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Old 04-15-2014, 10:16 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 9,275,870 times
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I would suggest they pick a part of the country where the cost of living is lower. I'm thinking places like Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, etc. Another option might be living out in the desert somewhere. I rather like winters in the desert, so that wouldn't bother me much.

Social Security is there for them and it may not be much. However, it should keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. I seriously recommend people in bad financial shape consider living in a trailer home in a decent trailer court (there are many of them). It may be possible to get a part time job as a greeter or such at Walmart.

Poverty has always been a problem for every country and for all people. Many of us are able to do some financial planning to prepare for retirement. I am not opposed to helping out the true hardship cases. However, I don't regard a "hardship case" as someone who always did the bare minimum of work to get through life. There is segment of the population that thinks like that and I don't think the rest of us are obligated to take care of them.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,925 posts, read 989,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
My small south Texas town is full of these people. They seem to be doing okay. They never wanted much and appear to be happy with their lives. They had families, grandkids and spent most of their time doing family things.

They live in the same family home that has been around for decades. Low cost of living here. They get up, have their coffee, shuffle on down to the post office or bank, come home, have lunch, watch TV. Visit with the kids, grand kids. They take them out once in a while, maybe go to the beach for a day or so.

They never wanted or thought of having European vacations, RVs, shopping, etc. The kids will take care of them when they become incapacitated and their life will end and theirs will continue probably in the same way.
thank you
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:38 AM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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My father worked until 75 (driving a taxi) and gambled away any extra that he might have saved. After a heart attack, he moved in with his ex-wife (who was beyond broke) in a small and decent mobile home in a good park, high COL area. He got about $1500/month Social Security and she got about $500. After she died, he stopped keeping a car because he couldn't see well enough to drive and couldn't afford to keep it going anyway. He walked everywhere, including the train to the city and gambling.
He was always a strange guy-didn't seem to want or need much of anything but gambled away anything that he could have held onto. Fine when you're old and have minimal business to take care of, not so fine with a wife and kids. He was walking two miles a day until age 87, a bad diagnosis and then died seven weeks later. At one point, he had a bone injury on his foot, and he did sort of panic "Walking is my way of life." I always offered for him to live with me, but I don't live in an urbanized area, and "there's no place to walk" especially, no place to gamble. Strange man, but didn't much bother anybody.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:43 AM
 
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By the op scale, I'm right on the edge of being pretty much low wage all my working life. High school graduate, no college. I was lucky and got a job working in the factory of a major high tech manufacturing corporation that's always paid me a good middle class wage with excellent benefits. I been there 32 years. I'm 59 and I plan to retire by the time I'm 63. I'll have my pension, a 401K, and my social security. I should be able to live off of those 3 incomes, as long as I live modestly.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,240 posts, read 6,033,261 times
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I think most people are mistaken when they think they can retire. For the most part we are living too long for most people to retire. However, if you have pension that is a different story.

It all depends on your background too. My FIL, a electrician, retired at 67 or so. He gets a small pension. My father, an attorney is still at it at 69. My grandfather, a doctor, hung it up around somewhere between 80-85. Some people expect to retire others just continue to work.

Frankly, very few people should expect to "retire" these days.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:09 AM
 
11,936 posts, read 20,392,868 times
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Income streams. I have a few people in my neighborhood who are minimum wage earners. They hustle -- and not in the bad way. They pick up scrap metals and sell, they do small odd jobs for the older people in the neighborhood, they paint over graffiti at the building on the corner, they wash cars....they are always busy and on the go....
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:21 AM
 
491 posts, read 598,241 times
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I am another one of the by the original posters standards I have been low income all my life. Contrary to how someone above described us, I do not shuffle down to the post office or bank, I don't watch TV all day etc. Actually I didn't have a TV until the last 5-6 years and only get broadcast channels.

The most I ever made was $20/hr. I had opportunities to move up the wage ladder, but I have an autoimmune disease and found I just didn't have the energy to give to it. I found a job which while it didn't pay very well, my employer was sympathetic to my limitations and worked with me. I was married for about 20yr(that probably helped somewhat) and divorced for almost 20(which helped my sanity). Another thing that probably helped me is being child free.

I always always saved 10% at least. If I hadn't saved 10% by the end of the year, I made that last couple of months meager(use up food in the freezer, not go to movies etc) so I could. I pretty much always had some discretionary income.

I would agree that my wants have been less than a lot of people, but I don't consider that a negative. Family and friends have been important. But, I also have read a lot, been involved locally in causes I believe in etc. While I haven't taken big fancy trips very often that is probably more due to back and pain issues, I doubt I would enjoy being on a plane for that long. I did go to NZ in my 30's and it was hard then.

That doesn't mean I haven't gone anywhere. I have hiked and camped all over, I have probably seen more of the USA back country than many people. Been to most states at one time or another.

I own by own home. It is 5 yrs old and about 1300sf. I have lived in about that size house my whole adult life.

Sure I would have liked to have more, who doesn't? But really it is and has been "enough". I do think if you are going to live lower wage successfully you have to really pay attention to all the small details. You need to be waste adverse. There is really no room for carelessness. Eat all the food you buy. Take back the pair of shoes you bought that didn't feel right after you got them home. Wait until there is a good price on a new what ever instead of running out and buying it the minute you think you need it and so on

We in America are sold a bunch of stuff we don't need. We are advertised to believe that we couldn't possibly be happy without it, which is a lie.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,759 posts, read 7,038,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Income streams. I have a few people in my neighborhood who are minimum wage earners. They hustle -- and not in the bad way. They pick up scrap metals and sell, they do small odd jobs for the older people in the neighborhood, they paint over graffiti at the building on the corner, they wash cars....they are always busy and on the go....
The absolutely best guy we ever had working on a punchlist for our newly built house about five years ago was a 70 year old retired roofer. He said his SS wasn't paying all his bills, so he went back to work. He fixed everything on that punch list, then looked around to see if there was anything we had missed, and fixed that too.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,812,119 times
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My aunt was one of those people. She put 10% of her take home away from the time she started working in 1937, until she retired 55 years later. sometimes this was a really bad hardship. When the interest rates jumped to back in the early 80's she took everything she owned cashed it out, and put it into 30 year CD's at 18% interest. And she didn't retire until she was about 73. No retiring at 63 for her.

It is possible to do this. But many low wage workers also don't think much about tomorrow, or they wouldn't be low wage workers in the first place. Planning for the future means planning when you are still going to school to get the best possible grades, and maximizing everything for the future.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,058 posts, read 1,449,804 times
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I've heard about some people who move overseas to maximise their spending power. You can live very well on USD or AUD or EUR$1000/month in Mexico, Thailand, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Vietnam, etc.
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