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Old 12-26-2012, 11:48 AM   #181
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Sorry Mulligan to disappoint you, but I live on $8/day, and I am researching ways to get it down to $7.50 next year. I think that my modest personal inflation rate may help.

Ha
Wow! I'm humbled Ha......

The $3600 total annual budget I posted a few pages back works out to $9.86 per day, way above the $8 you're able to achieve!
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #182
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Whether $9.86 or $8/day, that's way more than I spend!

My wife always pays for grocery, even when I go shopping with her. And as I do not hang around bars, or even go to a cafe, I hardly spend any money. My wife even buys most of my booze. I have been threatening to go buy a $50 bottle of Tequila for a month now, even started a thread about it, and have yet to do it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #183
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Single, living alone (one cat), San Francisco Bay Area, 53, not yet retired ...

$15,402 Cat Veterinary
$09,150 Mortgage
$04,876 Charity
$03,480 Utilities (Gas/Elec, Water, Phone, Trash, TV, Internet)
$03,203 Property Taxes
$00,726 Homeowners Insurance
$00,548 Home Repair/Improvement (including AC for cat)
$00,490 Auto Insurance
$00,358 Auto Gas
$00,204 Bicycle Repair
$04,504 Misc (food, clothes, entertainment, recreation, doctor, dentist, subscriptions, ...)


Total: $27,539.08 (plus $15,402.42 in veterinary bills)

Previous Years:
1999 (30,915)
2000 (33,454)
2001 (27,325)
2002 (31,751)
2003 (29,757)
2004 (25,510) [plus 18K in veterinary bills]
2005 (29,424) [plus 5K in veterinary bills]
2006 (30,735)
2007 (29,703)
2008 (31,846)
2009 (23,878)
2010 (26,108) [plus 17K for a new car]
2011 (28,845)
2012 (27,539) [plus 15K in veterinary bills]
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:38 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Single, living alone (one cat), San Francisco Bay Area, 53, not yet retired ...

$15,402 Cat Veterinary
$09,150 Mortgage
$04,876 Charity
$03,480 Utilities (Gas/Elec, Water, Phone, Trash, TV, Internet)
$03,203 Property Taxes
$00,726 Homeowners Insurance
$00,548 Home Repair/Improvement (including AC for cat)
$00,490 Auto Insurance
$00,358 Auto Gas
$00,204 Bicycle Repair
$04,504 Misc (food, clothes, entertainment, recreation, doctor, dentist, subscriptions, ...)


Total: $27,539.08 (plus $15,402.42 in veterinary bills)

Previous Years:
1999 (30,915)
2000 (33,454)
2001 (27,325)
2002 (31,751)
2003 (29,757)
2004 (25,510) [plus 18K in veterinary bills]
2005 (29,424) [plus 5K in veterinary bills]
2006 (30,735)
2007 (29,703)
2008 (31,846)
2009 (23,878)
2010 (26,108) [plus 17K for a new car]
2011 (28,845)
2012 (27,539) [plus 15K in veterinary bills]
Let me see if I understand this. You go to work each day to pay the cat doctor?
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #185
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You can get a new cat for much less than the vet bill. I have one cat. I once paid 800 for a vet bill on it. I thought I was going to die instead of the cat. For me that 800 was almost enough to get me to do a trade in.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #186
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We track and record everything we spend, this is the 4th year in a row now. Our total out of pocket spending for 2012 for two people with no pets:

entertainment $1,338.18
groceries & household supplies $4,695.56
Hair salon $637
gasoline $1903.43
cell phone $146.23
cable, internet, land line $2095.54
utilities $2,103.95
life insurance $900
garbage pick up $327.76
auto & house insurance $1,189
property tax $6,183.54
license plates $198
clothes $990.27
gifts $2,786.04
vacations $3,472.81
medical, dental, vision, perscriptions $2,287.96
car repairs $359.69
home/lawn maintenance $3,554.47
miscellaneous $4,042.51

Total: $39,211.94 which is a bit more than $2.000 over 2011 total. The biggest increases over 2011 was +$1,000 due to property tax reassessment and approx. $1,000 more in home maintenance.

This total does not include my health, dental, and vision insurance co-pays of appox. $5,280 that was deducted from my paycheck during the year. Between maxing out 401K and IRAs and additional savings, we probably saved as much as we spent.

We live in upper Midwest, but our property taxes are relatively high vs value of our home.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:44 AM   #187
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I see you update your total Tom52. It is not cheap in Chicagoland. When I first saw your total they did not add up to 8k I did not know you were not finished.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #188
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That is great Tom52 can you give us more details what part of the country? That makes me look like I am throwing around money like Bill Gates.
Thanks rec7, we live in Naperville, IL but in an un-incorporated part of town, we are on well and septic which saves money on water/sewer bill and cheaper property taxes. If we were incorportated our taxes would probably be $2,000 more a year.

I would estimate our long term average costs in today's $ would be about $8,000 more per year if we estimated in costs for occasional new vehicle and major home repairs. So we are probably long term averaging about $48,000.

Of course if we retire at the end of the year we would have to tack on a substantial amount for health care. I sure wish I know what that cost will be.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:32 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Tom52 View Post

Total: $39,211.94...

This total does not include my health, dental, and vision insurance co-pays of appox. $5,280 that was deducted from my paycheck during the year.
So your total including health insurance premiums was a little over $44k. Add in federal and state (?) income taxes and your total was close to $50k, right?
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #190
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Thanks rec7, we live in Naperville, IL but in an un-incorporated part of town, we are on well and septic which saves money on water/sewer bill and cheaper property taxes. If we were incorportated our taxes would probably be $2,000 more a year.

I would estimate our long term average costs in today's $ would be about $8,000 more per year if we estimated in costs for occasional new vehicle and major home repairs. So we are probably long term averaging about $48,000.

Of course if we retire at the end of the year we would have to tack on a substantial amount for health care. I sure wish I know what that cost will be.
Hi neighbor. We (three of us plus a dog) live in incorporated Naperville. You are correct about the taxes as we are paying about $9,500 in property taxes.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:42 AM   #191
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Of course if we retire at the end of the year we would have to tack on a substantial amount for health care. I sure wish I know what that cost will be.
I've been using the Mass health care exchange to get an idea https://www.mahealthconnector.org/portal/site/connector
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom52 View Post
We track and record everything we spend, this is the 4th year in a row now. Our total out of pocket spending for 2012 for two people with no pets:

entertainment $1,338.18
groceries & household supplies $4,695.56
Hair salon $637
gasoline $1903.43
cell phone $146.23
cable, internet, land line $2095.54
utilities $2,103.95
life insurance $900
garbage pick up $327.76
auto & house insurance $1,189
property tax $6,183.54
license plates $198
clothes $990.27
gifts $2,786.04
vacations $3,472.81
medical, dental, vision, perscriptions $2,287.96
car repairs $359.69
home/lawn maintenance $3,554.47
miscellaneous $4,042.51

Total: $39,211.94 which is a bit more than $2.000 over 2011 total. The biggest increases over 2011 was +$1,000 due to property tax reassessment and approx. $1,000 more in home maintenance.

This total does not include my health, dental, and vision insurance co-pays of appox. $5,280 that was deducted from my paycheck during the year. Between maxing out 401K and IRAs and additional savings, we probably saved as much as we spent.

We live in upper Midwest, but our property taxes are relatively high vs value of our home.
Tom, that is really helpful and quite impressive. You have inspired me to re-think my spending, which is twice what you are spending....
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #193
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Single, living alone (one cat), San Francisco Bay Area, 53, not yet retired ...

$15,402 Cat Veterinary
$09,150 Mortgage
$04,876 Charity
$03,480 Utilities (Gas/Elec, Water, Phone, Trash, TV, Internet)
$03,203 Property Taxes
$00,726 Homeowners Insurance
$00,548 Home Repair/Improvement (including AC for cat)
$00,490 Auto Insurance
$00,358 Auto Gas
$00,204 Bicycle Repair
$04,504 Misc (food, clothes, entertainment, recreation, doctor, dentist, subscriptions, ...)


Total: $27,539.08 (plus $15,402.42 in veterinary bills)

Previous Years:
1999 (30,915)
2000 (33,454)
2001 (27,325)
2002 (31,751)
2003 (29,757)
2004 (25,510) [plus 18K in veterinary bills]
2005 (29,424) [plus 5K in veterinary bills]
2006 (30,735)
2007 (29,703)
2008 (31,846)
2009 (23,878)
2010 (26,108) [plus 17K for a new car]
2011 (28,845)
2012 (27,539) [plus 15K in veterinary bills]

Was it the same cat


You are probably like my sister who spent a few thousand on a dog she had just adopted to keep it alive...

Me, I love my cats, but would not pay that much for them.... I am sure your cat is happy she/he lives with you instead of me...
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud

Was it the same cat

You are probably like my sister who spent a few thousand on a dog she had just adopted to keep it alive...

Me, I love my cats, but would not pay that much for them.... I am sure your cat is happy she/he lives with you instead of me...
I will have to agree. Very fortunate cat. Kitty has had more spent on it the past year, than I have spent on healthcare for myself for my entire. Although it would be tough to watch my dog go through severe health problems.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:59 AM   #195
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So your total including health insurance premiums was a little over $44k. Add in federal and state (?) income taxes and your total was close to $50k, right?
Hi REWahoo, yes, including health insurance premiums it would bump it up to about $44k. I have not really paid much attention to my Federal/state income taxes as I am unable for many years to take anything except the standard deduction. Line 61 from the 2011 Federal Income tax form 1040 was $24,454.00. and IL state income tax form 1040 line 24 was $6,949.00. Those figures are after maxing out my over 50 401K plus DW's deductible max IRA. I don't seem to have any ability to reduce the tax bite. So your figure of $50k is waaaay low.

My strategy between age 61 when I hope to retire at the end of this year, and age 66 when I plan to start taking SS, is to have near zero federal tax liability. I have at least 5 years of expected living expenses in a CD ladder. I think I could set it up to owe virtually zero federal tax until SS and Medicare kicks in. Once the SS and Medicare kicks in we should be sailing along as we can just about live on that.

The big unknown is what affect Obamacare will have on us. If we have minimal taxable income we have the potential problem of landing in the Medicade bracket. I guess we will worry about how to set up withdrawals to minimize both health care and federal taxes.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #196
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Hi neighbor. We (three of us plus a dog) live in incorporated Naperville. You are correct about the taxes as we are paying about $9,500 in property taxes.
Hi neighbor. Property taxes seem to be a rigged game around here. I disputed my taxes two years ago and got a decent reduction when I gave a comparison of what I pay in taxes compared to my neighbors. Unfortantely, the township reassessed this past year and arbitrarily jacked them back up to where they were previously. I tried to protest again this year but their response was everyone else was assessed too low and mine was the only one that is correct. However, the assessor's office claims they cannot go to these homeowners with lower taxes to reassess them? Makes no sense and you have absolutely no leverage over them.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:13 AM   #197
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Once the SS and Medicare kicks in we should be sailing along as we can just about live on that.
That sounds great - and also uncomfortably optimistic. I'd encourage you to include a substantial safety margin for future changes to both systems. From your SS income you'll have to pay for Medicare, Medigap and Part D premiums for the two of you and those costs will only increase over time. SS will almost certainly see some future downward adjustments, and even if that is limited to how CPI increases are computed for those of us over 55 today, SS payments won't keep pace with our increasing medical expenses. And don't forget SS is also taxable...
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:26 AM   #198
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That sounds great - and also uncomfortably optimistic. I'd encourage you to include a substantial safety margin for future changes to both systems. From your SS income you'll have to pay for Medicare, Medigap and Part D premiums for the two of you and those costs will only increase over time. SS will almost certainly see some future downward adjustments, and even if that is limited to how CPI increases are computed for those of us over 55 today, SS payments won't keep pace with our increasing medical expenses. And don't forget SS is also taxable...
You are absolutely right. What I meant was that in the worst case we could survive on SS as ours will be quite a bit higher than the average that many people already survive on. I believe with SS plus withdrawals of approx. 2.5%-3% from our portfolio we can live the same or slightly higher lifestyle we do now. Fingers crossed of course.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #199
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I believe with SS plus withdrawals of approx. 2.5%-3% from our portfolio we can live the same or slightly higher lifestyle we do now.
That sounds reasonable - much more so than my initial interpretation of your plans.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:11 PM   #200
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Was it the same cat

You are probably like my sister who spent a few thousand on a dog she had just adopted to keep it alive...

Me, I love my cats, but would not pay that much for them.... I am sure your cat is happy she/he lives with you instead of me...
This is a different cat than the one from 2004/2005.

It is interesting that health care for pets can be as extensive (and expensive) as health care for people. The treatment options are comparable. I have a local vet, but I also take my cat to a specialist care center, where they have internal medicine, neurology, oncology, 24/7 emergency, etc. Also available are the significant resources of a veterinary teaching hospital at a nearby university.

Sometimes people criticize me for being a frugal person and a big saver (e.g., I save about 80% of my after-tax income; my food expenses are typically less than the food stamp budget). But being frugal allows me to spend money on things that are important without blinking an eye. And my cat is important to me, as have been previous pets. The recent veterinary care has allowed her to remain comfortable and happy in her senior years.

The $15K is a drop in the bucket compared to what she provides. The way I look at it is ... "I hope I have the opportunity to spend just as much on her in 2013."
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