Originally Posted by HoldenBeachBum
I bought my first MB when I was just out of college, and had totaled my 240z. The car was a 67 or so 230 sedan, with a fair amount of rust. It wasn't until I was around 40 that I bought my second, a '98 E300 Turbodiesel, one year old with 45k miles. I drove it until it had 245k, ten years later. After that I had a traveling job (flying out every week), so mostly I just needed one to go to/from the airport so I picked up a 5 year old CLK 320 that I'm still driving five years later, with 145k miles.
I like Mercedes because they still look good when they've got some age and miles on them. I've kind of gotten into working on them myself because they're typically fairly easy and there's a lot of info here and elsewhere on how to do it. I don't care what anybody else thinks, but I care very much what I myself think as I walk toward a car and as I drive it.
I read a book some years ago called 'The Millionaire Next Door', which was a study of the habits of high net worth individuals. The theme of the book was that the people you think have money often don't, and the ones you think have nothing may well be loaded.
My own net worth is a couple of million bucks, but I drive a ten year old car and just did brakes and rotors myself. As my dad taught me, it's not what you earn; it's what you keep.
I'd suggest buying a used one, writing a check for it, and investing in a good set of metric and internal/external Torx wrenches.
I read that book many years ago to! My two mottos during my working life were maximise revenue, minimise cost and live a Ford lifestyle on a Mercedes income.
The problem today is we've all been conditioned to do the opposite ... that is live a Mercedes lifestyle on a Ford income.
What's the end game with work and career? You'd think it would be to eventually become financially independent by investing the difference between revenue and costs. That's the path I chose. I was financially independent at about 55 after starting with zero at 21 after University.
I bought my first Mercedes as a dealer demonstrator and paid cash. Up until that point I always drove locally made Fords and General Motors cars. All the books I read about creating wealth said hold off on the luxury items until you had a wealth portfolio that provided an income to not require that monthly salary.
Some of the books also said the consumer system has manipulated people into thinking being wealthy is to spend surplus money on depreciating luxury items as a "display of perceived wealth" whereas surplus money should really be invested in income producing assets to become wealthy. That's what the wealthy do .... hence the book Millionaire Next Door.
I retired three weeks before I turned 58. I still do all my own servicing, repairs and maintenance on my cars, bikes and home. I've been doing it since I was about 17. No Mercedes dealer is allowed to touch my C320CDI or my W639 Vito ... I'll will look after them thank you very much! There's no way I'm handing over $550 for a 17 year old apprentice to change the oil and put a new filter in when it's easily done myself.
As your wise Father said it's what you keep is the crucial thing.