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Thread: Making big lifestyle upgrades in retirement?

  1. #31
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    Lifestyle upgrade in retirement?

    It is commendable to look before you leap.

    I have always paid cash on the barrel-head. As a retiree on a fixed income, my limit is 16% of total assets in owner-occupied real estate. Local markets may make that limit easy. difficult, or impossible. It is easy here, where the wind sighs in the pine needles.

  2. #32
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Inspired by YMOYL, I "retired" when I was in my mid-30s, > 20 years ago.

    I draw 4%.

    In the first few years, I was a bit hesitant to "upgrade" my lifestyle much, as I wanted to reassure myself that I wouldn't somehow run out of capital before I ran out of remaining days to live.

    Now in my mid-to-late-50s, and having just survived a divorce that reduced my asset base considerably, I am changing my philosophy a bit. It is unlikely that as I age that I will be healthier, more robust, more mentally and physically flexible, and so on.

    Thus, I am (prudently?) upgrading my lifestyle a bit (*), because I'd rather enjoy my remaining years as best I can, rather than scrimp and save - this is the only life I get, it isn't a rehearsal for "a better try".

    Covid of course has restricted my lifestyle changes a bit.

    I also recently went through having two in-laws die after some years of decline and hospice. They both left considerable estates, and their own final years were spent refusing to spend even small amounts of money to make themselves more comfortable, because they had some Depression-era-based fears.

    (*) This is mostly theoretical at this point, though I did compromise my principles and spend about $2000 this Fall having some guys help me with "landscaping" around the house for fire safety. I'll drop about another $10k on the project ASAP - there are threatening trees that need dealing with.

  3. #33
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    Thanks for so many more great thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    It would be so cool if you could rent there for a year and see if you liked the communal aspect before buying.

    You can usually get a mortgage if you show a steady withdrawal from the account--like you take a distribution of x per month, they will often accept that. My brother did that.
    Renting could be possible someday, but at this point there are few homes built and all are occupied. Maybe in a couple of years, but by then who knows how much higher the prices will be. As for showing steady withdrawals, that would require a track record (I'm guessing a year), so I'd have to wait on that as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    There's a lot to be said for actually owning a home outright.
    I know! I owned my previous home outright. I don't miss living there, but I wish I could have moved the house with me. It's a few states away in a place that no longer suited me.

    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    If this is a builder owned operation, can it be sold?
    I suppose so, but the current builder just bought it from the original developer. As soon as it's done, or close, control will be turned over to a resident HOA. This is projected to be in the next year or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
    Such an interesting discussion. To anyone under age 60 who is balancing work-life and finances: my experience is that it is very hard to predict what your body and your emotions will do as of age 65 and older. I thought I would work full time until age 70. At age 65 I hit a wall both physically and emotionally and white knuckled another year to retire at age 66. I'm *so glad* that I didn't over-extend financially and that I could pull that plug at 66.

    That said, if you are a person who is sensitive to noise, setting yourself up in a quiet environment might be well worth some sacrifices in other areas.
    Rachel, thanks for this. I have said similar words to younger people and am happy to hear them now. Folks in their 20s and 30s cannot imagine being over 50. They don't listen to me, of course, but that's how it goes. I am sensitive to noise, but the truth is that I have much less to complain about than what I do complain about. If I could lighten up a little. It's just easer to complain than to learn to live and let live.

    I think what I am realizing here is that my assets are not as bulletproof as I might have thought. If they were double and I were looking at blowing 10%, I would jump at this. At 20%, I'm thinking twice and wondering whether a new place would really be X amount better than where I am. An owned home is a wonderful thing, but so is the freedom of renting during a transitional life phase. My last two homes became balls and chains when I decided to sell, a stark reminder of why I appreciate renting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    I realize you're still young. Keep in mind, many folks over 50 have a very hard time getting hired especially after a gap in employment. I don't know what your work has been nor how your job market looks. I just don't want you to assume you can jump back into a job because you want one.

    You have much to consider as you make decisions for your next life chapter.
    More blessed wisdom, thank you. I have heard about post-50 job bias and would like to think I would be an exception -- ha. Technically, I have never had an employment gap, as I have always had a freelance side gig, small but legit.

    However, I'm not sure I want to jump back into my former line of work. In the first month or two after my layoff I could have grabbed two or three perfectly good next jobs and turned them down for lack of passion. I have needed this break, and I guess I'll take the consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Lifestyle upgrade in retirement?

    It is commendable to look before you leap.

    I have always paid cash on the barrel-head. As a retiree on a fixed income, my limit is 16% of total assets in owner-occupied real estate. Local markets may make that limit easy. difficult, or impossible. It is easy here, where the wind sighs in the pine needles.
    Sounds like my former rural home. Now I live where anything cheaper than what I'm looking at would be a fixer. I want turn-key if possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    Inspired by YMOYL, I "retired" when I was in my mid-30s, > 20 years ago.
    I too did this in my 30s even though I had not yet read YMOYL. I got restless after five years and went back to working full time, a lucky break that landed in my lap. So glad I did, as my original stash was way too small. I found YMOYL around that time and now have a real nest egg and some real flexibility, as long as I stay the course with YMOYL principles and don't do anything rash. Thus my hesitancy to jump at this house even though I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    Thus, I am (prudently?) upgrading my lifestyle a bit (*), because I'd rather enjoy my remaining years as best I can, rather than scrimp and save - this is the only life I get, it isn't a rehearsal for "a better try".
    I think about this too! I could be dead in a year or a decade, wishing I'd enjoyed a quieter setting. Then again, few regrets about where I am now, despite the noise I grumble about.

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