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Old 06-29-2019, 06:43 PM
 
13,312 posts, read 25,542,533 times
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Also, there's feeling poor and being poor and so on. I used to own only old junker cars and drive some few miles around the city to my night shift job in the burbs. Paid for, low insurance, didn't care if someone banged into me. I felt frugal and clever. As soon as the heat failed or the muffler started roaring, I felt unsafe and poor. Same car, same income.

Now, if I needed a car (or me and someone needed a car) and we couldn't afford a car, I would certainly feel poor.

If I were the OP, I certainly would look into senior housing. If you qualify, you qualify. Life in Vermont or Maine at the end of supply lines and in non-congested areas and, oh, the taxes, too, is not exactly a huge improvement in COL.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,741 posts, read 7,022,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
One car simply doesn't work for every couple. We've been reduced to one car a few times and it's a headache. Now we have two vehicles at each house (main and winter), so each of us has a vehicle at all times. It really does make life simpler.
You'd be surprised what you can manage when the necessity arises.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Let's level set the conversation here.

The fact of the matter is that $3,300/month net income is not poor in absolute terms. They didn't accumulate the net worth or assets needed to retire in place. They'd be plenty fine in other areas.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:49 PM
 
13,312 posts, read 25,542,533 times
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Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Maine might be a better choice. Vermont is one of the 13 states that taxes social security. It's also a very expensive state to live in.
I lived in Maine. Not so cheap either. High heating costs, basics are expensive for being at the end of the supply line, a lot of transportation costs because things are spread out and far apart. Not a lot of rentals, either.

There are reasons to live in Vermont or Maine, but a substantial lessening in COL isn't among them.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:51 PM
 
1,687 posts, read 607,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestocking12 View Post
I'm brand new here and trying to come to terms with what it's going to be like to be poor in retirement, especially since we are accustomed to a 6-figure income now. I'm 62 and dh is 63. We are among the millions who, with the exception of a couple of houses we bought and sold a long time ago, did not save or invest for retirement. I need to say that I'm very aware of the mistakes we made, our irresponsibility, as well as extenuating circumstances that made saving difficult (special needs child). No scolding necessary. We've been through the miserable beating ourselves up stage. I'm trying to problem-solve.

We rent in a very affluent New England town. By our SS calculations, allowing for me taking retirement now (500.) and dh taking his at 70 ($4000.), we will be receiving between 4500 - 5000/month. (That upper number assuming that my amount will go up to a percentage of his benefit.)

It will be possible to move further into the country, say, Vermont, and rent a cottage for about $1200. That would also be about the cost to stay here and live in elderly, public housing. A thought which (unnecessarily) shames me. It also kind of intrigues me: such a wealthy town doesn't really have a public housing waiting list.

We will have 1 car, no debts, and very simple needs. Moving isn't an option, we're in metro-Boston, have no funds for a downpayment and cannot find a rental for less than what we are paying now.

Could you do live on about $3300/month, after housing costs? What would you do to get ready?

Why do you think you guys couldn't live on $3,300 per month (after housing costs)? I am solo, my primary address is in Boston (Back Bay) and I own my housing (in Boston and elsewhere), but my monthly expenses (excluding housing) run around $1,000 per month, plus up to about $7,000 for one annual trip abroad. I don't keep a car, I don't eat out much (when I do, it is always a lunch), my close social connections are not high maintenance. Health insurance in Boston is the cheapest in the nation. I actually do not find Boston to be terribly expensive.



If you move into Boston, you can still find one bdrm rentals under $2k in student areas of Brighton and Allston, and you would not need the car in Boston. You would also be closer to wider public housing options than in a town in the metro area.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:57 PM
 
6,303 posts, read 5,042,575 times
Reputation: 12800
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Also, there's feeling poor and being poor and so on. I used to own only old junker cars and drive some few miles around the city to my night shift job in the burbs. Paid for, low insurance, didn't care if someone banged into me. I felt frugal and clever. As soon as the heat failed or the muffler started roaring, I felt unsafe and poor. Same car, same income.

Now, if I needed a car (or me and someone needed a car) and we couldn't afford a car, I would certainly feel poor.

If I were the OP, I certainly would look into senior housing. If you qualify, you qualify. Life in Vermont or Maine at the end of supply lines and in non-congested areas and, oh, the taxes, too, is not exactly a huge improvement in COL.
I would love to qualify for senior housing! Don't have to worry about maintenance on your home etc.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Washington State
18,438 posts, read 9,548,793 times
Reputation: 15732
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestocking12 View Post
I'm brand new here and trying to come to terms with what it's going to be like to be poor in retirement, especially since we are accustomed to a 6-figure income now. I'm 62 and dh is 63. We are among the millions who, with the exception of a couple of houses we bought and sold a long time ago, did not save or invest for retirement. I need to say that I'm very aware of the mistakes we made, our irresponsibility, as well as extenuating circumstances that made saving difficult (special needs child). No scolding necessary. We've been through the miserable beating ourselves up stage. I'm trying to problem-solve.

We rent in a very affluent New England town. By our SS calculations, allowing for me taking retirement now (500.) and dh taking his at 70 ($4000.), we will be receiving between 4500 - 5000/month. (That upper number assuming that my amount will go up to a percentage of his benefit.)

It will be possible to move further into the country, say, Vermont, and rent a cottage for about $1200. That would also be about the cost to stay here and live in elderly, public housing. A thought which (unnecessarily) shames me. It also kind of intrigues me: such a wealthy town doesn't really have a public housing waiting list.

We will have 1 car, no debts, and very simple needs. Moving isn't an option, we're in metro-Boston, have no funds for a downpayment and cannot find a rental for less than what we are paying now.

Could you do live on about $3300/month, after housing costs? What would you do to get ready?
If it were me, I would live on the income you project. I would definitely move to a cheaper location. We haven't gotten below $12K/mo. but we haven't had to yet either. We are about your age but slightly younger and both retired.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Cochise County, AZ
1,316 posts, read 832,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
In retirement, you think living on $5000 per month which is $60,000 per year is POOR??

Or, in retirement, even much less is poor?
If OP and husband are still paying expenses for their special needs dependent and living in high COL (Boston) then yes, it's considered poor by the Federal government.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,226 posts, read 3,005,081 times
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I was downsized at age 59, worked a really crap job until we were able to pay off the mortgage and then I retired. In the mean time we made the expenditures fit the available income. $3300 a month would be a 50% increase for us.
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I lived in Maine. Not so cheap either. High heating costs, basics are expensive for being at the end of the supply line, a lot of transportation costs because things are spread out and far apart. Not a lot of rentals, either.

There are reasons to live in Vermont or Maine, but a substantial lessening in COL isn't among them.
That was one of the first things I noticed on vacation. Your basic Walmart stuff was more expensive than anywhere I've ever lived. Heating is expensive. Taxes are high.

It's not as expensive as a major city or even a flyover city like Nashville, but there are going to be many cheaper places to live.
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