Every Day

Time Is Money

Time is money even when you are retired. All of the things that we do whether large or small take our time but most of them save us a ton of money annually. In that way we keep our expenses low and can continue to save and keep our investments intact and actually grow them year after year.

But today I want to talk about the other aspect of retirement. Aging is a huge factor in what you spend in retirement. Medical, dental, and vision costs are large when you get to be our ages. Just the fact that the doctors and dentists want to see you more than once a year can be costly. And the lab tests all the time- UGH! According to my doctors, now that I am almost down to a perfect weight, I am in excellent health. Hubby is pretty good too even though he has back issues. 

Aging and the back issues can be very costly. Because of Hubby’s bad back, we have had to hire landscape crews from March through October almost every year of our retirement(19+ years).

In Arizona, we needed them not only because of his bad back but because our landscaping grew so rapidly out there and to do it in the heat was not pleasant. They came every other Monday during the season and I actually don’t even remember exactly what is cost. I know it was just over a couple of hundred dollars a month. 

When we moved here, we have a much larger piece of property than we had there. We have a lot of lawn and many, many gardens with landscaping that need trimming, weeding, mulching, and the occasional planting. Hubby does the mowing on his John Deere riding lawn mower which he really enjoys. He used to hire a neighbor boy to do the weed whacking because we have lots of stonework around all of our gardens that needs to be trimmed every time he mows. However, he has since gotten rid of our heavy weed whacker and purchased a more light weight one that he can manage with his back so he does it once a week. 

The same company that does our landscaping once a month, comes and does our fertilizing about 6 times a season. Then once in a while, like today, they bring  4 bushes that we order and plant them for us along with doing the monthly maintenance.

All of this comes at a price of $3383. for this season from March through October. It is not cheap.

The reason I tell you this is so that you plan to be able to pay this in retirement when and if you can no longer do it. As you age, you just can’t do as much as you used to. Hubby always did his own yard work and enjoyed it until he no longer could. 

It’s the same with pest control. That costs another  $ 562. a year. 

These are just two of the costs for your home in a year and believe me when I say they go up annually. 

People ask us when we will be ready for a condo. I don’t know if we ever will be but it is a possibility. However we would still have these costs but they would be built into the condo monthly maintenance fees. If you rent a nice place, you pay it in the rent. There is no way to get away from the high cost unless you are able to do it yourself.

For now, we love our home and all of the square footage we have. We enjoy our yards and the beauty of it. I am healthy enough to be able to maintain the inside of our home with a little help from Hubby. Even if I couldn’t, we have planned well and could hire a housekeeper to come once or twice a month.  We have no plans to move any time soon. So we trade our money for their time which is why we trade our time to save money where we can.  

I tell you all this because these expenses are real in retirement and you all need to plan for them when you are planning for your retirement years. Even if you are in relatively good health when you retire, things happen and health deteriorates. You may not be able to do your own work forever. 

 They are just two of the many expenses you will need to work into your plan to maintain your home.

So when you are doing your retirement planning, you have to get real about what it is REALLY going to cost you.    

8 replies on “Time Is Money”

We are facing the dilemma of downsizing. Hubs with his (parkinsons) condition just cannot handle the size and steepness of the yard. The house is way too big and we will sell in the spring.

Hi Kim,

I understand. So sorry that your Hubs has to deal with that. Good luck selling your home. We downsized about 300 sq. ft. from our home that the boys grew up in. We only have three bedrooms here and the two guest rooms are needed when our family comes to visit.

We bought this particular house last year because we wanted a large yard for the dogs (we have 4),a garage large enough for his truck (oversize door) and a shop for him, no stairs and no neighbors. We paid a pretty penny to get all that in town and 20 minutes from work. Along with that we have 4 bedrooms (3 are empty, and spend all weekend doing yard and house stuff). We will probably sell spring of 2021)

We live on 3 acres in retirement, but only 2 are cleared. We have no gardens, just the natural shape of the land. DH has a john deere and as long as he can ride it, the grass gets cut. Same with weed wacking. If not, we got a price of $85 to cut it. No need for weeding or fertilizer. Never needed pest control (Terra works well) but this year we had a bee hive in the attic. $225 to remove them. Had to come back twice. Pesky critters, those bees! I do most of the cleaning. A little bit at a time. DH helps with the laundry. He can't lift heavy things anymore so we have to wait for our SIL to get here to help. SIL lifts up the air conditioners and helps out in the garage. Our own son died. That was a big loss. We needed our son.
We'll keep doing for as long as we can. Tried the condo life. Hated it. Living in a free standing home is the best.
Good luck to you.

I am so sorry about your son.

Thanks for sharing. I have to agree with you about condo life. I have never lived in one but stayed with my cousin in hers whenever we would come and visit NY from Arizona. It was too small for me and I could hear the neighbors coming and going. It reminded me of the apt. we stayed in here while our home was being built although our apt. was larger than most condos. I hated it!

Hi AD, this is Chris. Thoughtful post today. When we moved here to our new town almost 5 years ago, we couldn't find a ranch, but ended up with the next best thing, a first floor master suite. We also downsized our lot to 1/4 acre. I think our house will age well with us. when I was sick 3.5 years ago, I only had to stay on the main level and did ok. Some of our older neighbors have lawn service, but hubby is still able to do. He helps with some of the heavy housework now also like the floors.

Hi Chris,

First floor master works well. We have .39 of an acre. The problem is Hubby wanted gardens everywhere and he keeps adding to them. But it is beautiful and we enjoy it. Yeah for Hubby with the floors.

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