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SkunkedAgain

Lifetime Fishing License analysis

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SkunkedAgain

I do this for work (and did this at work) so I figured I would lay it out for everyone. I looked into whether it's worth getting the lifetime fishing license. There are several factors such as your age and how long you expect to live so I'll try to leave those variables out of the analysis below. Here is what I found:

A lifetime fishing license costs $383

If you needed to get one for your spouse, that's $766 total

An individual license currently costs $17

A married license currently costs $25

Based on historical costs increases, it seems that fishing licenses have gone up by about 60 cents per year since 1981. Some years there were no increases, other years it was more than 60 cents. If you assume that on average it will increase by 60 cents, it would take 18 years to recoup the value of buying a lifetime license. If you bought two lifetime licenses (one for your spouse) then you recoup the value in 24 years.

If the average annual license increase is $1.00 instead of 60 cents, you'd make your money back in 16 years for one lifetime license and 22 years for two lifetime licenses.

Now some of you may say, "What if I invest that $383 (or $766 for two) instead and keep buying the annual license?" Assuming that you get a 4% annual return and take out money each year to buy your annual license, you'll run out of money in 26 years. For two lifetime licenses that $766 investment will provide funds for your annual fishing license for 48 years.

Increase your expected return to 5% and your funds will be exhausted in 30 years for one lifetime license. If you invest the $766 you'll never run out of money! If you get a 10% return you'll be good no matter what - but your investment may not be liquid enough for annual withdraws.

Put your money into a savings account earning only 0.5%, and you'll run out of money in 18 years!

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metro fisherman

But you have to pick up your license at the DNR office if you have a lifetime. Not that its a big deal for most, but some live pretty far from a DNR office.

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Brian H

Thanks for taking the time to figure that out! Glad you aren't working for me. laugh

Personally I think the fishing license is one of the best values going. I would gladly pay $100.00 per season. Now keep in mind I fish alot so I would get my moneys worth! Someone who only goes a couple times a year wouldn't.

My first grandson was born in December. He will be getting a lifetime license. I hope he lives to be 100! smile

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RylFlsh85

metro fisherman

You can get your license printed at any gas station that sells them, you don't need to go to an office lifetime or not. I purchased the sportsmans license this year and all you do is show them the card and swipe your drivers license and it prints the license no charge. Or you can do it on-line or over the phone for a $3.50 charge.

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jwmiller33

the required rate of return you are assuming on your investments is hard to predict, especially in today's economy. one would like to think that they could get a 10, 5, or 4 percent return on their investment, but it isn't that easy... especially if you are withdrawing money each year to make the license purchase...

i think it's important for people to note, like you had mentioned in your post, that an investment may not be liquid enough for annual withdrawls, or an investment would not allow you to make those types of withdrawls depending on the terms and obligations of your investment.

anyways, great analysis! i think about buying a lifetime license all the time, but have never broke it down like this... being that i am a finance and accounting major,it makes me want to go break of the old HP10BII (financial calc) and play around with it. it's hard to guess how acurately the prices will increase from year to year. i know looking at the historical average price increase is useful, but i wonder how much the prices have been increasing in recent years as opposed to earlier years.

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metro fisherman

metro fisherman

You can get your license printed at any gas station that sells them, you don't need to go to an office lifetime or not. I purchased the sportsmans license this year and all you do is show them the card and swipe your drivers license and it prints the license no charge. Or you can do it on-line or over the phone for a $3.50 charge.

Well I know a certain friend thats a dirty little fibber (not you).

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deadeye

Its good to see it works out. I just wonder what happens if you move out of the state (not that I would ever dream of leaving Minnesota grin ).

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pikedreams

I hate to nit pick, but your figures are slightly off. Your forgeting the issuing fee of $1.00 that goes to the store where you buy the license. The actual price of an individual is $18.00 and a combination is $26.00. Even if you buy the license directly from the DNR (like at the sports show) your still charged the issuing fee. The state just keeps it for themselves.

But for some reason the price list shown in the regulations book does not include that fee! So when your ringing up a customers license they think your trying to rip 'em off for an extra buck!

I wish they would correct that, it creates too much confusion.

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fishorgolf

All financial calculations aside the reason I will not but one at this time is that I have to register every year. I know this does not seem like a big deal but the whole point to me (because it is not financial) is having this nice perm. card that says I am a lifetime license holder. I understand wanting people get new regs. like they say but last time I checked we still had mail delivery. I think it is more pressure from license sellers to get people coming in every year. And I can understand there concern on this as buying a license my be the only time some people go into a sport shop but to me this is ill founded as most people who buy a perm license are avid sportsmen anyway and step into a bait shop more than once a year smile IMO again Gov. over thinking a simple concept as usual.

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Tom Linderholm

Its good to see it works out. I just wonder what happens if you move out of the state (not that I would ever dream of leaving Minnesota grin ).

Then you have just saved yourself a ton of money, when the wife and I discussed moving accross the border the first thing I though of was a lifetime license. Now that I am a non resident it makes no difference since I have a lifetime license I just have to buy a non resident trout stamp each year.

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SkunkedAgain

Good point about the extra dollar for issuance. That would make the lifetime license pay for itself a little quicker.

Fishorgolf - As for the annual need to go get a new license, I think they do that so that they can verify that you are still eligible for your license. I'd be a little mad to know that someone could buy a lifetime license, and be a lifetime poacher of fish. If they yank your license for violations then the only way to keep you from using that lifetime license is to have you come in each year to verify that you are a fisherman in good standing.

jwmiller33 - It is hard to know what kind of a return that you'll get. However you can get decent CD rates that are liquid enough to allow a withdrawl. Also, when we're talking about returns over a twenty or thirty year period, you can start to assume a decent rate of return...just not in the short term these days!

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Quetico

I got a lifetime sportman's license as a gift 6 years ago. Its a great way to go. I was in college at the time with the possibility of moving to Wisconsin after college. We made sure that if I were to move out of state it would still be good. Very nice you wouldn't have to pay non-resident license fees. As long as your alive this license is good.

For anyone who is plans on fishing in MN I would highly recommend the lifetime licenses.

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mainbutter

I have no assumptions about where I'm going to live two years from now, much less 16 or more years from now.

Then again, I've lived in four states in the past 10 years, and the longest I went without moving(within state or out of state) was from the time I was born until I was 6.. so I guess I'm a little biased based on my own life experiences.

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polarsusd81

Thanks for the reminder guys. I am planning on getting my little boy his lifetime license for his third birthday along with some toys of course. He wont understand it at that age, but he will thank me for it when he gets old enough to realize what a great gift it will be.

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Chode2235

The math is what it is, but I hoped that they DNR would give you some sort of plastic wallet card that you can put in your wallet.

Or some other perks: access to purchase stamp prints, lifetime license angler weekend, heck I dunno.

I would do it in a second if I got some nice card that I could keep in my wallet.

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Quetico

I got a nice card for my wallet with my lifetime license. I still have to get a new paper license each year.

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