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Old 07-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #81
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That's just not always the case. Just like OP and some other's we live in an expensive area. $500K get's you a fixer upper. Throw on $10K easy for property taxes and then start with all the other expenses of owning a home and it isn't all that much.

My wife and I are in the same income ballpark and we have to work HARD to get to our 30% savings target.
Saluki,

If you look, I was doing the math with the numbers given... he said $2K per month for the house... I would assume that included all costs including taxes... even if you took another $10K out, that is still over $4K per month for everything else... that is a LOT of money.. in fact, that is more than the average person lives on for all costs including house, taxes etc...

So the kids must be doing everything under the sun that cost money... and are getting all the expensive toys... or dad is getting them... I don't know... but to me that is a BIG leak... not trying to be negative even though it looks that way... again YMMV...
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:33 PM   #82
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L,

Don't feel too bad. DW and I realized that we were/are in a similar situation. The takeout "'cause we're too tired or didn't have time to cook" excuse was working great until I made her we looked at where the money was going.

With 2 kids, and paying for things like daycare/summer camp, OT for both kids, Speech for 1, and fixing up a house that hadn't been remodeled since 1980 really cuts into your savings. The auto savings is a great idea. That's what we do with 401(k)s and our other savings. Also, we keep the password to the ING account on the other side of the house from the computer. For some reason that seems to help.

We also noticed that our kids never eat anything that a restaurant serves, even if they ususally eat it [chicken strips, mac and cheese, etc.].

- Alec
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:07 PM   #83
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Saluki,

If you look, I was doing the math with the numbers given... he said $2K per month for the house... I would assume that included all costs including taxes... even if you took another $10K out, that is still over $4K per month for everything else... that is a LOT of money.. in fact, that is more than the average person lives on for all costs including house, taxes etc...

So the kids must be doing everything under the sun that cost money... and are getting all the expensive toys... or dad is getting them... I don't know... but to me that is a BIG leak... not trying to be negative even though it looks that way... again YMMV...
$298,000 first mortgage set for 20 years at 5.125% for a payment just under $2k for the mortgage alone. 2nd, taxes, meloroos, insurance are all above that and push it up another $1k a month. 2nd was taken to pay off student loans once we were DQ'ed on deducting them. Sorry for the confusion.

Looking at the budget more carefully, it looks eating out/take out is a big culprit. We are meal planning today to try and have meals ready to go. So has home improvement. Spent $1k on tree removal (way too many trees on the property, roots pulling up everything), things like that.

Ultimately, I'd like to get us where we were covering costs with my salary alone (97k) and seeing DW's after tax salary all going to NW. With the new 401k adjustment, that leaves us 10k more to go.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:14 PM   #84
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My only advice on meal planning is to not overdue it and pick things that store in the freezer or fridge well. If you go overboard and try too many things at once, you'll probably give it up as being too much work.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:26 PM   #85
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Maybe not, but you can take pride in being our most vacillant pre-retiree.
Now that does have a ring to it!

BTW, I think Laurence is doing fine. I try to be as cheap as I can, but single, I spend about $40,000 not including taxes living in a 500 sq.ft. apartment. And I could sure find good use for another $10-$15.

Some people here are unusually talented.

Ha
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:48 AM   #86
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$298,000 first mortgage set for 20 years at 5.125% for a payment just under $2k for the mortgage alone. 2nd, taxes, meloroos, insurance are all above that and push it up another $1k a month. 2nd was taken to pay off student loans once we were DQ'ed on deducting them. Sorry for the confusion.

Looking at the budget more carefully, it looks eating out/take out is a big culprit. We are meal planning today to try and have meals ready to go. So has home improvement. Spent $1k on tree removal (way too many trees on the property, roots pulling up everything), things like that.

Ultimately, I'd like to get us where we were covering costs with my salary alone (97k) and seeing DW's after tax salary all going to NW. With the new 401k adjustment, that leaves us 10k more to go.

Great to hear.... and the first thing is what you are doing... find out where the money is actually going... no guessing... THEN you can make a decision...

And that would be great if you could live off your salary... your savings would skyrocket...
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:29 AM   #87
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Now that does have a ring to it!

BTW, I think Laurence is doing fine. I try to be as cheap as I can, but single, I spend about $40,000 not including taxes living in a 500 sq.ft. apartment. And I could sure find good use for another $10-$15.

Some people here are unusually talented.

Ha
It really amazes me when I read about cost of living in most states bordering the east and west coasts. I don't think I could spend $40K/year if my life depended on it (and I'm trying!!! See the Wii thread ). It's not a matter of being super-virtuous, as much as a matter of increasing disparity in cost of living between some east/west coastal communities and other regions of the country.

I think what we are dealing with here, are two increasingly separate economies, and it is very difficult to compare the two. I feel for LaurenceWill, because as far as I can tell he lives in a location with back-breakingly high cost of living.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #88
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I think what we are dealing with here, are two increasingly separate economies, and it is very difficult to compare the two. I feel for LaurenceWill, because as far as I can tell he lives in a location with back-breakingly high cost of living.
We hear all the time about the high cost of living in California. I wonder, though, for a retiree, is the cost of living really that much higher? Assuming that your home is paid for (no easy feat, these days), what are the other high costs that drive up the cost of living? Aren't most staples similar in price everywhere in the country? I'm thinking groceries, clothing, etc. I know that gas is somewhat higher here in SoCal than in other parts of the country, but our property taxes are lower than many places (even factoring in the higher cost of housing here). While utility prices may be a bit higher than in other parts of the country, I assume that's more than offset by the fact that we don't need to heat and cool our homes as much as people in other areas.

So what, besides housing, contributes to the high cost of living here? I've never lived anywhere else as an adult, so don't have anything to compare it to.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:43 AM   #89
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We hear all the time about the high cost of living in California. I wonder, though, for a retiree, is the cost of living really that much higher? Assuming that your home is paid for (no easy feat, these days), what are the other high costs that drive up the cost of living? Aren't most staples similar in price everywhere in the country? I'm thinking groceries, clothing, etc. I know that gas is somewhat higher here in SoCal than in other parts of the country, but our property taxes are lower than many places (even factoring in the higher cost of housing here). While utility prices may be a bit higher than in other parts of the country, I assume that's more than offset by the fact that we don't need to heat and cool our homes as much as people in other areas.

So what, besides housing, contributes to the high cost of living here? I've never lived anywhere else as an adult, so don't have anything to compare it to.
Ive been doing some research in regards to CA col verse some of the cheaper states. Groceries are up to 20% cheaper in a state like Missouri. Utilities and medical seem to be cheaper around 5 to 10 %. You are correct about property taxes. However a state like MO state income tax is substantially cheaper than CA. Also sales tax is less. Rents and housing are a lot less.

There is a reason why people living in those states make a less wage than someone living in CA. Of course some places like New York or NJ,Conn you would see very little of a col difference.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:00 PM   #90
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Ive been doing some research in regards to CA col verse some of the cheaper states. Groceries are up to 20% cheaper in a state like Missouri. Utilities and medical seem to be cheaper around 5 to 10 %. You are correct about property taxes. However a state like MO state income tax is substantially cheaper than CA. Also sales tax is less. Rents and housing are a lot less.

There is a reason why people living in those states make a less wage than someone living in CA. Of course some places like New York or NJ,Conn you would see very little of a col difference.
Even day to day things like a nice meal out tend to cost much more in big coastal cities. Wages are higher, occupancy costs are higher, and there are more affluent consumers around to foot the bill for these things.

Ha
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #91
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Even day to day things like a nice meal out tend to cost much more in big coastal cities. Wages are higher, occupancy costs are higher, and there are more affluent consumers around to foot the bill for these things.

Ha
Good points. The weather sure is nice here. You certainly pay a premium for it.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:54 PM   #92
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Lawrence ,
I give cudos to your wife for working with two kids around all day . That is the ultimate in multi -tasking .
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:00 PM   #93
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We hear all the time about the high cost of living in California. I wonder, though, for a retiree, is the cost of living really that much higher?
I wouldn't say it has to be. Food was cheaper here than the midwest when I moved because so much is produced here or shipped through here, but it varies with seasonality. Utilities higher but less need for them. Insurance is higher.

It depends on how high living you are. If you spend more you will pay more in taxes. It is much easier to spend much more because there are so many options available and so many more expensive ones. Services will be higher since costs are higher. If you don't use many and do most things yourself you won't experience it much though. Private schools didn't even exist where I was in the midwest, but are almost standard for affluent families here. A lot more is spent on travel and leisure in both quantity and cost. There is a lot more conspicuous consumption here. Mostly people feel they are or should be more affluent and feel the need to spend more to feel like it.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:04 PM   #94
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I wouldn't say it has to be. Food was cheaper here than the midwest when I moved because so much is produced here or shipped through here, but it varies with seasonality. Utilities higher but less need for them. Insurance is higher.

It depends on how high living you are. If you spend more you will pay more in taxes. It is much easier to spend much more because there are so many options available and so many more expensive ones. Services will be higher since costs are higher. If you don't use many and do most things yourself you won't experience it much though. Private schools didn't even exist where I was in the midwest, but are almost standard for affluent families here. A lot more is spent on travel and leisure in both quantity and cost. There is a lot more conspicuous consumption here. Mostly people feel they are or should be more affluent and feel the need to spend more to feel like it.
Food was cheaper where ? Than the midwest? Trying to clarify where..where is from you. Never mind I see you are from CA. Interesting. I would have to disagree a lot with your assessment
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:36 PM   #95
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My personal experience is that salaries are competitive with the coasts (vis a vis, I'd have to take a pay cut to move), housing is substantially cheaper, property taxes are lower, utilities are competitive and food is slightly more expensive (but local produce is fairly cheap).

The trade-off is that we were just hanging out in the basement to escape yet another line of tornadoes and you'll freeze body parts off in the winter. Oh, and no fresh fruit. And mosquitoes...
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:39 PM   #96
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My personal experience is that salaries are competitive with the coasts (vis a vis, I'd have to take a pay cut to move), housing is substantially cheaper, property taxes are lower, utilities are competitive and food is slightly more expensive (but local produce is fairly cheap).

The trade-off is that we were just hanging out in the basement to escape yet another line of tornadoes and you'll freeze body parts off in the winter. Oh, and no fresh fruit. And mosquitoes...
No fresh fruit where? Then again they dont worry about earthquakes or forest fires as much. Might want to research your fresh fruit assessment
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #97
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No fresh fruit where? Then again they dont worry about earthquakes or forest fires as much. Might want to research your fresh fruit assessment
Minneapolis... you get apples... and apples... and apples... and watermellons on one day in July, unless a tornado destroys the field then you just get apples again.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #98
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Minneapolis... you get apples... and apples... and apples... and watermellons on one day in July, unless a tornado destroys the field then you just get apples again.
Did you know California gets its "fresh fruit" from Chile during the winter and some of the spring months.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:52 PM   #99
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Did you know California gets its "fresh fruit" from Chile during the winter and some of the spring months.
Next you'll tell me that it's not the land of milk and honey and not everyone looks like they could be an extra on Baywatch.

I had a coworker that moved in 2000. He sold his 3000 sq ft house with the 10 minute commute to work for $300k to move to LA. He was estatic because he only had an hour commute to work and his 2300 sq ft house there cost him only $850k.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:07 PM   #100
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Next you'll tell me that it's not the land of milk and honey and not everyone looks like they could be an extra on Baywatch.

I had a coworker that moved in 2000. He sold his 3000 sq ft house with the 10 minute commute to work for $300k to move to LA. He was estatic because he only had an hour commute to work and his 2300 sq ft house there cost him only $850k.

No no no! we have sand every step we take! And hot honeys and himmeys from baywatch stroll the blocks.

Heck ya its the best!




btw himmeys is a word I made up..to go with honeys..himmeys..eh ahaha..er..ya
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