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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-20-2003, 11:28 AM   #41
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Quote:
For those the options will be bankruptcy or the "Hemingway exit."
Johngalt, the AP has a story out today about a new poll. The headline is "Poll: Public Supports Health Care for All".

One finding: "Eight in 10 in the poll said it is more important to provide health care coverage for all Americans even if it means higher taxes, than to hold down taxes but leave some people uncovered."

Simply extending Cobra from 18 months to an unlimited time would solve my problem. I'd be paying full freight, but it would be far better than any other choice I have. Hopefully some type of relief will come before too long. It's my biggest ER concern, by far.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-21-2003, 03:10 AM   #42
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

I like Scott Burns. Good stuff!

COBRA never helped me much as I couldn't afford it
over the long haul. As to raising taxes to cover everyone, my income is so low that I doubt that
approach would impact me significantly. Still, I am
wary of anything that even smells like a tax hike.
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$50 a day?
Old 10-27-2003, 09:09 PM   #43
 
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$50 a day?

Changing the subject slightly, Paul Terhorst, the original perpetual tourist, wrote in his 1988 book, "Cashing In On The American Dream: How to Retire at 35", that his target was $50/day plus $4,000/year travel expenses. How much is that in today's dollars?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has an CPI inflation calculator on their web site:
http://woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us/research/data/us/calc
that references a table of inflation at
http://woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us/resea...c/hist1913.cfm

Assuming tht Paul wrote the book in 1987, $50 in 1987 would be $80.81 in 2003 (16 years, say); 62% total inflation, or about 3.1% average per year (less than I thought). $4,000 then would be about $6,500 today. Total of about $36,000 per annum. At 4% SWR, the pot should be $900,000 in today's dollars to do that.

Just for reference.

Ed

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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-28-2003, 04:24 AM   #44
 
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Ed,

Yup, I think you got that right. Turns out that is closer to $100 a day! - Also Medical Costs, insurance have gone through the roof! I wonder what they would recommend if they wrote the book today.

My objective was never to live cheaply in retirement, but to live as lavishly as my nest egg would provide. When my wife retires in 9 years, we plan to be doing about $200 a day in today's dollars.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-28-2003, 04:52 AM   #45
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

I wonder how much insurance costs vary in ER-house,car,medical,etc. - as $/day. The land company that owns my swamp wants liability insurance(after 24 yrs). Prior to that I only carried minimum car insurance - the camp(house) is unisurable as it is over water. The women are covered via union pension medical and medicare/supplemental.

If your not a 'perpetual tourist' - how does insurance play into a frugal budget. I'm curious in how ER's apply risk/reward thinking in this area.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-28-2003, 04:57 AM   #46
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Hello Cut Throat! I still say you can do it (support a couple on $50 per day), but it would be the barest of
bare bones by American standards. Low rent, one beater car, maybe no
health insurance at all, etc. etc. My lifestyle is
substantially more lavish, even cut back as it is from my
big spender days. However, I am quite certain there
are millions living on $50 per day or less right here in the USA who don't feel
the least bit deprived. You see, it's all relative.
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Paul Terhorst's famous $50/day
Old 10-28-2003, 10:28 AM   #47
 
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Paul Terhorst's famous $50/day

Paul's book is long out of print. I got my copy via abebooks.com (good place for out-of-print books).

The essential basis was:
- own no car
- own no property--rent, don't buy
- live outside the US and move whenever you want to or need to
- buy high-deductable international health insurance (much cheapre than in the US)
- oh, yeah--no kids. (He does address families with children in his book, though. Grandchildren weren't mentioned--you are on your own there.)

His $50/day budget included everything except travel costs, which he budgeted at $4,000/year at the time. I understand that they found that it was possible to do better, but tht was the budget.

Paul and Vicki have since lived in Argentina, Paris, Thailand and Mexico, among other places.

They have a web site that they update occasionally at:
http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/5315/

Yes, corrected for inflation, that is about $100/day total (including travel costs) today. However, from my research, it should be possible to live on $50/day today (not including travel costs) in several places outside of the US without having to live in desperate poverty. In a few of these places it may be possible to do this without knowing much of the local language, but don't count on it. You had best learn how to habla.

This is my own current Plan A, by the way.

Cheers,

Lalo el Gitano
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-29-2003, 01:42 AM   #48
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

I first got my hands on Paul Terhorst's book from the
library in Irving, Texas. My wife finally bought it through
Amazon.com. Guess I've read it about 6 times.

Although I refer to Paul as my ER guru, I have not followed a lot of his advice. For example:

We own a Jeep, a pick up truck, a motorcycle and a boat.
We own our house plus some raw land.
We live inside the USA and move as seldom as possible.
WE buy our health insurance inside the US.
I have 3 children, all college educated.
We own 4 dogs, mostly uneducated.

Even so, I still use the basic concepts from the book
although I have thought that Paul might be aghast
at the way we live.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-29-2003, 12:33 PM   #49
 
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Hi Johngalt,

One thing that is important to keep in mind when we are having the $50 a day discussion, is that we are all living very large here in the States.

Half of the World's population gets by on less than $2 a day. Over 3 Billion People!

Here is an eye opening link on where you are on the World's Rich List.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-29-2003, 02:57 PM   #50
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Wow! I put in the lowest number I could justify. Still
ended up in the top 13.26 % world wide. I guess this
confirms my point about the validity of the $50.00 per
day rule.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 10-29-2003, 04:50 PM   #51
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

That is incredible! To think that an income of $875 per year puts you in the top half is sobering.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 11-01-2003, 08:10 AM   #52
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Although we do not "budget", (I hate that term), we do track spending much like a business would. Since we have operated many businesses, this is easy for us. For 4662 days of retirement, we have averaged $55.18 per day. This includes healthcare, travel, everything....and we eat well..

We track a daily average, a two year average, and from the beginning of retirement. This way you don't go nuts if your daily average shoots up because you bought air-tickets, had repairs your some other expense.

It works for us.

Billy
Website http://www.geocities.com/ba264
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 11-01-2003, 03:17 PM   #53
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Hi Billy! Re. $50.00 per day, I rest my case.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 11-03-2003, 12:52 PM   #54
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

johngalt,

Exactly...it can be done...in fact, if we did not travel so much it would be much less....but then again, that's our "fix".....We want to see much of the world while we can still climb up on that rock, wade across that stream, or not be afraid to jump into the back of a pickup.

Thanks,
Billy
Website http://www.geocities.com/ba264
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-13-2003, 06:43 PM   #55
 
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Someone please tell me how to spend so little on food.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-13-2003, 08:03 PM   #56
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Quote:
Someone please tell me how to spend so little on food.
Hi Ron,

My best guess is to keep poor records. Or shoplift. Or maybe work for the mafia and get some of those nice boxes of Kansas City strips as special thanks for a job well done. Or you could eat like a poor person in Africa or Latin America- little or no meat, no vegetables, lots of corn meal, rice and beans.

I live alone, and always look for sales, etc when I shop, never eat out-ever- yet I spend on average $450 a month on food. I also don't buy take-out, or lunch meat, or prepared stuff. Strictly the raw ingredients. Meat averages about $5/#, veggies anymore between $1.25 and $2/#. Add it up- it can't be done, at least in the US. I don't buy soda, crackers, snack foods, ice cream, or desserts. Just meat, fish, eggs, milk vegetables and fruits. Plus the necessary spices, oils, etc. For most of this stuff you can't even coupon.

I am eating dinner while I write this. I bought the stuff today. And it is a "budget" meal, using some ingredients many Americans don't eat. I have a mixed salad with red onion, romaine lettuce and arugula. ($1.50) One broccoli crown. ($0.85) 0.75#chicken hearts. ($1.90) Four cloves of garlic. ($0.45) Half a yellow onion ($0.40), spices. and a half cup cheap red wine ($0.50). (I am including only the wine used in cooking, not what I drink.) So a meal made with chicken hearts for one person costs $6.00. I don't eat dessert, but you could add that. If I have cod, add $3. Halibut, add $5 to 6. Hamburger, take away a quarter. A steak, add $5.

Lunch costs about the same. Breakfast I have meat and eggs. have you noticed that eggs are now $1.75 or so a dozen? Still a bargain, but that means that 2 of the things cost $.30. bacon at $4/# is a dollar per meal.

So, breakfast costs $1.30. Lunch and dinner together say $12 to $14. I get $13 to $15 dollars a day, x 30 days, equals $390 to $450 per month, for one person. Oh I forgot- add a buck for so for a little (very little) fruit!I actually spend a bit more, because if I am quite active I have to eat more. Also, I figure wild salmon and halibut are going to disappear in my lifetime-I want to eat as many as I can before that happens. Ditto oysters. Crab has already become too expensive, and lately so are decent beefsteaks. In my market, a decent, not prime but choice steak from the top loin or ribs is $10 to $12 per pound. Since beef is not going away, I will wait for this.

$10 years ago I was working as a tax preparer. Divorced spouses would bring in their food receipts to establish support and dependency on the child. Even back then, many families were spending $600-$800 a month.

I think saving money is nice, and I really try, but I like eating a lot more than I hate working.

BTW, my meal was muy sabroso!

Mikey
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-14-2003, 03:22 AM   #57
 
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Holy mackeral Miley!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where do you live??

My wife buys the groceries. She is a careful shopper
in terms of where she buys, sales and coupons, etc.
But, we basically buy what we want (steaks, liquor,you name it) and I don't think we ever spend as much as you do per month, and that's for both of us!!!!!!!!!!! This does not count eating out,
but even there you can easily save without dumpste
diving.
Here is an example:
I recently was gone on a week long trip to Texas.

Typical day:
Slimfast for breakfast - low cal, very nutricious $1.25
Frappacino in mid morning $1.40
McDonalds for lunch $2.25
IHOP for dinner $5.00

Total $9.90

Some days were less and some a little more. This does not count wine (bought at Walmart). But that was
offset by free coffee and food from the motels.
I am only guessing, but I would say our average
at-home costs
for food AND grocery store available items can't be
over $500.00 a month, and that's for 2 people.

John Galtl
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-14-2003, 04:26 AM   #58
 
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Paul Terhorst said he was surprised to find that he enjoyed his post-ER vacations as much as ever.
I enjoy them even more as I no longer fret about
what is going on back at the office. Can't tell
you the number of "vacations" cut short and/or
disrupted by business pressures when I was working.

John Galt
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-14-2003, 11:56 AM   #59
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

Quote:
So, breakfast costs $1.30. Lunch and dinner together say $12 to $14. I get $13 to $15 dollars a day, x 30 days, equals $390 to $450 per month, for one person.
Mikey, it must have a lot to do with where you live. I just checked Quicken. Without even trying, we spend only $393.16 per month ($90.73 per week) for four people.

And we eat very well. Steaks, roasts, chops, pies, cakes, deserts, fresh bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. It is almost impossible to find good fish here (Iowa), so we eat almost none. Chicken is cheap, but we eat very little of it - maybe twice a month. Right now in our cupboards we have many varieties of soda, milk, bottled water, orange/apple/grape... juices, earl grey/green/regular/powdered teas, several varieties of crackers, cheeses, dips, etc. We also have candy, packaged and homemade cookies, ice cream, frozen egg rolls/pizza rolls/tenderloins and other frozen convenience foods, 9 varieties of cold cereal and three of hot cereals, three bottles of wine, and many other things too numerous to mention.

In other words, we eat whatever we want. I have no doubt that we could cut our food bill quite a bit if we needed to do it. We track every penny through Quicken, and have for many years. So these aren't estimates, they are actual exact costs over the last 12 months until 11/30/2003. The only thing missing in that $393.16 is one daughter eats some school lunches and that was exactly $185 for the year. So that would add another $15.42 per month bringing the total to $408.58 per month for four. And that's without trying to cut. Plus, we live in a small town so there is no Sam's Club or large cut-rate chain. Only one store in town.

Where you live apparently makes a big difference when it comes to food bills.
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Re: $50 a day? No way!
Old 12-14-2003, 01:19 PM   #60
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Re: $50 a day? No way!

For the calendar year 2003, we are running about $6.50 per-person per-day. But that $6.50 also includes everything else also bought at a grocery store. Items such as: Paper towels, T/P, Cleaning supplies, OTC medications, etc. Also includes a school lunch 2-3 times a week.

I doubt we could make really significant cuts to that. Our pre-retirement versus post-retirement food consumption habits have not changed. We clip and use coupons for brands that we buy. Occasionally try something new product-wise if we get a freebie or near-freebie, but most times we are glad we didn't pay for it when we try them, most are not keepers. We have brands we stick to for most items. If we just bought and ate whatever was on sale of any brand, and stockpiled, we could probably get the per-day cost down some, and would end up disliking most meals. Ain't doin' that!

I think we eat well, and reasonably healthy. But we are not food-centric people. Our life, interests, and happiness do not revolve around food consumption. And no oinking goes on in our house . To each his own.


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