U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 09-15-2017, 09:08 AM
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,869 posts, read 1,399,615 times
Reputation: 10071


Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
I believe you mentioned that you are using some of your assets to live on in retirement? I don't expect to do that other than this car purchase and possibly a winter home in Arizona. How did you determine the amount to spend on this car purchase? I look at it as a slight reduction in my yearly investment income/wealth reduction (money taken from investment to consumption).
I go on line, see how much a car that I like cost and then decide if I want it or not and then I decide on whether or not to finance it.

I purchased a luxury car mainly because I live in Philly but work in Delaware so I spend 75 minutes each way back and forth and most days I'm running errands.

anyhoo, When I purchased about 3 years ago the dealer had a nice incentive of 0% financing. can't beat using someone else's money. I put a big chunk down to keep the payment low and had a note for 2 years.

So I guess I was a bit weird I found a car I like first as opposed to determining the amount to spend.

I'm not a huge car fanatic so YMMV. My neighbor behind me is a huge, huge car guy. He's got a couple of cars including a classic red 1967 mustang convertible that I think I would trade in my youngest kid for. woo baby that thing is sweet. I think he said he dropped close to 50K on it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-15-2017, 09:26 AM
Location: Florida
4,356 posts, read 3,689,532 times
Reputation: 4084
If you can afford it go for it.
I plan on a long life for my cars so that helps.
Remember you will hopefully have a longer life than your cars so their could be a few more in your future.

I can not relate to 5%. But if you can buy the car and not miss the money you spent then I would say buy. That sounds like your position. But remember a car is not an investment. I consider it of no value for future dollars and in fact it will take future dollars to be able to use it. As long as the total costs fits your budget do what you want.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 09:38 AM
1,048 posts, read 512,583 times
Reputation: 1800
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
It's a fast car so insurance will likely be high, fuel expense high, tire expense high....depreciation is the biggest expense and that's an unknown but I'll likely keep it for 10 years with the first few years under new car warranty. I honestly don't think the expenses will strain our budget.
Tire expense....got a nail in one of the Carreras tires. Stupid me, figured just patch it up at Big O. Nope, performance rated tire must be replaced. And for some reason, I don't recall, it had to match the other side. So one nail = 2 new tires at about 1k.

I'm not a car person, but I wish I'd have known these things in advance. If only I knew then what I know now.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 09:42 AM
Location: Western Colorado
11,079 posts, read 12,458,603 times
Reputation: 26079
Wealth? What's that? I bought a 2008 Jeep 3 years ago, and I'll drive it until they revoke my drivers license for being too old, then I'll still drive it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 10:24 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
17,923 posts, read 18,237,420 times
Reputation: 11476
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
So far, it looks like I'm the only person that considers my wealth as a factor in deciding how much to spend on my cars in my upcoming retirement....this surprises me but I guess this is what makes the world go round, everyone has a different opinion.
I consider income more of a factor instead of net worth. I just bought a very expensive car, but I save 1/2 that amount yearly, so I will be back where I started in two years. I also think it depends on the person. I get great pleasure out of a very nice car because I am an enthusiast and love a car that handles and is fast. I feel safer in a maneuverable car that stops on a dime. I don't like the attention though. That part sucks, but I picked a dark color and a car that doesn't show up on the radar as much as a Porsche, yet is as fast as many of them.

You need to be able to make up for your purchase IMHO. Net worth is an odd way to look at it. Say you buy a $50,000 car, that would mean you are giving up $2k a year give or take. $100K? $4K and that is tax free income from a muni or something like that. Cars usually depreciate, unless you buy a classic, but the market for classics is very strong right now, so I don't think there is much room for an uptick, but maybe.

Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 11:23 AM
Location: NNV
1,509 posts, read 967,985 times
Reputation: 3071
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
So You think the maximum % of your wealth spent on cars should be based on your wealth? So what % is the maximum you should spend at these wealth points:

1) $10M
2) $5M
3) $2.5M
4) $1M
5) $.5M

Yes, in the future (we keep cars about 10 years) we will likely have more wealth next time to purchase our cars....so not a large concern, just a reality of living.
I guess you could say that.

If you spend 5% of $10M, you will have $9.5M in wealth left. If you spend 5% of $0.5M, you will have $475k left. I'd think the former would be more able to afford the 5% then the latter.

What is the maximum at those wealth points? That's difficult to answer, given I don't know the overall lifestyle we are assuming at each wealth point. And how much we have to spend to maintain those cars (a Porsche or Ferrari has much higher maintenance costs than a Toyota).

I can tell you I could spend 25% easily at $10M or even $5M and still have plenty for retirement. I could spend 10% at $2.5M...

I would love to have an early 70s Mercedes 600 SWB. But unless I win the lottery, it's not gonna happen...

I don't like the new cars now. Too many electronics and the driving experience has become sterile. I only buy them because they (should be) reliable for a number of years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 11:45 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
Reputation: 32304
I don't care for the word "acceptable" in the thread title.

"Acceptable" carries a moral connotation. I suppose if a person is spending so much on a car that he or she will be on the government dole later on, then that is not "acceptable" because the rest of us will be paying for it, albeit very indirectly. Clearly, that is not the OP's situation, therefore whatever he wishes to spend on car is "acceptable" in my book.

I find the entire original post somewhat bizarre. OP, do you feel guilty about your proposed purchase? Why else would you seek the approval of strangers? You want a car which is above and beyond the standard of simple utility and practicality, so if you can afford it without the danger of being destitute later on, of course it's acceptable. We all have areas where we like to splurge somewhat because our values are different.

For some people, the desire to enjoy a high-performance car is well worth the cost, whereas other people would never even realize that the car they are driving is a "high-performance" car. Most people are not really "drivers" in that sense; that is, they may have a license and may be quite safe at low speeds, but they have no clue about the finer points of driving and no joy in cornering, etc.

Such "non-drivers" will never understand your desire to have a real car, because for them the purpose of a car is getting from one place to another in comfort. There is nothing wrong with that utilitarian mind-set, in which a car is like an appliance, like a fridge or a washing machine. It's just that there are some of us who really like driving.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 11:50 AM
Location: Eastern Washington
14,217 posts, read 44,870,326 times
Reputation: 12792
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
I just wanted to get the opinion of retirees, especially those that have been retired for a number of years, what percent of your wealth do you consider acceptable to spend on cars in retirement?

Wife retired at 54 a couple years back and I'm getting ready to retire in the next few months and I was wanting to get the opinion of retirees.

We bought a new car recently for wife and I'm thinking of buying a very exciting car for myself and added together, it would constitute about 5% of our wealth (we won't have a note, pay cash)....do you think that's too much and if so, what do you recommend or if you think that's too little or not a problem, I want to hear that too.

Our pensions, investment income, SS should be easily sufficient to live on. Yes, we could conceivably get by on one vehicle but we are both pretty active and we live in an outer suburb so public transportation is not really feasible.
Go ahead, do it! Although, I would point out that the same money for a new Corvette for example, will buy a nicely restored older model. The older car is simpler, IMHO better looking, and from a financial perspective will never be worth less than you paid for it, if you buy the right car and get the right deal. Of course not just any old Corvette will appreciate, take for example a 67 with the Tri-Power (3X2) carb setup, 427. Particularly if it's a convertible, it will just go up in price. (Unlikely you would find this particular model for as *little* as you would pay for a new base model.) If you buy new, you take a hit of probably 5% of what you spent, right on the chin, when you drive it off the lot.

But I am a car guy. I'm not going to go limping off into the sunset in a minivan!!

Like most, I am not much on figuring a % of net worth in cars, or % of whatever you want to spend. Buy what you want and can afford. Life is too short to drive boring cars, or drink cheap beer for that matter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 12:42 PM
Location: Asheville NC
1,601 posts, read 1,311,930 times
Reputation: 4155
I agree with Escort- Acceptable is judgemental.

You are retired-you aren't getting any younger. If not now when?? Buy what you want (if you can afford it). If you are a "car person" it can be a great hobby in retirement. Lots of sports car clubs, trips and shows. We are basically "comfort-safety" car buyers, but have some car fanatic friends. We have been able to enjoy their collections and parties. We do have a Mazda MX-5, not expensive in the sports car realm, that we enjoy riding (with the top down) the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2017, 01:16 PM
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,829,371 times
Reputation: 16632
If the "acceptable percentage of one's retirement wealth" is a factor in one's decision to buy a new car, one is probably not in the affordable new car range.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top