I’m 46 and single, have $120K in cash and $400K in retirement, and own my home. Should I buy my dream $30K motorcycle?


Dear Quentin,

I’m 46 and single, and I have no children. I am at present having an inner debate as as to whether to buy a $30,000 Indian motorbike. It is a need, not a necessity. 

I have the deed on my residence, which is valued at $360,000, and own each my autos outright. I have over $120,000 in varied checking and financial savings accounts, and roughly $400,000 cut up between a Roth and conventional IRA on a preferred robo-investing platform.

I’ve lived inside my means my complete life, and although I have a watch for high quality and costly issues, I’ve by no means actually put issues on credit score and have solely bought objects I’ve saved for.


‘I bring in $6,000 per month as a 100% disabled veteran and through a position I have on the board of a small nonprofit.’

I carry in $6,000 per 30 days as a 100% disabled veteran and via a place I have on the board of a small nonprofit. I have no credit-card debt — or any debt, for that matter — and my healthcare and dental are absolutely coated by the VA with no copay for all times.   

Each month, I find yourself with roughly $1,500 to $2,000 in any case my payments and bills are paid. A earlier profession will afford me an $1,800-per-month pension, which is vested and begins paying out at age 55.   


‘Though I have an eye for quality and expensive things, I’ve by no means actually put issues on credit score and have solely bought objects I’ve saved for.’

Given my debt-free standing, I may doubtlessly be contributing greater than I at present do to my retirement accounts. I have line-of-sight to over $9,000 per 30 days when I retire earlier than I issue in minimal withdrawals from my retirement accounts, so it’s not as massive a priority.

It’s onerous to spend a greenback as an alternative of putting it in my retirement account with compounding curiosity and my time horizon. I is also doing extra with my checking and financial savings as my emergency fund has swelled, and I know I may put a few of that cash to work for me in higher methods with greater returns.  

Should I buy the bike?

Frugal Bike Lover

Dear Frugal,

Don’t you hate it when somebody says, “Do you know what you should do?” As somebody who loathes the phrase “should” when used in reference to others and in all probability nonetheless makes use of it far an excessive amount of, I’m reluctant to say whether or not it is best to do something.

People who say, “Go for it! Buy it!” are sometimes residing vicariously via others. What they actually imply is, “I can get a similar thrill by encouraging you to buy this overpriced coat, and I don’t have to pay a penny.” So it’s wealthy for anybody to say it is best to or mustn’t buy one thing. That mentioned, I’m not a bike fan and I have no want to journey one. I gained’t be residing vicariously via you for those who do buy it.

It’s not the perfect use of your cash. You already know that. But you might be in nice monetary form for somebody of your years: You own your own residence, you have an in depth eye in your retirement revenue, and you might be cautious about going into debt. You are a veteran and you’ve served this nation — and, having seemed up the bicycle in query, I have to say it’s a thing of beauty.

I have one suggestion earlier than providing you with my reply. Why don’t you attempt the motorbike out for some time by renting one before committing $30,000 to it? You can see if the novelty wears off, and if it brings you all the enjoyment and freedom you count on from this piece of equipment. It may even prevent the effort of reselling it for those who resolve it’s not for you.

I’ve beforehand steered individuals away from shopping for a $30,000 bracelet and buying a Tesla TSLA. However, this time is completely different. For the entire above causes, if you need it, go for it, take pleasure in each minute of it and journey rigorously. In this case, I don’t wish to journey roughshod over your goals. Just do me a favor and put on a helmet. There is treasured cargo beneath.

You can e mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions associated to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and observe Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

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