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Old 12-01-2016, 06:45 PM   #21
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My Quicken screen says $68,606 YTD, and we still have one month to go. At least, it looks like it will not be 6 figures this year, like the last 3 years. Having 2 homes costs money to maintain, plus travel.
Wow, you really cut back this year! Congratulations on that.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:50 PM   #22
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Well, my daughter is already married. The expenses on the homes tapered off, and should be minimal next year (fingers crossed).

Next year, I can travel more, if I can manage MAGI to avoid sticking my head up and getting it lopped off by ACA insurance premium of $24K/year.

PS. FIRECalc says I can sustain spending deep into the 6 figures with SS, but what do I spend money on?
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:54 PM   #23
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I'm amazed at how low some folk's monthly expenses are? DW retired last year and collects $4K+ per month in SS and Pension. I'm still working with a decent salary, but pretty sure I will pull the plug in less than 6 months. If I decide to draw SS and several pensions our monthly guaranteed income will be $8K, plus I can take my health insurance at cost from the VA -- and I'm scared to pull the trigger. No mortgage, our biggest expense is food/dining /wine [25%], housing/utilities [16%], Taxes [16%], Autos [12%], healthcare [8%] -- I know there is a lot of discretionary spending. I think the ERCI data list the average expenses for a retired couple to be $46K/yr or $3.8K/month. Plus, I could take 3% from our investments and add another $2K+ per month. We've planned, have a good margin of safety -- need to take a leap of faith. Great job everyone.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:02 PM   #24
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... I think the ERCI data list the average expenses for a retired couple to be $46K/yr or $3.8K/month...
ERCI: Emergency Response Centre International ??

Just eyeballing my Quicken screen, I can see that we can easily live on the above amount if we cut back on the non-essentials like the 2nd home, and if the health care cost does not balloon out of hand. Travel will be cut back, but that's not the end of the world. I would not be so generous with gifts and donations. It would still be a comfortable life, and I would not complain.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:10 PM   #25
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We're between $6500-7000/month, all in. That's with two teenagers under roof and hitting max OOP for the second year.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:13 PM   #26
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We're between $6500-7000/month, all in. That's with two teenagers under roof and hitting max OOP for the second year.
That's a huge hit to the budget! You are doing wonderfully, especially considering the medical costs and the fact that this is for a whole family.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:42 PM   #27
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$3,500 a month ... plus rent, which is quite hefty in San Francisco. Moving to a lower cost of living next year, targeting $4,500 a month, all in.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:46 PM   #28
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We need $7K per month for the two of us. I guess it's a Southern California thing.
Yes, California is very expensive. To me its not worth it. I got out as soon as I could. People who live in California , a lot of them would live no place else.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:57 PM   #29
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Basic expenses a little over $3K a month. That covers a comfortable lifestyle without any travel or luxuries in the southern Ohio/northern Kentucky area.

Any expenditures above that are purely discretionary and dependent on your desires.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:53 PM   #30
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We plan to spend a good deal more than anyone else on this thread so far (and more than we presently spend after taxes/savings while working after kids gone). But, that is with HUGE discretionary expenses planned to make up for many years of deferred travel plans (more than 1/2 our planned spending). Like DrRoy, we certainly will be able to live well on considerably less--which is why we are comfortable with planning variable spending rate.

Everyone's expenses will differ; what W2R, Danmar (who prudently hasn't responded!), Braumeister, or I spend is irrelevant to anyone else. The key is having sufficient portfolio (or, if you are in that position, other cash flow) to cover your own spending with sufficient safety.

P.S.--OP, congrats on $3300. With our health insurance/cost cost projected/guestimated at 2000 per month, there ain't no way we'd hit that!
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:53 PM   #31
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I am impressed with everybody's reasonable lifestyles. It staggers my mind to think how much we spend.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:08 PM   #32
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We're targeting 10k a month in 12 years when we retire, so these numbers make me happy that we can live on that. We will have housing costs minimized so that helps a lot in San Diego.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:35 PM   #33
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There's just one of me, living in a 1500 sf house in New Orleans.
Here's my average monthly spending by category for the past five years. I prefer not to reveal my spending on income tax or on medical, so those are not included.

Miscellaneous $318
Video games $55
Groceries $248
Restaurants $266
Gasoline $67
Car $161
House $554
Utilities $335
Fitness $98
Clothes $29
Income Tax not telling
Medical not telling
TOTAL $2131 plus income tax and medical
.
Notice there is no "entertainment" category but if you prefer, you could call the restaurant category "entertainment". It's kind of like that. We eat lunch together every day at a cheap mom-n-pop type neighborhood restaurant with reasonably healthy food, and have delightful conversations and fun.
It sure would be difficult to keep my resteraunt bill that low living in New Orleans. Y'all got some fine eating over there.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:39 PM   #34
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I'm not retired but I currently spend $3018.00 a month in Florida. That is everything but Fed income and pay roll tax
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:41 PM   #35
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Don't know exactly what household numbers are since DW and I have separate finances and I only keep track of mine. But after guessing her number, I'd say we are normally $8000-$8500.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:54 PM   #36
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That's a huge hit to the budget! You are doing wonderfully, especially considering the medical costs and the fact that this is for a whole family.
Thanks. It helps that we cook most meals at home and my main fun activities are free (walking the dog on the beach and doing my free senior water fitness classes). And it helps we have older, paid for, cars.

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We're targeting 10k a month in 12 years when we retire, so these numbers make me happy that we can live on that. We will have housing costs minimized so that helps a lot in San Diego.
Housing is a huge expense in SoCal... We get by with the lower spending numbers because the house is paid for and we've got prop-13 locked in low property taxes and none of the dreadful mello roos taxes/bonds. I couldn't afford to stay retired if we still had a mortgage payment.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:23 PM   #37
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We need $7K per month for the two of us. I guess it's a Southern California thing.
$7K.....I guess it's a NORTHERN California thing as well
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:42 PM   #38
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I never tracked expenses until 6 years ago, when I realized that I needed to know what they were. Prior to that, as long as we had plenty of money left over after maxing out our retirement savings, we were happy. This cavalier attitude obviously would not work in retirement, when our income dropped.

Quicken makes it easy to see where our money goes. And in the few years since I tracked, I saw that our highest expense year was 1.5X the lowest year. It's very lumpy. And it did not even go back to the year we bought our 2nd home.

It surprised me to see how we spent so much money, despite patting ourselves on the back for being so frugal. When I told my wife, she was taken aback.

FIRECalc says we can keep on spending even higher than our most profligate year. And there's no way I am going to live another 30 years. But what more do I spend money on? I already have enough, and need no more toys or expensive cars. The market can just crash, or health care cost might rocket up even more than it already has, taking out all of the safety margin I think I have.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:24 AM   #39
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For 2 (3 counting my medicated dog), living on the Great Plains, the average over the last 4 years was $6530 per month which includes everything: vacations, taxes, medical...

However, no year was average: our highest year was $7088, our lowest year was $6036.

If just starting to plan retirement expenses, recognize some years could be significantly higher.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:27 AM   #40
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We are coming up on year 10 of ER. I quit keeping track of expenses this year. I just keep an eye on our net worth. All in we go thru about 10k per month. At least that's what we were spending the previous 5 years or so.

Health insurance, country club, and a airplane run the cost up.
And grandkids.

Our net worth is higher now than ever, so I guess we are doing OK.
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