U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-15-2014, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
....... I'll be one of those making $1200 a year or less and I plan to live quite well on that....
I'm assuming a typo. You must have meant either $1200 a month or $12,000 a year - pretty tight either way, but $1200 a year equals $100 a month.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-15-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,391 posts, read 21,228,976 times
Reputation: 24215
Corrected: $1200 a month!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,615 posts, read 9,678,443 times
Reputation: 10955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten Cat View Post
I admire your dedication and physical ability to maintain several jobs at once.

That said, most low wage employers these days (i.e. Walmart) make it impossible to work a second job. You must be available to work first and/or second shift, 7 days a week.
That's not quite true. When people apply to Walmart they tell them their availability. If they leave it open they will be asked to work any hours between 6 AM and 11 PM. You can tell them what days off you want/need as well. When I applied I stated I'd work any hours from 7 AM to 9 PM but neglected to say what days off so they gave me whatever two days they wanted. Then I was getting so many split days off it was driving me nuts so I changed my availability to Thurs. thru Mon. with Tues. and Wed. off every week. They do this for people going to college or who take care of elderly parents, etc.. We DO have some say in our schedules. And nobody works 7 days a week, ever. Not even management.

Walmart doesn't start anyone at minimum wage, which is $7.25 in AZ. The lowest starting wage is $8 hour, which I believe should be more but the raises come fairly fast. I'll soon be getting my 5th raise in 4 years. It also depends on what position you are hired for and over night shift makes more. I have friends who are making at least $15 hour and quite a few who are making more that have been there from 10 to 25 years.

I regret not going to work for Walmart years ago. By now I'd have had a very healthy 401k, probably shares of stock, life insurance and, before Medicare, health insurance. Part time or full time, doesn't matter. All of us get those things...if we want them. I've always worked part time because it's what I want. Others want full time so it works out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:03 AM
 
649 posts, read 554,063 times
Reputation: 1877
Again, the average person on this forum is not indicative of the average American.

20 dollars an hours is NOT low income.

Almost 50 percent of ALL working people in this country over age 15 make less than 25k dollars a year, that is about 12 dollars and hour.

Nearly 70 percent of all working people make less than the OP's "low" income of 20 dollars per hour or 42k per year. By the standard you are all setting, 2/3's of all working people in the US are low income.

You can't project your wants and needs on to others because theirs will obviously be different. By the same token, just because a lot of you wouldn't or couldn't live on that kind of income, many do, successfully, every single day.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,615 posts, read 9,678,443 times
Reputation: 10955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I'm assuming a typo. You must have meant either $1200 a month or $12,000 a year - pretty tight either way, but $1200 a year equals $100 a month.
I could live pretty good on $1200 a month. Did it for a long time with higher expenses than I have now. Heck I could even quit working if my SS was that much. As it is I make half that a month in SS and I don't know anyone who gets more than $700 month. I guess we've all been low wage earners all our lives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,088 posts, read 22,943,598 times
Reputation: 35213
Well, you don't live in a mansion in SF overlooking the Bay lol!

I wanted to say that saving all your life is no guarantee that the money will be there to do with as you will, when you want to. Anything could happen to wipe out the savings.

But, that doesn't mean you can't live a fine life on very little. You can't travel the world in style, but that doesn't mean you can't be happy. Just have to simplify.

Oh, and forget about having to move to another country to live better for less money. I tried that, actually, and couldn't wait to get back to the US. If you want the amenities you're used to - and I'm just talking about electricity, phone, internet, TV cable (so you can watch TV in English), you won't be living as cheaply as you thought. To live like an American in another country, isn't as cheap as living like a native there.

That said, you can easily find affordable housing in the US. However, "affordable" prices in the SF Bay Area, for instance, may not be affordable enough, unless you get the holy grail Section 8 based or HUD voucher housing where you pay 30% of your income. Those waiting lists are incredibly long in the SF Bay Area.

So, someone like me, who became disabled and didn't pay a lot into social security, with an income of $877/month SSI, couldn't afford the "affordable housing" apartments in my city (Santa Clara) going for around $700/month. And you must make twice the rent.

I have a friend on the waiting list for one of those apartments, but she makes $1500 on SSDI. She still has her 401K of around $50,000, too.

But, I've learned that the poorer you are, the more you get, if that makes sense. I had to move to Redding to find housing that was affordable for me. My rent is $350. I'm also on the Section 8 waiting list here, which only has a couple year waiting list. When I get that, my rent will only be 30% of my income, or $263.

I also get Medi-Cal, and have no co-pay, for anything. Granted we lost our vision and dental coverage when the economy tanked here, but it will be reinstated next month - yay!

I qualify for help with my electricity bill - to the point where my electricity is almost free (of course, I'm frugal, too, but I don't suffer at all).

There are lots of food banks, and other organizations with all kinds of assistance.

I have internet, Netflix, my dog, and I look for free stuff to do. I have a great time hanging out and chatting with people at the dog park. I'm going to get training for my dog and I so we can do therapy dog work, where we will go into hospitals, etc.

I would have liked to stay in the Bay Area, but I'm getting used to Redding, and I gotta say I love that there's no major traffic problems here! But, I didn't have to move out of the state, even, let alone out of the country. Heck, I could even stay in Northern CA, where my daughter and my friends are. I'm a few hours away now, but that's still reasonable.

So, of course you can retire on very little. Just simply.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 02:01 AM
 
4,649 posts, read 6,480,471 times
Reputation: 5394
One main factor why the poor stay poor is there's no profit for the financial industry to educate them. I guess in reality it's only a select few who retire to a life of leisure. Those gubment pensions did some people real well. Myself I think people should retire as soon as they can and enjoy life because old age and health issues are a mofo. Things just don't look like they get better once the health starts going. You have to enjoy life the best you can while you can. No one gets out of life alive and what you do accumulate will be enjoyed or sold by others.

It's one person to a grave and a hearse has no luggage rack. When all else fails get married and combine incomes. If at the end if living a miserable life you might as well get married and be miserable together.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 05:06 AM
 
Location: USA
6,223 posts, read 5,357,527 times
Reputation: 10636
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
That's not quite true. When people apply to Walmart they tell them their availability. If they leave it open they will be asked to work any hours between 6 AM and 11 PM. You can tell them what days off you want/need as well. When I applied I stated I'd work any hours from 7 AM to 9 PM but neglected to say what days off so they gave me whatever two days they wanted. Then I was getting so many split days off it was driving me nuts so I changed my availability to Thurs. thru Mon. with Tues. and Wed. off every week. They do this for people going to college or who take care of elderly parents, etc.. We DO have some say in our schedules. And nobody works 7 days a week, ever. Not even management.

Walmart doesn't start anyone at minimum wage, which is $7.25 in AZ. The lowest starting wage is $8 hour, which I believe should be more but the raises come fairly fast. I'll soon be getting my 5th raise in 4 years. It also depends on what position you are hired for and over night shift makes more. I have friends who are making at least $15 hour and quite a few who are making more that have been there from 10 to 25 years.

I regret not going to work for Walmart years ago. By now I'd have had a very healthy 401k, probably shares of stock, life insurance and, before Medicare, health insurance. Part time or full time, doesn't matter. All of us get those things...if we want them. I've always worked part time because it's what I want. Others want full time so it works out.

Hah. When I had my short stint at Wally world it seemed the company policy was to try to fire long term employees and replace them with 2-3 minimum wagers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 06:32 AM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,554,182 times
Reputation: 20505
My three immigrant grandparents died young. My fourth grandparent cleaned houses, worked in a box factory, had two years of school. She lived in a cold-water walkup in Philly, then moved in with her daughters one at a time, acted crazy with each one, and ended up in the county nursing home, where she lived for some 30 years and by all accounts was well behaved and loved. I honestly think she was a burned-out schizophrenic person who needed institutional structure to keep it together.
The lower-wage people where I work have an old-fashioned company pension (as do I). The housekeepers, dietary, security, etc., used to be part of that but then those service got outsourced and they are no longer part of the company. I think that's really lousy. I'm sure I'd lose my pension if it was just me and my co-workers, but the higher-ups and "important people" are part of the old-fashioned pension plan, and it's not going away any time soon. It's the major reason I went back to this place four times (coming and going with other plans/daydreams). We also have a 403b with no matching. I feel both very fortunate and a tiny bit wise about going back there for the fourth time in 1998 and getting those pension statements every year. My lower-wage co-workers, if they stay a long time (and when they get a bit older, they do, but vesting is now three years, down from ten) should be quite OK in retirement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2014, 08:26 AM
 
38,146 posts, read 14,902,572 times
Reputation: 24590
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.
Lot of folks in small towns around here in the same situation. Sometimes they own a small home on a piece of land and as they get older, one of the kids will set up a mobile home on the property and care for them, after a fashion. Or one of the kids or grandkids will move in with them. Unfortunately, this is often the one who is the least able to manage their own lives, let alone that of an elderly person. But it works out more often than you would imagine.

Some end up in ALFs paid for by Medicaid. But most just live out their lives enjoying the company of their friends, neighbors, kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids... Lots of potlucks, barbecues, Sunday dinners.

As a social worker, I would often deal with elderly people who did not have relatives to look out for them. Their situation was not nearly as pleasant. Particularly, if their mental health issues were such that they did not become part of a community.

How this will work out in years to come remains to be seen. Lot more people living a lot longer. Lot fewer middle income folks with middle income retirement resources. It is one thing to take care of grandma for five or six years. Quite another to look out for her for thirty years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top