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 01-06-2010, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,349,090 times
Reputation: 4023

Advertisements

Now is probably the best time to get a handle on your income and expenses. That way you'll have a better idea of what you'll be facing in retirement. Since you don't keep a budget, you can start with your take-home pay less any amount you're saving from it each month.

As time goes by, keep track of your main expenses. Some categories can be housing (mortgage, property taxes, insurance), utilities (electricity, heating, water/sewer, garbage), communications (phone, cable, newspaper, internet), auto (gas, insurance, maintenance), food, medical, taxes, etc.

For future income, use your SS statement, and start with 4% of your retirement accounts (assumes you're making 7+% return). If the expense $$ are bigger than the income $$, you then have some work to do.

If the above is true, you'll need to go over your expenses to see where you can reasonably reduce them. For instance, if the mortgage is paid off, your auto expense is down because of no commute, kid related expenses gone, etc. Hopefully this will get you to a point where your retirement income is greater than your expenses. If not, then you'll either need to consider downsizing and/or part-time work.

I'm not saying you need to have exact numbers. You just need to know where you'd stand today if you retired tomorrow.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-06-2010, 02:54 PM
 
4,574 posts, read 7,060,700 times
Reputation: 4222
I know what you mean about travel. If I don't take a trip every year, I get pretty squirlly, it's part of my mental health program! But 3,000 miles is a long way away and lots of people end up moving back because they find out it's more important to be around family. Lots of discussion on these threads about moving or not moving away from family...if your wife is having a hard time with it now, she might be terribly unhappy when you move. Everyone is different that way...some people can visit a couple times a year and are fine with it, and others need that daily/weekly contact. But obviously that is between you and your wife...just something to really think about.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2010, 07:38 PM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
Reputation: 12853
Loveautumn, I certainly understand your warning. However, staying here or moving back is not an option. I live in an area where costs are 1.67 times the national average. I just cannot afford to live here. Well, I guess it would be possible but not without a meager existence which is not acceptable. Keeping track of expenses here is also not a useful exercise. The costs are just too high here to reflect the costs I will have in an area of the country which is at about the national average. In addition I will have significantly different costs in retirement. Not only will the COL be entirely different, but I will seriously downsize and completely alter my lifestyle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
Reputation: 27566
So I'm a few years from retirement and decided in 2008 to try to live on my estimated retirement budget.
2008 - I was off and had to replace the A/C. Showed me I definitely need a separate "emergency stash"
2009 - Did better after looking over 2008 expenses and cut out luxuries like cell phone, cable TV (don't watch much at all and now watch over internet). 2009 showed me that I can live within my projected retirement budget and have savings as well.
2010 - my goals this year is to document my budget for yet a better understanding how it's being spent.

Now I also don't want to be nit picking over daily receipts, notes to myself and then sheer forgetting some spending.

So I went to the office supply store and bought a 12 column pad. I plan to do my bookkeeping monthly. There's 12 columns (months) and 50 lines which is more then enough for my normal expenses and other expenses.

I am also using my credit card for gas, food shopping, any other shopping. This way I get one bill and it's already itemized if I want to break it down or just go with the CC amount. I pay my CC bill in full each month so this will work for me.

I'm going to take $40 cash per week for lunch/coffee in the AM at work.

The rest is paid via checks.

So that's my goal for this year. Having the CC bill which shows all my itemized spending will be helpful I think because I'll just have one piece of paper each month to work from for all that oddball spending and not have to worry about receipts which tend to disappear on me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2010, 10:34 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
Reputation: 18050
We too use crtedit cards for most things and the bill makes it easy to do becuse it devides the expenses by type. We write few checks and taleout money each month for pocket change.Since my wife did cost accounting its a simple task which she has always enjpoyed lucily and every few months we go over our spending. But i find it hard to beleive that people don't at least keep a accurate checking account registry in this day and age.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 02:03 AM
 
71,607 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49222
i havent balanced a check book in 23 years..... all bill payment is done on line or payed automatically. all expenses are coded for tax purposes and i get a statement broken out that way from fidelity. its so nice at tax time... i just scan all the payouts every few days but nooooooo balancing ever.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 03:14 AM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
Reputation: 12853
mathjak, I don't understand. You must have credit card, online banking and payments by check/cash. How do you code these for tax purposes? I know I must be missing some deduction by taking a standard deduction for sales tax but tracking each expense seems difficult.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 03:56 AM
 
71,607 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49222
theres a box on our checks fidelity investments gives us where we can enter a tracking code.. they use various numbers to catagorize the expenses as an example 007 maybe medical. ... when they clear a check they log the code on our statement .. some expenses i autopay are automatically recognized like con edison or verizon. it knows they are utilities and are automatically catagorized

at the end of the year they break out by code all the expenses...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 04:14 AM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
Reputation: 12853
So I assume that you can then get the statement electronically and download into Excel for sorting?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 05:00 AM
 
71,607 posts, read 71,751,865 times
Reputation: 49222
i dont use excell but i believe you can
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