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View Poll Results: Survivor after-tax spending as a Percent of Combined after tax spending
100 9 14.06%
95 2 3.13%
90 7 10.94%
85 5 7.81%
80 11 17.19%
75 17 26.56%
70 7 10.94%
65 3 4.69%
60 1 1.56%
55 1 1.56%
50 1 1.56%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-24-2014, 07:41 PM   #21
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I've calculated this and it is basically about 50%. I think this is very dependent on situation.

One reason it is so low for us is that we each have very different views of what we consider essential in a home. To accommodate those differences we had to buy a house that was considerably more expensive than either of us would spend for a home if the preferences of only one person had to be considered.

For example, DH really wants a home with at least an acre of land and where he can have our dogs (large dogs that need a large yard area). I, on the other hand, am a cat person and don't care about having a yard at all, let alone care about having an acre. So I could perfectly happily live in a house with a regular yard. I could buy a house that is similar in size and amenities to ours that would be much less expensive with just a regular lot size.

On the other hand, I tend to care more about the amenities inside the house. Having a nice kitchen, for example, was important to me. DH doesn't really care about that kind of thing. So, he could buy a house on acreage that was older with an outdated kitchen and he would be fine with it.

Those are just examples. The point is that either one of us alone could cut housing costs considerably by simply moving somewhere else that met only the desires of the one person.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:33 PM   #22
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I figure 90%. Twenty percent is tied to property tax. I figured household expenses would go up for lawn service and such. We live about 100 miles from DD, so car expense will go up. Food and entertainment will go down. While I think she could trim the budget on internet, computers, dish network, cell phones and such, I also figure her hobby expense, scrap booking will go up. I also figure that with the draw down in pensions and SS she will still have double the income required.
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:51 AM   #23
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For us the potential exists for the surviving spouse to reduce expenses by 1/3. Taxes are less of an issue because our income is dividend and capital gain, and we have a second home which the survivor would probably sell. Never can tell, though. After my father passed away my mother began traveling and going out on her own, and her spending didn't decline at all.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:08 AM   #24
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51 responses so far. I'm surprised that the ratios are as high as they are.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #25
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the poll only goes to 100%.

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Old 03-28-2014, 07:47 PM   #26
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What assumptions are your making about living arrangements?

Are you living in your current house and are you assuming after 'you' pass away your spouse is still able to manage on their own in your existing home...for how long?

How long can a surviving spouse live on their own in the house you retired in? How will they go to the market and buy food? Can then keep the household in a livable condition, how long can they even manage the daily activities on their own?

Or, is this scenario predicated on the assumption that x years later, your surviving spouse simply drops dead quickly?

I envision that survivor spending increases dramatically in the last years of life - barring a quick/instantaneous demise.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:34 PM   #27
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What assumptions are your making about living arrangements?

Are you living in your current house and are you assuming after 'you' pass away your spouse is still able to manage on their own in your existing home...for how long?

How long can a surviving spouse live on their own in the house you retired in? How will they go to the market and buy food? Can then keep the household in a livable condition, how long can they even manage the daily activities on their own?

Or, is this scenario predicated on the assumption that x years later, your surviving spouse simply drops dead quickly?

I envision that survivor spending increases dramatically in the last years of life - barring a quick/instantaneous demise.
I'm allowing 100% of what we currently pay to operate our house. I assume that if I died tomorrow my wife would want to stay right here. In the opposite case, I'd move but wouldn't increase costs.

My wife would have a slight increase as she'd need to hire lawn care and snow removal.

Eventually, I suspect she'd move into an apartment. She would transfer the house spending to the apartment, plus any investment income she could derive from the selling price of the house.

I've assumed that whether we're both alive, or just one of us is alive, eventually we'll need more help and we'll have to pay for that. Up to a point, that's just a re-assignment of annual spending from "travel" to "housekeeping and personal care services".

Eventually one or both of us may end up in a nursing home. If there's only one person alive, it seems the nursing home expenses are only half as much. Of course, the first to die might have used up some of the nest egg. But, I'm not coming up with a scenario where a substantial gap in dates of death is a special problem from that perspective.

Basically, if I've allowed enough for end-of-life LTC expenses if we die at about the same time, I think the same financial arrangements work if we die at substantially different times.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:01 AM   #28
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I am estimating expenses will be reduced 20% when either one of us die. I hope that is a conservative estimate.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:06 AM   #29
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Income will be the same so not really planning for spending decline. Hopefully, it's a long way off and the income generated will be well in excess of requirements. Bigger issue for some might be income decline and whether this lower income will be enough?
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Poll: Survivor Spending
Old 06-15-2015, 10:12 AM   #30
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Poll: Survivor Spending

My parents lived in a nice assisted living facility. Mom stayed in the same unit for a short time after Dad passed away and didn't really change her lifestyle - continued with some travel and eating out. Her income decreased due to the decrease in his pension payments (50%) and loss of his SS (she had her own SS). They had already scaled back to one car.
She did relocate to a different assisted living center closer to town, but the cost stayed about the same.
Mom passed away about 7 years after Dad. Just about the time we were considering adding on more care/services (possibly nursing home) for her. I don't think her expenses decreased much if any after Dad died, but her income did.



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Old 06-15-2015, 01:45 PM   #31
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DW and I both have pensions, although mine is over twice what hers is. Our SS payments will be pretty close to each other's.

So all my projections include only hers (along with her SS) and we will be fine with that.

My pension and SS are our "discretionary" spending, and what we use for travel and toys.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:12 PM   #32
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I expect costs to stay almost the same.
1 less car so some gas savings. Slightly less grocery costs. But smaller packaging costs more per unit. More take-outs, more ready-to-eat meals, less cooking.
More entertainment $ spent since there will be more 'lonely' time.
1 cell phone line is still 75% of 2 lines.
Housing same. Utilities same.
I am careful with shopping, spending - those savings will disappear.
May need to pay for external help for stuff the other spouse does. Also now we can take care of each other but surviving spouse may need home aides or move to assisted living.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:23 PM   #33
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I think 65% seems fairly reasonable. I have run the number for DH and I. That is about where it comes out. Neither one of us is does a lot of DIY stuff so probably wouldn't have to hire out stuff that we don't hire out now.

That 65% is based upon staying in the same house. But, there is a case for cutting housing expenses. The house was a compromise between what DH wanted (at least an acre for our dogs) and me (nice finishes inside). DH would be happy with house on acreage and wouldn't care if the kitchen had granite countertops. On the other hand, I would be perfectly happy with a house with little to no yard. Also, while this house is a downsize from the house we had when we had 6 people in the house, this house is big enough for the 4 of us who originally lived in it -- DH, 2 kids and me. One kid is now loving at college, another is almost out of school (living at home while in school). Once the kids are on their own, if I was a widow or DH a widower this house would be larger than either of us would need. DH probably wouldn't move (he hates moving), but if it was me left with the house, I might eventually move and it would likely be to someone less expensive both in cost and in upkeep.

Pixelville - I think you are leaving out a lot of costs that would go away. If DH wasn't here, for example, I wouldn't have to pay his medicare premiums, or his prescription drug plan, or his medigap policy, or prescription co pays, or for his eyeglasses, or his clothing. I wouldn't have to pay for his haircuts or for his hobbies. I don't have to buy his personal care items or pay for his travel. I only have to pay for entertainment/travel costs for me. We probably have less pet related costs in the long term (I would still have cats but wouldn't acquire any new dogs). I wouldn't have to buy a computer for him or an iPad or a new iPhone. Auto insurance would be less. Dining out would be less. Groceries would be less (I don't buy a lot of packaged food so wouldn't have to be more expensive small packages).

Oh for those who say utilities stay the same, I would say that there is a decrease for electricity, water, gas. When our son went away to live at college we definitely had a reduction in utility usage. It certainly isn't 25% (we had 4 in the house and now have 3) but it did reduce it at least 10%.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:17 PM   #34
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Lower auto costs? Not for this survivor. Before DW passed away, I drove the family van because nobody else wanted to drive the ugly thing. Six months after her death, I got an Audi TT, then I traded the van in on a shiny new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Somewhere in there I got an old pickup truck for use in Colorado. I don't think I will even include the old dump truck or tractor I have acquired half interest in...

I think I am good in the auto dept for a while, although a new pickup is appealing. I'll be moving on to toys when the house is done. An ATV or two and quite likely a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Also thinking about a camper to go with that new pickup.

You might say I had to find something to do with my time without DW around to keep me happily engaged!
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:07 PM   #35
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Everyone - - don't forget that after your demise, your widowed spouse will have to pay to have someone do a lot of the things that you do around the house. Somebody in your house probably fixes things, mows, changes the oil, paints, cooks, does the laundry, cleans house, and so on. If you do any of these things or others, then after your death these might become additional expenses for your spouse.

Also, he/she will of course be devastated by losing you, and will need cheering up. So don't be too stingy.
ding, ding.

When my dh passed away it was a huge eye opener.
Lawn care, house maintance, oil changes etc etc. all those things my dh did, now I'm paying 150 bucks a month for lawn care and snow removal and no I am not pushing a lawnmower in 90 deg heat nor am I shoveling snow and ice. sorry just ain't happening.

I just paid 5K to have one floor painted (living, dining rooms and kitchn)

I'm not complaining as I'll eat beans and bread to do it but I for one don't believe home ownership is the nirvana people make it oit to be.

actually my expenses have pretty much stayed the same. now unfortunately I was widowed at a young age and still have kids at home s0 food and stuff still stayed the same
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:11 PM   #36
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Pixelville - I think you are leaving out a lot of costs that would go away. If DH wasn't here, for example, I wouldn't have to pay his medicare premiums, or his prescription drug plan, or his medigap policy, or prescription co pays, or for his eyeglasses, or his clothing. I wouldn't have to pay for his haircuts or for his hobbies. I don't have to buy his personal care items or pay for his travel. I only have to pay for entertainment/travel costs for me. We probably have less pet related costs in the long term (I would still have cats but wouldn't acquire any new dogs). I wouldn't have to buy a computer for him or an iPad or a new iPhone. Auto insurance would be less. Dining out would be less. Groceries would be less (I don't buy a lot of packaged food so wouldn't have to be more expensive small packages).

Oh for those who say utilities stay the same, I would say that there is a decrease for electricity, water, gas. When our son went away to live at college we definitely had a reduction in utility usage. It certainly isn't 25% (we had 4 in the house and now have 3) but it did reduce it at least 10%.

not necessarily. I'm a widow and eat out way more than when I did when I was married.
First, my kids usually are fully engaged after school and during the weekend. both work, friends etc etc.
I eat out all the time simply because it's easier than cooking for one. I enjoy full meals and no way am I roasting a chicken, mac and cheese etc etc just for me.
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:25 PM   #37
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Income will be the same so not really planning for spending decline. Hopefully, it's a long way off and the income generated will be well in excess of requirements. Bigger issue for some might be income decline and whether this lower income will be enough?
Since you are Canadian, you can count on a large increase in income tax when there is no second person to help ease the load.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:23 PM   #38
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When I pass... DW will increase world travel. I think you need to put expenses up to 200% of the passing of the cheap skate.
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