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Old 02-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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Has anyone had just a series of events causing big expenses in the first year?
Yes -- just posted it in One-in-Five Elderly Outspend Income.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:21 AM   #22
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Having five of the buggers in the house right now gives me a good perspective on your dilemma, though we are still working. I will say that many of the super-expensive surgical and medical options are still just that, options.

For us, we decide the quality of life outcome and make decisions based on that as best we can. In practice this has meant managing a limp rather than surgery in an older dog, choosing not to treat cancer in a dog that didn't have a good prognosis, and now, making a very old cat comfortable rather than attempting to treat a variety of maladies (we have 6 cats).
You could save even more by feeding one of the 6 cats to the 5 dogs.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:26 AM   #23
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I haven't retired quite yet but expect to be in the same situation as OP, because the house I bought needs more repairs than I have cash available. I think I will need to withdraw some thousands of dollars of Roth contributions to finish the most pressing repairs this year. After that, I plan to put money aside so as to be able to pay for future repairs/upgrades in cash
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #24
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You could save even more by feeding one of the 6 cats to the 5 dogs.
Lol, you obviously haven't met my cats! I think it would be more likely for them to filet one of the dogs to serve up at dinner!
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #25
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We did a demolish/remodel just prior to retiring so we shouldn't have any major repairs (other than replace one-car garage with two-car garage) in the near term. On the vehicles, I include "depreciation" in my living expenses budget so that provides funds for replacement vehicles every so often.

No provisions for pet expenses but we only have one cat and thankfully he has been healthy.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #26
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You could save even more by feeding one of the 6 cats to the 5 dogs.
I am not sure whether Sarah is best described as a pet lover or zoo keeper
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:59 AM   #27
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You could save even more by feeding one of the 6 cats to the 5 dogs.

I think there are more dogs within a mile of my house than people. I saw a cat a few times about 6 months ago, but no more.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #28
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My one time expense buckets include 1.5k for medium sized home repairs / replacement of things that break down, 3k for bigger home repairs / car replacements and 2.5k for extraordinary out of pocket medical - giving me a total of 7k / year. Probably a little short but considering the 95k held aside from my portfolio I hope its enough.

Like the OP I'll probably freak out a little when I actually need to spend from that 95k !
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #29
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Yes, we had crazy expenses in the first and second year.

The bad

First year - we sold our existing house at a large loss. We had expected to break even based upon feedback from our real estate agent. She had thought it would actually sell for more than we had paid for it and that we would walk away with money. Being more conservative, I projected to break even.

In reality, we had to bring money to closing.

Year 2 - we had bought an older house that needed remodeling as part of our downsizing. We paid cash for it and had budgeted a significant sum to remodel it. Making a very long story short, the remodeling was not feasible, the house developed a foundation problem and we decided to demolish it and build new. After looking at that for a time, we realized that building new was way more expensive than buying an existing house so we sold the property. The net effect of all of that was a loss of about $100k. I'm not happy about it. The only good news is that had we carried on with our idea of building a new house this would have been a $200k loss.....

The good

DH retired, but I semi-retired and arranged to continue working 1 day a week. During the last 2 1/2 years I've worked 1 to 2 days a week and earned enough money to more than cover both of the above losses.

It made me happy that I had decided to continue the part-time work.... When I started I wasn't sure how long I would do it, but with these events I was glad I had that option.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #30
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Ouch Kat! My sympathies... I assume the downsizing wasn't to save money, but a lifestyle change?
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:29 PM   #31
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Ouch Kat! My sympathies... I assume the downsizing wasn't to save money, but a lifestyle change?
Basically. The larger house was a great house when we had 6 people in it, but by the time we were down to 4 and will be down to 2 in the next few years it was just way bigger than we needed. It was not very energy efficient and was expensive to maintain (on acreage, with a pool, lots of trees, etc.). We could have kept it if it had been important to us, but we just didn't have a need or desire to spend each year what it would take to maintain living there.

I guess the best way to put it was that downsizing saved money and that resulted in us having more money for the lifestyle that we prefer.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:39 PM   #32
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I am not sure whether Sarah is best described as a pet lover or zoo keeper
Ha! Our house sitters for this summer title their emails to us about the logistics of their stay while we drive the bus To Mongolia: "Your Zoo"! At least they will be prepared!
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