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View Poll Results: How much do you spend each year?
Less than $25k 15 5.51%
Between $25k and $50k 87 31.99%
Between $50k and $75k 64 23.53%
Between $75k and $100k 47 17.28%
More than $100k 59 21.69%
Voters: 272. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #21
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How much do I spend? I usually spend within my annual budget
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #22
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I am just curious.
Do you expect much difference from this Poll: How much did you spend in 2006? ?
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #23
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Thanks for the look-back Michael. It prompted me to browse my costs in a little more detail and I noticed that I spent more on Health (including dental) in 2006 than I did this year (or any year since then). Even with good HI a few health or dental problems can quickly eat up your money.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #24
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The range that I voted for is broad enough to include our annual expenses the two different ways that I look at it - one with our mortgage payments and the other without. I look at it with the mortgage payments because that is the actual cash out the door.

I look at it without because I believe our investments will earn more than the mortgage interest I pay so in some sense it is a wash. In other words, my mortgage interest is an "investment expense" relating the the incremental investments that I have equal to my mortgage.

And please, let's not get off onto the "should I pay off my mortgage or not" tangent.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #25
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While people are naturally curious about what the "other people" do, the data may not be that meaningful, as earlier posters have noted.

I can spend more than twice as much as I do now, if I have the means. The sky is the limit, actually. Spending requires no skill, and can be learned rather quickly. But I doubt it would make me much happier. Or I can spend less (not 1/2 of what I do now, man, that is going to hurt until I have adjusted), and I would still be OK.

What I am trying to say is that my own expenses are quite elastic, or could be. I need that flexibility, if I am going to have confidence to enjoy ER in the years ahead, in face of the uncertainties of life.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #26
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The op's question is similar to the annual article in the weekly Parade Magazine, related to income:

What-People-Earn | Parade.com

It's more of a "fun" survey, and dosen't mean a bit if you're going to use it for comparisons to your own life.

Same thing with retirement expenses. Heck, I'll can tell you that my/DW's annual rate is above $100k, but so what? It means nothing to anybody, since I'm sure our spending is not related nor can be compared by lifestyle with anybody else on the forum.

The real question is, of our +$100k annual spending rate is $100,001 or is it multiples of that amount ...?

Again - it dosen't matter.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:58 PM   #27
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I don't understand why people are so surprised at someone's interest in this sort of data or the "how much do you spend poll" that MichaelB cited. It is natural to be "just curious" as to how others are doing. I don't buy the idea that it is important to the evaluation of the merits of posters' advice (I suspect that many of the people whose advice I most appreciate are in substantially different financial circumstance than me). But how much it takes for different people to retire is inherently interesting to me. The poll itself isn't an imposition on our privacy since our answers are not associated with our user names.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #28
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My guess is that health insurance and taxes each may take a big hit on some people, but not on everybody. Still, they are both a pretty high priority for most people. I doubt anybody wants the IRS on their tail, or catastrophic health expenses while uninsured.

Without these two expenses, my spending is easily in the <$25K category.

But when they are included, that bumps me up to the $25K-$50K category, so that is how I responded to the poll.

As a single person, I feel like I am living the "Life of Reilly" on this amount because it just doesn't cost that much for a single person to live in Louisiana. But note - - I am *single*. The amount that most report probably covers the expenses of their entire family, most probably live in much higher cost regions, and most probably are still paying on their mortgages while my home is paid off. Consequently, many are probably working very hard at keeping those expenses down.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #29
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I agree with Donheff, and I did enjoy reading the Parade Magazine articles on "how much you make". Some get by on some very low incomes I must add. The relevance I agree probably isn't so much. Take me for example. In less than 2 years, my expenses in retirement will drop some 25%. Is it because I am going to down grade my standard of living? No, it's just that the child support and college bills end!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #30
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As someone who hasn't retired yet, I find it interesting that my projected budget falls within the two ranges with the most votes. It gives comfort that I'm not too far off from the mean of the group. Assuming most have a budget, a follow up poll with % over/under budget to actual would let me know what degree of accuracy I might have. Another poll could detail specific expense categories.

Frankly, I believe we have here a group of like minded people. With that, some of the statistics will apply to individuals. Granted, it won't tell me what my expenses will be in retirement, but it will tell me if I'm being realistic in my projections.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #31
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IMHO a poll such as this is slightly more relevant than a "rule-of-thumb" that your living expenses will be 70-90% of your pre-retirement take home pay.

They are both crude, at best.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:06 PM   #32
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...(snip)... The poll itself isn't an imposition on our privacy since our answers are not associated with our user names.
With technology the way it is, I'm not all that sure we can be completely confident in our privacy. I do not mean there is a conspiracy or anything, just that I'd prefer to play it very conservatively here or with any electronic methods.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:10 PM   #33
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With technology the way it is, I'm not all that sure we can be completely confident in our privacy. I do not mean there is a conspiracy or anything, just that I'd prefer to play it very conservatively here or with any electronic methods.
Are you afraid someone will out your true identity as an acne-plagued 14 year old boy posting from his parents basement in Missoula?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #34
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With technology the way it is, I'm not all that sure we can be completely confident in our privacy. I do not mean there is a conspiracy or anything, just that I'd prefer to play it very conservatively here or with any electronic methods.
I guess nothing is private on the internet, technically speaking, and if a hacker is somehow viewing the image on your screen I suppose they could see how you voted.

However, I can tell you that we mods and admins don't have any special admin/mod way of finding out who voted what that I know of, unless the poll is set up as a public poll. We're not having a wild, drunken party behind the scenes, laughing at who voted what on the poll, in other words, because we don't know.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:13 PM   #35
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Are you afraid someone will out your true identity as an acne-plagued 14 year old boy posting from his parents basement in Missoula?
A boy named Jennifer?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #36
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.....We're not having a wild, drunken party behind the scenes, laughing at who voted what on the poll....
I buy that you mods/admins aren't laughing at who voted what, but I don't buy the first part. You wild thing....
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #37
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I buy that you mods/admins aren't laughing at who voted what, but I don't buy the first part. You wild thing....
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #38
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However, I can tell you that we mods and admins don't have any special admin/mod way of finding out who voted what that I know of, unless the poll is set up as a public poll. We're not having a wild, drunken party behind the scenes, laughing at who voted what on the poll, in other words, because we don't know.
ehem: Where did everybody go?

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We were all online with travelocity booking cruises after we used your misfaxed confidential info to steal your identity--watch for that maxed out Visa bill arrive soon!

Okay, I was, while everyone else was at brunch on your AmEx.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #39
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Yeah, we're too busy gulping down that second order of free Eggs Benedict, to worry about how anybody votes on a poll....

JUST KIDDING!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:39 PM   #40
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Are you afraid someone will out your true identity as an acne-plagued 14 year old boy posting from his parents basement in Missoula?


Quote:
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...
However, I can tell you that we mods and admins don't have any special admin/mod way of finding out who voted what that I know of, unless the poll is set up as a public poll. We're not having a wild, drunken party behind the scenes, laughing at who voted what on the poll, in other words, because we don't know.
If you do have a party like that, I'd like an invitation.

I've probably been reading way too many spy novels. Certainly admins and mods have totally honest intentions IMO.
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