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View Poll Results: Did you fire the housekeeper or gardener upon retirement?
Yes 21 25.30%
No 62 74.70%
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Firing the service workers
Old 11-08-2019, 05:05 PM   #1
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Firing the service workers

We have a bi-weekly housekeeper and a weekly gardener. Together they make up 3% of our budget. Upon retirement we plan to terminate them and do this work ourselves, because time will be plentiful and we just don’t know how long our nest egg will need to last. Other similar moves might be paid car washes, handyman work you can do yourself, etc. I’m curious how many people made this same cost cutting “time-for-money” tradeoff upon their retirement.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:18 PM   #2
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The cleaning lady is part of our retirement budget. We never did have a gardener, although I could see getting one when I am physically unable to keep it up.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:21 PM   #3
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The cleaning lady is part of our retirement budget.
Same here.

We retired so we would no longer have to work, not to substitute a an unpaid job for a paid one.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:26 PM   #4
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Couldn't do the poll as my answer is opposite.

We hired a lawn service since being retired as we find we are away on long trips. We could never take long trips while working so lawn work was before and after holidays.

Never had any other regular help.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:33 PM   #5
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We have a housekeeper (2 visits/month) as DW is unable to do much more than an occasional batch of laundry.

I am the gardener.

(I also do everything else except what the housekeeper does.)
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:58 PM   #6
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Time is still money. I don't have a maid service, but we do have lawn service. It would cost me a lot more in time to cut my own grass in florida than I'm willing to trade - plus equipment and space for all that stuff (mower, edger, whacker, etc.). Not to mention having to think about how overgrown my yard is looking while I'm travelling for a couple of weeks.

If I already had housekeeping, I'd probably not want to give that up either. But I did convince DH to do a good share of it after we retired so that helps.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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I may be missing something, but I've had neither.... thus I can only fire me.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:21 PM   #8
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I am the housekeeper, and that will continue when I retire.

I have yard guys who take care of my simple yard, and they are staying! There is no way I'm spending time in retirement taking care of my yard in NC weather. Not happening. The time this frees up for me is more important than the reasonable amount it costs to have someone else do it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:25 PM   #9
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Honestly, we have gone back and forth on these over the years. Several times we did a cleaning service but it was so expensive for the large houses we had then that we would tend to do it awhile and get aggravated and stop it.

For awhile DH did our yard and then a couple of years ago we went to a lawn service that mowed regularly and would occasionally do other stuff if needed.

Since we moved to our current location (year and a half ago) we decided to not do either. DH took on the lawn mowing. We now have a normal yard whereas before we had an acre so it is easier for him to do it. We do hire to have flower beds down periodically or other special stuff.

I do think there were will be a time when DH either won't want to do it or it will be too tiring for him, but we aren't there yet.

We converted our pool to saltwater and after a few months we cancelled the weekly maintenance as this is pretty easy to maintain.

We have been doing our own house cleaning. But, we are getting close to the end of a major remodeling project and am thinking about having someone in maybe twice a month. This house is smaller so should be less expensive and I want to remodeled house to look nice. I have allergies so find dusting and vacuuming difficult. DH says he will do it but tends to procrastinate and he has the other stuff to do....

I do think in general that we try to do now the things we can do while we are healthy recognizing there may come a time when hiring someone is really not optional.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:32 PM   #10
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Since I've been retired, I'm hiring more service. Dog sitters, house cleaners, landscaping pros, tree trimmers and painters.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:18 PM   #11
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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!
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:20 PM   #12
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Once again, there is a poll which only serves to further convince me that I am not a typical forum member. I have never hired a house help, either when working, or in retirement. If you saw how dusty my place is, it would all make sense. Living in 285 sq ft with 3 cats, 2 of whom are long-haired, will do that

In these parts, around $30 - $35/hour seems to be the going rate for cleaners. I'm just too cheap/frugal to hire someone to clean my place, and keep it clean. On top of that, I wouldn't really want to subject someone else to my small, and rather dusty living quarters. At some level, it doesn't seem quite right!
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:51 PM   #13
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Hiring out work is as close as one can get to buying more time. Great way to blow-the-dough IMO.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:07 PM   #14
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My housekeeper doesn't clean biweekly ... more like bi-monthly (i.e. every 2 months). But, since she puts out every once in awhile I'm not firing her.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tophermiller View Post
We have a bi-weekly housekeeper and a weekly gardener. Together they make up 3% of our budget. Upon retirement we plan to terminate them and do this work ourselves, because time will be plentiful and we just don’t know how long our nest egg will need to last. Other similar moves might be paid car washes, handyman work you can do yourself, etc. I’m curious how many people made this same cost cutting “time-for-money” tradeoff upon their retirement.
We value time more than money.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Once again, there is a poll which only serves to further convince me that I am not a typical forum member. I have never hired a house help, either when working, or in retirement. If you saw how dusty my place is, it would all make sense. Living in 285 sq ft with 3 cats, 2 of whom are long-haired, will do that

In these parts, around $30 - $35/hour seems to be the going rate for cleaners. I'm just too cheap/frugal to hire someone to clean my place, and keep it clean. On top of that, I wouldn't really want to subject someone else to my small, and rather dusty living quarters. At some level, it doesn't seem quite right!
We've never had a lawn or maid service either, so you're not alone.

Heck, I enjoy doing yard work.

I change the car oil and antifreeze myself, and other minor maintenance. I get up on the roof and clean the gutters twice a year. I've been busy lately replacing all the rotten deck boards and railing (they were pretty bad after 30 years).

Nothing wrong with paying someone else. I'm just too cheap/frugal and I'm still able to do it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:20 PM   #17
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Since I've been retired, I'm hiring more service. Dog sitters, house cleaners, landscaping pros, tree trimmers and painters.
Agreed. Not sure if it's a combination of getting a bit older, "over resourced" or plain laziness, but a lot of stuff I used to do myself I now farm out.

We now even pay to have someone clean our boat deck at the spring launch ($400); I used to winterize the boat engine myself but now just can't be bothered (another $400)...in a display of complete laziness, we pay $100 to have them tow the boat 300 yards from the mooring to the dock for haul out.

Even home things like fixing the toilet, I now just call the plumber. "let me know when you're done and send me the bill"
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:32 PM   #18
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I thought about discontinuing biweekly cleaning upon retirement but decided that it was worth it to me at about 2% of my retirement income. A few years before I retired, my long time housekeeper quit and I cleaned the house myself for about a year. It took forever and I had to break it up into two or three days as I ran out of steam after several hours and probably because I found additional things to clean e.g., clean all the light fixtures. So decided I did not want to go through that again.

The yard is just too big. I tired to mow when I had a smaller yard but allergies got to me. I had planned to trim shrubs and rake leaves myself when retired but just lazy and the leaves always fall at the best time of the year when I want to be on a road trip. Maybe when I move to a higher COL location with different grass varieties and where labor is expensive and downsize the house and yard, I will reconsider.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Once again, there is a poll which only serves to further convince me that I am not a typical forum member. I have never hired a house help, either when working, or in retirement. If you saw how dusty my place is, it would all make sense. Living in 285 sq ft with 3 cats, 2 of whom are long-haired, will do that

That seems manageable, but what if you lived in 3550 sqft, with my wife's 12 Maine Coon cats? We have lots of Roombas & 3 Dyson vacuums.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:06 PM   #20
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I voted "yes" even though I terminated our lawn service before retiring. When I "hit the wall" at megacorp, I was so determined to FIRE asap that I looked for any opportunity to cut costs. One of the things I did was discontinue our lawn service and started mowing the lawn myself.
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