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Old 09-08-2021, 02:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Luvtoride View Post
GG,
Lower rates than Oregon where you live now?
Is cost the only factor on where to live in Retirement?

I must be so numbed by the high cost of living in the NJ/ NYC area that I don’t realize how much lower it is in other parts of the country. What “services” are lacking in these places that taxes can be that low? I must be missing something!.
Yes, I've been considering moving back to the southwest and the property taxes looked like they were a lot lower in NV, AZ, CO, and NM. If I stay in my area I'll probably move to WA to escape the high income taxes in Oregon (I could move a mile away and save thousands a year). I haven't spent much time in the NY/NJ area so I can't really compare what the differences in services are.

Cost of living isn't everything but I don't have that many ties to the area I live in now. I moved here for work and my family is scattered around and none live close to me here. I'd miss some of the friends I've made in the past few years but I would make new ones in a new location.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvtoride View Post
GG,
Is cost the only factor on where to live in Retirement?

I must be so numbed by the high cost of living in the NJ/ NYC area that I don’t realize how much lower it is in other parts of the country. What “services” are lacking in these places that taxes can be that low? I must be missing something!.
We lived in CA before moving to Nevada in retirement. The biggest push factor was policy decisions by the government - trying not to make it sound political. We did not mind paying state tax but the money just did not go back to infrastructure. I will stop here.

Nevada has no state income tax, communities here are built under what is called Master Plan. Prices of homes of where we now live cost about the same as where we were in Northern California. We definitely don't get homeless problem here although we do see some when we go to the older areas, but nothing like back in CA. We prefer here because of lower crime and better standard of living. We probably spend more in retirement than before because we joined the country club, golf alot and continue with lots of travel.

Nevada makes money off casinos, much like Alaska and its oil. It makes up for the lack of state income tax. Services are not lacking here.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:25 PM   #23
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We no longer budget, we just track cash flow.

For the last 12 months our expenses excluding income taxes, recreation, entertainment, gifts, and charity (as the latter two are things we chose to do, but do not have to do) have averaged $4.7K per month. No mortgage payment. This includes just over $400/month property taxes on a home Zillow claims is worth $550K (HA!) and $145/month in auto insurance for 3 cars.

The 5 excluded categories add another $3.1K/month in expenses. If we were able to travel internationally as we were before the pandemic, that would be another $1.7K-$2K/month.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Hmm... Nobody is paying any Federal/State income taxes?

That is one of our larger expenses.. Same question for pet/vet costs? and maybe even clothing?

Perhaps folks are answering the "what are you housing costs" question.

-gauss
Taxes are by far our largest expense category, led by fed and state income taxes.

It seems for these types of discussions, it would be best for the op establish a template and we could just fill it in. Otherwise it seems like these posted "budgets" are some miscellaneous numbers.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:55 PM   #25
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It seems for these types of discussions, it would be best for the op establish a template and we could just fill it in. Otherwise it seems like these posted "budgets" are some miscellaneous numbers.
We all live at different levels of comfort, so the raw numbers don't say that much without knowing your local cost of living. Percentages of total spending might be more useful, but the problem there is that we all have different ways of categorizing our spending.
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Old 09-08-2021, 02:57 PM   #26
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Actually, the raw numbers do say a lot. You have to pay them, comfortable or not, LCOL or HCOL area.

As some others have mentioned, we no longer keep a budget or track spending in detailed categories. We just weren't generating much actionable data when we did. Most all our money passes through our checking account, so I just noodle cash flow monthly and if there is a change that surprises me, I tunnel down to the source.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:04 PM   #27
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Our monthly expenses, not including food, entertainment, federal and state taxes and one off big ticket items is a bit over $8,000/mo.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:05 PM   #28
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I am not sure the goal of the thread.

It is kind of like when my father asked me about how much I was spending on stuff or when I took him to a nice restaurant, I lied about the bill. Otherwise he would call me a spendthrift and would refuse to have me take him out again.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvtoride View Post
What “services” are lacking in these places that taxes can be that low? I must be missing something!.


Well you did mention you are in the New Jersey area, so maybe the rest of us pay less for “waste management”…

(Not trying to perpetuate stereotypes, I just couldn’t resist throwing in the “Sopranos” reference…still one of the best shows ever)
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:14 PM   #30
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We are in a HCOL area and have included food (cook/take-out) and spending allowances.


Food $600
Allowance $520
Electricity $129.17
Heating $47.69
TV/Internet $185
Cell/Telephone $110.06
House Insurance $60.50
Health Insurance $835.25
Vehicle insurance $119.12
Umbrella Insurance 26.00
Dental Insurance $65.83
Fishing Boat Insurance $6.25

Water Tax: 23.75
School Tax $234.01
Property Tax $185.09
Lawn Mowing Service $42.80


Total $3,236.94
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:33 PM   #31
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Hmmm. Looking at quicken data for the last 12 months...
Up until last month it was a household of 4. Older son moved out last month.
Younger son heads to college next week, so day to day household expenses (food/hot water, gas for the car) go away for 9 months.
And do I count the big tuition/dorm bills I just paid?

Inclusive of all that - we spent just over $9k/month for a family of 4* That includes everything - including healthcare for all of them and education.

Pulling out Groceries, dining out, college expenses for the kids, we're at $6300/month.

Does travel count as entertainment? What about streaming services? Cable TV? Now we're at $5400/month.

Hey - do I count the insurance we have on our rental unit? It's an expense - but one that is offset by income...

I could go on for a while. Everyone's spending is different. Everyone's categories are different.

Did you include health insurance? That's not food or entertainment...

To use your categories - again, for a family of 4....

Mortgage: $0
Property Tax:$310
Home Owner Insurance: $98
Electric: (includes natural gas since that's the way our bill comes): $164
Internet: $80 (that's part of our cable bill... but that's what it would be if we didn't have cable.)
Ring: $0
Gas: - $319 (4 drivers again... I'm assuming this is auto - our utilities combine gas and electric in one bill.)
Water/Sewer/trash: $160 - but that's for 6 people because it includes our granny flat rental.
Pool/yard maintenance: $0
Cleaning: $0
Mobile Phone: $120 (4 lines, because 4 people)
Gym: $0 (quit for covid - work out at home now)
Insurance (car,) $488 (4 cars because 4 people - two are young male, expensive to insure, drivers.)

Things you didn't have:
Health insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Travel, auto repair, auto fuel, ...
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your monthly budget before entertainment?
Old 09-08-2021, 03:50 PM   #32
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your monthly budget before entertainment?

Monthly cash flow averages:
Food, Utilities, and Misc.$2,000
Travel and Recreation$1,753
State Taxes$519
Giving$374
Home$346
Auto$263
Major Purchases$195
Health$137
Federal Taxes$77
Total $5,664
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:54 PM   #33
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We don't budget and we don't track expenses - we just make certain there is enough in the checking account.

I'm curious as I don't see most folks "budgeting" for replacement costs: Appliances, roof, HVAC, driveway, plumbing, exterior painting, interior rehab, cars, etc. YMMV
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:55 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Hmm... Nobody is paying any Federal/State income taxes?

That is one of our larger expenses.. Same question for pet/vet costs? and maybe even clothing?

Perhaps folks are answering the "what are you housing costs" question.

-gauss
Income taxes are so small now (now that I have altered my portfolio to generate much less of it to get back on the ACA subsidy train), I can just lump it into my broad "everything else" category. In 2020, one of the stimulus checks became a tax credit so it erased my tax liability. For this year, the midyear enlarged ACA credit formula will more than wipe out any tax liability. I still have a state tax liability, but it is small (under $1,000) so it doesn't really count for much.

I have no pets, and I rarely have to buy any new clothes.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Taxes are by far our largest expense category, led by fed and state income taxes.

It seems for these types of discussions, it would be best for the op establish a template and we could just fill it in. Otherwise it seems like these posted "budgets" are some miscellaneous numbers.
+1 on both counts.

Taxes are our biggest expense (I do have consulting income which gets hammered with SE tax), and random exclusions (food? what you don't eat) make no sense.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:13 PM   #36
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When is see a thread like this I share what the OP shares. I don't worry about what he left out. I figure he wants to see our numbers in those areas.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:38 PM   #37
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Taxes, insurance, utilities and rent, about $3500/mo.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:52 PM   #38
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No such thing as a budget in our house. I make sure there’s money available in our checking account. I check our net worth quarterly at a minimum to see how we’re doing. It’s never gone down more than one quarter in a year, so no worries.
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:03 PM   #39
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I use Mint with a lot of categories to capture all the details. I monitor spend through general awareness and a detailed check once per year. Fortunate last couple years investment growth has reduced my WR by 1/3 (expenses also flat).

Curious if this thread is about budget $ amount, # or type of categories, interest in only categories mentioned, category specific saving techniques,
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:10 PM   #40
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No budget, just estimated expenses.
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