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Old 03-27-2021, 04:56 AM   #81
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I knew she wanted to do some landscaping, but not $35k of it. I guess I am just trying to adjust to spending rather than saving. My severance was a lot larger than I planned and covers this expense easily (as pointed out by DW). There will be more unplanned spending, I'm sure.

What some of the posters are trying to say is if this is a surprise to you now, there is a good chance that there will be annual "surprise" expenses that of course aren't surprises. And that could endanger your long term financial well being. I've seen this movie with many friends and it does not end well.



So the discussion isn't at all about the landscaping, it is about getting your financial act together for the long term. You and DW will need to determine what is right for you as far as expenditures go, then just adjust accordingly.



You both could benefit from a financial planner, a fee only planner might be able to set you up for $1500 or so. If your spouse is unable to have any self discipline about these things, then you'll really need a third party to counsel you both. Good luck!
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:47 PM   #82
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If anyone is interested in an update, here's where we are. We got 4 estimates and designs and picked one. Total cost for everything (we added a fence) is $52k. We added a lot of plants and made the patio a little bigger and a fence and redo the irrigation and new patio furniture and, and, and...

What is great is that after all my spazzing about finances, we have the exact same total savings today as we did the day I retired. That's after accounting for all the landscaping and about $10k of other stuff we put in the budget (so an additional $60k of spend). Life is good.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:21 PM   #83
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I don't think we have ever spent more than 3k on landscaping. So it sounds expensive here in the Midwest. But it should only be a one time deal is the good news.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:40 PM   #84
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I remember the op comments and his posted plan. My wife and I were in the middle of
re doing our backyard at the same time. I was interested as a total re do for our entire house was very close to $52K. Needless to say we had to pare back and split the job over two years. We just finished with part 1 and we came in at $32K. We now have a beautiful 520 sq ft flagstone patio. It came out beautiful. This was something I could not have done myself with compromised knees, back,etc. Planting design also was great.
We are in the PacificNorthwest so costs may/may not be as high as the op’s location.
The good news is that we could work this out of our budget and it won’t be a problem.
GLTA who trying to manage spending in retirement.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:47 PM   #85
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When I first moved into this house in 2015, I spent quite a bit on landscaping, too, similar to what corn18 is going through. My landscaping included removal of three gargantuan water oaks, removal of a jungle of tall bushes, re-grading the yard to fix the drainage issues, new topsoil, resodding all the grass, all new concrete work, and so on.

For me, it was SO worth it! I now have a yard that is entirely maintenance free if I pay my lawn guy to mow and edge the lawn. It is all lawn now, no trees or bushes. Lawns (especially this variety of St. Augustine) thrive here even without fertilizer and also they don't ever need watering. Easy care - - just in time for my old age which seems to be sneaking up on me rapidly the past few years. Also it is just what I wanted and has added tremendously to my quality of life. Every time I look at my yard I get a big, contented smile on my face.

It was probably easier for me to accept paying that much because I had already been retired for 6 years. Also I knew when I bought the house that I was going to have to do this, so I considered it as being almost part of the purchase price, in a sense.

Corn18, so glad that your yard turned out that well, and that the stock market boom lasted long enough to pay for it! What terrific luck.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:35 PM   #86
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If anyone is interested in an update, here's where we are. We got 4 estimates and designs and picked one. Total cost for everything (we added a fence) is $52k. We added a lot of plants and made the patio a little bigger and a fence and redo the irrigation and new patio furniture and, and, and...

What is great is that after all my spazzing about finances, we have the exact same total savings today as we did the day I retired. That's after accounting for all the landscaping and about $10k of other stuff we put in the budget (so an additional $60k of spend). Life is good.
If youre still married next year this time of the year Id be amazed.
Good luck with going back to work.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:45 PM   #87
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We've got more in landscaping than both our cars. And the cars cost 80 grand.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:07 PM   #88
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If youre still married next year this time of the year Id be amazed.
Good luck with going back to work.
What the hell kind of comment is that?
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:09 PM   #89
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Get off my lawn?
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:16 PM   #90
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What the hell kind of comment is that?
Not a nice one.

Enjoy your yard and happy retirement!
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:36 PM   #91
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Yeah Baby!

Blow that dough and BBQ in your new lovely yard. I'm enjoying mine everyday -
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:22 AM   #92
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And lastly, I'll add, "new landscaping" often mean "new landscaping maintenance"... beware.
I was going to mention this but it sounds like a lot of what you're doing, e.g. the fire pit, won't add maintenance other than replacing components. If you'd put in a lot of frou-frou plants that needed watering, weeding, fertilizer, professional trimming, replacement of annuals, etc. that could be a problem later on.

As for it not being on your radar- every year I do stuff not on my radar. I know I can withdraw $X every year and there's a lot of slack in there. If it doesn't go for replacement of a car (last year) dental implants (this year) or other non-discretionary purposes, I have no problem with spending it on home upgrades. I retired 6 years ago and my net worth has increased by over 4%/year after withdrawals so it's sustainable.

As long as the amount you're withdrawing is sustainable and your bills are paid, what you do with it is up to the two of you.
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:37 AM   #93
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Landscaping is nice to have but it can be quite expensive and take up A LOT of your time. We lost 30+ trees due to ice storm last year and we have spent close to $20K in removal of the old dead stuff and trying to replant new stuff. That doesn't include the annual costs of fertilizer, weeding, the HOURS of mowing, weeding, pruning, etc. We thought we were smart in "just" having a little over an acre of our 6'ish acres landscaped.

Now? I would love to have a Tuscon Arizona yard...rocks and sand.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:11 AM   #94
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If youre still married next year this time of the year Id be amazed.
Good luck with going back to work.
What does this mean?
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:17 AM   #95
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Landscaping is nice to have but it can be quite expensive and take up A LOT of your time. We lost 30+ trees due to ice storm last year and we have spent close to $20K in removal of the old dead stuff and trying to replant new stuff. That doesn't include the annual costs of fertilizer, weeding, the HOURS of mowing, weeding, pruning, etc. We thought we were smart in "just" having a little over an acre of our 6'ish acres landscaped.

Now? I would love to have a Tuscon Arizona yard...rocks and sand.
YOU CAN!

Just have to pay for clearing the other 5 acres, then pay for trucking in the rocks and sand!
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:22 AM   #96
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Landscaping is nice to have but it can be quite expensive and take up A LOT of your time. We lost 30+ trees due to ice storm last year and we have spent close to $20K in removal of the old dead stuff and trying to replant new stuff. That doesn't include the annual costs of fertilizer, weeding, the HOURS of mowing, weeding, pruning, etc. We thought we were smart in "just" having a little over an acre of our 6'ish acres landscaped.

Now? I would love to have a Tuscon Arizona yard...rocks and sand.
In AZ, one can buy fake astro turf grass for that green feeling..
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:55 AM   #97
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YOU CAN!

Just have to pay for clearing the other 5 acres, then pay for trucking in the rocks and sand!
Ha! That other 5 acres is nothing but woods, so it would cost a small fortune just to clear the land.

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In AZ, one can buy fake astro turf grass for that green feeling..
We have a friend that owns a company in Dallas that installs fake grass. It looks really awesome and it is REALLY FREAKING expensive. I don't recall the exact price, but in a short discussion about our yard I recall it would be in the neighborhood of half a million bucks to have it installed. Yeah...that ain't happening!
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:47 PM   #98
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We live in Nevada and had Astro turf at the house. It’s very expensive and after 9 years still looked new when we divorced and sold the house. Definitely not for large acreage.
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:20 PM   #99
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The gardeners were over today to re-mulch the yard. Four yards of mulch applied along with the usual clean up and they off loaded our fountain base so I can install the pump and the second tier and get the patio complete.

Nine hundred for the mulch and now I can hook up the 12 hundred dollar fountain -

Yeah, landscaping gets expensive. But hey, that fountain is cast concrete and should last longer than we do.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:36 PM   #100
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We did agree on $25k / year for pure discretionary a long while ago. But she knows that we are in much better shape than that because I tell her. We can spend $50k / year.
> she knows that we are in much better shape than that because I tell her.

Stop volunteering information that can result in a situation that drives you into a corner. Not all people share the same financial goal or restraint like you.

Retirement is not a long vacation. Losing your grip or sharpness can result in negative impact in unexpected way (in this case, it is money worries and relationship).

I wonder how many that responded in this thread will actually spend that 35k as they say if it is their money on the line and in the same situation. The risk factor doesn't exist when they are not the one doing the spending.

Some may have millions for their emergency fund, some may have separate budget categories for any appliance/house repair and dedicated fund for replacing their vehicles so they are sheltered from those unknowns and absolutely ok with spending all of the money in the discretionary bin. Everyone is different.

If choosing saving over spending gives you better sleep, try harder to bring your wife on the same page. Or give her more financial responsibilities so you are not the only one suffering and she is the only one enjoying the spending.
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