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Old 02-13-2021, 11:55 AM   #241
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Those high property taxes are the killer. Ours is just climbed up to 3000, our house has been paid off for 17 years.
Everything is relative. My property tax bill hit $13,200 this year and keep climbing 2% each year. And this is on top of other high taxes we have in Santa Clara county in CA. I wish I have had property tax $3K and retire yesterday
Of course I can sell this home and move to other cheaper place, but it is hard to do by many reasons. Instead, I choose another path to save money enough to pay property tax this high. The war is going on, will see where it goes.
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:56 PM   #242
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There you go. It’s choices and the cost of those choices. My cousin in Westchester County, NY pays similarly crazy property tax. I believe she is up to $2k/mo for less house than we have, and the house has been paid off forever. But she will never leave there. That’s where she has lived most of her life, all her friends, kids, grands, and employment is. Everything she wants & knows is there. It’s just normal. If she has to work longer, she doesn’t care. Her mother & grandmother both worked in to their 70s and grandmother died a millionaire and her mother now in her 80s has even more money and would work if she could. I know her mother has taken maybe 3 vacations her whole life and they were for weddings. Everyone is different with different priorities and different levels of success and acceptance of costs. Not anything new here, I know.

Ironically, my father was a workaholic but still retired at 52 to Florida when his arthritis got too bad (contractor). He did all kinds piecemeal work because he wasn’t happy unless he was doing productive things. He hated free time and wanted to die once it was obvious in his mid- late 70s, he couldn’t do most anything like that anymore. I’m sure that lack of a will to live contributed to his death at 81.

So “How low can you go?” For me really translates to “what are you willing to do to live as cheap as possible?”
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Old 02-13-2021, 02:25 PM   #243
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There you go. It’s choices and the cost of those choices. My cousin in Westchester County, NY pays similarly crazy property tax. I believe she is up to $2k/mo for less house than we have, and the house has been paid off forever. But she will never leave there. That’s where she has lived most of her life, all her friends, kids, grands, and employment is. Everything she wants & knows is there. It’s just normal. If she has to work longer, she doesn’t care. Her mother & grandmother both worked in to their 70s and grandmother died a millionaire and her mother now in her 80s has even more money and would work if she could. I know her mother has taken maybe 3 vacations her whole life and they were for weddings. Everyone is different with different priorities and different levels of success and acceptance of costs. Not anything new here, I know.

Ironically, my father was a workaholic but still retired at 52 to Florida when his arthritis got too bad (contractor). He did all kinds piecemeal work because he wasn’t happy unless he was doing productive things. He hated free time and wanted to die once it was obvious in his mid- late 70s, he couldn’t do most anything like that anymore. I’m sure that lack of a will to live contributed to his death at 81.

So “How low can you go?” For me really translates to “what are you willing to do to live as cheap as possible?”
$2k a month for property taxes alone is insane. A lot of people here, myself included live very comfortably all in for $2 - $3k a month. I guess living in NY translates to "what can you do to live as expensively as possible"
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Old 02-13-2021, 04:37 PM   #244
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So “How low can you go?” For me really translates to “what are you willing to do to live as cheap as possible?”
Although the subject of the thread asks how low you can go, the OP is asking about current budgets, which can be entirely different. So, just because someone may be willing to relocate and have lower bills, to really answer the OP in the body of his OP, it's a matter of what the current budget is. As he asks:
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"For those couples living on less than $60k/year, how do you do it? What does your budget look like?"
So he also asks about "couples", yet gives an example in his OP that is not regarding a couple:
Quote:
I saw one guy said his annual budget is $15k!? How is that even possible in America.
Also, as I've mentioned a couple times earlier, it also matters what you are including, such as discretionary spending, health insurance that comes out of your paycheck before you get it, sinking funds for long term expenses, etc. My expenses range from $13,200 to $20,000 on that matter alone:

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ml#post2549078
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:40 PM   #245
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There you go. It’s choices and the cost of those choices. My cousin in Westchester County, NY pays similarly crazy property tax. I believe she is up to $2k/mo for less house than we have, and the house has been paid off forever. But she will never leave there. That’s where she has lived most of her life, all her friends, kids, grands, and employment is. Everything she wants & knows is there. It’s just normal. If she has to work longer, she doesn’t care. Her mother & grandmother both worked in to their 70s and grandmother died a millionaire and her mother now in her 80s has even more money and would work if she could. I know her mother has taken maybe 3 vacations her whole life and they were for weddings. Everyone is different with different priorities and different levels of success and acceptance of costs. Not anything new here, I know.

Ironically, my father was a workaholic but still retired at 52 to Florida when his arthritis got too bad (contractor). He did all kinds piecemeal work because he wasn’t happy unless he was doing productive things. He hated free time and wanted to die once it was obvious in his mid- late 70s, he couldn’t do most anything like that anymore. I’m sure that lack of a will to live contributed to his death at 81.

So “How low can you go?” For me really translates to “what are you willing to do to live as cheap as possible?”
As Perryinva remarks, I've also known male elders over 80 that had purpose assisting their personal will to live.

Others w/few interests....
No purpose, no interest, declining recources, no family or dependents,... not so much.


One in particular lived in a (2000valuation-1M) beachfront home renting its rooming accommodations to assist in his states onerous taxation.
This was MA.
Many combat veterans are unaware of similar R.E's onerous taxations relief options in their elder yrs., it's unfortunate.

Good luck & Best wishes....
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Old 02-14-2021, 07:58 AM   #246
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Very impressive. Do you live in an apartment or house? If house what are your property taxes?
I pay $695 a month in rent. So that means I spent $405 a month on everything else. I am not a cord cutter, I have DTV. I need to watch my 7 CFB games at once all day every Saturday during the fall.

My $13,205.94 in total spending last year includes everything in life.

$0 federal income taxes
$0 state income taxes
$0 health insurance premiums(8k deductible)

As far as the 8k deductible goes. 2 of the last 3 years I have spent $13,205.94 or less on everything in life. However in 2019 I developed a hernia and had surgery. So my spending that year was $15,600. I drove 365 miles one way to have surgery and the total cost of the surgery/trip including motel,gas, and $80 in tolls was $2500. That was 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of having it down here.
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Old 02-14-2021, 09:18 AM   #247
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Everything is relative. My property tax bill hit $13,200 this year and keep climbing 2% each year. And this is on top of other high taxes we have in Santa Clara county in CA. I wish I have had property tax $3K and retire yesterday
Of course I can sell this home and move to other cheaper place, but it is hard to do by many reasons. Instead, I choose another path to save money enough to pay property tax this high. The war is going on, will see where it goes.
There is nothing comfortable with upending your whole life, friends, family by moving to a lower cost area. No need to explain your reasoning.
Through circumstances that revolved around caring for my wife's ill and aging parents, we ended up near them and into relatively frugal living costs.
My family is from central Washington and also relatively low costs, but the nieces and nephews have all followed the tug of Seattle to costs more in line with yours.
Now my sisters in particular have felt that tug of family and have taken their pensions to that place of nearly triple the costs of housing.
For me that is pure insanity, but like your circumstances I can see it from their viewpoint.
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Old 02-14-2021, 09:57 AM   #248
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But of course we cannot just ignore the housing costs, because how else can you compare between the dude who chooses to live in a $500/mo shack to someone renting a 4,000 sq ft house? And how else can you actually glean true information about what makes a High Cost area?

Like I said - no comparison of true living costs is actually possible IMHO.
We must live in a low-cost area.
We paid off our house last year. We bought it in 2009 for $42K. We put $12K down and financed $30K for 30 years. Our payment was around $300/month including escrow for taxes and insurance. And it's not a 'shack', either. Built around 1910 with 4 bedrooms, one bath. 1400 sq. ft. 9-foot ceilings. It's not a McMansion but there's only the two of us.
Our previous home was only 1152 sq. ft. and that mortgage payment was $290/month. Neither of these two homes are our 'forever home' but rather a nice place to live until we retire and decide where we want to live afterwards.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:07 AM   #249
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We must live in a low-cost area.
We paid off our house last year. We bought it in 2009 for $42K. We put $12K down and financed $30K for 30 years. Our payment was around $300/month including escrow for taxes and insurance. And it's not a 'shack', either. Built around 1910 with 4 bedrooms, one bath. 1400 sq. ft. 9-foot ceilings. It's not a McMansion but there's only the two of us.
Our previous home was only 1152 sq. ft. and that mortgage payment was $290/month. Neither of these two homes are our 'forever home' but rather a nice place to live until we retire and decide where we want to live afterwards.
1910-12 is our favorite era for houses - 5-panel doors, transoms, real tongue and groove flooring...
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:22 AM   #250
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^My brother is hooked on Craftsmans^
His first was a 1935 multi story with fabulous built-ins, but clearly too large for retirement.
He then found a 1920 1200 sq foot home on a double lot, and then did a masterful addition to it to add a large garage/shop that is attached by a big pantry/laundry room. He copied all the cool details inside and out. It worked!
I dug the geothermal heat loops in the large lot before construction, and he has a big grid tied solar system on the south roofs.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:23 AM   #251
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I pay $695 a month in rent. So that means I spent $405 a month on everything else. I am not a cord cutter, I have DTV. I need to watch my 7 CFB games at once all day every Saturday during the fall.

My $13,205.94 in total spending last year includes everything in life.

$0 federal income taxes
$0 state income taxes
$0 health insurance premiums(8k deductible)

As far as the 8k deductible goes. 2 of the last 3 years I have spent $13,205.94 or less on everything in life. However in 2019 I developed a hernia and had surgery. So my spending that year was $15,600. I drove 365 miles one way to have surgery and the total cost of the surgery/trip including motel,gas, and $80 in tolls was $2500. That was 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of having it down here.
That is amazing. If you don't mind me asking what state are you in? Could you spend more if you wanted to?
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:46 AM   #252
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I have a 15 year old what feels like a 40 pound Hoover vacuum. It is near impossible to order vacuum bags. The vacuum still works well. When the bag is half full, I use gloves, a face mask and glasses when I empty the bag into the garbage. It takes a few minutes to do but I have saved money over the years never to order new bags. I just reuse the same ones. Thinking out of the box to save more $$.
Ugh, it's a dirty job that I never thought of doing, even when I did not have much money. In addition, the bag's pores get plugged up with fine dust, and the suction gets weaker with time even if the bag is emptied.

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You can find most bags on ebay at a fair price. My vacuum is over 30 years old I can still get bags for it on ebay. I think I am paying less than $2 for a bag.
I am still using my old vacuums. One day went to Walmart to get replacement bags and they did not have any. What the heck! Did people stop vacuuming? Then, it occurred to me that I was among the few who had not gone "bagless".

I did not care to have to empty even those bagless vacuums. I just want to throw away the yucky bag of dust, so looked on eBay and was able to buy replacement bags. I do not remember what I paid, but they were definitely not $2/bag. Maybe they are getting as scarce as hen's teeth. Darn, I need to buy to stock up now.
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Old 02-14-2021, 10:48 AM   #253
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We just spray paint the dust - works a treat.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:07 AM   #254
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1910-12 is our favorite era for houses - 5-panel doors, transoms, real tongue and groove flooring...
Exactly!
Our upstairs still has the five panel doors. Unfortunately the ones on the ground floor were replaced in the '80s with either cheap hollow-core doors or bifold doors. We replaced those with solid pine doors and used vintage knobs and lock plates to at least make them look older. I could go on, but...

Sorry to get off-topic.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:15 AM   #255
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Ugh, it's a dirty job that I never thought of doing, even when I did not have much money. In addition, the bag's pores get plugged up with fine dust, and the suction gets weaker with time even if the bag is emptied.



I am still using my old vacuums. One day went to Walmart to get replacement bags and they did not have any. What the heck! Did people stop vacuuming? Then, it occurred to me that I was among the few who had not gone "bagless".

I did not care to have to empty even those bagless vacuums. I just want to throw away the yucky bag of dust, so looked on eBay and was able to buy replacement bags. I do not remember what I paid, but they were definitely not $2/bag. Maybe they are getting as scarce as hen's teeth. Darn, I need to buy to stock up now.
I just looked them up closer to $1 a bag.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:27 AM   #256
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That is amazing. If you don't mind me asking what state are you in? Could you spend more if you wanted to?
There was another post explaining situation, if you check it back to that pages. I believe it is the state of Ohio, with Kaiser high deductible health insurance.
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Old 02-14-2021, 03:01 PM   #257
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That is amazing. If you don't mind me asking what state are you in? Could you spend more if you wanted to?
Ohio. The first 24k of income is taxed at 0%. They changed it to that 2 years ago. I had moved here in 2017. I had no idea they were going to do that.

Yes I could spend more. But I would break out in hives. I am in the top 12% in net worth in America but I might be in the top 1% in least spending. 2 reasons I would like to keep my spending low is to be able to convert 15k a year to a Roth and I have a 84k longterm capital gains loss that allows me to have a 3k loss every year on Form D. I would like to stretch that 3k loss as many years as I can. A 3rd reason would be to make sure I keep my ACA $0 premium bronze plan. But you can make 25k a year(28k for me with the 3k loss) and keep the premium at $0. I'm well under that even with the 15k yearly Roth conversion. In Iowa where I lived most of my life my deduction would only be $1900. In Tennessee where I will eventually move the deductible is the same as Ohio.

I was totally in dotcom mutual funds and went from 276k down to 15k in the dotcom crash. 15 years later I retired at age 51 as I put that 15k along with all new additional money over the years in index funds. I thought I would have to work until 70 after the 07-09 crash.
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Old 02-14-2021, 03:43 PM   #258
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Ohio. The first 24k of income is taxed at 0%. They changed it to that 2 years ago. I had moved here in 2017. I had no idea they were going to do that.

Yes I could spend more. But I would break out in hives. I am in the top 12% in net worth in America but I might be in the top 1% in least spending. 2 reasons I would like to keep my spending low is to be able to convert 15k a year to a Roth and I have a 84k longterm capital gains loss that allows me to have a 3k loss every year on Form D. I would like to stretch that 3k loss as many years as I can. A 3rd reason would be to make sure I keep my ACA $0 premium bronze plan. But you can make 25k a year(28k for me with the 3k loss) and keep the premium at $0. I'm well under that even with the 15k yearly Roth conversion. In Iowa where I lived most of my life my deduction would only be $1900. In Tennessee where I will eventually move the deductible is the same as Ohio.

I was totally in dotcom mutual funds and went from 276k down to 15k in the dotcom crash. 15 years later I retired at age 51 as I put that 15k along with all new additional money over the years in index funds. I thought I would have to work until 70 after the 07-09 crash.
That is a great story. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2021, 03:52 PM   #259
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Ohio. The first 24k of income is taxed at 0%. They changed it to that 2 years ago. I had moved here in 2017. I had no idea they were going to do that.

Yes I could spend more. But I would break out in hives. I am in the top 12% in net worth in America but I might be in the top 1% in least spending. 2 reasons I would like to keep my spending low is to be able to convert 15k a year to a Roth and I have a 84k longterm capital gains loss that allows me to have a 3k loss every year on Form D. I would like to stretch that 3k loss as many years as I can. A 3rd reason would be to make sure I keep my ACA $0 premium bronze plan. But you can make 25k a year(28k for me with the 3k loss) and keep the premium at $0. I'm well under that even with the 15k yearly Roth conversion. In Iowa where I lived most of my life my deduction would only be $1900. In Tennessee where I will eventually move the deductible is the same as Ohio.

I was totally in dotcom mutual funds and went from 276k down to 15k in the dotcom crash. 15 years later I retired at age 51 as I put that 15k along with all new additional money over the years in index funds. I thought I would have to work until 70 after the 07-09 crash.
How about a car? How about utilities? Are they included?
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Old 02-14-2021, 03:57 PM   #260
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Ugh, it's a dirty job that I never thought of doing, even when I did not have much money. In addition, the bag's pores get plugged up with fine dust, and the suction gets weaker with time even if the bag is emptied.



I am still using my old vacuums. One day went to Walmart to get replacement bags and they did not have any. What the heck! Did people stop vacuuming? Then, it occurred to me that I was among the few who had not gone "bagless".

I did not care to have to empty even those bagless vacuums. I just want to throw away the yucky bag of dust, so looked on eBay and was able to buy replacement bags. I do not remember what I paid, but they were definitely not $2/bag. Maybe they are getting as scarce as hen's teeth. Darn, I need to buy to stock up now.
No issues on my handy dandy very heavy Hoover vacuum. Haven't bought bags in many years. Empty the bags outside in the garage area. Easy peasy and takes a few minutes. Suction works like new.
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