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Old 11-30-2015, 07:43 AM   #61
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Yeah, like those...holding value?
No, I have a feeling that they don't hold value. It looks like they don't even hold their shape.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:17 AM   #62
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2 locations.
$3/sq.ft. per month all in
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Your housing cost in retirement
Old 11-30-2015, 08:22 AM   #63
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Your housing cost in retirement

The information is insightful for a few reasons

1. See where we stand versus others in terms of absolute cost / expense. Sorta like knowing someone's net worth ... Just for comparison it's interesting. Eye opening what average spend is, what average percentage of overall budget this component is (arguably the second biggest category behind insurance ...maybe 3rd place for some behind travel /entertainment)

2. Stirs an intellectual thought process of what ifs... How low could you go if you needed to cut expenses. Deluth may not be your idea of a dream location but it's an option that is cheap by comparison to today's spending if something hit the fan. It's not exactly down by the river in the RV ... but a step along those lines.

3. Also gets one thinking about various expense trade offs - Example: Deluth isn't so bad if it affords me the option of living in paradise coast for those nasty winter months. Sure better than staying put in Armpit,NJ .... Now if I can convince my spouse...

Recognize that 90 percent of folks do not change their location in retirement ... They have found or have convinced themselves that they have found their nirvana. Combined with change being hard for at least 50 percent of the population, i tend to believe point 1 above is the most relevant here for this audience.

Thanks for sharing. Is insightful. Only thing missing from OP question was percentage of total annual budget does housing comprise.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:04 AM   #64
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One can look at the housing cost in many different manners such as in the form of total dollar cost, or cost per square foot. Compared to earlier posters, I am not in the cheapest location in the US, yet still pay a lot less than they do.

Here's another way to look at housing costs: as a percentage of your total after-tax expenses (no mortgage). I just did that, and for 2 homes (2,700 and 1800 sq.ft.) it's 34%. That includes all maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc..., and even some upgrades. And the number was computed over the last 5 years to even out some expensive years.

What's yours?
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:14 AM   #65
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One can look at the housing cost in many different manners such as in the form of total dollar cost, or cost per square foot. Compared to earlier posters, I am not in the cheapest location in the US, yet still pay a lot less than they do.

Here's another way to look at housing costs: as a percentage of your total after-tax expenses (no mortgage). I just did that, and for 2 homes (2,700 and 1800 sq.ft.) it's 34%. That includes all maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc..., and even some upgrades. And the number was computed over the last 5 years to even out some expensive years.

What's yours?
As I posted a while back, about 22% of after tax spend. No mortgages. Would be largest category grouping but covers multiple places. Most expensive place is our home in Arizona. Least expensive our Toronto condo.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:29 AM   #66
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That number for 4 homes that are also maintained by hired help is impressively low. My large deck looks bad after 10 years, and I am thinking about a DIY project next spring to save costs.

Don't you want another home, in the Puget Sound with a water front perhaps?

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Old 11-30-2015, 11:25 AM   #67
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We live in New England also, 3700sf home. I run irrigation in the summer too, so water bills are high.

Insurance 1600/133
Taxes 8800/733
Mortgage 15012/1251
Elec 3600/300
Gas 1680/140
Water 2400/200
Internet/Cable/Phone 1800/150


Annual total 34892
Monthly total 2908
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:38 PM   #68
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No, I have a feeling that they don't hold value. It looks like they don't even hold their shape.
*Rimshot* Good one!

My housing cost in retirement is $640/month rent for a 285 sq foot studio apartment in a rather characterful old house in a fairly nice part of Oakland, CA. The rent includes utilities and hasn't increased since I moved in 5 years ago. Typically, the elderly owner only raises the rent about once every 10 years and even then, only by a modest amount. To keep in line with the original post, I have no cable TV, but do pay a total of ~$45/month for a landline, internet, and a cellphone, making my total housing and essential service costs ~ $685/month. I don't have renters insurance - it's a calculated risk. By far my most valuable "possessions" are my 3 cats, and no amount of insurance could possibly replace them.

I'm 52, the owner is 80, and when he's no longer able to manage and maintain his properties, there is a strong possibility my place will not remain a rental in the long term, so I'll be looking for a new abode. Rents have gone up so much here that I'll probably be looking in a new area, or perhaps hitting the road in a Class C. Lots of possibilities, and I'm open to them.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:48 PM   #69
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I'm 52, the owner is 80, and when he's no longer able to manage and maintain his properties, there is a strong possibility my place will not remain a rental in the long term, so I'll be looking for a new place. Rents have gone up so much here that I'll probably be looking in a new area, or perhaps hitting the road in a Class C. Lots of possibilities, and I'm open to them.
What a great attitude you have! You are so adventuresome and calm about all this. I'd be twitching out if I was in your situation. What about health insurance if you hit the road? Or your cats if you don't? What about your girl friend? What if he dies tomorrow? What if he lives to be 110? As you can tell, I like my ever-so-predictable life these days.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:37 PM   #70
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What a great attitude you have! You are so adventuresome and calm about all this. I'd be twitching out if I was in your situation. What about health insurance if you hit the road? Or your cats if you don't? What about your girl friend? What if he dies tomorrow? What if he lives to be 110? As you can tell, I like my ever-so-predictable life these days.

Oh boy, I am not Tom and you are even making ME nervous with all the what if's!


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Old 11-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #71
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Oh boy, I am not Tom and you are even making ME nervous with all the what if's!
It's not easy to be me..... I am such a worrier.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:02 PM   #72
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That number for 4 homes that are also maintained by hired help is impressively low. My large deck looks bad after 10 years, and I am thinking about a DIY project next spring to save costs.

Don't you want another home, in the Puget Sound with a water front perhaps?

If you are referring to me, it is, I think, a reasonable percentage of spend. The last place we bought, (Arizona) was a difficult decision. The opportunity cost when combined with the additional expense was maybe 12% of spend. Decided to cut our travel budget back a bit as we would now have a warm weather destination.

Puget Sound would be lovely but we are full up on real estate. Decks are really expensive to maintain. Our lake house deck has to be refinished every three years or so to the tune of about $20,000. 2500 square feet all cedar.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:07 PM   #73
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That's too bad about you not wanting a waterfront place in the Puget Sound. I could be your house sitter, and I would take good care of it while not charging very much.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:13 PM   #74
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That's too bad about you not wanting a waterfront place in the Puget Sound. I could be your house sitter, and I would take good care of it while not charging very much.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:10 PM   #75
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Here are my annual numbers on a two family close to Boston

Home Insurance 1400
Property Taxes 6000
Gas 1000
Electricity 600
Maintenance and repairs 1500
Water and Sewer 500
Internet/TV 600

So that's out goings of $11600 and I get rent of $14400 from the 1st floor apartment. Some of the outgoings are tax deductible and I get to depreciate stuff too.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:47 AM   #76
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So that's out goings of $11600 and I get rent of $14400 from the 1st floor apartment. Some of the outgoings are tax deductible and I get to depreciate stuff too.
Sounds like a winner. I would be way ahead if I could live in my home for free.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:48 AM   #77
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What a great attitude you have! You are so adventuresome and calm about all this. I'd be twitching out if I was in your situation. What about health insurance if you hit the road? Or your cats if you don't? What about your girl friend? What if he dies tomorrow? What if he lives to be 110? As you can tell, I like my ever-so-predictable life these days.
I don't have answers to all of those questions W2R, but have asked myself all of them (and more) and find the potential for change quite exciting. I'm not about to give up this apartment, as the rent is so well below market for the area, but would quite welcome the forced change if it were to change hands and the new owner knock it down to build another income property (which could well happen). I'm a big stick-in-the-mud and love my routines but truth be told, I get far too attached to them sometimes. I doubt that I would take to the road in an RV if I still had this place but if I were forced out, I'd welcome the opportunity to open a new chapter of my life and be the protagonist of the new, exciting story, "Tom On The Road With 3 Cats"

If I hit the road, I may keep a permanent base, and address, at an RV park - or will maintain a mailing address and domicile in CA, or another western state. That should work for the purposes of health insurance. I qualify for Medicaid under the ACA Medicaid expansion, so would keep a domicile in a state that opted for the Medicaid expansion. I know many people here are more concerned with fashioning their finances in order to avoid falling into Medicaid territory, but I have been very happy with the care I have received.

If I don't hit the road, I'll find an apartment that takes cats. Dogs are tougher, but many apartments take kitties. Finding one that will take 3 may be a bit harder but I'll do what it takes - and my eldest is 13 now, so she may have crossed the rainbow bridge by the time any change happens in my life. I love my feline companions so much that I will do whatever it takes to keep them with me.

The "what about my girlfriend" question is a trickier one. You may have noticed that I refer to her as my SO rather than my girlfriend. I may just be kidding myself, as I am very attached to her, but we are quite far apart in terms of where we are in our lives, and in our approaches to finances, so I have been cautious about aligning my plans too much with hers. If I move into an RV, she is open to the idea of me coming to pick her up at weekends and getting out of town for a break. She absolutely adores my kitties, so as long as we get to see each other fairly regularly, and she gets to hang out with the cats, I think that will go a long way to allowing us both to follow our individual desired paths in life, while still being able to maintain our friendship.

I just turned 52 (Happy Birthday to me!) so hopefully have many active years ahead. I'll most likely want more certainty by the time I hit 65 but for the time being, rather enjoy the prospect of future change. I get my feelings (illusions?) of stability from my 2.05% WR, the promise of SS in the future, and my relatively minimal material wants. Basic physical comforts are important to me, but the rest is gravy, as they say.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:07 AM   #78
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Our lake house deck has to be refinished every three years or so to the tune of about $20,000. 2500 square feet all cedar.
We have a 1350 sq.ft. patio that is waterproof membrane to protect water leakage below. We have patched it annually and kept the water in its place but finally had it completely redone last year. Definitely not a task to be done lightly.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:40 AM   #79
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Major Tom, first of all, Happy Birthday! It sounds like you have come up with some great ideas on how to deal with this possible change. Good idea to check into Medicaid expansion for any future domicile. We don't have it here in Louisiana, and from what I understand that causes huge problems if one's income is slightly too high for Medicaid. I don't know what Medicaid would think of a mailing address that you actually don't live at, though I suspect you have looked into that already.

I should have called her your SO instead of your girl friend - - at first I called her your girlfriend but for the reasons you cite I then separated the words into "girl friend", thinking, a friend who is female. It wasn't clear, though. I think you and she have a nice arrangement. There is no need to mingle finances (Frank and I don't either), and maintaining your own individual lives while still enjoying one another's company to the desired extent.

And if you can find an apartment that will take 3 kitties, so much the better! I ha ven't ever tried to find one with a pet. Even if your dear sweet kitty passes on, you may find another one day so a 3 kitty place might be a good idea.

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I don't have answers to all of those questions W2R, but have asked myself all of them (and more) and find the potential for change quite exciting. I'm not about to give up this apartment, as the rent is so well below market for the area, but would quite welcome the forced change if it were to change hands and the new owner knock it down to build another income property (which could well happen). I'm a big stick-in-the-mud and love my routines but truth be told, I get far too attached to them sometimes. I doubt that I would take to the road in an RV if I still had this place but if I were forced out, I'd welcome the opportunity to open a new chapter of my life and be the protagonist of the new, exciting story, "Tom On The Road With 3 Cats"

If I hit the road, I may keep a permanent base, and address, at an RV park - or will maintain a mailing address and domicile in CA, or another western state. That should work for the purposes of health insurance. I qualify for Medicaid under the ACA Medicaid expansion, so would keep a domicile in a state that opted for the Medicaid expansion. I know many people here are more concerned with fashioning their finances in order to avoid falling into Medicaid territory, but I have been very happy with the care I have received.

If I don't hit the road, I'll find an apartment that takes cats. Dogs are tougher, but many apartments take kitties. Finding one that will take 3 may be a bit harder but I'll do what it takes - and my eldest is 13 now, so she may have crossed the rainbow bridge by the time any change happens in my life. I love my feline companions so much that I will do whatever it takes to keep them with me.

The "what about my girlfriend" question is a trickier one. You may have noticed that I refer to her as my SO rather than my girlfriend. I may just be kidding myself, as I am very attached to her, but we are quite far apart in terms of where we are in our lives, and in our approaches to finances, so I have been cautious about aligning my plans too much with hers. If I move into an RV, she is open to the idea of me coming to pick her up at weekends and getting out of town for a break. She absolutely adores my kitties, so as long as we get to see each other fairly regularly, and she gets to hang out with the cats, I think that will go a long way to allowing us both to follow our individual desired paths in life, while still being able to maintain our friendship.

I just turned 52 (Happy Birthday to me!) so hopefully have many active years ahead. I'll most likely want more certainty by the time I hit 65 but for the time being, rather enjoy the prospect of future change. I get my feelings (illusions?) of stability from my 2.05% WR, the promise of SS in the future, and my relatively minimal material wants. Basic physical comforts are important to me, but the rest is gravy, as they say.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:06 AM   #80
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Sounds like a winner. I would be way ahead if I could live in my home for free.
Yes, it's been a good thing over the years and the $1200 monthly rent check is great. However, maintenance costs are higher than just owning a single family home. Case in point I just replaced both oil furnaces with gas ones and the cost was $10k.
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