stoptothink wrote: ↑Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:35 am
JS-Elcano wrote: ↑Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:38 pm
22twain wrote: ↑Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:46 pm
We're retired, late 60s / early 70s, in a small town in the South, with a paid-off house.
Last year we spent a total of about $53K, of which:
$8K income tax (fed + state)
$12K donations (charitable + political)
$7K Medicare premiums
$9K housing-related (utilities, property tax, insurance, maintenance)
$3K food (no eating out because of Covid)
$14K everything else (cars, new computers, hobbies, etc.)
If it hadn't been for Covid, we would have spent more for eating out and travel.
Only one of us is collecting Social Security and taking RMDs from tax-deferred accounts. After the other one starts in a few years, our tax bill will probably increase to about $30K.
3k for food. I don't know how you do this for two people. If I buy fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, butter, eggs, cheese and a bottle of wine, that's $150 per week for one person while keeping an eye on the budget, not free-wheeling. $7200 per year. How do you keep it to 3K? If you don't mind, what does a weekly shopping list look like for you?
We're at ~$4k/yr for a family of 4
. We eat much differently than most families (wife and I intermittent fast, almost no processed food or "snacks", no alcohol, no expensive cuts of meat, ~3 dozen eggs a week (5 dozen is ~$5), lots and lots of bags of frozen veggies, 25lbs. bags of oat groats/brown rice, wife makes homemade sourdough bread and pancakes for kids, etc.); I'm similarly interested in what people who spend $150/week for an individual for just groceries (and say they are keeping an eye on budget) are eating at home? We shop about every 10-12 days and I'm not sure we've ever spent $150 in a single stop at the grocery store.
Is this Whole Foods, free range, organic, etc. or are you having a ribeye or Chilean sea bass filet every night for dinner?
The BLS data breaks it down into two categories (look up what BLS considers a household, as it is not just families of 4). One category is Food Away from Home for the entire year. Two is Food at Home for the entire year. $4K is within the realm of the Food at Home category, and is close to the average household food at home costs of $4643 (2019 latest year available):
https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consum ... 9/home.htm
However, the Food Away from Home average is $3526 for combination of the Food Category to be $8169 (2019 latest year available).
Your $4k for a family of four per year is below the realm of what the USDA even calls a thrifty plan. Perhaps a new category needs to be made known as super-thrifty
USDA breaks it down into thrifty, low-cost, moderate-cost, and liberal plan for individuals, couples, children, families of 4 etc... .
These are the latest plan totals at the time of this writing for a family of two, defined as a male and female between ages 19 and 50:
•Thrifty plan: $402.80 per month.
•Low-cost plan: $517.50 per month.
•Moderate-cost plan: $640.20 per month.
•Liberal plan: $800.70 per month.
That's just for a family or traditional couple ages between 19-50. At least focusing on a couple is perhaps more the norm in going with the OP's quest for how much one spends in retirement since we tend to think of the children being grown and out of the house come retirement age for the majority of us.
Nerd Wallet had an article last month regarding monthly/annual spend on groceries for Americans here:
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/fina ... ss%20often
Our household (of 2) is well into the Liberal Plan according to USDA, but we are foodies and love to cook. We also exercise hard and fuel the tanks for all of that. Plus, we like wine (although we have cut back on the amount and price we used to spend on it).
Latest monthly average spend on food costs from the USDA (month of February, 2021) is here:
https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/de ... eb2021.pdf
Historical data is here:
https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/usda-food ... ly-reports