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Old 10-01-2008, 11:49 AM   #21
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Um... that's that point of the thread. Your monthly statements tell you how much you're regularly spending, but they don't give an idea what you'll need for these long-term periodic expenses. The metric I use most often in figuring my own spending patterns is tracking a rolling 12-month average, since my month-to-month spending is variable. But that 12-month average doesn't include these once-a-decade purchases.
As an Engineer, I have done a zillion life-cycle cost estimates. If you have just changed your lifestyle and have no past data, then trying to itemize each item and calculate the replacement costs and annual depreciation is the only option.

However, if you have lived in a house for a reasonably long time, then empirical data (ie, the money that you have spent in the past), will be a pretty good indicator of the money you will spend in the future (adjusted for inflation). The assumption is in the course of a year you have replaced items on a regular basis because your income has come in on a regular basis. That is, you will not buy a new washing machine or TV if the roof is starting to look old. Conversely, if the roof suddenly needs to be replaced, then you will delay the replacement of other items around the house.

I am curious. Does your rolling 12-month average changes significantly over time?

Just to emphasis the main point of my post, you can significantly alter your annual costs simply by making some rather modest lifestyle changes. For anyone looking at ER, a lifestyle change can shave 5 years or more off your retirement age. Trying to keep your current lifestyle with all the trappings makes ER unnecessarily difficult. The cost of clothes alone will drop significantly, not to mention all those things you buy on impulse - simply because you have the money to buy them.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:56 AM   #22
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Looks good to me. I did some quick math on it and it appears to be $4,772 per year in "capital expenses". Most of the items on your list are around what I would use, except the tv at $2000, which I might put back to $1000. Although my car expenses might tend to be a little higher, preferring new(er) cars.

I don't remember the budget number I used, but I lumped all these "one time" purchases (that are really recurring purchases that happen very infrequently) into one category that also includes things like expensive dental work or unexpected medical bills. In all likelihood, these "one time" expenses will tend to spread themselves out by themselves. And some are elective expenses that can be deferred if other urgent expenses must be covered first (ie - root canal = not optional, but replacing a 10 yr old car can wait another year typically).

My theory on lumping these expenses into one realistic line item is that I'm just guessing anyway. I'm probably off by +-25% on costs and +-50% or more on durations/life expectancy.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:58 PM   #23
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Water Heater

I know there is another thread about installing a new heater, but I just priced replacing a gas direct vent WH, so you're $150 is waay low.

For Gas Direct Vent (which are more economical to run than standard gas)
-- $1545 plus tax installed.

For Gas Tankless (even more economical, and include rebates/tax credits)
-- $3450 plus tax installed.

Rita
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:16 PM   #24
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I know there is another thread about installing a new heater, but I just priced replacing a gas direct vent WH, so you're $150 is waay low.

For Gas Direct Vent (which are more economical to run than standard gas)
-- $1545 plus tax installed.

For Gas Tankless (even more economical, and include rebates/tax credits)
-- $3450 plus tax installed.

Rita
Well, in fairness, Rec7 told us he paid that $150 in 1990. So, right now that water heater probably looks a lot like soupxcan's water heater. Also, my figure was for a regular (non-direct-vent) gas water heater that I install myself. Four years ago, when I crunched the numbers regarding a high-efficiency direct-vent model, even assuming some increase in NG costs, it didn't make sense to me to buy one.
I doubt I'll be wanting to manhandle a water heater onto my flatbed trailer when I'm 80, so it would be wise to maybe include some increase in costs down the road for instalation. When we finalize this list, we'll need to include some comments regarding this point.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:20 PM   #25
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Four years ago, when I crunched the numbers regarding a high-efficiency direct-vent model, even assuming some increase in NG costs, it didn't make sense to me to buy one.
Samclem,
I agree. I just crunched the numbers and even with a $350 rebate from the utility and a $300 tax credit, it doesn't make sense -- maybe in another 10 years (). Additionally, I was told that should there be a power outage, with a tankless model, you have no hot water and it requires electricity to ignite the gas (unlike standard or direct vent tanks).

-- Rita
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:25 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Hobo View Post
However, if you have lived in a house for a reasonably long time, then empirical data (ie, the money that you have spent in the past), will be a pretty good indicator of the money you will spend in the future (adjusted for inflation). The assumption is in the course of a year you have replaced items on a regular basis because your income has come in on a regular basis. That is, you will not buy a new washing machine or TV if the roof is starting to look old. Conversely, if the roof suddenly needs to be replaced, then you will delay the replacement of other items around the house.
Actually, I'm reasonably on board with that. Most people kind of smooth their bigger expenses naturally. And I pretty much figure that my ER needs will be current expenses + monthly slush for emergencies. But I do appreciate a different way of looking at this. It also would make a nice sanity check to make sure that my home improvement / maintenance line item is in the right ballpark.

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I am curious. Does your rolling 12-month average changes significantly over time?
Yes and no. The number I normally track doesn't include big ticket items, like a car. If I do a 12-month average of paying cash for a car at $15,000 (which we did last year), I'd have an inflated average expenditure that would suddenly drop to zero. I haven't had major ($5,000+) house expenses in the last couple of years, but maybe I'm getting to the point of having added costs due to deferred maintenance.

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Just to emphasis the main point of my post, you can significantly alter your annual costs simply by making some rather modest lifestyle changes. For anyone looking at ER, a lifestyle change can shave 5 years or more off your retirement age. Trying to keep your current lifestyle with all the trappings makes ER unnecessarily difficult. The cost of clothes alone will drop significantly, not to mention all those things you buy on impulse - simply because you have the money to buy them.
Not sure if the original poster has that issue. I think you'll find that most people here are saving pretty aggressively, and don't have a whole lot more slack they can take up by reducing expenses. I'm currently living at the level I enjoy living at, which leaves a few grand extra every month, and I'm not willing to cut it further.

But I guess the gist of your point is that estimating expenses that occur less frequently than annually isn't really a good way to go about it. Personally, the closer I get to retirement (still 10+ years away), the more different ways I'll be looking at it, so I found this discussion useful.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:33 PM   #27
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Samclem,
I agree. I just crunched the numbers and even with a $350 rebate from the utility and a $300 tax credit, it doesn't make sense -- maybe in another 10 years (). Additionally, I was told that should there be a power outage, with a tankless model, you have no hot water and it requires electricity to ignite the gas (unlike standard or direct vent tanks).

-- Rita
If being able to work when there's no AC power is an issue, then you'll want a unit (conventional or direct vent) that has a pilot light. In addition, the fan on the direct-vent models won't work without electric power, so the WH won't operate.

Bottom line: If you want hot water when the lights are out, you'll need to get a unit with a pilot light and without a fan. (Hey, these are also the cheapest units--rejoice!)
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:42 PM   #28
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Yep! My thoughts exactly. Just found this on a search for 'useful life.' A listing of major home appliances and their useful life. The most comprehensive list I was able to find.

http://www.aham.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/5271

-- Rita
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:49 PM   #29
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I am wondering about interior and exterior repainting. Did I miss that?
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:24 PM   #30
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Well, in fairness, Rec7 told us he paid that $150 in 1990. So, right now that water heater probably looks a lot like soupxcan's water heater. Also, my figure was for a regular (non-direct-vent) gas water heater that I install myself. Four years ago, when I crunched the numbers regarding a high-efficiency direct-vent model, even assuming some increase in NG costs, it didn't make sense to me to buy one.
I doubt I'll be wanting to manhandle a water heater onto my flatbed trailer when I'm 80, so it would be wise to maybe include some increase in costs down the road for instalation. When we finalize this list, we'll need to include some comments regarding this point.
It was a regular one and we did the work. It was done in 1990 prices have went up like a rocket since then. The tank alone is I am guessing double. Not to brag but it does look better than soupxcan's.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:38 PM   #31
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If being able to work when there's no AC power is an issue, then you'll want a unit (conventional or direct vent) that has a pilot light. In addition, the fan on the direct-vent models won't work without electric power, so the WH won't operate.

Bottom line: If you want hot water when the lights are out, you'll need to get a unit with a pilot light and without a fan. (Hey, these are also the cheapest units--rejoice!)
If you have a well, you're not going to be getting water during a power outage anyway, right? So you might want to add a generator to the list.

My mother just replaced a standard water heater last week. It was about $450 for the heater, with another $100 or so for the installation. I think she got a good installation price from the guys she always uses, so that might be a it of a low price.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #32
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Thats a great price. A decent 40-50gal HWH is $330-450 and I usually see around another $400 quoted for the install including delivery, haul away and minor to moderate code updates. If a platform needs to be built or any other major stuff is needed, thats extra.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:50 PM   #33
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If you have a well, you're not going to be getting water during a power outage anyway, right? So you might want to add a generator to the list.
Good point. I've got the generator, but it's not on the list because I forgot about it. This will be a very long durability item, as I don't run it much and take good care of it. The well pump was the highest wattage appliance I had to worry about, and drove me to buy a much larger generator than I otherwise would have. During a blackout we plan to run it for 30 minutes every once in awhile to pump some water into the bathtub and various jugs, recharge batteries, get the freezer cold again, run the furnace to get the house warmed up, then shut 'er down to save gas. If it's really hot out, we could run a room A/C unit, but that would be a luxury.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:56 PM   #34
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During a blackout we plan to run it for 30 minutes every once in awhile to pump some water into the bathtub and various jugs, recharge batteries, get the freezer cold again, run the furnace to get the house warmed up, then shut 'er down to save gas.
Don't forget flushing the toilets. That's why we got ours.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:59 PM   #35
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Pssstt..dont flush them...you might need the water...
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