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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 12:50 PM   #61
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

In light of what Loosechickens said, I figure our family could get by on around a few thousand bucks per year if the end of the world occurred.

There's plenty of fish in our lake. We could breed our own cats for food. Catch birds, geese, and rabbits plus the occasional neighborhood stray violating the leash laws. Grow my own food and use lake water for irrigation. Dumpster dive the local restaurants and grocery stores for food. Forage for vines, nuts, berries and fruits. Walk everywhere I needed to go.

Just not have health insurance and accept any illnesses or deaths as "acceptable losses" unless we could afford to pay for treatment.

It wouldn't be that bad really. We are pretty spoiled as a nation!
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 01:06 PM   #62
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

for us,
1. $85,000 includes mortgage and health insurance
2. 4 people (2 as kids with college to plan for)
3. northern Florida
4. too long to go
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 01:08 PM   #63
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

What do these people spend their money on? Must have a lot of expensive hobbies, second and third homes, boats and rvs, new cars every 3 years, or do they really just eat out every night and buy lots of stuff they never use? I live in an expensive coastal area, but that probably saves me on utilities which were $900 last year. Food was up to $1856. Gas was up to $705. And that isn't scrimping, but I don't have any expensive hobbies, nor hardly any monthly bills other than utilities and internet.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 01:12 PM   #64
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Wierd, my reply got lost.

loosechickens, I agree with most everything you wrote.

To me, though, it comes down to how you define the word "need". My definition is that I only need those things that, without them, my lifespan would be significantly shortened. So my list includes air, water, food, shelter, and basic medical care.

Fortunately, I have enough in the bank I could retire today and have my basic needs met for the rest of my life (1), so at the moment, I am working to pay for my kids, their college, my mortgage, and Uncle Sam. Given that, the bare bones budget I posted earlier isn't even bare bones: It includes my car expenses, eating out, air conditioning, and some other things that I don't consider needs. I could probably cut it back to $8K or less pretty easily.

2Cor521

(1) Ignoring the fact that I still have a mortgage, which is not immaterial.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 01:41 PM   #65
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosechickens
Obviously, I hope it would never come to that, but it sure helps you sleep at night when you realize that the tiniest percentage of what you have today is what is REALLY necessary to have.

LooseChickens
*applause*

So, so true.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 01:46 PM   #66
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aenlighten
What do these people spend their money on? Must have a lot of expensive hobbies, second and third homes, boats and rvs, new cars every 3 years, or do they really just eat out every night and buy lots of stuff they never use?...
Our expenses are on the high end compared with some of the others here. I have a morgage but no car payments. House expenses run over $3000/year not counting mortgage($20,000) or RE taxes ($6000). Our other expenses involve a lot of medical expenses, educational expenses, 529 contributions, a couple of "nice trips" per year, gifts, charity contributions, eating out once or twice a week (fast food), a rather large liquor bill , and keeping DW happy expenses.

Expenses are relative to what you CAN and WANT to spend vs your income or assets. We have been fortunate so our expenses reflect that. What is extreem to one is 'possium living to another.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 02:10 PM   #67
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosechickens

When I posited a $10,000 per year budget, I was envisioning a time when the market would be way down, companies reducing or eliminating dividends, etc., and wondering just how little we could spend and how we could manage without having to sell investments if our income stream really dried up. I was assuming our situation which is that we have adequate tools, etc. to do a great deal for ourselves, and even to earn or barter those skills with others. Some might be less prepared with useful skills.

That budget would assume a mostly vegetarian diet, low cost basic, but nutrional foods, thrift store or remade clothing, simple pleasures, little travel, etc. but adequate nutrition, fun in our lives, friends, and enjoyment. Very little money is necessary for that.
I think you are dreaming. Also note that things you barter for are also paid, but by your labor rather than by your money. To say I spend $10,000 -- but of course I house sit, take care of peoples cats in return for the food in the fridge... --IMO is not quite kosher. If you have a business reason for appearing to be more frugal than you are, maybe it makes sense as commercial spinning or promotion.

In a situation that you describe I suppose most of us would adapt, perhaps some better than others. But I doubt trapping moles for the stewpot was what the OP had in mind when he asked for a minimum budget.

(Added after reading other entries on surviving by hunting and fishing) This living off the land is not going to happen. The reason is that there are way too many people in all but the very remotest parts of the world. If people are thrown onto hunting and fishing watch how fast the fish and game disappear, and most of it will be taken by people a whole lot more experienced and tough (and nasty) than you are. Maybe learn to eat worms. or breed grasshoppers or something would buy you some time.

Ha
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #68
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
(Added after reading other entries on surviving by hunting and fishing) This living off the land is not going to happen. The reason is that there are way too many people in all but the very remotest parts of the world. If people are thrown onto hunting and fishing watch how fast the fish and game disappear, and most of it will be taken by people a whole lot more experienced and tough (and nasty) than you are. Maybe learn to eat worms. or breed grasshoppers or something would buy you some time.

Ha
Or Soylent Green, which I am lead to understand is very tasty...
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 02:34 PM   #69
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Seems that Loosechickens' post has caused a lot of re-thinking here!

I was thinking that "basic income" meant the amount of available retirement income that would be enough that I would feel free to retire. I spend much less right now. Still, I would like to have the option of spending more in retirement if I want to, and still have some left to invest for the future.

One thing that I do plan to do in retirement, is to start growing my own vegetables again. Some of the skills we learned when we were younger, and poorer, can actually give us a better quality of life in retirement. Fresh vegetables on our plates, homemade soup, the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven... not to mention visits to libraries or parks, attending free concerts, volunteering, and so on.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 02:39 PM   #70
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

1) 40k (includes rent)
2) 1 person
3) Los Angeles
4) working

Very rough guess as the real wildcards for me are retirement tax rates and health insurance. Excluding taxes and health insurance would be about 30k.

Loosechickens, I think most (including mine) numbers in this thread are not "minimum survival" types of basic income. I'm sure I could get by on much less, but in that case it would not be worth it for me to retire. In a mild disaster scenario (i.e. very bad economic times, but not the collapse of civilization), I'll likely be sharing housing or moving to a cheaper area, selling the car, and eating much rice and beans!
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #71
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aenlighten
What do these people spend their money on? Must have a lot of expensive hobbies, second and third homes, boats and rvs, new cars every 3 years, or do they really just eat out every night and buy lots of stuff they never use?
I think that, like other people said, we've got different definitions of 'basic'. If I went for 'basic' food/water/shelter then I'd need far less to get by on. Of course, that would be a lot less enjoyable; I don't want to retire early & get little enjoyment out of it. But that doesn't mean needing a new car every 3 years (don't have a car, in nyc), or 2nd & 3rd homes (unless they're rental properties), or eating out every night.

Basic for me is enough goodies & treats to feel like I'm really enjoying myself (being able to travel, eat out every once in a while), but not so many goodies & treats that they loose their meaning, their impact. The book 'Your Money or Your Life' by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin talk about a kind of 'sweet spot' of having 'enough'. I like to eat out. it gives me pleasure to have a wonderful meal (even moreso with wonderful people). But if I ate a lavish meal every day, then eventually the novelty would fade & I'd lose the enjoyment of it, which would make doing it pointless.

So, I'd like to have enough to stay in that sweet spot, without going over.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:06 PM   #72
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

I aso think it amazing how location-dependent these numbers can be. DW and I figured out that our total living expenses would drop by at least a third if we moved from suburban NJ to Denver.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:13 PM   #73
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
loosechickens, I agree with most everything you wrote.

To me, though, it comes down to how you define the word "need". My definition is that I only need those things that, without them, my lifespan would be significantly shortened. So my list includes air, water, food, shelter, and basic medical care.
loosechickens and 2ndCor512,

I agree with both of you on the basic neccessity of life. I consider myself a simple person living a simple life. However, I just cannot imagine a budget of 10K for 2 persons in this country. There is a reason (I think) why the goverment publishes the poverty data every year. That data says 14K is the poverty level for a couple (2 persons). Push comes to shove, I think I can do it with 20K for 2 persons in this country. Anything less than that would be depriving, I think.

I guess what I'm saying is show me how it can be done with 10K? IIRC, I think you, loosechickens, live full time in a newer RV. Depreciation alone on that RV is at least 10K annually, no?
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:22 PM   #74
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
There is a reason (I think) why the goverment publishes the poverty data every year. That data says 14K is the poverty level for a couple (2 persons). Push comes to shove, I think I can do it with 20K for 2 persons in this country. Anything less than that would be depriving, I think.
Remember also that these poverty data are not adjusted for commodities and services received- like food stamps, rent subsidies, various low income medical programs, etc. So even at this level, a level most of us would not want to visit as adults anyway, to pay for an equivalent lifestyle to the povery level would take more than $14,000.

Ha
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:24 PM   #75
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Re: Loosechickens post

Thanks, interesting food for thought. My criterion for my $24K budget (including rent) for a singleton was the least I would live on for multiple years without going back to work. It is not a survival budget or even close. For instance, I included cable, internet, eating out, some entertainment, etc.

On insurance, I generally agree. My health is $5K/$10K in/out-network deductibles. I have only had liability insurance on my used car for years with the max deductible, no collision coverage and not even uninsured motorist coverage.

There was not higher deductible health insurance available for me. But if one gets a chronic condition, or requires expensive meds, you may start paying the entire deductible each year, in addition to rising premiums and some out-of-network or uncovered costs. So a chronic condition with a $5K deductible may raise a single person's health costs to more like $12K per year, each and every year, until you are 65 counting your health premiums and a few uncovered and out of network expenses (and possibly cost even more). I still might have gone higher deductible, though, if one were available.

Kramer
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:31 PM   #76
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

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We could breed our own cats for food. Catch birds, geese, and rabbits plus the occasional neighborhood stray violating the leash laws.
Please don't forget to invite me over for dinner
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #77
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Remember also that these poverty data are not adjusted for commodities and services received- like food stamps, rent subsidies, various low income medical programs, etc. So even at this level, a level most of us would not want to visit as adults anyway, to pay for an equivalent lifestyle to the povery level would take more than $14,000.

Ha
Exactly. My casual drug addict cousin gets free medical care for her and her son (no deductible, either). She gets food stamps. She has worked one month out of about the last five years. She gets about 90% of the rent on her 2 bedroom apartment paid by HUD/Section8, a subsidy of a bit over $1000/month. Her son goes to public school, of course. When she works, she has free child care available to her.

Also, most low income families receive the earned income tax credit which is also not included.

My cousin had her child after seven abortions in less than three years. Having all of these subsidies has helped her maintain her drug addicted lifestyle and avoid work and the positive changes a regular schedule and responsibilities would force on her. I have seen it with my own eyes. She does not get up until noon-ish, hangs with drug addicted friends who enjoy her nice place, etc.

Now, after all these years, she is finally getting pressure from the government to find a job. I have no idea how it has gone on this long.

Kramer
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 04:28 PM   #78
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

1. Can't seem to get it below $80,000. no mortgage or rent
2. Two people
3. new england
4. both retired

retirement is costing us waaay more than I figured.
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 04:41 PM   #79
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
loosechickens and 2ndCor512,

I agree with both of you on the basic neccessity of life. I consider myself a simple person living a simple life. However, I just cannot imagine a budget of 10K for 2 persons in this country. There is a reason (I think) why the goverment publishes the poverty data every year. That data says 14K is the poverty level for a couple (2 persons). Push comes to shove, I think I can do it with 20K for 2 persons in this country. Anything less than that would be depriving, I think.

I guess what I'm saying is show me how it can be done with 10K? IIRC, I think you, loosechickens, live full time in a newer RV. Depreciation alone on that RV is at least 10K annually, no?
Good point.

The $10K per year figure for me is just for one person, and is annualized actual expenses from 1/8/07 through 4/7/07. I've posted my budget here before.

But that $10K per year figure ignores housing costs because I plan to have my home paid off. I could probably assume an imputed rent figure of about $1K per month or a little more, so that would add say $14K to the figure to get to $24K per year.

Also, my expenses during the past four months are probably lower than what they would be in retirement for a lot of reasons I won't go into here.

So there is some brag factor going on here.

2Cor521
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?
Old 05-08-2007, 05:39 PM   #80
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Re: Poll: What is your basic income need (floor) in retirement?

This is really interesting......I was responding to the OP question which was:

"What is your minimum income need in retirement in dollars before tax. Please state the expected minimum yearly income need. This would be the floor that covers non-discretionary expenses and the basic discretionary items that would support your basic needs."

and by that definition, our basic needs could be met on $10,000 or less. And I wasn't considering trapping any squirrels, etc. ;-) And when I was discussing barter, I was thinking more in terms of some things we do already, i.e. volunteer in National Wildlife Refuges where our skills are welcome and where we are provided a spot to park our RV, laundry, propane, etc., free of charge. We could do that sort of thing on a more serious level. Or numbers of people we know who have land where we would be welcome. After all, if the bottom falls out enough for us to have to think of living on $10,000 most folks are going to be in trouble. And someone like us who can make or fix most anything, have lots of useful skills of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, solar photovoltaics, sewing, food growing and preservation, etc. are always welcome wherever they go when many others have no such skills. All those things would assist us should we have to live on that bare bones budget. And in fact, in our nomadic life, we have met many more than one person doing just that.

Obviously, $20,000 would be more realistic if you are looking at maintaining a degree of comfort that would allow some eating out, movies, discretionary purchases, etc. I'd be much more comfortable with the $20,000 figure, but know that the $10,000 could be done, because we know many people who are doing it. Remember we don't live in suburbia with other well paid college educated folks. We're living out here on the road where we rub elbows with everybody, from the very poor to the very rich. Something many middleclass Americans never really experience. They often think others are all like themselves unless they're "poor people". Remember how the planners in New Orleans didn't even consider that some people wouldn't have cars or credit cards to flee the storm? Their lives were so removed from those realities that they didn't even think of such a thing and were caught flatfooted in their planning. We have opportunities everyday to see how people with few resources manage very well on little.

We spend much more than that now, but we never mistake what we spend now with what we would HAVE to spend. We spend now because our withdrawal rate is below even a conservative percentage and we can. We're not depriving ourselves at all at present. Quite the contrary. We're even looking at going to Europe for two months this fall and traveling in a rented VW Westfalia van. And even living really, really comfortably here in the U.S., buying organic food, eating out, etc., and budgeting for that European travel, we STILL won't even come close to what many of you have as a "rock bottom budget". We don't deprive ourselves of anything, yet couldn't come up to $50,000 per year even this year with the projected trip expenses.

I think housing makes a huge difference. As does living in a motorhome that effectively prevents much accumulation of consumer goods. When I look at amounts people pay for mortgages, property taxes and heating and cooling 3,000 or more sq. foot houses, no wonder it takes so much. And when you have all that space to fill, I can see where folks could spend huge amounts of money just on "stuff".

As an example, we went to visit friends with a house and I sat on the john musing at the linen closet across from me with an open door, and counted 63 towels. We have 4. And I'm sure that the relative level of other stuff is just the same. When your belongings are fewer, it stands to reason that you spend less.

The one downside of the motorhome is the fact that it depreciates. From $200,000 new, nine years ago, it has lost half or more of its' value. We knew that when we bought it, and we bought it with the plan to keep it for the duration so the kids would have to deal with looking at the depreciation. We paid for it when we bought it, so there's no loan on it, and as long as we don't try to sell it, the depreciation is kind of immaterial. It still looks virtually brand new so its' use is unimpaired.

I wasn't in any way disparaging others' budgets, although it is incredibly interesting to me to see them because it is really very different, both in outlook and in level of things that folks seem to think are necessities.

Look, I sure don't really WANT to live on $10,000......I LIKE having money and spending whatever we like, but I never mistake liking something with needing something. We're really lucky that way because we're not really very "things" oriented, don't have expensive hobbies, enjoy making and doing things for ourselves. All this money is really not necessary to our happiness. Sometimes it even seems like it robs us of using our ingenuity to do things like we used to do.....mostly having money seems more like not relevant. We were happy and felt abundance when we had little money and we're happy and feel abundance now that we do. That's all.

Carry on......I didn't mean to sound like "I can live cheaper than you can.....nyah, nyah, nyah......". But I DO like the fact that our needs are very modest and can be met with very little. That's a nice feeling.

LooseChickens




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