how to retire on a shoestring.

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floridacatlover
Posts: 2870
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by floridacatlover » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:36 am

I think it’s doable at least for now. Their budget is more like $24,500, not $30k by my calculations. $1786 SS after Medicare + $257 pension = $2043 ($24,516/year).

First, sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan and drop the Medicare Part D drug plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans in Florida have no monthly premium, include Rx and have low co-pays. What you give up is access to an extensive network. There are some MA plans in my area that actually give people back the $135 Part B fee. They have very limited networks I assume.

Biggest problem I see is rent. $800/month is very low even for a one bedroom. I quickly googled apartments in Vero Beach, where they live, and only found one apartment complex in that range. Of course there are smaller mom-and-pop rentals. But rents are going up fast in my part of Florida and I assume Vero is the same.

Next biggest problem is when an unexpected bill hits. Auto repair, broken tooth, appliance that conks out. And of course when they need a new car ...

UPDATE - I thought of another big problem - when one of them dies and there will only be one SS check.

They will not owe any federal taxes at this income level. Florida has no state income tax. By renting they avoid property tax (although as Ohjodi would explain it is paid as part of rent). Sales tax is 7% in their area.

So here is the budget I came up with for them. Personally I would go black belt frugal until I paid off the debt. That will free up $266/month. And of course if they get part time jobs that will help. Poetry workshop might be fun but will pay nothing.

So look this over and make suggestions.

Monthly Budget for Vero Beach

Rent. $800
Debt. 266
Food. 300
Electric. 85 (This will be comfortable, not extremes either way)
Phone/internet. 60 (one cell phone with data plus one more basic phone; this might be too low for 2 people)
Car insurance 100
Gas 60
Clothing/Haircuts. 50 (biggest need to buy new will be shoes)
Household. 75 (tech, appliances and furniture from Goodwill)
Medical. 50 (co-pays and Rx)
Entertainment. 50 (in best scenario)
Savings. 147
Total. $2043
Last edited by floridacatlover on Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

gaylejackson2
Posts: 2035
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: Utah

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by gaylejackson2 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:44 am

floridacatlover wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:36 am
I think it’s doable at least for now. Their budget is more like $24,500, not $30k by my calculations. $1786 SS after Medicare + $257 pension = $2043 ($24,516/year).

First, sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan and drop the Medicare Part D drug plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans in Florida have no monthly premium, include Rx and have low co-pays. What you give up is access to an extensive network. There are some MA plans in my area that actually give people back the $135 Part B fee. They have very limited networks I assume.

Biggest problem I see is rent. $800/month is very low even for a one bedroom. I quickly googled apartments in Vero Beach, where they live, and only found one apartment complex in that range. Of course there are smaller mom-and-pop rentals. But rents are going up fast in my part of Florida and I assume Vero is the same.

Next biggest problem is when an unexpected bill hits. Auto repair, broken tooth, appliance that conks out. And of course when they need a new car ...

They will not owe any federal taxes at this income level. Florida has no state income tax. By renting they avoid property tax (although as Ohjodi would explain it is paid as part of rent). Sales tax is 7% in their area.

So here is the budget I came up with for them. Personally I would go black belt frugal until I paid off the debt. That will free up $266/month. And of course if they get part time jobs that will help. Poetry workshop might be fun but will pay nothing.

So look this over and make suggestions.

Monthly Budget for Vero Beach

Rent. $800
Debt. 266
Food. 300
Electric. 85 (This will be comfortable, not extremes either way)
Phone/internet. 60 (one cell phone with data plus one more basic phone; this might be too low for 2 people)
Car insurance 100
Gas 60
Clothing/Haircuts. 50 (biggest need to buy new will be shoes)
Household. 75 (tech, appliances and furniture from Goodwill)
Medical. 50 (co-pays and Rx)
Entertainment. 50 (in best scenario)
Savings. 147
Total. $2043
I like your budget, other than I don't see a spending line for hubby’s scrap-yard art.

I wish them luck.

SandiSAHM
Posts: 1056
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:46 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by SandiSAHM » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:51 am

I hope neither of them ever gets seriously ill. Even a relatively 'curable' cancer could decimate them.

floridacatlover
Posts: 2870
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by floridacatlover » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:30 am

gaylejackson2 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:44 am
I like your budget, other than I don't see a spending line for hubby’s scrap-yard art.

I wish them luck.
That would have to come out of the $50/month for entertainment. But to me it sounded like the guy thought that the material would be free from the scrapyard? Not sure how that works.

floridacatlover
Posts: 2870
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:21 am

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by floridacatlover » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:36 am

SandiSAHM wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:51 am
I hope neither of them ever gets seriously ill. Even a relatively 'curable' cancer could decimate them.
My mom did not have cancer but she had a MA plan. Maximum out of pocket for a year was something like $6k. I believe that included the Rx that were part of the plan. But I’m not sure. You always hear about people on Medicare or private health insurance who still have big bills. IC’s Sunday friend I think is in that category.

At a certain income level, someone becomes a Medicare/Medicaid dual eligible. My uncle was in that category. For him I know everything was covered 100% except things like hearing aids, glasses and probably dental.

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LWolfT
Posts: 1872
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:46 am

Re: how to retire on a shoestring.

Post by LWolfT » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:33 pm

Good suggestions/budget, Florida. Like you, I think it will work for now, but with debt and apparently no savings, there's going to be trouble as costs rise or if something unexpected hits.

If she's a freelance writer, there are avenues for that. They don't pay a lot, but get enough work and it could help pay down the debt or fund a savings account. I'd even suggest they both look at the adult education opportunities (community centers, parks departments) in the area. Maybe they can teach poetry or art. (if it pays anything at all, that is.)

As for the husband ... I hope he's checked out the area art scene, specifically the art fairs, where he might sell his stuff. He may need to get realistic about his prices/type of art. If he hasn't made any money on it in two years ...

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