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Old 04-05-2008, 03:11 AM   #61
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yes, living in Europe has different costs than the US. I have not put the time in to going over the last 5 years to track expenses here to the penny.. I am just going by rough estimates and our yearly extraction from US accounts.

From past patterns in the US, I figured $40k-$50k was a perfectly fine income figure. Seeing as this was about double the average worker's salary in Italy.. no problem to live an average lifestyle, right? .. back of the envelope. So we are doing that.. living the average lifestyle.. a reduced one -materially speaking- w/r/t the US of five-ten years ago (except for our house which is nicer than average). No sushi hereabouts.

When I look back across the pond, I see that our expenses would change, but it would be unlikely that they decrease. It would be $12k/year for health care.. several k for prop. tax.. and then energy, food, and the rest (TVs, electronics, and so forth way at the bottom).

In both cases, whichever way I look at it.. fixed or essential costs are a much larger part of the budget than discretionary ones .. my gut says 60-70% now compared to 10 years ago when they were 30-40% [in both cases this is outside of housing owned outright]. And inflation on fixed/essential costs only continues to increase, far outpacing inflation on most discretionary items. That's just the way I perceive it. If I ever put the time into close expense tracking of the last few years I'll get back to yiz on it.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:14 AM   #62
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A fair rate would be the actual rate of increase in the cost of living (the loss of purchasing power) for the average citizen, not fudged by ideas such as Boskinizing. That would likely be around 7% today. The government would be forced to pay around 9% on TIPS, our standard tax deduction would be increasing 7% a year, and those on Social Security would be getting 7% a year to meet their increases costs. If they had to pay out what they owe, they wouldn't be as free to be spending money they don't have on every new thing that comes along. I'd call that fair.

Before you blast me, remember 91% of Americans think you are wrong when you do. It's must be nice to be so sure you are right even though only 9% agree with you. Who should be buying the hats?
first: you don't have a clue what my opinion is, so why do you assume i'm wrong?

second: i'd guess about 91% of Americans can't balance their checkbooks, and/or their income/expenses.

third: good thing you're not in charge!
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:53 PM   #63
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first: you don't have a clue what my opinion is, so why do you assume i'm wrong?

second: i'd guess about 91% of Americans can't balance their checkbooks, and/or their income/expenses.

third: good thing you're not in charge!
first, one of your previous comments gave me a clue on what your opinion is

second, there you go again, you are smarter/wiser/more educated than the other 91%, maybe they are more competent than you think. Riding a pretty high horse there, I'd say.

third, maybe you'd be better off if I was, you never know. At least I wouldn't be fudging the inflation rate to make the Government look more sound than it really is.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:56 PM   #64
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If I look at my real costs of daily living in the past 10 years well nothing has changed except gasoline and some food. If you buy the sale items sorry but food costs the same as 10 years ago. You can still find boneless chcken breasts on sale for 1.89 a pound shrimp is actually cheaper!! eggs are higher and so is milk but who drinks cow jusice at 52 YO?
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:59 PM   #65
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If I look at my real costs of daily living in the past 10 years well nothing has changed except gasoline and some food. If you buy the sale items sorry but food costs the same as 10 years ago. You can still find boneless chcken breasts on sale for 1.89 a pound shrimp is actually cheaper!! eggs are higher and so is milk but who drinks cow jusice at 52 YO?
You are one of the health care uninsured?
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:32 PM   #66
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You are one of the health care uninsured?

Pension covers health care, plan has changeed two times in two years but my blood pressure meds are cheaper being retired than when i was working. 14.06 for a 3 month supply.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:35 PM   #67
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first, one of your previous comments gave me a clue on what your opinion is

second, there you go again, you are smarter/wiser/more educated than the other 91%, maybe they are more competent than you think. Riding a pretty high horse there, I'd say.

third, maybe you'd be better off if I was, you never know. At least I wouldn't be fudging the inflation rate to make the Government look more sound than it really is.
first: you must have misread the clue

second: one does not have to ride a very "high horse" to balance their checkbook and/or income/expenses (and my horse ain't high, or tall either)

third: your answer and explanation to the question of "what's fair" speaks for itself
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:50 PM   #68
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Pension covers health care, plan has changeed two times in two years but my blood pressure meds are cheaper being retired than when i was working. 14.06 for a 3 month supply.
You are a very lucky person, I've seeing my health insurance premiums double in the last 7 years. Also the deductables are going up. If that keeps up it would eventually bust my plans which I thought were conservative.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:52 PM   #69
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You are a very lucky person, I've seeing my health insurance premiums double in the last 7 years. Also the deductables are going up. If that keeps up it would eventually bust my plans which I thought were conservative.
Don't worry, Hillary or Obama will provide for all our health care needs . . .
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:07 PM   #70
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first: you must have misread the clue

second: one does not have to ride a very "high horse" to balance their checkbook and/or income/expenses (and my horse ain't high, or tall either)

third: your answer and explanation to the question of "what's fair" speaks for itself
first, second, and third, This is all just a little fun, I am serious in believing they are/have been fudging the numbers but cannot do anything about it. It's hard to prove the CPI is wrong because it is complicated. When the Government started changing how it was calculated, you don't think it was for their benefit? I believe (91% sure) it was, if they had to pay the COLA's that they wrote into law, Social Security would have no chance of surviving. Not only that, but underreporting the COLA's allows them to spend more money. Congress and the Admin love to spend money. I liked the Fortune acticle because it is exactly what I thought, Joe Sixpack and all of his relatives are not buying it. Eventually the government may have to pay retirees the full COLA they were promised. I'm waiting for the CPI revolution. I actually thought my answer on what was fair was pretty good, I'll have to go back and see why it spoke for itself.
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