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Old 08-13-2018, 07:28 PM   #1
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In another thread about having 1 or 2 cars, I posted this...

... just out of curiosity, in a question that goes along with having one car....

Do you know how much it would cost you to take a taxi, to go to a Dr. appointment, or to something "necessary" that was five or six miles away... means getting there and getting back. Taxi Lyft, Uber or Municipal "taxi" service? And, as an aside, how long to arrange this type of transport?

How much to rent a car for a day... a week.

I think this fits in with the discussion, so didn't want to start a new thread.

Since it didn't receive any replies, I decided to make it a separate thread because:

It touches a fact of life that happens to more of us than we think.

Not having a car, or being unable to drive. Not at all unusual... sometimes because of not having a license, but most commonly because of health or age.

Physical impairments
Not passing the vision test
Temporarily injured
Permanently crippled
Financially unable
License suspended or permanently cancelled
Unable to drive for any reason.

We see this every day, living in a CCRC.
Fortunately workarounds are available here, but not in every CCRC..
We have 2 small busses that are regularly scheduled for shopping or entertainment/eating out/ community events and for trips to the doctor or hospital as necessary.
We also have a County on-call bus service, which requires a two day reservation. There are a few taxi services, but the base expense is $20.

You don't want to think about being carless. Enough other problems:
...BUT if it should happen, and you couldn't drive, do you have any idea of what your alternatives might be? What''s available? How much will it cost.

I would estimate that out of perhaps about 500 residents who are mobile and alert who live in our CCRC, that as many as 200 either do not have a car or access outside of the community, by themselves or with a family member. This means that they are dependent on the CCRC or commercial parties for transportation.

It works out well. It's part of what we contracted for. We feel safe.

So the question is for those who will stay in their homes forever, and would never move to a retirement complex.

Yes...there will always be transportation available... the question is how long to get it, what kind...private? community? taxi? scheduled? and then at what cost? Where you finally retire, what is available and how much will it cost. Part of the retirement decision process.

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Old 08-13-2018, 07:45 PM   #2
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This is one of the advantages of big-city living, and no, I don’t mean some suburb somewhere. (Suburbs are all about cars.) (Country life, even more so.) To get around, all I need do is take the elevator to the first floor and step to the curb for a bus (they come every five minutes or so, most hours) or a shared car or taxi. (My octogenarian neighbors sometimes use canes or wheelchairs.) With a Walkscore north of 90, nothing we need is far away. As it is, I drive less than 3,000 miles a year, and I’m very engaged in work and charities. (Not retired.) Probably should get rid of my car.

That said, one of the chief advantages of a well-situated and -appointed CCRC is the sort of transportation service you describe. My Plan A for “old age” is to stay where I am. Plan B is such a CCRC.

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Old 08-13-2018, 08:16 PM   #3
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Where I live now, rural Utah, a car is a must. Most services are 10 miles away, and then 10 miles return trip. How can one get along without a car? That said, I can imagine a situation without a car, but it would have to be in a big city.

When I was in Eastern Europe, one took steps underground and had access to transportation. It was a subway. But it would take you all across the city and it moved rapidly. Yes, one could survive without a car there. Perhaps in other cities in the U.S. like NYC and others I am not aware of. But where I live now, without a car? No way. Way too hard. Things are just too far away.

At some point in my life I would like to be car less. I would like to live in a big city that has excellent transportation. I am afraid that is in the future in a time and place that is currently unknown.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:28 PM   #4
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My cost to have a car is $2k / year for insurance, $0.5k / year for maintenance plus $0.10 per 1 mile in gas. I currently drive about 6,000 miles a year bringing me to a total cost of $0.51 per mile. A taxi in this area is $2.25 / mile plus tip, so let's call it $2.50. Obviously using a taxi will cost significantly more than owning a car, however, if you shouldn't (or can't) drive then it's a cost you need to accept. Once I can't drive my travel budget will go towards taxi's .... gotta do what you gotta do.

I get really upset when I see folks who should not be driving get behind the wheel of a car. The potential medical costs in that situation could be far more than my $0.51/ mile !
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:35 PM   #5
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I spent many years in KC, people mostly had cars. We lived downtown for a while and while having vehicles you didn't absolutely need them. You might pay some for transportation or not.

There was a time when I helped a guy who was visually impaired. He was going blind from RP(Retinitis Pigmentosa) and wasn't dealing well with it. I took him around places, sometimes for groceries and sometimes to drink a beer or two. He loved to go hit golf balls. While he wasn't particularly talented; he always had fun.

He drank a little too much, sometimes a lot too much! Ever deal with a partially blind drunk guy? He wasn't necessarily fun to be with while intoxicated.

One trick I tried was to bring beer over with me when I visited. Expensive beer, the kind with a jalapeno in each bottle . It was spicy, especially after the fact. After a couple, well, it was just painful. Sometimes he'd plead with me to take him out to buy Old Milwaukee beer. I'd never let in; poor sightless SOB wasn't going to die a mean drunk on my watch.

Be careful who your friends are; they might buy you poison beer.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:30 PM   #6
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Luckily my primary residence is FL, so that's were I have my drivers license. They don't take those away for any reason that I've been able to determine (probably including death). So I'll just get in the left lane, turn on my turn signal, and drive 35 mph into the sunset (in a 55 mph zone).
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:10 PM   #7
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I live in a "senior mobility" friendly city. At age 65 I register with the city and the local bus will pick me at my driveway and drop me at the door of my destination (as opposed to bus stops) and I get 50% off taxi coupons if the bus is too slow. The bus does not make a special trip, it's the next one on the scheduled run.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #8
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My DH and I still work, and we own one car that we share. Most days, it sits in the garage. We both ride our bikes to work (5 miles for him, 8.5 miles for me). I like to drive if it's raining, but DH insists on riding in the rain or he sometimes takes the bus to work.

We mostly eat at restaurants that we can walk or take the bus to. I ride by bike to get groceries. Our house has a walk score of 72. I feel we live in a suburban town, but it's getting more like a city as people keep moving in. The traffic gets worse, but then more shops and restaurants pop-up in a walkable distance from us, which probably happens only because it's more densely populated now.

I like the idea of not being dependent on the car. I hope that if we keep walking and biking places, then we won't feel "too old" to do it when we get older.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #9
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I think this is a big, untapped market for self driving cars. Until then, you can always call an Uber.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:08 AM   #10
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DH is 5 years younger. If we both can’t drive we will Uber.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:48 AM   #11
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Plan to Uber when we can’t drive. We ride share with Uber now occasionally if we are planning to have wine with dinner and we sometimes get an elderly passenger running errands.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:05 AM   #12
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By the time we cannot drive, we will no longer be in a suburban SFH. I'm in a dense area, but it's still 1 mile to the neighborhood exit, and then everything I need is within another mile. But a 4 mile walking round trip for groceries when I'm no longer physically able to drive is a non-starter.

So I'd be looking for something where daily needs are within a half mile radius, and fill in with Uber (or whatever it will be when the time comes).
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:42 AM   #13
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Carless would be difficult in my current environment. I'd have to move to a city to be walking close to services, and I've never lived in a city before.
The wilderness is calling and I must go.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:52 AM   #14
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The place we moved to in 2016 was chosen in part for the desire to remain active outside the home in the event of us not being to drive. DW already can't drive at present because of eye problems. We are on a bus route with many buses a day including a local service which "pootles" around the small town we live in to get folks to the shops, doctors etc. Taxis are also very affordable and is what my father used for the last 10 years of his life when he decided it was too dangerous for him to be driving.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:19 AM   #15
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Honolulu has THE BUS which (as bus systems go) is relatively convenient, pervasive and reliable. Until I can't drive, I probably won't use it, but it's nice to know it's there. For seniors who use it much, it is very inexpensive.

Here is a link:

Since we still drive, we offer rides to folks who can't drive. I would assume this is typical in most communities - especially Senior communities. Hopefully Karma is real, heh, heh.

Most of us will eventually face car-less-ness if we live long enough. In the mean time, we should probably share the ride. YMMV
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:24 AM   #16
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DMiL , who's in her 90s and suffering from macular degeneration, had to give up driving several years ago. She lives in a nearby small town (25,000) that has an excellent transit system for a city its size. The best part is a "ride-share" taxi that charges $2.50 for pickup to anywhere in town for passengers over 60 or card-carrying disabled. A trip a mile outside the city limits (i.e., Walmart) costs $8.

Kids and adults can catch a ride as well, they're just charged a little more. The taxi runs from 5:30 am until 11:45 pm weekdays and until 3 am Friday and Saturday to see the drunks home.

There's also a small bus that schedules a free trip from Mom's senior apartment complex to a nearby supermarket every Monday morning.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:18 PM   #17
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Very relevant topic, but I don't feel so worried about it any more.

When we moved from NJ, the ability to live happily without the ability to drive was a key factor in choosing our current city - Denver. We live close to a commuter rail station, bus stops are near by, parks, supermarket & library and even Home Depot & Walmart are all within a 15 minute walking distance.

The arrival of Uber and other on-demand transportation options has made the idea of living with no car even more feasible. On demand electric scooters and bicycles (two-wheeled) are also making an inroad in Denver. And I'm optimistic, that there will be some form of automated, on demand transportation by the time we need it.

We may also have affordable exo-skeletons in the not too distant future that will enable us to walk longer & faster than we would otherwise be able to. The upgrade in quality of life that these exoskeletons are already providing paraplegics is just jaw dropping & they've only just started becoming widely available.

And then there is home delivery, maybe some form of 3D communication, remote medical diagnosis and treatment. Hey! You may never need to leave your home.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:26 PM   #18
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If neither of us could drive we'd have to move. This area has a walkscore of 4 and I don't know how it got that high. The nearest grocery store (closing in September) is 3 miles and a convenience store (7-11) is about a mile +. The next nearest grocery is about 5 miles. But as Aerides points out, if I'm physically unable to drive I'm not going on 5 mile hikes either.

A temporary tactic if that event came on suddenly would be to take taxis to the grocery store weekly (and probably cheaper than owning two vehicles) but lifestyle would suffer immensely. So it would be off to the CCRC for us. When my mother couldn't drive any longer that option worked out well for her.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:24 PM   #19
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I live in a highly walkable neighborhood in the city, I can walk to Pacific Palisades in 5 min or down to beach in 15 min. The furthest thing is the US Embassy which is an hour by bus 30 cents or 30 min by taxi $5.50. Buses and taxi's out my front door or we can Uber or 1/2 a dozen other app's. Also have Uber Eats if you do not feel like going to the restaurant. Hell, Mickey D's will deliver you a Big Mac in the middle of the night if you have the munchies! The best part is your parking spot generates rent or can be easily sold for 15k-20k.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Luckily my primary residence is FL, so that's were I have my drivers license. They don't take those away for any reason that I've been able to determine (probably including death). So I'll just get in the left lane, turn on my turn signal, and drive 35 mph into the sunset (in a 55 mph zone).
So true , my friends father still had his license at 103.

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