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Old 04-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #41
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I had some dental work done while I still had dental insurance.

For the first year or two after I RE, I thought it would have been nice if I'd taken care of a couple of modest home improvements while I was still working and drawing a paycheck. As time has passed, I feel more comfortable to spend the money now if I want to, but the desire to make the improvements seems to be dwindling. I suppose this is a good thing.
Just about everything in my home is 10 years old, including my vehicle. I have no interest in replacing any of them until they break down, though I have the money if needed. I take that back, I will try to squeeze one more year out of the hot water heater, then proactively replace it. I do not want to deal with a leak that goes into the finished part of my basement.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:42 PM   #42
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We replace things on an as-needed basis. We try to budget for the irregularly-occurring lumpy expenses in the monthly/yearly budget, and set aside money not spent (sometimes it is left invested). I believe we need to spend about $75K on house updates in the next 24-36 months (almost everything is 21 years old), but over the last 20 years we have spent maybe $20K - $30K total on these items (don't hold me to those numbers -- it's just a guess). So the money is there. I procrastinate because I am not fond of dealing with builders / re-modelers / repair people.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:19 AM   #43
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We replace things on an as-needed basis. We try to budget for the irregularly-occurring lumpy expenses in the monthly/yearly budget, and set aside money not spent (sometimes it is left invested). ... So the money is there. I procrastinate because I am not fond of dealing with builders / re-modelers / repair people.
We do the same, replacement cost come out of our "gonna spend it on something" money. I procrastinate because I want to try to find the best value I can in replacing whatever is in need of replacement or repair.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:07 AM   #44
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I purchased things that were fun-related to make my yearning for retirement even stronger. Jeep, art materials, books, fabric, etc. Prepared not because I couldn't buy most of the stuff after retirement but to gradually answer the question "What am I going to do when I don't have this job?"
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #45
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The only things I am seriously considering are big ticket items where having high income to show may be beneficial. Specifically:
  • Car - Currently needed in any case; and, with income I may qualify for 0% financing over an extended period of time. This may not be enough incentive for me to take the plunge; but, it is a consideration.
  • Real estate - Similar to above but even more speculative. I honestly probably will not take the plunge at all; but, if I decide to do so, I would likely want to get everything in place while I still had income to show.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #46
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For me, I don't buy anything before absolutely necessary whether it is $4-5K for a new HVAC system, $7-8K for a new roof or $30K+ for a new car. I don't see this changing after I ER! What I do believe in is being prepared, i,e,.. knowing who I would have do my HVAC or roofing work, keeping current with automobile choices, etc. I have to admit that in my lifetime I have done a lot of my own remodeling projects including electrical, plumbing, etc.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:24 PM   #47
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We replace things on an as-needed basis. We try to budget for the irregularly-occurring lumpy expenses in the monthly/yearly budget, and set aside money not spent (sometimes it is left invested). I believe we need to spend about $75K on house updates in the next 24-36 months (almost everything is 21 years old), but over the last 20 years we have spent maybe $20K - $30K total on these items (don't hold me to those numbers -- it's just a guess). So the money is there. I procrastinate because I am not fond of dealing with builders / re-modelers / repair people.
Rustward,

Is remodeling/upgrading a significant part of the $75k?

The reason that I ask is that my maintenance budget is based on past costs extrapolated into the future. In your case the 20k-30k over the past 20 years would not forecast into 75k in the short term, but rather maybe 30k-40k over the next 20 years adjusted for inflation using my mental model.

Since this is my first house (built in the late 1950s) and I have lived in it 14 years, I want to make sure that I am not missing something obvious. (I have done the roof once already. furnace/ac & water heater would not seem be huge costs whenever they are due).

I was estimating $5k/year for replacement items (cars and house) but assuming cars are driven over 10 years and bought with over 100k miles already on them.

Thanks

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #48
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rocking chair for the front porch
I actually laughed at this one....until I took a moment to think about what my DW brought home a couple of years ago and put on the front porch for me
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:58 PM   #49
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Once we both didn't have corporate jobs, we bought a membership in a science museum so we could get into other museums free or at half price. We also bought two Entertainment books since we had more time to go out to eat and try new places.

In order to keep our costs low, I replaced a lot of the disposable stuff in the house with reusable counterparts - rechargeable batteries, solar chargers, stainless steel scrub pads, cloth napkins, refillable water bottles, reusable food bags to use instead of Ziplocs, and anything I could think of along those lines.

I also stocked up on items like vinegar and baking soda and got rid of all the toxic cleaning chemicals.

To reduce our energy bills we bought dryer racks and LED bulbs. Cutting back on our energy bill and not buying too many disposable items really helped to cut down the annual expenses.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #50
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Not sure if same..............

But I have been slowly doing purchases prior to RE.
- Wood shop equipment. Some I have no used at all yet but will.
- Replaced boat. I can keep that going for life.
- Autos, I wonder about this one. Will not last for all of RE, mat still do to start fresh.
- Will probably trade TT for Motor Home for snow birding. (this is a big expense and big piece of the puzzle)
- Probably will refresh computers.

Would like to do all of these and have them paid off. Too me, if the asset will last, ?I want to do it pre-RE. If not, it needs to be part of the plan.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:46 PM   #51
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I actually laughed at this one....until I took a moment to think about what my DW brought home a couple of years ago and put on the front porch for me
Grandpa and Grandma Walton had one each. Mother's day is coming
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #52
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While I still had pre-tax medical options, I had a LOT of dental work done - of course that only works if you have 25 year old fillings already - I had them all replaced, with pre-tax money. Any medical stuff you might need - do that. I guess I'm assuming you have good insurance right now.

I didn't do anything to the house. I just figured there would be money when I needed it, and there wasn't anything broken to fix.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #53
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I am taking notes! Thanks for all the great ideas and approaches. I see the wisdom of pay as you go on repairs, etc., and will work on budgeting those items into our annual spending.

Thinker 25, funny you mention replacing your dental caps, I just had dentist tell me mine needed replaced and I wanted to ask around and see if that was common or if he was just looking for some extra business; guess you answered my question!
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #54
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I am taking notes! Thanks for all the great ideas and approaches. I see the wisdom of pay as you go on repairs, etc., and will work on budgeting those items into our annual spending.

Thinker 25, funny you mention replacing your dental caps, I just had dentist tell me mine needed replaced and I wanted to ask around and see if that was common or if he was just looking for some extra business; guess you answered my question!
Not necessarily normal - do you mean crowns? They don't need replacing very often. I don't have any caps so I can't say on that one.

I had actual fillings that were silver and literally 25+ years old. After a while they do need replacing. I'd check on the caps. I spent 2 years getting this work done - all pre-tax money.

Also it's too late now for you if you're retiring in 2013, but pre-tax money for medical is interesting. I set up to put aside $2500 in pre-tax medical my last year. I spent it all before I left in early July. So I got the full benefit... but didn't actually contribute the full amount. It only works if you spend it before you quit. And it's totally legal.



Having done that, and deciding I didn't need COBRA dental... I cracked a crown 3 months later and cursed a lot as I paid the bill.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #55
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Not necessarily normal - do you mean crowns? They don't need replacing very often. I don't have any caps so I can't say on that one.

I had actual fillings that were silver and literally 25+ years old. After a while they do need replacing. I'd check on the caps. I spent 2 years getting this work done - all pre-tax money.
Fillings -- that's what I meant. I couldn't think of the term when I was typing reply, and went with caps! Yeah, we've used Flex Spending Acct for a lot of medical the last few years with contacts, braces, etc., thanks to ObamaCare they changed it from $5k limit to $2,500, but then tell you they didn't raise taxes.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:37 PM   #56
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Rustward,

Is remodeling/upgrading a significant part of the $75k?

The reason that I ask is that my maintenance budget is based on past costs extrapolated into the future. In your case the 20k-30k over the past 20 years would not forecast into 75k in the short term, but rather maybe 30k-40k over the next 20 years adjusted for inflation using my mental model.

Since this is my first house (built in the late 1950s) and I have lived in it 14 years, I want to make sure that I am not missing something obvious. (I have done the roof once already. furnace/ac & water heater would not seem be huge costs whenever they are due).

I was estimating $5k/year for replacement items (cars and house) but assuming cars are driven over 10 years and bought with over 100k miles already on them.

Thanks

-gauss

I guess it depends on the definition of remodel / upgrade. The bathrooms have not been touched for 21 years, except for repairs. Faux marble, 21 year old plumbing fixtures, wallpaper all over, etc. The kitchen is in pretty good shape, but we need to replace the laminate countertops (which are in almost new-like condition) with solid surface material, and replace a few appliances (cabinets are custom solid ash and just need some loving care in a few places). There is some masonite siding that has absorbed some moisture and is crumbling, and most of the windows need to be replaced. Only two rooms have carpet. The guest bedroom, which does not get much use, and the exercise room, where the carpet has been totally trashed by heavy exercise equipment. We will probably just live with the exercise room the way it is, because we never let anyone else in there.
These are the kinds of things I am talking about. My $75K estimate is what I think we need to spend now (+- maybe $25K). We have budgeted $6K per year for these items, and that seems to be on target, or close enough.

Edit to add: Cars are separate, and we budget $300/month ($3600/year) for replacements. We are probably budgeting on the high side, but I have never been disappointed by having more available to spend than I actually needed (I know, opportunity cost, and all that).

Edit again to add: A lot of this stuff should have already been done, but we deferred it for various reasons.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:03 PM   #57
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Dental work for me as well, an implant $6k! extraction, bone graft, etc. Unfortunately my diabetes is uncontrolled so my surgeon won't do it until I am within a normal range...very hard for me to do. Have 4 months to get it together.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:23 AM   #58
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I guess it depends on the definition of remodel / upgrade. The bathrooms have not been touched for 21 years, except for repairs. ..
Thanks for sharing the details Rustward.

-gauss
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