No. of Recommendations: 2
"Two of the cars in my "fleet" are a Pontiac and an Oldsmobile, to give you an idea of the age of my cars. I hate having to put a set of $400 tires on a car worth less than $2000, but some things are too important to cut corners. Once or twice a year, there's a repair, and $200 to $500 is still less than a monthly new car payment"

Well, by the time my Honda was 17 years old, I was already 7 years into early retirement. Honda Accord was nice car , but at 17 years old, the rubber gasket around the door was beginning to deteriorate. The seat was definitely 'worn out' from sitting on it too many hours. The suspension/rubber bushings were getting tired and it probably could have used new 'struts' ($500 plus). The car was worth about $2000.

Sure I put new tires on it every 45,000-50,000 miles it seemed. Had 165K miles on it when I parted with it.

Around that time, I inherited a Buick LeSabre from my mom with 100,000 miles on it. Drove it 100,000 more miles in the next 3 years as I traveled all over the country. Nice cars but the transmissions crap out at over 200K miles. Drove it to 225,000 miles then sold it for $2,000 or so. Bought a new 2001 one and drove it 200,000 miles.

When I sold the Honda, I bought a 2007 Prius for around town. Nice around town car and got the HID lights which I really like. it's got 60,000 miles on it now.....12 years old. One of these years I'll likely buy something else.

Before I retired, the Honda provided low cost car cost.

Now that I retired in 1999, I got more than enough to have two cars, and the road car gets replaced about every 7 years with 175,000 plus on it. After than mileage, I really don't trust the cars for long road trips - too many things living on 'borrowed time' and I'd really rather not get stranded in' boondock' somewhere waiting for a 3 day repair on something where the spare part has to come from 250 miles away by wagon train. My last couple cars (GM) have been trouble free to over 100,000 miles - and then maybe 1 repair after that. Of course, you're likely to need a new battery at 4-5 years down here. So it gets replaced once in it's life.

If I were SAVING for retirement, I'd probably push the cars a bit further, but since I travel 1/3rd of the year (by car), I can AFFORD now to have cars less than 7 years/200K miles. Why not? You can't take it with you.

Since 1975, I never had 'car payments'. Saved up, bought cars for cash.

Some folks spend $10,000+ a year at the country club. I spend that much traveling around (or more).

Meanwhile, the portfolio is pretty much on auto-pilot with Vanguard index funds and stocks I've held for years. Sell very little. Buy only index funds with excess cash.

t.
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