Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-23-2009, 04:38 PM   #21
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
Fuego, thanks for the story! The longest bus I've taken was 13 hours in Central America. In the US the longest was 8 hours overnight.

The most awkward bus ride I've ever been on was in Guatemala, going from Guatemala City to Rio Dulce, about 5.5 hours long. The Guatemala guy sitting next to me was very interested in me, even though I told him I was married (but I was travelling solo). I pointed to my ring and said "no" numerous times. He was incredibly patient in his attempt to converse with me, even though I didn't understand 75% of what he was saying. Then he began to tell me a story, and all I could get out of it was that there was a tiger and a crocodile in it. Finally before he got off the bus, he told me that if my marriage didn't work, I should call him. Haha. It was flattering and awkward at the same time. Would have been better if it was only half an hour, though. I had to feign sleep most of the time to avoid a conversation with him.
__________________

__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Trip Report
Old 12-24-2009, 02:18 AM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
Trip Report

I arrived in my destination with my head intact!

The greyhound station was a zoo, overcrowded with luggage and holiday travelers. They had Tyra Bank's show on -- I can't stand the people she has on that show. It turned out most of the people were going to Chicago. My bus, headed in a different direction, was only about 25% occupied. It was a slow ride. We left the station 1.5 hours behind schedule, and took a 20-minute dinner break that was not on schedule. I ended up in my destination 3.5 hours after the predicted time.

Thanks for all your concerns.
__________________

__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 04:58 AM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,240
Ahem! As I recall the original question regarded cost of driving. I've seen several articles over the last couple of years indicating (with average driving - probably 12K/year or so) costs are in the $.50/mile range. That seems to be about right for me. Of course, you could buy a cheap POS and fix it yourself and get your transportation for less. But, assuming a late model car with average bells/whistles, $.50/mi is a good guestimate. Of course, and as always, your mileage may vary, heh, heh, heh.
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 07:47 AM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,854
Back to the insurance costs for a moment. The age of the driver, especially if male, will have a big effect because male drivers under 25 pay a lot more for insurance than those over 25. I recall my premium droping by about 50% when I turned 25 (ages ago). Young female drivers don't pay as much as young male drivers but the gender gap had closed a little bit over the years.
__________________
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 09:42 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
Fuego, thanks for the story! The longest bus I've taken was 13 hours in Central America. In the US the longest was 8 hours overnight.

The most awkward bus ride I've ever been on was in Guatemala, going from Guatemala City to Rio Dulce, about 5.5 hours long. The Guatemala guy sitting next to me was very interested in me, even though I told him I was married (but I was travelling solo). I pointed to my ring and said "no" numerous times. He was incredibly patient in his attempt to converse with me, even though I didn't understand 75% of what he was saying. Then he began to tell me a story, and all I could get out of it was that there was a tiger and a crocodile in it. Finally before he got off the bus, he told me that if my marriage didn't work, I should call him. Haha. It was flattering and awkward at the same time. Would have been better if it was only half an hour, though. I had to feign sleep most of the time to avoid a conversation with him.
I guess I'm an eternal optimist. I look back fondly on that 3 day, 2 night bus trip back from the Mexican border. Great scenery, interesting people. I remember the leg from Atlanta back to my home town. There was an immigrant from Mexico that had given up looking for work in ATL and was headed to my city. He had heard there was plenty of jobs and lots of opportunities there. We conversed for hours and I gave him some tips on where to live and work, and got to practice my spanish in the meantime. Leaving behind friends, family, language and culture and striking out on your own to find wealth for you and your family was a pretty powerful notion at the time.

The one crappy thing about the bus ride was the gastrointestinal issues I had acquired during my journeys in Mexico. Extremely clean the Greyhound bus restrooms were not. At least frequent trips to the mobile bathroom interrupted the occasional monotony of the voyage.

And my wife (at the time girlfriend) was with me, so I luckily didn't have to fight off any aggressive latina ladies! This bus ride was a weed out test to see if the DW would stick with me through thick and thin.

(sorry to threadjack, but it is your own thread so no harm I guess! Glad you got to your destination safely and more or less on time)
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 10:19 AM   #26
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,822
I do agree with others that point out the quality-of-life issues associated with public transportation. I was not able to get my first truly drivable car until I was in my 30's, so I am familiar with taking the bus and the scary people, exhibitionists, harmless maniacs, criminals, and others that one might encounter on the bus. It can be truly a cross section of the bowels of humanity, depending on where you are. Having experienced all of this has given me a greater appreciation of the suffering that goes on under most people's radar, and also a greater appreciation of my good fortune in owning a car today.

I think that was the sensible thing for me to do in my 20's since I was a student with no money, but now that I am older things have changed. From what I have heard, buses are worse than they were and at any rate, I know that I am more vulnerable due to my age. So, I don't consider not having a car to be an option for me now.

However, I can't drive forever. I am hoping and planning to be able to stop driving when I am 70-80 or so. When I buy my next house, location near businesses and a grocery store would be a big "plus" for me. I will probably take cabs otherwise, so not having a car will not save me as much as it did in my youth.

Even in a "bare bones retirement" I think a car is advisable for someone who is only in their 50's (or 60's like me). In that case, I would put only a minimum number of miles on it to save on gas and maintenance and I might chance it with minimum liability insurance if I had few assets other than SS.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2009, 02:03 PM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,811
Back to the OP, Fuego has the correct analysis. Most costs have a fixed and variable component. For any specific decision, you include only those costs that vary with that decision.

For the driving decision, the big question is whether depreciation on your car is fixed or variable. That depends a lot on how much you drive. One clue would be the used car pricing services (e.g. NADA) which have mileage adjustments. But note that these are very rought.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2009, 08:47 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
For the driving decision, the big question is whether depreciation on your car is fixed or variable. That depends a lot on how much you drive. One clue would be the used car pricing services (e.g. NADA) which have mileage adjustments. But note that these are very rought.
I think the depreciation is so case-specific. If you are like me and plan on driving your car into the ground over a decade or two, then there is very little difference between a 20 year old scrap heap with 100,000 miles or with 1,000,000 miles. As a result I don't consider the cost per mile of depreciation to be very large.

As an example, my 9 year old civic with the 70,000 miles it has on it might fetch an extra $1000 if I sold it versus an identical civic with 170,000 miles on it. That works out the 1 cent a mile for "depreciation". Maybe I get $2000 extra, and it is 2 cents a mile depreciation. Either way, not a whole lot when the gas+repairs is roughly 10x the depreciation expense.

A majority of any "depreciation" will be captured via amortizing repairs/maintenance over miles driven. Ie - $300 for new tires over 60,000 miles = 0.5 cents per mile "depreciation" for tires or 0.5 cents per mile in "maintenance" for new tires.

Kelly blue book/NADA online have some equations they use to adjust value estimates up or down based on low/high mileage. But it really comes back to wearing out mechanical systems. Engines, transmissions, etc are only good for so many miles before they wear out. Maybe 60,000 miles for some cars, maybe 600,000 for others.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2009, 09:22 AM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,811
You're correct, it varies by individual usage. I also believe that the lowest cost comes from holding the car a long time. We've kept cars for 14, 11, 9, 17, and 11 years.

But I still see an incremental cost of driving extra miles. The extra 100,000 miles in your Civic example comes with extra mechanical repairs. Multiple things could wear out before 170,000 miles that were still working at 70,000.

I don't have any way of knowing in advance what's going to wear out or how expensive the repairs will be. Somehow, I need to factor average repair costs into my mileage costs.

If a repair turns out to be so expensive that I decide to buy a new car and junk the old one, then my replacement timing is controlled by "miles driven". If I had skipped that one trip, my car would have lasted __ days longer and I should estimate that value.

But I think we are the exceptions. Most Americans trade cars long before they wear out. For those people, the incremental cost of additional miles is measured by the impact on the trade-in value of the car.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2009, 11:08 AM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,554
Glad to hear that you made it to your destination, GoodSense. It has been over 30 something years since I have traveled on a bus. I don't remember any overly strange or stinky people at that time, but my memory is not the best. What was your experience with the people on this trip? Are they as bad as this thread sounds? I am not planning any Greyhound trips, but I am interested, because you never know. If it is as bad as this thread implies, I would just stay home. Thanks, in advance.
__________________
Dreamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2009, 12:43 PM   #31
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Great stories, especially that ride of Fuego's!
My DH goes on "dude trips" every year with the underestimators (his two single buddies) and I helped them set up on the 2009 one complete with a very long bus journey, stays in two "rustic" hostels, and a hike with a nifty nonprofit group at Tajumulco. The bus trip was the source of many great stories, though. I told them they were getting soft in their old age and needed some hardship to appreciate the good life.

I think they had a great time, but oddly, they don't want my input on their next trip to Mt Whitney and Las Vegas next year. I wonder why?
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2009, 08:41 PM   #32
Full time employment: Posting here.
GoodSense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
What was your experience with the people on this trip? Are they as bad as this thread sounds? I am not planning any Greyhound trips, but I am interested, because you never know. If it is as bad as this thread implies, I would just stay home. Thanks, in advance.
My experience was not bad at all. On the way there, we were late, but it was mostly attributable to terrible weather. On the way back, we departed 1.5 hours behind schedule, but skipped a couple of stops where no one was getting on and off, so we actually arrived on schedule.

In terms of fellow passengers, they were not too annoying at all. The bus there was mostly empty, the return bus was probably 50% full. In both cases I had the double seat to myself. The passengers were definitely more minority and low-income folks. There were not nearly as many children as I had feared.

Of course I was traveling between two medium-sized Midwestern cities with generally low crime (think Madison, WI). In contrast, the bus to Chicago, which departed just before mine, was completely full, with more than its fair share of seemingly homeless people.

I have taken the Megabus to Chicago overnight. It was mostly college students. I think the Megabus attracts a much more internet savvy crowd. It's also more fun than the greyhound since it is a double-decker (i love being above other cars), and has free wi-fi.
__________________
GoodSense is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2009, 03:51 AM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
You're correct, it varies by individual usage. I also believe that the lowest cost comes from holding the car a long time. We've kept cars for 14, 11, 9, 17, and 11 years.

But I still see an incremental cost of driving extra miles. The extra 100,000 miles in your Civic example comes with extra mechanical repairs. Multiple things could wear out before 170,000 miles that were still working at 70,000.

I don't have any way of knowing in advance what's going to wear out or how expensive the repairs will be. Somehow, I need to factor average repair costs into my mileage costs.

If a repair turns out to be so expensive that I decide to buy a new car and junk the old one, then my replacement timing is controlled by "miles driven". If I had skipped that one trip, my car would have lasted __ days longer and I should estimate that value.

But I think we are the exceptions. Most Americans trade cars long before they wear out. For those people, the incremental cost of additional miles is measured by the impact on the trade-in value of the car.
I pretty much agree with this. Not only the wear and tear, but the more you drive, the more at-risk you are of an accident that will cost you money and/or raise your insurance and/or de-value your car. I'd throw in the health risk component of an accident, but you have more or less the same risk on the same road in a bus.

Heck, I have to think about flying vs. driving even on long trips. I just finished a 14 hour journey by plane (including drives to and from the airport at each end), which I could've done in 18 by car, while setting my own schedule.
__________________

__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you calculate the value of a pension? cvoz FIRE and Money 19 06-03-2008 07:24 AM
Calculate a remainder interest? pedorrero FIRE and Money 5 07-22-2007 09:13 PM
How do I calculate the value of a pension? martyb FIRE and Money 19 12-11-2006 07:53 PM
How do you calculate your portfolio performance? Surfdaddy FIRE and Money 13 04-13-2006 08:32 AM
How do you calculate a lump sum? debster FIRE and Money 4 10-28-2005 03:35 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:01 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.