Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What about those retirement questions?

Cindi, ThriftyatSixty, wondered what people wanted to know about retirement.  Tonight she answered this question:
"I would like to know about what you think about things like Amazon prime, warehouse clubs, cable TV vs Netflix, etc. Some of these things I have been thinking about recently. Are they worth having? Do you save enough to make them worth it? Also I  would like to hear about do you still save in retirement? Do you save 10%? How much should you save? I am thinking for things like your emergency or rainy day fund. We are less than 10 years from retirement and saving a lot right now, but wondered how it changes once you do retire."
Love the set of questions. I'm going to tackle them myself!

Cable and such?
Right now we still do basic cable. We tried rabbit ears- but we are too far away from any large cities to get a good signal. Now that the election is over, we are tempted to cut it again.
We do watch Netflix and Amazon Prime. We used to go to the movies several time a week. They are our relaxation. Works for us.

My husband shops, almost exclusively, on Amazon Prime. 
He has his allowance and I have mine.
Works for both of us.
How much do we save?
Currently we save, for specific items (car/house repairs) about 10% of our retirement income.
For two years, before we both retired, we saved 50% of our income. 

We also save about 20% of our income because we have adjusted to living on less and don't really feel the need to go over and above. Since we are making hardly any money off of our assets, this amount helps with inflation. The other issue is that if my husband passes before me 2/3 of our income would disappear. I need a good cushion. Like Cindi, we own our house outright. Our expenditures are such that I can live on 1/3 of what we currently bring in. It would be tight, but I could do it. 

Where we save?
Since we live in Amish country, overconsumption is not normal, so thrift stores tend to be rather sparse.  We do go to Restore (Habitat for Humanity).  I "eye buy" at estate sales.
We share a Costco membership with our daughter's family. We also, often, buy and split. We tend to spend enough to pay for the membership. Their milk, olive oil, salsa and fresh fruit are good quality and way cheaper then the local stores. We also use their car rental service, pharmacy and eye doctor. Both families will get new tires soon. 

We are also blessed with the military grocery store. We buy many things in bulk there, and use it for the weekly shopping. Although we don't save much money(there is no sales tax in Delaware, but the commissary has a surcharge), we continue to use it because we appreciated it overseas.  We support the system that supported us! 

We do set aside money for our Church and other organizations that depend on charity. The community they provide and the work they do is of great value to us. Spend your money where your heart lies became even more important to us in retirement. 


Laura said...

Costco prices here are the same, or just very slightly more than they were on the mainland, so we do most of our shopping there. We have a small freezer, so divide up meat and other items and they get us through the month. Our annual rebate runs around $175 per year, and anything over the membership fee we count as a bonus, so we do OK. We've gotten better about buying just what we need at Costco, and go just once a month - it's meant we've been able to cut our monthly food budget by several hundred dollars a month.

We also use Amazon Prime - it's a necessity here for most people who live here, and we have more than gotten our money's worth with their free shipping. We watch movies/shows on both Amazon Prime and Netflix, and just signed up for Hulu as well. We have basic cable, but only use it for PBS. We were going to cut it, but when we found out it only added $10/month to our bill we decided to keep it (and have been glad we did).

Cindi said...

Thanks for the link. And thanks for sharing what you do also.
Retirement knowledge is sharing information!

Tom Sightings said...

When I was working I used to live below my means and save about 20 percent of my income. Now that we're retired, we still live at about the same level ... but we don't save anymore, we're actually spending down assets. The rule of thumb is 4%. We're doing less than that, and so hopefully we won't go broke. (And also, B has her own assets and income from previous work and marriage, so she is not relying on my resources to support her if/when I die first.)

Janette said...

Tom, Since we moved every few years, I never established a large enough pension to support me if something happens to my hubby. My position is becoming more and more rare. It is because of my position and lack of growing assets we are not, yet, spending down. If I had separate income we might be more like you and B.

Cindi, I have enjoyed reading your frugal series.

Laura, Living on the islands, you have to find ways around the crazy expenses! I told my niece (on Maui) about your Costco and Amazon Prime purchases. She told me that me that you saved her hundreds of dollars with those suggestions. Diapers were killing her!
Thanks for your comments.

Barbara Torris said...

You are so very wise in your spending...I say that because you do what we do. So DITTO! I know you have seen me say this before but the trick is to "spend less than you make" each and everyday day/week/month.