Living Solely On Social Security

I just ran across an article which I was compelled to share. This should serve as a major wake-up call for those of you who assume that you will be able to support yourselves completely with Social Security benefits when you become old enough to draw those benefits. I have included the link to the article, as well as copied and pasted the body of Barbara Friedberg’s article here.

The sad reality is that though the person in this example is able to make ends meet with her Social Security check, people who live in cities like Los Angeles will probably spend the bulk of their Social Security check on rent alone, with very little money left for groceries and healthcare.

Regardless of where you live, put money aside for retirement so that you don’t find yourself in a precarious financial situation when you are older. Roth IRA’s are an excellent way to set aside funds for your retirement, and they grow tax-free over the years.

https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/buy-average-social-security-check/

By Barbara Friedberg | September 26, 2016

Somewhere, an older American — let’s call her Alison — is going to retire soon. She anticipates a Social Security check of $1,349.59, the national average as of July. She regrets not saving more for retirement, but has accepted the reality of her situation.

If you’re like Alison — facing retirement without a cash cushion — you’re in good company. In January, GOBankingRates.com surveyed a representative sample of Americans and found that among people 60 and older, just 26 percent felt they were financially on track for retirement. The remaining 74 percent within this age group lacked sufficient retirement savings. And among Americans of all age groups, a sobering 33 percent had nothing saved for retirement.

Anyone who tries to get by on Social Security income faces a lean retirement lifestyle. Here are questions to ask yourself before trying to stretch benefits as far as possible — and what you’ll realistically be able to afford.

1. How Much Home Can You Afford on Social Security?

Your Social Security check will stretch further if you find a cheap place to retire. Housing is the biggest expense most Americans face, according to BLS statistics.

Sun-loving Alison hopes to retire to an apartment in Tucson, Ariz. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $575, according to Zillow. But let’s say Alison lucks out and finds an apartment for $540. She will spend 40 percent of her check on rent and will need to kick in a few extra bucks for utilities. So, rounding up, her monthly housing cost to $600 — leaving her with $749.59 of her Social Security check.

2. What Can You Eat on Social Security?

Dining at four-star restaurants is out if you’re living on Social Security. On average, roughly 12.5 percent of a consumer unit’s spending money goes toward food. In Phoenix — close enough to Tucson for our purposes — the average family spent $594 per month to eat in 2013-14, the most recent figures available from the BLS.

Phoenix averages 2.6 members per household, so we can estimate that the average person spends $228 per month to eat. Although Alison can splurge occasionally at a modest restaurant, living on Social Security means she will be eating at home most of the time.

Add up housing costs of $600 and $228 for food, and Alison is left with $521.59 of her Social Security check — a small sum for the remaining spending categories.

3. Can You Afford Healthcare on Social Security?

Alison might qualify for assistance in paying for her Medicare Part B premiums. Such aid would help her cover medical expenses, the No. 1 financial burden in the U.S. According to the government’s Medicare website, Alison’s monthly $1,349.59 check is beneath the income ceiling of $1,357 that qualifies her for assistance.

Medicare assistance benefits vary by state, so Alison should visit Medicare.gov and sign up for a conversation with someone from her state.

It will help if Alison can find ways to save on healthcare costs, such as purchasing generic drugs and using walk-in clinics instead of visiting emergency rooms. Assuming Alison qualifies for government help and is diligent about her medical spending, she can budget $150 per month toward medical costs. Alison now has $371.59 left in her budget.

4. What Type of Transportation Can You Afford While on Social Security?

Owning a car is expensive, especially on Social Security. The cost of operating a car can easily run into hundreds of dollars a month. With that price tag in mind, Alison has joined many other retirees by giving up her car.

Alison relies on public transportation services to get to doctor appointments. When going to the grocery store or meeting with friends, Alison uses the bus. On rare occasions, she splurges for a cab. She chose an apartment located near shops and restaurants. As long as her health holds out, she can walk to the grocery store and pharmacy.

Alison keeps transportation costs low at $100 per month. So, she’s now down to $271.59.

5. Can You Afford to Travel on Social Security?

After paying for necessities, Alison has $271.59 left for extras, which we describe in the next two categories. As you can already see, it is not easy to live on the average Social Security check.

With a tight budget, Alison and other retirees living on Social Security aren’t going on lavish vacations. Maybe Alison can afford a train or bus ticket to visit family, but cruises are out.

If travel is important to you, there are ways to squeeze it into the budget. Pairing up with family and friends can make travel a possibility. Camping vacations in state parks are economical. There are also many free events across the country.

6. Will You Earn Enough in Social Security to Cover Other Costs?

Remember, after spending for necessities, Alison was left with just $271.59 in her monthly budget. The amount of money she can spend in this final category — which includes entertainment — will largely depend on how much cash she earmarks for travel. She might be able to afford the occasional $1 movie at Redbox, but it’s unlikely she’ll be able to pay for the newest iPhone 7.

Finally, Alison will need a small cash cushion to cover emergencies. If she’s especially frugal, she might even have a little money left over to give to her favorite charity.

While Alison can make ends meet on her Social Security check, it won’t be easy. So, if you are a little younger than Alison, try to learn from her mistakes. Save a bit more today so you will have a greater sense of financial security in retirement.

Watch Gaston, Wolverine And Robin Hood Compete In An Epic Sing-Off While Drinking

This video link shows Luke Evans (Gaston from Beauty and the Beast), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), and Taron Egerton (Robin Hood) on the Jonathan Ross Show, having a fantastic sing-off! This is wonderful stuff!

http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1637710/watch-gaston-wolverine-and-robin-hood-compete-in-an-epic-sing-off-while-drinking

Beauty And The Beast

I will freely admit that I am a Beauty and the Beast fanatic, and waited with baited breath for the 2017 live action remake of the 1991 Disney animated classic to hit theaters this past March. In true fan fashion, I saw the new film twice during the week it was released, once in 3-D, and once on a regular screen.

The nostalgia of the 1991 release is nicely preserved in the remake, and the story line is followed relatively faithfully, while still expanding on the original version and creating a lush environment which could only be created through live action and CGI. The 2017 version visually dazzles in a way that the animated version never could, and that was indeed a thrill for me.

The live action film was cast quite nicely, and characters who were already quite interesting and colorful in their own right became even more amusing and multi-dimensional, thanks to the actors’ portrayals. I especially loved Kevin Kline’s portrayal of Maurice. Overall, I loved the 2017 film, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the 1991 animated classic.

Here’s where I mince things apart a bit. Despite the fact that Audra McDonald (who plays Madame Garderobe) is a six-time Tony winner, her voice grated on my nerves like nobody’s business, with its shrillness, its over-the-top trillings. It was enough to make me squirm in my seat each time she sang. I’m not big on musicals, especially when a lyric soprano musically rants like a mad bird (sorry, just my opinion).

Dan Stevens is rather convincing as the Beast, and does a nice job of conveying the myriad of emotions which the Beast experiences (rage, grief, frustration, shame, love). But like the prince in the animated version, the prince restored from the lifted curse was incredibly bland and unexciting. It was like eating a zesty, delicious meal (the Beast), and then getting a bowl of day-old porridge for the final course (the prince). I found Luke Evans as Gaston much more enticing, not only because his face naturally has more character, but also because he so convincingly played the narcissist vying for Belle’s affections that he was just more believable.

Lastly, while Emma Watson is a capable singer, and delivers a decent portrayal of the independent, bibliophile Belle, she wasn’t what I pictured when imagining Belle as a real person. By no means is Watson “gorgeous” like Gaston’s line in the song “Little Town” suggests. The line goes: “Right from the moment when I met her, saw her, I said ‘she’s gorgeous’ and I fell.” Yeah, right. I can see that in the 1991 animated film, but Watson is NOT gorgeous. She may be cute, or as a friend mentioned, handsome, but gorgeous? No. Beautiful? No. Even when Watson donned the yellow ball gown for the ever so famous dancing scene, there was nothing about her which could be regarded as breathtaking.

Nevertheless, I would watch the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast again and again. I truly did love the film and plan to purchase the DVD to add to my collection of favorite films.

ATS Mobile Bumper Repair Yelp Review

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ats-mobile-bumper-repair-woodland-hills-25?hrid=cOmEJvesdhQsNixTry2k6w

Please check out my Yelp review of ATS Mobile Bumper Repair. I had such an outstanding experience that I want to make sure everyone in the Los Angeles area who is in need of body work on their vehicles turns to this great company!

Below is a description of all the services which ATS Mobile Bumper Repair offers (copied and pasted from their official site):

PAINT REPAIR

We offer many touch up options, from spot repair to full panel paint with the latest PPG Envirobase waterborne paint. It’s the convenient way to keep your car in top condition.

BUMPER REPAIR

From bumper restoration to panel replacement we’ve got you covered. We know what we’re doing, and we’re dedicated to keeping your car looking beautiful.

HEADLIGHT RESTORATION

We have extensive experience and are trained to renew your headlights to near factory condition. Trust us as your experts in headlight restoration at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

Additional Services:
SCRAPES

CUTS

BUFFING

HOLES

KEY SCRATCHES

CRACKS

CHIP REPAIR

LEASE RETURNS

PANEL REPLACEMENT

SCUFFS

DENTS

COLOR SAND

CLEAR COAT

DINGS

Kybella For Double Chins

kybella

Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is an exciting treatment from Allergan for reduction of excess fat under the chin. The treatment is performed in series, in an average of two to four treatment sessions. Results are permanent.
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If you are in the Los Angeles area and are interested in a Kybella treatment, please contact me at stacey@staceynaito.com for pricing and to schedule a consultation.

Spring Into A More Youthful Appearance With Bellafill

bellafill_logo

Have you been looking for an injectable filler which lasts years instead of months? Consider getting a Bellafill treatment. Unlike hyaluronic acid based fillers like Juvederm and Restylane which dissipate within nine months to a year on average, the polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres found in Bellafill are permanent implants which stimulate cells in the skin to produce collagen over an extended period of time. The FDA has granted approval to the makers of Bellafill to claim that the effects last 5 years or more. This approval was based on the response to treatments, which were then monitored over a five-year period, in more than 1,000 subjects treated with Bellafill.

Bellafill also contains bovine collagen, which has very low chance of reactivity in patients. Nevertheless, a skin test (very similar to a tuberculin skin test) is performed during a Bellafill consultation and the patient is instructed to report any skin changes from the test. Once Bellafill is injected, the bovine collagen provides a temporary and immediate fill which persists for approximately 6 weeks. By the time the bovine collagen wears off, the body has already begun producing its own collagen to replace it.

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If you are in the Los Angeles area, please contact me at stacey@staceynaito.com for pricing, and to schedule an appointment for a consultation and treatment.

My Website Has Been Revamped and Updated!

Hey folks! My main website, https://www.staceynaito.com/, has a new look and greater functionality for 2017. Three of my websites were consolidated into a fantastic main site which enables you to navigate through Fitness and Nutrition Plans, Contest Prep Services, Fitness Products for sale through affiliates, Hormone Balance Consultations, Autographed 8×10’s, a Gallery full of updated professional images, Bio, and my Blog.

Check it out!

https://www.staceynaito.com/