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View Poll Results: How much do you live on?
20-30K per year 37 13.03%
30-40K per year 52 18.31%
40-60K per year 78 27.46%
60-80K per year 48 16.90%
> 80K per year 69 24.30%
Voters: 284. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-11-2010, 08:26 PM   #21
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There's a difference between 'living' and 'living it up'.....

Right now, by budget is in dah middle of dah road.

(...oh...and this is under FIRE Related Political Topics? )
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #22
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Just hit 60K spent so far this year. Not including 17K for a new car.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #23
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I could make arguments for any number from about $12K to about $64K, but actual expenses this year are running towards the latter figure; that is everything - taxes, child support, mortgage interest, utilities, etc.

Although it doesn't include mortgage principal payments because Quicken treats those as a transfer to reduce the mortgage balance. I suppose if you want to add those in add about another $7K per year.

So I voted for the $60-$80K option.

My alleged retirement budget is about $19K per year in a few years, but even that excludes college expenses for my kids, because I segregate those.

It really all depends on how you count.

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Old 11-11-2010, 08:41 PM   #24
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$60-80K a year for the two of us seems to be the norm.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:51 PM   #25
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I would say that for $60K, most people would not feel deprived, except for the big spenders.

Can we talk about 4% SWR or 2.1% SWR now? That's the real bogeyman to me. Oh well, I think I can still afford the RV-in-the-NM-mountain lifestyle in the worst case. I am covered.

Wait... I forgot about the medical bogeyman. It is sad when one just wishes to get old quicker to qualify for Medicare.

Nah, medical care is overrated anyway. We all die sooner or later, and sooner may not be bad with some diseases I have seen.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
There's a difference between 'living' and 'living it up'.....

Right now, by budget is in dah middle of dah road.

(...oh...and this is under FIRE Related Political Topics? )
Good point--moved to FIRE and Money board.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:13 AM   #27
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We live on 14k but it is tight at that level.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:36 AM   #28
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I would say that for $60K, most people would not feel deprived, except for the big spenders.
At 60k per year I'd feel like I'm living high on the hog. Even with extra money going to the mortgage I don't spend that much per year.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:48 AM   #29
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Agree. I guess $40-60k for a single person with zero debt, or $60-80k for a couple with zero debt also is perfect.

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$60-80K a year for the two of us seems to be the norm.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:59 AM   #30
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My parents live on about $22k. They have only dipped into savings twice since dad retired 8 years ago at 67, once to buy a new car when their car was totaled, and once for mom's hearing aids. They are now mid 70s and don't travel much. Their house is mortgage free.

I am not FIREd yet, and the company pays some of our expat expenses (housing in JP, plane fares for home leave, etc) and we maintain our home in the states, so it's not an apples to apples comparison. Adjusted for these anomalies, I think we could do fine (cover the necessities, healthcare, capex accruals, and a reasonable amount of hobby and travel money) if we had 80-90 after taxes and tithes. Hoping to be able to have more though...

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Old 11-12-2010, 05:37 AM   #31
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I am getting criticized and disbelieved when I say that for my family - 2 people, with no mortgage on house and health care by my employer (~400$ mo excluded) we spend ~30-35K.
You will be "criticized and disbelieved" regardless of your actual annual budget, be it 30-35K, 12-29K or 36-100K. There are too many involved factors. Here are the few critical ones I can think of:

1) Lifestyle
2) Location
3) Lifestyle
4) Location
5) Lifestyle

Did I mention location and lifestyle?
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:40 AM   #32
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I would say that for $60K, most people would not feel deprived, except for the big spenders.
Actually, in almost any large west coast city it might be hard to qualify for a mortgage on a single family home with that income, even at today's BernankeRates (And by west coast I do not mean Fresno. )

I went to a Redfin seminar a few nights ago for people interested in buying a home. Most of us were 1st time home buyers, and as one guy in the group said, most of us seem to be "just off the boat". The buy points most discussed were $650,000 to $1,000,000. I am not saying that there are not cheaper places because there are. But many of them are old houses that would sell for <$100k in other cities, and are not near high paid employment, or not safe, or not otherwise suitable for the usual high earning couples, even if said couples might be just off the boat.

Many of the "what it costs to live" pronouncements on this board are straight out of fantasyland for many of us, especially the ones who do not want to put down their roots in a trailer park.

Ha
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:06 AM   #33
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I take this to mean the absolute basics for the region you live in. The rest is a function of the options you chose for your lifestyle. My big ticket basics are 1/2 mortgage, car/home insurance, propane, gasoline, 1/2 r.e taxes, and water/garbage. DW and I split all basic expenses. It currently costs me $1580/month to live where I do. I assume about the same for DW. The mortgage goes away in 5 years, but I expect r.e taxes to replace most of that.

I have $300/week additional in the budget for travel/entertainment. Since March, I have hung close to the homestead for 1-2 months and then take 2 week roadtrips.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:50 AM   #34
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Boy am I an outlier on this one.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:30 AM   #35
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Quote:
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Many of the "what it costs to live" pronouncements on this board are straight out of fantasyland for many of us, especially the ones who do not want to put down their roots in a trailer park.

Ha
+1 If you don't already own your home outright in my neck of the woods, mortgage payments alone will add up to the low end of the spending reports we see here.

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I take this to mean the absolute basics for the region you live in. The rest is a function of the options you chose for your lifestyle.
Maybe, but I think focusing on absolute basics may encourage people to aim short of their needs. I would not wish to ER with an income stream that was anywhere near "absolute basics." I think that is something that happens to you if you don't/can't plan, not something to aim for.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:01 AM   #36
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Agree. I guess $40-60k for a single person with zero debt, or $60-80k for a couple with zero debt also is perfect.
Can't agree. DW and I definitely spend double what either would spend alone. How are you getting by on less than 2X your single budget as a couple?
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:33 AM   #37
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My recurring bills add up to around $24k, including PITI on my POS house. Not very good at tracking the "incidentals" though...
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:51 AM   #38
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Actually, in almost any large west coast city it might be hard to qualify for a mortgage on a single family home with that income, even at today's BernankeRates (And by west coast I do not mean Fresno. )
Ah, I forgot to put qualifiers on the $60K that I thought would be OK for most people.

With most people here already ER'ed or close to it, I meant for that $60K to not include the mortgage on the house, which should be paid for already.

Come to think of it, by the time we consider taxes of various kinds, and medicare costs, there may be so many different scenarios that the comparison between people's spending levels becomes impossible.

For me, the $60K will be OK, I think. It should be enough for a comfortable but not luxurious life, and also includes some travel expenses. I said "think" because it fluctuated wildly in years past. However, I cannot yet afford that $60K on a 2.1% SWR and without SS. I also do not know my expenses will stay there as my medical insurance premium keeps creeping up alarmingly.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:19 AM   #39
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For me, the $60K will be OK...
Me also - but I don't know what DW would live on ...
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:32 AM   #40
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Someone mentioned taxes, is the the after tax amount? Virtually all our income is taxable from a pension, IRA, some capital gains, not raiding the cash & Roth. After taxes we spent $85K over $100K gross but that includes younger son in college. House is paid off, no other debt and live really modestly except for travel.
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