Author Topic: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice  (Read 3251 times)

maglomanic

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I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« on: February 04, 2019, 09:42:43 AM »
I just wanted to talk about something that I personally found to be pretty funny from my point of view. So I've been working on getting my health insurance set up with my husband. We just got married last year so things are a little different now with having to do our taxes together and everything. We tried to sign up for Medicaid but we made too much money. Now we are at the point where we have to prove to Blue Cross that we make enough money to be paying for our Health Insurance. I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about health insurance or the tax breaks that they are giving us, but it's pretty annoying to have to prove we make enough money to be paying for health insurance. The one thing that stuck out in my mind was that the amount of money we are making is around the Poverty Level. In my head I was kind of amazed that we were considered to be around the poverty level. I mean, he doesn't have a job right now and he's just working on getting a better paying job than the first minimum wage job he can find, but I make about $10.50 an hour, and we both have money saved up in vanguard. In general, we feel pretty rich. We pay double on the principal of our house each month, and we feel like we're doing well. The house should be paid off in about 5 years. We might put a lump sum in at some point if we feel like it. Until then I just stick extra money in vanguard. I mean I guess we never bought new furniture and stuff like that, pretty much everything in our house is from someone else. I have a hard time talking myself into new furniture when I think that the money could go and start making money for me. I tend to buy one new big thing a year. So anyway, I don't think I believe them that I'm in poverty. Mr. Money Mustache ideas work for people that make a lot of money, and people that don't make a lot of money!

Cassie

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 10:37:19 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

HamsterStache

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 11:54:05 AM »
A lot of it really is perspective, isn't it! If you are making smart decisions and the money you make is still not enough to keep you safe, healthy, and happy without going into debt, then unless your needs are more perceived than real, then I would say you are in poverty. But if you are safe, happy, and healthy, then it really doesn't matter how little you make, does it!

geekette

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 12:26:47 PM »
How much you make is the determining factor for subsidies under the ACA.  The federal poverty level for two adults is something like $16k. You get better coverage (lower copays and deductibles) if you earn less than 250% and get a silver plan.

If you earn under the FPL, your only option is Medicaid, and in many states there are a lot of hoops to jump through (low assets, must work; it depends on the state).

Open enrollment for 2019 ended last year - are you able to apply for ACA coverage now?

Pylortes

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 07:08:27 PM »
If you are doubling up the principle payments on your mortgage on an income level thatís at poverty level and still living a happy life you are an absolute BADASS!! Nicely done- I canít tell you how impressive that is! 

Dr. Pepper

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 10:26:37 PM »
It sounds like you are meeting all your goals so who cares what label the government puts on your income.

maglomanic

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 06:56:58 PM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

HamsterStache

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 08:48:23 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

::sigh:: that would maybe get you a one bedroom on bath condo in a retirement community here...

MonkeyJenga

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 08:51:38 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

::sigh:: that would maybe get you a one bedroom on bath condo in a retirement community here...

That gets you a parking space here.

HamsterStache

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 10:40:22 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

::sigh:: that would maybe get you a one bedroom on bath condo in a retirement community here...

That gets you a parking space here.
We're in the DMV ourselves, so I know what you mean!

MsPeacock

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 11:00:35 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

::sigh:: that would maybe get you a one bedroom on bath condo in a retirement community here...

That gets you a parking space here.

Right? Rent and houses are super expensive here. People making close to the minimum age here have very few options for housing. Transportation is a nightmare, and expensive. The down payment on my house was more than $70K.

mm1970

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 11:08:19 AM »
You must live in a fairly low COL to be doing what you are on that tiny income.

We live in rural Michigan. Our house cost $70,000 and it's right in town and is fairly large. Pretty cheap to live here.

::sigh:: that would maybe get you a one bedroom on bath condo in a retirement community here...

That gets you a parking space here.
That gets you nothing here.  It would pay for 2 years rent on a 2BR apt maybe?

italianant

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 02:47:19 PM »
I'm in West Michigan and I do feel like we have a LCOL -or at least when it comes to the housing market. When I read case studies and such about how expensive it is to purchase a house or rent, it's astonishing. We bought our house for $132k in the second biggest city in Michigan, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a housing shortage right now and rent and housing has shot up tremendously, but it is still lower when comparing to others here (although this forum may not be a good representation of the average mortgage or rent...) Too bad our winters suck :)

OtherJen

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 03:03:46 PM »
I'm in West Michigan and I do feel like we have a LCOL -or at least when it comes to the housing market. When I read case studies and such about how expensive it is to purchase a house or rent, it's astonishing. We bought our house for $132k in the second biggest city in Michigan, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a housing shortage right now and rent and housing has shot up tremendously, but it is still lower when comparing to others here (although this forum may not be a good representation of the average mortgage or rent...) Too bad our winters suck :)

Yes to all of this. Our 3-bed, 1-bath house in an inner-ring suburb of Detroit was overvalued when we bought it during the mid-2000s real estate bubble ($100K; current estimated value, $75-80K). Most of the state has reasonable housing costs, obviously excluding Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and parts of Oakland, Ingham, and Kent Counties. All other costs besides auto insurance seem to be low or moderate.

The winters do indeed suck, but I'm looking forward to the weather improving just enough that metropark and state park hiking isn't miserable.

italianant

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 03:08:40 PM »
I'm in West Michigan and I do feel like we have a LCOL -or at least when it comes to the housing market. When I read case studies and such about how expensive it is to purchase a house or rent, it's astonishing. We bought our house for $132k in the second biggest city in Michigan, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a housing shortage right now and rent and housing has shot up tremendously, but it is still lower when comparing to others here (although this forum may not be a good representation of the average mortgage or rent...) Too bad our winters suck :)

Yes to all of this. Our 3-bed, 1-bath house in an inner-ring suburb of Detroit was overvalued when we bought it during the mid-2000s real estate bubble ($100K; current estimated value, $75-80K). Most of the state has reasonable housing costs, obviously excluding Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and parts of Oakland, Ingham, and Kent Counties. All other costs besides auto insurance seem to be low or moderate.

The winters do indeed suck, but I'm looking forward to the weather improving just enough that metropark and state park hiking isn't miserable.

I grew up in Metro Detroit and moved to GR - they are SO much worse here with the lake effect! I wouldn't mind moving back to the Detroit area for this reason only. My husband thinks Florida is the better option haha.

Also totally off topic, but my last post was #100 and now I have stubble!

OtherJen

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 03:10:46 PM »
I'm in West Michigan and I do feel like we have a LCOL -or at least when it comes to the housing market. When I read case studies and such about how expensive it is to purchase a house or rent, it's astonishing. We bought our house for $132k in the second biggest city in Michigan, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a housing shortage right now and rent and housing has shot up tremendously, but it is still lower when comparing to others here (although this forum may not be a good representation of the average mortgage or rent...) Too bad our winters suck :)

Yes to all of this. Our 3-bed, 1-bath house in an inner-ring suburb of Detroit was overvalued when we bought it during the mid-2000s real estate bubble ($100K; current estimated value, $75-80K). Most of the state has reasonable housing costs, obviously excluding Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and parts of Oakland, Ingham, and Kent Counties. All other costs besides auto insurance seem to be low or moderate.

The winters do indeed suck, but I'm looking forward to the weather improving just enough that metropark and state park hiking isn't miserable.

I grew up in Metro Detroit and moved to GR - they are SO much worse here with the lake effect! I wouldn't mind moving back to the Detroit area for this reason only. My husband thinks Florida is the better option haha.

Also totally off topic, but my last post was #100 and now I have stubble!

We have several relatives in SW MI and I think they've had two weeks of snow days already! It's chilly and gray here, but at least the roads are clear.

HamsterStache

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 10:51:18 AM »
I'm in West Michigan and I do feel like we have a LCOL -or at least when it comes to the housing market. When I read case studies and such about how expensive it is to purchase a house or rent, it's astonishing. We bought our house for $132k in the second biggest city in Michigan, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a housing shortage right now and rent and housing has shot up tremendously, but it is still lower when comparing to others here (although this forum may not be a good representation of the average mortgage or rent...) Too bad our winters suck :)

Maryland, a good 12 miles outside DC here. Bought a four bedroom, 2.5 bath near the end of 2016. $420k And that's an older house in a "not so great" school district. A few miles away in the neighborhood where our daycare is, good luck buying ANYTHING for under a million. It's crazy.

Just Joe

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 08:50:35 PM »
Maryland, a good 12 miles outside DC here. Bought a four bedroom, 2.5 bath near the end of 2016. $420k And that's an older house in a "not so great" school district. A few miles away in the neighborhood where our daycare is, good luck buying ANYTHING for under a million. It's crazy.

That same money here gets a person 15 acres a few miles out of our nice town, close to 4K sq ft of immaculate house, detached garage, etc. Flyover country.

brooklynmoney

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 11:50:39 PM »
My down payment on my 1 bed in BK was 100k. Sigh. And I bought at a low point.

Linea_Norway

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 02:08:10 AM »
These differences in prices means that "poverty level" shouldn't be defined on a national level. It is highly dependent on your COL.

mm1970

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 11:10:35 AM »
Maryland, a good 12 miles outside DC here. Bought a four bedroom, 2.5 bath near the end of 2016. $420k And that's an older house in a "not so great" school district. A few miles away in the neighborhood where our daycare is, good luck buying ANYTHING for under a million. It's crazy.

That same money here gets a person 15 acres a few miles out of our nice town, close to 4K sq ft of immaculate house, detached garage, etc. Flyover country.

A 1950's built home with 3BR and 1BA, in my hometown, probably goes for about $70,000.  My childhood home sold in 2008 after my father died, for just over $60,000.  Zillow thinks it's worth $59k right now.

My down payment was $170,000.

If I had to buy a 3BR house in my neighborhood right now, it would be $1M.

Lmoot

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Re: I've been living in "Poverty" and I didn't even notice
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 05:28:33 PM »
If he is in between jobs now I donít really consider that poverty. You both in the past worked, and likely will be pulling a double income again shortly. This is just the ďebbĒ part of the ebb and flow
of income levels. Now if your income average of the last few years, equals poverty levels then I would definitely say yes.

Good luck on your husbandís job search! And I can totally relate to affordable housing, although in my case it was more so the time I bought rather than the location (but a combo of both). I paid $79,000 about 10 years ago for a small house on a nearly quarter acre lot, right in the city. Today itís valued double that. Couldnít make it in a HCOL area lol.