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View Poll Results: $90k in todays dollars for retirement would be...
Way more than I would ever need 99 29.03%
I would be happy, it is a bit more than I need 110 32.26%
It is about what i am targeting as an income 70 20.53%
It would be disappointing for my targeted income 43 12.61%
I would be terribly disappointed with this income 22 6.45%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 341. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #101
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if it were just DW and I, $90k/year would be ok. As it is with two children in private school, we are spending more, the spawn are expensive.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:59 PM   #102
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Wow ! I think we have found a record breaker here. $160k a year, not had. :-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by novaman
Wow! Less than 20% say they would be dissappointed in this amount. I must reevaluate my situation. I've got enough to generate 160k a year and I thought I still need to bump it up.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #103
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A year or so ago we did a bottoms up forecast (guess) on our retirement budget. It came to about $10K per month, assuming $2K per month for healthcare insurance. A lot of guesses on how much to put away for cars, toys and home improvements.

We then started tracking our actual expenses using Mint and we found out we spend less than $6K per month (not including healthcare insurance). We don't have any premiums. Since $90K is $7,500/mth and we both should get full SS it would seem like it would be plenty. This also happens to be about what we can get from our investments.

For our investments/savings,we both just maxed out our 401Ks at work. We got a little bit more from corporate matching but I wonder if this is just the number you will tend to get if your savings strategy is just taking advantage of 401K's....
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #104
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if it were just DW and I, $90k/year would be ok. As it is with two children in private school, we are spending more, the spawn are expensive.
This site keeps me in a state of continual cognitive dissonance. Your sum seems completely reasonable, as do the others posted. Private school is expensive, as are homes in the neighborhoods that might make them unnecessary. In a city, there are few of these neighborhoods anyway. Yet people usually mock the idea of private school. My Granddaughter goes to a private school. They live in an expensive neighborhood, but near the Central city, school districts are rarely limited to one neighborhood. I spend much less, but I am an older bachelor living in the middle of a city with no car, Medicare, and a paid for condo. And of course I have much less also, so I couldn't spend it if I wanted to.

Three or four generations ago many central cities were full of rapidly assimilating, ambitious immigrants, with strict parents who kept their noses to the grindstone. Some of these city public schools were a real opportunity. Not the way it is played today.

But so many other posts seem to suggest that people are mainly living on air, that they pay essentially no taxes, that they have never spent $300/ head on food, etc. How can all these things be true?

Ha
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:45 PM   #105
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Bump it up man. You never know when you may need more wives.

Ha
Girl friends can also be expensive!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:08 PM   #106
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I have not seen Danmar logging in. I think he might be the most well-heeled here, and probably drops a few hundred G's a year.

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This site keeps me in a state of continual cognitive dissonance...
But so many other posts seem to suggest that people are mainly living on air, that they pay essentially no taxes, that they have never spent $300/ head on food, etc../
As I often posted, my own mother is living fine by herself in a 1,700-sq.ft. home that's only 20-yr old and paid for, has her own car, buys more food than she can eat, and goes shopping at Macy's, all with a bit more than $30K/yr.

We spend quite a bit more than that, but we were in our 50s, have 2 homes, an RV, and generally more leisure expenses. And we still spend less than $90K (I do not want to give the exact number ).

I think it's all about location, location, location...

PS. My mother paid taxes too, and complained about it. She only stopped when I told her what we paid, when I was still working that is.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #107
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Wow! Less than 20% say they would be dissappointed in this amount. I must reevaluate my situation. I've got enough to generate 160k a year and I thought I still need to bump it up.
Ok I'll be happy

A cool $161 000 makes us happy- MSN Money
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #108
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I was very interested to see this thread since the title is a question I've asked myself over the last several years regarding projected retirement income needs. I voted that I'd be disappointed but, in reality, I wouldn't be that disappointed.

In my latest mock budget for retirement I came up with $85,200 before income taxes. If state and fed tax amount to 12 - 15% of pretax income, the required gross would be $96,800 to $100,235.

Assumptions are: two in household, paid off $300K home with property tax at 1% of value. So this would require moving to an area with lower housing costs than San Diego.

I budgeted $14,400 for annual health insurance premiums and $3,600 for annual out of pocket costs. That might not even be enough.

Also included are discretionary spending on dining out, vacations/travel, hobbies, etc. at $23,400 per year.

All of this in 2012 dollars. I run different scenarios but can't get past the fact that gross of $100K would work but $90K would cut it close.

I hope to get to this point at age 59.5 but am holding out, optimistically, for age 57.5.

At some point, if I really get my fill of w$%k before this I would consider moving to another country until Medicare kicks in. So expatriating would be not so much for saving on housing costs, but healthcare costs.

Thanks to the OP for bringing up such a relevant question. I've enjoyed reading everyone's contributions.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:46 PM   #109
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We've a similar budget, largely due to travel expenses, since my DW enjoys adventure vacations and I think hopes to travel considerably.
I don't qualify for retirement until 2 years from now, which would allow me to tap 403b and qualify for health benefit at at a cost about half of what you mention, hence my estimate of 56/57 at earliest.

We are paying on a second home (a cabin in Colorado) so throwing it overboard would reduce the number. A luxury but I grew up going to my granddad's self-built cabin as a child, as a kind of River Runs Through It. Renting could substitute, but the monthly cost isn't all that much (825/month on a 15 year). If I can work online halftime at modified retirement, I could do it immediately after I qualify.
For the numbers to work, I would need to either work half-time for a few years or draw 6%, assuming a 25% increase in the accounts, which probably is ambitious.
The difficult number to project is when to take Social Security, since it is possible to draw down at a higher rate, then reduce once I take Social Security, assuming problems or if no problems continue deferring Social Security. I'm intending to hire a fee-based retirement planner to help run some scenarios and critique assumptions.
I never thought we would be able to retire early as even an option, but I got lucky in the Great Recession. God takes care of fools.


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In my latest mock budget for retirement I came up with $85,200 before income taxes. If state and fed tax amount to 12 - 15% of pretax income, the required gross would be $96,800 to $100,235.

I budgeted $14,400 for annual health insurance premiums and $3,600 for annual out of pocket costs. That might not even be enough.

Also included are discretionary spending on dining out, vacations/travel, hobbies, etc. at $23,400 per year.

All of this in 2012 dollars. I run different scenarios but can't get past the fact that gross of $100K would work but $90K would cut it close.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #110
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Assumptions are: two in household, paid off $300K home with property tax at 1% of value. So this would require moving to an area with lower housing costs than San Diego.
That will get an average home in the areas of my 2 homes.
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I budgeted $14,400 for annual health insurance premiums and $3,600 for annual out of pocket costs. That might not even be enough.
We pay significantly less than that (wife has the cost of the premium, I do not have exact # on hand), probably because of our $10K/yr deductible.

I do not know where your money goes, but I spent less than $90K in the last 12 months, and do not feel wanting anything. But then, perhaps I have cheap tastes.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #111
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That will get an average home in the areas of my 2 homes.

We pay significantly less than that (wife has the cost of the premium, I do not have exact # on hand), probably because of our $10K/yr deductible.

I do not know where your money goes, but I spent less than $90K in the last 12 months, and do not feel wanting anything. But then, perhaps I have cheap tastes.
I did build a budget with fairly generous amounts for discretionary expenses including $9,000 per year for vacations/travel, $7,200 for dining out and $4,800 for hobbies. Could probably pare this down by $6,000 or even more if we get the urge to cut loose earlier. We'll see how it goes...
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:25 AM   #112
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I never had a budget. In fact, my wife had a better idea of what we spent than I did. Only 2 years ago, when seeing that people here got such a tight reign on their expenses, it dawned on me that I needed to nail mine down if I was to stop working. And I would not care about specific categories, if the total annual expenses were under $X/yr.

So, I started to use Quicken to track our expenses 2 years ago. When I discovered that our actual expenses could be accommodated by our savings, particularly that my children were out of college, I decided to stop my consulting work. As I mentioned earlier, I would be living off after-tax money for a while, so there would not be much income tax.

The biggest unknown in the future is the healthcare cost. Other categories were actual expenses that we incurred, and if I keep our lifestyle the same, they hopefully would go up no more than inflation. Protection against the unknowns for me is a low WR, the belief that my spending most likely will go down with time per Bernicke's study, and our eventual SS benefits.

If it so happens that I need to cut further back, I am sure that I can. Many people live with less, and there is no reason that I cannot do the same. So, party on.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:45 AM   #113
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Well, now we know that over 80% of this forums users think $90k is fine or better.
I remember reading something that said money, up to a certain point I don't exactly remember, but I think it was about $60,000, DOES "buy happiness" in that basic needs and more are taken care of. Beyond that, more money didn't correlate with more happiness.
I try not to judge others. I just got back from a 25th annual trip with some friends. I was telling one of them that I thought I may retire next year. He said he couldn't afford to, which I found hard to believe knowing a little about his finances, but what he said next totally blew me away, because he needed SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR to maintain his lifestyle!!! Wha? How do you spend that..I stammered. Well, he said, his wife probably spends $100,000 a year just at Whole Foods. And he went on to explain how rough it is to try to come up with the $20 million or so he'd need to generate $750k, so unfortunately, he had to keep working. Seriously.
Dickens wrote something to the effect of, income twenty pounds, expenses nineteen, result, happiness. Income twenty pounds, expenses twenty one, result, misery.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:26 AM   #114
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Not to mention the best drivers in the country
Oh yeah...forgot about that! Courteous too!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:00 AM   #115
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This sounds like your friend was joking with you.
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\ he needed SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR to maintain his lifestyle!!! Wha? How do you spend that..I stammered. Well, he said, his wife probably spends $100,000 a year just at Whole Foods. And he went on to explain how rough it is to try to come up with the $20 million or so he'd need
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:36 AM   #116
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Wow! Less than 20% say they would be dissappointed in this amount. I must reevaluate my situation. I've got enough to generate 160k a year and I thought I still need to bump it up.
Well ..... this IS the early retirement forum, and many people have chosen to retire early rather than keep w*rking and accummulate more funds.
Remember, time > $
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:39 PM   #117
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I have not been here as long as many others, but I have seen many polls or threads like this one regarding how much retirees spend. It has always been all over the map.

Reading the comments is what makes it interesting. I find it reassuring that, just as I thought, people can live happily on $50K or less. We are spending significantly more, but can cut back without enduring any real hardship. And I also do not find myself envying people who spend in the 100Ks. When I have enough, I have enough.

And not on this thread, but elsewhere on this forum, I have found that our leisure activities are different than those of others, yet make us happy for less money. For example, putting several thousand dollars of gasoline into the RV seems expensive, but we more than compensate by not spending on other things that we do not care about.

In the end, it's how one finds his own happiness is what matters.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:09 PM   #118
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Wow! Less than 20% say they would be dissappointed in this amount. I must reevaluate my situation. I've got enough to generate 160k a year and I thought I still need to bump it up.
Why re-evaluate? What does someone else's situation have to do with what you need/want?

Some people have retired on far less, for various reasons. Maybe they never were in a position to make so much, or had other expenses, or really had to leave their job (stress, downsized, etc). But they wanted (or had) to retire, so they figure a way to do it with what they have.

If (just picking a number) $40,000 is all you can budget, with no real expectation for more income, most people could find a way to be happy with that. But for most of them $90,000 would be welcome. And for some, $90,000 just isn't enough for the kind of retirement they envision. We didn't all have cookie-cutter lives/personalities.

I really don't understand basing a decision like this on what other people feel, though it can be interesting to hear heir perspectives. Miller lite is more popular than a nice Imperial Russian Stout - is that supposed to convince me to re-evaluate my preferences'? I don't get it.


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I have yet to see Larry Ellison making a comment.
One of the greatest stories in that recent Steve Jobs biography, was a discussion between Steve & Larry (they were best friends). Steve was trying to figure a way to get back in control at Apple, and Larry just wasn't following Steve's process. Larry was concentrating on how they could make money on the deal, rather than just how Steve would regain control of the company he co-founded.

Steve (paraphrasing here), stares directly into Larry's face, close up, eye to eye, and says ' Larry, this is why it is so important that I'm your best friend, I can tell you this to your face - you already have enough money!'.

It cracked me up.

-ERD50
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:41 PM   #119
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... it can be interesting to hear their perspectives. Miller lite is more popular than a nice Imperial Russian Stout - is that supposed to convince me to re-evaluate my preferences'?
Now that we are talking about beers, although I am no beer connaisseur, I know Miller lite does not make me "happy" as something tastier like Duvel or Tripel. But what is this "Imperial Russian Stout"? I might not know what I have been missing.

I need to search BevMo! to see if I can get some. See, I am quite willing to re-evaluate my preferences, given new info.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #120
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Odds are $90K is way more than we'd need in retirement.

I think the wife and I could retire spending no more than $45K/yr and be very happy. We would be comfortable actually pulling the retirement trigger when we feel our portfolio could support $60K/yr, thus a 15K cushion. We're 45 & 40 years old.
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