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Old 03-17-2021, 11:02 AM   #61
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We are just finishing up some landscaping projects. I can't really do much of anything these days with triggering debilitating back pain so I had to hire crews to do it. Shop around because the quotes were all over the place. I'm definitely glad we did it because it was long over due and looks great. Also felt we good a good deal for the quality and amount of work done.

So I say go for it.
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:06 PM   #62
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To be honest, I think I am more excited about getting the landscaping than my wife.
No need to choose. You can get both!
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:21 PM   #63
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I've posted in other threads how we sat down a few years prior to FIRE and listed things we were going to need/want in the few years immediately after FIRE...then we w*rked a tad bit longer to save up for those things so we'd have the cash in pocket. Seems you didn't quite nail this one down.

OTOH, your numbers indicate you are good to spend. If you're going to be a "nervous Nelly" all through FIRE, it will affect your health...so you need to come to grips with the fact that your income producing years are behind you and you have to "let go".

One option...do this work in stages. Do 2/3 of it the first year, then a year later, assuming you're feeling better about spending...you can do the fire pit. If things go south, you can defer or cancel the last 1/3.
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:42 PM   #64
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No need to choose. You can get both!

This is funny Just what I needed after a long day of yard work.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:42 PM   #65
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Just my opinion......

Going through a similar issue here. Moved in November to our seventh and we hope final house. With Covid we ditched the plan to build an bought an existing newer home that needs changes to make it "ours".

Big item on my wish list was for a small private pool. Getting quotes for the pool, decking area landscaping and outdoor kitchen is about double what we anticipated. The numbers work in our budget easily and say we will still have more discretionary income than we have used any year except the one with two big cruises and a $30k wedding.

Its just hard to splurge on stuff. ( The trips are from a vacation budget and the wedding planned for decades). Also hard to spend on a home upgrade with only partial payback in home value.

Finally I asked our selves ; at age 95 would we be more likely to regret spending the money or not spending it.

Answer- blow that dough!

Besides our kids say spend it. In fact DD and her husband say if we leave too much they will blow it on an obnoxious funeral for us....
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:16 PM   #66
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We just finished a project. Cost just north of $12,000, and we are committing about $500 a year to maintain it. General clean up for 1/2 acre lot, 100 plants, two flagstone and gravel walkways, two new sprinkler zones, gassed court yard, 6 stone steps, and a boat load of sand, dirt, and mulch. Took 9 guys 4 days. I thought it was a bargain, a d better yet DW is estactic. We have been retired for 15 years. Not certain I would have spent this much then.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:35 PM   #67
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I know someone who has put in a fire pit, etc. and is really enjoying his backyard. but he is doing it over several years and did most of the work himself.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:04 PM   #68
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Now is not the best time to install a fire pit. Let your wife use the summer planning and getting bids so when you get it installed in the fall everything will be perfect and in the meantime you can use this as a way to bring you together as to how the money will be spent. You may even enjoy working together on this project.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:07 PM   #69
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Glm. 95?
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:16 PM   #70
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I do such stuff compulsively. Just finished raking and trash pickup at my apartment complex, and prepping the garden i put in behind the building. All labor, no spending.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:30 PM   #71
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Glm. 95?
Yep, financial plan goes to 103.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:35 PM   #72
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Wow, just like Jiminy Cricket, Good luck, what’s your secret? I was shooting for 83 but maybe I should up expectations.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:45 PM   #73
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Hey, compared to Dave Aspry I have modest goals. I've always done well with lofty goals. Besides with all the stuff I do to protect and enhance my health I like to think there is a pay off.

Both of my parents made it to 85, ignoring what they needed to address. Several up in the family tree made it well into their 90s
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Old 03-23-2021, 08:09 PM   #74
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Got ninety grand in and still plugging...
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Old 03-23-2021, 08:31 PM   #75
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OP open up the purse string. Ya just worrying too much over not much FI risk.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:02 AM   #76
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We’re in a similar boat. A few extra windfalls have us over 100% and there are a bunch of ‘nice to have’ things that we’ve been talking about. We moved into our new to us long-term home about two years ago and now that we have a better handle on expenses are looking at improvements we’d like to do.

I made a list when we bought of all the things we needed to do and a wish list of what we would like to do and we’ve added to both over the last two years. We could theoretically do all of the wish list items, as well as some addition recreational purchases we’ve been considering. and still be at 100%. But I worry that when we’re done with the list it will keep growing and we’ll be too used to spending.

The upside is that even in retirement, time is a limiting factor. It takes a lot of time to plan a major project and iron out the details, bids, etc. So it’s somewhat naturally self limiting. And we’ve been funding the extras out of some part time contract work DH has been doing.

So I get it. Spending the money is stressful when it’s above budget and you’re looking at many years of future spend with sorr hanging out there. Maybe set aside a portion of the extra you weren’t expecting from your retirement package to fund 2-3 special projects, just like you’d treat a bonus if you were still working?
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Old 03-24-2021, 05:09 AM   #77
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The landscaping has been added to the expenses for 2021. Also added a fence. VPW says annual discretionary spending went from $50,000 to $47,400. That'll do donkey. That'll do.
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Old 03-24-2021, 07:42 AM   #78
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Last day of work was 4 days ago and I am already struggling with spending in retirement. My plan was always pretty simple: 100% Probability of Success (Ps) with $25k / year of discretionary spending. We far exceeded that and we now have $400k more than we need for 100% Ps. Ok, great. Let's just keep that as an insurance policy for unknown unknowns. Let's get through year 1 hunkered down and prepared for battle.

Well, DW is getting estimates for putting in landscaping, including a kick butt fire pit area. Estimates are coming in @ $35k. We'll see what the final tally is because she is getting all the bells and whistles in the estimates.

My difficulty comes in deciding whether we can afford it. And I cannot for the life of me come up with an answer. We have exceeded our goal of 100% Ps. Current VPW calculation puts us @ $50k year for discretionary spending. We are ok with sticking to $25k / year, but BAM!, here we are on day 4 looking at spending $35k on landscaping.

Please help!
Have the hardscape done and do the plantings yourself, or have planting done as well with younger specimens. Either will save you money.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:37 PM   #79
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I have just committed to a similar project for the home. I am the original owner of my home of 29 years with essentially the same skimpy landscaping the builder installed in 1991. The few pitiful attempts I have made to improve things have usually been underfunded and unenthusiastically executed by me. Oh yeah, I hate yard work in excess of mowing the lawn on occasion.

The landscaping is a mess and my backyard is slowly washing away from poor decisions we have made in the past. Just this past week a small sinkhole (3x3 ft) opened up in the front yard on the line between my neighbors house and mine. We have stared at it with stupid looks on our faces for hours but it remains in place. The sinkhole is apparently the catalyst I have been waiting for all my life and I have scheduled a handful of landscape companies to give me some estimates to turn our he** hole into a garden paradise. I also converted $45K of retirement savings to money market to finance this pending conversion.

DGF and I have determined that we have no desire to relocate so we might as well make our home more enjoyable for us. The estimates are already coming in for new gutters and gutter guards and are actually much less than expected. I'm not sure what $45K will buy me in Atlanta but I'll soon find out.

In all seriousness, we will probably never spend all of our money in our lifetime anyhow so we might as well enjoy it. Just watching it accumulate in retirement accounts isn't exactly fulfilling on it's own. I'm ready to turn 68 in two months so maybe I'll start Social Security early and pay for most of it that way.
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Old 03-24-2021, 02:46 PM   #80
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They are doing quite a bit including lighting, gas fire pit and hardscaping. I think it's way cool and we would use it a lot.
Iím in the do it camp. Iím in a similar situation plus I have an old patio that needs to be removed. Basic bid came in at $35K. Looking at your drawing it looks reasonable. Many of us will be spending more time in our homes anyway. IMO it will take YEARS before many people get confidence to get to the point where they feel comfortable traveling and doing typical retirement activities. And thatís with vaccines.
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