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The cost of transition: the high road and the low road
Now that we know what you currently have to spend each month, let's take a look at what you need to buy in order to transition. I've compiled some estimates for transition costs below. Do not let the numbers get you down! Remember, we are making plans here. As I said up front, anyone can finance transition.
I am estimating (quite unscientifically) that most people probably drop about $40,000 to $50,000 all told.
So, transition is basically like buying a nice luxury car (Infiniti, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, that kinda junk). However, you could conceivably spend anywhere between a used Geo Metro and a new Ferrari. It all depends on what you want done and the resources you have available.
That doesn't sound quite as bad, does it? And the cool thing about transition over a car is they can't repossess your purchase!
Once you have looked through the information below, we are going to do a worksheet so you can prioritize how and when to spend your transition money. It will involve some difficult choices and decisions, but you have to believe me when I say it's possible for you to do this!
Possible ranges of transition costs: 5 examples
This is to give you an idea of the range of costs. These estimates are in 1998 US dollars and based on anecdotal information and research whenever possible. However, some of them are little more than educated guesses on my part.
Do not base your own budget on these examples!
There are too many variables for accurate numbers on a number of these expenses, especially electrolysis, therapy, and plastic surgery.
You will need to do your own research to determine your exact costs, but this should give you some idea of the possibilities and range.
There are five scenarios. For each transition expense, I have done a range.
I feel the standard cost range falls between Examples 2 and 4.
These are financial categories; in other senses, the examples below might not be considered as lucky.
1. The most inexpensive transitions possible
This is an odd group. It comprises those who are naturally accepted without question or suspicion as female (usually early transitioners), as well as the visibly gender variant who could care less about being accepted as female (autogynephiles). In both cases, all they usually need or care about is SRS and maybe breast augmentation. For those who don't even plan on SRS, electrolysis, etc., the amount is even lower, but since this is about financing big purchases, I am omitting non-op TGs from the price range.
2. Typical, but inexpensive
Generally, these are TSs who transition in their 20's or earlier.
Financially, I tried to get about as close to dead average as I could. This is my best guess, with the key word being guess. Obviously, no one will match any of these categories exactly, but this is around the typical amounts spent.
4. Typical, but pretty expensive
Generally, these are TSs who transition later in life (late 30's/early 40's or older).
5. The works
People in this group are generally older, since the enormous amount of money required is usually not available to younger TSs. Again, this is an absolute extreme.
Order the interactive spreadsheet of this financing information.