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Old 05-24-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: USA
6,226 posts, read 5,360,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
The guy that mows my lawn is in his sixties. He has told me that he knows he can never retire. Like many low incomer earners, he does not have the aptitude to do any work other than manual labor. He rents a room for about $400/month and has enough money left over to pay for food and a telephone line. Fortunately, he is content.
Being content is very important. I usually gross $16,000 a year. I too rent a $400 a month 10x10 room. Internet siphoned off the nearby Dunkin' Donuts free wifi. I don't have too many material desires but I do often worry about sudden emergencies that can put a dent in my minuscule income. I have a few grand saved up for that though. I have just never been one to buy into consumerism. I could make 100k a year and still not pay a hundred bucks a month for cable TV. Most people I know who make that kind of money practically live at work never home to enjoy any of the gizmos they buy.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,217,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
Being content is very important. I usually gross $16,000 a year. I too rent a $400 a month 10x10 room. Internet siphoned off the nearby Dunkin' Donuts free wifi. I don't have too many material desires but I do often worry about sudden emergencies that can put a dent in my minuscule income. I have a few grand saved up for that though. I have just never been one to buy into consumerism. I could make 100k a year and still not pay a hundred bucks a month for cable TV. Most people I know who make that kind of money practically live at work never home to enjoy any of the gizmos they buy.
I believe the gentleman's contentment comes from not worrying about things over which he has no control. He accepts things as they are and lives a relatively stress free life. I'd wager he will live a long productive life. Over the years I have come to trust his judgement and when I can't seem to see the forest for the trees, he has (unknowingly) provided valuable insight.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:42 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,867,277 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
The guy that mows my lawn is in his sixties. He has told me that he knows he can never retire. Like many low incomer earners, he does not have the aptitude to do any work other than manual labor. He rents a room for about $400/month and has enough money left over to pay for food and a telephone line. Fortunately, he is content.
Contentment is often a result of expectations realized. Many a low income person is happy because they embrace what they do have. Many an affluent person is unhappy because they are chasing what they don't have,
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Default Being content with what we have

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
Being content is very important. I usually gross $16,000 a year. I too rent a $400 a month 10x10 room. Internet siphoned off the nearby Dunkin' Donuts free wifi. I don't have too many material desires but I do often worry about sudden emergencies that can put a dent in my minuscule income. I have a few grand saved up for that though. I have just never been one to buy into consumerism. I could make 100k a year and still not pay a hundred bucks a month for cable TV. Most people I know who make that kind of money practically live at work never home to enjoy any of the gizmos they buy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I believe the gentleman's contentment comes from not worrying about things over which he has no control. He accepts things as they are and lives a relatively stress free life. I'd wager he will live a long productive life. Over the years I have come to trust his judgement and when I can't seem to see the forest for the trees, he has (unknowingly) provided valuable insight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Contentment is often a result of expectations realized. Many a low income person is happy because they embrace what they do have. Many an affluent person is unhappy because they are chasing what they don't have,
^^^^^^^^ Three interesting views about money (with which I agree) and how much of it we "need" and for what purposes. Some of us are deeply content at modest spending levels, and of course that word "modest" is relative and could be the subject of endless debate.

I gross about five times the yearly amount of poster s1alker above, which I believe is still "modest" compared to the majority of people who post in this Retirement Forum. For example, I know Lenora is an attorney.

I would not buy designer clothing if I won the biggest lottery in existence. Neither would I buy a bigger or fancier place, nor would I start eating out at high end places, or buying $30 bottles of wine, or $50 haircuts. I just abhor wastefulness and none of the foregoing things would contribute one iota to my enjoyment of life or my contentment.

Tomorrow I will be enjoying a very good seat ($278) at the Los Angeles Opera's production of Massenet's "Thais". That is my splurging; it is worth it to me.

Each month, on average, I spend about $2,000 less than I take in. But life is good, VERY good. I can't imagine ANYTHING that would be more gratifying for me than reading aloud to my six different fifth grade classes once a week and conducting lunch time chess clubs at four different schools, none of which brings in one penny. On the contrary I provide the tournament quality chess sets out of my own pocket. Perhaps I am just simple minded which makes me content doing simple things. But not all us are smart enough to cure a disease or invent a longer-lasting light bulb and there is no point regretting not having attained a high level of "achievement".
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,133 posts, read 12,385,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
Get into low-income, subsidized housing or get Section 8 now (yes, you can if your income is small enough. There's no sense in peeing away what little income you have on rent.

Hold off on getting Social Security until you can collect the maximum amount per month.
If at all possible that is the best move one could make.

I often hear people say how low social security is and we are always hearing that average of $1,261 but consider the collection of graphics I put together below.

First thing that popped out to me was nearly 44% of social security recipients started collecting as soon as they could at age 62. 50% started collecting at age 63 and less than 30% waited to full retirement age.



Collecting early can lead to devastating consequences.

In my part of the country if you own your own home a couple could live decently enough, few frills mind you, on $2,048 but comfortable and safe.

The biggest expense would be medical and a couple could end up paying $550 for Part B, Plan F and pharmacy. Plan F works well if you want everything covered with never out of pocket expenses.

This leaves about $1,500.

Property tax, homeowners insurance and utilities for a well insulated two bedroom/two bath home in an average neighborhood will run another $400. All utilities are city owned so we just get one bill that covers electric, gas, water, sewer and garbage pick up. If you want city offers DSL and I think that is around $30 monthly. No frills, you would have internet but not the higher speeds. No cable television you can pick up half a dozen channels on an antennae.

Use voice over internet for telephone and maybe a prepaid cheap cell phone for emergencies to carry with you.

In our town golf carts are street legal and it's a short golf cart trip to the post office, grocery shopping at a chain market, bank, doctors row and the hospital. On a golf cart I can be anywhere I need to be in less than 10 minutes.

Not a lot but there are some people who only have a golf cart. For long trips the kids help out.

We never get snow that snow isn't an issue.

Save $250 monthly for emergencies and that leaves about $175 weekly for food and everything else.

Here, as long as the home is paid for, a couple can live very comfortable on $3,000 monthly. It's alow cost of living area.

Unless you have money saved it is my opinion collecting early is the worst thing you can do. If you were going to receive $1,600 at 66 but opt to collect at 62 that amount will be cut to $1,200 and that would hurt. If you are scared work just one extra year and that will give you an extra $128 which, especially at lower incomes, could mean a lot. Two extra years would bounce that up to $256 giving you $1,856 and the non working spouse, as long as they didn't collect early would get $800 and around here a couple would do OK on that.

I'm 66 and not taking yet. I want to wait a year and a half until my wife turns 66, I will be 67 1/2, and we will do just fine on social security alone. We'll also receive a couple pension checks totally around $1,100 monthly but we're just going to save that because we really don't have anything else to do with it unless I go dingbatty and get a Harley. Fat chance of that anyway.

Look at it this way, if your social security was gong to be $2,000 at 66 if you could just work four more years to 70 that would increase 32% to $2,640. Lot of difference between $2,000 and $2,640 in terms of standard of living.

How much would you have to save to guarantee yourself $640 a month, indexed to inflation for what it is, for the rest of your life?

But some can't. Medically can't. I hope I can but at least I made it to 66.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:25 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,867,277 times
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What often gets list in discussions about the difference in benefits from 62 to 66/70 is how much that age 62 benefit is. The greater the dollar amount of the age 62 benefit the larger the annual increase as you wait. The percentage may be the same but not the dollar amount. Might make it easier for some to wait with a larger payout down the road.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
What often gets list in discussions about the difference in benefits from 62 to 66/70 is how much that age 62 benefit is. The greater the dollar amount of the age 62 benefit the larger the annual increase as you wait. The percentage may be the same but not the dollar amount. Might make it easier for some to wait with a larger payout down the road.
A valid point. If the Social Security benefit will be a pittance anyway, it just doesn't make any real difference. I filed at 62, eight years ago. The monthly amount was $103, which has since increased to about $150 because of COLA's and recalculations due to small amounts of additional wages. Even based on the current amount of $150, that would be only $200 right now if I had waited until age 66 to file - $150 is 75% of $200. Actually it would be a few pennies more because the COLA's would have been applied to a slightly larger amount.

I am an example of your point. Right now, at age 70, I would be $50 a month richer (in current cash flow) if I had waited until age 66 to file. However, I would still be "behind" in total money received when I figure in all the payments between ages 62 and 66 that I would have missed. That is, my "break-even age" is somewhere around 77.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:22 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,867,277 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
A valid point. If the Social Security benefit will be a pittance anyway, it just doesn't make any real difference. I filed at 62, eight years ago. The monthly amount was $103, which has since increased to about $150 because of COLA's and recalculations due to small amounts of additional wages. Even based on the current amount of $150, that would be only $200 right now if I had waited until age 66 to file - $150 is 75% of $200. Actually it would be a few pennies more because the COLA's would have been applied to a slightly larger amount.

I am an example of your point. Right now, at age 70, I would be $50 a month richer (in current cash flow) if I had waited until age 66 to file. However, I would still be "behind" in total money received when I figure in all the payments between ages 62 and 66 that I would have missed. That is, my "break-even age" is somewhere around 77.
Bada Bing and TY for the case study. I read an article from Fidelity today and it made me realize how presentations are really audience driven.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:00 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,159,916 times
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>I filed at 62, eight years ago. The monthly amount was $103, which has since increased to about $150

If your SS check is that low, and you are 70, you are probably also eligible for SSI. (Google it.)
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:09 AM
 
71,584 posts, read 71,730,589 times
Reputation: 49179
the simple answer is they work longer. delaying retiring if you have to can make a big difference in marginal cases.

for every year you delay , you are spending less from savings , maybe accumulating a little more savings , growing your social security payment as well as colas and hopefully compounding what little savings you do have.

a few years of delaying can make a big difference .

retirement planning is like losing weight. we all know what we need to do , should have done or would have done. the issue is most just can't pull it off or do not want to do what is needed..

sure , most of us want out at 62 but the reality is most can't and shouldn't..

Last edited by mathjak107; 05-29-2014 at 04:00 AM..
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