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FHG-no serious thanks. I just dont know. Dmom has a pension and medicare plus supplemental thru Sears where ddad worked for 40yrs and she pays so very little. Maybe $225. a month but all her dr.s visits are covered and her pills (she takes many) are pennies. We have no such luxury.
She claims we are due for a good sum but we will see. Her house is nothing to sing about but they bought it cash some 50yrs ago. and she is debt free and lives off SSI and the $$ she HAS to take off the stocks.
I will visit the sites. thx.
Our CC is at 17.99% so it will be paid,moved to 0% CC and Cu loan I imagine, we began the process tonight. I have a years budget I made in Dec. for 2014.
I agree w/ your logic but I am padding the EF more this year because of times and Dh's health. We do give to 401K up to matching but will not take advantage of over 50 catch up until next year when CC is way down/gone.
This is the first yr. we pay our own taxes so i am squirelling that away fast.

I prob. should go to a financial advisor but i trust them to sway me to their own best interest agenda. Paranoid much-heck yeah.
Go to a financial advisor who doesn't sell products. Look for a "Certified Financial Planner." They'll charge you a flat fee, just like a CPA. They will teach you as they help you plan for your future.
I would get rid of that 17.99% credit card even if it meant cleaning out your emergency fund. If you had a true emergency, you can always use the card or get a 0% card but why keep a balance if you have the funds to pay it off.
 

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@FW: When I was 23, I also paid 'rent', but it was about 550 USD. Just something to tell your daughter next time she complains ;).
 

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My last AARP mag had at least a couple of cheaper phone ads in it, but I know nothing about it. I've never looked into it. I would advise you to keep the term life for now. You may reach a point closer to retirement that you don't need it anymore. But it's probably better to hold on to it at this stage. We decided to drop our life ins several years ago We both were working, and had no dependents left at home. It was the right choice for us, but each situation is different.

I am most concerned that you took a loss last year on the investments. Last year was a wonderful year for the market, and some of our investments rose 25%! Would definitely advise you to see a professional. I had a 403b plan when I worked, which is similar to a 401k. It was self directed, meaning that we were on our own to pick the investments and shift the money around. We could meet with a company advisor a couple times a year, but it was never to give advice on how to invest or exactly where to invest. We were not with a financial advisor at that point, so I was pretty much on my own. I figured out that the market was sort of a psychological thing: when events happened that made people nervous, the market dropped. And vice versa. So I became a new junkie, scouring the news to see what might affect the market. It was nerve wracking, but for the most part I came out ahead. Our 403b plan did have a provision in it called the Guaranteed Fund. Money in that fund was guaranteed to earn 5% a year regardless of what the market did. At times I shifted funds into there, especially during crisis times or recession. Other times I had to take a chance that I could make more in other funds. So all that to say that you probably need to find out how the 401k works and if there is any sort of company advisor. Isn't this fun........
 

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One more thing I thought of..... We went to the local area agency on aging to inquire about any help that they could give us. It was incredible! They had all the social security and medicare info, free consultations, set up seminars with experts to help us plan, etc. Can say enough good things about this!
 
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If I were retiring debt-free, and I owned a house, I probably could get by on $1500 or so per month. This is as much a regional question as it is financial, though. I don't live in a big city, and homes here are fairly low...many homes for under $90,000. Of course, this would all depend on my health and what aid I qualified for.
 

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I redid some calculations, based on best case scenarioes, being debt free, etc. Then we could get by if DH saves $100 more than he does today. It is a good start, and leaves most of our money to pay down debt and mortgage. When that is gone, we can increase the pension fund much faster.
 

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My best guess is $3,000 a month, after taxes. House will be pd off and no other debt. Pension will cover what I need to live and SS will be for traveling. 403b nest egg will be for old age care or increased medical expenses.
 

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I don't think any of us will be able to retire, unless we are extremely poor, illegal or extremely rich. You see, everyone's health insurance is about to Skyrocket because your USA president has lied to all americans from the get go. He PROMISED you that you would be able to keep your health insurance if you liked your carrier. KNowing full well that most insurance carriers will not live up to the standards of the Unaffordable Lack of Healthcare Act. We are stuck with Mr. Obuama till November 8, 2016. Unless he gets impeached. So, don't count on being able to afford to retire. All the workers in the USA will have to pay for all the non-workers. This basically means that most of us will be working till the day we drop dead.
 

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If I were retiring debt-free, and I owned a house, I probably could get by on $1500 or so per month. This is as much a regional question as it is financial, though. I don't live in a big city, and homes here are fairly low...many homes for under $90,000. Of course, this would all depend on my health and what aid I qualified for.
You are absolutely correct that this is a regional question. While I've known for a long time that I can't compare dollar amounts around the USA, I had thought that I could compare percentages (such as 20% goes for housing, etc.). But I have also learned that even that doesn't work regionally. Some types of costs will be clear out of the ratio depending on where one lives.
 

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We live very frugally, self sufficient in west Virginia. We are not from here originally. We live on dh social security, he gets full disability. Our monthly income is $848.00. We live very well and are very happy.
 

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Thanks to all your responses which I didnt see somehow until now.
We lost money because DH listened to random people and doesnt understand invvestments are specific.
And yes this is a regional question because of property taxes alone. I dont know how to project todays costs into tomorrows dollars either,thats a concern.
FHG-dont understand. What local area agency on aging? We have a senior center but other than that?? sorry clueless.
We took and applied for the 0% and we transferred 1/2 at the 3% transfer rate and its paid off already. I am hitting the other 1/2 really hard so it is down to $5500. I hope to strangle that by July.
Started a furnace fund as its long overdue to crap out. So far $800.
As far as releasing to EF to pay off the CC I am not going to do it. DH had a huge clot form in his lower intestine and mostly reabsorb. We go the 5th to see what else is wrong thats causing all the pain. So in short. Squirreling away for health scares again.
Once some of this is settled and I can get DH still. He just came back from a 10 day trip and will go again the 11th for 10 more days,I will check into the financial advisor.
We have 2 vehicles now that are getting older. I hope we can wait until the furnace is paid before having to replace any. I would go to 1 vehicle but he will have a harder time mentally w/ that.

We had a leak from a burst pipe they paid on well so I am saving that money too. I need to get drywall hung and that shouldnt be too much. I can give in and paint myself. I wouldnt mind adding that to the furnace fund
Anyway just wanted to update. Sorry I missed it for so long.
 

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My dh and I talk about this A LOT. Our plan is to live simply in a very low cost area. We are strongly considering a cabin/small cottage on acreage and also spending a couple months a year with family in different parts of the country. We are pretty frugal and have always tried to save a good bit. Unfortunately since the Great Recession our income was cut in half. Thank goodness we saved as much as possible before! God willing, we are set for dh to retire at age 55. I currently work a couple of part time jobs. We are 44 and 43. We will live entirely on our own savings and (eventually) SS as we have no pensions aside from a tiny one that will pay about $500 a month. We are renting a small condo where we live now(due to very expensive real estate here) but already own 76 acres of land(paid for) in another state. The only thing I really worry about is health care. I figure we will need $1k/month at least just for that. Sigh. Also, I do help my parents out a bit so that increases our income need. I still think we could do it for $3000-$3500/ month in today's dollars and still travel around a bit visiting our families.
 

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Interesting to read the updates in this thread. In all honesty I don't totally understand the US situation. It sounds scary to me. Here in Canada, we have basic health care, but we do have to buy insurance for anything above that, and for dental. And they only cover to a set limit and then you pay anything over and above that.

Our situation has changed since this was originally posted too. Hubby wants to retire next year. There are changes afoot at work and he is afraid he will lose benefits, among other things.

We are struggling to figure out how to afford his retirement. He wants to do a lot of traveling in retirement. We just won't have the money. Especially if he keeps the house as he wants. I honestly think those two are not compatible. We may as well downsize to a condo or apartment and then travel. But with me running a business downsizing is not realistic. Neither is traveling.

We missed his goal of retiring at 61 and now are looking at 63 (next year). That still means we have to draw heavily on investments the first few years due to the changes in Canada's pension plan and when it can be withdrawn. Also working against us is the fact I am so much younger than DH and have another 13 years before I can draw a pension. It is disheartening.

We are heading to a CFP soon to discuss our plans and see what she can do at this late date. Hubby says he'll work till 65 if he has to, but he really does not want to.
 

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Peanut, you do indeed have some serious research, thinking, and decisions coming up. I commend you on tackling this now, rather than just hoping it will all turn out ok. Hubby and I spend several years planning our retirements, and people snickered at us. Now some are in bad financial straits because they did not look ahead and plan and adjust. My best to you!
 
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