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Old 09-17-2010, 05:58 PM
 
24 posts, read 36,443 times
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Default Average monthly expenses in retirement

What are the average monthly expenses in retirement? I understand that the cost of living is different from location to location. Hope to hear from many people around the country. Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:36 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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~$1,000 (food, housing (x-taxes), clothing, transportation, utilities, entertainment, travel ...)

the 'optional stuff'
Property Taxes ($1,000)
Health insurance ($1,000)
= $3000/ month +/-

I'm a pre age '50' retiree (downsized), no pension - no healthcare - no rich uncles - not so rare these days.

I live quite comfortably, but I'm a professional (and happy) 'shoestringer'

You might want to have folks report if they are Pensioned or not Pensioned.... there is a wide discrepancy here. Then there are those the 'married-into-money' and now living high on the HOG (oink oink). As well as those who chose wrong and are now (just about) homeless. I'm not sure we have any regular posters who are actually homeless, yet

Just deal with it
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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I spend about $2500 a month, but my townhouse is paid off and the property taxes on it are only about $200 per month. There is room to squeeze this down if I would ever have to.

The ultimate frugality I have seen on the City-Data forum was posted by Jtur88. I can't remember what he lives on, but it is really minimal. I hope he will post here to remind us. I think he said he and his wife eat out once a month, and they do that for lunch because lunch is generally cheaper than dinner.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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A more descriptive question might be what percentage of your income goes to fixed/necessary expenses and what goes to discretionary and what goes to savings/investments. Why spend $2,000 a month and save $7,000 when you are already retired and well invested? Just throwing those out as numbers. One persons $2,000 isn't the same as anothers.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 2,115,745 times
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You're kidding right? Average monthly expenses? For the whole country of 3.5 million square miles and the 154,000,000 retired people? I know of people who survive on only $800 a month, and others who can't seem to make it on less than 7K.

I expect to move to a place where the taxes property taxes will cost me $220 a month. I will have to pay $800 for food, $100 for electric, save $50 for winter fuel, $1000 for health insurance, $70 for house insurance, $150 for car insurance, $100 for gasoline, $50 for internet service, $50 for phone and cell phone service, and about $700 for other miscelaneous costs. I expect to be able to make it on ABOUT $3000 a month. When medicare kicks in my part of the health care will drop about $500, and about the time that happens my wife will get about $800 a month in SS so three years after I retire we will be able to add about $1500 a month to our income. About 3 years after that we will have my wife reach medicare age and that will add another 500 a month to our income.

But literally everybody is different. If I stayed in my current hosue rather than moving 600 miles to Bar Harbor Maine, I could make it on less because state pensions and SS are not taxed in PA.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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To the OP: Poster Zarathu is correct that people's lifestyles (hence expenditures) vary all over the map. This is probably a bigger factor than the difference in cost of living from place to place, as significant as the latter is. The worth of your car will impact the cost to insure it. Do you buy high-end clothes or do you buy clothes at thrift shops (just to cite the two extremes)? How often do you eat out? When you eat out, is it at low-end, middle-brow, or high-end restaurants? How much do you travel? In what kind of style do you travel? The price difference between Motel 6 and the high-end motels is considerable. How about entertainment? Staying at home watching TV is zero cost assuming you already have a TV, whereas live entertainment can be pricey depending on what and where. Are you 65 yet (and hence on Medicare)? If not, and if you don't have employer health care, then private medical insurance is an arm and a leg. Do you have a sizeable house note you are still paying, or is the mortgage paid off? These are just the things which come to mind right now; I am doubtless forgetting many similar ones which also impact costs in retirement.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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FRrom what I have seen as you get older plan on spending mroe for heathcare not just insurance cost and especaily on Drugs if you develop problems.Few actaully escape taking quite a few meds as they get to 65 and above.But things will ebchanging drstic over thwe next few years and not for the better I am affraid.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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if we stayed in nyc 100k would be our budget,.. our home in pa will likely have us down to about 60k a year budget...it varies so much for each of us.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:21 AM
 
239 posts, read 233,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntoMyDream View Post
What are the average monthly expenses in retirement? I understand that the cost of living is different from location to location. Hope to hear from many people around the country. Thank you in advance.
We live in a high COL area, Hawaii, but do what we can to keep our monthly expenses low. A big chunk of what we spend is on health care and we're fortunate to have retiree medical benefits through my ex-employer. Our total monthly expenses are $1,600. About $500 of this is for medical (insurance premium, prescription and doctor co-pays). Another $500 is for food. The remaining $600 covers ...

Auto insurance: $54.00
Auto registration and safety check: $9.00
Gasoline: $30.00
Utilities: $100.00 (gas, electric, water)
House insurance and property tax: $67.00
Internet and phone: $53.00

That leaves $313 for misc. which is anything from toothpaste to house maintenance. Most of the time we don't spend all of it, so can save for something big that might come up in the future.

We like to live simply. We find we're happiest that way, but what works for us might make another couple miserable. So, lifestyle is definitely as important, if not more important, than the part of the country in which you live when it comes to how much you spend.

What costs a lot here is food, gasoline, and electricity (35 cents a kw/h). Property taxes are low and we don't need to spend much on clothes and shoes. Also, we don't need to heat our house in the winter.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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We moved to a state where my pension is low enough that it is not taxed, which helps

$1400/month is plenty.
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