Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Retiring without a car?
Old 02-03-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 353
Retiring without a car?

Not to hijack the other car thread, I am curious if anyone has experience with NOT having a car in US. I realize that in many places in US a car is needed to get around to a store or any other places, but wonder if there are some places where it's not needed.

New York city would be one but it's expensive in other aspects. Outside of US, I know cities like Toronto have a good public transportation system. I just wonder if there are other places in the US where it makes sense to retire without a car and just order an occasional (or maybe even a regular) taxi / car service when needed instead...

Car-related expenses, maintainence, registration, insurance, other "headaches" just seem to add up to a lot...

Any thoughts?
__________________

__________________
smjsl 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!

Old 02-03-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,877
One place where that might be nice to do, would be Honolulu. My mother's continuous care facility (and my apartment in a different building when I was younger) were both within a block of the corner of Punahou and Wilder, where there was a bus stop with extensive bus service. It was easy to hop on a bus and go to Waikiki, a very big mall at Ala Moana, or the university in just a few minutes. There was a grocery store just a short walk away on King St. In Honolulu, seniors can ride the bus, or as it is called there, "TheBus", for free.

I am 61 and I am trying to plan ahead for the day when I can no longer drive safely, probably somewhere between ages 70-80. When we move north to southern Missouri next year, I will be looking for a house near Frank's house (since we choose to live separately), but also the neighborhoods we are looking at are within walking distances of businesses and grocery stores. When I bought my house here, I had that in mind also and my present house is situated that way too. I will probably walk to more places long before I completely quit driving. When I no longer have a car, I will either hitch a ride with Frank or take a cab to go places.
__________________

__________________
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 02-03-2010, 03:45 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,264
I will say it makes a difference what you are willing to do to get around and where you live in the city...

Way way WAY back, there was a guy I worked with that did not own a car... here in Houston. He lived close to downtown in an apartment. The apartment had a shuttle to downtown, so he could get to work easily. He rode his bike to most of the other places he wanted to go. He bummed a ride with people, but usually paid for the gas, even more than needed. And the times he needed a ride, used a taxi or rented a car... amost forgot, he also used the local buses... they had a number of routes where he lived...

Said it saved him $1,000s... cost of car, insurance, gas, repairs etc.

So I would say you can do it in almost any city if you plan where to live...
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 03:46 PM   #4
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
If there was a good transportation system (and/or a very walkable neighborhood) and a place to rent a car within walking distance for the occasional road trip, it might be something to consider, especially if "peak oil" makes it more and more expensive to drive.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
I lived for several years in Raleigh, NC without a car. Certainly not the best place in the world to be without a car (the city is very spread out and public transportation minimal), but it was OK. I did a lot of walking and I lived near a bus stop so even with only one bus every hour or so, I was able to go around town pretty easily (and cheaply). You just have to choose the location of your home strategically, plan your day accordingly and you can't be in a hurry. And you can't be afraid of weird people either. The bus-riding population is a very interesting one... But not having a car saved me tons of money. I ended up getting a car later on though because, for social and professional reasons, I needed to be able to come and go later at night and it was difficult without a car. The buses stopped running quite early and walking around town in the middle of the night was just too dangerous.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
San Francisco would work without a car. But like New York it is expensive.

They have a pretty good public transporation system there. Sometimes the hastle and expense of just parking a car in dense urban environments isn't worth it.

We had a poster on this forum (OldAgePensioner) who did live in San Francisco without a car. If you are really interested do a search for his old posts.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
I would think one would have to live in a metro area with good public transportation or a high degree of walkability. When I was first married, we lived in NYC with no car for several years. We took the subway or walked. It is quite free-ing not to have a car not to mention much cheaper. I don't particularly like to drive in heavy traffic, but I think would always have a car when I retired so long as I could drive safely and also drive in non-peak hours. I would not want a car unless I had a parking space...I am too old to troll for parking on a street.
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
I have a male friend here in my neighborhood who can't drive because of an eye condition from childhood. He says it is not really a problem for him, as we live where pretty much any services and his job are easy walks.

But it isn't easy socially, because once you leave the core area centered on downtown it is hard to get around on buses.

He can't seem to keep a girl either, though I believe he has a lot to recommend him. Good job, nice personality, doctorate. I can't help thinking that the women he approaches feel that they are just too old to be dating on the bus, and maybe they are not too keen to always drive.

I do know a number of younger women who don't drive, but the gender difference matters IMO.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I will say it makes a difference what you are willing to do to get around and where you live in the city...

Way way WAY back, there was a guy I worked with that did not own a car... here in Houston. He lived close to downtown in an apartment. The apartment had a shuttle to downtown, so he could get to work easily. He rode his bike to most of the other places he wanted to go. He bummed a ride with people, but usually paid for the gas, even more than needed. And the times he needed a ride, used a taxi or rented a car... amost forgot, he also used the local buses... they had a number of routes where he lived...

Said it saved him $1,000s... cost of car, insurance, gas, repairs etc.

So I would say you can do it in almost any city if you plan where to live...
If it can be done in Houston, then I would think it could be done in any major city. Most of Houston seems very "unwalkable" to me.
__________________
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 02-03-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
Nobody walks in LA.
(Los Angeles)
I would love to live in a walkable place and just save driving for going out of town. Love driving the open spaces of the Southwest.
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Walk Score
Old 02-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Walk Score

Speaking of Walkability...

here is a website that gives you a walk score and some other infor for any address.

Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address

here is their list of the 40 most walkable big cities (along with some of their walkable neighborhoods):

 
ScoreMost Walkable Neighborhoods
1San Francisco86Chinatown, Financial District, Downtown
2New York83Tribeca, Little Italy, Soho
3Boston79Back Bay-Beacon Hill, South End, Fenway-Kenmore
4Chicago76Loop, Near North Side, Lincoln Park
5Philadelphia74City Center East, City Center West, Riverfront
6Seattle72Pioneer Square, Downtown, First Hill
7Washington D.C.70Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Downtown
8Long Beach69Downtown, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights
9Los Angeles67Mid City West, Downtown, Hollywood
10Portland66Pearl District, Old Town-Chinatown, Downtown
11Denver66Lodo, Golden Triangle, Capitol Hill
12Baltimore65Federal Hill, Fells Point, Inner Harbor
13Milwaukee62Lower East Side, Northpoint, Murray Hill
14Cleveland60Downtown, Ohio City-West Side, Detroit Shoreway
15Louisville58Central Business District, Limerick, Phoenix Hill
16San Diego56Core, Cortez Hill, Gaslamp Quarter
17San Jose55Buena Vista, Burbank, Rose Garden
18Las Vegas55Meadows Village, Downtown, Rancho Charleston
19Fresno54Central, Fresno-High, Hoover
20Sacramento54Richmond Grove, Downtown, Midtown
21Albuquerque53Downtown, Broadway Central, Raynolds
22Atlanta52Five Points, Poncey-Highland, Sweet Auburn
23Detroit52Downtown, New Center, Midtown
24Dallas51West End Historic District, Oak Lawn, m Streets
25Tucson51Iron Horse, El Presidio, Ocotillo Oracle
26Houston51Downtown, Montrose, River Oaks
27Columbus50Weinland Park, Victorican Village, Downtown
28Phoenix50Encanto, Central City, Camelback East
29Austin49Downtown, University Of Texas, West University
30Mesa48Southwest, West Central, Central
31El Paso45Golden Hills, Houston Park, Manhattan Heights
32San Antonio45Downtown, Five Points, Tobin Hill
33Fort Worth45Downtown, Arlington Heights, Tcu-West Cliff
34Kansas City44Old Westport, Country Club Plaza, Plaza Westport
35Memphis43Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis-Colonial-Yorkshire
36Oklahoma City43No Zillow neighborhood information available
37Indianapolis42No Zillow neighborhood information available
38Charlotte39Cherry, Fourth Ward, Downtown Charlotte
39Nashville39East End, Edgehill, Bellmont Hillsboro
40Jacksonville36Downtown Jacksonville, San Marco, Fairfax
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 06:08 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
I'll be donating my truck to charity next week. At that point I'll be without a motorized vehicle. Part of the reason is that I've always despised the activity of driving, especially in congested areas like So Cal, where I live. (Ok, maybe it was cool when I was 16, but not since)

The other reason I'm dumping the truck is this: The True Cost of Driving . My truck costs $10k/yr to own and run. That's $250,000 of retirement savings, just to support this mechanical monstrosity that shortens my life by exposing me daily to the absolute worst side of human nature. If you're thinking I'm a luddite, you might be right.

Most adults in the US need a car, though, unless they're in a place like NYC or SF. This IMO is part of the unspoken program of wage-slavery that keeps people working to pay for things that only help them engage in more wage-slavery. You need a car to get to work, and you need to work to pay for your car. As that weird guy in my avatar said, "But lo! Man has become the tool of his tools!"

The public transportation around here is sparse, but my situation is unusual: I'm single, most of my trips are 5 miles or less, it doesn't get too cold here, I need exercise desperately, I can borrow/rent a car when absolutely necessary, and I'll be spending a good part of each year overseas. I've been trying out the car-less thing for a few months, and so far, so good.

Sorry if this has come off like a sermon. It's definitely something I feel strongly about. I'd encourage anyone to go car-less if at all possible, but I realize it isn't possible for most people in the US.
__________________
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 07:50 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posts: 838
From my experiences:

Washington DC is a good place if you live near a metro station.
Seattle is good if you live downtown
Berkeley or San Francisco near metro station
Victoria B.C. is easy to get around because it's so small and concentrated
and they have a lot of canadian retirees so there's lots of senior services
if you find yourself needing that in the future.

I would guess many college town student ghettos may be good locations also
when i was at UCSB in the dark ages i got around fine w/ no car
there was a bus line that went from the student ghetto to downtown S.B.
that ran pretty regular with good hours of service down thru state street
(the main drag in santa barbara)

The same is true for vancouver (regarding bus lines and student ghettos)
__________________
mh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 08:06 PM   #14
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Chicago is great without a car if you can deal with the climate.

Beside good public transportation, you need a ton of available taxis on the street to make not having a car work.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
... And you can't be afraid of weird people either. The bus-riding population is a very interesting one...
Thank you!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
Speaking of Walkability...

here is a website that gives you a walk score and some other infor for any address.

Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address

here is their list of the 40 most walkable big cities (along with some of their walkable neighborhoods):

[TABLE]
ScoreMost Walkable Neighborhoods
1San Francisco86Chinatown, Financial District, Downtown
I would debate the first area on the list, Chinatown, because during the day it is too packed with, um, pedestrians to be truly walkable; in the Financial District you run a high risk of being run over by, um, pedestrians, and Downtown, it depends on where downtown, could be where you find the really "interesting" people. It's a jungle out there. There are many many great walkable areas in S.F., but those are not on the top of my list.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 08:53 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Thank you!!
You are very welcome! I am sure the bus crowd in SF and other large cities is very different from the bus crowd I used to hang out with. Very, very few people used to take the bus in Raleigh. Most people taking the bus did so not by choice but rather out of necessity because they couldn't drive or afford a car. At the time I fitted right in with the "weirdos" (some say I still do). I was an immigrant fresh off the boat who could barely speak English. I used to share my bench with alkies (who had lost their driver's license) and homeless people. I never felt unsafe though and conversations with my fellow riders definitely helped me to improve my English. But I can see how it would make some people very uncomfortable.

As for Chinatown in SF, it's the most claustrophobic place I have ever visited. I didn't walk there. The packed crowd carried me down the street...
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 09:01 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Seattle - U District in the 60's - not a problem except had to borrow a bike to ride to the Washington State Liquor Store on the weekend.



heh heh heh - here in the burbs no way. Nor would I want to - I grew up in the 'Happy Days' car culture. I miss drive in's although Sonic is not my favorite cusine. .
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #18
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
...
As for Chinatown in SF, it's the most claustrophobic place I have ever visited. I didn't walk there. The packed crowd carried me down the street...
Thanks for helping the cause, FireDreamer. I’ve never seen a fire ant but, by golly, we’ve got swarms of pesky pedestrians.

To be fair, Chinatown is wonderful at 8:00 a.m and of course one day a year, Lunar New Year, when all the stores are closed. I used to love walking through the alleys on the way to work. But the title of this thread is “retiring without a car.” I’m not out that early any more.
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
The other reason I'm dumping the truck is this: The True Cost of Driving . My truck costs $10k/yr to own and run. That's $250,000 of retirement savings, just to support this mechanical monstrosity that shortens my life by exposing me daily to the absolute worst side of human nature. If you're thinking I'm a luddite, you might be right.
I guess this calculator inflates the cost. I think the cost is closer to 5000/yr for a ERed person and other things like bus etc. are also not free. I am assuming that someone drives an small car, keeping it for 10+ yrs.

And a car gives you some freedom..
__________________
landover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
My truck is huge and definitely more expensive to run than a small car. What really killed me was the service and repairs. Every year there seemed to be another $1,000 "surprise." I guess I should have bought a Toyota. No, wait....
__________________

__________________
Onward 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
Anyone Share a Car After Retiring? ksr Life after FIRE 45 07-13-2009 06:40 AM
My car after its annual car wash.... thefed Other topics 11 05-21-2008 11:50 PM
Retiring at 55, wish I could do it now at 49 statsman Hi, I am... 22 04-26-2008 01:40 AM
Financing a car/car buying advice usc_et Young Dreamers 14 11-01-2005 11:59 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:20 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.