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Guilt about spending savings?
Old 03-29-2019, 10:10 PM   #1
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Guilt about spending savings?

I am a very recently-retired 58 year old social worker. My wife continues to work because she still likes her job...Is it common for early retirees to feel guilty about starting the process of spending from savings rather than contributing to them, especially if the spouse continues to work? And if yes, how did you handle the feelings?
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:33 PM   #2
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Yes, it is very common.

Take a deep breath.

Read through threads on the "Life after FIRE" forum and you will find you have a lot of company.

General advice - take care of as many household responsibilities as you can - especially dinner prep.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:48 PM   #3
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I also retired early while DW continues to work also because she likes her job. To assuage the guilt from blowing my life savings, I frequently look at how much I can spend per year from savings until I reach age 95. It reminds me that I am not immortal and that I can't take it with me when I go. It's there for me to enjoy as my reward for 34 years of hard work.


+1 on MBAustin's advice. DW enjoys referring to me as the "houseboy". I have assumed responsibility for virtually all household duties and I am happy to do it.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:59 PM   #4
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No guilt for me, rather an entitlement.

I'm entitled to blow my own dough that I've earned and saved and invested over the first 59 years of my life.
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:52 AM   #5
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It does get easier. It was so strange not to get that paycheck at first!
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Old 03-30-2019, 04:59 AM   #6
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It does seem to be fairly common. Don't think of it as just savings. Think of it as money you set aside for retirement. And now you are spending it on the purpose you set it aside for. You're executing the plan.
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:14 AM   #7
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If you don’t spend it, somebody else will!

Are you sure it’s guilt? Maybe that uncomfortable anxious feeling is more like feeling less financially secure because your nest egg might start shrinking?

Feeling less financially secure is very common when you are no longer receiving a paycheck and having to draw from savings to fund expenses.
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coveredbridge View Post
I also retired early while DW continues to work also because she likes her job. To assuage the guilt from blowing my life savings, I frequently look at how much I can spend per year from savings until I reach age 95. It reminds me that I am not immortal and that I can't take it with me when I go. It's there for me to enjoy as my reward for 34 years of hard work.


+1 on MBAustin's advice. DW enjoys referring to me as the "houseboy". I have assumed responsibility for virtually all household duties and I am happy to do it.
Yep, I also fall into this camp. Wife likes to work part time and uses the dough she earns to fly up and see her family and friends in New England. I do the household chores and have gotten recently into fermenting vegetables.

Going back to the question of feeling guilty. If you have a budget and spend close to budget you should not feel any guilt. OTOH, if you have a budget and blow the dough above your agreed upon budget, then, yeah, you may feel remorse.

Don't try to keep up with the Jones' in your community. Around here, how many cruises you take, where you play golf, the brand of golf club you use, and others, all can be a temptation to blow the budget.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by early retired social work View Post
I am a very recently-retired 58 year old social worker. My wife continues to work because she still likes her job...Is it common for early retirees to feel guilty about starting the process of spending from savings rather than contributing to them, especially if the spouse continues to work? And if yes, how did you handle the feelings?
It is a common problem. Some people think that principal is not to ever be violated... my view is that for occasional down years it is possible that one might dip into principal.


The other way I frame the issue is with a provacative question.... did you save that money to enjoy during your retirement or to hoard it?
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:00 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the helpful responses!! Our financial advisor says that we can afford to spend $100,000 per year for the next 36 years, until I turn 94 and she 100, after which we would be limited to our SS Retirement. We believe we can spend less than that...Thankfully my wife wanted me to retire as much or even more than I did so she is thrilled...It was my life's goal to retire early and now that I have done it I feel guilty about spending, rather than adding to savings....
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:11 AM   #11
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I do not feel so much guilty, after all it is my money, I am just so used to seeing it increasing instead of staying static. I still want to see it continue to go up.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:14 AM   #12
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thanks
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:19 AM   #13
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A very common feeling among people that learned to save for a lifetime. With some simple math your nest egg is 4 million plus. That is a lot of dough and in time it maybe be easier to spend as you age.
Good luck.
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