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View Poll Results: Did you fire the housekeeper or gardener upon retirement?
Yes 21 25.30%
No 62 74.70%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-08-2019, 10:09 PM   #21
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Neither. We moved just before retiring and haven’t looked for a cleaner yet.

Once our finances stabilize early next year, we will find one.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by catii View Post
Lawn service here, too. Grass grows too damn fast in the tropics (Hawaii) & would be knee-high in a month. Well worth the $80/month we pay!
That is really cheap. Ours is $28 per week, so usually $112 but longer months are $140 depending on the number of Fridays in a month.
Our mow day is Friday.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:56 PM   #23
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We do out own stuff. Try to do more now as I have time to. We have avoided hiring a maid. We figured if we were unable to clean the house we should get a smaller one-still not a bad idea.

We can afford these things, but it has never been about what we can afford. It is more what we WANT to afford.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:05 PM   #24
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After retirement, started to do own auto maintenance . Good trade off when shop labor is $125 hr and up.

The unskilled and semi skilled stuff , Gardener and maid, I farm out. Again , good trade of money vs time.This is low wage stuff.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:16 PM   #25
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not only have we kept the housecleaner and lawn crew we hired a snow removal crew 2-yrs ago. shoulda done that years ago.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:17 PM   #26
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We made the opposite choice. We purposely moved to an HOA community where all the the lawn maintenance and winter snow clearing is done for us.

Naturally we pay a monthly fee for this but we are happy pay it and regard it as a benefit in retirement. We could very well be starting to engage some housecleaning support as well. I do wash my own vehicle though.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:31 PM   #27
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Hire more stuff out. No time in ER to doing this type of stuff. I consider myself a jobs provider helping people make a living.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:07 AM   #28
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I answered no as didn't have either. One day I will likely have someone but not while I am able-bodied. Yard work was part of my relaxation.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:14 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
We retired so we would no longer have to work, not to substitute a an unpaid job for a paid one.
+1
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:50 AM   #30
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We pick and choose. We have a dependable cleaning lady who we would not let go. Wife is the gardener, I'm the cleanup guy.

I have a riding mower but got sick of it and hired a guy. He does it for less than he should. I hate the heat and dust of a humid summer day mowing. Dust because our lawn was destroyed by two years of Japanese beetles.

Snow removal is more to my liking. Dropped the plow guy and bought a nice self propelled blower. But I'm 70 now and weary of doing our 400 ft. with it so I just plunked down $5,600 for a new tractor with a snowblower. Old guy needs a toy now and then too.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:30 AM   #31
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I toyed with the idea of getting a lawn service when I bought my house last year. The lady I bought it from had one of those big zero-turn mowers that she offered to sell me. She mentioned that she just put several thousand $ into it...but then I found out it was about 30 years old. I've never paid more than $1500 or so for a riding lawn mower, so I figured that something that old, that could run up that much in repairs, was just a bankruptcy waiting to happen! So, I passed.

On the day I settled on the house and started moving in, a guy from a lawn service stopped off, and dropped off a section a hose that he said one of his guys ran over, so he repaired it for her. I was a bit confused at first, and said, but she always cut her own grass? But, since she was selling the house, and wanted to downsize, perhaps she sold her mower? No, the guy said that it broke down on her! So, she paid him, $1200 for six mows. Or, $200 per cut.

Now, this property is 6.5 acres. Parts of it are wooded, and then once you account for the house, outbuildings, pool, driveway, etc, the mowable area is considerably less...but probably still about 4 acres. He said it took about 2 hours for his crew to come in and cut it all. He also said that, if I got on a contract plan with him, he'd do it for $150 per cut.

It was late in the season last year, so I said I'd think about it, and kept his business card. My uncle brought our tractor from the old house over, and cut it for me for its one last time of the year. He did it over the course of two days, and he said it took about 4 hours per day. So, 8 hours, total. Suddenly, that $150 per cut started looking pretty good!

But, my uncle is retired, and has nothing BUT time, so he's offered to do it for me. And, earlier in the year, my Mom gave me her old tractor, so now we have two of them, and hers is a little bit bigger than the one we have. Also, my uncle tends to cut "low and slow". I tend to go faster, but keep the mower deck up higher, so I'm less likely to kill any critters that sometimes try to hide in the grass, or can't get away quickly enough. I can cut the whole yard in 4-5 hours, depending on how high we let the grass cut. So, suddenly, that doesn't seem *too* bad.

Still, $150 per mow, considering the size of the yard, seems pretty reasonable. However, I'm sure they'd be out every week, so they could knock it out fast. I think we might have cut the grass perhaps six times total this past year. First time was in April, and I think the last was in mid/late August. This was a fairly dry summer. Even though it's pushing mid-November, it probably could use one last cut, but at this point it's no big deal. Anyway, I guess one way of looking at it is $150 x the six times we cut it = $900 in savings. But I'm sure the lawn crew would have been out an average of once a week for 6 months. So, $150 x 26 = $3900! Even if the dry season threw them off and they only came out 20 times, that's still $3000.

Eventually, my uncle will get too old to be able to do it. He's 67, but not in the best health. And even now, he has trouble driving the bigger tractor that my Mom gave us. It's heavier, the steering requires a bit more muscle, and it hits the bumps harder than the one we already had.

Once I'm retired, I'll have nothing BUT time, so I'll probably do it. But, who knows; I might change my mind. The old house is on about 4 1/4 acres, but mostly woods. It would only take 1-2 hours to cut the whole thing, depending on how out of hand I let the grass get. That didn't seem so bad. I'd knock it out right after work, and still have plenty of time left in the evening. But riding around out there at the new house, and after an hour or so looking around, and seeing just how much still needs to be done, can get a bit depressing.

So, at this point I'm on the fence about paying for a lawn service. I won't do it now, because I'm still in savings mode, and trying to sock away as much as possible. But, once I switch to spending mode in retirement, I might splurge on it.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:43 AM   #32
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Before retiring we had a housekeeper off and on throughout the years but I did all of the yard work myself. Since retiring we don't have a housekeeper but had someone cut our small yard for $25/week since we're usually traveling all summer.
Didn't vote since our circumstance doesn't fit.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:58 AM   #33
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Don't have one to fire.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:07 AM   #34
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No housecleaner to fire. I wish I could fire myself from that job, but I don't trust housecleaners to treat my things the way I do. Had a couple of experiences with cleaners a few years ago, and said never again.

We only started using a lawn service a couple of years ago (and were still doing a lot of work outside ourselves). Here in FL, we have a service mostly because the shrubbery is a bit too high to trim ourselves, and the weather's too warm for sustained outdoor labor. I still get out there in the early hours, sunhat and safari pants, and clean up whatever the palm trees, etc. have dropped. (I am, I should note, the only owner in the neighborhood who lifts a finger outdoors).
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:12 AM   #35
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I fired the pest control service. We have generous line item in the budget and DW has a cleaning service bi weekly. I gotta admit I was sorta stunned when others cited 2% of budget for this service but ours is only 1% but that’s still higher than I expected. I take care of the lawn. Just yesterday I paid $60 for a synthetic oil change that was $40 bucks just awhile back. It’s maybe $30 or so to do it myself less than 2x per year so not a big savings.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:51 AM   #36
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Now that we're retired, we have hired a cleaning lady, a mowing and leaf raking service, and snow removal. They all work very hard doing chores we no longer want to do.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:06 AM   #37
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I wish the poll had a "never had them when we were working" option.

Based on the written responses, I must be in a small minority on this board. We always did our own lawn mowing, snow shoveling, housecleaning, .... while I was working. We continued that into retirement.*

I consider that part of LBYM.


* One exception. I was laid up with a broken foot for two summers and we hired someone to mow the grass. It was $40 per mowing, and it really bugged me to spend the money.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:13 AM   #38
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We haven't had any type of cleaning or yard service since we've been married.

If I had a cleaning/yard service, and did not want to do that work myself, I would look to place that cost in the budget.

I do not see getting a service when we initially retire (I am actually looking forward to cleaning and cooking at my leisure) but I suspect after a few years we will look into this - and the sticking point will be finding a service that we like.

Oh, I would not want to mow the law/garden. I am horribly afraid of bugs, and have grass allegories. (I tried mowing the lawn once and my face blew up like a balloon, my nose ran like a sieve and my eyes teared to the point that I couldn't see. Not pretty.)
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:15 AM   #39
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Nope, still married to her.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:47 AM   #40
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I’d let go of the housekeeper if I weren’t so allergic to dust. DW is neither enthusiastic nor regular at housecleaning, so the maid stays for medical reasons. Probably the best $1,200 I spend every year.
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