra. The side ones get you very close to the orchestra, and you get to see the conductor's face and look over the shoulders of some of the orchestra, which is kind of an interesting perspective. The sound is not as unbalanced as I would have thought, and you are close, so hear very well. However, if the concert primarily features a soloist, these are not such good seats - the soloist needs to be at the front, and project to the main audience - that sound is quite muffled at the rear. But the overall orchestra sounds great.

CSO is among the best in the world. I am in awe when I experience their concerts.

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Old 12-10-2007, 07:53 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by ERD50;586534 OK, just so no one feels sorry for us, we did 'splurge' today. I do take advantage of and enjoy a number of free/cheap entertainment opportunities, but today we were attended the Chicago Symphony and got [U
Box Seats[/U] - first time for that. OK, it was the (famous) Brass Orchestra from the Symphony, not the full symphony orchestra, so box seats went for about half normal prices, so we treated ourselves. Worth all 22000 pennies. Another 1000 pennies for the train (holiday fares), a few more for a reasonable dinner and beer downtown, and one short cheap taxi ride back so we made the train on time. The Chicago Brass Orchestra and Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' - PRICELESS!
Having those pennies to spend once you are FIRE'd, or even to enjoy a bit along the way, is what makes it worth it, IMHO. If your budget is so tight that you never have the extra pennies, then I am not interested. I have lived on much much less than I do now, but did not have any extra $$ to do anything over and above basic needs (shelter, food, minimum transportation, and health ins). That is not how I want to live in RE.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:25 AM   #165
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Yikes...some of the high numbers on here are nuts. I agree living on 30K a year is more than feasible. I am single and 32, with home and car paid for. I live in Canada so no health insurance concerns....anyways I get by on about $1300 average a month in expenses. I could live on around 22K pre tax I think if I absolutely had to. That would be very tight though and probably would mean no vacation in a given year. 30K would be an absolute piece of cake though. I can't believe some of you are spending 80K+ a year...do you really need that 5 bedroom house??
I understand what you're saying. I've sworn off sharing my experience. Because I'm single (with an SO with his own house), I get silly stuff about not knowing what couples need.

My parents live on less than $30,000 by choice and their own sense of comfort and needs. They have several million invested, untouched. They invest either the pension or social security check -- I forgot which. Their spending level is not out of need, and they ended up with all that money because they were the same way all along.

I strongly believe a lot of this is based on experience and expectations and I don't judge anyone who chooses to live differently.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:08 AM   #166
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My parents live on less than $30,000 by choice and their own sense of comfort and needs. They have several million invested, untouched.
Well, if they are planning to leave their kids all their money, you may be in good financial shape.
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No Way On 30k
Old 12-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #167
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No Way On 30k

Dawg, no health problems, just the problem of living in NY. HDHP with HSA's are not available to individuals living in NY. THEY say there is no demand for them but that is because it is illegal to sell them. The politicians must get off the dime and start working for the citizens. I can't stand Spitzer, the Governor, but maybe he can do something to help us get out from under this cost of health insurance. I'm not looking for a handout but we should be able to get health care at a more reasonable price.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:41 AM   #168
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Well, if they are planning to leave their kids all their money, you may be in good financial shape.
On the other hand, don't count on it. The cost of medical and other end of life care can sometimes really put a dent in a substantial nestegg, if dying is prolonged over many years and they live to be quite old. Insurance often doesn't cover everything, and there can be additional expenses. Then there is inflation.

My philosophy on inheritances is that if you don't expect anything, then you will never be disappointed. I'll let you know how that works once my mother's estate has been settled.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:55 AM   #169
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Well, if they are planning to leave their kids all their money, you may be in good financial shape.
It's in a Trust. Two disabled siblings. The Trust idea came after they had all the money, not a goal. All 7 of us are fine with it. All in good financial shape already.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #170
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Bottom line, I think it means very, very little to the OP what someone else spends.

We all have different circumstances, needs, and wants. If any individual wants to figure out if they can live on $X, they need to calculate it for themselves. Other data points may help them in that calculation, but comments like 'sure, you can do it on even less!', or 'no way I could live like that' are fairly meaningless.

It's like asking someone which car to buy, with no background of your requirements - do you need to haul stuff, a family, how many miles a year do you drive, long boring commute (maybe a great sound system is a 'value proposition' to you), have you always longed for a sports car and it is now or never, do you routinely drive through 5 miles of unplowed streets in winter, etc, etc.

Some people prefer chocolate, some vanilla. That does not influence my preference.

Don't retire on someone else's budget, you may regret it.

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Old 12-10-2007, 11:21 AM   #171
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The problem with that is one Social Security payment disappears if the person dies so you are now living on $15,000.
I don't think this is the case. Once you get $X payment a month, SS does not reduce it when the first spouse dies.

I live on the coast, in lovely Charleston, SC, with water all around, and my property taxes on my paid-for home on 4 acres are $900 for 2008, a reduction from $1100 last year. Not all areas of the coast are excessively expensive.

Lots of different needs/wants shown here. I love seeing people's expenses, though, it is like spreadsheet voyeurism!
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:53 AM   #172
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Bottom line, I think it means very, very little to the OP what someone else spends.

We all have different circumstances, needs, and wants. If any individual wants to figure out if they can live on $X, they need to calculate it for themselves. Other data points may help them in that calculation, but comments like 'sure, you can do it on even less!', or 'no way I could live like that' are fairly meaningless.

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Old 12-10-2007, 12:14 PM   #173
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My philosophy on inheritances is that if you don't expect anything, then you will never be disappointed.
That's a very good philosophy. I am not counting on any inheritance from my parents. Most of it has disappeared from sibling's accounts.
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No problem on 30k..
Old 12-10-2007, 12:58 PM   #174
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No problem on 30k..

Have been coming in around 28k to 30k for 2 people the last few years and we do all we want..a few golf trips a year etc...live in Wisconsin and are debt free...have health ins. thru work and will get good old medicare at 66...suspect the economy will be in the tank for some time to come and cost of living will go down..recession will drive down prices on almost all goods..more and more good paying jobs will be lost....folks just won't have the $$$ to buy a ton of things which just aids the loss of jobs...all this gloom makes the 30k a year seem more reasonable...our SS and 4% with drawl from the nest egg gets us in the 30k range...so I feel 30k a yr will work just fine...
thats my story & I'm stickin to it
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:34 PM   #175
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I don't think this is the case. Once you get $X payment a month, SS does not reduce it when the first spouse dies.

If a couple are both collecting social security and one dies the surviving spouse will only get their benefit based on their record or a Survivor benefit based on their partner's benefit not both.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:38 PM   #176
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It is his/hers (the dead one) or yours, whichever is the most (but not both). That does not consider the odd ones, like one drawing a non-SS benefit/retirement and one is drawing a SS Benefit.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:39 PM   #177
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Have not been to Lawry's in years, but I suspect it is still a great place for prime rib & steak ( a quick check of Chowhound.com confirmed that).
We eat there each year when we go up for the CSO Christmas concert. It's always excellent!!!

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Another lower-cost CSO ticket option to consider in the future- Terrace seats. Those are the seats that are above and *behind* the orchestra.
Those would be great seats! However, for the Christmas concert those are used by the choirs.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:59 PM   #178
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It's so interesting to see how folks spend money and what each thinks of as necessitites and luxuries.

We live on less than $30,000 most years, which is far less than our withdrawal rate would allow, but we do have some years like this year when we went to Europe for two months and also just bought a new Prius, and actually slid a bit over a 4% withdrawal rate. We like living quite a bit below our means as a normal thing so that when years like this one come along, we feel quite comfortable in spending more.

It doesn't seem really all that important what each thinks is 'enough', only that they manage their finances in order for their particular 'enough' to be viable.

It's fun reading this thread, though.

LooseChickens
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:43 PM   #179
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We live on less than $30,000 most years .... but we do have some years like this year when we went to Europe for two months and also just bought a new Prius,
I guess this is an example of where I think people are using fuzzy math.

It seems a bit pointless to say, I get by on $30K most years, except for the years I spend $60K, or 40K?

Just using round numbers, if a new car costs $30,000 and you keep it for ten years, didn't that 'cost' you ~ $3,000 a year? You really need to amortize or average these expenses over their lifetimes to say 'I only spend $X per year'.

To use an extreme example to make a point, I could buy gift cards for every place I do business with on Dec 31st this year, and then claim I got by on zero dollars in 2008.

What, you people can't live on nothing like I do? Spendthrifts!

Get the point?

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Old 12-11-2007, 01:28 AM   #180
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We eat there each year when we go up for the CSO Christmas concert. It's always excellent!!!


Those would be great seats! However, for the Christmas concert those are used by the choirs.
the oriiginal L.A. location is still great , they don't serve steaks at the LA
Lawry's (if i remember correctly), just prime rib..
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