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View Poll Results: How Do You Rank Your Wealth & Liviing Situation
Poor-Can't pay monthly bills, lacking in resources, poor living environment 3 2.56%
Doing OK-Can pay bills, have adequate resources, living situation adequate 51 43.59%
Thriving-Enjoying life, can pay bills, have money left over, above average living environment 59 50.43%
Outstanding-Amazing wealth & resources & environment, oodles of money - rolling in it! 4 3.42%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2011, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,907,213 times
Reputation: 3838

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I would put myself in the poor category. I gave up looking for work locally after ten unsuccessful years in a high unemployment area and per diem jobs that cost me more in gas money than they paid. The $500 a month I get for a limited time from my mother's estate is my only income and thank god for that. It barely covers and sometimes doesn't my current expenses, personal, gas, ins, and rent on my trailer in Fl as I live with a long term boyfriend (over 11 yrs) at his house half the year and where the majority of my things are. We keep everything separate though he picks up the utilities and half the rent in Fl.

I feel that I am in a tenuous situation and wake up every morning wondering if this is the the day I will find out that I have 60 days to move my stuff, which is the amount of time he has insured I can stay if something happens to him; how I will move the antiques I grew up with, how I will afford it, and where will I bring it. Frankly it stinks and it's depressing. I am constantly thinking about ways to start a career I can work around a six month residency. I will be eligible for SS next year which will double my income and could probably squeak by then on my own in Fl with food stamps if I could somehow get my stuff there. The other problem is in waiting for medicare. In order to qualify for med ins that wouldn't cost twice my income I need to stay poor and I need to stay at his location as my homeport which would entail getting rid of my only safe haven in Fl. The tenuousness and worry could drive you nuts.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 08-16-2011 at 01:30 AM..
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:02 PM
 
2,421 posts, read 3,721,899 times
Reputation: 3455
Gosh Scolde. I can see how you might feel scared. But trying to look on the bright side: Having a long term boyfriend who helps out and being to be a snow bird is really nice. Most wish they could afford to do that. Your right about health insurance. With low enough income you will probably qualify for medicaid, which is a good safety net. How much is your rent on the trailer in Fl.?

With $1,000 a month you might manage if you didn't have to deal with medical insurance. All depends on how high your rent is. Does it have two bedrooms? If so, I'm sure there are others in similar situations that you might find a decent room mate (especially when rent is cheap).
Don't forget there is 1/3 of the retiree population that is in the same boat as you. And the logical solution is to hook up with one, and split all expenses. So the future doesn't need to look so dire. Just need to do a little planning.

What's difficult in Fl. in the summertime will be the electric bills if you have AC. I'm not sure of a good work around for that. Ceiling fans work really good, but you still need some AC on in the summer months. Actually, I think, but not positive, they may have some electric subsidy if your income is low enough.

You can always use an outside antenna for getting over the air TV stations. I am doing this now using my computer and Windows 7, and recording shows I like right on my computer with Media Center.. Not bad alternative. Going to quit my cable. Got rid of my landline phone and use the Ooma which operates over the internet. But now they have something new out that only costs $50 and works great. (no monthly phone bill and you can use regular phones) Can't think of the name of it right now. So all you would need is a high speed internet connection.

You can really economize in the food department if you do some planning. There have been some great posts on this subject. I don't have the discipline but I'm trying. If I didn't have any choice, I'd get the discipline real quick. It is not a bleak as you imagine once you get your social security. I'd even consider waiting on your social security if you can and your boyfriend is willing, cause you'll have a good raise if you wait to 65. That's what I did.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,907,213 times
Reputation: 3838
You're right it isn't too bad at the moment. Mostly it's the possibility of having to move under adverse circumstances. I've already experienced that when my mother died and I had no help, money, and no place to go.

Social Security will give me a better safety net even if low. I could qualify for my X's now as he's dead but better to get mine next year and wait for his to increase and collect it later. Can't move to Fl fulltime till medicare kicks in. Even so the utilities at the trlr run up to $250 a month, petty high when you keep the ac and heat at minimal levels if on at all, no dryer either. It really could use new windows, a new heat pump, kitchen, bathroom, flooring, and roof. I could handle the rent ($330) next year myself if I decide not to move to the coast with him, because of the above, and will start moving some small things down every year. There are a whole hoard of people where I am, mostly women, in similar circumstances.

Last edited by Sgoldie; 08-16-2011 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:29 PM
 
391 posts, read 663,504 times
Reputation: 453
I retired at 49 with a reduced penion but after a year, started a tiny business to make a few more bucks. Now I have become so busy I work 10 hours every day of the week. I'm 55 now. My wife just retired last week but I"m still working.

We have ok pensions and no debt with modest savings. But we both have this fear that we will run out of money as we only 55 so I keep working every day to make sure I have enough to retire on.

Stupid as we could probably be enjoying ourselves . I keep thinking we are passing up a gift. My MIL and Uncle and Dad retired on a lot less than we have and they seemed to do OK. Just keep thinking we're too young and will regret it.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,726,438 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
I retired at 49 with a reduced penion but after a year, started a tiny business to make a few more bucks. Now I have become so busy I work 10 hours every day of the week. I'm 55 now. My wife just retired last week but I"m still working.

We have ok pensions and no debt with modest savings. But we both have this fear that we will run out of money as we only 55 so I keep working every day to make sure I have enough to retire on.

Stupid as we could probably be enjoying ourselves . I keep thinking we are passing up a gift. My MIL and Uncle and Dad retired on a lot less than we have and they seemed to do OK. Just keep thinking we're too young and will regret it.
I wouldn't be so quick to say you're stupid to keep working a while longer, especially inasmuch as "starting a tiny business" may be a lot more difficult if you decide at age 65 that's what you need to do. Several questions affect your situation: Are the two pensions (yours and your wife's) inflation-protected? Will one or both of you qualify for Social Security at the appropriate ages in addition to your pensions? What is the health insurance situation? At least you are in the enviable position of being able to re-evalute your situation periodically and go ahead and retire at the point you feel a little more comfortable with the idea.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:29 AM
 
29,766 posts, read 34,851,819 times
Reputation: 11675
I wonder how many folks who responded they were in the second category would consider some of those in the third category to really be in the top by their standards?
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: High Cotton
6,131 posts, read 6,440,063 times
Reputation: 3657
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I wonder how many folks who responded they were in the second category would consider some of those in the third category to really be in the top by their standards?
Everything is relative - relative to something. That 'something' in this poll is only [very] loosely defined. Usually people define their own financial status based on how they compare relative to someone (an individual) else's personal financial standing, or how they compare relative to a larger group of people.

As for retirees responding to this poll, it's one thing to live in retirement to a lesser degree than you would desire, yet be able to pay all your bills, eat healthy, etc., etc. It's quite anothing thing for a retiree to be able to live life in any style they wish and watch their assets continue to grow, instead of diminish. In other words, never coming close to touching (reducing) their principal asset amount for income...and their assets (net worth) continues to grow throughout retirement. If this can be achieved [even] when investment return rates are in the ~1% range, one's financial standing doesn't get any better than this. And this is the absolute ultimate retirement financial standing in my opinion.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by highcotton View Post
Everything is relative - relative to something. That 'something' in this poll is only [very] loosely defined. Usually people define their own financial status based on how they compare relative to someone (an individual) else's personal financial standing, or how they compare relative to a larger group of people.

As for retirees responding to this poll, it's one thing to live in retirement to a lesser degree than you would desire, yet be able to pay all your bills, eat healthy, etc., etc. It's quite anothing thing for a retiree to be able to live life in any style they wish and watch their assets continue to grow, instead of diminish. In other words, never coming close to touching (reducing) their principal asset amount for income...and their assets (net worth) continues to grow throughout retirement. If this can be achieved [even] when investment return rates are in the ~1% range, one's financial standing doesn't get any better than this. And this is the absolute ultimate retirement financial standing in my opinion.
The OP's question was not "what's ideal" but rather, "what is." Clearly, not all retirees are in what you would consider an ideal, financial situation so touting "Nirvana" is somewhat akin to rubbing their noses in what you apparently see as sub-standard existance. For many, food on the table, a roof over the head and the ability to meet monthly obligations is very comfortable and not, in my estimation, to be slighted.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: High Cotton
6,131 posts, read 6,440,063 times
Reputation: 3657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
The OP's question was not "what's ideal" but rather, "what is." Clearly, not all retirees are in what you would consider an ideal, financial situation so touting "Nirvana" is somewhat akin to rubbing their noses in what you apparently see as sub-standard existance. For many, food on the table, a roof over the head and the ability to meet monthly obligations is very comfortable and not, in my estimation, to be slighted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I wonder how many folks who responded they were in the second category would consider some of those in the third category to really be in the top by their standards?
Beg your pardon, but I was not addressing the OP's question in the first post of this thread. I was replying to Turborgp questioning whether some in the second category would consider some of those in the third category to really be in the top by their standards. (quoted directly above in bold). I even included his quote so people would know what my reply was in response to. You no doubt overlooked it...

My reply (to Turborgp) had nothing whatsoever to do with touting Nirvana or viewing anyone's financial status as being sub-standard, or slighting anyone...as you suggest. You have clearly taken my view of comparing the relative poll categories in this thread for something it is clearly not.

Moderator cut: rude

PS - For your information, I have not declared what category I personally see myself fitting in. For all you know I might fit in any of them - from 'Poor' to 'Outstanding'.

Last edited by Kimballette; 08-18-2011 at 12:45 PM.. Reason: rude
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,423,020 times
Reputation: 19129
Quote:
Originally Posted by highcotton View Post
Everything is relative - relative to something. That 'something' in this poll is only [very] loosely defined. Usually people define their own financial status based on how they compare relative to someone (an individual) else's personal financial standing, or how they compare relative to a larger group of people.

As for retirees responding to this poll, it's one thing to live in retirement to a lesser degree than you would desire, yet be able to pay all your bills, eat healthy, etc., etc. It's quite anothing thing for a retiree to be able to live life in any style they wish and watch their assets continue to grow, instead of diminish. In other words, never coming close to touching (reducing) their principal asset amount for income...and their assets (net worth) continues to grow throughout retirement. If this can be achieved [even] when investment return rates are in the ~1% range, one's financial standing doesn't get any better than this. And this is the absolute ultimate retirement financial standing in my opinion.
When I retired we were setup with a portfolio that was growing. We anticipated having an ever growing Net Worth.

But, then, it all crashed.
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