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Old 02-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #21
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As long as your credit cards are paid off each month, have fun!

Pre FIRE...I was lucky to be able to take some "tag-along" trips with my late husband while we were young and both w*rking. All I had to do is set aside some "mad money" for the next trip, buy an airline ticket, and meet him when he was done with his meetings etc. I used my annual leave as quickly as I earned it and never regretted that. I went to Europe (Germany, Holland, Denmark), Crete and mainland Greece, Puerto Rico, San Diego, the NW Gulf Coast of FL several times, Washington DC, and Boston.

We also saved up and went on 2 Caribbean cruises and an Alaska cruise. We tried to get to Cape Cod every year for my birthday after Labor Day.

Post FIRE, I am happy to stay on domestic soil.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CorporateSoldier View Post
So - very curious to hear from others and wondering if this is a taboo topic. Am I a bad person because I would rather take a cruise every year, drive a BMW and retire at 60 versus retiring at 55? Will I be banned from this forum after only a few posts?
What?!!!! Well, I never!!!! Ban thee I say!

Just kidding.

Retired now, but back in my working daze I enjoyed myself from time to time. I don't regret spending one dime on anything that gave me or DH pleasure. My momma and I took trips to Las Vegas that were absolutely fabulous and so much fun....I wouldn't take a farm in Georgia for those memories.

We paid our bills, saved what we thought could get us to FIRE and played with what was left over.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #23
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I'm enjoying my life but the thing that really gets me is that my weekends and evenings alot of times are dedicated around doing things I can't do during the day because I'm at work. These would be laundry, home cleaning, maintenance, working out, etc. These things take a lot of time and doesn't leave much time for fun.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:19 PM   #24
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He slipped and spilled the beans he is saving/shopping for a ring. I'd be thrilled with a simple band and a new kitchen!
I was informed yesterday he was doing some online courses for his job - "to influence our future financial success"
Well, good, you already knew he was a keeper.

The key to financial success is to make sure that your retirement spreadsheet has extra-wide columns starting at about the year when your pension(s) kick in...
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #25
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Seems like you are finding balance in life and ultimately your retirement will be there for you. You have to live in "the now" some and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And dont apoligize for buying new cars if you can afford them. If no new cars were ever bought, cheapos like me wouldnt have a used one to buy.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:38 PM   #26
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Seems like you are finding balance in life and ultimately your retirement will be there for you. You have to live in "the now" some and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And dont apoligize for buying new cars if you can afford them. If no new cars were ever bought, cheapos like me wouldnt have a used one to buy.
Oh no - I'm with you! I buy nice cars but no more new stuff. Let someone else enjoy all that depreciation.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:44 PM   #27
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If you can afford it and have calculated and are willing to pay the opportunity cost and trade offs (like working a few more years before FIRE), then go ahead and enjoy now. The things we like to do now may feel different if we do them 10 years later. Or could be due to health reasons, we may not be able to do them 10 years later. In my case, DH and I like to travel and golf - this means dragging along heavy luggage and recovering from jet lag soon enough to enjoy golfing. We started doing this early in our lives as we don't see how we can manage doing this when we hit our sixties.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:00 PM   #28
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If you can afford it and have calculated and are willing to pay the opportunity cost and trade offs (like working a few more years before FIRE), then go ahead and enjoy now. The things we like to do now may feel different if we do them 10 years later. Or could be due to health reasons, we may not be able to do them 10 years later. In my case, DH and I like to travel and golf - this means dragging along heavy luggage and recovering from jet lag soon enough to enjoy golfing. We started doing this early in our lives as we don't see how we can manage doing this when we hit our sixties.
+1 For everyone to consider when balancing everything including retirement. I eat well and excercise regularly and still am slowly falling apart. Love to golf, but already my knees and back cant take it more than twice a week and I'm not 50 yet!
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:26 PM   #29
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We always practiced safe spending, but spent plenty on vacations, and cleaners and gardeners, and meals out etc. We didn't do fancy cars, we got that out of our system BC. (Before Children).

I'm sure we could have brought forward retirement by a few years if we'd really forced the issue but sought out a balance between pain and pleasure. (financial)
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #30
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Do whatever you want. It's your life. I think all the advice on the forum is aimed at people whose goal is to retire early or earlier than they presently can. No one is suggesting that you should retire before you want. If the things you spend your money on is important to you, whose to argue or tell you otherwise?

As for me, I retired last July. I love my life when I worked, but was definitely not in love with my job. I enjoyed my family and friends, my home life, my vacations and my weekends, but always felt work prevented cramped my style. It was a necessary evil and as soon as I was able to FIRE, I did. Balance was always there, but I won't pretend that work was anything other than work.

For my part, make sure you really love those things you spend your money on and you aren't just following the crowd because that's what you think you should do. Sometimes we don't even recognize that we are conforming, but we are. I am coming to recognize that I was not the rebel I thought I was. I had/have a big house, bought new cars every 2 or three years, had a garage full of stuff I rarely used and couldn't answer why. Now we are downsizing and simplifying and even though five years ago I would have thought I would miss the stuff, I actually feel liberated.

Not telling you you're wrong, but it never hurts to examine one's life from time to time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #31
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I am 58 and still working PT and usually enjoying it. I think that the key is working less but not in any rush to retire. This is my last job and if it ends I will be retired.

I used to work long hours but now only about 20 hours/week. I have 3 day weekends every week and am enjoying every moment.

I like a nice car but mine is 5 years old now and still working well so I will keep it until it has problems. I enjoy vacations. I belonged to a beach club for years but did not rejoin this year due to low usage.

Vacations are now a priority for me. I was self employed for many years and felt that while the big bucks were coming in I should keep vacations to a minimum. Not sure that was a good decision as there were years that I had very good employees.

No regrets, just at the sunset of my working years.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:12 PM   #32
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No regrets, just at the sunset of my working years.
Perhaps that's the sunrise of your ER years...
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:29 PM   #33
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I am sure the money I spend on vehicles seems dumb to some but it's also kind of a hobby - I have always been a car nut and now a motorcycle nut as well. I still won't get the cheese on my Whopper (because it's a ripoff!) even when going through the drive through in my 530.
Not at all. As I told my wife before we got married, all men have vices, it's just a matter a choosing which set of vices you want to live with. If cars are your thing enjoy.

I've been down much the same road, opting for a seriously frugal life style in my twenties and early thirties before gradually starting to loosen the purse strings as my position becomes more financially secure. This has added a few years to my sentence as an office inhabitant, but it's a trade off I have no regrets about.

My splurges include paying for business class travel for one long haul flight a year, paying far to much for over priced Bordeaux and eating out at least once a week.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:00 AM   #34
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Hello CorporateSoldier - to answer your question, "splurging" once in a while does not make you a bad person IMO.

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Am I a bad person because I would rather take a cruise every year, drive a BMW and retire at 60 versus retiring at 55? Will I be banned from this forum after only a few posts?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #35
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I read about people who are extremely frugal (living on beans and walking everywhere) and I just can't imagine living like that even if it meant we could retire today....but everyone is different and each should follow the path that is right for them.

We both still w*rk and have hefty budget allowances for dining, travel, entertainment AND retirement. As long as we stay within budget and save what the plan says we must then we are fully on track and there is no reason for guilt.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #36
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I always adhered to the "pay yourself first" doctrine, which included retirement savings. I figured that I was doing as much as reasonably could be done, so any money left over was for vacations, toys etc. We always took one or two nice vacations each year. While saving for retirement, you still have to live and enjoy today.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:57 PM   #37
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I believe we've found the right balance for us. We take several nice vacations each year around the western U.S. and had a fabulous 10 days in Hawaii in January --our big winter escape.

We realize the traveling will keep me working for an extra 2 years or so, but we can't imagine sitting around eating beans and rice and pinching pennies for an earlier retirement that may never come to pass.

We're both still able to take 5+ mile hikes and really see the sights. In 5 years, who knows?
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:39 PM   #38
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I'd be thrilled with a simple band and a new kitchen!
For him: Hammered Gold and Silver Wedding Band from James Avery

For her: Hammered Simplicity Wedding Band from James Avery

You're on your own for the new kitchen!
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:14 PM   #39
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Wait! Show horses is livin' big? Oh crap!
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #40
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Wait! Show horses is livin' big? Oh crap!
I need to add the "show" part for guys like you Anybody who has owned horse knows they are expensive. But showing is another level all together!

My daughter's horse was bout $60k (will make money on him yet). Lessons and boarding ($800/mth), vet, performance meds, shoeing every 6 weeks ($200 a pop)...then there is the showing. A week of moderate 'A & 'AA' level shows runs about $1k/wk, plus trailering, braiding, coaching, etc. We were in for almost $40K last year for one horse.

No regrets and I can't wait for this season to start. When it goes well...it is spectacular!
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