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How much to live on

46 replies 3.7K views
How much do you expect you will require to live on each month when you are retired?  ie no mortgage, no commute to work BUT maybe higher heating, hobby costs.  I'm getting to the stage where I'm realising that I don't need to be super rich to retire and will only really require living costs but I don't know how much I should aim for each month.  Bills plus food plus bit for fun???  How are the rest of you viewing this?
:rotfl:
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  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    I need £1000 a month and that pays all bills, the largest being council tax of £280 a month, with small holidays included.  any large trips come from savings.
  • duncanthedogduncanthedog Forumite
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    £400/month covers all bills and food for me and Dad.
    Anything else extra comes out of savings.
  • edited 1 January at 3:28PM
    MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    edited 1 January at 3:28PM
    I've worked it out, based on today's money, £500 will be sufficient for my (our) lifestyle, running a small car and having a cat or two. 

    As I have spreadsheets for income, outgoings and savings, I could see what my expenses were, strip out everything to do with the mortgage, work and savings (not the car related ones) and see what I (we) needed each month. 

    I'm consistently saving each month which will cover home repairs, upgrades and retiring a year or two early.

    I've also got a few very small old pensions, my current DB pension (which will never match SP) and I'm paying into a SIPP. 

    (I'm mid 40s but it's always good to see what others are planning)
  • newatcnewatc Forumite
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    We have a very comfortable retirement which requires an income of around £2000 per month living in a (now) oversized house which requires continual maintenance!
  • suzie_wongsuzie_wong Forumite
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    How much do you expect you will require to live on each month when you are retired?  ie no mortgage, no commute to work BUT maybe higher heating, hobby costs.  I'm getting to the stage where I'm realising that I don't need to be super rich to retire and will only really require living costs but I don't know how much I should aim for each month.  Bills plus food plus bit for fun???  How are the rest of you viewing this?
    I have been wondering this myself over the past few weeks. After 23 years of teaching I’ve really had enough, and I’d love to be able to leave or at least go part time in a couple of years. The trouble is, I have a son who wants to train as a pilot, so I am working hard to save up as much as I can of the £100k required, whilst also saving so that I can reduce my hours or do something else as soon as possible. I suppose the saving will focus my mind in terms of cutting day to day expenses, so in time I will answer my own question!
    Save £12k in 2021:
  • dave23dave23 Forumite
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    I also track what we spend and then strip out what I know we wont spend in retirement. Our aim is to retire and not have to cut back on any current spending. For 2020 our spending after stripping out was £16076, this included a 10 night holiday which was cancelled due to covid but I left in. £1000 pays all the bills including food. My target to retire is to have £20000 gross pension income which will cover car replacement costs
  • ApintpleaseApintplease Forumite
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    I worked ours out last year and just to keep the roof over our head warm and lit and rates, plus food  in our bellies and running one car was just under the £500 a month mark - last years prices and that was cut to the bone - worse case scenario

    To have any sort of life, plus have money for repairs and replacements, dentist, opticians, holidays, clothes, days out  - double it :)

    Right now we could retire on my private pension, husband has no pension other than the state one to look forward to, so Im holding off a while longer. However we both now only work 3 days a week and have done the past 5 years ( 57 and 59 ), well actually Ive only worked PT for the past 20 years

    Neither of us are saving to give the kids a leg up or thinking we need to be saving for them, we help them as much as we can as we go along and they know there isn't going to be a big inheritance - maybe a house if its not sold to pay for old age care

    You have to work out what expenses, other then then general running costs of a home and feeding yourself, are important to you. And be totally honest, if you are the type of person who likes spa days and beauty appointments - budget them in because if you dont make provision for everything thats important to you, no matter how frivolous you feel they may sound, if you start having to go without you will start dipping into the budget from somewhere else

    Between our state pensions and my private pension we will be ok and we aren't looking to a later life of worrying about heating or eating but we are also not looking to a retirement full of cruises and exotic travel :)


  • scottish_lassyscottish_lassy Forumite
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    Thank you all for your replies.  It is definately a 'change of mindset' as we are programmed all through our working lives to save, save, save for the future and now that the future has arrived I need to accept that I CAN stop saving.  As apintplease says, I have been giving to children as I go and have no need to leave a huge inheritence and I dont want to go without just so the government can get their hands on it.  You would think I have tonnes of money but I have had tough times in the past so even £1k is a big amount!!!  My plan this year is to do any modifications required to the house which will make the future easier and then assess what I need and get the 'mindset' changed - I may need therapy for that!!!!
    :rotfl:
  • suzie_wongsuzie_wong Forumite
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    At the moment I think I could live reasonably comfortably on £1000 a month, when I don’t have to save any more. Mobile phone bills etc could be reduced- at the moment I get an upgrade every couple of years, whereas I could go for a sim-only deal. I just need to save hard for the next 3 years and I reckon I could either retire or, at the very least, leave teaching and get a little non-stressful job!
    Save £12k in 2021:
  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
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    As a retired teacher I find I am now spending more than I anticipated. The heating costs are far higher for example, as we are at home all day and whereas I never had time to spend money before, I now spend more on leisure activities ( not since Covid though). It is a matter of choice though.
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