Author Topic: Skiing after college.  (Read 7012 times)

ARG

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Skiing after college.
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:56:55 PM »
Hello.

So I am currently in my last year of college (graduating in the fall). I love to ski/snowboard. I would like to start practicing more mustachian principles in my life. Except, once I graduate I want to work until I can retire early and still be able to ski. I was just curious. Should I work a little longer to build up enough money to fund my skiing habit for the rest of my life? I purchase season passes and always go 2-3 times more (mostly more) than needed to pay itself off. I am hoping to live within 2 hours of a ski resort after of college (somewhere in the PNW probably).

Thoughts are appreciated.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 05:10:30 PM »
Are you asking whether or not to continue doing something you love?

CNM

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 05:20:20 PM »
Well, the answer is yes.  You shouldn't give up things you like to do just for the sake of retirement.  Personally, the whole reason I want to retire is so I can pursue my hobbies.

You can making skiing more affordable if you want.  I have been a downhiller for a long time, but I picked up cross country skiing, which is much cheaper.  Not the same sport, but similar.  Also, backcountry skiing obviates the need for expensive lift tickets but you get less runs in during a day.  Finally, if you live somewhere with a more locals-only ski area, lift tickets and associated costs are lower, i.e. Crested Butte over Vail.

The_Dude

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 05:30:03 PM »
Also, if you are retired and flexible maybe you can do something with/for the resort for a free season pass.  Lots of the ski instructors I see at big name resorts are older folks that I'm guessing do it for the love of the sport and the perks that come with it.  My last ski trip I rode up the lift with a ski bum who worked 3 jobs in the resort town, one of which was working 1 day a week at the resort which got him minimum wage but also a season pass.

DebtDerp

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 06:09:07 PM »
Hello.

So I am currently in my last year of college (graduating in the fall). I love to ski/snowboard. I would like to start practicing more mustachian principles in my life. Except, once I graduate I want to work until I can retire early and still be able to ski. I was just curious. Should I work a little longer to build up enough money to fund my skiing habit for the rest of my life? I purchase season passes and always go 2-3 times more (mostly more) than needed to pay itself off. I am hoping to live within 2 hours of a ski resort after of college (somewhere in the PNW probably).

Thoughts are appreciated.

Yes, include your ski expenses in your retirement calculations. You may be surprised that you need less money to fund the hobby than you think. So, letís imagine how much money you will need to fund your hobby when you retire. Letís say you live 90 miles from the nearest lifts and that your car gets 45 mpg (probably more than this in 10 Ė 15 years). Letís also assume that gas costs $8 per gallon in the future. So, now that you are retired letís guess that you ski twice per week during a five month ski season. Adding that up gets you to around $1,280 per year in transportation costs just for skiing. Letís guess your ski pass costs $650 each year and that you spend $500 on gear each year (averaging out over several years since gear lasts more than one year!). But you are mustachian so you always bring your lunch to the slopes and never pay $23 for a crappy cheeseburger. So your total annual ski costs come out to $2,430. Based on a safe withdrawal rate of 4% you will need $60,750 to fund your annual ski hobby! Not bad at all. But wait! You are retired now so what are you doing living 90 miles from the lifts and only skiing twice a week? Now that you can live anywhere you want you move to Bend, OR or Silverthorne, CO or Salt Lake, UT or Ö you get the picture. Now your transportation costs to the mountain get cut 2/3rds. You also now get to ski four or five days a week and it only costs about $1,600 per year and you only need $40,000 to fund the shredding! An expensive hobby for most is not too bad for the trained mustachian.

Jamesqf

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 06:11:47 PM »
First thought: don't assume that because you love skiing now, that you will love it, and only it, for the rest of your life.  There's a whole world full of other things to do, so explore other options.

Second thought: don't assume that because you love it, that it will continue to love you for the rest of your life.  What happens if you blow out a knee at 30?  Have a fallback plan.

Third thought: work on arranging life so that time & opportunity for skiing (or whatever) are available.  As for instance I choose to live in the Sierra, even though I could make a lot more money, and have more job opportunities, simply by relocating to Silicon Valley.  I do contract work that allows me to set my own hours, so that I can take off a few hours any afternoon for skiing (cross country, in my case), or hiking, riding the bike or horse, etc.


fuzzed

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 08:37:13 AM »
I would say do it.

We own a tiny condo in BC, I am fortunate enough spend 4-6 weeks a year out there while working remote with my job .   We are forever trying to find a way to move out there permanently. (We are 45 and 41).  When i was young, the thought to live that lifestyle never occurred to me, i did not want to be 23 and without a career...  I am assuming you are still on the younger side so go for it.

I have found you meet a lot of interesting people on lifts, you never know what sort of career opportunities could arise from being there, and talking to people.  Skiing to me, seems like a "have" sport, so there are people with money and connections out there.    I am not sure about the PNW in the USA, but in Canada the resorts are staffed with predominately Aussies, they seem to make a life of following the snow.  They tell me the pay is not great, but it is a "lifestyle job".  You never know what the future will bring, so go for it now. And if you do, please provide regular updates.   



ARG

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 02:30:14 PM »
Sorry that my first post is not very clear. Skiing is what I base almost everything off of. I am positive I will continue skiing even through blown out knees (hopefully that does not happen). Basically I'm going to school now and in whatever free time I have I am up at the mountain. Summer is an opportunity to prepare for the next winter.

I am just curious what peoples' thoughts were on the funding of gas, season passes, occasional trips to other resorts, and occasional gear upgrades after retirement. And whether I should work an extra year or so to fund these things. (Which I am realizing is also dependent on what job I have after graduation.)

happy

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 04:56:30 AM »
Definitely plan to fund your love! At your age I would plan to work extra to save what you estimate you need. Since you are probably quite good at it, there might also be opportunity to fund it once retired. For example an acquaintance of mine, "retired", now over 60, works intermittently as a ski guide at his local resort: he knows the mountain well, and gets paid to show it to other people...

Snowboard junkie

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 09:50:54 AM »
You must continue to ski. 

so many ways to go about this....

imho, the easiest is to buy a rental place near the hill, and do some sort of volunteering that gets you free lift passes. Teaching lessons is the nicest since you are on the hill and getting paid simultaneously. 

Tough to find the right options, but when you do, it will self sustain.  You will also be able to trade weeks there with weeks elsewhere for when you get tired of your usual hill.  Once paid off, the rent from two weeks per month will usually cover your expenses.

Your standard 50/2 rule will not apply.  You will need to look at 100 properties before buying one.  Do the math thoroughly and wait for the right opportunity. 

Do not overleverage.  If you do not need to buy where you are working rent as cheaply as possible.  You are basically trying to buy a more expensive property than otherwise necessary, and you are commuting a lot so your time to retirement is going to increase.  You have to make up for the reduced savings rate by being more frugal in other areas.

you still need to make cash to fund this habit, but there are creative ways, such as working part time/ job sharing.  Limit your travel time (and costs) - eg work 21 days a month in 10-11 day stretches if possible.  then take 4-5 days in a row off and head for the hill. 
Look for jobs with a work from home component. (Skype and wifi can let you do quite a bit)
work a ton of overtime in the off season.  Bank it for later use.  Your ability to find a flexible job is probably more important than your income. 

NB- until you are retired, make a point of emailing, calling or texting in occasionally on working days that you are away.  It is way too easy to screw up the office politics game if you are frequently not there.

Overall, it is a worthy goal, & an achievable one, and there is no one correct answer.  personally I took a season after school was done and worked on the hill to get some perspective and make plans.  I am not sure that delaying the start of my career was ideal, but it was fun, and it was a simple matter of asking my new employer if they could push back my start date a few months.  (They were quite happy to oblige)

Alternately, I know have some friends that bought in South America to ski there in the summers (more complex but cheaper).  they sold their property here for a profit, reinvested the difference and are happily  "retired".  nb - the 4% withdrawal rate does not apply outside of the us, so you need a larger nest egg, and diversification to compensate for currency fluctuations.  I have thought about this, but it seems a bit much for me.  I also am not secure enough financially to rely only on investments and occasional freelance income which they are doing.

Best of luck.  Definitely keep us posted re: your plans

Richard3

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 04:58:08 PM »
Quote
I am just curious what peoples' thoughts were on the funding of gas, season passes, occasional trips to other resorts, and occasional gear upgrades after retirement. And whether I should work an extra year or so to fund these things. (Which I am realizing is also dependent on what job I have after graduation.)

It's the same as funding them before retirement, but with investment income taking the place of work income. If you're going to spend $X on ski stuff after retirement per year then you need to include / keep that in your estimate of annual expenses.

Except as people have mentioned, you now have time to swap for benefits - it doesn't have to be instructing, there's also ski patrol, avalanche rescue, coaching a ski team, heck, the resort I am at has a bunch of retired people who get a free pass for hanging around greeting people in the base area and running a couple of mountain tours a day. You'll also be living near the resort so gas should be minimal.

Accommodation is a bitch in ski towns though. You're either looking at a really small place, or flatmates, or running a small accommodation business (flat above the garage, rent the house out for weekends type deal).

rugorak

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 12:23:41 PM »
On yet off topic. I found an awesome site to be a bit more mustacian when hitting the slopes.

http://www.liftopia.com/

Why pay full price when you don't have to? Some discounts aren't great but some are almost 50% off. Well worth a few moments to look at it.

Otherwise nothing much to add. As everyone pointed out FI is about the freedom to do what you want. If you have to work an extra year to ski now and after you stop the daily grind and you love skiing so much do it. And keep trying to figure out ways to reduce costs.

MtnGal

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 09:42:34 AM »
If skiing is what you love, you should absolutely look to continue it for now and consider it for retirement. Heck, Klaus Obermeyer is still skiing at 93. Like nearly anything else you can chose how much you value it and what it's worth to you. And since you are still in college, depending on what line of work you're looking at, you might consider looking for a good paying job in a ski town or ski suburb. You could be surprised by what's out there.

Where I live, the locals get discounts on season passes and there are plenty of us who work professional type jobs that pay good wages. Just watch out for the lifestyle inflation that can easily come if you need to have the newest/best gear there is.

Fuzz

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Re: Skiing after college.
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 06:24:12 PM »
Consider Jackson Hole!

There are a handful of mountains that are just different. JH is a playground for the 1%, which means a lot of the service jobs pay really, really well. The ski instructors make as much as a young lawyer during the season (don't go to law school); the bartenders probably make even more. Living expenses are high, but there are always ways to minimize. I think you'd be surprised by the opportunities here. 

The reason everyone is here? The skiing is phenomenal. And the summers are pretty great too. You could probably find whatever "career" job you're looking for here.