Author Topic: Couple living on $31K annual budget  (Read 3604 times)

dude

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Couple living on $31K annual budget
« on: March 02, 2015, 11:12:55 AM »
Doesn't sound like it belongs in the AWSC forum, right?  But look at their budget:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/couples-budget-shows-retirees-live-162607137.html

Now, I know some folks will get their tights in a wad, but it seems to me that someone making $375 monthly credit card payments while also making $100 payments to "Church/Charity" ought to re-think things a bit.  And the $300 monthly "discretionary spending" seems a bit much.  Granted, these folks have had some bad circumstances (autistic kid, medical expenses for him, job loss), and yet seem to be doing better than most. But I think they ought to first get their house in order, i.e., pay off the credit card, before giving to charity/the church. Get solvent, then give, is I think a better strategy.  YMMV, of course.

AH013

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Re: Couple living on $31K annual budget
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 02:45:07 PM »
I find something more shameful.  I was considering pardoning them a bit because it seems like they spent a good chunk of change on their autistic son, but then I noticed that after being laid off the guy decided to "retire early" but decided to collect unemployment.  That sounds like unethically not looking for work but pretending like you are to collect benefits meant to help people transition between jobs  It's not there to milk it until the benefits run dry, kinda like what you did with your autistic son, moving him out of Arizona to Oregon once Arizona said your son (who apparently can drive and handle a phone) is no longer able to collect benefits.

Sooooooo here's your facepunch -- your annual income before your husband was laid off was $75k, but after 30 friggin years of work you only had $20k in retirement savings BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU?!?  So you averaged what?  $15 a month each?  It must have been brutal brown bagging it 1 day every other week to scrape together that kind of dough, but I'm glad you sacrificed so hard for your older selves.  Ironically you can save faster on no income ($1k expected emergency fund in 1 year = $83/month) than you could while working ($20k in 30 years = $55/month disregarding investment returns).  Kuddos that after "budgeting for 30 years" you're finally able to (sorta) figure it out!

vivophoenix

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Re: Couple living on $31K annual budget
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 02:53:07 PM »
I find something more shameful.  I was considering pardoning them a bit because it seems like they spent a good chunk of change on their autistic son, but then I noticed that after being laid off the guy decided to "retire early" but decided to collect unemployment.  That sounds like unethically not looking for work but pretending like you are to collect benefits meant to help people transition between jobs  It's not there to milk it until the benefits run dry, kinda like what you did with your autistic son, moving him out of Arizona to Oregon once Arizona said your son (who apparently can drive and handle a phone) is no longer able to collect benefits.

Sooooooo here's your facepunch -- your annual income before your husband was laid off was $75k, but after 30 friggin years of work you only had $20k in retirement savings BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU?!?  So you averaged what?  $15 a month each?  It must have been brutal brown bagging it 1 day every other week to scrape together that kind of dough, but I'm glad you sacrificed so hard for your older selves.  Ironically you can save faster on no income ($1k expected emergency fund in 1 year = $83/month) than you could while working ($20k in 30 years = $55/month disregarding investment returns).  Kuddos that after "budgeting for 30 years" you're finally able to (sorta) figure it out!

not excusing anything but i know sometimes when older people cant find work, they say they are retired so they arent as embarrassed.

Cassie

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Re: Couple living on $31K annual budget
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 04:34:02 PM »
The discretionary $ covers things like haircuts, dog food & to help their son. You are right that older people will say they are retired if they can't find work.  Their son does not drive-his support staff drives him. I think they were smart to move for services for their son. In regard to charity/church giving for some people that is extremely important so everyone has different values. I wouldn't be doing it either.

Dee

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Re: Couple living on $31K annual budget
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »
But on a more positive note, at least the couple's message is can-do: ""It's very possible to live on not a lot of money if you write it all down and figure out what you really need," Barrett says. "We have a savings program and we're paying off our credit cards, and we're still out doing a few things with our kids. You can actually do it." That's a good spin to hear instead of the regular you need $4 million to retire kind of crap. And better than an article about a older couple still struggling due to on-going heath issues in the family.

As for the credit card debt vs. charitable giving, I wonder if they've done the math to figure out the extra interest they will pay on the credit card that they wouldn't have to pay if they threw an extra $100/month at their debt instead of giving it away. I tend to agree its more sensible to knock out any interest payments before giving money away.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Couple living on $31K annual budget
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 05:03:17 PM »
In their defense, the article says severely autistic and that he was in their full-time care into adulthood.  I see people talk about high functioning autism or mild autism where folks diagnosed as such are still able to live on their own or in group apartments and such where they can get help from staff members.  I had a friend who's brother was maybe 70-75 in IQ.  He would intermittently hold down paying jobs and could generally take care of himself.  The rest of his income came from SS disability.  That's very different from someone who needs full-time care.  I don't think their case is at all typical.  A parent who's in distress and pouring everything they have into taking care of their child simply won't make the same decisions as people who aren't taking care of children who are unable to care for themselves.