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Old 12-05-2017, 09:12 AM   #121
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In my case, I make about $80,000 per year, but my paycheck, after taxes, is about $1500 every two weeks. So my net comes out to about 48 cents on the dollar. I'm single, with no kids. I max out my 401k, which does take a big chunk out of the take-home pay. Now, if I made $100K, I estimate that would give me another $12,000 after taxes, since I already max out my 401k and wouldn't be able to defer any more income.

That would come out to $1000 per month. I don't really live all that extravagantly right now, and am fairly happy, but I don't see $1000 more per month putting me into the "high life" category. So, I can definitely see how it would be possible for a couple, especially with kids, to have difficulty living on a family salary of $100K per year. It all depends on where you live, what your priorities are, etc.

Now, if it was $100K AFTER taxes and everything are taken out, that would seem like a pretty extravagant lifestyle to me. But, again, depending on where you live, family dynamic, etc, even $100K probably wouldn't stretch that far for many people.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:25 AM   #122
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... today there are just 2.9 workers per retiree—and this amount is expected to drop to two workers per retiree by 2030. The program was stable when there were more than 3 workers per beneficiary.
Make the robots that are replacing the humans pay social security. Problem solved.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:29 AM   #123
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... Now, if it was $100K AFTER taxes and everything are taken out, that would seem like a pretty extravagant lifestyle to me. But, again, depending on where you live, family dynamic, etc, even $100K probably wouldn't stretch that far for many people.
I do not live in an expensive area (but not cheap either). And when I started to track expenses using Quicken in 2010, I was astounded to see I spent in the low 6 figures some years. And that was no tax, as I had no earned income and could not draw from roll-over IRA because I was not yet 59-1/2, and was living completely off after-tax savings.

It scared the heck of me, because I did not realize things added up that much. Just $10K here and there, soon you talk $100K.

The expense tracking was good for me, because I was able to sit down and look at the expenses afterwards. We never did do preplanning because we were always LBYM. But looking at the expenses afterwards showed me that many items should be non-recurrent, and so far they have been.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:35 AM   #124
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Make the robots that are replacing the humans pay social security. Problem solved.
Excellent idea!

Hmmm... Robots have no need for stuff that humans do. A bit for cheap housing and energy. No travel, vacation, medical care, organic and good-tasting food and booze, etc...

I say we confiscate all of their salary. What can they do? They don't even know to complain. If they do, we just pull their plug.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:20 AM   #125
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Location, location, location.

Several years ago I was in Rome I bought an espresso at a nice bar in a business/tourist area for 2 €. Later that day I bought TWO iced coffees at a small bar about a 20 minute walk from the business area - 2.50 € for both.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #126
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My DH just told me from a Kiplinger report, 90% of Americans have a savings of $500K or less. That put us in the top 10% of Americans. Very hard to believe.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:39 AM   #127
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100K ? That's more than twice that I'm able to live on based on my current budget including mortgage, utility bills, taxes etc. IMHO Unless you are a multi-millionaire, 100K is a big $$s
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:43 AM   #128
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My DH just told me from a Kiplinger report, 90% of Americans have a savings of $500K or less. That put us in the top 10% of Americans. Very hard to believe.
From all of the "reports" I have seen lately, $500k is way high for 90%. I have read where 70% have less than $100k....
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:04 AM   #129
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100k is really easy to spend if you've got kids and want to live in a higher end home. Twelve years ago when I was single I lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate. My costs were pretty darn low, even though I really didn't make a huge effort to scrimp. I just avoided big recurring payments for the most part.

Now I am married with two children. The small starter home was sold to get the big, nice house in the good school district. Last year with both kids in the Montessori preschool our big expenses were--

~30k for two kids tuition and daycare
~33k for mortgage and utilities

Once you make those expensive choices, your cost of living is going to be expensive.

On the plus side, we love the house and the neighborhood, and my children are way ahead of where I was academically at their age, and I was no slouch in that area as a kid.

We are a dual-income family making just under 200k per year, but month to month money actually feels a little tight, since we have so much going into retirement accounts and my company stock purchase plan (we both max out our 401k/457, and the ESPP allows me to buy at a discount. I sell every 6 months to take the free money). Now that the oldest kid is out of preschool, we've started putting $1000/month extra to the mortgage.

The only time we really feel rich is when we add up the investment account balances, but we are probably spending somewhere around 130k year right now.

On the plus side, all the cheap living before the kids came along has put our net worth in about the $2 million range after this crazy bull market. Once the youngest gets out of preschool we'll be about another 12k/year ahead. Of course, we'll need to start thinking about college soon
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:53 PM   #130
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My DH just told me from a Kiplinger report, 90% of Americans have a savings of $500K or less. That put us in the top 10% of Americans. Very hard to believe.
If I remember correctly, I didn't have 500K until I was in my late 40's, so I am not sure if it is that surprising...?
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:03 PM   #131
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Well, you don't have state income tax in FL. Not sure what your property tax is. Ours is over $14K this year. That plus state & federal income tax and health insurance/medical costs gets us well on the way. Add in food, transportation, housing, travel, dining out, gifting, etc etc and not hard to see why we're well over $100K. YMMV
Property Taxis $5k with homestead. Assessed value a lot lower than Sale Value.
Lump sum lease averages 5K per year.
HI is No Premium $2450 TOOP
Home Insurance including flood. $1500
Car Insurance $600
Utilities about $3600 - $4000

So far on my Budget Spreadsheet we are averaging $2k pm MANDATORY expenses and I think everything is paid for 2017. Including House Maintenance and Health insurance (ACA).
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:08 PM   #132
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Are these lump sum paid leases included in the $50k/year of living costs? I'm skeptical in that we live much more modestly than you describe and I can't imagine doing it on $50k a year.

Also, I've always wondered about those prepaid leases.... what happens if you have an accident and total the car right after you get it? Your insurer just will pay FMV and you need to go and find a replacement acceptable to you and the lessor?
Non US car companies offer pre-paid GAP insurance as part of the one pay lease. You do need to make sure they do the correct lease agreement though. The Title of it is "One Pay Lease Agreement". The other regular one only has GAP insurance for cost of the car, not the payments. Not sure about US companies.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:42 PM   #133
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Thank goodness we have the humidity in North Carolina. Keeps those desert seeking wimps away.

Sure, we have mountains and unbelievable coast, but you really don't want to come here. Stay away. The humidity is *terrible*.
Yup. The humidity is horrible. And the bugs are huuuuge.

And there are people everywhere. Way too many people. Please don't come here.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:46 PM   #134
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Yup. The humidity is horrible. And the bugs are huuuuge.

And there are people everywhere. Way too many people. Please don't come here.
Just like FLA, but a little off topic.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:46 PM   #135
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WE live in a MCOL and spend about 73k/year. That includes 10k in travel and we go out about 2x's week. WE could cut back if we ever needed too. We love to eat out but it is fattening so limit ourselves usually. We drive our cars until they die. We are lucky that our property taxes are only 700/year.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:58 PM   #136
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We can live off $40k in Florida, and would live like kings on $100k.
I'm having a hard time spending $24k/year here in the ATL.

It does help to be able to travel for basically nothing other than gas/food/car rentals.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:19 PM   #137
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I'm having a hard time spending $24k/year here in the ATL.

It does help to be able to travel for basically nothing other than gas/food/car rentals.
So tell me more...where do you stay when you travel?

We can go out on the town pretty cheaply. There's Netflix for live events kinds of subscriptions in our area and all sorts of annual passes for activities like wine tasting and museums that bring our per outing cost down pretty low.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:45 PM   #138
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I think there is a lot of apples and oranges here. It seems to me that most of the posters here are talkiing about spending, ie net taxes, while choosing to be living a frugal lifestyle off ample investments funding an ER. If you only have an income of $50k, and a paid off home in an average COL area, & most income are low tax divs etc, then taxes are what, $5k or less? Your taxes are much lower, no payment in to SS/Med, no more saving in to savings, etc, etc. You are “there”.

Obviously, even though the article was fluff, the subjects were working stiffs, with mortgages, not smart enough with money, to even comprehend that there is this tiny public segment of early retirees. So expect overall taxes in the $25-30k range, so net is $70-75k minus another $12k mortgage and its easy to see them trying to better their “living” on $58k, with a family and associated costs. Once you are “there”, it’s relatively easy to maintain a low income lifestyle. The hard part is getting “there”.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:54 PM   #139
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There was an article a couple of years ago about a household with $200 or $250k income living in Brooklyn.

Between private schools and some vacations, they couple said they didn't feel rich.

Well yeah, they passed up on more luxurious things to pay for good schooling for their kids. That is a choice they made.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:55 PM   #140
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Your taxes look a bit heavy... if $100k earned income and MFJ with standard deduction and 2 exemptions and California state tax (high tax state) then total taxes would be $24k... $6.2k SS, $1.45 medicare, $12.3k federal income and $3.7k Ca income per Income Tax Calculator - Tax-Rates.org

That leaves $76k take-home pay or over $6k a month for expenses and saving.
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