Author Topic: How much income do YOU need...  (Read 21509 times)

F313

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How much income do YOU need...
« on: September 30, 2015, 08:24:14 AM »
Assume your health insurance is paid for as part of a pension benefit, and assume your house is paid off, how much gross (pre fed taxes) monthly income do YOU need to accomplish your goal of early retirement? 

Assume you are in a low/no income tax state, with a medium to low cost of living. 

Of course everyone is different depending on family needs, hobbies, interests, etc.  But I am interested to see how the numbers average for Mustachians.

I'll start, for our family of 3, two adults and one teen, with the above assumptions, probably $5,000 a month would suffice and make even part-time work optional.  You?

FLBiker

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 08:28:22 AM »
If my house was paid off, I'd say we (wife, daughter) would need around 2.5K.  Maybe 3K if we did a lot of travelling.

Easye418

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 08:39:36 AM »
Assume your health insurance is paid for as part of a pension benefit, and assume your house is paid off, how much gross (pre fed taxes) monthly income do YOU need to accomplish your goal of early retirement? 

Assume you are in a low/no income tax state, with a medium to low cost of living. 

Of course everyone is different depending on family needs, hobbies, interests, etc.  But I am interested to see how the numbers average for Mustachians.

I'll start, for our family of 3, two adults and one teen, with the above assumptions, probably $5,000 a month would suffice and make even part-time work optional.  You?

Probably wouldn't enjoy too early retirement.  Somewhere between 50-60 years old would be nice in my mind. 

$5,000 dollars a month with mortgage paid off, I think we would be living an extremely nice life.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 08:41:05 AM »
I am currently living a very fancy life @ $20k a year while renting. So I would need $1000-1200/month to continue my lifestyle.

APowers

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 10:54:06 AM »
Family of 4. Our current average spending is $1026/mo. We could live lives of luxury for $1,500/mo ($1,666/mo gross). My bragging thread is over here.

Paid off house, free health insurance, etc., etc.

lbmustache

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 11:55:02 AM »
I would say approx $2k in a HCOL area, high taxes. Low cost of living... I could probably make do with half that.

mtn

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 12:01:02 PM »
I would be able to happily live on about $60,000 a year gross with a family of 5 IF I could get wifey to agree to what I wanted. Not much chance of that in the current view of things, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is possible depending on how life takes us in the future.

Helvegen

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 01:36:39 PM »
Back in 2008, I was supporting my family of three on a takehome of $1650 a month in a LCOLA. I still had some pennies left over for saving plus I'd get a decent EITC check that would take care of all my irregular expenses. I'd probably be slightly better off now with that amount as I don't have any debt anymore.

I'm planning on living on between $1700-$2100 a month once we hit the road.

SwordGuy

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 01:44:32 PM »
Over the next year, I intend to find out for sure!

boarder42

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 01:54:43 PM »
we plan to live on 48-50k per year with those criteria so 4k give or take per month

yyc-phil

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 02:11:39 PM »
A relatively accurate assessment of our estimated expenses in the best case scenario would be around $1200/month. House paid, car paid, kids completely on their own. If I get my way and get my little sailboat, I would add $200 per month for maintenance (no marina slip, just mooring at the nearby cove) on top of that. If not, tough luck, I'll just kayak around the island surrounded by orcas and sea lions...Provisions for travel once a year for 3-5 months, in low COL/high QOL countries, an additional $500 per month. Total: $1900/month.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2015, 07:38:27 AM »
I've lived off 12k quite well a few years back (sports photography is less than lucrative if you aren't in the world's top 20). I currently live on 16k (half of my net income) and feel like I'm living a balls out luxury lifestyle. I have no kids though, and share expenses with the BF without combining income. So if I lived alone and added more international travel in the mix, I think 20k would be awesome.

Mntngoat

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2015, 08:02:28 AM »
My 80 year old inlaws do it on  24K/ year,  my 75 year old  mom receives 36K/ year  and has more money  she she ever has.  we are planning for $50K/ year.

ML

Giro

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2015, 08:42:48 AM »
This is our status right now and apparently my DH thinks we need $10k a month.  I could easily do it on $5k.  We should be retired!!!! Grr.


:/




KCM5

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2015, 08:56:06 AM »
If I take our take-home right now, get ride of after tax retirement savings, daycare costs, and mortgage principle/interest, that leaves us with about $2500/month. We do travel quite a bit - one side of the family lives overseas. That's for a family of 3 in an average American metro area (relatively LCOL). Give us even more breathing room because I like to be extravagant sometimes and call it $3k/mo.

Kroaler

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2015, 08:58:39 AM »
Me and my wife are living on around 25k a year and it feels like too much.  I don't know how the people around us are blowing a 100k a year....

Exflyboy

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2015, 09:37:49 AM »
In the US, Federal taxes are totally dependent on your income so I suggest its not easy to compare apples to apples. If you are a married couple and your gross is $20k or less then your tax bill is zero.

Having said that last year we two adults spent $29k with a paid off mortgage and our state income tax is 9%. This is with low cost (company provided) HC and we took a 3 week roadtrip in the Summer. Our real estate tax was $2k.

That felt like a comfortable spend, certainly wasn't trying to avoid spending, we are FI.

F313

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 09:50:13 AM »
Interesting.  Many here are (or believe they can) do it comfortably on $3k a month or less.  $5k a month is extravagant.  I'll have to let my wife read this thread....

Retire-Canada

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2015, 09:25:46 PM »
$15K for basic, but still great.

$25K for the deluxe version.

There are Canada Bucks so $11.5K - $19K USD.

TonyV.

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2015, 06:11:45 AM »
This is our status right now and apparently my DH thinks we need $10k a month.  I could easily do it on $5k.  We should be retired!!!! Grr.


:/

$10k/month??!! Really??!! Do you guys support your WHOLE family?

Easye418

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2015, 09:51:05 AM »
Me and my wife are living on around 25k a year and it feels like too much.  I don't know how the people around us are blowing a 100k a year....

Interesting way to look at it....  We are spending $48k a year and I definitely know it is too high...  granted my fucking mortgage accounts for $30k of it.... goodbye to you in January you beast.

To put it this way, $31k house, $12k bills, $5k on ourselves.  Fucking miserable.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 09:55:41 AM by Easye418 »

AllieVaulter

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2015, 09:59:30 AM »
DH and I could (and have) lived on $1200 a month.  But for RE, I'm aiming for $2000 a month so we can travel or do home improvements or whatever.

boarder42

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2015, 10:03:56 AM »
Interesting.  Many here are (or believe they can) do it comfortably on $3k a month or less.  $5k a month is extravagant.  I'll have to let my wife read this thread....

i live in an HOA private lake community, Travel 12+ times per year for fun, own a wakeboard boat(that just blew up its engine), go out to eat way more than i should(7-8 times/month), and do all that for around 50k per year with my wife and I ... not counting our mortgage of course.  and we own 2 dogs.

Forgot to mention we also both commute around a half hour 20-30 miles one way to work...

You can do cool shit for less money that you enjoy you just have to find out how to do what you want cheaply
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 10:05:47 AM by boarder42 »

Left

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2015, 10:10:05 AM »
I want about $5k/month... that's my plan when I'm 40-45... I could live on $2k (giving myself $1k for rent/utilities and $1k for everything else).

Which is about $12/hr which is what anyone can make fairly easily... no idea why there is such a backlash against minimum wage... it's like people don't even attempt to get $4/hr more from $8/hr minimum... granted, working "costs" more too, so maybe $15/hr is needed? Still easy to obtain though for most people

mxt0133

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2015, 10:30:48 AM »
I want about $5k/month... that's my plan when I'm 40-45... I could live on $2k (giving myself $1k for rent/utilities and $1k for everything else).

Which is about $12/hr which is what anyone can make fairly easily... no idea why there is such a backlash against minimum wage... it's like people don't even attempt to get $4/hr more from $8/hr minimum... granted, working "costs" more too, so maybe $15/hr is needed? Still easy to obtain though for most people

Don't forget federal and state taxes, SS, and Obamacare.  I would think it brings it up slightly.  You also assume 2000 hours a year, which most minimum wage jobs will not give you to avoid full-time status, so you would need two.  I guess what i'm saying is if you haven't tried to live on minimum wage, I wouldn't be so judgemental on those that actually do.

ash7962

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2015, 11:20:36 AM »
Hmm I live in Chicago currently and if I remove rent from the equation I generally spend about 1400$ per month on all other things (for me + 2 cats).  That's already living pretty luxuriously.  I can (and sometimes do) cut back to about 1000-1100$ per month, and that's still including some restaurant meals plus 100$/mo for a public transport pass.  I hope to retire to a LCOL area, but really have no idea how much I'll spend then.

Kevin S.

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2015, 12:01:09 PM »
I want about $5k/month... that's my plan when I'm 40-45... I could live on $2k (giving myself $1k for rent/utilities and $1k for everything else).

Which is about $12/hr which is what anyone can make fairly easily... no idea why there is such a backlash against minimum wage... it's like people don't even attempt to get $4/hr more from $8/hr minimum... granted, working "costs" more too, so maybe $15/hr is needed? Still easy to obtain though for most people

Don't forget federal and state taxes, SS, and Obamacare.  I would think it brings it up slightly.  You also assume 2000 hours a year, which most minimum wage jobs will not give you to avoid full-time status, so you would need two.  I guess what i'm saying is if you haven't tried to live on minimum wage, I wouldn't be so judgemental on those that actually do.

Thank you! Now i'm not saying we need 15 hr minimum wage but anyone that tries to live on minimum wage now in this world has to have additional help either from government programs / food stamps, WIC, lower income housing, etc. Otherwise it is downright impossible! - Big big can of worms i'm opening here i'm pretty sure , so lets just stay on topic shall we lol

I currently live on 1500 a month including rent. This is still living pretty fancy (in my mind anyway). I still go out to dinner with the girlfriend far too often. Buy car parts that I can't afford and still have enough left over for savings. Also just sold my Honda / car loan - which will free up even more money! I'm pretty exicted about it!

Also - anyone ever drive a Miata in the winter time?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 12:02:52 PM by Kevin S. »

patrickza

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2015, 01:42:41 PM »
I live in South Africa, so costs are lower, plus the currency has taken a beating, but for myself and my son I consider barebones to be $1100 a month, and my version of luxury living is $2000 a month.

I plan to travel a lot post fire, so trying to hang in there at work for a few more years.

Trudie

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2015, 02:30:08 PM »
There's a lot of range here.  We're planning on 60-70K per year, with paid off house.  When I think about it, it's probably extravagant.  But, we want to travel.

Still, I'm nervous -- mostly about health care.  I've pushed the ACA numbers and have a plan, it's just that it's so key for us.

JLee

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2015, 11:12:58 PM »
I was doing just fine on (post-401k) $37k gross plus $450/mo rental income, so call it $42k - but my house isn't paid off ($848.95/mo now, taxes/insurance are about $137/mo). Remove $8500 net for that, so maybe $11k gross and we're down to $31k. Remove other stuff that'll be paid off (could be now, but meh rates are low) and that's another ~$6k/yr gross. 

Looks like I'd be just fine at $25k (basically $2k/mo)...and that's with two cars and an 1800sq ft house.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 11:15:46 PM by JLee »

Teacherstache

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2015, 10:00:31 AM »
If our mortgage were paid off, $2,500/month would be comfortable. Property taxes are outrageous here, so even with a paid off mortgage, we would still owe $600/month in property taxes and homeowners insurance. This is for an average house, not a mansion. 

$3,500 would be awesome. We will be making that much just based on the husband's pension alone in 12 years.  He will be 56 and I will be 52.  I also have a pension to add to that plus our investments in Roths and his 457 plan. As long as we (or at least he) hold(s) out for 12 more years, we are set!

Emilyngh

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2015, 10:15:52 AM »
$2000

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2015, 12:36:35 PM »
Isn't it great how many of us could really live a crazy enjoyable life with lots of hobbies and travel for less than the median US household income.

My FIRE # will ensure at a 3-4% SWR I will be able to pull $40-50k/yr for SO and I. We could survive on around half of that. Quite a safety margin.

Left

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2015, 03:08:47 AM »
I want about $5k/month... that's my plan when I'm 40-45... I could live on $2k (giving myself $1k for rent/utilities and $1k for everything else).

Which is about $12/hr which is what anyone can make fairly easily... no idea why there is such a backlash against minimum wage... it's like people don't even attempt to get $4/hr more from $8/hr minimum... granted, working "costs" more too, so maybe $15/hr is needed? Still easy to obtain though for most people

Don't forget federal and state taxes, SS, and Obamacare.  I would think it brings it up slightly.  You also assume 2000 hours a year, which most minimum wage jobs will not give you to avoid full-time status, so you would need two.  I guess what i'm saying is if you haven't tried to live on minimum wage, I wouldn't be so judgemental on those that actually do.
i didnt forget about them... i just dont expect people to work years and years at minimum wage jobs... i see them as stepping stone jobs for high school and college students. not something you do as a career.

even the people who work right out of high school and dont attend college. i expect that after a few years at a minimum wage job, they will get enough skills to move up. Government should not hand hold you to get a salary increase.

that is how i see it when people want $15/hr minimum wage... that they have no intentions of moving up, so they want their current jobs to pay more. no different than a new couple wanting the government to upgrade their 1 bedroom house to 3 bedroom just because they want kids snd dont want the extra stresses of larger house. yes i know mmm goes on about a house bigger than you need, thats fine. but if someone wanted it, they should be responsible for it. i mean if they cant even secure housing that they "want", they dont really want kids either because kids are more work than getting a house

since this is mmm, arent we all working to fi someday so we can quit working a job? we give up on spending to be able to save... giving things up isnt bad if it works towards your goal. if someone wanted something enough, they will give up somethings to get it. house,kids,wage, all the same... if they want higher wage, they need to give up being a minimum wage worker. even if you increase ir, they will still be minimum wage workers.... that doesnt change until they decide it for themselves.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 03:18:06 AM by eyem »

sleepyguy

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2015, 05:45:50 AM »
If our house was paid off... need is such a 'touchy' word.  I mean I don't "need" 2 cars, a 1700 sq/ft house, tv, dishwasher, A/C, memberships, etc, etc.

Family of 4, I would say to 'maintain' our current lifestyle... it would be around 35-40k/yr.  I'm pretty sure we would be fine on less than 30k/yr if push came to shove...

Man some of those numbers are HIGH... had to check if I was still on MMM, lol.

Lski'stash

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2015, 06:14:28 AM »
With a paid off house and no insurance or debt to worry about, we would spend about $19044 a year right now. I think by the time we retire or go part time that will be even less though. So $19044/12=$1587 a month.

Trudie

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2015, 02:09:03 PM »

Man some of those numbers are HIGH... had to check if I was still on MMM, lol.

I'm estimating in the 60K range, to be able to do what we want to do.  This is where I'm jealous of Canadian mustachians for your health care... although we will be getting some premium credits (assuming they don't change the Affordable Care Act), health care expense could easily eat up $6-12K per year of that if something happens to one of us.  So we need to budget for worst case scenario.  Still we are pretty high compared to some.  But we want to travel a lot.  It's all about doing the things you want to do, right?

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2015, 02:11:14 PM »
  It's all about doing the things you want to do, right?

110%

Jeremy E.

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2015, 02:16:17 PM »
Living on my own, I'd have a small 1 bedroom 1 bathroom house.
$12/month for phone
$50/month for internet
$40/month electricity
$40/month water/sewer
$100/month for food
$200/month emergency fund for house/bike
$300/month for traveling/shopping/other
Total: $742/month, $8,904/year (won't have to pay for taxes)

icemodeled

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2015, 07:46:39 PM »
We could easily live on $1000 a month. $1500-2000 to live very well(traveling, dining out ect)

monstermonster

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2015, 07:50:11 PM »
I live on $1100/month VERY comfortably right now, including my housing. But I would say we need to index for inflation for increased costs over my lifetime. If my house was paid off, $1100/month would be exceedingly comfortable/wasteful.

F313

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2016, 09:26:06 AM »
Good stuff.  Lots of frugal people with good ideas.  Cars and health care costs seem to be budget killers.

Exflyboy

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2016, 09:44:13 AM »
With all of the front running GOP candidates saying they will dismantle Obamacare I think the HC cost is highly uncertain going forward.

Without the ACA I think we are highly likely to move out of the USA.

lpb0306

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2016, 09:53:48 AM »
We rent, and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so we would need the same as what we use now. We get by perfectly well  on $2500 a month including rent (and $600 on food/$150-200 on entertainment, shopping, etc), the other $800-1000 goes to savings.

Oh, if we didn't pay rent...which is $1100 a month, it would be $1400 a month. $600 of that is the fun stuff for us like eating out and going to the movies, museums on the weekend, etc
To be honest, I don't feel like we're super frugal...and we make peanuts compared to others we know, but we live really comfortably.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 10:03:29 AM by lpb0306 »

JordanOfGilead

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2016, 10:09:56 AM »
I am currently living a very fancy life @ $20k a year while renting. So I would need $1000-1200/month to continue my lifestyle.
+1
I have a current gross of about 5.5k/month, but after 401k contributions (to get the company "free money" match), taxes, mortgage, and the debt emergency (which will all be re-allocated to retirement savings once it is paid down), only about 1000 of that goes to living expenses for myself, my wife, and our cat and dog. That $1000 includes food, transportation, utilities, and occasional hobby purchases. with 1200-1500/month we could afford to take a road trip vacation every 3-4 months or fly somewhere for a week or two once a year on top of our normal expenses, and we really still have a LOT of fat left to trim from our lifestyle. I understand how cost of living in your area and having children can raise the required monthly income somewhat, but can't fathom how over 5k gross (with no debt, insurance, or mortgage included) would be considered anything short of outright lavish, and that would be with a large family in a HCOL area...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 10:21:15 AM by JordanOfGilead »

Cassie

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2016, 01:08:12 PM »
WE have been semi-retired for almost 4 years. The first year we lived on 30k once I subtract what I paid for health insurance. WE did not travel that year. The last 3 years without HI we have spent about 65k but about 15k of that has been on travel. Also we have 4 old dogs ages 10-18 so vet bills are costing us a small fortune.  We are happy with our life. Our COL is medium.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2016, 03:56:01 PM »
Less health care, we're planning to spend 5k/month in retirement.  That includes the 8k per year we pay in property taxes/home insurance and multiple nice vacations (cruises or international travel) per year.  The less we spend on everything else, the more vacations I get to take :)

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2016, 04:02:01 PM »
Taking healthcare out of the mix, I'd be very comfortable on 3k/mo. Of course, even if I was certain I'd have that amount every month, I'd still work hard at living on less.

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2016, 06:09:13 PM »
Interesting.  Many here are (or believe they can) do it comfortably on $3k a month or less.  $5k a month is extravagant.  I'll have to let my wife read this thread....

My wife and I have averaged about $3000-$3200 per month, averaged over the last year or so. This is not a "one month we spent $X!" it's our average of everything (except tuition). We rent and tithe (which combine for about 50% of that total).

The trick is to find out what adds value to your life and spend on it.

And nothing else.


You like having a boat? Spend $500 a month on it? That is fine -- if and only if you don't also like nice cars, fancy meals, have horses, extensively garden, like nice computers, lots of pets, giving grandkids/kids lots of things, etc.

aFrugalFather

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Re: How much income do YOU need...
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2016, 07:04:25 PM »
With house paid off we would be at about 3,000 a month and there isn't much else we need.  We are a family of 5.