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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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Poll: How much do you actually spend each year?
Old 11-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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Poll: How much do you actually spend each year?

For those of you who are retired, how much do you spend each year? Whether you are single or married, what is your total household spending for the year? You don't have to give a breakdown of every dollar spent, just the total. I am trying to predict some of the questions... before they are asked... yes, please include all spending, in all categories, including income taxes, healthcare, everything.

At the risk of stating the obvious, please note that I am NOT asking about your income, or the sources of your income, only how much you spend. I know there are many variables, including your age, where you live, how much you travel, your health, etc. Those of us who are not yet retired can make projections, but I am interested in actual numbers from actual people who are actually retired.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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Gee, you really want to know a whole lot, don't you? But then, what do we expect from a poster with that screen name? I am not tellin'.

However, there have been posters who provided that level of details. Hopefully, someone will post a link here.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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NW-Bound, I edited my post to be more clear.... I didn't mean to ask for a breakdown of every dollar.. lol... I am simply looking for a total number.... I gave a list of things to include because I was trying to anticipate the inevitable questions about what to include in the total number.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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This question comes up from time to time, and my answer is always the same:

It is a meaningless question. If you get answers, there will be a wide range. Everyone's situation is unique, everyone's needs/wants are different.

My succinct reply is - Do not retire on someone else's budget.

There is as much value to the answers as taking a poll at a PETA meeting, and asking how much tofu they eat. Would you base your tofu eating on that?


Figure out what you need to spend to be happy. Do not forget health care costs.

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
My succinct reply is - Do not retire on someone else's budget.
This is a straw man argument... I do not expect to retire on someone else's budget, and that is not the purpose of this poll.

Perhaps this poll is meaningless to you, but it is meant to gather the same information as the Consumer Expenditure Survey that is conducted by the federal bureau of labor statistics each year to determine the total expenditures by households in the U.S. ....

http://www.bls.gov/cex/

Perhaps the federal government engages in a useless exercise each year, and to that extent, this poll may be equally useless.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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May have missed prior related threads, but I think this could be somewhat useful in interpreting typical posts on this BB. ER advice from folks from roughly sharing my financial state would be much more useful/relevant than advice from either hobos or investment bankers with $100M nest eggs.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
This is a straw man argument... I do not expect to retire on someone else's budget, and that is not the purpose of this poll.

Perhaps this poll is meaningless to you, but it is meant to gather the same information as the Consumer Expenditure Survey that is conducted by the federal bureau of labor statistics each year to determine the total expenditures by households in the U.S. ....

Consumer Expenditure Survey

Perhaps the federal government engages in a useless exercise each year, and to that extent, this poll may be equally useless.

it wouldn't be the first useless exercise the government did. lol
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
NW-Bound, I edited my post to be more clear.... I didn't mean to ask for a breakdown of every dollar.. lol... I am simply looking for a total number.... I gave a list of things to include because I was trying to anticipate the inevitable questions about what to include in the total number.
You go first. Even if you're not yet er'd.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
This is a straw man argument... I do not expect to retire on someone else's budget, and that is not the purpose of this poll.
OK, but it's not a straw man argument - you just didn't post the purpose of your post, and I assumed the usual one.

I guess I still don't get the purpose - or are you "JustCurious"?

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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You haven't said anything about how you hope to use the information.
Assuming you got a range of responses from $X all the way up to $Y, what would you do with that, and how?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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By my estimation, a more informative poll would ask folks for the ratio of the mean of their last five years of pre-retirement spending to their annual retirement spending. And, even then, you'd likely want to limit it by what phase of retirement they are in . . . .

So many variables.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
You go first. Even if you're not yet er'd.
Ah, another game of "show me yours, and I will show mine"?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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You go first. Even if you're not yet er'd.
I am not retired, and my question asks people who are actually retired.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:20 AM   #14
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By my estimation, a more informative poll would ask folks for the ratio of the mean of their last five years of pre-retirement spending to their annual retirement spending. And, even then, you'd likely want to limit it by what phase of retirement they are in . . . .
Feel free to create your own poll.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #15
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OK, but it's not a straw man argument - you just didn't post the purpose of your post, and I assumed the usual one.

I guess I still don't get the purpose - or are you "JustCurious"?
Is curiosity a sufficient purpose?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #16
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Is curiosity a sufficient purpose?
Yes, but you still didn't answer the question.

-ERD50
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #17
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Yes, but you still didn't answer the question.
I am just curious.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #18
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I think the intentions of the OP are just curiosity.

But as has been mentioned above, the polling results would not even be representative of this board. Maybe there should have been a category like "I know but will not participate".

One thing I'd like to know about ER people (not working) is what is their percentage of basic expenses to total spending. The equation being:
basic + fun = spending
Should I do that poll? Would depend on the definitions of "basic" and "fun".
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #19
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I responded to the poll, with my expenses including taxes.

Our average expenditure, excluding Fed and State income taxes, over the first 3 years of retirement is 13% higher than the average over the 5 years before we ER'ed. I find this to be a useful figure for me as we were in a much higher tax bracket before retirement and knowing what we spend on "stuff" before and after is good to know.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious View Post
This is a straw man argument... I do not expect to retire on someone else's budget, and that is not the purpose of this poll.

Perhaps this poll is meaningless to you, but it is meant to gather the same information as the Consumer Expenditure Survey that is conducted by the federal bureau of labor statistics each year to determine the total expenditures by households in the U.S. ....

Consumer Expenditure Survey

Perhaps the federal government engages in a useless exercise each year, and to that extent, this poll may be equally useless.
Then you might want to goggle (sic) a bit further, since reluctance to weigh in here probably won't garner the results you seek. I'm a little surprised the govt doesn't already have something similar for retirees -- perhaps they do, but it's buried a bit deeper(?)
Surveys of retirement spending - Bogleheads
retiree expenditure survey - Google Search

Tyro
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