How do u live on $700/month, truly?

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jaye

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$950.80 is the minimum Social Security payment with 30 years of qualified

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

I am 62 and have worked since I was 15. My monthly SS amount will be just over $780 before they take out Medicare when the time comes.
 

RoamerRV428

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$950.80 is the minimum Social Security payment with 30 years of qualified

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

I am 62 and have worked since I was 15. My monthly SS amount will be just over $780 before they take out Medicare when the time comes.
I think was based off one being a state employee and what issues they are hit with literally. I think it was never meant as 'real SS' for those others. My hubbys SS is well near 2K at 65 and I kinda got what he was saying...........be aware of 'who you are in what career' you did in life?? my daugher told me 'states vary on this also' so..... cause my kiddo who is 17 wants to be a teacher and when I read that post about NO SS and basically reduced to nothing I quizzed her and she 'knew it' and I was like, WOW cause I never knew it! NOW I AM gonna check more and find ways for her to counter act what we need when older in the ol' savings acct for WHY teachers are not receiving, but she also said that teachers 'do not contribute' funds to this pension so??? so not clear on it all but bet your bottom dollar I am gonna look into it now.

I got educated on something I need to know to help her in a career path I have 0 clue on...I think great info hit me on this one :) The post helped this ol' gal here to check out a future for my kiddo! LOL
 

bullfrog

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If you Goggle search “what is the lowest amount of social security” you will see several references to “$950.80 with 30 years coverage”. If you worked a year and didn’t make the minimum amount required for coverage or worked without you or your employer paying into social security you don’t get a year of coverage. Many people learn too late they worked jobs that do not participate in Social Security or failed to meet Social Security requirements for coverage unfortunately. Some teachers and railroad employees legally do not have to participate. Independent contractors and “cash” paid employees especially ones that get unclaimed “tips” may not illegally. There is a lot of illegal activity that occurs just because people aren’t aware or don’t want to be aware of Social Security laws and regulations. I once had to actually get a state board of labor involved to resolve a dispute with an employer that said he was paying required Social Security payments that didn’t. I didn’t find that out until I checked with Social Security about my benefits getting ready to retire!
 
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bullfrog

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RoamerRV428 I was able after I became aware of what was happening to basically invest the money that would have gone to Social Security and teacher retirement into buying a house. I was able to purchase a house while teaching and by switching to being a bus garage supervisor ( no longer a teacher but a county employee which did participate in social security). That did allow me to cash in my teacher retirement and pay off the house which later I sold to buy early county retirement credits. If I had kept the teacher retirement and gotten a teacher retirement check which I could have chosen to do I would have lost a large portion of the Social Security earned even after I quit teaching! Because I worked several low paying jobs while teaching to get by that didn’t meet the minimum requirements of Social Security my benefits today are well below what I possibly could have made in a career field that participated in Social Security. The only thing that saved me was the state/county retirement program that allowed me to basically buy years of service for retirement credit and not only “retire” early but get a pension pretty much equal or a little better that what Social Security would have been. Even with both my wife and I working for school districts and second or third jobs buying a house was difficult. Having three children was impossible to pay for for us while doing so and resulted in a bankruptcy hence looking closely at our future and changing career fields. If you are independently wealthy education is a very rewarding but time demanding career, in my opinion you spend the majority of your time raising other people’s kids. Not knowing is how people end up living on less than $700 Social Security in my case I consider myself lucky I went bankrupt and found out! Who says tests aren’t a learning experience! Lol!!
 
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Catalyst1

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As a parent we want our kids to do better than we did. So we sometimes imply that if they don’t get a degree they are failures. So they get a degree thinking with their heart and not their head and are upset when they can’t get that dream job in a field that has limited turnover and possibly lower pay. For some it is better to get a trade than a degree. I believe that annual salaries for tradesmen on average will surpass that of those with bachelor degrees. That was not the case in years past. But, when u look at a 65 year old banker and then look at the 65 year old tradesman the banker usually looks younger. Just my observations and what the hell do I know? Best wishes
The guy that owns the shop where I take my car for maintenance and repairs has been trying to hire a mechanic for months. He is offering $100K annually and can't find anyone. I told him for that kind of money I might learn to be a mechanic myself. My plumber is doing way better than me. So is my electrician. If you have those kinds of skills, if it all goes to he11 in a handbasket, you can just move to another country and still make a good living. I'm not sure that is true for all those with degrees in business.
 

RoamerRV428

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RoamerRV428 I was able after I became aware of what was happening to basically invest the money that would have gone to Social Security and teacher retirement into buying a house.
I super appreciate this post bullfrog! I actually said to my daughter since she is not contributing to her 'teacher fund' then she is to 'do an extra savings acct' for her retirement to sup that up and had the same thoughts but you showed me alot more. I told her she has to have a 'never touch savings' acct to make up for that reduction coming at her---if she gets SS even?? when a 17 yr old hits 65?? cause I can't call that one HAHA but I said then ya need another savings acct for emergency spending one can touch and then 'do that thru life' and see where ya land? UGH but you showed me more insight to it. How to 'play the darn game' kinda when this type of work issue hits as we need the bucks later in life. I will super read your post again and absorb it LOL Shows me a way forward to help her in her career choice for sure. THANKS!
 

SLB_SA

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$950.80 is the minimum Social Security payment with 30 years of qualified

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

I am 62 and have worked since I was 15. My monthly SS amount will be just over $780 before they take out Medicare when the time comes.
This Special Minimum Benefits table shows that a person at full retirement age (FRA) would receive at least $950.80. At age 62, this same person (born in 1960 or later Benefit Reduction for Early Retirement) would receive 0.70 x $950.80 = $665.56.
From the second link:
We sometimes call a retired worker the primary beneficiary, because it is upon his/her primary insurance amount that all dependent and survivor benefits are based. If the primary begins to receive benefits at his/her normal (or full) retirement age, the primary will receive 100 percent of the primary insurance amount. If the spouse of a primary begins to receive benefits at his/her normal retirement age, the spouse will receive 50 percent of the primary's primary insurance amount.
The table below illustrates the effect of early retirement, for both a retired worker and his/her spouse. For our illustration, we have used a $1,000 primary insurance amount. With this primary insurance amount and both primary and spouse retiring at their respective normal retirement ages, the primary would receive $1,000 per month and his/her spouse would receive $500 per month. The table shows that retirement at age 62 results in substantial reductions in monthly benefits. Please note that relatively few people can begin receiving a benefit at exact age 62 because a person must be 62 throughout the first month of retirement. Thus most early retirees begin at age 62 and 1 month.
 

bullfrog

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^^^One cost often overlooked is the cost to restock supplies. Much of BLM and some of the LTVAs are a little far for bicycling or walking if you are healthy enough which brings up another point health care can be limited at best. Your vehicle needs to be ready and able as well as there are limited repair options available in many more remote locations. Traveling or staying near or with a group isn’t such a bad idea.
 

Dingfelder

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@Dingfelder, I so agree with your post sayin' it never is just 1 problem that slams most of us in some darn high cost repair or med/dental issue, it truly is more than 1 for tons of us and I am right there with ya! LOL

You are so right on our money. Its' buying power is comical, a sad comical.

basically all, never saying none of us can't be frugal. OMGosh so many of us can but ya know, I am one of those minimalist types, don't buy fluff crap in life and I pinch a penny til it screams and yells Uncle but truly, life's bills come at most of us at warp speed.

heavens, just the price of tire replacement!

I think so many of us try like the dickens to be frugal and learn skills to 'do for ourselves' instead of 'buying services' to spend our hard earned few bucks we do have, but darn they just will not stretch as far anymore.

I know many absolutely have to live on very little. I know I did thru my life had situations that are tough as heck so everyone is gonna just have to live their life, but also like DingF said above, one has to truly consider having to find ways to supplement very low incomes. We all have to stay financially up to date best we can to keep up with life....always been that way thru the eons. We do what we gotta do :)

Like Bullfrog said above, many are homeless living on less etc. but in the end, $8,400 per year is squat in the good ol' USA. And being 'on the road' in a vehicle being nomadic, yea it can be 'done cheap' but in reality, the above only money one has is 700 a month is gonna suffer mostly. But sometimes it works well for a person and sometimes it is insanity for a person. Tons of areas of shades of gray but those existing on very little and doing well, more power to ya!!

but that is $175 per week to live on? 175 to cover gas, food, is one ONLY boondocking and/or stealth moving per night? cause if not even a low cost COE at $10 a night ramps up to $70 for a weeks campsite and then that leaves like $105 for ALL costs left? Yikes. When it calculates down it isn't even in a realm to me of a real possibility to be out on the road, 'trying to enjoy the nomad' way of life we kinda ALL wanna enjoy our road adventures, and you are only 1 big repair or medical issue away from total failure of one's frugal living for it all to be destroyed.
Yeah, we have to plan for emergencies, and consecutive ones, and to STILL be able to survive anyway ... with a little leeway to spare because once this year is over, next year's around the corner, and don't you believe next year won't have its own share of unexpected problems ... and the older your vehicle gets, the more frequent and expensive those problems may become ...

For those who can afford to think ahead, instead of just leaping from the burning building of their lives into any possible alternative whatsoever, you are blessed. If you are that lucky, plan well ahead, IMO. Because life will never stop throwing obstacles at you, a static emergency fund is just not enough.

Say you have a $3,000 emergency fund and TRUE inflation is 15%. Probably more on the stuff you really need. So that means that next year what you used to pay for with $3,000 now takes $3,450. $450 is a lot of money to most people. Most Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency. That means YOU more than probably anyone, nomads.

You keep that $3,000 emergency fund at that level at a VERY great risk. It's much more expensive to be poor now! And much more expensive year after year because the loss to inflation compounds itself. As the U.S. hollows out its middle class so the likes of Jeff Bezos can fly to space in organ-shaped rockets for no particular reason, the value of your dollar declines while what it can buy remains at the same price or flies higher.

There is ALWAYS the unanticipated problem or frustration awaiting us that can only be cured with money. And as that amount increases every year, so should we be putting aside more and more and more every year, even at the cost of great effort, to ensure we will experience and simply just FEEL some modicum of safety an relief in our lives.

If anyone can't get there now, I'm with you in more ways than you know or I might want to talk about. Let's hope we all get there eventually, and set our minds and settle our spirits firmly to the task. Even if going without and sometimes suffering is part of the program.
 

lavaroxx

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The guy that owns the shop where I take my car for maintenance and repairs has been trying to hire a mechanic for months. He is offering $100K annually and can't find anyone. I told him for that kind of money I might learn to be a mechanic myself. My plumber is doing way better than me. So is my electrician. If you have those kinds of skills, if it all goes to he11 in a handbasket, you can just move to another country and still make a good living. I'm not sure that is true for all those with degrees in business.
Tile setters are in dire need too, and that can be a very artful job. Airline pilots and metal workers, pipe fitters. Pipe fitter journeymen/women make as much as the engineers eventually and without the student loan.
 

DLTooley

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If you are full time you classify as homeless for affordable housing purposes, and get a boost in the waitlist.

That waitlist can still be long, but just about everyone should do this at some point. Choose a community you like, and have some connection to. If you don’t have a connection start making one, volunteering, etc.

I currently receive disability at $840. I pay $180 rent and am still able to use my nomad rig for 5 months a year or so. Besides healthy food it is my primary discretionary expense.

I don’t know anyone who has done this, but if you are unable to work at 62 you might be able to boost your payment by filing for SSDI.
 

Morgana

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Subsidized housing can be a life-saver for some people, but don't think of it as a cure-all, or as automatically available for everyone who needs it or even qualifies for it.

According to this New York Times article, "subsidized housing from HUD is effectively a lottery; nationally there are only 36 units available for every 100 families who qualify."

And there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get it. There's nothing simple or easy or quick about it. Like with any social service, if you think you're going to need it, apply (or at least start to inform yourself) asap, since even if you do get it, it probably won't come through quickly.
 

RoamerRV428

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yea there is no cure all ever.
even with Bob saying you can live cheap ONCE ya pay for your LTVA permit, if ya can't then ?? and then, who are ya? is ALL this time in excessive high desert heat gonna kill ya, yea high heat kills many or no $ for propane to heat, yea we all can die from cold.

key being what Bob 'offers' is hopefully a community one who is desperate enough to find themselves HAVING to be there, and providing they can make it there, then ya got chances for survival cause like groups take care of each other but we all 'can be on that fringe' of not fitting in anywhere and time to find help is not feasible thru wait lists and more.

it is incredibly scary out there for the entire global population yet we 'chat us' and our needs. So many have it so much worse and have 0 control over what is next or what is given to them thru govt and more.

Bad times coming in a massive way for the globe all and we know it, but we can only control our simple little lives for survival and has it been that way thru the eons, yes it has but NOW we see it thru social media and global connection. We can improve alot but never to what the global population of those suffering are being helped. OK JUST A CHAT on take care of you cause in the bitter damn end, NO ONE is gonna take care of you. Find support any way one can and that is a life moving forward if one is lucky enough! :)

not stating any of this as a political chat or up in arms chat but we all see it and know it. Not a doubt about that for every human on the planet......hopefully the young'ers can 'fix it' and more power to them to do just that but it is what it is out there, to manuever in the future for our survival needs will get tougher and tougher as it has walked just that way so???....
 

dreamrunnerjt

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Many, possibly most of the YouTube videos I have watched with young people doing van life they always seem to have an online job of some type. Design, programming, customer service, sales…. And especially if they are doing contract work, they would be paying FICA out of pocket. Hopefully they have started a Roth or IRA with the money they have been saving.
 

Morgana

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First of all, self-employed people (including people with "side hustles") pay their taxes. Why would you assume they didn't? It takes more work (you don't have a payroll clerk to do it for you) and more self-discipline (you have to set the money aside) but we do it. Of course we do. All the time. To equate "self-employed person" (OR "low income earner" for that matter) with "tax cheat" is a bit offensive, frankly.

Second, based on what evidence are you assuming that if there's more staff they'll go after low income earners? Where's the evidence for that? (Note: random speculation from partisan pundits, on either side of the line, is not evidence.)

Third, rich people are getting away with not paying taxes right now. One big reason they get away with it is that the IRS does not have enough staff to chase them down. So you're OK with the rotten status quo -- which is making life harder for the little guy right now -- just not with an attempt to fix it?

Fourth, some of that money is earmarked to improve customer service. Are you happy with the current state of IRS customer service? Do you think there's a way to improve it without adding staff? Good luck with that.

Finally, nice article from Time Magazine debunking the whole "87,000 IRS agents are coming for your wallet, Little Guy" myth:
https://time.com/6204928/irs-87000-agents-factcheck-biden/
 

Morgana

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Putting low income earners in a position where they feel that the only way they can survive is to break the law (evade taxes) is a pretty darn lot of pressure too.
 

D'L

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Low income person here who has twice had my own business, each time for over 10 years. Yes, we pay taxes. Yes, we pay into social security. It's called a self employment tax but it is for SSI. Most of us are not criminals who cheat on taxes or anything else.

I have never cheated and always kept meticulous and fully documented and backed up records and did everything the way I was supposed to including finicky inventories of supplies , which for one business included thousands of tiny items. My spread sheets were intricate and complete, always kept up to date, all receipts in order.

Since I never cheated I never thought one way or another about getting audited. the odds are against any one individual getting audited, but since I knew I would pass an audit with flying colors I never cared if I did or not.
 
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