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It is currently Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:33 pm




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 Post subject: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 3
I am 61, my wife 54.
Monthly Net: 5,625

We have a retirement account with state of WY, around 30k right now. both employers contribute we do not yet.

VISA - $16,289 @ 10% $365 per month
Mortgage rental property $52,000 @ 6.3% 589.00 per month
"Mortgage" primary property $38,230 @ 6.5% $500 per month
School Loan $17,000 @ $226 per month
Used truck loan $11,827 @ $265 per month

We can probably sell our rental property and realize $30,000 or so after closing expenses. The house has been rented to a non-profit group and is a home for autistic children. The non-profit has been renting for twelve years or so. They bought two other houses next to ours and ours is by far the best house on the small block of houses (only 4 altogether).

The loan on our primary property is a construction loan as we are building an alternative living house called an Earthship. The bank is a small town one that has been in business for 135 years. The loan renews every three years and they are happy to continue to do that. We live in an old mobile home on the property while we build. Meanwhile the construction at this point only costs about $500 a year for concrete, wire, nails etc. We are paying as we go and will reach our first major expense @$12,000 in two and a half years. Another year after that until our next major expense etc., and about six years to finish the construction. (see earthship.com)

The key for us is to become debt free as much as possible and to be able to save $$ toward construction along the way. We think that paying down debts with attacking the highest interest first is the normal way to go, but if we sell the rental house we could pay off the primary loan... the problem with the loan is that it is not fixed and who knows where it would go in three - six years. Plus we would have the land we are living and building on free and clear. Then we could take the extra money and apply it to the VISA, then the Truck, School loan etc.

What do others think about this?


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I think if I were 61 years old with $16,000 in credit card debt and practically no savings, I'd be asking about THAT, rather than a trendy "Earthship" house. Surely you're contemplating retirement in the next few years, aren't you? Do you have substantial assets you neglected to include in your post? I'm sorry to be blunt, but I'm gravely concerned that you may be focusing on this house when you should instead be focused on clearing away all that high-interest consumer debt and paving the way for a carefree retirement.


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1200
kombat wrote:
I think if I were 61 years old with $16,000 in credit card debt and practically no savings, I'd be asking about THAT, rather than a trendy "Earthship" house. Surely you're contemplating retirement in the next few years, aren't you? Do you have substantial assets you neglected to include in your post? I'm sorry to be blunt, but I'm gravely concerned that you may be focusing on this house when you should instead be focused on clearing away all that high-interest consumer debt and paving the way for a carefree retirement.

Good questions!


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:51 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 3
Well, that's why i am asking what would others do. I won't be retiring until 68 - 70. After discussing it more after my post we do think our best approach is to sell the rental house, use that income to pay off the VISA and the truck loan. Then snowball the school loan and the primary property.

The idea is to finish the house within six years, as we are already well into the hardest part, pounding dirt into tires. By that time the house is paid for and we don't have a mortgage or utility bills. Or at least extremely low utility bills. The houses are passive solar, and do not need air-conditioning or heating, the two biggest utility expenditures. Labor is nil as 85% of the work we are doing ourselves. I have two and a half to three years before I have any large expenditures on the construction as the first part is 95% labor with the tires used for walls being free.

Another option would be to sell the primary property too, get a rental in town. But then we would be paying probably around $700 - $800 a month for a rental, plus standard utility costs. We would have to come up with this money when we would not have to do so in a house that is paid for on land that is paid for. Additionally, at the end of the two - three year time limit we can see where we are and sell the property and move to a rental in town if necessary. During that time we haven't done anymore than pay off bills except for the property and to save money.

Perhaps we are damned if we do, damned if we don't

I think the developer of the Earthship concept would love the idea that someone thinks these houses are trendy!


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I'm curious as to why you don't participate in your retirement plans.

I did look up those earthships, and they look pretty cool for vacation. I couldn't live in one, but they seem pretty neat.

Another question I have is that if you sell your rental property, how much is that going to decrease your monthly income? Do an analysis and see if keeping the rental property actually helps you in your ability to pay down your debts. If you sell it, you still aren't going to be able to pay your debts, and you may be digging yourself in a bigger hole by not having the extra income.

Your used truck loan seems high. I have been to Wyoming, and I know that everyone has/requires trucks, but is there a way to sell the truck you currently have and get a cheaper one. The one you have seems pretty expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
Do you have any savings you are not putting here or did I miss it?

I am not sure this is a great option for you.

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: What would you do?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 3
We have around 6,000 in an emergency savings account. The truck is necessary as we are 30 miles out of town and we haul water three times a week. It is a 2007 Chevy Silverado and we need the four wheel drive in the winter. My 1994 Suburban that was running great with a new motor, all paid for, was clobbered by a huge cottonwood limb and totaled a year or so ago. The house will have a 6,000 gallon cistern and catch rain and snow melt from the roof. A well is out of the question for us as it would be @ 25k to drill one. The earthship is definitely a lifestyle change but we have visited them in Taos, NM and there are two others going up in town so we are looking forward to living in ours. The rental income difference is only $86.00 a month so not really a problem. What is more of a problem is when I have to use my emergency funds on a new air-conditioner, house painting or coming up sometime soon I think will be a new roof. Have not contributed as we have been paying bills but it is something we know that we need to start doing.


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