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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 11-03-10, 02:36 PM   #1
nedgoudy
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Up against it at 60, single and car free? is the sustainable...

i own a house, am on a slim fixed income, have like 3 college
degrees, a number of good friends in 3 social networks but i
do not see being able to retain licensing, repairs, GAS, insurance
and maintenance on my 20 year old Honda, although it runs decently
except for needing SMOG work prior to re.upping my registration.

any of you folks, men or women, car free in Los Angeles or the
suburbs and feel you have a rich social life, a significant other with a healthy relationship? are you happy car free? can i be or is this like the end of NED?

is there hope here? i must say that i was expecting better at this
point, but i won't start playing my pity violin.

anyone proud to be carfree, over 60 with a life partner, a social life
and enough extra cash to have fun and not starve to death.

ned, who now does tai chi, qi gong and aspires to kung fu.
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Old 11-03-10, 03:12 PM   #2
Platy
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Welcome back, Ned! Lots of us older folks are looking at a much more financially meager retirement than we expected. I suppose it's going to get much worse, too. My plan is to figure out how to cut living costs faster than my income is decreasing. Are you in the part of Southern California that has mostly good weather year around? If so, maybe you're blessed with lower heating and air conditioning requirements and that would be a great help. Other ways to stretch a buck are gardening, setting up a small workshop and learning to repair things, cooking from scratch and of course going car free. I've even started making some of my own clothes.

Not to get too far ahead of the situation, but many of the available ladies in our age group are also experiencing financial constraints. A healthy, handy guy with a good attitude and ideas for cheap entertainment probably doesn't need a lot of fancy toys to make a good impression. And if I've got it figured right, two can live as cheaply as 1.6!
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Old 11-03-10, 05:50 PM   #3
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Living well car-free at any age is easier with the more options you have for travel. How far do you feel comfortable travelling with your Rhoades car (looks fun for travelling for two) and other bikes? Do you live near a bus line? What things are you currently using your car for that you don't feel you could do by bicycle? Can you afford to join Zipcar and are there cars stationed near where you live?
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Old 11-03-10, 08:10 PM   #4
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I am way younger Ned (26) and I have to admit that I am proud to be car free. Nothing is more liberating than riding my bicycle between the cars that are stuck in traffic. As far as friends go, I do not have many. I renounced having a cell phone and feel good about it, no one would really call me so whats the reason in having one. As far as having a big social life ??? I do not really have one, I have a couple of friends that I see from time to time, some I do not see at all. Facebook is my only contact with them. Over a period of time I have learned to live by myself and I get to enjoy a much simpler life with no drama and have more time to enjoy my bicycle riding =)
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Old 11-04-10, 05:00 AM   #5
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Hi Ned,

Not sure about your specific situation. I hit the half century mark here recently and am already planning for a car free future/retirement. Where I currently live it ain't gonna happen. So we are looking at a relocation to a better suited area. Whether we move into the nearby town or pull up stakes and move some where like Boston is still under discussion.

I think it has been proven that you can live car free just about anywhere if you are creative and have the time. Obviously some places are going to work better than others, and everyone's ideal place is going to be different depending on their needs. My preference is a smallish town that has everything in a compact area with access to Amtrak.

You have several advantages in that you are single which gives you a flexibility that married with children don't have. Use it to your advantage and don't be afraid to move outside the box.

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Old 11-04-10, 05:50 AM   #6
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Not sure what you're immediate surrounding neighborhood community is like, but the closer it resembles a European lifestyle in a USA city, the more feasible it would seem to be. The closest I've really experienced that is the South Beach, Miami, FL area. The stores, banks and generally any other things you'd need or want in your life are closer to each other. What I don't like about it, at least South Beach that is, it's a tourist trap too. Restaurants are pricier, so not having the expenses of a car, those savings get eaten up by higher prices. South Beach doesn't have a Wal-Mart, heck I'm not 60 and even I can see the value of Wal-Mart. And speaking of the tourism, yep, a lot of the travelers are from Europe at certain times of the year, others they are from Caribbean, Central & South America, so the community does reflect more of an international lifestyle.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:09 AM   #7
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Welcome back Ned. I had been thinking about you and your Rhodes Car recently.

I'm in a similar situation, minus the house and no plans for retirement are in the future. Most of my efforts are focused on bringing my finances up to par. Most of my social life comes from working on bicycle activism. As you know, dating is the second most expensive hobby a man can have next to marriage. So I've kind of put that on the back burner.

Am I happy car-free? Pretty much. I have a car that hasn't left the parking lot in years and I seem to be headed further in the car-free direction. Car-free seems to work for 95% of my life style. Though socializing and distant events are the 5% that I can't quite get a handle on. I rent cars for the weekends that I must go out of town.

A quarter of a century ago, I was car-free in L.A., West L.A. and the Wilshire district, and it seemed to work out fine, though I did eventually get a car to facilitate dating. Give it a little time and you'll find out what works for Ned.
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Old 11-04-10, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedgoudy View Post
i own a house, am on a slim fixed income, have like 3 college
degrees, a number of good friends in 3 social networks but i
do not see being able to retain licensing, repairs, GAS, insurance
and maintenance on my 20 year old Honda, although it runs decently
except for needing SMOG work prior to re.upping my registration.

any of you folks, men or women, car free in Los Angeles or the
suburbs and feel you have a rich social life, a significant other with a healthy relationship? are you happy car free? can i be or is this like the end of NED?

is there hope here? i must say that i was expecting better at this
point, but i won't start playing my pity violin.

anyone proud to be carfree, over 60 with a life partner, a social life
and enough extra cash to have fun and not starve to death.

ned, who now does tai chi, qi gong and aspires to kung fu.
Finding someone at 60 isn't as big of a problem as it might seem. However where you live is not the least expensive area to be car free. Duarte, Azusa, San Dimas and La Verna are pretty quiet little communities with reasonable entertainment. But they can be a bit pricy especially if you live anywhere close to Foothill and Lone Hill Ave.

I am not car free but I am pretty car light so yes you can be happy. Yes you can have a rich social life. And if you happen to live where expenses are less you can manage on a reasonable retirement. I too own my home but I had to sell our house in the Lake Arrowhead area because the community was simply too expensive, had very poor mass transit and not much social life.

I bet you have seen a lot of changes will all of the building since they finished the 210 freeway. I donít know if I would even ride a bike on foothill anymore. I do like to ride GMR now and then but it has been a very long time.

I donít live in LA I live in the Inland Empire but I do know the area reasonable well.
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Old 11-04-10, 03:41 PM   #9
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i... have like 3 college degrees.
You're not sure how many degrees you have?
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Old 11-04-10, 04:39 PM   #10
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You're not sure how many degrees you have?
No, he's just like, from Southern California, dude.
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