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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    11,339

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quick skim of the thread confirmed my suspicions- a lot of people who don't have any real understanding of life outside of the privileged class.

    Most families in the country live on that or less. Those families, for the most part, do have mortgages and children, car payments, crummy health insurance that they pay most of, and plenty of other expenses.

    No- it's not fun. Life is not something that is enjoyed all that much, and work is definitely not anything that holds any rewards- it's merely a means to paying for everything, staying off the streets and hopefully helping pay for insurance, all the while it's mostly an oppressive place that doesn't include any thanks or rewards.

    But, It's also not "hard" in the third world digging food out of the garbage dump kind of way. And, at the end of the work life, you will get enough retirement from the government to afford a trailer home, although probably with a roommate. If you've managed to buy a home, you will lose it to pay for medical expenses- it won't go to your children.

    As a single guy with a kid, sure, I can live on that. My expenses that the state has decided I must spend if I want to see my child are only a little over 30% of my net income (as that is before taxes, gross income). So that means I've got about $2k per month to pay for rent ($600 for a room, $900 for a trailer, $1000 for a house) insurance ($250 if I'm employed, $400 if I have to get it myself), $100 gas, $30 phone, $200 food, $20 clothes, leaving about $800 for entertainment, computers, investing, etc. Not bad.
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    718

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    Which begs the question: "Why would anybody want to live on so little?" I read all the responses on the Boglehead site, and wonder if these investors are anticipating an ongoing degradation of the economy to the extent that investors may have to live at or near the poverty level?
    I bet if each family in California gave that much to the state each year they still couldn't pay their bills.

    As for $50K, that is poverty level in California.
    Brian

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    718

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lavrans View Post
    As a single guy with a kid, sure, I can live on that. My expenses that the state has decided I must spend if I want to see my child are only a little over 30% of my net income (as that is before taxes, gross income). So that means I've got about $2k per month to pay for rent ($600 for a room, $900 for a trailer, $1000 for a house) insurance ($250 if I'm employed, $400 if I have to get it myself), $100 gas, $30 phone, $200 food, $20 clothes, leaving about $800 for entertainment, computers, investing, etc. Not bad.
    Lavrans,
    I don’t think your math adds up. $50K less 25% income tax = $37,500. Less 30% child support = $24,750. That leaves you only $475 per week for everything else, housing, car, food, clothes, insurances, entertainment. That is less than illegal aliens get around here. :(
    Brian

  4. #19
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    Mar 2006
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    Seattle, WA
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    11,339

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mueller Construction View Post
    Lavrans,
    I don’t think your math adds up. $50K less 25% income tax = $37,500. Less 30% child support = $24,750. That leaves you only $475 per week for everything else, housing, car, food, clothes, insurances, entertainment. That is less than illegal aliens get around here. :(
    Going with $600 for a room, 250 insurance, 100 gas, 30 phone, 200 food, 20 clothes, that comes up to $1,200 x 12 months= 14,400.

    Using your numbers- 24,750 - 14,400= 10,350/12= 862.6/month disposable.

    Sure, if you want to just look at weekly, sure, that's not a lot. My numbers gives $199.038 per week disposable. That's 2 relatively cheap dates per week!

    Of course, eating out will eat that up right away. Coffee. Drinking regularly. Cigarettes. You don't really have much to waste, but there's enough.
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bellbrook. Ohio
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    A great book I read about 15 years ago was The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. The book resonated with me and I would recommend it to anyone.

    “In The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Stanley shattered the contemporary held beliefs about America's rich - and how they got that way. It is seldom inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that builds fortunes in this country. Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means.”

    http://www.thomasjstanley.com/pub-bo...Next_Door.html
    -Dan

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston & Washington Texas
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    12,171

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiobuilder View Post
    It is seldom inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that builds fortunes in this country. Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means.”

    http://www.thomasjstanley.com/pub-bo...Next_Door.html
    Dan

    I really believe this too, most wealth that the average person has is built by hard work and saving consistently. The book you mentioned is talked about a lot by Bogleheads.

  7. #22
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bellbrook. Ohio
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    1,741

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Edwards View Post
    Dan

    I really believe this too, most wealth that the average person has is built by hard work and saving consistently. The book you mentioned is talked about a lot by Bogleheads.

    Absolutely, the book has lots of really great details, also if your Scottish and/or own a laundry mat your chances of becoming wealthy are very good.
    -Dan

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston & Washington Texas
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    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    Single yes, married depends upon the wife's hair, clothing, jewelry, flowers, gardener, maid, etc. spending. What about you Allan?
    Me? Money has never meant that much to me, and it means less the older I get. However, like you, when you add a wife-kids-grandkids to the equation, things change.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, Fire Island
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    5,413

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Seibert View Post
    Which begs the question: "Why would anybody want to live on so little?" I read all the responses on the Boglehead site, and wonder if these investors are anticipating an ongoing degradation of the economy to the extent that investors may have to live at or near the poverty level?
    50k's not poverty level, or near poverty level - it's close to the median household income.

    Poverty level is... 10k for a single person, 14k for a couple, 17k for a couple & a kid, 22k for a couple & 2 kids.

    ...How anybody survives on THAT, I can't imagine.
    Francois


    Truth is just one man's explanation for what he thinks he understands. (Walter Mosley)

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Martinez, California
    Posts
    14,934

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Funny:

    I was undergoing an IRS audit in 1995, the agent told me that the IRC poverty definition at that time, 15 years ago, was $35,000. The federal statistics you quote involve many impoverished states that aren't the norm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka Alert
    The FPL is also used to allocate state and federal resources to local communities, and is an important index. In 2007, the federal poverty guideline for a single, elderly person (age 65 and older) was an annual income of $10,210, and for an older couple, $13,690. But according to the report’s calculations, broken down by each California county, a basic annual cost of living for a retired older adult, in good health and living in rental housing, averages $21,011, reaching a high of $27,550 in San Mateo County. For an older couple the average is $30,537, reaching a high of $37,263, again in San Mateo County.¹
    BTW, I feel for Lavrans in his divorce situation, a friend and major customer married a gal who was divorced from an attorney, the attorney's alimony settlement was so severe that he had declared bankruptcy in an effort to reduce his alimony payments, it came out in the proceedings that she had been awarded $750 a week for fresh flowers so that she could live in the manner to which she had become accustomed during her marriage to the attorney, in the proceedings he pointed out to the court that she was now married to a multimillionaire living in a several million dollar condominium high above San Francisco, that he was paying $750 a week for flowers to grace my friend's tables. He lost by the way, and had to keep paying the $750 a week for flowers. Funny, when I visited I didn't see any fresh flowers on any tables.


    ¹ http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-fpl022508.php
    “It is not an endlessly expanding list of rights —the “right” to an education; the “right” to health care; the “right” to food and housing. That is not freedom. That is dependency. Those are not rights. Those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.” - Alexis de Tocqueville

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Chicago
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    3,599

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiobuilder View Post
    A great book I read about 15 years ago was The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. The book resonated with me and I would recommend it to anyone.
    Yes, great book. It should be read by every young person especially, because the earlier you start saving and investing, the better off you are likely to be.

    Although there are larger economic forces at work for many people, to the extent that you can influence your own economic destiny, you should.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    I think $50K is plenty to live on for almost anyone, in any location... as long as you don't have any significant medical problem. As soon as that happens, in this country, you're sunk.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston & Washington Texas
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    12,171

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Meiland View Post
    I think $50K is plenty to live on for almost anyone, in any location... as long as you don't have any significant medical problem. As soon as that happens, in this country, you're sunk.
    Why not buy health insurance? As I understand approx 85% of the population has medical insurance in this country.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Western Mass
    Posts
    1,666

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    no way my family of 3 (soon to be 4) could maintain our current lifestyle on $50K/year gross. Our combined (wife and me) income is almost twice that and when all is said and done there isn't a whole lot left over
    $37,500 Net subtact
    Mortgage $12K
    Prop Taxes $3,700 (inc fire/sewer/water/trash)
    Vehicle $ 6,000
    Home owners + vehicle ins $2,000
    Food $5,200 ( we actually spend at least double this and we don't eat out a lot)
    Utilities $2,500 (electric and natural gas and phone only)
    Child care for 1 $10,000 its going to be double for 2
    = $38,900

    So assuming we both have to work for the $50K gross and we have $37,500 net we put $1,400 on our credit card and we didn't even get to buy any christmas presents for the kid
    Last edited by BigLou80; 01-03-2010 at 06:31 PM.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Hudson Valley area of N.Y.
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    621

    Default Re: Can You Live on $50,000 a Year?

    Lou
    I didn't see health ins. on your list. You had better get it or face a fine or jail. LOL
    BillT

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