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View Poll Results: How much for a middle class couple to retire comfortably?
$1,000 to $1,500 2 1.50%
$1,501 to $1,800 2 1.50%
$1,801 to $2,300 5 3.76%
$2,301 to $2,800 8 6.02%
$2,801 to $3,300 7 5.26%
$3,301 to $3,800 13 9.77%
$3,801 to $4,300 14 10.53%
$4,301 to $4,800 13 9.77%
$4,801 to $5,300 19 14.29%
$5,301 to $5,800 14 10.53%
$5,801 to $6,300 7 5.26%
More than $6,300 29 21.80%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 01-02-2015, 04:59 PM
 
2,297 posts, read 1,568,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
With all due respect, these kinds of questions usually lead nowhere because there are just too many variables. No one counts in the cost of vets for their pets ($$$), eyeglasses for each in the household, hearing aid (thousands $), major car dent sustained in a parking lot ($$$), having to travel to a funeral of family member on opposite side of country ($$$), sewer line burst in back yard (my son just spent thousands), septic tank problem ($$$), and on and on, all of which can and does happen to any of us and isn't figured in to the retirement budget. Any figured budget should be multiplied by 2 or 3.
Oh, come on now. I guess I'm gonna need 18,000 a month to live on then and I'm single! I think a reasonable estimate can be made. One just needs to make sure and include everything and then add a cushion.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:44 PM
 
4,576 posts, read 7,075,448 times
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well, I've been retired for a few months now and had a pretty solid budget. But each month, unexpected things did happen that added to my expenses for that month, mostly health related. Food/household goods are costing more than I had planned since the cost of food has gone up so much. For your needs, I'd say $60-75k per year minimum, based on where I live, which is what you asked...SoCal. I live on a lot less.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,014,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burkmere View Post
Oh, come on now. I guess I'm gonna need 18,000 a month to live on then and I'm single! I think a reasonable estimate can be made. One just needs to make sure and include everything and then add a cushion.
Basically what I said, budget x 2 or 2 1/2).
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,775,806 times
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I think the OP did a pretty good job of listing the parameters of what kind of life we would be living for whatever amount we estimate it would cost in our own area. But there is still room for interpretation. For example, "dining out twice a month". That frequency is quite frugal, but we can have very different ideas about how much money that would involve. Personally, I almost never dine out if the total bill, including tax and tip, will be over $15 for one person. I rarely have an alcoholic drink when dining out, but occasionally I do and I consider that splurging. But the alcoholic drink NEVER consists of a bottle of $50 wine! I'm sure many people would double the cost of the meal and then add drinks on top of that.

The example I gave was given with the thought of explaining why the poll responses are all over the map thus far.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,552 posts, read 44,124,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
we set our budget by adding up all the non descretionary bills we could think of. then we x2 that amount and that is our budget now including decretionary spending.
Actually, that would be ideal. Income twice budgeted and discretionary expenses. Gotta work on that.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 01-02-2015 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,552 posts, read 44,124,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
ave you projected costs for 5 and 10 years from now?
LOL - doesn't bear thinking about. Although, I'm always looking for ways to cut, I can plan only a year or two ahead - beyond that, as you've cited above - too many variables to worry about. City this year did a good job of capping property taxes - actually went down $100. But, food budget has gone up 20% since I retired five years ago. Utilities basically no change in years. Use monthly income and minimal RMDs to cover the budget. This year, retirement funds earned twice what I withdrew. Would be nice if that was the norm, but I don't plan on it.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:25 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,964,403 times
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We are retired and all of my income from Soc Sec goes to pay for medicare+ all medical/dental/hearing aids, car insurance, and luxuries - like the hot tub we are buying and having installed. All of his income goes to pay for the house, including mortgage since we didn't own before retirement, repairs, and improvements. And we still have money to take 2 cruises and one extra week of visiting family/friends. Plus all the money spent on the foster animals including vet bills. We are up to 5 tonight and probably 6 tomorrow.

$3K someone can live really well and comfortable here - which is the reason we moved here.

New bathroom and a wall moved happens as soon as we can find a contractor we trust.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,714 posts, read 17,668,720 times
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I net about $3k a month. If I was retired, debt free, and in good health, that would be very comfortable.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,729 posts, read 49,538,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I net about $3k a month. If I was retired, debt free, and in good health, that would be very comfortable.
I agree.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,148 posts, read 12,415,507 times
Reputation: 14009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I think the OP did a pretty good job of listing the parameters of what kind of life we would be living for whatever amount we estimate it would cost in our own area. But there is still room for interpretation. For example, "dining out twice a month". That frequency is quite frugal, but we can have very different ideas about how much money that would involve. Personally, I almost never dine out if the total bill, including tax and tip, will be over $15 for one person. I rarely have an alcoholic drink when dining out, but occasionally I do and I consider that splurging. But the alcoholic drink NEVER consists of a bottle of $50 wine! I'm sure many people would double the cost of the meal and then add drinks on top of that.

The example I gave was given with the thought of explaining why the poll responses are all over the map thus far.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,616 which, if you hail from east or west coast, most likely challenges your imagination but cost of living is very inexpensive.

An annual household income of $32,616 is only $2,717/month which I wouldn't want to live on but I've studied a lot and we should be able to live very comfortably, comfortably indeed, on $4,000.

I was born and raised in the bay area between Menlo Park and Santa Clara and with a large portion of the family in the area, I am a fifth generation Californian and I am well aware of the cost of trying to retire in that area. Which is one of the reasons I left and never went back.

For our area $3,801 to $4,300 should provide a comfortable retirement because our cost of living is so low. $3,801 in Palo Alto would leave one stealing cat food from the neighbors cat bowl.
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