Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
Rivrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bloomington
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
Well obviously all here are much smarter than the average American, however, no one has addressed how to handle your neighbor's debt. I read yesterday about the need to raise social security deductions in order to avoid the future shortfall. So, while you all are paying your bills and avoiding those "monthlies", there is little you can do to avoid rising taxes which will affect you in the future.
I think you're right on this score. Will take a major change in how people think about finances and how they live. Beyond my abilities to figure out how to do that though.

When I grew up, we didn't have a lot of money. But didn't think we were poor because everyone around us was in the same boat.

Now days a lot of folks want it all and they want it now, even if they don't have the money. Then they expect someone else to help them out of the hole they dug for themselves.
__________________

__________________
Relax your mind.
Rivrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #22
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,890
When hacking at my budget (trying to reduce it), I always start with lowering regular monthly expenses. It's not the occasional microwave, painting, or even plasma TV that causes bank account calamities for me... it's the creeping monthly expenses that seem so small, but add up to so much.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 11:34 AM   #23
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
When hacking at my budget (trying to reduce it), I always start with lowering regular monthly expenses. It's not the occasional microwave, painting, or even plasma TV that causes bank account calamities for me... it's the creeping monthly expenses that seem so small, but add up to so much.
Yep. That's why I try to watch our purchases and expenditures like a hawk. I want to have the constant reminder fresh in my head about how quickly a lot of nickels and dimes become a lot of dollars.

When I make a big ticket purchase, I know we have room in savings to make the purchase. I mentally mark the money as gone before it's spent. But at the end of a month, you realize that your expenses in "miscellaneous" were $500 in a month instead of the $200 you planned on -- and you drill in and you see a lot of $5, $10 and $20 purchases adding up quickly. Truly death by a thousand paper cuts.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 11:40 AM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Yep. That's why I try to watch our purchases and expenditures like a hawk. I want to have the constant reminder fresh in my head about how quickly a lot of nickels and dimes become a lot of dollars.

When I make a big ticket purchase, I know we have room in savings to make the purchase. I mentally mark the money as gone before it's spent. But at the end of a month, you realize that your expenses in "miscellaneous" were $500 in a month instead of the $200 you planned on -- and you drill in and you see a lot of $5, $10 and $20 purchases adding up quickly. Truly death by a thousand paper cuts.
That's what I'm talking about. And they never end.
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 11:44 AM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
When hacking at my budget (trying to reduce it), I always start with lowering regular monthly expenses. It's not the occasional microwave, painting, or even plasma TV that causes bank account calamities for me... it's the creeping monthly expenses that seem so small, but add up to so much.
Well you've hit on another problem. People don't buy things based on need, they buy on wants. Our parents may have had one TV and one car. Perhaps a stereo and that was about it. They didn't go out and buy a 60" big screen because the 48 inch just wasn't big enough, or because you needed one in each room. They didn't upgrade their kitchens just because they were tired of the old cabinets.
Interestingly, this isn't by any means limited to Americans. I know a woman who went to live in Singapore. She said when they needed new computer equipment or cell phones, they went to the dump. She said they are crazy over there about keeping up with new technology. In fact, things like blu-ray are much bigger over there than in the US.
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 12:18 PM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
tryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,449
... yeah, keeping up with the gadgets is futile. DW wants to join Napster ($15/mo) so the my 4th grader can load up his MP3 ... and,oh, she'ld be getting one too. HELP!
__________________
FIRE'd since 2005
tryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 12:25 PM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
FinanceDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12,484
I'm a tyrant..........

I have DSL,because I don't want cable, and apparently you can't get cable modem without having cable..........

I have XM capability in my van but I'm too cheap to pay to listen to the radio...........

I wish I could get rid of my cell phone, but I suppose when I see 7 year olds running around with them, why not me.......
__________________
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)


This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
FinanceDude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 12:30 PM   #28
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
Right, Art.. I hope I didn't hijack your thread but I fear the monthly costs we CAN't avoid.. taxes.. basic utilities.. that are outpacing the semi-optional conveniences like internet and cell phone.
That has crossed my mind more than once too. If I'd known that natural gas was going to go up 100% in 4-5 years we'd probably be in a smaller house and not one with a vaulted ceiling in one room. WV still regulates electric rates but next door in MD they're looking at 70% increases in one year because of deregulation. The county is making noises about raising tax rates, I think they'll have to, they can cut only so much, their expenses are increasing too, and so on.

But, my crystal ball is just as cloudy as the next guy's so we'll just manage like everyone else does. Our income/savings is such that by the time we're really hurting a lot of others will be in food lines. I don't see it getting that bad. Yet.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 12:46 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
From my perspective, the "monthly payment" will bring down the economy. Think about it....

cable bill
internet bill
satellite radio
cell phone bill
day care
car lease
credit card interest

I'm sure I've forgotten quite a few, but consider it. All these things are small monthly expenses that add up to things we'll never own. We talk about the savings of our parents or grandparents and wonder why they were able to do it on such small incomes? They bought things, paid them off, then needed much less income to survive in retirement. What is going to have to happen to save the economy from a surefire broke economy in our senior years? You may think it won't affect you because you've saved, but we can already see the government's involvement with bailing out people. Is Rome about to burn? Even though you've saved, will you be paying for your neighbors retirement?
Of all of those I only have one which is a consolidated direct debit to the VISA Card for cable phone, cable TV and cable internet. I don't have a mortgage, do not pay CC interest, only pay the RE Taxes once a year via direct debit. For utilities I only have natural gas, electric, and condo fee. The utilities are on a "level pay" program so all of them are paid by direct debit at the same amount every month. Car and Home Contents Insurance are via automatic direct debit to my VISA Card. My Cell phone is on a "friends and family" program for which I give my DD $120 once a year. Retirement pay goes to the Credit Union via a direct credit and pays for everything. I cannot think of any way I can further simplify my life financially.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 01:01 PM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,052
R Wood...the only questionable thing that I can see you have is condo fees. Talk about something that can rise and eat you alive! My father bought his condo for cash, but pays quite a bit more than the condo would have cost him to finance in condo and association dues.
__________________
Art G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 01:17 PM   #31
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Well, my cable + Internet bill is $61.25. My cell phone bill is 34.23 this month. I don't need day care, except for my dog which is expensive during vacation times. And car lease? credit card interest? Don't do those.

I think the OP is overstating the issue. Why would total bills of $95.51 bust a retirement?

I would think that utility bills might be a future concern for those who live in big houses in cold climates.

And I don't understand the question, "will you be paying for your neighbor's retirement?" Does this refer to SS, Medicare? Higher taxes? For me, I believe in the social contract our society has agreed to -- keep senior citizens out of poverty. That doesn't mean that I agree that everyone, regardless of how high their income, should pay the same taxes.I think the taxes on these entitlements will necessarily continue to rise for those with middle and upper class incomes, which will unfortunately make my retirement less cushy. But otherwise the system will fail for those less fortunate. So, it is what it is. I'm lucky enough to be financially comfortable and won't be complaining because I have to pay more taxes.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 01:38 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
cable bill
internet bill
satellite radio
cell phone bill
day care
car lease
credit card interest
seems to me a lot of that can be controlled:
my cable bill is a basic few bucks because the reception here is terrible without it.
my internet bill is my biggest entertainment cost, likely less than a family of four pays for cokes and candy and the movies.
as to satellite radio, i only pay for tv because the free airwaves have been badly disrupted. once they block radio signals too, i'll consider satellite.
day care n/a
car lease a qualified n/a (current paid for car--considering going carless in the future at least for a few years)
cc interest n/a

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
I'd get worried about prop. taxes, too.
Even though values (and thus assessments) should be falling.. I've seen people reporting that (for example) some cities have decided to up assessed values of the underlying land to make up for declines in value of the actual bldg.. Many have already gone from a proportional assessment (like 70%) to 100%.. and some are raising the mil rate into the 20s and 30s!
now that we have homestead portability (assuming it passes judicial muster), i've sketched out an insane market timing "plan". seems we will have two years to declare new homestead once selling out from our existing exemption. so since i want to travel long-term anyway, i'm considering selling now, traveling for two years, then buying a downsize, utilizing my save-our-home tax exemption which i'll be harvesting from all these years in my current house. then i hold the new property for two years, sell again, maybe buy a boat this time and sail around for two years while living very far below means (just not below the surface, i hope). then buy another unit before that two years hold expires on my exemption, carrying foward the save-our-home exemption values on my previous two homes to a third home, etc.

possible advantages: holding onto house for two years offers long-term cap gains status (as if there will be cap gains in real estate going forward--i'm an optimist. that though a wash to moving & broker fees); maintaining florida save-our-home homesteaded exemption over decades (which limits taxable assessed values to 3% per year); & every other two years of moving entire home equity into stock market (plan assumes, of course, that the market will only go up in those years :::ducking::: ).

given that fantasy, i'm probably gonna tick-off a lot of floridians who don't as yet have much save-our-home value, but most of them are probably on my permanent ignore list already anyway. so rant away. here's something to scream about: by my quick figuring, on this method, and with continued downsizing over the years, i should be able to keep my property taxes under $1,500/year for the next 30 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
Well obviously all here are much smarter than the average American, however, no one has addressed how to handle your neighbor's debt. I read yesterday about the need to raise social security deductions in order to avoid the future shortfall. So, while you all are paying your bills and avoiding those "monthlies", there is little you can do to avoid rising taxes which will affect you in the future.
hopefully our neighbors will figure out that they have a lot of control over a lot of that just by adjusting their spending habits. education is key. why just the other night i caught oprah extolling virtues of realizing that you're just poor person and should never have been living like a rich person in the first place. "isn't it wonderful to find out who you really are" she said (or something like that).

it helps to not think in absolute but rather in relative terms. keep living the way you live and you will always be in better financial shape than your neighbor even if both you and your neighbor wind up absolutely worse.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 03:23 PM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
now that we have homestead portability (assuming it passes judicial muster), i've sketched out an insane market timing "plan". seems we will have two years to declare new homestead once selling out from our existing exemption. so since i want to travel long-term anyway, i'm considering selling now, traveling for two years, then buying a downsize, utilizing my save-our-home tax exemption which i'll be harvesting from all these years in my current house. .

That's interesting ! I thought we could only use our homestead portability once . As soon as the market picks up I going to use mine to buy a house a little further from the water .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 03:32 PM   #34
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art G View Post
R Wood...the only questionable thing that I can see you have is condo fees. Talk about something that can rise and eat you alive! My father bought his condo for cash, but pays quite a bit more than the condo would have cost him to finance in condo and association dues.
Yes, I gave that a lot of thought, before we bought (current fees are about .75% of market value; I will not worry much until the reach 1%, or more, of market). However, looking over the rules and the type of property we thought it would work out fine. The community we live in is small (20 buildings, 4 units per building, "ranch" style, and we have an end unit). Ohio has pretty strict rules about reserves, and our board has embarked on a program of painting exteriors after about 7 years, and the Property Manager is very responsive. Our reserves currently are growing at about $45K per year. The only major thing I can see is that in about 15 years roofs will have to be replaced - hopefully, the reserves will be over $2MM for that by then. We purchased the least expensive unit at the time so if we have to bail it should be reasonably easy. Actually, we do plan to look at leaving, maybe in 2011 - I think the DW and I have one more move in us (it will be about #21 if we do it).
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 04:58 PM   #35
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
That's interesting ! I thought we could only use our homestead portability once . As soon as the market picks up I going to use mine to buy a house a little further from the water .
drat, you foiled my odd plan. i didn't realize it is a one time deal. what a rip-off. oh well, that certainly simplifies things. screw the downsize, get a boat, sail off to happiness forever.

i know the previous amendment, thrown out before the vote, gave a one time choice for current owners between soh & superhomestead.

searching web i'm finding conflicting info. everything from--as you say--a one time opportunity (from a bradenton newspaper) and i just found one that says it can be done maximum of once every two years.

neither my county property appraiser's office makes such mention in their synopsis of the amendment nor does a word search within the amendment for "one time" or "one" indicates such a restriction. i will have to either read through the entire amendment or i'll just call the appraiser's office next week.

edit

here is amendment: _s0004Der.html

there no indication of such a restriction on my county's portability application http://www.bcpa.net/Forms/dr501tn0308.pdf

seminole county says: "homeowners may transfer their soh benefit from their most recent homestead to a new homestead anywhere in florida" per The recent passage of Amendment

finding similar on other sites.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:05 PM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,250
cable bill DON'T HAVE ONE
internet bill - What, and give up my source of education and entertainment? Ditto on eating dogfood first
satellite radio - XM is in the van but never turned on, never will, no interest
cell phone bill - $100 per year for prepaid, emergencies only, company smartphone won't be needed in ER
day care - DW is/was homemaker/stay-at-home mom
car lease - what's that? paid cash or got loan and paid it off in 3 months (to build credit rating only)
credit card interest - NEVER

But you're right, most people think they need all these things, and to be fair, some are necessary sometimes, given the world we live in (CC interest to pay medical costs not covered by insurance for an accident or illness, internet really is necessary these days but if you can walk to the library it can be had on the cheap, payphones essentially don't exist anymore due to ubiquitous cell phones and thugs who destroy those that remain - so an inexpensive prepaid can me handy in an emergency, single mom = daycare need). However, car leases, XM radio, cable and non-essential credit card interest would be hard to classify as necessities.

R
__________________
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:08 PM   #37
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
cell phone bill - $100 per year for prepaid, emergencies only, company smartphone won't be needed in ER
If you almost never use it, with T-Mobile you can get prepaid cellular for $10 per year after an initial $100 investment in loading the phone with prepaid minutes. Just sayin'.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:11 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
The biggest "pay it a little at a time so the sucker won't see how much he's paying": Federal income taxes. We should dump withholding and we'd all write a check for the amount due. I don't think anything would do more to increase popular pressure to decrease govt spending.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:21 PM   #39
Recycles dryer sheets
Rivrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bloomington
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
The biggest "pay it a little at a time so the sucker won't see how much he's paying": Federal income taxes. We should dump withholding and we'd all write a check for the amount due. I don't think anything would do more to increase popular pressure to decrease govt spending.
A lot of folks never really look at their pay stub and think about how much they are actually paying. If we had to write a check every month, and more people actually paid income tax, people might start asking their congressperson "What are you spending my money on?"
__________________
Relax your mind.
Rivrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
The biggest "pay it a little at a time so the sucker won't see how much he's paying": Federal income taxes. We should dump withholding and we'd all write a check for the amount due. I don't think anything would do more to increase popular pressure to decrease govt spending.
I currently have that option. However, it would have to be before the due date. As the current system is configured I have not problem paying taxes but try not to do it one day early.
__________________

__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ba-bye house payment bow-tie Young Dreamers 65 08-17-2007 09:00 AM
lump sum or monthly payment valve monkey FIRE and Money 20 03-26-2007 09:18 PM
Pension: Lump Sum or Monthly Payment ? Helena FIRE and Money 12 09-07-2006 10:00 AM
Your Monthly Social Security Payment TromboneAl FIRE and Money 22 05-07-2006 04:12 PM
Never Have Another Car Payment! scoopsteve FIRE and Money 72 03-03-2006 11:08 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:41 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.