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What's the absolute lowest amount of annual expenses that you and your family could live on in retirement and still maintain your minimum comfort level? For this exercise, exclude health insurance premiums since there are too many variables in individual circumstances.

I'm single and I could live on as little as $4300 per year.

On that budget, I could have a car, live in a nice home, have a phone and internet access.

How could that be possible on so little money, you may ask? Because I would housesit. That means I wouldn't have to pay for any housing related expenses.

OK let's hear from others.




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$4300 per yr?? I'm totally impressed!
DH and I are working on a plan to live quite comfortably in retirement on 50% of our combined pensions. That means, however, that we will either downsize to a "paid for with cash" smaller home or, using savings and part-time job (for him) aggresively paying off the house we are in now. But that 50% does include health insurance since I figure it to be one of our fixed expenses.
As I've stated before we do not plan on touching our other retirement accounts until absolutely necessary.
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I'm single and I could live on as little as $4300 per year.

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Hell, my wife and I spend that much at the grocery store. It must be nice to be single. What do you eat? Peanut butter sandwiches?
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Hell, my wife and I spend that much at the grocery store. It must be nice to be single. What do you eat? Peanut butter sandwiches?

I don't live on $4300 but I could if I had to. You see, I love retired life and would hate to go back to work. My portfolio could lose a ton of money, and I still wouldn't have to go back to work. And that's why I did that exercise.

BTW I happen to like peanut butter sandwiches, but I would never figure a budget where I had to eat them all the time.
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Hi WWW!


I'd like to see a breakdown of expenses. How do you figure $4300 a year? Yes eliminating housing costs by housesitting is one way, but what about gas, repairs and insurance for your car, health insurance, and food? I guess you would not pay the utilities out of your own pocket when you housesit... Do you have any $$$ set aside for entertainment? It would get boring just sitting around a house all day...
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I'd like to see a breakdown of expenses. How do you figure $4300 a year?


Annual Expense 

Auto (gas/insurance/maintenance)        1140
Groceries                               1200
Misc (Entertainment/etc)                1405 

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What would you do as a backup plan in case the housesitting gigs dried up temporarily?

I may just live in the wrong area, but I can't think of anyone who would need a housesitter for more than a few weeks at a time.

Always ;-)
Hunzi
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 Oops, posted too soon 

I'd like to see a breakdown of expenses. How do you figure $4300 a year?


These numbers do not include health insurance. ERs are all over the
 board when it comes how much they pay in health insurance--it really
 boils down to ones individual circumstances: Some people are stuck
 with high priced policies due to illnesses, some pay very little due
 to having the bill supplemented by a former employer.  So I choose not
 include it in order to make apple-to-apple comparisions.
   

Yeah you're right this budget doesn't leave a lot for entertainment. 
But most of the things I like to do are free or pretty low cost. And it
 would still beat punching a clock!  
 


Annual Expense 

Auto (gas/insurance/maintenance)        1140
Groceries                               1200
Misc (Entertainment/etc)                1405 
Health Care (excludes Insurance)         555 
---------------------------------------------
Total                                   4300 


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What would you do as a backup plan in case the housesitting gigs dried up temporarily?

I may just live in the wrong area, but I can't think of anyone who would need a housesitter for more than a few weeks at a time.



I've met a few housesitters. The best situation is where the family owns several homes and so they only visit the house where you sitting a few weeks out of the year.

However, gigs could still dry up. One option for me would be to just increase my WR and rent temporarily. Odds are I still wouldn't run out of money.


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$23,000 after any taxes. That includes the mortgage. Not bad for a family of 4. That would be kind of a boring life though. Not really the life I want to lead, so I guess I don't hate working as mucha as WWW.

Volucris

$4,300 is impressive.
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If you have no prior housesitting experience, how do you secure your very first gig? I've seen want ads for housesitters, but if you apply as a total stranger, I'd imagine they'd want references -- I sure would.

It's sort of a fantasy of mine to combine the Terhorst-style PT ("Perpetual Traveler") lifestyle with housesitting, thereby keeping both travel and living expenses very low. If you could plan your gigs in advance, when one gig is up you could simply move on to the next one, which might be in a different town, state, or country. Also, if you could secure gigs with wealthier clients who do major traveling, they might last several months rather than only a couple weeks or so. But I still imagine the hardest part would be getting started.

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In my current situation, my minimum comfort level could be achieved on about $19-20K per year -- in fact, right now I'm living on only a little bit more than that.

Of course, that's assuming that I keep my current apartment, which some would consider expensive. I pay $1050 a month for a highrise apartment in one of Chicago's prime lakefront areas. However, my rent includes both heat and A/C, so my utility bills are low, plus I'm able to partially offset my housing costs by not owning a car, which wouldn't work well in most of the U.S., but works fine for me here. I rely on public transportation (buses, trains) to get around... in fact, when weather permits I usually don't bother with that and just walk instead. I usually walk at least two to three, and sometimes up to eight, miles per day.

If I move a few miles north, I could take a more basic, less luxurious, apartment and lower my rent -- and thus my living expenses -- by about $300 per month. In fact, I'm toying with the idea of doing just that, but haven't made a decision yet.

If I were to move back to my hometown (Cleveland, Ohio) I could probably manage on as little as $12K per year. It's possible to find decent apartments in good areas there for as little as $500 a month (including heat), or even buy a small condo for as little as $20K. I'd be able to take advantage of both big-city amenities and a low cost of living, which to me is the perfect combination. However, going carless would probably be a hardship there, and the winters are a little too snowy for me.

Of course, doing research would doubtless reveal other places to live where the cost of living would be low, especially if you're open to living in other countries (Mexico, etc.) ...
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the winters are a little too snowy for me.

Cleveland is snowier than Chicago? Don't they both get lake-effect snow?

phantomdiver
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Cleveland is snowier than Chicago? Don't they both get lake-effect snow?


Yes, but most of Chicago's lake effect snow blows into Michigan and Indiana, except for those relatively rare times when there's a good northeast wind.

One of the most pleasant surprises for me upon moving to Chicago eight years ago was how little snow we get here. There've been quite a few winters where we got next to nothing while Cleveland was hit hard.

Last year I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Cleveland over the holidays, during which we got not one, but two snowstorms totaling about 12 inches each -- and I wasn't even on the "snowbelt" side of town. By March or so, I noticed Chicago's total snowfall for the season was running around 19 inches, whereas Cleveland had already had over 70 inches.

Of course, even without the snow, there are still bitter cold wind chills to deal with during a typical Chicago winter...
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I'm single and I could live on as little as $4300 per year.


Yikes! I read this as $43,000 and didn't understand why others found it so hard to believe this do-able.

Duh!

Now I have to go back and re-read everything with the right number of zeros after "43."
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Hope not too late for the party!
For me - single, I estimate around $18K/year based in Bangkok,Thailand.
That would be a fairly good standard of living. No car needed as taxis/motos/sky trains Etc. everywhere.
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Hope not too late for the party!
For me - single, I estimate around $18K/year based in Bangkok,Thailand.
That would be a fairly good standard of living. No car needed as taxis/motos/sky trains Etc. everywhere.

Wonder how it will be in 29 years?

cliff
... just wonderin'
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workwayless asks:

I'm single and I could live on as little as $4300 per year.

OK let's hear from others.


First, I thank you for starting this folder.

Second, I could live on $6960/year.

That breaks down to:

yaerly expenses $4560
(tvdish,electric,gas
for car,phone,water,
basic internet)

yearly insurance $2200
(car,house,hi ded
health)

yearly property tax $200

grand total $6960

tjscott0
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yearly property tax $200

This is really cheap. Is all of NM this low?
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Evelynk asks:

This is really cheap. Is all of NM this low?

You have visions of relocating to Santa Fe! Sorry I must now dash those dreams.

I live in a small(600 sq ft) house that is appraised at $35,000. An average house in my area would run about $135,000. Property would probably run around $750 to $850.

Housing prices in New Mexico is very reasonably except for Santa Fe. Housing prices in Santa Fe would start at $300,000.

Regards

tjscott0
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Sigh... I suppose Taos is expensive too.
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