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Old 12-07-2017, 10:59 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
So tell me more...where do you stay when you travel?
Hyatt Place and Holiday Inn Express, mostly. Anything with free breakfast that's relatively cheap on points. Hyatts in particular are a steal at 5k or 8k per night, and Chase UR points are gold and easy to mint.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:01 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by exnavynuke View Post
Mortgage and utilities put me at almost $20k/year outside Atlanta. Add in food and I'm well over $24k/year and I haven't left the house yet or bought anything but groceries..
Mortgage? What's that? Haven't heard of it since, oh, 2000 or so.

I don't live in one of the rich or desirable areas of the ATL btw so property taxes are less than $1500/yr. It's not a slum, just the southern part of Cobb County which is mostly blue collar. My required spend every month (gas/food/utilities/taxes/insurance etc.) is less than $1k, so the extra $500 to $1k a month is just fun money. I retired 3 years ago at age 51 and knowing what I know now probably could have left work a lot sooner than that, just wasn't ready to quit work.

Side benefit with low income/spend is that the ACA pays for all our healthcare which I know is a sore subject for many here. Don't hate the playa, hate the game.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:21 AM   #163
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We stayed at The Imperial Palace in Annecy in October. I was thinking of Robbie when we chose that place. Ferraris parked out front like Monaco. Over $1000 for 3 nights. 22 Euros for a Manhattan at their jazz bar. Yea baby! Bring it on.

Parking was free except for the tip (5 euros).
Sounds great!

The place we like in Monterey with the balcony on the bay so close you can spit in the water not to mention enjoy the constant slosh of the waves on the rocks and watch marine life for hours is $350 / night and worth every penny.

But it's not like we go there often, maybe once a year. But when we go I know where we'll be staying -
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:04 PM   #164
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Hyatt Place and Holiday Inn Express, mostly. Anything with free breakfast that's relatively cheap on points. Hyatts in particular are a steal at 5k or 8k per night, and Chase UR points are gold and easy to mint.
Okay, thanks. We've done a little of that in the past and plan to get more into the credit card points game again next year.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:22 PM   #165
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I live in the heart of the SF Bay Area with an income of around $70k, more than I ever made yearly working non college degree jobs and live very comfortably with money to save but I don’t.

The key for me is having the home I live in paid off, free and clear
Whereas my wife and I rent in Mountain View (it costs more than it cost us to rent in SF!!), and so our current housing costs us $49,800 a year.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:00 PM   #166
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A poster here once said his housing cost was $60K/yr to rent a condo in SF.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:14 PM   #167
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Wow! I guess it depends what you buy, where you shop and how much you try to buy on sale, but our grocery budget for two in So CA is $800/month. Sometimes we spend less but always at least $600. We also eat out a lot. We don't buy that much organic food but we do buy fresh ahi, salmon, shellfish and filet mignon. Also fresh veggies and fruit including lots of blueberries. We shop at Trader Joe's and Vons mostly, occasionally Costco.
We are in IL.

We buy mostly boneless, skinless chicken breast, and 85% or 90% fat free hamburger, not a lot of fish as DW doesn't like it. When I buy pork , it's usually a pork loin at Sam's Club, which I slice into chops and roasts.

When we buy beef for stir fry, it's boneless Strip loin ( $6,00 lb).
I do buy frozen shrimp but probably just once or twice a month. (all shrimp is frozen even if they thaw it at the store to pretend it's fresh).

I shop mostly at Aldi, Tony's, Sam's and sometimes at Jewel Osco, and rarely some others if passing by and need something. I do notice some of our grocery stores are about 10% more expensive than others, except for Whole Foods, which we shopped at since we had 1/2 price gift cards, and while they had a few competitive things, it was truly very pricey, but fun to shop at given the unique items.

I am flexible and will buy whatever is on sale if I know how to cook it.

Sometimes I have bought too many fresh vegies, and end up throwing some out as they rot before we can eat them all, so I'm trying to be better at that and get enough, but not too much.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:38 PM   #168
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Wow! I guess it depends what you buy, where you shop and how much you try to buy on sale, but our grocery budget for two in So CA is $800/month. Sometimes we spend less but always at least $600. We also eat out a lot. We don't buy that much organic food but we do buy fresh ahi, salmon, shellfish and filet mignon. Also fresh veggies and fruit including lots of blueberries. We shop at Trader Joe's and Vons mostly, occasionally Costco.
When I lived in San Diego (1977-1984), everyone that I happened to know there vehemently insisted that food was the same price there as everywhere else.

When we moved to College Station, Texas, in 1984, our food bill went down to about half or two thirds what it was in California, despite no sales shopping, buying the same stuff, and about the same level of grocery store in both places. I don't know why, but anyway that was really nice, whatever the cause.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:51 PM   #169
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I am flexible and will buy whatever is on sale if I know how to cook it.

Sometimes I have bought too many fresh vegies, and end up throwing some out as they rot before we can eat them all, so I'm trying to be better at that and get enough, but not too much.
We spend a bit more than you but I've done the math ahead of time and we should be able to spend the same this year with a general list like this:

30 pounds of fresh produce a week @ 50 cents a pound average = $15
4 pounds of grains / dried beans / pasta = $2
18 - 24 organic eggs = $6
1 pound cheese = $3
1 carton yogurt = $2
4 pounds meat / fish / shrimp / chicken on sale / Costco @ $3 pound = $12

Weekly total = $40

I buy what is on special but that is my more or less my baseline list, and that leaves a fair bit leftover for extras like $5 Friday shrimp and steak, dried shiitake mushrooms, curry sauce, etc. I discovered outlet stores after ER and the prices are half or less for the same products, same brand, fresher produce as my local supermarkets. Sometimes the prices are 75% less. If I ever had a seven wonders of our personal retirement plan, simply changing where we grocery shop would be one of them.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:11 AM   #170
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When I lived in San Diego (1977-1984), everyone that I happened to know there vehemently insisted that food was the same price there as everywhere else.

When we moved to College Station, Texas, in 1984, our food bill went down to about half or two thirds what it was in California, despite no sales shopping, buying the same stuff, and about the same level of grocery store in both places. I don't know why, but anyway that was really nice, whatever the cause.


I agree that grocery prices are higher in CA. We actually priced specific items in FL, TX, NV & CA and most were more in CA. Sometimes produce can be cheaper, especially at farmers markets, but most things cost more.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:17 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
We spend a bit more than you but I've done the math ahead of time and we should be able to spend the same this year with a general list like this:

30 pounds of fresh produce a week @ 50 cents a pound average = $15
4 pounds of grains / dried beans / pasta = $2
18 - 24 organic eggs = $6
1 pound cheese = $3
1 carton yogurt = $2
4 pounds meat / fish / shrimp / chicken on sale / Costco @ $3 pound = $12

Weekly total = $40

I buy what is on special but that is my more or less my baseline list, and that leaves a fair bit leftover for extras like $5 Friday shrimp and steak, dried shiitake mushrooms, curry sauce, etc. I discovered outlet stores after ER and the prices are half or less for the same products, same brand, fresher produce as my local supermarkets. Sometimes the prices are 75% less. If I ever had a seven wonders of our personal retirement plan, simply changing where we grocery shop would be one of them.


Impressive pricing! Most of the produce we buy is far more expensive than 50 cents/lb. A new outlet store opened close to us recently. I'm curious to check it out. The last time I was at a dollar store, a lot of their produce didn't look so good.

What are the other six wonders of your personal retirement plan? Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:21 AM   #172
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Hyatt Place and Holiday Inn Express, mostly. Anything with free breakfast .
I used to use Hotwire to book an overnight stay near the airport. Now I am more selective: breakfast and a free shuttle. Some offer a shuttle but it is not free. Some do not offer breakfast because they have no restaurant. Others are on a public transit route. It is complicated.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:36 AM   #173
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Whereas my wife and I rent in Mountain View (it costs more than it cost us to rent in SF!!), and so our current housing costs us $49,800 a year.
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A poster here once said his housing cost was $60K/yr to rent a condo in SF.
Our rental 3300 sq.ft. penthouse in Vancouver currently (2018) costs us $56k/yr Canadian all in (except cell phones). Currently $0.78 USD.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:06 AM   #174
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Does that penthouse have water views or something?
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:10 AM   #175
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A poster here once said his housing cost was $60K/yr to rent a condo in SF.
Must have been me. It was closer to $70K for our 2-bedroom high-rise condo by the time we moved out. No regrets whatsoever though. I still have a poster-size photo of the fantastic view we had from our living room hanging on the wall of my home office.

We have since moved to Alabama to look after MIL and $100K (which is close to our actual budget for 2018) goes a long way here. Our basic living expenses are around $23K for a married couple with 2 cats and a paid for house. That leaves a good chunk of disposable income.

The $23K include groceries (we mostly shop at Whole Foods and Publix), cell phones (2 iPhones with premium plans), utilities, cat supplies and vet care, health and dental insurance premiums, home/auto/umbrella insurance, auto registration, property taxes, YMCA membership, hair cuts, income taxes, auto fuel, internet and TV services).
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:22 AM   #176
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How about $500,000?
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/24/budg...g-average.html
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:29 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
We spend a bit more than you but I've done the math ahead of time and we should be able to spend the same this year with a general list like this:

30 pounds of fresh produce a week @ 50 cents a pound average = $15
4 pounds of grains / dried beans / pasta = $2
18 - 24 organic eggs = $6
1 pound cheese = $3
1 carton yogurt = $2
4 pounds meat / fish / shrimp / chicken on sale / Costco @ $3 pound = $12

Weekly total = $40

I buy what is on special but that is my more or less my baseline list, and that leaves a fair bit leftover for extras like $5 Friday shrimp and steak, dried shiitake mushrooms, curry sauce, etc. I discovered outlet stores after ER and the prices are half or less for the same products, same brand, fresher produce as my local supermarkets. Sometimes the prices are 75% less. If I ever had a seven wonders of our personal retirement plan, simply changing where we grocery shop would be one of them.
All I can say is WOW, clearly food varies by region. Even shopping at Aldis and small ethnic markets I can't get veggies or meat that cheap... like no where near that.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:59 AM   #178
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Well,
90000 RMD in 2018
71000 dividends and interest on taxable
41000 in SS
17500 other income

Yep, hard to get by on 100000
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:22 AM   #179
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Bragging?
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:34 AM   #180
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Three vacations a year? When do they find time to earn all this dough?

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