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Old 09-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #41
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I do think part of it is status. And most of us like to think we are better drivers than we really are, so of course we need a real car.

I'm actually part of the Honda driving crowd. I got to drive a new 7 series BMW once back in 2000. If I had actually been looking for a full size car I would have been willing to pay 35K for it. Back then it was a 75K car. Nice, but not even remotely that nice. The guy that I worked with felt differently. He decided the car was more important than anything. Including his wife.
My vehicle is fast becoming a "status" car. As in a status that people with nice vehicles would be very afraid to park next to as he obviously looks like the type that could care less if he bangs a car or gets banged either way. A very liberating feeling. First time I have ever done this. The money I have been saving has been phenomenal as it just refuses to breakdown no matter where I drive to.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #42
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My vehicle is fast becoming a "status" car. As in a status that people with nice vehicles would be very afraid to park next to as he obviously looks like the type that could care less if he bangs a car or gets banged either way.
'Liberating" is exactly the right word. I park where I want and if a shopping cart is against my car when I return it's no big deal.
I can't think of anyone I'd want to impress with a car. It's just a very handy appliance. Driving a reliable but older car is a tremendous money saver.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #43
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Driving a reliable but older car is a tremendous money saver.
Pravda, pravda, that is true.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:41 PM   #44
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Every $1000 a year you can cut from spending reduces the amount you need in your retirement account by $30,000.

Really puts things in perspective. Going from a 4000 sqft house with $12,000/yr real estate taxes, $5,000 a year maintenance costs, and $3,000 a year utilities down to a 900 sqft apartment with no tax, maintenance and only $1200 a year in utilities reduces your retirement account needs by over $500,000.
Yeah, but then you're not able to spend long evenings toasting your hefty mortgage, hardwood floor finishes and crown moldings, and discussing your all-important soaring equity.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:24 AM   #45
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Instead, you can spend your evenings listening to your neighbors fight (or other activities) and gazing out at the parking lot. That is, unless you spend all those $$ you are saving by not having a house, in order to constantly go out, so you don't have to be in the apartment. At least, that was my impression of apartment living, having endured 7 years of it in my youth. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I vowed, "Never again!"

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Yeah, but then you're not able to spend long evenings toasting your hefty mortgage, hardwood floor finishes and crown moldings, and discussing your all-important soaring equity.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:52 AM   #46
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Instead, you can spend your evenings listening to your neighbors fight (or other activities) and gazing out at the parking lot. That is, unless you spend all those $$ you are saving by not having a house, in order to constantly go out, so you don't have to be in the apartment. At least, that was my impression of apartment living, having endured 7 years of it in my youth. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I vowed, "Never again!"

Amethyst
There is a middle ground of sorts. Bought my 1650sf 3/2/2 "ranch" in a decent neighborhood for $113k in 2000. Have spent on upgrades, upkeep, etc., and refied three times, but my PITI is now $680, which wouldn't get you much of an apartment, unless the odor of meth cooking is your thing...
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #47
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There is a middle ground of sorts. Bought my 1650sf 3/2/2 "ranch" in a decent neighborhood for $113k in 2000. Have spent on upgrades, upkeep, etc., and refied three times, but my PITI is now $680, which wouldn't get you much of an apartment, unless the odor of meth cooking is your thing...
You could be describing me, HF. I live a small town that I enjoy and have a very nice neighborhood with semi privacy due to a small undeveloped treed property behind me. But the town lacks sophistication in the rental apartment properties. No way would I risk living in those conditions and risking a bad, or noisy neighbor.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:37 AM   #48
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Instead, you can spend your evenings listening to your neighbors fight (or other activities) and gazing out at the parking lot. That is, unless you spend all those $$ you are saving by not having a house, in order to constantly go out, so you don't have to be in the apartment. At least, that was my impression of apartment living, having endured 7 years of it in my youth. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I vowed, "Never again!"

Amethyst
The OP said in another post he lived in a $660K house that was "way, way more than I need. More than anyone needs really."

He doesn't have to rent an apartment to save more money for retirement. He could just cut down on the house size.

Owning a SFH can be more frugal than renting an apartment, but at some point house size or neighborhood choice may provide diminishing returns and become an impediment to retirement savings instead of a good investment.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #49
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Yeah, but then you're not able to spend long evenings toasting your hefty mortgage, hardwood floor finishes and crown moldings, and discussing your all-important soaring equity.
Haha, that is awesome.
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:27 PM   #50
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I do think part of it is status. And most of us like to think we are better drivers than we really are, so of course we need a real car.

I'm actually part of the Honda driving crowd. I got to drive a new 7 series BMW once back in 2000. If I had actually been looking for a full size car I would have been willing to pay 35K for it. Back then it was a 75K car. Nice, but not even remotely that nice. The guy that I worked with felt differently. He decided the car was more important than anything. Including his wife.
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One of the things I do not get is that there are many cars that are 'equal' (or close enough) to the handling of a BMW that are cheaper...

You are probably not even coming close to the limits of that BMW... so say you are in the 80% range... another car might be in the 85% range for the same turn.... both will do it at the same speed... so you are paying up for that BMW.... for the status symbol....

I once did a test drive on a Hyundai Genesis (the old style)... they had other cars for people to drive including a BMW... when a good amateur drove the BMW and a pro drove the Genesis... the Genesis blew away the BMW... sure, if the pro drove the BMW, he went faster, but not THAT much faster.... I am sure there are other cars that fit this bill...
I'm sure there are those that get something from BMW being some sort of status symbol, but I don't think I'm one of them. What I really care about the performance and the driving experience. I've been test driving a lot of stuff lately trying to get my around this subject, everything from Fords to Toyotas to Benzs, and very, very few cars can deliver the feel and handling of a (properly equipped) BMW. I just drove 3 more last night. I realize I'm some sort of enthusiast nut (although I'm pretty tame compared to a lot of people on the BMW forums)--I don't even get the satisfaction I'm talking about from BMWs that don't have certain sport-oriented equipment on them. It's not about just going fast, plenty of cars can be had for cheaper that would smoke mine off the line, but there is a certain something that the right BMW adds to everyday spirited driving, even on my rather mundane daily commute. And whatever it is, I'm sensitive to it, and am spoiled having gotten used to it.

Honestly, I don't know how much supposed status I've ever gotten from the car anyway. After living with it for 8 years, most people just see a "bmw". Even my own girlfriend, who gets to endure me rattling on about the ins and outs of various models and engines and features and model year differences, still can't easily spot the difference between my car an average 3 series out on the street, even though my car is very different in price and performance. Many of more commonly seen BMWs, at least in my area, aren't much more expensive than a Tahoe or a Ford F150.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:52 PM   #51
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I'm sure there are those that get something from BMW being some sort of status symbol, but I don't think I'm one of them. What I really care about the performance and the driving experience. I've been test driving a lot of stuff lately trying to get my around this subject, everything from Fords to Toyotas to Benzs, and very, very few cars can deliver the feel and handling of a (properly equipped) BMW. I just drove 3 more last night. I realize I'm some sort of enthusiast nut (although I'm pretty tame compared to a lot of people on the BMW forums)--I don't even get the satisfaction I'm talking about from BMWs that don't have certain sport-oriented equipment on them. It's not about just going fast, plenty of cars can be had for cheaper that would smoke mine off the line, but there is a certain something that the right BMW adds to everyday spirited driving, even on my rather mundane daily commute. And whatever it is, I'm sensitive to it, and am spoiled having gotten used to it.

Honestly, I don't know how much supposed status I've ever gotten from the car anyway. After living with it for 8 years, most people just see a "bmw". Even my own girlfriend, who gets to endure me rattling on about the ins and outs of various models and engines and features and model year differences, still can't easily spot the difference between my car an average 3 series out on the street, even though my car is very different in price and performance. Many of more commonly seen BMWs, at least in my area, aren't much more expensive than a Tahoe or a Ford F150.
So this is an M-3? Anyone who thinks this is "just a status symbol" lacks certain traits that allow people to discriminate. You can certainly save a lot of money if pretty much everything is the same to you, but saving money is not the major goal of life for everyone .

Ha
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:58 AM   #52
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There really is something to how a BMW handles and, simply, with the way the motor purrs.

No big spender here, but originally bought my old 1985 BMW 3 series simply because of the quality compared to others on the market then. And loved the drive. Decided to finally upgrade in '07 (we keep cars a long time), but just wasn't impressed with the 5 series then. Ended up with an '07 Acura TL-S, and have never regretted it. Still have the old Beemer, FYI, as I just couldn't get rid of it in spite of many offers.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:26 AM   #53
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Instead, you can spend your evenings listening to your neighbors fight (or other activities) and gazing out at the parking lot. That is, unless you spend all those $$ you are saving by not having a house, in order to constantly go out, so you don't have to be in the apartment. At least, that was my impression of apartment living, having endured 7 years of it in my youth. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I vowed, "Never again!"

Amethyst
Yup, been there, done that! I'll have to be near destitute before I'll go back to apartment living.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #54
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Yup, been there, done that! I'll have to be near destitute before I'll go back to apartment living.
All depends on how much time you spend at home. If you go to any European city, you'll find that most folks spend as much time outside the apartment, flat, etc... as possible. Life seems to be led on the street, in cafes/restaurants/bars, museums, school, and the like, rather than at home. In the U.S., we like our space and our privacy. I used to live in places with noisy (or noise-sensitive) neighbors. In both cases, I invested in ear plugs or headphones (actually both, when I bought some noise reduction headphones). Sleeping could get annoying when the neighbors were loud late at night, but when your budget is tight, you adapt.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #55
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Please can you explain how you reached this conclusion?
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Every $1000 a year you can cut from spending reduces the amount you need in your retirement account by $30,000.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #56
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Please can you explain how you reached this conclusion?
Math?

It's apparently based on a 3.3% SWR.

If they used a 4% SWR, you'd change that 30k to 25k.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:24 AM   #57
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For a 30 year retirement, saving $1K a year off expenses means needing $30K less in your nest egg.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:01 AM   #58
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As much as I drool over cars, I've only driven boring (yawwwn), reliable vehicles (like Toyota Corolla) because I figured as soon as I drive something like a Porsche or BMW I'd want one and then keep wanting them. That was always my theory as to why trying drugs wasn't a good thing for me when my friends were experimenting. My personal plan is delayed gratification while I maximize the my retirement contributions and lifetime compounding; then I'll buy the car I really want when I'm financially secure (maybe still working but only if I feel like it). I try to look at these larger expenditures like Mr. Money Mustache... spending $45,000 today is a loss of maybe $175,000 in the future (20 years of compounding). And that doesn't even consider the added cost of insurance and the $500 head light (or is it $1,000??) And replacing this kind of vehicle a few times can add up to a retirement account for many people. Having said all this, I totally get why some drive the BMWs, etc. It's all a trade-off... more car, less house, more house, later retirement, etc.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #59
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As much as I drool over cars, I've only driven boring (yawwwn), reliable vehicles (like Toyota Corolla) because I figured as soon as I drive something like a Porsche or BMW I'd want one and then keep wanting them. etc.
I understand your car itch. I decided to scratch mine 3 years ago. I have always admired German car engineering and wanted a Porsche 911. However, my practical side would always step in and list the reasons not to by one. I started to look at the Porsche Boxster which does not have the street cred as the 911, but the Boxster S version shares ~80% of the parts as a 911 at a fraction of the cost. So the performance for the $ was too good to pass up. I ended up buying a used 2001 Boxster S for $15,400 w/ 56K miles. Have not regretted it a bit. Now the downside of owning a Porsche's is they are very expensive to take in the shop for maintenance. I have gotten around this because I have a couple of friends that bought Boxsters and we get together to work on them. It as turned into a good hobby. I still dream about getting a 911, but the Boxster just fits better for my practical side ....
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:23 AM   #60
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Funny that this morphed into a car thread,but that's cool. I love cars (and motorcycles) but I'm more of an older, muscle car kinda guy then the new foreign exotics. Either way, FIRE isn't about avoiding things you love, but figuring out what's important to you and maximizing that part of your life while minimizing the things that are less (or not) important. If you love BMWs, work them into your budget. That being said, maybe you could get creative and own a budget beater while renting a different exotic once a month or so? Then you could have Porsches, Ferrraris, BMWs, Mercedes, etc, all for a few days to a week or so every month or whatever fits into your budget, all while avoiding the maintenance costs.
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