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Old 05-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #21
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Note, the $20k annuity was tongue in cheek... but, as a quick, fun thought experiment

$100 a month for food would buy:

Month 1:
50 lbs hard red spring wheat berries - $25
50 lbs great northern white kidney beans - $30
25 lbs powdered milk - $33
10 lbs peanuts - $15
pack of veggie seeds - $2

Month 2:
1 lb italian seasoning - $6
1 lb cinnamon - $5
12 lb short grain brown rice - $25
10 lb rolled oats - $10
5 lb honey - $20 (grade AA, not pure clover honey)
1 lb active dry yeast - $6.50
20 lbs potatoes - $10
10 lbs lentils - $10
2 packs veggie seeds - $7

Of course, first thing I'd look at, since that's more food than one or two people can eat, is splitting cost with another family so that I could put about half of the budget on veggies while waiting for mine to grow.
It looks like we have the same grocery list. The only the exception is the wheat berries. We use hard winter white.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #22
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No meat? No fish? Not everyone is a vegetarian.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #23
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No meat? No fish? Not everyone is a vegetarian.
Well, I spent my teen years well under the poverty line. We rarely had meat in our house and, when we did, it was generally chicken.. and on sale. Things like beef (even hamburger) were a rarity. So, when thinking of a bare essentials budget, "luxury" items like meat generally don't occur to me (I am, after all, a product of my environment).

However, $100 in month 3 would buy you a nice brood of chicks and also a good clutch of rabbits. Assuming you're careful about culling the rabbits, you should be able to raise those indefinitely and they're fairly easy to clean.

If you intend to raise chickens for meat, you should get at least 20 hens per rooster. If you're simply interested in eggs then 4-6 layers should keep you well-stocked with eggs for several years. The chickens should be able to survive purely on bugs from late spring-fall in your yard and feed for winter would be minimal (or you just cull them in the fall and then buy chicks again next spring)

You could supplement with a cheap hunting license and a box of bullets assuming you already own a gun.

Owning a goat might be an option although a cow is out of the question for most houses. Likewise with pigs.

Still, we're a long way off from your original fear of Alpo
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:05 PM   #24
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Many years ago my ex and I had a stream running through our back yard in Virginia. The fishing in that stream was great. We went fishing for 2-3 hours every day after work, and ate the fish that we caught about five days a week (and froze any left over for days when we came up empty-handed). We caught mostly bluegill, crappy, catfish, and an occasional bass. We used the money we saved to help pay for him to take flying lessons.

It wasn't a hardship, since we both liked to fish. But, we sure saved a lot of money that way.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:17 PM   #25
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So, he learned to fly and flew the coop?
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:21 PM   #26
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So, he learned to fly and flew the coop?
Nah - - he solo'd and never got his pilot's license. This was about 22 years before our divorce.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:20 AM   #27
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And who doesn't worry about outliving their money? The question is how much and how often.
I'm one. My SWR is between 2 and 3%. However, the historical data may not represent the future. That being said, I may worry about it but I don't obsess over it.

How much? Very little
How often? Whenever my portfolio drops 10-20%.

What to do? Worry and change things when the WR >= 4%. In 4 years that hasn't happened
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:15 AM   #28
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Nah - - he solo'd and never got his pilot's license.
I resemble that remark....
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:47 AM   #29
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Having grown up in the Bronx (NYC) in an apartment, the opportunities for raising chickens, having a goat or a cow, and owning a gun (Sullivan Act ) were extremely limited. I suppose we could have raised fish in the bathtub, but that would be somewhat inconvenient . We did have a steady supply of roaches and the occasional mouse, but I wouldn't call them good eating. We did have rats down by the rivers that you could put a saddle on, but rat souffle was never one of my favorite dishes. Some people did catch pigeons and squirrels in the parks, but they were really nasty and filthy animals. All that survivalist stuff is great when you have 40 acres and a plow, but in the city it's a real issue .

The closest thing I remember to really fresh anything was the egg man and the milkman, but they were gone by the late '50s. In fact, frozen orange juice was an amazing development, as, until that time, the only way to get OJ was to squeeze it yourself.

We did have lots of fresh produce stores, but even back then, they were pricey and the stuff had taken days to get to the city and was not "farm fresh." City folk just don't have the same opportunities for living off the land as those in flyover country .
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:15 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Webzter View Post
Note, the $20k annuity was tongue in cheek... but, as a quick, fun thought experiment

$100 a month for food would buy:

Month 1:
50 lbs hard red spring wheat berries - $25
50 lbs great northern white kidney beans - $30
25 lbs powdered milk - $33
10 lbs peanuts - $15
pack of veggie seeds - $2

Month 2:
1 lb italian seasoning - $6
1 lb cinnamon - $5
12 lb short grain brown rice - $25
10 lb rolled oats - $10
5 lb honey - $20 (grade AA, not pure clover honey)
1 lb active dry yeast - $6.50
20 lbs potatoes - $10
10 lbs lentils - $10
2 packs veggie seeds - $7

Of course, first thing I'd look at, since that's more food than one or two people can eat, is splitting cost with another family so that I could put about half of the budget on veggies while waiting for mine to grow.


Where do you get your 50lb bag of Kidney Beans and your wheat berries?

Thanks
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:28 AM   #31
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Where do you get your 50lb bag of Kidney Beans and your wheat berries?

Thanks
From an Amish bulk foods store a couple hours south of here in northern Indiana.

Good places to check would include any Mennonite or Amish stores in your area, an LDS Cannery (any I've looked into don't require you to be a member), food co-ops (they may not carry in-stock but may be willing to order), bulk food stores, grain elevators, and, for the wheat at least, local flour manufacturers. There are also some online places but their costs seem to be substantially higher.

A note on going the grain elevator route.... you'll want to make sure it's suitable for human consumption. Also, there are varying levels of quality... well, not quality, but work involved. The cheapest to buy / most intensive work is 'field run' or 'field run from storage'. This is minimally winnowed, dirty, and basically from the thresher to you. Following would be 'pre-cleaned'. This is going to be winnowed which means chaff, smut balls, droppings, etc, have been removed. Next would be 'pre-cleaned and packaged'. Same benefit as before but it's also bagged.

To give you an idea on price... you might be able to get field-run for half as much as pre-cleaned and packaged. I've also seen the pre-cleaned stuff from $25-$60 for 50 lbs with the higher price being via online stores.

Storage is also a consideration, especially if you're considering long-term storage.

You can do a lot with wheat berries when you're buying in bulk... just make sure you're buying wheat suitable for your goal. You can cook 'em, boil 'em, grind them.. grind them coarse so you get nice bran flakes, grind them fine for flour (which is where getting a hard versus soft is important if you're not planning to add gluten and are planning to make bread).

And, of course, you can do a lot with a bean too
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:18 AM   #32
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"A nationwide sample of 500 American baby boomers (ages 47 and 65) who are not yet retired and have an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000 participated in the Internet-based survey."

What a pile o' crap in that article. If I was in that age group, and that was my peak income, I too would have problems with my personal vision of retirement.
Many members of this forum cannot relate to most American baby boomers because we've meticulously planned for ER. We may be in for a rude awakening as those who have not will affect everyone - whether we like it or not.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #33
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Many members of this forum cannot relate to most American baby boomers because we've meticulously planned for ER. We may be in for a rude awakening as those who have not will affect everyone - whether we like it or not.
And this isn't only a "rude awakening" for the boomers who can't retire -- it's also on the young adults whose careers can't get going in part because there are few jobs being vacated by said boomers who can't retire.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:42 AM   #34
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And this isn't only a "rude awakening" for the boomers who can't retire -- it's also on the young adults whose careers can't get going in part because there are few jobs being vacated by said boomers who can't retire.
My brother, a licensed paramedic, can't get a job in his field. Apparently the burnout rate on paramedics is generally extremely high and so there's usually continual openings at the bottom for new talent as the top moves on to a new career after 5-10 years. However, with the market the way it's been for the past few years, the 'old-timers' are staying put.
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:15 PM   #35
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Where do you get your 50lb bag of Kidney Beans and your wheat berries?

Thanks
http://www.honeyvillegrain.com/
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #36
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Many members of this forum cannot relate to most American baby boomers because we've meticulously planned for ER. We may be in for a rude awakening as those who have not will affect everyone - whether we like it or not.
Why? How? Honestly, I'm not being confrontational, but I don't understand why other boomers' poor planning will affect me or cause me any "rude awakenings." Perhaps you're seeing something I'm not.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #37
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Why? How? Honestly, I'm not being confrontational, but I don't understand why other boomers' poor planning will affect me or cause me any "rude awakenings." Perhaps you're seeing something I'm not.
Recall the anti-smoking argument made that smokers make themselves sick, and then non-smokers have to pay for their medical care? In those days, I was still smoking, and I found this argument very irritating, because it seemed like such a limp excuse for restricting my liberties. All the same, it makes a sort of twisted sense. Same thing here. If you are profligate, and I insist on paying to support you when you are impoverished, then you have harmed me by your improvident behavior.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:15 PM   #38
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We have millions of baby boomers that have not prepared for their retirement. It is the functions of government to take care of these poor souls, and to do that we must level the playing field. Therefore, we will take funds from those that have planned for their senior years and spread those funds amongst everyone. It is the only fair thing to do.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #39
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I suspect that Social Security will be harder to collect, with reductions for having assets, pensions or the like. Just to make it fair for those that didn't save. I have planned with that as a possible scenario.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:52 PM   #40
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We have millions of baby boomers that have not prepared for their retirement. It is the functions of government to take care of these poor souls, and to do that we must level the playing field. Therefore, we will take funds from those that have planned for their senior years and spread those funds amongst everyone. It is the only fair thing to do.
The only way the government can take money from me is through taxes. It does seem inevitable that taxes (both ordinary income and capital gains) will increase, and some of our investment income will be affected. But we've already planned for that.

Now, another possibility is that eventually there will be some sort of "means testing" for social security and/or medicare, and those with assets will be expected to receive less from the government, but getting legislation like that passed will create such a political firestorm that I see it as only a remote possibility.

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