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Anyway, it is perfectly possible to live just fine on $30k a year particularly if your house is paid for.

Our retirement home is NOT all paid off, but it's a small mortgage at a fixed 5.75% rate, mainly because calculations suggested that it was better to keep it that way vs pulling all that cash out of our rather small IRA's to pay it off.

Until we both hit Medicare age, we had to also pay Blue Cross rates for health insurance -- which started at $425/month 5 years ago and reached $700+/month soon before I hit 65; then she hit 65, too, and now it costs us $88 apiece for Medicare Part B plus $120 each for Medigap insurance -- or about $416/month now. However, we don;t have those huge $5,000 deductibles now (like with Blue Cross), so it feels better!

Yes, staying home, watching TV and going out for dinner is not all that expensive and may be quite manageable on $30k a year. We also pledge a chunk to our church, by the way.

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