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New car or keep the old reliable
Old 07-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #1
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New car or keep the old reliable

Hi all,

I am new to the forum and have enjoyed the wide range of topics here. It is nice to see so many like minded individuals trying to help one another.

I will be 49, later this year, own a small business with my wife in NH county, CT. If we can hold out, we would like to retire in 2025 and possibly relocate to a warmer & more tax friendly state.

We have always been very frugal, as Iím guessing many of you are, and have held on to our vehicles until we needed to replace them. Our current ones are a 04 Volvo S80 and a 95, yes as in 1995, Ford Ranger.

The question is, do many people buy a new or at least newer car going into retirement, thinking that this will last them a number of years and have the security of knowing there will, hopefully, be only routine maintenance?
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:27 PM   #2
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I did exactly that - upgraded from a 2000 Ford Focus to a 2010 Toyota Prius a few months before retiring. It's been a great car, so much so that I can't come up with any reason to get a new one anytime soon.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:33 PM   #3
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We went with a new car. Our fleet are all Santa Fe's. 2007, 2014, 2019. The 19 replaced my clunker. DS drives the 07. Trying to get DW in the 19, but she's overwhelmed by the technology.

Bought 'em all new, so I know the history. Very trouble free cars (so far).

I ditched my last beater as it was becoming a nickle - dime situation. I always drove older vehicles and kept DW is something new-ish. But now, I just want peace of mind. It was an emotional hurdle to pull almost $30K from our stash , but it's done.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:35 PM   #4
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Yes, when DW's 1998 Cadillac died, she bought a Mazda CX-5 that she loves, especially the adaptive cruise control.
I had a 2003 Hyundai Accent with 85 K miles on it. When our grandson's car died, I gave it to him an bought a 2016 Hyundai Accent.
We paid cash for both cars. NO payments
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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We buy all our cars for cash, used ones for most of our lives but recently one-model-year old new ones from dealers. We buy mostly based on need: expensive maintenance issues or rust. The timing is driven by need not our ages.

That said, a car can be transportation but can also be a source of pleasure like traveling or other "frivolous" expenses. If you have the money to be frivolous and want a new car there is nothing wrong with that.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:10 PM   #6
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After retirement, one could argue that the need for up-to-date transportation is reduced. The old reliable should be adequate until the wheels fall off.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:10 PM   #7
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Recently made a decision to keep rather than replace. We like the vehicle, new cars are not a big deal for us. We baby the summer car, a 2007 Solara convertable w/65k miles.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoheadden View Post
The question is, do many people buy a new or at least newer car going into retirement, thinking that this will last them a number of years and have the security of knowing there will, hopefully, be only routine maintenance?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
I did exactly that - upgraded from a 2000 Ford Focus to a 2010 Toyota Prius a few months before retiring. It's been a great car, so much so that I can't come up with any reason to get a new one anytime soon.
I did exactly that too. I saved up the money for it, put it aside, and then bought a brand new 2009 Toyota Venza a few weeks after I retired.

I didn't buy it just before I retired, for two reasons. First, my only child was getting married in Oregon 2-3 weeks before I retired, so I had other things on my mind. And secondly, I didn't really want to park a brand new car in the employee parking lot where it would get dents and dings.

The new car was also sort of a "good for me" present from me to me, to celebrate my retirement.

Sequence-of-return-risk is enough to worry about those first few years. Imagine if the market crashed, *and* you needed a new car during those first few years? I didn't want to worry about that.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:15 PM   #9
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We only replace when we have too.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:21 PM   #10
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We just continued on with our normal cars, both of which were replaced while in retirement. No reason retirement should affect that decision. I replace cars when the trips to the service center are too annoying/worrying or more expensive than new car depreciation.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:29 PM   #11
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I replace cars when the trips to the service center are too annoying/worrying or more expensive than new car depreciation.
That's what we do. The GMC pickup truck is going on 17 years old but "only" has 107k miles on it and everything works so I'm hard pressed to find a reason to replace it. The 2014 Honda Accord is the daily driver and gets nearly twice the fuel mileage of the truck.

But even being retired and doing as little heavy lifting as possible now, there are still times when the pickup is very handy to have around. We'd want a second vehicle anyway so there's no need to hunt for a different one.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:43 PM   #12
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We have a 2019 Mazda CX-5 and a 2011 BMW Z4. Our goal is to run the BMW until either the maintenance is too much and/or we have trouble getting in/out of it.
Only have a new car, as the DGF totaled our 2012 Civic. The goal with the Mazda is to keep it somewhere past 100k miles.
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Old 07-28-2019, 02:38 PM   #13
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We just continued on with our normal cars, both of which were replaced while in retirement. No reason retirement should affect that decision. I replace cars when the trips to the service center are too annoying/worrying or more expensive than new car depreciation.
All this, especially the bold. Financially, it's rare that buying a new car is the best decision. From a safety/comfort/convenience standpoint, I don't want a car that is increasingly likely to strand me or otherwise seems ready to be replaced. I see no reason to time that with retirement. I don't keep my daily driver for 20 years so I'm sure my next car will not be my last. I have had my Miata for 20 years now but that's a "just for fun" car that has proven to still be reliable for the local drives I take it on these days.
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:07 PM   #14
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We have bought both used and new. Lately, mostly new (though they are both 7 years old now).

As I get older, my concern for reliability and safety have increased.

My SIL lives with my DMIL, and they drive a 20 year old car. IMHO that is just plain not smart, but I can't get the two of them to realize that. FYI, DMIL can afford to buy ANY car she wants, so money is not the problem.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:02 PM   #15
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We don’t replace our cars until necessary so if the old car is reliable I can see why MIL is not replacing it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:35 PM   #16
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Still have:
1997 Toyota Camry-198,000 miles
2004 Toyota Camry-270,000 miles
Both run fine, still travel distances with 2004 Camry. 1997 has small amount of rust but looks good. I see the same design (not sure what year they are) around quite a bit.
2004 looks very good. It's a V6 engine.

Not sure when we'll get another/different car, used or new.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:13 PM   #17
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We have bought both used and new. Lately, mostly new (though they are both 7 years old now).

As I get older, my concern for reliability and safety have increased.

My SIL lives with my DMIL, and they drive a 20 year old car. IMHO that is just plain not smart, but I can't get the two of them to realize that. FYI, DMIL can afford to buy ANY car she wants, so money is not the problem.
Plenty of retirees lease for that very reason, especially if they've downsized to one car for the household...converting transportation into just another monthly expense.

Eliminates the worry over lump sum repair or replacement costs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:20 PM   #18
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Do it now while you have W2 income

If you think you'll need to replace your car, replace it before retiring.

Our approach is to take care of as many foreseeable (roof, HVAC, appliances, etc) lumpy expenses as possible while we're still earning. The list includes vehicles, so we're about to replace DW's well-worn daily driver with a newer one which should perform reliably for years.

No doubt there will be unforeseen lumps after we retire. I hope to weather those storms whenever they come by starting out with a fresh HELOC and some cushion (>20%) in the budget.

But I want to have as clean a slate as possible on Day 1. It would bite to voluntarily give up the paycheck and shortly thereafter be unhappily surprised by a barrage of costs which could have been predicted and provided for.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:31 PM   #19
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If you think you'll need to replace your car, replace it before retiring.

Our approach is to take care of as many foreseeable (roof, HVAC, appliances, etc) lumpy expenses as possible while we're still earning. The list includes vehicles, so we're about to replace DW's well-worn daily driver with a newer one which should perform reliably for years.

No doubt there will be unforeseen lumps after we retire. I hope to weather those storms whenever they come by starting out with a fresh HELOC and some cushion (>20%) in the budget.

But I want to have as clean a slate as possible on Day 1. It would bite to voluntarily give up the paycheck and shortly thereafter be unhappily surprised by a barrage of costs which could have been predicted and provided for.
Why not earmark $30K or whatever you project for the car you want, and wait and spend it when you actually need to? Money set aside for an upcoming major expense should be just as comforting as having the expense already taken care of.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:44 PM   #20
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I want RV camera, collusion avoidance, lane departure warning, blind spot warning & self-adjusting cruise control. After that, car age is negotiable.
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