Friday, February 23, 2007

House Costs Over 40 Years

So if I retire at 45 I do have a bit of problem. I could potential own a home for over 40 years, which means I'm going to be facing some long term costs. Will this ruin my retirement dreams? Let's try to figure that out.

Below is a list of things you need to replace over a long period of time with a house. I've also included an estimate of a lifespan of each item and how many times it needs to be replaced in 40 years.

Water Heater - 15 year lifespan - need 2.5 in 40 years
Furnace - 20 year lifespan - need 2
Water Softener - 20 year lifespan - need 2
Roof Singles - 20 year lifespan - replace twice
Paint (outside and interior) - 8 year lifespan - paint 5 times
Plumbing fixtures - 15 year lifespan - need 2.5
Windows & Doors - 25 year lifespan - replace 1.5 times
Carpet - 15 year lifespan - replace 2.5 times
Appliances (washer, drier, dishwasher, fridge stove) - 25 years - replace 1.5 times

Now here are a few estimates at some costs for each item.

Water Heater - $800 each
Furnace - $3500 each
Water Softener - $500 each
Roof Singles - $2500 each
Paint (outside and interior) - $1000 each
Plumbing fixtures - $500 each
Windows & Doors - $ 5000 each replacement
Carpet - $5000 each replacement
Appliances - $5000 each replacement

Therefore my total costs would be:

Water Heater - $800 x 2.5 = $2000
Furnace - $3500 each x 2 = $7000
Water Softener - $500 each x 2 = $1000
Roof Singles - $2500 each x 2 = $5000
Paint (outside and interior) - $1000 each x 5 = $5000
Plumbing fixtures - $500 each x 2.5 = $1250
Windows & Doors - $ 5000 x 1.5 = $7500
Carpet - $5000 x 2.5 = $12500
Appliances - $5000 x 1.5 = $7500

Total = $48,750 or rounding up to $50,000

Ok, that looks like a lot of cash, but you've got 40 years to spread out the cost. So let's say we put $50/month into bonds that yield 3.5% (today's dollars) over 40 years that would grow to just over $50,000. To include other home maintenance issues like changing a light bulb to redoing your roof a good number to include in your retirement planning is $1000/year. So it looks like home maintenance shouldn't ruin your retirement dreams as long as you include a buffer in your spending costs.

Have a good weekend,


pragmatic said...

You don't buy a fraction of a water heater or appliance. The reality is that when you need the item you have to pay the full price. Can't walk into a store and say. I'd like to buy .5 years worth of that furnace please. They'll ask you to leave. LOL!

Seriously though, you should round up all your fractions to the nearest whole number.


Canadian Dream said...


True you can't by 0.5 of something, but I was trying to get an $ estimate more than anything else.

After all if you put it your cost of living estimate you should have a pile of cash already saved to generate that income before you ever use it.


Anonymous said...

Civ Eng Retired at age 56

A Few Ideas That Worked Well For Me

Avoid/defer any expense you can
Borrow only for home
Modest home
Inexpensive vacations
Drive older car (currently 1994 Buick)
Never borrow for car
Company Pension Plan
Auto savings...two account method
Never borrow for anything, pay cash
Don't get divorced

Next Pay Raise...Can Pension Plan

Anonymous said...

Actually we had a water heater replaced after 8 years. The plumber said they don't make them like they used to and 8 years is a more reasonable expectation.

Also, appliances don't last 25 years anymore either. This web site has some estimates (similar to those published on other sites) that match my experience with washers and dishwashers purchased in the 1990's.

We got all new appliances when we got our new house 9 years ago. We're using the expected-life data to budget to replace an appliance a year roughly when the appliance will be near end of life. Also, newer models tend to be more energy efficient than older ones. I've also found that repair bills can get close to 50% of the cost of a new model once you factor in the minimum payment for the look-see visit from the repairman along with the followup visits and parts. However, a repair doesn't really extend the life of the appliance -- it just keeps it going a little longer. Over time, parts get more and more expensive and well as scarcer.

Retired Already said...

Interesting question...Can someone retire at age 45 by just saving more money?

Most people don't retire until age 60 or older. To retirement at age 45 means one has to accumulate the same amount of wealth in much less time or live on a lot less.

Don,t spend time looking at all the details...water heater and carpet replacement cycles until you first get a handle on the overall picture. Smart people have been studying this area (money needed for retirement) for a long time. The ball-park answer shouldn't be hard to find.

Obstacles to Overcome:

If your say age 28, then there are only 17 years to go. That's a real limitation for "normal savings" rates.

Saving potential doesn't really increase much until one has paid off their mortgage. Most people just buy newer vehicles and go on expensive vacations.

Your best bet may be to think of a way to earn a lot more money as soon a possible.

The Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer said...

Retired Already: I think you touch an incredibly important point: augmenting the income significantly ... This is the way to get to retire faster. In my opinion, finding ways to boost your employment income (through education or promotions for example) is far more effective than spending countless hours tweaking an investment portfolio (anybody can use the couch potatoe approach from Moneysense) or trying to save 1.40$ a day by skipping the TH Double-double coffee ... I still personally invest as a hobby but never at the expense of my career growth.

Canadian Dream said...

Civ Eng,

Thanks for the tips that is a good list.


Water heaters lifespans depend heavily on the water going into them. Up in NE BC you could run one for up to 20 years, but here in Regina the water tends to be a lot harder on them, but thanks for the link and your information. I really just took a guess of 25 years since I've yet to own an appliance that long to know if it could last that long.

Retired Already,

I've already did a series of posts on my ball park number. Check out the posts labeled 'Retirement Calculations - Part I, II, III' from last year. Basically I'm in the living on a lot less option. I know how I like to live and I don't need a mountain of cash to do it. I know the 17 year time frame isn't all that long, but the next target is to kill the mortgage as fast as possible. That way I can bank 60% of my net income during the last 8 years of so of my career (my core spending is currently at 40%, then 30% mortgage and 30% savings). I know that this plan is going to be difficult, but that's the point for me. I like a challenge.


Your right that maxing out your income is very important to retire early. As long as you don't lose yourself doing it. For example, my last job paid around $20,000 more than my current one, but I was starting to hate it in the end. So I took a lower paying one in a lower cost of living area and I'm much happier overall.


MCM said...

“In my opinion, finding ways to boost your employment income (through education or promotions for example) is far more effective than spending countless hours tweaking an investment portfolio”

Although you may have a point that career advancement is the “most effective” route to saving money I think that your taking too simplistic of a view towards retirement planning. Although I want to retire early I don’t want to be miserable until the day I retire. Like CD I left a well paying job to take my current job -- I’m over qualified and there is virtually no room for advancement. I don’t like working, but at this job I don’t mind getting up in the morning to go there and the atmosphere, like my colleagues, are relaxed (plus my wife is a lot happier because I’m only working a 40hr week). There has to be a balance between your happiness now and your happiness in retirement. (If you want you can calculate the extra earning from a promotion versus the expenses of a divorce:)