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Old 06-25-2021, 05:38 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
And this is the key to solvency in retirement. When I read about retirees who "lost everything" in a crash such as the financial crisis, I suspect it's because the % of their portfolio they had to withdraw became unsustainable as the portfolio value dwindled.

My spending in a normal year is about 20% travel, 20% charitable. I could cut both back substantially but life would be a little less fun and our church Treasurer would cry.
You should ask your church to consider how much of its expense is discretionary.

PS. Even in a market crash, I suspect the reason some people lost everything was because they put heavy bets on stocks that they counted on to continue to grow as Jack's beanstalk forever. Tesla? GameStop? AMC?
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:02 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
You should ask your church to consider how much of its expense is discretionary.

PS. Even in a market crash, I suspect the reason some people lost everything was because they put heavy bets on stocks that they counted on to continue to grow as Jack's beanstalk forever. Tesla? GameStop? AMC?
Apparently the late John McAfee "diversified" into Lehman Brothers to offset his illiquid real estate investments.

But then got caught in a cash crunch when Lehman imploded at the start of the Great Recession.

So he ended up liquidating what was left (his real estate holdings) at fire-sale prices.
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Old 06-26-2021, 05:52 AM   #43
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You should ask your church to consider how much of its expense is discretionary.
We built a sanctuary that could seat 250 people across the street from a site that was supposed to be multi-family housing- just before the financial crisis. It's still a corn field. We have a giant mortgage for a congregation our size but we're muddling through. Nearly everything is done by volunteers- mowing, gardening, cleaning, finances. I have mixed feelings about paying for the mortgage and the utilities when there's so much need elsewhere but I know there are people in the congregation who have little and they need a church community as well. Our priest is only PT and does not live lavishly.

OT, but I wanted to add the details anyway- I know it's different for other churches.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:42 AM   #44
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Since retiring we eat better and healthier. Cut out all the processed food, all the fast food. More fruit, vegetables, seafood, better, leaner cuts of meat.

We do not care what we spend. The price is the price. We are however very cognizant of quality, freshness, etc. Overall I believe we spend about the same but we get much more value for our money. We have lost weight and we feel much better for the change in diet.

Last time I went to a barber was in Mexico-March 2019. Once covid hit I had zero desire go to the barber. Bought some hair clippers on line. DW does it now. Such a good job that I doubt that I will go back to a barber unless I need a haircut while travelling.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:21 AM   #45
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You're forgetting your Part B payment unless UHC pays it for you.
I think everyone pays that, even those with medigap so it is pretty much
a universal cost that can't be reduced.

VW
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:41 AM   #46
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Since we installed our solar panels in 2012 we have paid nothing for electricity versus $3671 in 2011. Our initial outlay was $23K cash and net costs with rebates and tax credits was just under $16K. Electricity rates have increased by 35% since 2012 so the return on investment is even more attractive.

Our top expenses during retirement have been:

1- Federal and State income tax
2- Travel
3- Health insurance premiums
4- Property tax
5- Food/dining out
6- Hobbies
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Old 06-27-2021, 03:43 PM   #47
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I'm curious, are there not inexpensive chains like Winco in your area?
Never heard of them. What is inexpensive often does vary by area. We moved about 200 miles within the same state and the stores we shop at are totally different here than where we were before.

We also save considerably by using our Amex Blue Cash card which gives us back 6% and for some non-perishable items we get the best price on Amazon and get 5% back with the Prime Visa card. This makes a large difference.

If you are interested in this type of analysis you might enjoy a zero based budgeting program such as YNAB. We have found it very helpful. I know, to a penny, how much we spend on our different categories of expenditures.

Some of the expenses you feel can't be changed may be able to be changed. Sometimes more easily than others. But, for example, if you really don't like real estate property taxes you could move to a state that has low real estate property taxes. Of course, they may have other taxes that are higher....
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Old 06-27-2021, 03:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post


Some of the expenses you feel can't be changed may be able to be changed. Sometimes more easily than others. But, for example, if you really don't like real estate property taxes you could move to a state that has low real estate property taxes. Of course, they may have other taxes that are higher....
Here's a site suggesting Hawaii has the lowest RE Tax RATE. I've shared before that we pay (in actual dollars) considerably less RE Tax than we did when we lived in the midwest. Of course, some other costs swamp those savings, so consider RE Taxes as only ONE thing to track when considering a move to save money. YMMV

https://sparkrental.com/property-tax...i%3A%200.65%25

Skip down a few pages to find the % rates by state.
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Old 06-27-2021, 04:57 PM   #49
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I spend around $2K/yr on food for one person.
I don't eat out or order in and that includes food, drinks, and small household items like toilet paper, shampoo and such. I know i'm more frugal than most people on here but there is definitely a lot of room to cut costs if you want to.
WOW! 'around $2K/yr on food' including things like TP shampoo, body wash deodorant, etc. is incredibly cheap.

I started keeping track of all non-recurring spending/bills early in 2014.
When I retired in 2015 groceries & eating out equaled $12.90 per day.
Since retirement meant eating out less often, it's down to $10.05

I keep a separate category for what I call personal items, which includes TP shampoo, body wash, deodorant, nose and ear trimmers, Electric razors, haircuts etc. Those come to $1.48 per day.
Annual total: $4208.45

I'm impressed that you can do all that for less than 1/2 that!
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:56 PM   #50
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WOW! 'around $2K/yr on food' including things like TP shampoo, body wash deodorant, etc. is incredibly cheap.

I started keeping track of all non-recurring spending/bills early in 2014.
When I retired in 2015 groceries & eating out equaled $12.90 per day.
Since retirement meant eating out less often, it's down to $10.05

I keep a separate category for what I call personal items, which includes TP shampoo, body wash, deodorant, nose and ear trimmers, Electric razors, haircuts etc. Those come to $1.48 per day.
Annual total: $4208.45

I'm impressed that you can do all that for less than 1/2 that!
Yes, aaronc879 has long been my hero when it comes to cutting costs to the bone. He can "stop on a dime and give you change!"
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:02 PM   #51
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I've never had cable TV. Ever. It's almost all over-the-air, but we have been off and on Netflix, and we will download or stream free stuff. I think cable is a place were people that need to cut can cut significantly.
+1 preach on my brother!!

I grew up with cable and when DW and I lived together, before marriage, we did not get cable but cannot live without internet ($39.99/mo; now $59.99/mo). There is a lot to watch on over-the-air TV and streaming Netflix, YouTube (very informative/entertaining), maybe Hulu and Disney+.

We bought the top-of-the-line Mohu antenna (Navy/military material and knowledge to make it) and it's awesome! Virtually no issues at all for +/-3 years.

Looking quickly, I did not see the Mohu antenna we got but the most expensive one is only $119.99 and there is 20% coupon code right now: DADGRAD
https://store.gomohu.com/HD-TV-anten...sort=pricedesc

Just searched my email and found the Mohu antenna, ordered late 2018 (if you can find it): SkyŽ 60 Attic / Outdoor HDTV Antenna

Think about that price vs cable. You make the money back within 2-3 months (including paying for installation to wire in attic and run main cable to splitter).
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Old 06-29-2021, 09:43 PM   #52
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Food: We love cooking so trying new things and being somewhat adventurous in what we cook is fun. A lot of tasty recipes are supposed to utilize "cheaper" ingredients/cuts of meat. We substitute ingredients to try something different. Ex different nuts instead of expensive pine nuts for pesto. We started buying cheaper bone-in chicken thighs, deboning manually and using it for stock.

Home insurance: Shopped around after our home insurance was going to nearly to double after 5 years without any claims.

Electricity costs: Our power company offers various rebates for purchasing energy efficient products. Ex. Got really good bang for our buck switching all the lights from incandescent to LED. But don't believe the claim that LED lights last for years because we've had a couple fail. It's not the LED that fails, it's the associated circuitry.
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Old 06-30-2021, 07:32 PM   #53
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We are vegetarian, no alcohol, cook at home. Our food costs are less than $1,200/year.
Some of my neighbors grow their own vegetates!
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:23 PM   #54
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I have tracked all our expenses for the past 11 years. Not yet FIREd, but close (10 mo to go). These are the averages for the top 5 highest % of my my expenses:
1) Home maintenance (32%). Likely inflated since our focus has been on major renovations for our 30 yo house (no mortgage) as FIRE quickly approaches. Anything from Lowes/Home Depot fall into this category too. Property Taxes are in this category too
2) Groceries (16%). This is all shopping at places like Safeway (Krogers), Costco, Fred Meijers, etc. So, it covers more than food, it is laundry detergent, toiletries, beer/wine, etc., We don’t typically shop at more cheaper places like WINCO but recognize the OP’s observations regarding cheaper options there vs other stores. We don’t skimp on food. We shop for meats at the butcher vs the grocery store, and premium coffee is a must.
3) Vacations and Toys (6%). This is things like airline tickets or hotel rooms, camping RV parks, etc. Misc Amazon expenses go here as well. Not FIREd yet, so only one major ($8K) vacation per year.
4) Insurance (6%). This is a combination of home and auto and RV insurance (2 vehicles plus airstream RV).
5) Restaurants (5%)
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Old 07-01-2021, 05:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I think everyone pays that, even those with medigap so it is pretty much
a universal cost that can't be reduced.

VW

Cant say everyone... you occasionally with find an advantage plan that will rebate some or all of your part b costs, which is why I asked the question.
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Old 07-01-2021, 05:56 PM   #56
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We are vegetarian, no alcohol, cook at home. Our food costs are less than $1,200/year.
Some of my neighbors grow their own vegetates!



How many people? even at two people you are talking 1.75 a person a day...veggies are not cheap food.
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:19 AM   #57
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Cant say everyone... you occasionally with find an advantage plan that will rebate some or all of your part b costs, which is why I asked the question.
I'll agree with that point, even though it is very rare and over marketed by celebrities. It is likely less than 2% of the entire medicare advantage market. It is available to those with very low income in medicaid assistance.

Best to you,

VW
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:27 AM   #58
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I'll agree with that point, even though it is very rare and over marketed by celebrities. It is likely less than 2% of the entire medicare advantage market. It is available to those with very low income in medicaid assistance.

Best to you,

VW



And 348 and year plus part b payment is a lot more then "only" 348 a year.


Does anyone here have a policy that rebates the Part B cost?
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:35 AM   #59
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And 348 and year plus part b payment is a lot more then "only" 348 a year


Does anyone here have a policy that rebates the Part B cost?

The point is it can be much less that medigap for those that are able to
afford the max OOP of a Medicare Advantage Plan. Not everyone can
absorb those costs, some can due to good health.
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:37 AM   #60
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And 348 and year plus part b payment is a lot more then "only" 348 a year.


Does anyone here have a policy that rebates the Part B cost?
Frank's Medicare Advantage pays all of his Part B for him, and their fees are not very high. Also they pay his gym fees, and also they pay $30/month (I think?) for OTC meds and such that he can choose online.

Almost all the seniors that we know around here have the same policy that he has. I stuck with my FEHB insurance supplementing Medicare, so I pay Part B.
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