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Question for the retired board members - How did your hobby habits change?

While I'm not ready for the gold watch and a condo in the Villages, I am planning for the end of my work career. I am fortunate that I maybe be able to hang it up within next 5-7 years and still be relatively young (< 60). It maybe my decision or my employers.

Currently I spend a decent amount of money on boxes and singles, probably enough to buy a nice used car every year. I use the hobby now as an escape from work and to spend time with my son. I know it seems counterintuitive, but I don't know if the hobby will have the same appeal once I stop working. The main reason is that without my income, I don't know if I would be as cavalier spending that type of money. Also does more time = more hobby enjoyment? I enjoy the level of hobby engagement I have now and sometimes more isn't better.

How have your hobby habits changed since you entered the golden years? Are you still adding to the collection or downsizing? Do you spend more time on the hobby?

Mike

Comments

  • HarnessracingHarnessracing Posts: 278 ✭✭✭

    Retired in January and a huge collection plus my own fell into my lap so I’m grading and submitting

  • WFFLWFFL Posts: 494 ✭✭✭

    Mike ~
    I retired in 2019 (education). I have more funds now then when I was working. I spend more time (and $$$) on cards and pursuing/filling particular sets and cards. It is a continuous pursuit and I enjoy it.

  • JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 596 ✭✭✭

    @sayheywyo said:
    Mr. Mike,

    I'm living what you just described. I'm 61 and retired at 57 from the Postal Service (FERS retirement). The hobby still has the same appeal as I am a collector at heart. What has changed is that many of the cards I collected now have monetary value and could actually be viewed as assets or investments. I still purchase now and then but do so in a very different way than I used to. I'm much more calculated and usually only purchase cards that I know someone else will also want to own. I have not bought a pack of cards since 2019 since all I did was pull out the rookies and throw the rest away and then throw away the rookies that didn't pan out a few years later. I do miss ripping packs but now I'd rather buy a single and not deal with the garbage. Downsizing is always on my mind. And I don't have near as much as a lot of collectors out there.... a dozen or so top loader boxes, sets in binders and probably less than 1500 graded cards. I don't spend an awful lot of time shuffling through cards..... that's rainy day activity now. I do like to keep informed about hobby news, what's hot, what's not and enjoy reading this PSA forum for content and opinions. Elly who? 12K? Yeah, I'd pay that for a guy with 25 major league at bats..... stupid. Modern is not for me. In retirement, sure, the income is less..... but it's not about how much you make anymore it's about how much you keep. I net about $200 less a month in retirement mainly because I can no longer contribute to the government 401K (TSP) so you may be pleasantly surprised by retirement income, less taxes and not have to make many adjustments to your current hobby spending habits. Damn, this is a long post for me....... I'm sure you'll do fine, don't overthink it and continue to enjoy the hobby.

    My Uncle agreed that this was his routine. Collecting rookies and hunting for prospects. He stopped doing nearly as much as he has slowed and doesn't have the capacity to remember all the players, stats, and card possibilities. He went into buying higher dollar stable investments. I think Chaz has a good strategy with buying sealed boxes and sitting on it.

    I'm semi-retired at 40. I don't plan to see 70, probably not even 65, and I'm trying to learn from the Grey beards to round out my investment portfolio. I don't have a large retirement and I'm doing contract work while my skills are still employable so it keeps my habit alive. When I am no longer employable, as I have no desire to keep up with the rapid pace of advancement in autonomous flight systems, I plan to curtail the investing and do much MUCH more living!
    My cars, guns, fishing poles, and property have been neglected and only my sports collection has been getting attention. Death is around the corner for some close family members and I don't want to commit to a job when I can find ways to grieve instead of ways to cope.

    I don't own a single $5k card. I have $6k worth of sealed boxes and maybe $15k-$20k in cards and other memorabilia. I'm just grading and learning at this point in time while picking up few raw modern cards and a few graded cards here and there. I don't consider myself a major long term collector and so I may not have much to offer for the specific topic at hand but I learned that seeing how other people live is advantageous when realizing we all have choices and there's no need to squeeze into the mold of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Great question.

  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @chaz43 said:

    @ndleo said:
    While I'm not ready for the gold watch and a condo in the Villages, I am planning for the end of my work career. I am fortunate that I maybe be able to hang it up within next 5-7 years and still be relatively young (< 60). It maybe my decision or my employers.

    Currently I spend a decent amount of money on boxes and singles, probably enough to buy a nice used car every year. I use the hobby now as an escape from work and to spend time with my son. I know it seems counterintuitive, but I don't know if the hobby will have the same appeal once I stop working. The main reason is that without my income, I don't know if I would be as cavalier spending that type of money. Also does more time = more hobby enjoyment? I enjoy the level of hobby engagement I have now and sometimes more isn't better.

    How have your hobby habits changed since you entered the golden years? Are you still adding to the collection or downsizing? Do you spend more time on the hobby?

    Hi Mike- great topic. I'll be 67 this month and going stronger than ever. I don't believe in retirement( I believe that that is brain washing by all these financial companies trying to get at your "retirement" income). I never thought I would be this way (continuing to work) and discovered I am not one to sit and click. I have travelled quite a bit, experienced a lot too and am keeping busy with my investments so I'll just keep going into my 80's or more for as long as I can. I like the action!

    chaz

    This sounds like me though I'm a bit younger. The idea of retiring isn't something I'm even considering. My window is about 10-15 years then I'll sell it all. No one except my brother in the family is into this stuff so I'm not going to burden someone else with what I have/will have. It's been fun putting all together and I hope I have as much fun putting it back in the world.

  • mcolney1mcolney1 Posts: 971 ✭✭✭

    Three years from retirement and I've become very focused in my collecting. Mostly upgrading my sets to NM through eBay, BBCE, and shows. I still enjoy collecting vintage, only buy modern when something catches my eye like the Seattle Kraken or Julio Rodriguez.

    A new focus is a succession plan for my collection. No one in my family is interested so I need to have clean inventory and outlets to consign when the time comes.

    Collecting Topps, Philadelphia and Kellogg's from 1964-1989
  • 82FootballWaxMemorys82FootballWaxMemorys Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My plan is to retire early in 6-8 years. My trading card dollar holdings are tiny compared to my physical art collection. I will be selling the art a few pieces a year. Will be keeping nearly all my slabs and single cards but will probably divest myself of sets and boxes.

    One of the smartest things fiscal things I ever did was to begin purchasing one of kind art in the mid 90s. It will allow me to travel and enjoy life before I get anywhere near as old as some of you in this thread :)

    Unless otherwise specified my posts represent only my opinion, not fact.

  • detroitfan2detroitfan2 Posts: 3,308 ✭✭✭✭

    @chaz43 said:

    @82FootballWaxMemorys said:
    My plan is to retire early in 6-8 years. My trading card dollar holdings are tiny compared to my physical art collection. I will be selling the art a few pieces a year. Will be keeping nearly all my slabs and single cards but will probably divest myself of sets and boxes.

    One of the smartest things fiscal things I ever did was to begin purchasing one of kind art in the mid 90s. It will allow me to travel and enjoy life before I get anywhere near as old as some of you in this thread :)

    You'll be where we're at before you know it..... it goes very, very fast......

    chaz

    Chaz is right, if you've ever had a PSA submission go from grading to assembly, that's how fast 6 to 8 years goes by.

  • Bosox1976Bosox1976 Posts: 8,523 ✭✭✭✭✭

    13 inches of clear desk space? You have me beat!

    Mike
    Bosox1976
  • MantleFan23MantleFan23 Posts: 684 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 14, 2023 7:20AM

    This is a great thread and posts. I'm only 45 so I'm a bit away from retirement but my collecting has evolved A LOT over the years. I definitely look forward to retirement and spending more time with cards, family, and travel. I could see myself working on projects such as vintage set building when I retire. Thanks for all of your perspectives!

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,038 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It looks like a lot of the board members are on the boat I'm about to get on!

    The two big questions I see - (1) What will I do with the extra time? (2) What is the succession plan for my collection?

    For question #1, I have dreams that I will open a hobby store and talk cards all day long.......then I go to my local hobby shop and get a dose of reality. One owner told me it's like opening up a low paying job for yourself.

    The second question is a little trickier. My son collects but is into Pokemon and Soccer cards (based on what I see with his friends, that is the future of our hobby). I want him to inherit the crown jewels but part of me thinks I should set-up a "will" that will instruct him what to do if the Lord takes me before I'm ready. He doesn't have the hobby knowledge I do and talking with him about "when I die" is a great topic for young boy. I think about selling it all over several years but Iike some people mentioned, I have items that are considered "asset class" and I would like him to have them just in case he gets in a rut and needs the money.

    A few my former co-workers that got the "package" over the past 3 years say the same thing. They are lost for a few months after they retire. They don't know what to do with themselves. One started day trading stock and promptly lost $1.3 M the first year after the COVID sell-off. I told him he should have started a hobby :smiley:

    Mike
  • threeofsixthreeofsix Posts: 561 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 15, 2023 10:38AM

    I (retired) find most of my time selling.

    I do however seem to find myself filling in gaps in my sets that I was not so willing to chase in my youth….
    I guess I have decided my time to enjoy them is running out!!!

    And I found finally getting them to enjoy is bringing me more pleasure than I realized it would!!!!

    Great topic!!

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.
    Live long, and prosper.
  • jayhawkejayhawke Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭

    This made me think about cards in all the different vaults after I’m gone. I better tell the family. I’d image my family would need to pretend to me or provide a DC to get my cards.

  • BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @erba said:
    My plan has always been to build my collection now and sell it all off when I retire. That way it'll give me something to do when I'm retired.

    That's me too, but then I start thinking of the old 'best laid plans' saying...

    My goal is 10-15 and then start selling. Probably keep buying up to when I start selling, but will get a lot more selective as it gets closer.

  • mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 1,020 ✭✭✭✭

    I never really thought out the end plan early on. I always saw me giving my stuff to my kids. At 19 & 20, they have zero interest at this time though. My wife and I have been and are continuing to taking steps in hopes of being able to retire in about 3 years. I will have no problem separating from work. I'll find things to occupy my time. I'd like to continue collecting, but that defeats the goal of getting rid of it all before I die.

    As much as I cringe at selling, I think that is the only real answer now. I have mostly cherry picked my stuff over the last 30 years, but have collected almost continuously dating back over 45 in total. I stopped buying packs in the late 90s and just focused on what appealed to me, regardless of what I perceived to have future value. Some of those choices have turned out to be wonderful. Some maybe not so much, but I still love it all.

    I would really like to liquidate my collection in one shot, but get a fair amount and not sell to a dealer/reseller (yes, everyone's dream probably). I have thought about this quite a bit in the last several years, but not the actual detailed logistics of how I could successfully carry it out, if it is even possible. In a perfect world, I split the collection into a pre-set number of lots. Each lot would then be sold at a pre-set price, but they would be lottery style blind lots. The # of lots and price per lot would of course depend on selling them all at what I wanted/could get out of the collection to walk away clean, while still hopefully making most buyers happy. Because it would involve a gambling aspect, which seems to be very popular these days, I would want to sell all lots and deliver them all at the same time. Not that ebay BS where they sell you a random lot out of a "huge collection", but nobody ever seems to get anything worth their money spent. Every single item that I would market would be included in one of a "limited" number of pre-priced lots. Some buyers would come out with huge deals that were worth much more than their buy in price, others would have to be happy with having had the chance of winning big for the money spent, BUT I would still load the lots up to where it wouldn't be a disappointment that you lost. In my mind, it works perfectly. So many real issues to overcome though, starting with why anyone would trust me unless I partnered with someone or spent a considerable time establishing myself as a trustworthy seller, but if I have to do that, might as well just sell it that way. and get more for everything.

    As I get closer to retirement reality, I am going to dive deeper into this idea and see if I can make it work. I feel like the key is how high can I set the buy in threshold and still be able to sell 100s or 1000s of spots.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
  • gemintgemint Posts: 6,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My plan is to continue collecting when I retire in about 5 years. I plan to fund most of it through buying and selling. I have a lot of inventory of vintage graded cards I've built up and can ride on selling that off for 5 or so years. I don't get much time to really enjoy my collection presently. Most of my hobby time is spent filling in my collection and acquiring inventory for short and long term sale. When I retire I look forward to actually being able to take time to go through my collection casually and enjoy it. I also plan to organize it for sale so when I eventually reach the end of the road, selling it off will be clearly structured so my wife can easily sell it off. I don't need to sell it off early unless something catastrophic happens where I need emergency funds.

  • ndleondleo Posts: 4,038 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How many of you have the dream of your spouse/child walking into a hobby store and asking the fat clerk behind the counter “I have these baseball cards from my husband/dad, are they worth anything?”

    Mike
  • gemintgemint Posts: 6,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ndleo said:
    How many of you have the dream of your spouse/child walking into a hobby store and asking the fat clerk behind the counter “I have these baseball cards from my husband/dad, are they worth anything?”

    That would more be a nightmare than a dream!

  • thedutymon11thedutymon11 Posts: 625 ✭✭✭✭

    Morning,

    I have been retired for 4+ years now, am 66, retired the day I turned 62...partially cause 50 years of working was enough...but Health was part of the equation as well! I did not Retire with the werewithall that some in this thread have mentioned, but neither am I destitute!

    I had sold most of my Comic and Non Sports collections in 2012/2013 cause I went through a Divorce and had 6 Rental Properties...and sent one Kid through College with No Scholarship. I Ended up losing about $400K when the 2008-2011 Real estate all settled up! But life is real and you do what you gotta do! I sold two properties for amounts that put me back at Zero...so it is what it is!

    Since then I have sadly gotten back into comics, and the cost is Killing Me! I still dabble in Sports Cards and Non Sports Cards, but I seem to be more excited about Comic Books over anything else!

    YeeHaw!

    Neil

  • WillymacWillymac Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    @gemint said:

    @ndleo said:
    How many of you have the dream of your spouse/child walking into a hobby store and asking the fat clerk behind the counter “I have these baseball cards from my husband/dad, are they worth anything?”

    That would more be a nightmare than a dream!

    Store owners prob have that dream all the time….lol

  • JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 596 ✭✭✭

    I dream that people solicit me for my collection and it becomes a live bidding war, at my house, so there's no shipping involved.

    My goal for my collection is 2 fold
    1 - slim down the collection to 10 or less highly valuable, not too volatile, graded cards (around $50k of net present value)
    2 - continue collecting what I enjoy, holding it in my hands, then dump is for a similar price if possible. I'm finding myself a little more interested in unique memorabilia and may dabble more in things other than just trading cards.

    A safe investing strategy is to invest no more than 10% of your total worth into one market. Many homeowners start out with an investment in real estate larger than 10% of their net worth, and pay interest on that investment, and it can be hard for people not to upgrade their house long before their investment gets down to 10% of your total worth.

    I left the stock market in Feb of 2022 and opted to invest in banks (safe/easy 4%), timber plots, cars, sports cards, and trying to decide what other investments to make.

    If you opt to leave the stock market and pay a 10% penalty then it's not a bad idea to start your dream card shop the same year and find yourself in a loss on your business to offset the tax liability as you exit. The investment in you store could very well be the Mantle rookie you've always wanted. Don't take my advice though, I usually do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, and often I pay dearly for it. I just happen to be a simple person who worked a lot and spent as little as possible for 25 years solid. The only reason I'm retiring young is because I live a simple enough life and have no plans to change it. I have a "do not resuscitate" clause in my will and a 9mm with silver bullets (incase I'm a vampire) as a backup incase I suffer some horrible terminal health condition. We are empty nesters next year and I likely will complete a few car project restorations before grandkids arrive, I hope!

  • daltexdaltex Posts: 3,461 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JolleyWrencher said:

    A safe investing strategy is to invest no more than 10% of your total worth into one market. Many homeowners start out with an investment in real estate larger than 10% of their net worth, and pay interest on that investment, and it can be hard for people not to upgrade their house long before their investment gets down to 10% of your total worth.

    I left the stock market in Feb of 2022 and opted to invest in banks (safe/easy 4%), timber plots, cars, sports cards, and trying to decide what other investments to make.

    How on earth would you do that? I mean, do you divide asset classes into corporate bonds, U.S treasury bonds, foreign government bonds, and emerging market bonds? I mean either you make stupid asset classifications to get to at least ten, or you have some very bad asset allocation. I see you have cash, commodities, collectibles above.

    It's easier if you think of the house as consumption.

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