HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Social Security & Medicare (Group) » Any ideas for living off ...

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:15 PM

Any ideas for living off a social security benefit of only $680 a month?

I live in Illinois, in a somewhat distant Chicago suburb...I would consider moving

(In fact I'm thinking of buying a 'tiny house' to 'downsize' that way) but I don't

want to go further than necessary....I'm thinking maybe Madison, Wisconsin, if

I have too. It's a very liberal town and they and are looking to start a tiny house

community.

39 replies, 11693 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Any ideas for living off a social security benefit of only $680 a month? (Original post)
whathehell Sep 2014 OP
Arugula Latte Sep 2014 #1
daleanime Sep 2014 #2
tazkcmo Sep 2014 #3
whathehell Sep 2014 #9
tazkcmo Sep 2014 #11
ellenrr Oct 2014 #19
hollysmom Sep 2014 #4
whathehell Sep 2014 #10
ellenrr Oct 2014 #20
hollysmom Oct 2014 #21
ellenrr Oct 2014 #22
hollysmom Oct 2014 #23
whathehell Nov 2014 #27
NV Whino Sep 2014 #5
whathehell Sep 2014 #8
Alameda Mar 2015 #34
whathehell Mar 2015 #36
Alameda Mar 2015 #37
yeoman6987 Sep 2014 #6
whathehell Sep 2014 #7
left-of-center2012 Mar 2015 #31
RebelOne Sep 2014 #12
whathehell Sep 2014 #13
ellenrr Oct 2014 #18
whathehell Oct 2014 #24
RebelOne Nov 2014 #25
left-of-center2012 Oct 2014 #14
whathehell Oct 2014 #15
ellenrr Oct 2014 #16
ellenrr Oct 2014 #17
Alameda Mar 2015 #35
grasswire Nov 2014 #26
mackerel Jan 2015 #28
whathehell Jan 2015 #29
mackerel Jan 2015 #30
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2016 #38
mackerel Sep 2016 #39
left-of-center2012 Mar 2015 #32
whathehell Mar 2015 #33

Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:21 PM

1. I wonder if there might be a semi-communal housing arrangement in Madison that would work

 

I know here in Portland (Ore.) there are some co-housing/community living complexes where people share lots of things -- tools, cars, meals, whatever.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:30 PM

2. Kick....

I don't know, but since I'm staring disability in the face I wouldn't mind more information myself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:44 PM

3. Camper Van n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tazkcmo (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 06:52 PM

9. Does that beat the 'tiny house' option?

Just thinking -- either way, you have to pay or rent the land.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 07:42 PM

11. Your post

Strikes close to home. I'll be in your shoes soon and have been planning it out. The hardest part of this is finding a used van that's fairly good on gas and decent condition that you can buy. Takes a long time to save up enough money to buy that van on 650 a month but I figured you'd have the same problem, if not a greater problem, buying any kind of house. As you said, there's land, utilities, HO insc, etc.

With the van, once you've made the purchase and have it titled and driving you're on the down hill run! It's a snap to throw a sleeping bag, ice cooler and camping stove in there and boom! Home sweet home! Your only expenses are gas and auto insc. Even on 650 a month you can swing that.

Obviously you'll want to fix it up better than I've described but that'll get ya going and you'll be able to scrounge, beg, borrow (but not steal!) furnishings along the way. Having spent much of my life in construction, I'm aware of many different ways to accomplish the same mission as far as building stuff goes. For example, a quick and easy permanent bed can be made from a hammock which you hang from your ceiling, a rigid piece of material (plywood, old door, etc) to lay in the hammock and what ever padding you can get your hands on. The board/door will hold a form in the hammock, the padding makes it comfy and you can store the bed on your ceiling. That's part of the fun of designing your own home! You can be as traditional or creative as you want and there's lots of ideas on the net.

It's not for every one but it's my kind of retirement. The freedom to go anywhere cheaply and have my house with me. As a bonus I can rotate among friends and relatives under the pretext of "visiting" and eat some of their food for a while! lol

I hope that what ever you decide it makes you happy. I'd be interested in hearing what you do because I'll always wonder, I care and it may help me and others knowing what you did, the advantages and disadvantages. Good luck to you!

















Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tazkcmo (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 10:17 AM

19. Can you outfit your van with toilet and shower? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 02:08 PM

4. I have heard living overseas makes money go a lot further.

When my company gave me a choice of being laid off or moving to India, there was a pay cut involved with moving to India.
Seriously, I have heard relatives talk about friends who moved to Poland to live on small social security.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hollysmom (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 07:03 PM

10. Yes, as I said to someone else,

I subscribe to this site called "International Living" where they write about

all the places retirees can live much cheaper -- Panama is supposed to be

great, as is Belize and Equador. When you mention Poland, it made me

think -- I actually do have "Right of Return" to Croatia (where at least I know

some of the language) because of my grandparents. Croatia joined the European

Union about a year and a half ago, and it's not as cheap as it once was, but still.

In general, I'd prefer to stay in the states.

Truth is, I don't HAVE to live alone on my social security, and there's always the

chance I'll get a job (I'm not THAT old!), I was just contemplating my 'worst case scenario".

I am, and have, for many years, been in a relationship with someone who is financially

quite comfortable, and I've benefitted from it, that being said, I frequently wish I

could live independently.

Thanks for your input!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hollysmom (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 10:23 AM

20. It makes a lot of sense! in my case

I live in NJ, one of the most expensive parts of the US. Makes no sense. Since my income will be the same wherever I am.

I had thot about Cuba, but discovered that the US does not allow Social Security to be sent there.
I tried to think of ways to beat that - eg. deposit my Soc Sec into a bank, and have someone mail me the money.
But the way they have everything surveilled I don't think I'm smart enough to beat the system.

my next idea is Marinaleda Spain, an anarchist utopia:
http://roarmag.org/2014/07/marinaleda-spain-communist-utopia/

People have general assemblies and make decisions that way. Work is also cooperative. I wouldn't be working, so wouldn't be taking a job from someone.
Weather is good.
Housing - people make their own house, or pay someone to build it, and the mortgage is 15 euros, which I think is about $18.00 US.

It's kinda scary to think of moving there by myself. I have 2 friends who might be interested.
It might just be a dream, but we have to dream don't we?

I think before I die, I have a right to live in my ideal world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #20)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 12:18 PM

21. I live in one of the most expensive parts of NJ, the North East.

I like the convenience of being able to walk everywhere I need to go or to take a bus, to house on of the last over treed properties in town and still have 25% of the town land be parkland so the dog and I have many choices to walk indifferent directions. I also live near family,. but really don't see them too much since everyone has their own issues, except for a niece that found me on facebook after years of being forbidden to speak to me by her evil mother, ha ha . seriously evil long stories.

I would not make it without savings. I admit to being an obsessive saver - worked in an outsourced pension company and the actuaries used to put out a newsletter every day about pensions and what you needed to retire, so it got to me, that and the fact that I knew I would have to retire before the age of 60 because of the outsourcing craze or cult (because it cost the company more money arghhh, could never get that through the corporate heads, even though I had the spread sheets to prove it, but the actuaries sold us to Mellon by that point and they were run by buzz word driven idiots). I never came close to the million dollars the actuaries recommended in personal savings, doubt many do, but I find just an annual 20K to add to social security and expecting to live to only 85 as most of my family, makes it work. living in one house for 30 years and paying off the mortgage helps too.

someone told me that Costa Rico was the ideal place to retire 20 years ago, not so sure about that anymore.

Believe it or not, comfort will be the hardest part, as my arthritis gets worse and worse. If you are young enough for adventure good traveling, but when it comes to having the limitations of getting older, my town already has a program for the elderly living at home of daily phone calls to make sure you are OK, food delivery for when you are not well, snow shoveling and leaf raking for the elderly free or at discount, it almost makes up for it having the highest taxes in a high tax area.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hollysmom (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 12:35 PM

22. in any town set up by humanitarians - like Marinaleda,

where I hope to retire, calling the elderly and delivering food, is a no-brainer. One certainly doesn't need to live in the Northeast for that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #22)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 12:40 PM

23. well, I like being able to walk to a top grade doctor,

a short cab/drive ride to a hospital, a block from town hall and the post office and various town activities. EX. Today is Oktoberfest down the street and the farmers market in the other direction. Power is almost never out. But I may feel this way because 10 years ago I felt sick, drove to the emergency room and collapsed and had to be resuscitated 3 times. So being near a hospital means more to me. It was from accidental prescription poisoning, but you never know.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 09:37 AM

27. You might consider Equador or Panama instead..

You would be in a similar warm weather, low cost environment & you should have no trouble getting your SS sent to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 02:19 PM

5. Move to Costa Rica

Me, I'm gonna die with my boots on because I can't afford to retire.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NV Whino (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 06:51 PM

8. Yeah, I actually subscribe to something called "International Living"

It's a website and I also get a magazine about every three months.

If I get "desperate" I might move overseas, but, to tell you the truth,

I hate the idea of leaving the States permanently doesn't appeal to me.

Thanks for your input.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 03:22 PM

34. there's only a magazine subscribion option

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alameda (Reply #34)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 05:05 PM

36. Say what?

I don't know what you are trying to say.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #36)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 12:28 PM

37. My post was in response to your post below....



8. Yeah, I actually to something called "International Living"

It's a website and I also get a magazine about every three months.

If I get "desperate" I might move overseas, but, to tell you the truth,

I hate the idea of leaving the States permanently doesn't appeal to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 02:19 PM

6. Have Social Security redo your benefit

 

Most people get 1300-1600 a month. There is a huge mistake on yours. Worth a shot. Good luck! I will take a donation to DU for your additional funding you get.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 06:48 PM

7. LOL..Thanks, but I think they got it right, unfortunately,

because I started taking it early -- at age 63 and I didn't have high paying jobs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:55 PM

31. Most people get 1300-1600 a month

Including me.
But I have neighbors who do only get about $650 a month (which I think is the lowest amount) due to their work history.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Mon Sep 22, 2014, 04:42 PM

12. I wish you luck. I am living on $1400 a month social security,

and it is not easy. I own a mobile home and pay lot rent of $400 monthly that includes garbage pickup and water. The only other bills are for cable, internet, phone, electric and car insurance and one credit card, but I still run short by the end of the month. Fortunately, I have some savings that I can draw from. I am going to have to move into my son's house soon to save some money.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RebelOne (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 23, 2014, 10:13 AM

13. Thanks -- I'm not necessarily being forced to live on that little,

I was just considering my worst case scenario.

Can I ask what state you live in?

Thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #13)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 10:15 AM

18. I've also considered a mobile home.

I have MCS - Multiple Chemical sensitivities,
so living in this huge building, where in the corridors
- and inside my apt, to a lesser extent -
is a toxic swill of chemical scents, that is going to kill me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellenrr (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 20, 2014, 10:24 AM

24. Don't get killed -- Go live wherever you can to avoid that possiblity. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 07:23 PM

25. I'm in Georgia.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Fri Oct 3, 2014, 07:35 AM

14. HUD subsidized housing?

I live in Albuquerque, NM in an apartment owned by the Albuquerque Housing Authority, a federally funded agency. My rent is 1/3 of my monthly income after deductions have been made for medical co-pays, etc. Many of my neighbors pay about $125 a month for a large one bedroom apartment with all utilities free; central A/C & heat; private balcony. I pay a bit more as my income is higher than most of my neighbors. I'd think most areas of the USA have a similar agency. You'd need apply and get on a waiting list. It took me a year to get my apartment and I've been in it for 7 years now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 3, 2014, 08:50 AM

15. I never thought of that,

but it's an interesting idea...It sound like you've got a great deal on your apartment.

Thanks for the information.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 09:59 AM

16. I live in subsidized housing too

in NJ. I don't like it, but it beats the alternative, which would be my car or the street.
as my income of $950 social security would not land me an apt in my city, where the average one-bed-room (not a luxury, just a run-of-the-mill) goes for $1200.

I pay $246./month, inc. electricity.
I waited 2 years on the waiting list.

Yours in NM sounds better to me. Plus I hate winters here.
Maybe i'll get on the waiting list.
I'm sure it takes longer for an out-of state resident. at least, the one I am in, I had an advantage being a resident of the town.

And to the OP, yes, I think almost any city has a similar agency.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 10:12 AM

17. Left-of-center - Is your apt in a large building or small?

I just found the albuquerque site and I am in luck - applicants for waiting list will only be taken between Oct 21 and Dec 14, so I will sign up.

I emailed them to ask about Section 8.
Where I live, application list for Section 8 has been closed, bec. the list is so long.

do you know anything about Section 8 in albuquerque?

thanks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 03:28 PM

35. do you have a link?

where I am the list is very long, more like 6---8 years. However,
This is not a joke, but I see many immigrants get places. We have a large former USSR group, Yemeni, Hmong and other groups. Some of them even get organic gardens. I do sympathize with them, but shouldn't there be something for people who have been here all our lives....paying into it?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Wed Nov 12, 2014, 08:56 PM

26. double up

there are other people with the same kind of dilemma. You might find one. Sharing utilities and other expenses just makes the best sense.

And perhaps there's a way to make a few extra dollars somehow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 03:32 AM

28. Here's what my neighbors did

he sails, so they bought a small boat and live on it down in Mexico for 6 months of the year. Their house which was a moderate size 3 bedroom 2 bath they rent out. But what they did first was modify the house so that they had a small living space of about 600 sq.ft. and enter through the side gate into the backyard. Since they became used to living on the boat they find that living in the small space in the backyard/back part of house is actually quite easy for them. (They took one of bathrooms as part of their living space.)

He had been self-employed for years and just never paid into SS with enough so they barely were getting more than SSI. Now this way it's doable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mackerel (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 10:40 AM

29. Wow..What an interesting idea!

It's certainly got me thinking...Thanks for sharing it. I

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 9, 2015, 11:31 AM

30. Now the wife is bilingual but not the husband, the

marina where they pay a monthly fee has mostly English speakers but some will venture out into town sometimes so for her it's nice to be bilingual but not really necessary. She told me that it's mostly Canadians, Americans, Australians and UK that live at the Marina. They live there during the off season which is cheaper and then come back up here during the summers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mackerel (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 12, 2016, 06:22 AM

38. Self employed, never paid into SS.

What exactly were they thinking?

I know several people who've done exactly that, and now they're complaining about how they don't have enough to live on. Excuse me?

Okay, I know it's not very nice to dump on such people, but still. Thinking ahead isn't so terrible, but too many people can't be bothered.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #38)

Mon Sep 5, 2016, 12:59 AM

39. The wife paid in to Calpers she was a social worker. He never made a lot and so I think

that was part of it. He had a wealthy father and he may have thought his father would leave him a fair share but it turned out the father left it all to his older brother.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whathehell (Original post)

Thu Mar 5, 2015, 02:03 PM

32. Mexico?

There was a time when many Americans retired to Mexico.
I know there was a neighborhood in Tijuana that had a large American retiree community, and I'd guess that was true of other locations in Mexico.
However due to the drug cartel crime, etc I don't know if many of us are now moving there.

I did meet a man a couple years ago who lived in Chihuahua, Mexico six month and then the U.S. six months.
Something about a residency requirement?

I just now Googled and found this:
american retiring to mexico

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #32)

Mon Mar 9, 2015, 09:16 AM

33. Hi Left -- Sorry I'm getting back to you so late

I was in the hospital for a few days -- Okay now.

Yes, when you talk about retirees afraid to go to Mexico because of

the drug cartel crime, I would be one of those people. Some areas, like

San Miguel Allende are beautiful and supposedly very retiree-friendly, and yet,

my understanding is that there are things going on there, (kidnapping, for one) that

are kind of swept up under the rug, so people don't hear much about them.

At this point, I think I'm going to try and stay on this side of the border -- Rightly

or wrongly, I feel safer and just more comfortable in the States.

Thanks so much for your link on Mexico -- I was surprised that there are

so many Americans retiring there -- I knew there were some, of course, but

I wasn't aware of the extent. All in all, I appreciate your "weighing in". People

on this board (like you!) have been great.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread