The following was taken from the ASICS moneysmart website.
"The table below will give you a rough idea of how much money you need to support a modest or comfortable retirement. It applies for people retiring at age 65 who will live to an average life expectancy of about 85."
Those figures stunned me, and not in a bad way!
We live on a tight budget. We don't carry any debt. If we want something we pay cash for it. If we don't have the cash we save up until we do, then we buy it.
Our lifestyle isn't extravagant but it's not stingy either. We don't go without anything we need. We mostly don't go without anything we want either. We do think about our purchases and our spending, and rarely have any spontaneous spending. That is mostly because there's not much we need or want that we don't already have.
We catch water in buckets in the showers and I have a tub I use to catch water from the kitchen sink. This water is either tipped into the washing machine, used to water the pot plants, wash veggies or for cleaning. It doesn't go to waste.
So why was I happily stunned with those figures?
Well because as a family we're living well under them. We have started living on our 2016 budget (yes, it's kicked in a couple of months early) and according to those figures we are living on the Single Modest retirement income of $454 a week!
Here is our current Spending Plan:
As we are and will be living off our stockpile, the grocery budget has shrunk considerably.
There is wiggle room in this budget. I've factored in haircuts for both of us, pin money and a craft allowance. These are all flexible and non-essential. I can cut Wayne's hair and if push comes to shove I can either stretch my monthly trip to the hairdressers to every second month or just let my hair grow (or act as a model for Hannah so she can practise cutting!).
There is a separate Holiday category. We are saving up for another big trip so steady, regular saving will help us get there in 2017. It's flexible, again if for some reason I've miscalculated our expenses I can shift this money to another category.
Our budget has been re-worked, we've gone over the figures and double checked them and unless there is a major emergency i.e. the washing machine blows up and there's not enough in Household Maintenance to cover replacing it, then we won't be touching it.
We will thrive on our current budget because we don't live extravagantly. We live a modest lifestyle and we are happy. The bills will be paid, we have food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads. The present box is bulging with gifts for 2015, 2016, 2017 and I've started on 2018 (we have a couple of weddings in 2018 and the presents are ready and waiting). There are veggies growing in the garden.
So yes, those figures for a retirement budget have made me very happy. I know we'll manage next year and I'm reassured that when we're ready to retire we'll be able to manage on a "retirement" income too.