Monday, October 6, 2008

Is the end near?

I'm watching another meltdown of the financial markets today and while I understand the "don't panic" mantra that leads to the "do nothing" approach, the "do nothing approach" does nothing for the future when you get to be my age. Retirement isn't that far off, or so I thought.

So far this year, I'm down $80,000 in the retirement account. I know for a lot of you pilot-types, that's walking-around money. For me, it's real dough. Coupled with the losses of the last few years, and the fact that since this particular administration took office the economy has been a disaster, some of its own making, some not -- I'm now faced with the very real prospect of not being able to retire in anything near a comfortable level.

In this environment, how can I justify soaking money into an experimental airplane project?

My RV-7A has 1,800 invested in it. A new IO-360 Mattituck engine is sitting in the box. The canopy is about done. There's little wiring done yet. STrobe system, a PS Engineering intercom (the four-place simple one), Artex new 406 mhz ELT, ICom A-210 are sitting in boxes. The TruTrak one-axis autopilot is installed. It's up on the landing gear although I haven't set the breakout force of the wheel yet.

I've probably got $45,000-$50,000 invested in it with the engine and as you know, I've loved this project like a child.

But given the events of the last few months, I don't see how I can't listen if someone is interested in making an offer.

However, if you're just bottom-feeding looking for a sucker, move along. I'm really looking at mere survival here.


  1. Sad to say it, and I'm very careful not to mention it in front of the CFO, but I've been thinking similar thoughts.

    I'm down about half of what you are on my 401k and I still have 18 years to go until an age 65 retirement (which was most emphatically NOT my goal), but I'm starting to question whether I could do without the $350/month fixed costs and the $5.25 fuel. And I can't imagine those costs going anywhere but up.

    If the right offer came along, I would be sorely tempted.

  2. least finish have most of what you need to finish, and the value would double. That's the way I look at it. I am in no way interested in selling my project, but once it's finished...who knows. It's worth a lot more as an airplane than just most of a an airplane...

    My 2

  3. Bob, I'm with the previous poster. You have to finish it for your own sake. It's not an F-15 but the performance and adventure is worth the price. Flying is soooo expensive there is no way to "justify" it anymore. You have to decide that they are little pieces of paper (that will insulate a nice cardboard box "living space" if this continues). Remember that 401k's are for people that live a long time......guys that inhale epoxy, fiberglass, ear damage from riveting, proseal.........hey, we're not here forever, so don't let go of the dream. It's what makes life worth living. Think of the fun at parties when you get to explain, "Yeah, I actually built it............." Be the man, "men admire and woman adore". You're too close now!