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Old 07-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #281
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There is no income tax at the $30k level for a couple and if you are too old to pull the trigger on a Glock to defend yourself, you really should not be driving a 3,000 pound machine anyway.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:14 AM   #282
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These people live with running water and electricity but mortgage free in a tiny house:



The faircompanies videos and House Hunter's International have really opened our eyes to just how little it really takes to meet all the basic necessities of life, sometimes in very desirable places like the south of France.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #283
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When I was younger, my mother was friends with a couple that moved to the woods in VT when they retired. Nice cabin, but no running water, no electricity, heated the cabin with wood. Sponge baths, no hot water, ran a generator only an hour or so each day to pump water from the creek.

He was ~60+ I think, and they had to be living as cheaply as anyone. Way under $30K a year. But as far as I am concerned, that is not a viable long-term lifestyle. Itís OK for a fly-in moose hunt, but not for day-to-day living. I had relatives that did it, even my Dad on the farm, but I do not want to be working every minute trying to get through the next. As you get older, cutting wood for heat becomes something like work. And there is something about hot showers that you get used to.

You can live on very little, but if you are going to make every financial decision a major focus of your life, I would rather work another year. If you have to eat at home because you cannot afford the $20 it takes to eat out, you are on the brink of disaster.

A few items people miss are the income tax and car payment expenses. They can live on $75K, but need $90K+ in income to have $75 after taxes. The same for car payments. No payments now, but driving an unreliable car could be a death sentence when you are too old to fend for yourself if it breaks down.

Itís great to save in retirement, but if you have to skimp every day just to make it work, itís not for me.
+1

I want to enjoy retirement and not worry about money. I do not hate my job and so personally I would much rather work extra 5 years then worry about money once retired.

If one wants spend retirement in Bulgaria all you need is about 1k a month.

Living in place like Cambridge MA or San Francisco has pleasure of being near lot of smart and interesting people. Personally I don't want to rule such option out because of budget.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:25 AM   #284
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$20,000 is probably the minimum to be able to have a warm, safe living space and afford quality ingredients for cooking. Much more than that is just extra weight you eventually pay to lose.
I don't know if you are referring to weight on your body, presumably from spending too much on food. If this, I don't think that it occurs. I had a high food budget when I was married with children, and now when I am single. The more money you have, the better and more wholesome food you can buy. I didn't retire to strike a lot of excellent and very appealing foods off my menus. See how much halibut or oysters or King Salmon or even codfish you can buy on some of these extreme food budgets; little or none.

Where I notice a big disconnect which I think must be regional is on eating out. In my experience not going to get an appealing dinner for 2 in a table cloth type restaurant for less than $150 all in. Lunch usually cheaper, but enough to let you know that you have eaten will be $40-$50 all in. Likely less in suburbs, or in student places. Though hard to know what the new Seattle $15 minimum wage will do. My guess some places will fail. Though young people with good salaries have never impressed me as value oriented.

My girlfriend lives in lakeside community with a bunch of casual restaurants that do a very good business in summer. Even during their so-called happy hour, it is hard to get out after hamburgers, 1 glass of house wine each, tax and tip for less than $45.

None of this going to make anyone fat. Look around where the average check is high, and then at Royal Fork.

Ha
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:26 AM   #285
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These people live with running water and electricity but mortgage free in a tiny house:
You can't live like that! What about storing all if the stuff you haven't used in 10 years? You need an extra bedroom or two for that. If your house is that small, how will the roofer get away with charging you $25,000 for a new roof? What about the lawn guy, homeowner association fees? How will the utility company make a profit if you can heat your home for $30 a month?
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:29 AM   #286
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I don't know if you are referring to weight on your body, presumably from spending too much on food. If this, I don't think that it occurs. I had a high food budget when I was married with children, and now when I am single. The more money you have, the better and more wholesome food you can buy. I didn't retire to strike a lot of excellent and very appealing foods off my menus. See how much halibut or oysters or King Salmon or even codfish you can buy on some of these extreme food budgets; little or none.

Where I notice a big disconnect which I think must be regional is on eating out. In my experience not going to get an appealing dinner for 2 in a table cloth type restaurant for less than $150 all in. Lunch usually cheaper, but enough to let you know that you have eaten will be $40-$50 all in. Likely less in suburbs, or in student places. Though hard to know what the new Seattle $15 minimum wage will do. My guess some places will fail. Though young people with good salaries have never impressed me as value oriented.

This isn't going to make you fat either. Look around in Canlis, then look around in Royal Fork.

Ha
Jacob on ERE would heartily disagree with you and I bet he is in much better shape too.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #287
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I don't know if you are referring to weight on your body, presumably from spending too much on food. If this, I don't think that it occurs. I had a high food budget when I was married with children, and now when I am single. The more money you have, the better and more wholesome food you can buy. I didn't retire to strike a lot of excellent and very appealing foods off my menus. See how much halibut or oysters or King Salmon or even codfish you can buy on some of these extreme food budgets; little or none.

Where I notice a big disconnect which I think must be regional is on eating out. In my experience not going to get an appealing dinner for 2 in a table cloth type restaurant for less than $150 all in. Lunch usually cheaper, but enough to let you know that you have eaten will be $40-$50 all in. Likely less in suburbs, or in student places. Though hard to know what the new Seattle $15 minimum wage will do. My guess some places will fail. Though young people with good salaries have never impressed me as value oriented.

This isn't going to make you fat either. Look around in Canlis, then look around in Royal Fork.

Ha
It guess it helps to have cheap tastes. We go out for lunch these days to mom and pop ethnic restaurants with a coupon. Some even have table cloths, and I mean the good plastic kind, none of that cheap plastic for us.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:44 AM   #288
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Pb4uski, good to know I have some more options (yours and the 72t) which would mitigate the full plate of taxes and penalties if I try to withdraw from my IRA before I turn 59.5. The Roth conversion would include some taxes, too, because I am around the cusp of the 15%-25% federal tax brackets. You can see why I usually attach the word "unfettered" to accessing my IRA when I can do so without these obstacles.

I have not begun tapping into my principal (about $850k and growing) in my taxable accounts and THAT I can tap into without any obstacles other than cap gains taxes (which are usually 0% federal the last few years). I prefer to consider the IRA untouchable until I turn 59.5 and my ER plans always made that assumption.

As little as I spend per year ($20k-$25k) in this high COL area (LI, NY), I am always amazed at how little others pay in property taxes. I pay $3k and I live in a studio apartment (about 625 sq. feet) in a co-op although I get $1k of it back in the form of a state school tax rebate, so I pay $2k net.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:46 AM   #289
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You can't live like that! What about storing all if the stuff you haven't used in 10 years? You need an extra bedroom or two for that. If your house is that small, how will the roofer get away with charging you $25,000 for a new roof? What about the lawn guy, homeowner association fees? How will the utility company make a profit if you can heat your home for $30 a month?
What about cable? Missing the NFL? Internet? My gosh, what would people do with all that time on their hands?
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:47 AM   #290
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Jacob on ERE would heartily disagree with you and I bet he is in much better shape too.
That is kind of ad hominum, and I cannot see why you are motivated to sink to that. But in any case he may be, but then he is about 40 years younger. My shape is pretty damn good, and I am not hawking anything, unlike the famous Jacob, who as I remember bailed to Wall Street after filling many impressionable people with questionable ideas. But then, he can make a rake, so there is that.

And I imagine his Wall Street life features much more expensive food than my retirement life!
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #291
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That is kind of ad hominum, and I cannot see why you are motivated to sink to that. But in any case he may be, but then he is about 40 years younger. My shape is pretty damn good, and I am not a bullshipper like the famous Jacob, who as I remember bailed to Wall Street after filling many impressionable people with lies. But then, he can make a rake, so there is that.

And I imagine his Wall Street life features much more expensive food than my retirement life!
It wasn't a personal attack but if we take Jacob at his word, he manages to eat well and stay in shape for quite a bit less than $20,000 a year.

I don't follow him much but I did notice he took the Quant position. I figured he was mostly doing it to try something different.

Halibut is expensive, but you can get fresh Copper river salmon here in the NW for $9.99 a pound at Costco. Considering you probably should not eat more than half a pound at a meal, that brings it to $10 for the main meat. Add another $5 for salad and vegetables and you have a $15 meal.

Quite a far cry from spending $150 for nice tablecloths. I have heard you can buy tablecloths for use at home...
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:33 PM   #292
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It guess it helps to have cheap tastes. We go out for lunch these days to mom and pop ethnic restaurants with a coupon. Some even have table cloths, and I mean the good plastic kind, none of that cheap plastic for us.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:49 PM   #293
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Fermion's meal seems like a good sample healthy option and works out to about 1.5 cents per calorie. If baseline+exercise puts one at 3000 calories total, that's $45/day/person or $16.5K/yr/person. Or $2,700/mo for a couple.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:54 PM   #294
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Fermion's meal seems like a good sample healthy option and works out to about 1.5 cents per calorie. If baseline+exercise puts one at 3000 calories total, that's $45/day/person or $16.5K/yr/person. Or $2,700/mo for a couple.
I calculated that for 2 people, so you are at $1,350 a month for a couple. That is if you eat Copper river Salmon every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. That might get old.

Have you considered a breakfast of oatmeal and a slice of fresh bread with fresh strawberry jam? That is about $1.50 per person. Lunch could be some fruit and a turkey sandwich, at about $2 per person. Total then for all three meals might be $18.50 for two people or about $600 a month.

But you can eat salmon three meals a day every day if that is what floats your boat...
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:09 PM   #295
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And finally a question...

How did they get running water without electricity? Did they build it on top of a (powerful) spring? Do they go down to the river and walk 5 gallon buckets back, climb a ladder and pour them into a raised tank?

My brother has a black poly line running up the hill to a higher point on a little creek, upper point with a screen keeping the big stuff out in a small pool. Gravity feed gives him a running faucet and drooling shower. Not really city water pressure, but none of that effete water testing and chlorine sterilization either. Good country bugs keep his immune system well exercised and in top shape. Seems to be healthier than me.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:17 PM   #296
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I calculated that for 2 people, so you are at $1,350 a month for a couple. That is if you eat Copper river Salmon every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. That might get old.

Have you considered a breakfast of oatmeal and a slice of fresh bread with fresh strawberry jam? That is about $1.50 per person. Lunch could be some fruit and a turkey sandwich, at about $2 per person. Total then for all three meals might be $18.50 for two people or about $600 a month.

But you can eat salmon three meals a day every day if that is what floats your boat...
We buy a lot of grass-fed meats, fresh wild-caught fish, uncured meats, and fresh produce in SoCal, all of which is above-average in price, I'm quite certain. Yet DW and I get by on ~$650-700/month. And that's with me actively training for triathlons and eating 3-4000 calories or more every day.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:33 PM   #297
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I calculated that for 2 people, so you are at $1,350 a month for a couple. That is if you eat Copper river Salmon every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. That might get old.

Have you considered a breakfast of oatmeal and a slice of fresh bread with fresh strawberry jam? That is about $1.50 per person. Lunch could be some fruit and a turkey sandwich, at about $2 per person. Total then for all three meals might be $18.50 for two people or about $600 a month.

But you can eat salmon three meals a day every day if that is what floats your boat...
I did the math for one person:
Meal cost: $15/2 = $7.50
8 oz salmon - 340 cals
1 cup broccoli - 60 cals
spinach salad + healthy low-sugar dressing = 100 cals

So $7.50/500 cals = $0.015/cal

$0.015/cal * 3000 cal/day = $45/day for one person

I agree with you -- I wouldn't want to eat salmon for 6 meals a day (3000 cals/day divided by 500 cal/meal).

I generally shoot for 4 meals a day, or 750 cals/meal using our hypothetical 3000 cal/day need.

But I don't think your alternative options are healthy or include enough calories, and I think the cost estimate of the lunch meal is too low. Bread, pasta and other high-carb meals are definitely inexpensive calories, but also unhealthy. So is added sugar (strawberry jam). Also, around here, real turkey breast (only turkey, no slurry/reformed/additive crap) is $12/lb and organic fruit is typically $1-$2 each. Ignoring the healthiness issue, the breakfast option is 300 calories total with plain oatmeal. A half pound turkey sandwich with the bread is around 500 calories, so you'd need a lot of fruit to make up the additional 250 needed. The turkey alone would be $6, plus say $1 for half an organic avocado and $2-$3 for two organic oranges. Right back up around the same price as the salmon meal.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:36 PM   #298
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We buy a lot of grass-fed meats, fresh wild-caught fish, uncured meats, and fresh produce in SoCal, all of which is above-average in price, I'm quite certain. Yet DW and I get by on ~$650-700/month. And that's with me actively training for triathlons and eating 3-4000 calories or more every day.
I'm guessing you lucky ducks in SoCal have very cheap organic fruit available to buy, or even pick for "free" from your own or neighbor's trees.

Grass-feed meat here is $10-$16/lb raw.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:41 PM   #299
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I did the math for one person:
Meal cost: $15/2 = $7.50
8 oz salmon - 340 cals
1 cup broccoli - 60 cals
spinach salad + healthy low-sugar dressing = 100 cals

So $7.50/500 cals = $0.015/cal

$0.015/cal * 3000 cal/day = $45/day for one person

I agree with you -- I wouldn't want to eat salmon for 6 meals a day (3000 cals/day divided by 500 cal/meal).

I generally shoot for 4 meals a day, or 750 cals/meal using our hypothetical 3000 cal/day need.

But I don't think your alternative options are healthy or include enough calories, and I think the cost estimate of the lunch meal is too low. Bread, pasta and other high-carb meals are definitely inexpensive calories, but also unhealthy. So is added sugar (strawberry jam). Also, around here, real turkey breast (only turkey, no slurry/reformed/additive crap) is $12/lb and organic fruit is typically $1-$2 each. Ignoring the healthiness issue, the breakfast option is 300 calories total with plain oatmeal. A half pound turkey sandwich with the bread is around 500 calories, so you'd need a lot of fruit to make up the additional 250 needed. The turkey alone would be $6, plus say $1 for half an organic avocado and $2-$3 for two organic oranges. Right back up around the same price as the salmon meal.
Yeah, you're not shopping well. For lunch today, I'm eating 1/2lb of turkey which cost $9/lb, but was on sale for $4.50; an avocado which cost $.50 because an organic avocado is a ridiculous expenditure (you don't eat the skin); a gala apple I washed which was about $.50; carrots I washed for about $.50, and some fresh made almond butter at about $.30 for what I'm eating. So that lunch at more than 700 calories costs me right around $4.50.

I could spend a lot more than that if I chose to, but this notion that you can't eat healthfully without spending exorbitantly is nonsense.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:41 PM   #300
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Also, around here, real turkey breast (only turkey, no slurry/reformed/additive crap) is $12/lb and organic fruit is typically $1-$2 each.
$12 a pound turkey? I can buy a whole 17 pound turkey for less than $12! and it is about as fresh as you can get unless you go to a farm and kill one/pluck it.

I take it you shop exclusively at Whole Paycheck.
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