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Old 01-16-2016, 10:19 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,880,403 times
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Climbing the wall of retirement worry is half the battle for those who really try to plan! It can be as much mental as it is financial. I fall into that category
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,407 posts, read 7,932,198 times
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I'd say that we live a pretty modest lifestyle and most of our monthly expenses goes to groceries. It's expensive to eat healthy and we cook from scratch. The next biggest expense would be for my pets and giving them up is not an option. I'd go stand on the street corner if I had to or we'd all live in my car together. I guess we could give up our ski trips and other vacations if we had to, but I would just go back to work for a couple more years instead.

I can't say that there is much fat in our lifestyle. We've lived far below our means for decades and have learned to appreciate simple pleasures. Spending tons of money in fancy restaurants and hours in the mall are just not us. We'd rather take a day trip and go skiing like we did on Thursday. We also love our Friday morning roller skate with the seniors. That's a whopping $12 dollars a week.

My body hurts from head to toe now, but it's a good hurt. I think I worked every single muscle in it and it doesn't hurt from over eating, or over drinking.

I'm going to pick up these three crazy girls to spend the night with us tonight. I spend about as much money on all the shorties in my life as I do my pets, maybe more.

Two of my college shorties came to see me last night and four more of my teenage shorties are planning to come see me Monday. It was worth every dime I've spent on them over the years and having them in my life has been one of my biggest quality of life issues.

How do you put a price on these things? I simply can't, but the percentage of happiness they give me is 100%, and worth every dime spent. I can't call it fat. I'd call it a necessary component to living.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:31 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,880,403 times
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If the average family income in your area is X and you have no or minimal mortgage with income of 2X+Y you probably have a lot of fat compared to others.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:00 AM
 
6,484 posts, read 3,082,388 times
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I don't know the exact percentage, but we have a lot of fat.


We moved to a cheaper COLA, but upsized our lifestyle so right away I could probably find a reasonable place to live and further cut our housing related expenses by 30-50%. As far as discretionary, we spend a lot eating out, entertaining and on visitors as well as on kids/grandkids. All of that could be done more cheaply or not at all. We could drop down to one cheaper car and also cut out some/all of the things we pay other people to do. My husband already shops around things like insurance/phones/tv etc or has an "Im retired, I cant afford to pay you more" spiel when the ones he wants to keep raise prices. We don't travel or desire to as much as many people seem to, but we the travel we do could be done cheaper.


But, I don't really think about this much because I feel I covered us on the income side. Its of course easier knowing we both have pensions, but I looked at whether the last one standing would be covered with a pension and a half rather than two when I set up our. I kept us living below our means on that income. Wasn't hard because that's what we've always done other than the early years when we foolishly took on too much debt.


I also still have a savings goal and my budget review is basically am I saving that goal each year. If I see that I'm not on track, I just automatically cut back on spending and rein my husband in. But that savings could be cut too and spent if needed.


We also have a mortgage still that we could get rid of if it made more sense to do so.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:29 AM
 
536 posts, read 632,312 times
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I budget for health care and retirement contributions (still working). I never see that money and don't miss it.

I have no budget otherwise, and live paycheck to paycheck. I don't throw money around, though...don't eat out, don't go to the movies or clubs. I don't need an entertainment budget; as hard as I work, being home and relaxing is entertaining enough for me.

One of the reasons I haven't retired is I can quite figure out this "total budget" thing. I now make enough money to travel abroad at least once a year, and in the US once or twice. I would hate to give that up. I am not interested too much in clubs or movies, but I do love to travel and assume it is the main "fat" item in my budget that I would have to eliminate or trim back.

My housing budget, too, will increase if I go up to New England as I would like to when I retire. But the disparity there is so great I will be very cautious about making that leap. I can rent within my income projected for retirement, but not buy. And I prefer not to rent.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:56 AM
 
11,269 posts, read 8,439,906 times
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I'm not a numbers person so none of this makes sense. My guy is the numbers person. I just love that man!

Are you asking what is in our budget that we could cut out? I think we're pretty bare-bones right now but we keep a cushion in the bank. He has to have his cable TV but it's also our internet so... no complaints.

We buy used vehicles so no car payment. No credit card bills. House note and the usual related expenses.

We tend to spend money on our kids, which is sometimes a source of conflict. I might buy my son a pair of shoes and he will call and ask for $6, or whatever sum he needs to fund something he can't pay for at the moment.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:14 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,424 posts, read 2,432,228 times
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I do maintain a monthly budget (more or less) with X dollars allocated for food, x dollars put aside each month for property tax/insurance-car & home (I pay in full when the bills come), x dollars in my checking account for whatever and regular monthly bills. I don't have to stick with the monthly budget, but it's a guide and works for me. I have no debt, home is paid for, and income is sufficient for regular expenditures and decent savings each month. I do spend much less than I take in.

My biggest "extra" is really my social security check. When I began receiving SS (last June) I opened a separate savings account and had the SS checks deposited there. I haven’t touched that account and I frequently add 1-2K per month from monthly income into that account. I like to save. I don’t mind spending….and will spend for what I want, but with no strong wants or needs…I like saving!
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:15 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,760 posts, read 7,043,834 times
Reputation: 14300
Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I'd say that we live a pretty modest lifestyle and most of our monthly expenses goes to groceries. It's expensive to eat healthy and we cook from scratch. The next biggest expense would be for my pets and giving them up is not an option. I'd go stand on the street corner if I had to or we'd all live in my car together. I guess we could give up our ski trips and other vacations if we had to, but I would just go back to work for a couple more years instead.

I can't say that there is much fat in our lifestyle. We've lived far below our means for decades and have learned to appreciate simple pleasures. Spending tons of money in fancy restaurants and hours in the mall are just not us. We'd rather take a day trip and go skiing like we did on Thursday. We also love our Friday morning roller skate with the seniors. That's a whopping $12 dollars a week.

My body hurts from head to toe now, but it's a good hurt. I think I worked every single muscle in it and it doesn't hurt from over eating, or over drinking.

I'm going to pick up these three crazy girls to spend the night with us tonight. I spend about as much money on all the shorties in my life as I do my pets, maybe more.

Two of my college shorties came to see me last night and four more of my teenage shorties are planning to come see me Monday. It was worth every dime I've spent on them over the years and having them in my life has been one of my biggest quality of life issues.

How do you put a price on these things? I simply can't, but the percentage of happiness they give me is 100%, and worth every dime spent. I can't call it fat. I'd call it a necessary component to living.
You can't put a price on things like that, they bring you such great joy and make life worth living.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,396,297 times
Reputation: 16288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
I think that is where we are too. We do have a good retirement income between the pensions, SS and some from my part-time consulting work, but we also thought it was important to have as little debt as possible in retirement, as you just never know what can happen, so our regular expenses aren't that high.. As a result we save quite a bit of our income ( it's second nature for us to do so), but still feel like we should be able to splurge a little when we want to. I guess we could cut back on the cable/phone/internet package, and get rid of the second car. But those cars are old reliable Hondas that don't cost that much to maintain and run, so I am not sure the savings in getting rid of one of them would be that much.

I was a Honda owner for 30 years - great cars.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,396,297 times
Reputation: 16288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Well, that makes three of us who fly more or less by the seat of our pants (and successfully). I thought I was the only one not to have a budget.

Upon further thought I failed to think of the biggest way I could save money if I had to, which is to sell my town house in the Los Angeles area, move to the boonies, and by a smaller place for almost nothing.


Nope - there's at least 4 of us. Never had a budget but was never reckless with my spending and didn't "need" a lot.
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