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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, 03:20 PM   #61
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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.
Yes, my source of funds is ordinary earned income.

As a single who is under 65, and in my province, I would need about 49K pre-tax to earn 37 net.

Right now I earn more than 49k. I just did not include my savings as an "expense."

edit- if you are curious about Canadian taxes, you could check out this tax calculator: http://www.taxtips.ca/calculators/taxcalculator.htm

second edit: there is a calculator for Quebec on that site as well, but its not included in the calculator I linked to.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
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.
Where did I say to 'aim' and 'encourage people' because my basic costs are $1580/month. He asked what people live on. I like to know what it takes for me to be on this planet with no frills. I did not encourage anyone to live on more or less. I consider someone with an income stream able to cover their absolute basic expenses to be FI and well on the way to RE depending on lifestyle.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:39 PM   #63
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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.
I fit right in the range
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #64
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Good poll, but whether you include income taxes (say, in the 15-20% range) and health insurance (in our cases $12K per year) can make a huge difference in your reply to the OP.

I would favor treating both as expenses which need to be included since that's what happens in the real world. Maybe the next version...

PS: the tax thing is especially confusing since once my post-tax money runs out, my withdrawals will go up some 20% just to cover income taxes on IRA distributions. Shortly thereafter, SS will start kicking in, etc.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:18 PM   #65
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Great feedback, thank you all!
I will need time to digest all of it, but it sound that I am not crazy
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:28 PM   #66
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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?
Not at all.

The 2.1% SWR was simply from an article that was the subject of a recent gloom-and-doom thread here:

More Gloom and Doom? Long-term real returns of 2.1%

Being a naturally pessimistic guy, I thought I would lower my expectation so that I would not be disappointed.

Regarding a couple together not spending double that of a single person, I would think that is usually true. The house does not have to be double in square footage, and two can travel in an RV for the same fuel cost, etc...

But think about it some more, if I were by myself, I would just buy an empty lot in the mountain, then park a small motor home there and call it home. Would that not be cheaper? Being a recluse should bring even more savings that I have not thought of at the moment. No?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:23 PM   #67
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I don't know if one is virtuous in being extremely frugal. But I know it is hard.

I also know there is absolutely no virtue in spending a lot of money. It takes no skills, and if there is, it is not too difficult to learn. We have seen lottery winners learning to blow away millions of dollars in just a few years. It cannot be that hard then.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:38 PM   #68
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Hello youbet - in my opinion the figures I gave are optimal with zero debt. It's ok to disagree, this is America. Take care.

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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?
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:52 PM   #69
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That's why she's still working, isn't she? Smart woman.
Yes. I could not afford her lifestyle (she just left for Cairo this afternoon, with her "travel buddy").

I'm at home, with the dogs (I'm not complaining )...
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:57 PM   #70
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Yes, my source of funds is ordinary earned income.

As a single who is under 65, and in my province, I would need about 49K pre-tax to earn 37 net.

Right now I earn more than 49k. I just did not include my savings as an "expense."

edit- if you are curious about Canadian taxes, you could check out this tax calculator: TaxTips.ca - Canadian tax calculator

second edit: there is a calculator for Quebec on that site as well, but its not included in the calculator I linked to.
Thanks oneils!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:01 PM   #71
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Hello youbet - in my opinion the figures I gave are optimal with zero debt. It's ok to disagree, this is America. Take care.
Thanks obgyn65. BTW, I wasn't disagreeing with the amount you are spending, just with the concept that 2 can live for much less than 2X the expenses for 1. At least that's how it works at our house. Our "married couple" expenses run close to 2X what either of our single expenses would be.

Alan and I discussed on the last page. He pointed out some of the tricks he and his DW use to keep expenses down as a couple such as sharing a single car, splitting entrees at the restaurant, etc.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:46 AM   #72
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Thank you youbet.

Just to clarify, these are not the amounts I am spending (I am still working, in accumulation phase, planning to retire in 2012 at age 47). The numbers I gave are those which in my mind are optimal. The results from the survey above and the average numbers provided by Independent above fit the ranges. I guess my range may be higher when I retire since I spend a lot of money each year supporting free clinics in the US and in Central America.

Thank you to Alan and you for discussing a few tricks to keep expenses down. Very helpful.

Have a good weekend.

obgyn65

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Thanks obgyn65. BTW, I wasn't disagreeing with the amount you are spending, just with the concept that 2 can live for much less than 2X the expenses for 1. At least that's how it works at our house. Our "married couple" expenses run close to 2X what either of our single expenses would be.

Alan and I discussed on the last page. He pointed out some of the tricks he and his DW use to keep expenses down as a couple such as sharing a single car, splitting entrees at the restaurant, etc.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:05 AM   #73
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Thanks oneils!
You're welcome, youbet!

This has been an interesting thread. After thinking about it, I think my expenses may be a little higher than 3100 as I have a few things automatically deducted from my pay. The deductions are: a monthly bus pass, a small "death benefit", a dental insurance premium, and a premium for extended health coverage.

I think those deductions total about 120 a month, bringing my total expenses to 3250.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:14 AM   #74
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This thread reminds of something I read a few months ago.

Quote:
Reasons I do not Brag About Room Prices

1. It tells readers they are stupid, and they paid too much.
2. My Mother does not want me to be a braggart.
3. Readers do not believe me.
4. I have this hidden fear, that if I told readers, they would come and fill up all the rooms and I would not be able to return. I know this is wrong, they just refuse to believe.
5. There is this USA cultural thing, that bragging about paying a lot of money makes you appear rich, prosperous and successful, so I have in the past shown pictures, but not always the price.
6. People try to shame me, try to make fun, try to insinuate I am cheap, I know I am the smart one, but it takes a lot of work to fend off the idiots.
...
End quote.

Source: Brag About Your 200 Dollars Per Month Room
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:22 AM   #75
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Not at all.

The 2.1% SWR was simply from an article that was the subject of a recent gloom-and-doom thread here:

More Gloom and Doom? Long-term real returns of 2.1%

Being a naturally pessimistic guy, I thought I would lower my expectation so that I would not be disappointed.
Thanks for the info and the link. Interesting reading, although a bit depressing. I consider myself pretty conservative financially, and may have to ratchet down a bit my max of 3% WR.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:36 AM   #76
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DW and I live on about 36k per year in Canada's most expensive city. When we ditch the mortgage in 2012 we will be living on about 24k. Our take home pay is 92k per year, so we are taking LBYM to the extreme... this is our simple recipe for FIRE.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:00 PM   #77
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Good poll, but whether you include income taxes (say, in the 15-20% range) and health insurance (in our cases $12K per year) can make a huge difference in your reply to the OP.
I'd say it would make a huge difference, especially if you were making a lot of money and paid a huge income tax while you were a spend-thrift - someone paying $80K of in income tax but spends only 39K a year, for example. His/her spending range would go from one of the lowest to the highest.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #78
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I am single, am still paying on my mortgage and live in Southern California (so kind of expensive)...am on track to spend $48K this year, next year will probably be closer to $55K due to a big trip I'm planning on.

Frankly if anyone asked me what I spent a year, I don't have a problem talking about it. If someone "criticized" me for what I spent, I would ignore them. I've worked damn hard at school and at w*rk in order to make enough money to comfortably spend what I do, responsibly save what I can, and anyone who had a problem with that can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:03 AM   #79
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First year of retirement and, as planned, our expenses are up by 20% due to lots of travel. Next year should be similar.
First year of retirement, at least for me, and our expenses are up about 10% due to unexpected home repairs and appliance replacement. I certainly hope next year is NOT similar":-). But I don't think they will be. Most everything else is in good shape. Still it reminds me about preparing for the unexpected. We also need a new car but that had already been figured in the budget. That's the largest expense and it's not as worrisome since we've always had it budgeted. Other than these surprises I think we've spent just a bit less than we planned on. That's a pleasant surprise.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:20 AM   #80
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First year of retirement, at least for me, and our expenses are up about 10% due to unexpected home repairs and appliance replacement. I certainly hope next year is NOT similar":-). But I don't think they will be. Most everything else is in good shape. Still it reminds me about preparing for the unexpected. We also need a new car but that had already been figured in the budget. That's the largest expense and it's not as worrisome since we've always had it budgeted. Other than these surprises I think we've spent just a bit less than we planned on. That's a pleasant surprise.
The plan I have is to either replace major items just before before retirement. I figure that way I should get about 10 years of good use before having to replace anything.
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