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The economics of my retirement
Old 02-09-2019, 06:05 AM   #1
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The economics of my retirement

Quite a while before I retired the ‘pile’ was sufficiently large for me to stop working, but It just was not in my makeup to do so. When I pulled the plug I was 64.5, so technically I did not fire but, to me 1 day before 65 was early retirement.

Knowing that I was financially set to retire, I must confess I allowed myself certain luxuries. While I brought a cup of Joe out the door with me every day I would indulge in a couple cups of coffee during the day @ $2:00 each . So $4.00 shot on coffee. My sins didn’t stop there I bought lunch, yep $10. Now before you get all crazy on me You should consider I brought lunch from home for a very long time. We still were managing to save very significant sum. So $14 a day 4 days a week or $56 a week. Then there is my trusty steed the red Rav4. Thrifty yes but roughly $20 a week in gas - going out for lunch and the drive in to work. Add this all up and well it is $76 a week or easily $300 a month. Yikes, It is embarrassing but I rationalize it by the fact that I really dont have any other expenses, hobbies etc. No just a couple of zero expense digital Library memberships and a tablet.

Today lunch is a sandwich, left overs or a quick bowl of cereal. Once a week I take the Mrs out for two personal pizzas and 2 diet cokes for $22. - I spoil her so. My trusty steed is getting dusty, it maybe makes 2 trips to the supermarket. We were forced to use her car because it sat for so long. Dare I say or think it do we really need 2 cars?

$300 a month is a lot of money I think i deserve a new fishing rod don’t you. Was anyone else surprised?
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:56 PM   #2
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I haven't FIREd yet, but will do so with the knowledge that my daily expenses will be much lower in a few years. I still have 2 kids at home that will soon launch which will save me $$ on a multitude of levels....food, electricity, water, insurance, incidentals. My wife and I drive about 500 miles a week on our commute, and work duties, and she often buys lunch in a different town, we are currently buying quick easy meals, rather than home cooked meals in the slow cooker, or raising our own chickens, eggs.

One of the first things I will be doing when I retire is building a high tunnel/hoop greenhouse for fresh vegetables, and start growing fodder in basement for our horses.

I also plan to resume an old hobby of buying/fixing/selling mowers, and garden tractors in my shop, which can be done at my own pace, and desire.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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Yes you need 2 cars. My late wife's cousin's husband, another one who was put on earth to be a bad example, talked her into selling one of their cars. He would then take the car into town for an all day effort leaving her stranded way out of town.
We just bought (paid cash) for 2 new cars. There is no way in the world we would only have one car. We each have enough different activities that we needed 2 cars
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:20 PM   #4
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DW and I have with one vehicle and it is more than enough for us. We do have to plan our individual activities around needing a vehicle. Has not been an issue considering we have all the time in the world to plan our activities. I even got rid of my motorcycle as our second vehicle since I was tired of having to put on pants to use it. I wont drive a motorcycle without all the safety gear and I dont like wearing pants so there is my dilemma. But down to one car has not been an issue since retirement.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:29 PM   #5
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We have had only 1 car for 11+ years now.
I work at home.
She works at a retail store 3 days a week.
In the last decade we have required 2 cars in the same day about 5 times.
Uber.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:42 PM   #6
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I vote for 2 cars.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:55 PM   #7
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I'm down to 5 cars--after one was recently totaled out by a daughter's boyfriend. I have a 10 year old Lexus that's getting ready to be sold.

After 10 years' retirement moving my parents, an aunt and a daughter numerous times, I'm out of the moving business. I've one more construction project building a boat barn before I'm going out of the personal construction business. My 16 year old truck is going into semi-retirement only used for towing trailers.

That leaves us with a hybrid running around car, SUV road vehicle and a Jaguar convertible that's seldom driven. I wish our lifestyle allowed us to make it on one vehicle.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:36 PM   #8
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We downsized to just one car and were very happy with that decision.

Sure you deserve a new fishing pole!
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:47 PM   #9
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We have 2 cars, and I drive both of them, except for literally once a year DW will drive her car. I switch vehicles now and then to be sure the battery stays strong.

I think we could easily get by with 1 car, with the realization a few times per year we might have to call a cab or take a bicycle out.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:19 AM   #10
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2 cars for us. Can't give up the 2 seat convertible, but the of 3 us going out to dinner/entertainment,etc, so 2 cars.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:14 AM   #11
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Whether or not you need two cars depends on your lifestyles in retirement. If your interests and hobbies are different and you are frequently away from home at the same time going in different directions, then you might need two cars.

If most of your activities away from home are done together, then you may only need one car. This may be especially true if you are able to walk or ride a bicycle to run errands near the house.

For people that are moving and want to get an idea how walkable their new neighborhood is, this is a pretty good website:
https://www.walkscore.com/

My wife and I have two cars, but once she retired a few years ago we could easily get by with one car. I still work part time, but work from home, so I don't normally need a car.

I kept a spreadsheet for over a year and tracked the number of times that both of our cars were away from home at the same time. For us, in most cases, one of us could easily have shifted the timing of our car usage to avoid the need for a second car. For example, if I am at a club meeting and my wife is at the grocery store, the grocery store trip could easily have been shifted to another day or time.

We found that on average, there was about one instance every couple of months where we needed two cars, since we were going in different directions at the same time, when neither event could be shifted to another time. In the long run, it would be much cheaper for one of us to take a taxi or use ridesharing (Uber or Lyft) once every couple of months than to maintain a second car.

Both cars are paid for so we have chosen to keep them for now. But when the first car reaches the end of its life, we will probably experiment with only having one car. This is not an irreversible decision, so we can always get a second car if we wish.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffithee View Post
I was tired of having to put on pants............ and I dont like wearing pants .

Yeah, me too. I just hate pants, but DW insists if we are going out. (totally quoted out of context - I couldn't resist).

We tried one car - hers. A few months later, 2 cars. All better.

And get the fishing rod. It's what you retired for. We also do small splurges, like lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant for about $15 all in. A focus of our retirement is experiences (large and small) over stuff.

Now go have fun!
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:54 AM   #13
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Currently 3 cars, two drivers.

1. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe - DW's drive

2. 1998 Ford F150 Pickup with 48,000 miles on it - My lumber getter

3. 2002 BMW 325 CI convertible - Summer car.

Combined resale value of all these together is about $25,000 give or take a few bucks. Cheaper than a used Lexus.

All three are in perfect condition with all maintenance up to date.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:57 AM   #14
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Spouse and I work but share one car. We live close to work and work close to each other. Both our work schedules are somewhat flexible. Work parking is a 2k/yr for her, I do most of the driving, we rarely go or do things separately. Uber, walking or carpooling sometimes. It works fine for us, it's simple, sometimes takes some planning but we don't mind. Plus she doesn't like to drive and isn't the best driver, so why risk it.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:02 AM   #15
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Two cars, one car, no cars. It depends where you live and what you do. DW and I living in DC have one car and wouldn't benefit from two at all. In fact, worrying about street parking for a car that rarely got used would be a distraction. If we were in Manhattan we would probably have no cars unless we were rich enough to have a garage and would then would have one - primarily to haul our bikes to rural rides. If we lived in the suburbs or more rural location like our former weekend house, we would definitely have two and would have added that factor into our calculation before ER.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:21 AM   #16
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We are retiring in less than 4 months. Before we get there, I am going to give away my 2008 Civic with 300k miles on it and lease a new MINI Cooper. So we'll enter retirement with 3 cars - a 2018 Subaru Forester, a 2019 MINI and a 2001 BMW Z3 roadster. We'll see how things go from there. If it turns out that we really don't need two ordinary cars (we'll always need a roadster), we'll just turn in the MINI at the end of the lease.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Today lunch is a sandwich, left overs or a quick bowl of cereal. Once a week I take the Mrs out for two personal pizzas and 2 diet cokes for $22. - I spoil her so. My trusty steed is getting dusty, it maybe makes 2 trips to the supermarket. We were forced to use her car because it sat for so long. Dare I say or think it do we really need 2 cars?

$300 a month is a lot of money I think i deserve a new fishing rod don’t you. Was anyone else surprised?
One of your cars is your backup. Probably backup for your kids too.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:48 AM   #18
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We had 3 cars for a long time, His, hers and the "Toy" for him. This continued into retirement but the his car(s) never/rarely got used. After 2 years with an average of 2k miles per year on his, we sold it. This left us with hers and his "Toy".

After 3 years with less than 300 miles per year on the Toy, we sold it with a promise to replace it with another. I have not yet. I do miss a toy car somewhat but have not got around to finding a replacement. I must admit I have had a lot of toy cars, and the decision has not been made yet on a replacement. Although I would like to have an Aston before I croak, but maybe not.

So we are down to one leased car that we do on average 5k per year. furthest we go is to the airport, we usually walk or bike to the beach.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:50 AM   #19
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2 cars for us. Can't give up the 2 seat convertible, but the of 3 us going out to dinner/entertainment,etc, so 2 cars.

This right here. Only I opted for the 4-seat convertible. Got to have room for the doggos in the back!
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:55 AM   #20
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One of your cars is your backup. Probably backup for your kids too.
Cars are easy to rent and can be quite cheap too. You really don’t need the cost (insurance, maintenance) of a second car just for backup.

Whether you need two cars totally depends on how much the second car is being used. It only took us a six months retired to realize the second nice car hadn’t be driven at all and wasn’t likely to be going forward so we happily sold it for some nice $$.
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