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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 11-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
I could live on $3k per month ($36k/year) given paid housing, health care, and taxes.

But take that $36k you need, add in close to $20k/year for health care and maybe another $10k for taxes and were up to $66k.

So, for your modest lifestyle one might really need $66k year gross plus a paid off house. Note that's approximately double what you spend.

+1

The house is paid for, and everything, including taxes, runs under $36k per year easily. I'm currently still on COBRA for 6 more months, but when that ends our expenses will skyrocket. I am really questioning the value of health care insurance.....the end product (health services) is pretty shaky at times and HI may not be worth the investment.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:58 AM   #42
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Me also - but I don't know what DW would live on ...
That's why she's still working, isn't she? Smart woman.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:07 AM   #43
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Is there any virtue in living on less than $100K a year? I don't think so.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:08 AM   #44
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However, I cannot yet afford that $60K on a 2.1% SWR and without SS.
If you don't mind my asking, how did you arrive at the desired 2.1% SWR? Is this an approximation of dividends and interest, or some other calculation?
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:13 AM   #45
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I voted 60-80K, without travel expenses that would have been significantly lower
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:15 AM   #46
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I am really questioning the value of health care insurance.....the end product (health services) is pretty shaky at times and HI may not be worth the investment.
That can be a very valid argument as long as you know you will be healthy until your "sell by" date. I suspect you'd be shocked to learn how valuable even a high-deductible policy can be in the unfortunate event you don't die a sudden death. Even more so if you develop some sort of chronic illness.

BTW, premiums for our high-deductible individual health policies are currently running us slightly north of $10,000 per year...
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:19 AM   #47
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Is there any virtue in living on less than $100K a year? I don't think so.
It's a virtue to not live *above* your means, IMO. If you bring $300K a year, there's not much virtue in being an extreme cheapskate -- but it's not a problem unless it affects your enjoyment of life, becomes an obsession or starts damaging personal relationships.

As for us, we're in the $40-60K camp now, but we could easily live on $30-40K if we wanted to ratchet our lifestyles down that much (paid off house, no debt, Megacorp health insurance). Of course, if I didn't have Megacorp health insurance we'd probably be back up in the $40-60K range again.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:47 AM   #48
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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?
In our case we live on less than double what it costs to live as a single in the following areas:

1) We now only have 1 car
2) The gym membership is only 50% extra for husband & wife than single
3) Cooking for 2 is cheaper
4) when we eat out we nearly always by a single entree and split it
5) My retiree health insurance is only 50% extra monthly premiums to add DW and the $500 deductible is the same as for a single person.
6) Vacations - hotel rooms cost the same for a single person as for 2
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #49
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Is there any virtue in living on less than $100K a year? I don't think so.
Well, if you're only making $50k, then, yes...
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:05 AM   #50
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Is there any virtue in living on less than $100K a year? I don't think so.
Other than retiring early no. Not much point in being miserable by scrimping by and not able to do those things you wish to in retirement.

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #51
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Ah, I forgot to put qualifiers on the $60K that I thought would be OK for most people.
Oh yes, don't ya know we must clarify every post.... Of course then again if we did that, we'd be on the forum 24/7. As for yours truly, that won't be happening because I have to catch up on recorded episodes of 'Desperate Housewives'.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:40 AM   #52
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Disbelieved, I can see, but criticized? For what? Not having a mortgage? Not spending scads of $$?

You gotta find a new audience! Oh wait, you have one here

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Originally Posted by wanaberetiree View Post
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.

Can you vote on the poll please?

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:51 AM   #53
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In our case we live on less than double what it costs to live as a single in the following areas:

1) We now only have 1 car We still have our own cars.
2) The gym membership is only 50% extra for husband & wife than single That's a good deal.
3) Cooking for 2 is cheaper I suppose this could save a few bux. But the primary entree incredients still double.
4) when we eat out we nearly always by a single entree and split it We don't do that. But we do use a lot of 2 for 1 coupons.
5) My retiree health insurance is only 50% extra monthly premiums to add DW and the $500 deductible is the same as for a single person. I assume this is a deal through your past employer. Not available for us.
6) Vacations - hotel rooms cost the same for a single person as for 2 We do do that although you could do that with a friend as well.



Good examples Alan. I've thought this through a bit and although I don't keep records that would prove it, I suppose we probably save a few bux per person living as a married couple vs living independently as 2 singles. Perhaps we save 10% or so...... We've just preferred to keep our personal amenities and activities intact throughout our 40+ years of married life. And this comes at a price.

Of course, even if we live to be 234, we'll never come close to making up for the fortune we spent raising the family no matter what we save by living as a couple!
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:52 AM   #54
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I live on about $22k a year. About 1/3 is housing, the maintenance charges (includes property taxes) for my co-op apartment and my small HO insurance policy. About 1/3 is health insurance and small dental expenses, the former continues to rise a lot. The rest is everything else, from income taxes to food to entertainment to utilities to car expenses.

Single, no kids, no debts, no mortgage (paid off in 1998). I come and go as I please, the same way as when I was working (P/T and F/T), except that I don't work any more!
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:04 PM   #55
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Of course, even if we live to be 234, we'll never come close to making up for the fortune we spent raising the family no matter what we save by living as a couple!
You can say that again

We were talking about this over breakfast today. We are "cat sitting" at present in Austin while DW and SIL are away on vacation for their 30th birthdays. They have been married 9 years, doing very well financially and have no plans for children. This is not a financial decision on their part, they just love their freedom and they have also said that they won't have any more pets once the last cat pops its claws.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:24 PM   #56
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I voted 20-30K per year but my actual expenses are less than that and could be even lower if I didn't pay people to do house and yard work.

No spouse, no kids, no mortgage, small house on small lot...
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:56 PM   #57
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I voted the $60-$80 for 2 people, no debt, have pets. This year overall expenses will be more as we bought new vehicle($35,000), mine is a 07. Have always paid cash for cars. We live pretty simply (same house 26 yrs...no 'moving up', although could have). When DH retires fully at end of year (I retired 10 yrs ago), we're planning on spending alot more on vacations (currently at least 1 cruise and several "trips" a year)....no direct heirs to be concerned with...so plan on enjoying the fruits of our LBYM's efforts. We too are concerned about what health care will cost in future. Neither of us elgibile yet for medicare...but I've had no-cost premium coverage for both of us for about 8 yrs.....last year company I retired from started charging about $160/mo. for coverage for us both...and of course expected an increase this year. Was surprised that it's gone up to approx. $400/mo. for us both (includes dental and vision) for a PPO. Could choose the HMO option with no cost...but has alot of limits. So..this looks like it will be our major expense going forward. Frankly just feel lucky to have what we've got and plan on enjoying it! But both of us have, in our lifetimes, lived on a lot less and am sure we could again if we had to!!
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #58
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If you look at the average for all two person families, and remove mortgage, RE taxes, rent, and health care, the result is just under $3,000 per month.

Here are the "official" averages for two person families according the the BLS

Age Group ----------------- 55-64 65-74
--------------------------- ----- -----
Food at home ---------------- 320 321
Food away from home ------- 257 198
Mrtg Int, RE Tax, Rent ------- 614 424
Other Housing --------------- 973 863
Clothing --------------------- 164 140
Transportation --------------- 874 747
Healthcare ------------------ 369 510
Entertainment --------------- 281 279
Personal care prod & svcs ------ 58 ,55
Alcohol / Tobacco -------------- 79 ,58
Reading / Education ------------ 88 ,43
Contributions ----------------- 259 213
Personal Insurance ------------- 49 ,49
Other ------------------------ 114 ,69
-------------------------------------
Total --------------------- 4,497 3,969

Net of Mrtg, RET, Rent,HC - 3,515 3,034

You didn't say if you were being criticized and disbelieved because people thought you were too high or too low.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #59
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I live on about 3100 a month or 37K a year. That is with 1520 a month (18K/yr) going to PITI. Points of clarification:

- I'm single
- have a small freehold townhouse
- have 10 years until the mortgage is paid off.
- I have no car
- Do not have to pay for health insurance premiums (I'm in Canada).
- I have about 20 years to go until retirement.

When the mortgage is payed, I could see my expenses dropping to about 2200 per month.

What problem do people have with your expenses? Are they in disbelief because they think are too low? Its as someone said above, it mainly comes down to "lifestyle and location."
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:02 PM   #60
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I live on about 3100 a month or 37K a year.
What would you have to gross pre-tax up there in order to net the $37k you need to cover expenses? I'm assuming your source of funds is ordinary earned income.
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