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Old 11-16-2007, 02:37 PM
 
238 posts, read 1,040,371 times
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I get kick out of all the stories about how people will need a million dollars to retire or they will be forced to work until they die. My parents lived in a small town and lived very comfortably on just Social Security payments ($900 a piece). Because the house was paid for their only expenses were food, car and utilities. They went to many movies, shows and vacations. They did not spurge or spend alot of money on things but did just fine.

How many of you are living on social security as the only or main source of your income in retirement? How is it working for you?
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:03 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,049,244 times
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My mother has lived on SS and little else for a couple of decades. Her needs are modest and my family bought her house years ago so she could be assured of having stable and cheap rent. But she needed some help from children when she had a big car repair problem and the like. She has some prescriptions but not many so that hasn't been a big drain on her resources. She's pretty healthy and glad SS gives her the ability to live independently. She doesn't take trips and keeps her entertainment pretty modest.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,575,490 times
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My grandmother also lived on a small ss. check each month. But she had the rest of the family helping with food and heat. We will retire in 5 to 10 years depending on taxes and the "state of the state." We will not be counting on any ss income as we are convinced that it will not be there. I am also curious as to how many are actually looking at it as a "retirement."
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:03 PM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,856,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotleyCrew View Post
My grandmother also lived on a small ss. check each month. But she had the rest of the family helping with food and heat. We will retire in 5 to 10 years depending on taxes and the "state of the state." We will not be counting on any ss income as we are convinced that it will not be there. I am also curious as to how many are actually looking at it as a "retirement."
All the evidence says if you are 55/57 or older you should get full benefits. None of the proposed plans impacted people close to retirement. There will be enough money for those folks to 90 give or take. The younger you are the more likely you could be impacted.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
1,848 posts, read 6,248,052 times
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I'm sure there must be some people living on just S.S. I just don't know any. The older folks I know have money from some place else plus S.S. My parents had a Fed. retirement plus a small S.S. check. We'll have 2 retirement pensions plus get S.S. when we turn 62.

Now that I think about it my mother in law would be living on S.S., but when she and my father in law retired they had some money from other places to start with. They just used up the other money.My mother in law shares a house with her daughter who works. I guess between the 2 of them it's enough money to go around.
You'd need to have no bills and a tight buget now days to live off just S.S. Things did not used to be so expensive.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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"Because the house was paid for their only expenses were food, car and utilities. "

They must be receiving healthcare benefit from his former employer or else they're on Medicaid. My mom is on a federal retiree's healthcare plan for medical and dental, and the total costs for the premiums for Medicare + the retiree plan as well as the out of pocket costs for drugs, office visits, etc. are around 4500-5000 per year. If my dad was still alive, it would probably be twice that.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:00 AM
 
10,321 posts, read 9,372,412 times
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Required income to survive is a relative issue. Some can get by on bare bones and do not feel short-changed or that they are missing out on anything. Others need to be able to travel at will, shop, dine out, etc.

It's all about an individual's personality and how they've live most of their life in the first place. Some are frugal and some are spenders.

The key in the original posting is about having a home paid off. Many retirees do not have that luxury, or are renters and at the mercy of their landlord.

There are some who began saving for retirement 30-40 yrs ago and will have no financial worries; however, they are the minority. The important thing is that a person be as responsible as possible and do the best they can to provide for their non-wage earning years.

Things happen in life, and no matter how much a person plans and saves and prepares, it can often come crashing down. We can only do so much and then be content with what we have and find that inner peace that is not based on money.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:51 AM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,178,944 times
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I do live on my social security, and nothing else. I pay for my Medicare insurance. My little house is completely paid for. I live modestly. My social security check is $1170 a month, and that is 149% of the poverty level. I do not qualify for food stamps, or medicaid, but do get some fuel assistance and a little help with Medicare D prescriptions, though I opt for mostly inexpensive generics.

I write for a magazine, unpaid, though that often gets me free tickets to varous events I cover. I am a big fan of farmer's markets and the local foods movement which has been known to provide some food in return for volunteer time.

I also live in Massachusetts which has strong programs to assist the poor and the elderly, not the least of which is our local senior center with transportation at low cost to medical appointments etc.

It can be done.
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,575,490 times
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We will live within our means. We do not need to travel or go to the theater or even watch t.v. We are both artists (not to be confused with hippies) and we love our hobbies. Our homes are paid for earlier than most (55). We are looking for a quiet little plot of land, not a gated 55 community. They leave me cold. We will not, in our opinion, receive much in the way of ss, even though we have paid a small retirement sum into the system. I worry more about run away property taxes than anything else. The gov must stop spending so much.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:37 AM
 
13,316 posts, read 25,550,246 times
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My father lives on Soc. Sec. He owns a small trailer in a very nice park near Philadelphia, can walk to a train to Philly or Atlantic City or take a taxi, can walk to anything he needs or wants. He reads, watches football, gambles. Never wanted to travel- he said he saw enough in France and Germany 1944-45!
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