Let’s Talk Retirement Budget Numbers

I’m trying to be true to living within my means. Often I might feel a bit shameful because I don’t want friends and family to know the truth. Which is: sometimes I just can’t afford everything. No one wants to be judged or criticized but here’s the reality truth. I invited one of my “wealthy” RVers to come visit me and join us in a beach day and she told me she’d come BUT she’d have to overnight park at a WalMart. Say what?

Then I asked my other “wealthy” friend, who owes a condo here but rents it out all year , when she was coming down. She told me she’d find a cheap hotel in February and come down then. Cheap hotel?

Lastly, my long time RV friend, who turned me on to this area, asked where I was staying and when I told her she said a friend of hers stayed two days here last year and said it wasn’t such a nice place. The people were very unfriendly. “Yes” I said. “The folks here don’t like transients. They like long-termers (4 to 3 months) which is what we are and we found the people to be friendly, helpful and kind”. Needless to say, she won’t be coming here for an invited visit any time soon.

This was our morning sunrise today.

This last friend pays $4400 for a 3 month stay. She owns a condo but rents it out all year for income. She and her partner live 365 in a motor coach they jointly own and split most bills.  I’m paying $2100 for my3 month stay and I own a paid-for home. Who’s the snob? Someone recently stated that I try (wrongfully so) to keep up with the Joneses.  I’d like to know what Joneses that would be? No one in my circle of self-deceiving friends, for sure. Sadly I find most retirees full of s***t.  Sorry to say that but I practically believe no one anymore.

So, here are my bottom retirement figures,  the kind no one else will talk about or divulge.  We live on $29,000 a year, that is covered by 1 social security check, 1 pension check, 1 family repayment loan, several sources of investment income and sometimes part time work. In order to cover property taxes ($2814) and two RV vacations a year ($3450) I withdraw 3.53% out of my cash holdings in order to accomplish these non-negotiable retirement lifestyle choices. In two more years hubby’s bigger socialsecurity check will come in handy and not only will we no longer need to withdraw that 3.53% BUT we’ll be able to further save and invest.

This strategy doesn’t include the $400,000 paid for home we’re living in now. Eventually we will be forced to move out of this insane, liberal, progressive, communist, atheist,  socialist state of New York and look for redder pastures. In the interim, we bide our time. And we live within our means.

Am I a mad retiree? You betcha.

This is our space for next year. A step up from our current $700 a month. New fee will be $995. Pray the stock market does well. LOL




  1. Well, I see what you are saying sort of, but I thought your hubby wasn’t real crazy about the place, too? Said it wasn’t nice enough? So why so terrible a friend said it? I am sure she didn’t mean to insult you. And she would presumably be a short timer. Often “wealthy” people have money because they economize like you! 🙂 You can’t know if something has come up for people. Do these people announce to you they are “wealthy” or are you assuming that? I’ve never in all my 65 years heard anyone call themselves “wealthy.” Most people do not really share as much about expenses as you do (which is so helpful for retirees) and as I say, they change. As you know, from your own experiences you share in your blog. We aren’t totally “retired” yet but unexpected things happen. One minute we plan a vacation and the next we can’t because something has come up. I just have to say that as interesting as your blog is and I love seeing how you approach things, it’s great you are willing to share details because they could really help people, you were just pretty judgmental of people when you can’t know all their circumstances. I doubt they are snobs or lying to you, either one. I am sure, too, in order to be helpful figuring out the money for your blog, you need to concentrate on it more than most people. which can be interpreted by your readers as “keeping up with the Jonses.” I see it in a much more positive light. I It can be fun and challenging and I love that about your blog, but a the same tie you may be carrying money issues too much into personal relationships and presuming way too much like those with your friends. Do they read this? If so, it looks like you just might have offended and lost friends over something pretty silly. I know this will make you mad, but I do enjoy your blogs. And maybe it will help in some way for me to say it. Hang in there.


    • Hi Lynn. I’m not mad. One of the wealthy retirees is my sister. Yes she brags. Drives a Mercedes and wants to sleep in a Walmart parking lot? Know why? She doesn’t have the money.
      The second is my long time BFF. Boy oh boy does she and her family have money. I was astounded she AND her sister stay in cheap motels. I couldn’t believe it.
      Lastly the last friend is just plain jealous of me. It’s so obvious I can’t stand it anymore.
      Thanks for your long comment. I have to read it again. Believe me. I’m not mad at all. Thanks


    • Hi Lynn. I finally got a chance to fully read your long comment. My husband critiquing of me is waaaaay different than a friend or a stranger critiquing me. My hubby is very picky. Sometimes on the verge of ridiculous. I’m more practical and easy going. I’m not fussy.
      Everything I said here I would say to my sisters face and to my BFF of over 52 years face. Hi They know me very well and would not be offended. Perhaps you’re right. This is how people retain their wealth. I was just taken aback. I didn’t expect their answers. As to my RV “friend” she was just downright rude. She actually asked around and told me hearsay. There’s a good possibility it’s just jealousy or something like that. Either way, she’s disinvited.
      Thanks again for your comment.


  2. I hear ya loud and clear! Often those who look like they are living great are broke because of their high life.

    I am CONSTANTLY impressed with the life you live on your income and think you are deserving of your better spot for 2021!

    To be forthcoming, if we live really tight we can “make it” on $45k owning 2 homes 3h apart and running 2 vehicles. Unlike your friend, we do not rent our mountain retreat out. It is our sanity and our lodging for ski weekends. Our tight $45k certainly has plenty we could live without-and we know that. We could live on far less giving up hobbies and the mountain retreat and 1 car.

    I totally understand the weekender vs good neighbors. We have nearby homes that are residents and a 4plex that is rental. What a difference in ambiance in the ‘hood.



    • Thanks Elle. We’ll have time to save up over the time till next year should we run short. Always nice to have a goal. Once hubby officially retires at 65 our income will jump to $40k. That’ll be sheer luxury for us.
      Thank you for your comment.


      • Wait-now your husband is working until 75? I thought there were health issues? I just want our retirement to suit us, and could care less if it suits others. I’m still figuring out though what that will be in a 7-8 years.


      • Hi Sam. I never said that. He just stopped working part time about a little less than a year now. He’s 63. In 2 years he will claim social security. Sorry if I didn’t spell it out correctly. I also put in some part time computer and blog work.


      • Omg. That’s a typo. I have to go back and check it out. Hard to blog from an iPhone. Thanks for letting me know. He retires at 65. Two more years.


  3. Cindi

    Thanks for fixing the comments options.

    As DH and I were chatting this afternoon while drinking coffee at our luxury café AKA McDonalds, there is no way to plan for every contingency in Life. Sometimes it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Now more health problems are popping up, so we are drinking that senior coffee and chatting whenever we can.

    Two simple people walking hand and hand into the unknown.

    I love to hear about all your budgeting ideas and projections. And yes, sometimes people are just plain jealous.

    Best wishes from Best Bun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You and your husband are very lucky that you can enjoy Florida. You cleverly live like your budget dictates. You choose to be happy where you are.

    When my husband decided that we would not live in Illinois in February I was looking into Arizona. He knows that he is happier looking at water and not desert. My pension can cover a rental in Florida and I budget all year, like you, to make it happen. We are both extending our husbands and our lives by soaking up sunlight.

    You are amazing in your journey to survive and thrive. Take care.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sue. My husband loves the ocean. There’s nothing like it. I worked very hard to make HIS dream come true. The first day we sat in the sand and looked out over the ocean, I said to him: “You wanted the ocean, well there it is. I made it happen”. When you have determination anything is possible.
      Thank you for your kind comment.


  5. Keeping up with the Jones is the need to compare yourself to others. The habit becomes tough when it feels necessary to “put down” what other people are doing to make you or your situation look better. In the past you have compared yourself to someone who has a government retirement plan, with the drive to travel and not own a home. Or someone who was fortunate enough to land a very high paying job and keep it for a long time, while raising kids while getting ready for retirement . Or even your sister, who chose to do her retirement differently for a while.
    All are interesting case studies. They all being different lights to retirement. For them it works or they are working through it. For you it might not. No need to compare in a negative light.
    I understand that you live off a certain amount, but also have a nest egg from your past. We are in that boat. I appreciate your going through the phases ( small RV, bigger RV, vacation home, new home, full time, part time, no job). I have learned a lot, but have no need to actually live your retirement. You have lived well, comparing is not necessary in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janette, when my mother was dying at age 58 (I was 28 and 6 months pregnant) I swore I was going to live my life and do whatever it was I wanted to do. I didn’t want to end up like my mom: 3 weeks into retirement, on her first real vacation only to find out she had 6 months to live. I’m curious about people. I want to know who they are and why they do the things they do. Who are they.
      I’m just curious. I want answers to my questions. That’s all. I’m like a child.
      Unfortunately no one likes to take the time out to explain. So I find it hard to understand people who are different from me.
      Thanks for your comment.


      • My mom used to say,” It is not what you say, it is how you say it”. I am just sorry that so many take your curiosity as being rude to them. I find that most people are interested in explaining where they are and where they think they are going in blogs.
        Lynnfay73 “hears” the same tone here that many of the bloggers you comment to “hear”. Just something to keep in mind. I have sat through some pretty stinging comments from you…but You have something real to add to this community. Why not walk with instead of fight every step? You are unique. Your journey is real and it is good of you to share it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Janette I know I can be very rude at times. Especially to retirees who BS their retirement life. I think they do a terrible disservice to retirement reality. And when I call them out on it, they despise me.
        But I don’t start off that way. I’m actually a very pleasant person. Even my ex-husband, despite it all, told me at the end of our marriage that I was a very kind and considerate person. We’ve remained friends.
        The internet opened up my very sheltered upbringing. I thought everyone lived like me but that was incorrect. Every body lives a different life and everyone should be respected. No judgments because anyone’s life can be changed in an instance. I think that’s what my hard knocks taught me.
        But if someone starts calling me mental names and disrespects me, my days of being a punching bag are over. I’m answering back.
        I think that you’re the only person who gets me. If someone would have explained some things to me, in a sentence no less, like you did, a lot of grief would have been eliminated.
        Oh well.
        Live and learn.
        Thanks again for your comment.


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