This Is Retirement On $2400 A Month.

You won’t find any dumpster diving here. You won’t find anyone here sitting at a desk pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to pay their bills. You also won’t find a millionaire retiree here either. Nope. Just two people who carelessly planned for retirement yet carefully prepared just the same. Sound like an oxymoron? Isn’t that what retirement is all about?

You won’t find anyone here feeling sorry for themselves. Nope. You’ll just find two people who never make excuses and try to deal with the hand life has given them. We don’t mind living on less. Less than what? That’s the real question. Less than who? That’s the second real question. Retirement to me is all about financial independence. After all, we’re living longer and healthier and happier and hopefully (fingers crossed) wiser. Isn’t the enjoyment of life what retirement is about?

Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Don’t let anyone tell you it’ll be a life of near starvation and deprivation. No it won’t. The secret is to be debt free as near as you can. The secret is to be happy and cheerful about living on less (where have I heard that before?) The secret is to be happy buying white appliances which are hundreds of dollars less than those pesky stainless steel ones and still managing to cook up great, amazing meals. The secret is knowing the value of a dollar. The secret is knowing how to keep your pride and dignity in check while you get a $15 vs a $65 haircut. The secret is buying and keeping shiny a slightly used car that you paid cash for vs a new hot SUV that is strangling you monthly to death in payments.

DH told me today that he is done working. He’s tired. He had enough. That’s when you know retirement is imminent. That puts our monthly budget back down to $2400. Not a problem. This time, however it was different. Because while he worked this last bout of employment, I socked away the money rather than lifestyle spend it. I lowered our food bill down to $400. I also paid off a zero interest loan which frees up even more of our monthly cash. We’re set for the next upcoming year to accomplish all that we want to accomplish. Every first of the new year I withdraw $6,000 out of our savings and pay off our property taxes ($5,000) and allot the remaining ($1,000) towards wintering someplace warm. As I said, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible. It’s called RVing.

Here’s what a sample week of ours looks like:

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community pool
Our community pool is open for the season. We’re here now every morning for a swim.
My hydrangeas on my deck are looking great. Worth every penny ($11.99)
Got free tix from my library to tour this great estate museum, Olana State Historic Site. (Click here to see this fantastic video of the estate)


sky walk
Just across from Olana is the (free) Hudson River Skywalk. (click here) Pics on way!
Is it any wonder? Best kept retirement secret is upstate NY.

Last but not least, is to never settle for second best. I paid good money (yes….they were on sale…..BUT) for these slippers from Land’s End. It’s only been 8 months that I’ve owned and worn them in my 1120 sq ft home and look at the condition of them! They have fallen apart, seams are ripped and torn. I took a photo of the front and bottom of them, sent them off to Customer Service at Land’s End, along with my receipt. Within two days, they’re sending me a new pair, along with their apologies.


This is retirement on $2400 a month! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!



  1. This will be my budget if something happens to my husband.
    When I first ran the numbers, I was panicked. Now I feel confident that I could do it. Besides, I have two great friends who are on the same budget and we would, simply, share houses for vacations!


    • What a wonderful idea! Excellent. I know a few couples who live very well on $2400 a month. When we see others do it, the stress lessens. It’s doable for sure. Thank you for your comment.


  2. Hi there Cindi… long time follower of several of your blogs and just found you again. LOVED this post. Your meals look delicious. We are actually “neighbors” as I live in the Valley also. I’m retiring in 4 weeks and am anxious about it, but it’s time. Hubs retired 1-1/2 years ago…reading your blog posts are so helpful to me. I don’t know a whole lot of folks who have a million bucks in the bank and frankly money was never a driving force for us. Want to enjoy these years. Thanks!


    • Hi Maura. Thank you for your kind comments. Congratulations on your retirement! Maybe we can get together at one of the Hudson Valley events? Enjoy your years. Thanks again. 🙂


  3. WOW those slippers were terrible. I bought two pairs similar at Macy’s 75% clearance plus 20% all day pass for $5 each three years ago and both are fine. For Outside I spend for SAS sandals and buy from a local merchant that offers $25 off purchases over a hundred. This Christmas my kids gave a pair to me!
    I am so glad you saved Nick’s last income. Maybe he’ll change his mind after getting rested the next two months and when September comes around will do more work at the summer camp! Only time will tell.
    So glad you took my advice and got into the savings mode instead of lifestyle expansion. Lara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Took your advice? There was no other outcome to the situation. Only one way to go. Common sense.

      Lara, you sent me a comment that read: “So it seems you are back to having more carbs? Are you having any weight gain or problems with this? I remember you had said having pasta again had an impact. Lara”

      For some reason, it just won’t post to the comment section. I don’t know why. But to answer your question, the only thing getting fatter around here are my saving accounts and investments. But thanks a lot for asking.


      • That’s good news. I was talking about my advice in our emails and that led to Your June 12 blog. And Comments there. Prioritizing the most important goals to save for instead of spending or splurging with Nick’s extra income. Lara


      • Absolutely. Another great inspiration maker is ‘Coffee With Kate’. She saves all of her income while they live off the husband’s. Saving money for specific goals is a very good thing. Kate’s husband is taking the summer off. he quit his second job and their income has been cut a bit. It was very interesting watching her compose a new budget, realign their eating habits and eliminate a few budget line items just so the dad could spend the summer with his two sons. Figuring out what is important in life puts a different slant on almost everything.
        Good job!


  4. I watched the linked coffee with Kate and they did amazing transformation of their home. I like to follow retirees or soon to be retirees. Different time in our lives. And different relationships with our adult kids. Sincerely Lara


    • I agree, Lara. But anyone at any age can live a very happy life on $30,000 a year. We all learn from each other regardless of what stage we are on the lifetime totem pole. Kate is a very inspiring, chin-up kind of woman. She’s bursting with energy and new ideas. Kudos to her.
      Thank you, as always for your comments.


  5. The swimming pool looks awesome… Especially since we are having heat indexes over a hundred degrees down here…lol. I feel like a slug in this heat. I was at the coast at a work conference last week and thankful that the 20 minute walk from my hotel to the conference was tolerable because the temps were not so bad. This week it would have been awful. I think you are right. My “vacation” every year is my work conference. It is required and paid for and we have the evenings free after 4 pm to do what we want. I would never pay the prices that the hotels charge at the beach…..400 a night…yikes!


    • Hi Cindy. Isn’t it unbelievable what hotels are charging for a night? $400 is insane! And yet people are paying. And paying. And paying.
      Yes, sure, if your employer is picking up the tab and you’re free after 4PM, enjoy your time on your ‘vacation’. Do they have a spa there? Spend some time at a spa. Get a massage. That always makes a ‘vacay’ so much better.


  6. You need to take these posts and write a book. I will buy it!! Such smart living. Atta girl to write Land’s End. Ridiculous the way things are made and wear out now. Hurray for community pools and libraries and day excursions.


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