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Grief and LBYM
Old 08-24-2015, 04:49 AM   #1
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Grief and LBYM

Hello all,

Last Friday I've lost a w*rk colleague to cancer. Besides being a w*rk colleague (I was his direct manager) we were a lot like-minded so there was a special connection - we were not exactly friends as we didn't hangout ouside office but he was very competent, bright, good-humored and I've always enjoyed our discussions. He was 32 y.o. and I cannot help but thinking it was an huge loss.

I don't know exactly why I'm sharing this but somehow I felt I could in this forum.

Besides the natural mourning one cannot help but thinking if all this LBYM effectivelly serves for anything. I know that the answer is "balance" beween Today and (a possible) Tomorrow but nevertheless makes me wonder.

thanks for "listening".

regards,
sinbad
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:00 AM   #2
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I am sorry for you loss, it's obviously troubling. Life is a gamble, death at 32 is not the norm and it is a huge loss to all around him. Try to look at the other side, imagine arriving at retirement age or an age you wish to retire but not having practiced LBYM, you would have lost the gamble as well. It is as you say about balance or as one person as said "moderation in everything including moderation".

When such tragedies have struck people near me they fueled my resolve to work to semi-retire and retire early. Life is indeed short.
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:41 AM   #3
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That's a tough situation to handle Sinbad.....sorry about your loss.
Hope you are Ok.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:37 AM   #4
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I lost a spouse to cancer, (she didn't make her 53rd birthday); older than your co-worker I know, but my post will hopefully partially address the LBYM aspect.........for DW & me LBYM does not equate to deprivation....we have 'us' and we're happy; we travel, but we travel for the experiences, and we can acquire those experiences with minimal expenditure. LBYM is as much state of mind as it is a state of wallet.

George Carlin nailed it with his dissertation on 'Stuff'.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:28 AM   #5
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So so sorry about your coworker--too soon and too young.

I think we honor the people we lose when their passing prompts us to take a thoughtful look at how we live our lives.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:34 AM   #6
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Those are scary deaths. A guy that started with me, passed 18 months later. He was only 29, his heart failed. Sad, had too many others, another bright guy just over 30 he worked on my team, had to break the news to co-workers before they heard it on the evening news. I've never really understood just forced to accept. I guess for me, LBYM didn't matter too much in those cases as the folks seemed happy in their lives. YMMV.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:37 AM   #7
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Unless you know for sure when you are going to go, your mortality and LBYM are two different things, too dissimilar to associate together.

I doubt someone young on their deathbed regrets not buying more stuff. Maybe they regret not doing more things. More likely it's not spending more time with loved ones, which doesn't really take money, other than lost income not working OT to pile up more money.

LBYM shouldn't mean depriving yourself. I wouldn't want to live 30 years depriving myself just to retire a couple years early. Even if you hate your job, don't make the rest of your life miserable too. But don't be excessive, either.

If you don't LBYM, it means you are going into deeper debt, or at least not putting away for your retirement, early or otherwise. Unless you do die early, eventually you will pay the price for that. I can't imagine being 65 and staring at a mountain of debt with little savings and limited employment options. I'd be hating myself every day for being so foolish and putting myself in that position, just because someone I knew died young.

As someone else said, moderation is the key. Events like these do cause one to examine their own life, but be careful about overreacting, especially while you are still in a bit of shock over the loss.
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:00 AM   #8
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Anyone passing under 40 or so is sad and doesn't really fit the LBYM mantra. If only we knew!

Had a friend who didn't need to keep working but hung on to get OMY on SS. He died at 64, angry that he hadn't retired when he could have. There's a lesson in that sort of thing, but when they're 29, 30 or so...I don't know what the lesson is.

A bit of heresy here, but might LBYM be placed on a certain curve? Live slightly ABOVE YOUR MEANS and as you age, slowly throttle back? Sort of Firecalc in reverse?
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:51 AM   #9
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I am so sorry for your loss. I lost two good friends to brain cancer - one was 49, the other was 50. It does make you stop and think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
LBYM shouldn't mean depriving yourself. I wouldn't want to live 30 years depriving myself just to retire a couple years early. Even if you hate your job, don't make the rest of your life miserable too. But don't be excessive, either.
Exactly.

I don't travel very much. Some people would feel deprived without at least one vacation a year. We never did. We always loved our staycations and looked forward to days off, at home, with no agenda. That always helped me live below my means. Never felt deprived. If I did want to travel more I could have worked longer to build up a larger portfolio to draw from. Having a permanent staycation was higher on the satisfaction scale for me.

If you feel deprived then maybe you have cut your expenses too much. There's no sin in spending money, as long as you also prepare for your future at the same time.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
LBYM shouldn't mean depriving yourself. I wouldn't want to live 30 years depriving myself just to retire a couple years early. Even if you hate your job, don't make the rest of your life miserable too. But don't be excessive, either.

As someone else said, moderation is the key. Events like these do cause one to examine their own life, but be careful about overreacting, especially while you are still in a bit of shock over the loss.
+1.

Quote:
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A bit of heresy here, but might LBYM be placed on a certain curve? Live slightly ABOVE YOUR MEANS and as you age, slowly throttle back? Sort of Firecalc in reverse?
Nope. As RunningBum has mentioned, living above your means (even just slightly) is just racking up debt. You need to still LBYM but instead of going crazy ala-MMM and saving, say, 60-90% of your salary, maybe just save 10-30% and spend the rest on stuff you enjoy now.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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Losing someone close at a young age is tough. But we need to be concerned about our future and where our life is headed. My DW lost her first husband at age 26 with a 2 year old to take care of. She chose to move forward and lived below her means. At age 48, five years after we married, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She still looked to the future and beat the cancer. She'll be retiring later this year at age 59 and we'll be very comfortable with a nice nest egg for the kids eventually. LBYM is not tough, and looking toward the future is critical to a happy life.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:11 PM   #12
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I'm sorry for the loss of your coworker. Very sad.

But as others have said, for me, LBYM doesn't mean fanatically depriving myself of anything fun so that I can save for fun in the future. It means focusing on what things really bring me joy and aligning my spending with those goals. LBYM makes me more secure (and less stressed) each day as I know I have some reserves should emergencies come up.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post

A bit of heresy here, but might LBYM be placed on a certain curve? Live slightly ABOVE YOUR MEANS and as you age, slowly throttle back? Sort of Firecalc in reverse?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnzw_rui View Post
+1.


Nope. As RunningBum has mentioned, living above your means (even just slightly) is just racking up debt. You need to still LBYM but instead of going crazy ala-MMM and saving, say, 60-90% of your salary, maybe just save 10-30% and spend the rest on stuff you enjoy now.
Let me modify/clarify my thought then: Maybe in your 20's and early 30's LBYM might mean a 2% saving, taking advantage of age and time to enjoy what life has to offer. (No, I'm not going to go down the 'backpacking through Europe' rat hole again)

Then at mid 30's start to ratchet up the savings, perhaps NOT buying the biggest house or the best car and instead start socking away 5%-15% or so as real "set spending" starts to take place.

Still lots of time to invest in risk and overcome any slip-ups while allowing for a youthful time with some valuable experiences.

Just wondering aloud if there might be an invisible curve that might apply.

I would caution that LBYM is not the same as living debt free. Many people LBYM but have mortgages and car payments. The fact that they can easily afford those payments makes it LBYM.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:36 PM   #14
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Sinbad, I am sorry to hear of the loss of your coworker. And at such a young age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I think we honor the people we lose when their passing prompts us to take a thoughtful look at how we live our lives.
Very well said; thank you for sharing that thought.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
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Let me modify/clarify my thought then: Maybe in your 20's and early 30's LBYM might mean a 2% saving, taking advantage of age and time to enjoy what life has to offer. (No, I'm not going to go down the 'backpacking through Europe' rat hole again)

Then at mid 30's start to ratchet up the savings, perhaps NOT buying the biggest house or the best car and instead start socking away 5%-15% or so as real "set spending" starts to take place.

Still lots of time to invest in risk and overcome any slip-ups while allowing for a youthful time with some valuable experiences.

Just wondering aloud if there might be an invisible curve that might apply.

I would caution that LBYM is not the same as living debt free. Many people LBYM but have mortgages and car payments. The fact that they can easily afford those payments makes it LBYM.
When I mentioned debt, I was thinking more along the lines of credit card debt to fund expensive toys or vacations you couldn't afford otherwise (or even unsustainable day-to-day spending).

As for savings rate, the usual trend of salaries over a person's lifetime pretty much makes increasing savings rate as you age the practical way to go. It's much harder to save 20% of $20,000 ($4,000) than it is to save 20% of $100,000 ($20,000).
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:09 PM   #16
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Sorry for your loss. I too lost a couple of co-workers who passed in their thirties, a couple to pancreatic cancer and another to suicide. Death is the common denominator we all share, just some sooner than others. Ones passing does make others stop to think and realize just what is important in life, family and relationships, not money or lifestyle. Our culture teaches us that death is something to be feared but it is just as natural as birth.

Good short video about death that I think is worth sharing;https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=20&v=qK1BJkBJdtY
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:18 PM   #17
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Sorry for your loss. But as you well know, you can't and shouldn't plan on a life expectancy of 32 years. You have to plan for 70-80 years or more, that's FAR more likely than the sad exception of your co-worker.

Unfortunately people are killed in car & plane crashes every day, doesn't mean you shouldn't drive or fly by any means.

The exceptions are just that...not a sound basis for planning.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:39 PM   #18
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Sorry to hear about your co-worker, sinbad. I think living a life of deprivation and simply LBYMs are two different things.

We have had friends pass away and never enjoy a day of retirement while we have had several years now of 365 mostly relaxing days each year. A LBYMs lifestyle is what got us here. Most days if we want we can go hiking, to art museums or just sit outside on the patio with beers and snigger about the commute traffic in the distance. We didn't go hungry during the time we were working. We were just careful with our money. If I had to do it over again I would have watched our expenses even closer and been FI sooner than we were.
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:02 PM   #19
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I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:36 PM   #20
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As long as they didn't deprive themselves of enjoying life by being too tight fisted, then at least they got to enjoy the life they did have with the peace of mind that financial prudence can bring. I'm not retired yet (spring 2016...only waiting until I can go without penalty), but have no debt and every day I am able to enjoy the feeling of being debt free.

And, of course, if they had a spouse, they didn't leave them with piles of debt to add to their woes.
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