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Old 07-06-2020, 04:40 PM   #41
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We are in our mid-70's and have two cars, although DW doesn't drive anymore due to her medical issues. She could drive, if in a pinch. I do all the local area driving and that amounts to about 8,000 miles per year.

We have a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan as the main car, and a 2005 Mustang Convertible as my daily driver. Both are low mile cars (35,000 and 64,000 respectively).

I take one driving trip per year (solo) from Texas to Connecticut and back to visit my family and two close friends along the way, and that adds 4,000 miles to the annual driving. When I plan that trip, I ask my SIL stay with DW while I am gone in case there is a problem.

I suspect we will keep the van for the foreseeable future as I can equip it with handicap devices if DW becomes wheelchair bound. The Mustang could go, but I like it , and a new Corvette is not in the budget at the moment.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:45 PM   #42
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Im not sure we really have a car plan. Weve always intended to be a 2-car couple so no one feels trapped at home while the other is out. I have a 2003 Lexus hard-top convertible I still enjoy, and we have a 2014 Tesla S with unlimited supercharging. I think well keep the electric car for as long as the battery holds out, because the unlimited supercharging is a very nice feature.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:45 PM   #43
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Staging out automobiles prior to retirement is a smart thing to do. There's nothing worse than getting hit with having to replace too many assets at one time. Five years into retirement, every thing I had went bad and had to be replaced. I bought a new Waverunner, a Bennington tritoon boat, a fifth wheel trailer and a new Ford Explorer.

Don't be like me.

I still have a 17 year old 3/4 ton diesel truck, a 2 year old Camry Hybrid and a month old F150. The Explorer has been traded, and my XK8 Jaguar convertible and 2008 IS250 have been taken off the road for now. Insurance is what's eating me alive.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:42 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
I don't understand the desire to downsize to one car, at least in your mid-sixties, as long as you can afford it. When DW goes out, I don't want to be trapped at home. Many things are close, but not really walking distance.

We have a 2012 Pathfinder and a 2012 Altima. I only put 4-5,000 miles per year on the Altima, but want the convenience when she is gone. DW wants to replace the Pathfinder with a Lexus RX350, so that will happen sometime this year.

The additional fixed cost to retain the Altima is around $1,000/yr (insurance, gas and PP tax). Tires every 4-5 years adds another $100/year. Add oil changes, wipers, batteries, etc, and the all in cost is still less than $1,200/year

...t.
For us, there are a few factors that mean we could go to 1 car
  • It's pretty rare (like almost never) that one of us has to go out when the other already left.
  • I have a bike, so I could pedal and get some exercise if I desperately needed to rent a movie at redbox, etc.
  • I could phone for a taxi, would be about $5 each way to shopping (1 mile).
  • I could Uber.
  • I could walk to the shopping, I did it once a few years ago to pick up my car that was in for repairs, as a form of exercise.
The $1,200 in one year that having an extra car sitting around would cost will/could for us, pay for all the taxi trips needed for the next 10 years.

If I was short of cash, it would be a way to save some $$.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:33 AM   #45
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We went from two to one, and it has rarely been an issue. Will probably replace every 6-7 years, down from 9-10. Love the extra space in the garage too.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:31 AM   #46
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Began ER 18 months ago with two cars....After the Civic just sat in the driveway, recently convinced DW to go down to 1 car. She objected primarily on "because we've always had 2 cars".

Two cars were a waste for us and it's so much more efficient to just have 1 car. Has not been an issue thus far and I don't see how that would change.

It's a 2014 Acura MDX...which she loves....and the plan is to buy a new vehicle every 10 years.

We saved a few $$$ on insurance and registration....but not that much and we all know Civic's run until the wheels fall off so there was never a large repair bill. We gave it to one of the adult kids. It's nice to only deal with one car and enjoy the added savings.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:35 AM   #47
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Our retirement budget has $20K allotted for a vehicle purchase every 5 years.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:49 PM   #48
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Thanks everyone! It looks like $30k every 5 years seems like a reasonable plan for now.

I am curious about insurance. I am 54 living in OH and a typical car seems to run $600 / year to insure for the coverage I like. Will this change significantly as we get older? Other than fewer miles.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:09 PM   #49
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I am curious about insurance. I am 54 living in OH and a typical car seems to run $600 / year to insure for the coverage I like. Will this change significantly as we get older? Other than fewer miles.
Two things will almost certainly affect your rates.
First, you'll change the usage category on your vehicle. For example, from "to/from work/school" to "pleasure use only". That should drop your rate noticeably.

Second is your annual mileage. Each insurer has their own numbers. Some might figure the average is 12,000 miles for a commuter, while others might say it's higher or lower. You can probably ask your insurer what their bands are, and you could easily drop your rate by shifting to a lower number of annual miles.

My insurer lets me play with all the parameters, including coverages, on their website, so I can see exactly the effect of individual changes. Yours may have a similar feature.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:10 PM   #50
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My insurer lets me play with all the parameters, including coverages, on their website, so I can see exactly the effect of individual changes. Yours may have a similar feature.
USAA lets me fiddle with everything except my age.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:00 AM   #51
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We retired at 49. Pre-retirement we owned 3 cars. For sure, we were apprehensive about going to 1 car after retirement and thought hard about our real needs.

But, when we looked at how little we actually used the car on a daily basis vs. cost to maintain, it was a no-brainer for us. So, now in retirement, we are a 1 car family (no kids).

In the last 5 years, we never had a situation where we BOTH needed use of the car at the same time. Should that situation arise (the need), then there is Uber or Lyft, but it never happened.

For retirement planning, we budgeted 18K every 6 years (adjusted for inflation) until we turned 84. But that was revised up to 21k every six years after considering the total cost of closing on a car. Maybe will go up again in the future. We typically keep our cars for much longer time frame though.

For sure, we are not "car guys"!
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:09 AM   #52
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I have a 2018 Audi RS5 with only 2000 mi. DW and I also share a 2014 Acura RDX with 34K miles. May keep the Audi another year or two and then trade both cars in on another SUV. We really only need one car.
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:35 PM   #53
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Well the plan was a 2 or 3 year old car every 6 years or so. When the Caddy died I wanted a Camry or Accord. The new Camry was a much better value than a 3 year old one, so I bought that in November 2013. No point in getting rid of it as it runs like new and other than brakes, tires, and battery never needed any work. 130k miles so far.
Then I bought an RV to play with. Sold the RV and bought an older Miata last year.
Looking for a good deal on a FJ Cruiser or four door pick up and trailer now. So with luck I'll be up to 3 cars for one person by next year.
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Old 07-08-2020, 01:55 PM   #54
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Lease 1 car for us, allocate a max of $6k a year for the lease car. Currently spending $4,800. New car every 3 years need it or not, no maintenance, GAP or Accident (Bad CarFax impeding resale value) concerns, no car worries at all.
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:43 PM   #55
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Would love to go down to 2 cars now but my wife likes her convertible. Maybe it stays until we don't want to pay for BMW maintainability anymore. Only has 24k miles on it.
My wife has a 2000 BMW M Roadster that she loves more than me. It has about 65K miles on it. We've found an excellent independent mechanic who is both cheaper and more trustworthy than the dealer. Keeping it running well only costs about $700 a year. But the car only gets about 2,000 miles a year.

I would think you could drive the Z4 nearly forever.

Our other cars are a 1995 Ford Explorer that needs a $500 repair every other year or so. It gets less than a 1,000 miles a year. The main driver is a 2015 BMW 640 with about 40,000 miles. It takes about $700 a year in maintenance. With Covid, I've bought one tank of gas in four months.

Your car plan sounds pretty conservative to me. Cars last a long time these days.

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Old 07-10-2020, 04:52 PM   #56
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My plan is to buy a different car when my current one no longer meets my needs. That could be 5 years (on year 4 now) or longer. But not a set schedule.
I love the idea of buying used and letting someone else pay the depreciation. But I think when older, buying new with all the latest traffic and safety features is a good plan.
Bu many I know in retirement find that just having one car is enough, especially when the cost of insurance starts climbing as they age.
Another thing I consider when buying cars is the habits of the millionaires in "The Millionaire Next Door" - none of them drove a luxury vehicle. And if you gave me a choice between a luxury vehicle or an "ordinary" one (both having the features I felt I needed) plus 30K (or more) to invest (not even figuring in the extra insurance/maintenance costs), I know which one I would go for in a heartbeat. My self worth is not dictated by the car that I drive.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:32 PM   #57
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I never buy new. I use them until they are worn out. Just me and wife but here is the list
2008 Lexus SUV 175k miles
2012 Nissan pick up 45k miles
1957 Chevy 210 hot rod
1967 Chevy Camaro Convertible
1930 Ford Model A hot rod
Small pull behind camper
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:59 PM   #58
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2001 BMW 330i for my wife who is still working.

2000 Chevy Astro, 2013 Piaggio BV350 motorcycle and a 1998 Bayliner Cuddy boat with a sleep-in cabin and potty toilet for myself since I have retired.

The motorcycle and my boat are my retirement toys. Astro Van can be converted into a sleep-in van with a full size bed and a potty toilet. My boat and van also have a portable hot water shower.

Everything I own is super reliable and geared toward my retirement. Since the cars are old, my car insurance for the BMW and Astro is $70 a month.

I would buy a new Astro in a heartbeat because it is so practical for pulling my boat, hauling stuff from home depot, camping and moving. Alas, they do not make Astro anymore so I am driving it into the ground. With 235,000 miles it is still running strong. I drive my motorcycle more than my van.

When you retire, your transportation needs changes since you are no longer commuting. Your future cars should be geared toward enhancing your retirement life.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:07 PM   #59
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I get rid of my cars around 60K miles. People can still finance a car with 60K miles and most new cars have 3 or 4 year warranties and usually not much of significance goes bad before 60K. If you look at residual value at 60K miles and about 3-4 years old the value is pretty good. Longer or more miles and residual value starts falling off. I always buy something like a high end accord, which are luxurious enough and easy to sell especially with 60K miles. So if you pay 35K new and can get 18K 4 years later and 2% inflation you need 20K every 4 years or 5K/yr budgeted for a new car of the same model. If you have 2 cars 10K/yr and a new car every 2 years (alternating your car and the wife's car) works. 3/4 of the time both cars are under warranty.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:34 PM   #60
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Have you thought of buying a Tesla and not buying a new car every 5 years but getting over the air updates for the life of your car.

PS major help to the ecosystem and you can drive in HOV!

PPS no more buying gas, most maintenance, and 1,000 free charging miles at Supercharger for every referral.
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