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Old 05-23-2009, 03:11 AM
 
9,084 posts, read 8,500,934 times
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agree w/ the above except the getting old and chasing girls part
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: New England
11,317 posts, read 7,168,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Capital gains on anything (stocks, bonds, real estate) are always based on the net gain realized after expenses.
Thanks for this info!
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:17 AM
 
Location: New England
11,317 posts, read 7,168,776 times
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Default Renting vs. owning in older yrs

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolL View Post
Newenglandgirl, thank you so much for this thread. I hope it continues, because there are thousands, or maybe millions, of us out here who will be retiring on just SS and some savings, and we can learn so much from each other.

DH and I hoped he could retire this year (er, rather, semi-retire; he will always have to have a job if for nothing else than to maintain his sanity!), but we are putting it off because, frankly, we're now scared to do it. We will lose our health insurance when he leaves his current job. I am self-employed. I can work from anywhere, but since last fall, my business has just about completely tanked. It doesn't seem like the right time for us to retire, but I am wondering if there's ever a right time. (I dont' expect anyone to answer that.)

Our other decision is whether to use our savings to buy a small house for cash, or whether we should resign ourselves to renting forever.

So much to consider. Oy vey.
Where are you (what state?)
There's been a huge debate on other threads about renting vs. owning (I first typed "owing" by mistake, and that may be more accurate!). The big thing to consider is the hidden costs of owning, primarily property taxes that are already off the charts in many states (WA, CT, NY, NH, etc etc). This is a RUNAWAY cost now...taxes that haven't budged for some time are starting to skyrocket up b/c the states are plain out of money. They will look to homeowners to bear the burden thru prop taxes. Of course this will be passed on to renters.

The other thing is water & sewer cost, and water & sewer tax (separate bills where I am), homeowner insurance, and constant repairs. If you can find a modest small home with a new roof, new furnace, new just about everything, you can figure those things will last another 15 years or so. Living on a bus route is a good idea. In some states there's free senior transp.

The best thing probably is to sit down and calculate what it would cost for all of the above, to own a home, vs. renting till you go off to Happy Acres. Some economists say that we should no longer really see our homes as investments (the economy has tanked, and we have to have somewhere to live) but as a utilitarian thing. I don't always agree that owning is best. It really depends on an individual situation...if you are younger and have a stable income, it makes sense. Also, for those of us who have to work even PT till we drop....renting gives greater flexibility to move whenever there is a better income opp elsewhere.

Just a few thoughts anyway....
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: New England
11,317 posts, read 7,168,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
Just read through this thread, and found lots of good stuff here. I just retired and am 8 years away from being eligible to collect SS. I have a decent pension, but I'm still going to have to get used to living on slightly less than 1/2 of my prior salary. I've paid down my debt, and will have it almost gone after I receive payment for my accumulated leave (except for the mortgage). I have a little bit of savings, but certainly not enough to put me in a category other than living on a shoe-string!

I will probably need to buy a car at some point in the not too distant future. Mine is hanging in there, but is almost 10 years old, and I really don't trust it for long trips, especially solo trips. And that's a bit of a problem, because I was hoping to do some road trips. But that will have to wait until I get a handle on how things go.

I will look forward to following everyone's comments.
At age 60, I plan to never buy a car again that costs over maybe 6 grand. No car payments for me, or outright gifts of cash to a tanking auto industry that refuses to give me an affordable car that seriously saves gas!
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:27 AM
 
Location: New England
11,317 posts, read 7,168,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I do budget about $135 a month but mostly I spend about $60-80 a month. I am single and a big eater. I do not eat in restaurants. I cook all my own meals.

I buy mostly stable and do not buy convenience foods. When, I do cook, I do not cook for one; I cook for four-eight and eat for two. I do not eat meat every day. I used dry legumes, rice pasta and many different vegetables, whatever cheap and in season. I eat fresh fruit everyday; again what is cheap and in season.

I do not buy the most expensive cuts of meat. For Beef, I never eat a steak from the loin or the rib. Many times, I will buy round steak. I break down the round with the "top"(inside), being tenderer, I use for stir fry and a small steak. The "bottom"(outside), I use for braised dishes, or I grind with any trimmings. I use the eye round for a small pounded steak.

For Pork, I buy full loins, break them up for chops and stir fry. For Poultry, whole chickens, or parts, what ever is cheaper. I sometime buy whole turkeys, when they sell at the holidays, for $5-6 dollars. I break them up, breast for cutlets. I bone legs and thighs; use them, for example, for grilling with olive oil, rosemary, garlic lemon juice and serve with hummus made from dried garbanzos. Sometimes I bake a half turkey, a quarter turkey, or just a leg and thigh, boned or boneless.

I use many dried beans and I make many purees of white, lentils, garbanzos, pintos, black. That with a tortilla and I have a nice meal. I am a big fan of lentils because they cook fast and I make lentil burgers, lentil loaf. All and any bean and legumes I can use for Pasta Fagioli, nice good stable.

I make all kinds of soups from beans, vegetables, sometimes chicken, turkey, fish--I can make soup from anything. If fact, I can make anything; eat anything; combine anything. I can bake anything from pies, to cakes, to breads---I rarely use a recipe. I just browse recipes for suggestions and then I make it all up as I go. I eat what I have in abundance or needs to be eaten. I waste nothing; I throw out no food.

I eat whatever fish I can find cheap, fresh or in a can. I can easily make any fish dish from baked, to broiled, to stewed.

I tend to think of my meals as more vegetables, fruit and carbohydrates, whole grains, with a little meat, now and then and some dairy products. I eat fresh fruit everyday and green vegetables. I do what poor people have done for thousands of years. I combine vegetable proteins to make it complementary, to achieve a complete protein source. That is rice and bean; pasta and beans; whole grains etc., more vegetables and fruit, little dairy, less meat.

If cheese is cheap, I buy a supply. If it gets expensive, I make substitutions and use less. I use eggs in many different ways. Eggs hold much longer than the expiration date. I am not a fan of fried eggs and bacon. I never buy bacon--it is just fat. I prefer a lean ham. I never pay for fatty bones; so I do not buy ribs. I do not buy chicken wings alone--just overpriced fat and you cook it with more fat and I get fatter. I rarely buy cured meats such as hot dogs, salami etc.

It all boils, bakes or stews down to what I can find fresh, cheap or in abundance in all the local markets. When, it is cheap, I buy more. I shop the ads at the local groceries. I go to any ethnic markets, Mexican and Asian, in the poorer working neighborhoods--they are the best prices. I do not shop in the overpriced stores like Whole Foods. Here, in Colorado, we are fortunate to have a good Hispanic and Asian community because they are still poor. It is the poor who know how to eat economically and good. When I was a child, the Italian markets were good because the Italians were poor. Now the Italians are rich; their food is rich and expensive--so I avoid those markets. So goes the world, become rich and you loose the capacity and the knowledge to live a a basic essential good life.

I drink no alcohol, wine or beer. I buy no carbonated beverages or overprice fake vitamin water, pre-made ice teas or any other of that wasted junk. I make my own teas. I drink juices, generally concentrated real juices or I make my own. But mainly I drink water and no expensive bottled water. I rarely drink coffee, mostly tea. I do not buy all that overpriced flavored teas. If, I want rhaspberry tea, I buy regular tea and infuse it myself with preserves.

I buy no potato chips or snacks--I do not need all that extra fat. I rarely buy candies or pre-made cakes or pastries. I eat no donuts. I never order pizza delivery. I can make pizza cheaper and better with vegetable toppings. I use less cheese and top with anything and everything, peppers, onions, eggplant, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, etc., Fried or grilled first. I do not use pepperoni. I do admit buying some frozen pizza recently when cheese got so expensive and doctored them with vegetables. Of course the pizza was at a sales price and I had a coupon.

So, there you have it. I eat good; too good. If you see me, you will know. Yea, I can eat real cheap and a good balanced diet. In fact I have enough food in my house to live for about 7-9 months, and survive another 3 months, just on my body fat.

The trick is you have to know how to cook. You must shop wisely. You need to learn how to use different meats and vegetables. Absolutely avoid restaurants. You have to enjoy different foods and you must not have a meat centered diet.

Oh, I did graduate from The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York, many, many years ago; for whatever that is worth. I now have no interest in that business of slavery, long hours and low pay. I do not have the patience or the health to deal with the abuse. In addition, I am not impressed by overpriced, luxurious foods--I have eaten them, prepared them, served them. That kind of cuisine is a waste of resources. However, I did learn how to use and appreciate food. Yes, I do know food and that is helping me in my old age.

Livecontent
WOW, LiveContent, you've really got it down!! I'm mostly vegetarian but do eat fish and a bit of chicken. I seem to gravitate toward organic foods so my bills are considerably higher. But my late mother at 92 ate grocery store food, selected carefully, and ate small portions a number of times a day. She had literally never been to a doctor in her life, except to go to hospital to have her babies.

Supplements can be very pricey. I'm wondering whether I should follow my mother's advice that they're a waste of time and money. Only an aspirin or two ever passed her lips in terms of pills!
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,749 posts, read 4,114,280 times
Reputation: 1595
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Where are you (what state?)
There's been a huge debate on other threads about renting vs. owning (I first typed "owing" by mistake, and that may be more accurate!). The big thing to consider is the hidden costs of owning, primarily property taxes that are already off the charts in many states (WA, CT, NY, NH, etc etc). This is a RUNAWAY cost now...taxes that haven't budged for some time are starting to skyrocket up b/c the states are plain out of money. They will look to homeowners to bear the burden thru prop taxes. Of course this will be passed on to renters.

The other thing is water & sewer cost, and water & sewer tax (separate bills where I am), homeowner insurance, and constant repairs. If you can find a modest small home with a new roof, new furnace, new just about everything, you can figure those things will last another 15 years or so. Living on a bus route is a good idea. In some states there's free senior transp.

The best thing probably is to sit down and calculate what it would cost for all of the above, to own a home, vs. renting till you go off to Happy Acres. Some economists say that we should no longer really see our homes as investments (the economy has tanked, and we have to have somewhere to live) but as a utilitarian thing. I don't always agree that owning is best. It really depends on an individual situation...if you are younger and have a stable income, it makes sense. Also, for those of us who have to work even PT till we drop....renting gives greater flexibility to move whenever there is a better income opp elsewhere.

Just a few thoughts anyway....
Interesting points. But I have concerns about renting. For one, you have absolutely no control over how high the rents go. And even though I have a COLA pension, there is a 3% cap on the adjustment. That's also one of my concerns about an HOA, and why I bought in a community that does not have one. I did not buy a home until relatively late in life - I was 38 years old and recently divorced, with 3 kids to raise. Until then, I never felt really comfortable or secure that I would always have a home. I felt like I was living at the whim of my landlord. If he or she wanted to raise the rent, or changed their mind about pets, or decided to sell the house, or just didn't want to renew the lease for whatever reason, then I just had to accept it. Once I owned my own home, I finally felt like I had a stable and secure place of my own. To me, a lot of my personal happiness is dependent on this feeling of security.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:48 AM
 
362 posts, read 775,449 times
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Newenglandgirl, thank you for your provocative response and for putting it all in a nutshell. DH and I have owned houses in two states, so we are considering all of those things. You're right that prop taxes are a Known Unknown, and in NY state, they're twice what we'd pay here in Chicago--for a modest ranch house! But we plan to buy in a small town (It has a bus line) with cheaper taxes and cheaper COL--except of course for utilities, which are also much higher in the NE than they are in the Midwest.

Since selling our condo last year, we have been renting an apt, and here's where I have to agree with Janetvj: I haven't rented since the 1970s, and I don't like it. I don't feel secure here. I don't feel like I have a home. There's no control over anything, and simple things like getting the radiators fixed so we'd have heat last winter took daily effort and persuasion. And I know that as soon as the market improves, we have to leave because the landlord wants to sell the place. When Janetvj says, "... a lot of my personal happiness is dependent on this feeling of security," I know exactly how she feels.

I'm trying very hard to reconcile these points of view and feelings.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:22 AM
Status: "Carolina Dreamin" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Edina, MN
5,191 posts, read 3,464,357 times
Reputation: 11647
Janetvj- I couldn't agree more. I haven't rented in a long time and I remember making many scarifices to save enough to purchase my first home. Even then (1978) I knew if I wanted to keep my dogs (had 2 afghans) I'd have get my own home to find stability. Best decision I ever made. I will only rent again as an interim solution after I sell this house and find my next one. If money gets too tight, you can always get a roommate - with no mortgage, all expenses would be covered.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:27 PM
 
23,032 posts, read 17,994,543 times
Reputation: 5374
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Where are you (what state?)
There's been a huge debate on other threads about renting vs. owning (I first typed "owing" by mistake, and that may be more accurate!). The big thing to consider is the hidden costs of owning, primarily property taxes that are already off the charts in many states (WA, CT, NY, NH, etc etc). This is a RUNAWAY cost now...taxes that haven't budged for some time are starting to skyrocket up b/c the states are plain out of money. They will look to homeowners to bear the burden thru prop taxes. Of course this will be passed on to renters.

The other thing is water & sewer cost, and water & sewer tax (separate bills where I am), homeowner insurance, and constant repairs. If you can find a modest small home with a new roof, new furnace, new just about everything, you can figure those things will last another 15 years or so. Living on a bus route is a good idea. In some states there's free senior transp.

The best thing probably is to sit down and calculate what it would cost for all of the above, to own a home, vs. renting till you go off to Happy Acres. Some economists say that we should no longer really see our homes as investments (the economy has tanked, and we have to have somewhere to live) but as a utilitarian thing. I don't always agree that owning is best. It really depends on an individual situation...if you are younger and have a stable income, it makes sense. Also, for those of us who have to work even PT till we drop....renting gives greater flexibility to move whenever there is a better income opp elsewhere.

Just a few thoughts anyway....
Within the context of this discussion you need to enter a third category and that is buying. Owning and buying are not interchangeable. Owning a home for retirement planning means owning it outright with no mortgage. Buying is just that you are in the process of and have a mortgage. Renting is renting. I don't know of any planners who don't say the best situation is to own your home outright with no mortgage. At that rate your expenses are property taxes, insurance and eventual repairs. All of that should have been factored into your planning and wisdom would have you either buying a smaller home with cash or making repairs while still working and prior to retiring.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: New England
11,317 posts, read 7,168,776 times
Reputation: 7651
LiveContent,

Would you be into sharing how to make lentil burgers, w seasonings, and also pasta e fagioli? (I am Italian and my grandmother made the best, but I don't have her "recipe" - also, generally I don't use recipes either....when I taught classes in "natural cooking," I drove people crazy b/c I just made things without any formula).

I find that I don't even like the taste of meat, except for maybe ground lamb or beef in a pasta sauce. What is the secret to the best pasta sauce?? My GM used a pinch of nutmeg.

Also, what's this tea thing with preserves??

How did you kick coffee? (It's expensive, and I find I'm spending quite a bit each week "treating" myself to coffees in cafés....I'd love to be able to kick it, but I'm afraid I'm addicted!) Any suggestions on how-to, welcome.

Thanks for the inspiration~~~
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