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Thread: Retiring on $27,000 a Year

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
    I live in flyover country and it’s too damned expensive in the Chicago area to buy. I’ll just keep renting. I like the freedom that I can pick up and move if I want to. Plus I don’t have to bother with repairs or anything.
    Chicago is very expensive, agreed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with renting as long as you have enough money in your old age to fund it.

  2. #22
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post

    If this couple didn’t have rental costs, they could live at a level of ease on $24,000.
    That's always been my plan--of course I have two mortgages now, but when I get rid of one I can get rid of the other (if I choose to). My retirement budget has a built-in assumption that my household COL will be about 800 for taxes, cable, heating, and water.

    I completely understand the perspectives of Tradd and my 37-y.o. son who want as little involvement in upkeep as possible. I think home ownership has been a keystone of The American Dream for a long time, and that might be just another assumption about "the best way"
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #23
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    Well one of the problems besides housing being very expensive, is jobs are very impermanent. So renting gives one the flexibility to move for work, and I don't necessarily mean move across the country, I mean sure one could, but I mean even move 30 miles. Of course that flexibility is also less than it seems, no you aren't as tied down as with a home, but any move probably means more expensive rents if you have been in a rental for any period of time.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Chicago is very expensive, agreed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with renting as long as you have enough money in your old age to fund it.
    I recently read that Cook County property taxes have tripled the rate of inflation for the last twenty years. And that is without materially addressing some huge pension shortfalls.

  5. #25
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I don’t intend this to become a “if you owned your own home you will be fine in old age” discussion because owning real estate is not for everyone. And as I observe the infirm, frail, and elderly in my neighborhood age in place in their crumbling old Victorians I think it is very often foolish.

  6. #26
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Both sets of my grandparents were renters in old age until they died. The first set had no money, no assets. Their kids paid their rent.

    Both sets had owned real estate in their younger days,

    My other set of grandparents had assets but didn’t feel the need to own real estate. My grandfather was an avid flower gardener but he grew flowers in our yard. They always lived close enough to us that he was our gardener.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 10-19-21 at 9:26pm.

  7. #27
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I don’t intend this to become a “if you owned your own home you will be fine in old age” discussion because owning real estate is not for everyone. And as I observe the infirm, frail, and elderly in my neighborhood age in place in their crumbling old Victorians I think it is very often foolish.
    Agreed.

    But I have to say, there are challenges to living in a small home/apartment. My brother called me the other day to tell me he's been sober for 6 months, which is a milestone for him. He sounded great, and he tiptoed around discussing coming up here for Thanksgiving. The best option for that would be for my other brother and SIL in CT to come up here as well for Thanksgiving and pick up J on the way. But our house is so small!! DH and I were talking about that, and he said that maybe we should buy another house big enough for guests. (!!) Well, you know what my reaction was. He mitigated it by saying, "no, I mean if we won the lottery!"

    When I bought this small house I factored in the possibility that it would be hard to have guests, so I thought that in the rare occasion we have guests up here, putting them up in a local airbnb would be cheaper than supporting a mid-large 3 bedroom house. That's what we've done so far and it's worked out. Not ideal, but as my son tells me, I'm a hermit and I "don't like people" anyway. He may be right--in that having an excuse to not entertain is not a bad strategy.
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  8. #28
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    Some of us very average to lower wage earners got very lucky by buying real estate 15-20 years ago that ballooned in value. Living frugally all along the way (and now) helps a lot too.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    My first condo was 855 sq ft and I had a total of 10 people for thanksgiving. Crowded but had a great time. I now have a guest bedroom to sleep 2 people and a blow up air mattress for the living room. Catherine, people can certainly get hotel rooms. That’s great news about your brother.

  10. #30
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    Some of us very average to lower wage earners got very lucky by buying real estate 15-20 years ago that ballooned in value. Living frugally all along the way (and now) helps a lot too.
    My Father did All The Right Things. He owned a home, he and his husband had their social security and a small pension to live off of, and so on.

    Their equity in the home was destroyed by the last several years' of my father-in-law's medical costs. After his husband died, Dad sold off everything left, moved up by me with just the goods that fit in his aging car, and eventually found a very very small apartment to live in. He lives now on just his single social security income stream, and is spending down the very small amount of equity he managed to hold onto after a lifetime of middle/upper-middle-class "success".

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