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Did you downsize your fleet after retiring?
Old 11-21-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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Did you downsize your fleet after retiring?

Currently DW and I have older cars (for us), she has a 2006 Forrester, and I have 2007 Civic. While the Forrester has only 50K miles, my Civic is approaching 85K and has had a few problems. Last night we were discussing replacing these vehicles when we retire next Spring and the thought occured on maybe going with one car when we retire. We are both home bodies, so this may not be too much of a limitation on either of us, but I was wondering if others have do so? We thought maybe going for a little nicer vehicle like an Acura MDX instead of two cheaper individual cars for each other. Insurance isn't cheap here in Texas, so there would be some savings in a single car approach. While DD is still in college, we will still have to pay for her insurance for a few more years as well.

While these cars ages and mileages may not seem like much to many on here, we have typically bought new cars every 3-4 years in the past, so extending the life span of these existing cars isn't much of a concern for us.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
...the thought occured on maybe going with one car when we retire.
Retired folks I know have not been able to sucessfully go with one car. I assume as you age there is a greater possibility but not so much in the ER "go-go" years.

Why not just keep both cars until you retire, and at that time just keep one parked for a few months.

Your lifestyle will show early on if you can live with one car. If after a few months you find you can, trade both in for something both of you feel comfortable driving...
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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I'd take the cars in, have everything fixed that needs it, and have them detailed inside and out.

Then drive them to 150,000 miles.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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If DW and I lived within walking distance of everything or at least in a city with good public transportation, I would consider getting rid of the second car. But we live in suburbia and I can't see us share a single vehicle unless money was really tight.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:09 AM   #5
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I think i'm a little(or maybe a lot) more frugal than you but what i'd do is keep both until the Civic's problems make it not worth keeping then have the Forester as your only vehicle. The Forester is a very good all-around vehicle. I have one and if I was going to buy a vehicle tomorrow it would most likely be a Forester. Why buy a very large and expensive SUV like the Acura MDX when the forester will do everything the MDX can do except seat more than 5 which you don't seem to need.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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We're in our late 40's with an 11 yr old. We were always a two car family, had a chance to add a third car, a used 97 4Runner in like new condition, but didn't since we weren't driving enough and didn't want the extra maintenance costs. Always bought them new and kept for 10+ yrs. My brother's friend asked if we were selling our 98 Camry (119k miles) last year (we weren't) and was fairly aggressive about needing it since her car was in bad shape. We only asked for "fair" condition resale on it since it had some rust and a minor fender bender, she agreed and we sold it. Now we only have an 03 CRV with 35k miles on it. It's been a year now and we really haven't missed having two cars. Although we haven't done so, we can always take a bus, ride a bike, rent a car or call a taxi if an emergency came up.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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Last night we were discussing replacing these vehicles when we retire next Spring and the thought occured on maybe going with one car when we retire. We are both home bodies, so this may not be too much of a limitation on either of us, but I was wondering if others have do so?
I guess you'd have to do the math.

We see no problem being a one-car couple after our daughter finishes college. For now it's easier to keep two cars so that she can drive her thousand miles a week (on a 30x40-mile island) during breaks.

As long as both our cars (both Priuses, one a 2005 and the other a 2006) continue their current reliability, the cost of two cars vice one appears to be about $450/year insurance.

When we do go down to one vehicle, we still may rent an additional vehicle when we have houseguests. It's very convenient for us to have a rental site just six miles up the road. You might consider checking an Enterprise car rental franchise-- in our area they advertise that they deliver.

If we ever buy an electric vehicle, I'd be mildly concerned about getting up in the morning only to learn that it didn't charge itself the night before. That might be a good time to have two cars in the garage, but I suspect this problem will dwindle away over the next few years.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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In an area with great public transportation I might do that. But since you are in Texas (as am I) that doesn't really apply. I personally would just go nuts being at home without a car if DH was off somewhere.

Until recently we had 2 vehicles - 2004 Nissan Quest that has almost 200k miles on it and a 2008 Prius with about 65k miles on it. DH is retired and I work 1 or 2 days a week.

We've tended to sort of use vehicles according to what we are doing. Nominally we see the Quest as DH's car and the Prius as mine. However, it depends. If he needs to drive a long distance and I'm at home then he would drive the Prius for the gas mileage. If I needed to take one of our large dogs to the vent then I would take the Quest.

However a couple of weeks ago we bought a new Ford Explorer. The main reason is that we are currently driving our 17 year old son to and from community college 4 days a week. We also drive him to martial arts 3 nights a week. He has a drivers permit and will get his license soon. So, soon, he can do that driving. The basic plan is that he will get the Prius and will take it within when he goes away to college for his last 2 years (he started college at 16 so he is doing his first 60 hours locally at community college and will go away for his last 60 years when he is a little older).

We bought an Explorer because with 5 large dogs I never felt comfortable with only having 1 vehicle that could transport dogs. The Prius was great when had a long commute to work everyday but with working very part time that isn't that important any more.

In a few years we will probably replace the Quest with some other crossover type vehicle.

Quote:
We thought maybe going for a little nicer vehicle like an Acura MDX
The MDX is a great vehicle and was on our short list. We ended up going with the Explorer which has similar features and size (can seat 7 in a pinch) but was $10k cheaper. We were very interested in the newer safety features such as blind spot monitoring, collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control. The MDX did have those features as did the Ford.

If you are considering the MDX be aware that it is going to be revamped for the 2013 model year.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Currently DW and I have older cars (for us), she has a 2006 Forrester, and I have 2007 Civic. While the Forrester has only 50K miles, my Civic is approaching 85K and has had a few problems. Last night we were discussing replacing these vehicles when we retire next Spring and the thought occured on maybe going with one car when we retire. We are both home bodies, so this may not be too much of a limitation on either of us, but I was wondering if others have do so? We thought maybe going for a little nicer vehicle like an Acura MDX instead of two cheaper individual cars for each other. Insurance isn't cheap here in Texas, so there would be some savings in a single car approach. While DD is still in college, we will still have to pay for her insurance for a few more years as well.

While these cars ages and mileages may not seem like much to many on here, we have typically bought new cars every 3-4 years in the past, so extending the life span of these existing cars isn't much of a concern for us.
You must have a bad Civic. I see a ton of 15-20 year old Civics rolling around here in Wisconsin all the time.........
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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You must have a bad Civic. I see a ton of 15-20 year old Civics rolling around here in Wisconsin all the time.........
I also live in Wisconsin and Civics from the early 90's may be the car I see most. Not sure why, they're horrible in the winter.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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I have a fleet of rag tag vehicles: 1999 F150 (112K), 2000 Accord (110K), 2001 Pathfinder (156K). The Accord has the only major issue (trannie is getting funky going in/out of 2nd gear, missed the recall). So with 2 drivers (daughter and self) I can take one offline for repair/maintenenace, and still have 2 working vehicles. I do most of my own car work. I personally like to have the old beat up cars...don't have to worry about door dings, etc.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:26 PM   #12
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If DW and I lived within walking distance of everything or at least in a city with good public transportation, I would consider getting rid of the second car. But we live in suburbia and I can't see us share a single vehicle unless money was really tight.
DW and I are living in an urban area, have no (human) children, and are in the process of downsizing from two vehicles to one. I'm still working and she can walk and find everything she wants; driving chores are done on the weekend. We will buy a late model used car that fits all our criteria and sell our two current vehicles. We don't see having one vehicle, which we've done before, as much of a problem at all. In fact, the number of vehicles that people on this forum own (3 sometimes 4) is a puzzlement to me. But, hey, that's just me.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #13
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My 99 Acura TL is still going strong with almost 150,000 miles. No comparison between it and my previous American car (a Cadillac which I loved to hate). I have no intention of replacing it at the moment, but if I do it would be for another Honda.

My wife and I were also discussing the idea of downsizing to only one car just the other day, after her 2004 Nissan (which has 100,000 less miles yet runs considerably worse than the more refined 99 Acura) had to visit the mechanic twice in less than 4 months and our insurance premium went up about $15 a month. I estimate we could save about $3K a year by keeping just one car (gas, insurance, repairs, maintenance, fees, etc.). Unfortunately, FL has no real public transportation system, and riding a bike in 92 degree weather is out of the question. At least both cars are paid for...

Also, with all due respect, how can 2006 and 2007 model-year cars be considered "older"?
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:03 PM   #14
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:25 PM   #15
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We tried going to one vehicle in 2002. Since I was golfing a lot back in those days it just didn't work so I bought a "beater" just to go to the course. It was a godsend. I just sold that beater two weeks ago. Don't golf but once a week now if I'm lucky and everything here is within driving distance by golf cart. DW just stays home on Tuesday (golf) and the rest of the time I can take the golf cart if I need to. I saved about $500/year on insurance as we only carried liability. Back in 2002 we tried the one car for about three months. We were getting on each others nerves and had to go back to two cars.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #16
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Still have 2 bicycles, and a car I can borrow as needed (costco trips, etc).
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #17
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In another thread, I asked a similar question. After thinking about it and reviewing all the comments, we decided for now to keep our fully paid
3 vehicles, because they all serve different purposes.

Everybody have different needs, conditions, geography and and travel distances.

We thought about downsizing to two and the dilemma is which to let go.
My wife is used to her car alone and will not drive the truck. The truck stays because we live in snowy country.

We can always change our mind as we become older nd less active.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:52 AM   #18
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I will likely go to one vehicle when my 98 explorer with 200,000 miles bites the dust or finishes rusting out. This will leave me with the 2005 Buick which to this point has been a dream car as far as maintenance ect is concerned. (100,000 Miles) Yeah I drive too much. Maybe I'll find an early seventies 4X4 and rebuild it from the ground up for winter. A 440 Ramcharger would really send my gas bill through the roof. (would be fun though)
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:33 AM   #19
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You must have a bad Civic. I see a ton of 15-20 year old Civics rolling around here in Wisconsin all the time.........
While the Civic has been a great commuter car for me, good mileage, fun to drive even in traffic, its has had a cracked block (replaced by Honda at no cost) and most recently needed a new motor mount, plus I am looking at brakes all around in the not to distant future. DWs Forester has been an accident magnet and has been hit 3 times thru no fault of DW. She is kind of feeling like the car is jinxed.

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Also, with all due respect, how can 2006 and 2007 model-year cars be considered "older"?
As I said originally, not old by most folks standards, but given the above and fact that we are used to new cars every 3-4 years, the cars are older for us.


As rescueme suggested, we may try parking one car for a while and test whether we can live with the one car approach. Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:38 AM   #20
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I added one car, one bicycle, and two motorcycles.
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