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Old 12-31-2015, 04:22 PM   #21
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Enjoyable experiences do not have to involve travel, but it so happens that both my wife's and my family enjoy travel. And throughout our working life, we take vacations to go places. When we were young and did not have much money, we did a lot of road trips, then eventually did fly-and-drive to explore further out before doing international travel.

I enjoyed all of my trips at each stage of life. No, I did not take additional time off, nor spent that much money back then, so it did not cost me anything in terms of delaying retirement.
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Investing in experiences...smart?
Old 12-31-2015, 04:48 PM   #22
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Investing in experiences...smart?

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Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO View Post
Military isn't for everyone, but living, working, and playing in Europe sure is fun!

I haven't gotten my EUCOM tour yet (??!!) but the past 2 assignments have gotten me trips to 8 different countries so it's working out pretty well for me too. International travel can be a pain in the butt security-wise so I take all the official travel they'll give me and save the personal stuff for when I no longer have to get 18 signatures to go to Mexico.

As to the OP's question, it really depends on more than a flat number. If you are able to pay for experiences while also saving for retirement then I agree you should. The problem is too many people pay for experiences INSTEAD of saving for retirement, and eventually they realize they can't afford to retire at all. In that case, I'd choose a little deprivation while younger to avoid keeling over in my office at 82.


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Old 12-31-2015, 04:58 PM   #23
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We've traveled quite a bit, and a few times long term. The first was a $750 trip that was us bumming around Mexico for six weeks. Back in 2000 when DW was just my GF, and we didn't have kids, we packed a couple bags and jumped on a bus toward Mexico. DW had zero money and a crappy minimum wage job and had just graduated from college. I persuaded her that we should spend the summer traveling instead of her getting a FT job since it would likely be the only time in our adult lives (before retirement) that we would have a long stretch of time to travel.

Turns out I was right. 15 years later and we did another long term (7 week) trip to Mexico, this time with kids.

No way would I trade whatever additional money we could have earned during those six weeks 15 years ago for the fun and adventure we had.

Of course we weren't earning much back then and didn't spend hardly anything on the trip.

I can't imagine I'll find myself on my deathbed regretting that trip (or other subsequent trips that cost more) and the reduction in our assets that resulted. I don't think it moved our retirement dates any since ER planning isn't an exact science (ie we aren't retiring based on hitting 4.0000% SWR).
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:01 PM   #24
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I once got a card in the mail that said "Fly a jet". I am a single engine pilot,and it looked interesting. I have just gotten my bonus (not large) and could have put the money in an investment.
I arranged for a one hour flight in a Czech jet trainer, and flew it the whole time. That experience was absolutely priceless!
But the best experiences I have had were ones I shared with my wife of 8 years. She had never been out of North America, and by the time the dust settled, we have been on 45 trips in 5 continents.
You cannot put on a value on experiences like sipping champagne at the top of the Eiffel tower at dusk or a night gondola ride in Venice with a tenor singing operatic arias, for example.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:14 PM   #25
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...You cannot put on a value on experiences like sipping champagne at the top of the Eiffel tower at dusk or a night gondola ride in Venice with a tenor singing operatic arias, for example.
... or pulling your motorhome into a vast truck stop on the Ohio turnpike and selecting a spot far from the existing semi-trailers to go to sleep, only to wake up at 1AM when two gigantic semis pulled in and sandwiched you in the middle, and ran their refrigeration units the rest of the night. Cost: $0. Memory: priceless.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:35 PM   #26
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I'm not into travel that much. For me, the best ever return on investment was spending $1000 on a guitar, amp, and music lessons when I was 18. 35 years later that original expenditure continues to pay off daily. I've had a lifetime of musical enjoyment and made several new friends due to musical connections, and it all began with that initial investment.
+1 We celebrate 35 years of harpsichord and 30 years of baroque flute ownership this year and I get 15-20 hours of enjoyment out of the instruments every week. This has also led to many musical friendships and performance experiences.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:57 PM   #27
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Honestly, I've spent money I probably shouldn't have on travel and I don't regret it one bit. It's not so much the "place/location" that was memorable but being able to spend time with friends and family (particularly a grandmother who passed away a couple of weeks after our visit) that's truly priceless.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:11 AM   #28
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This is very similar to the kids/no kids debate. If you skimp and save, I think you can retire very early, maybe even by 40. Live on $30K a year, save $50K for 20 years, and you are nearly there.

The other option leads to a 'standard' retirement of 65, or layoff at 55. Save $10K, spend $70K. When you retire, it is likely with a lower standard of living. Maybe losing the house or living in a apartment you did not want to move to.

If you die at 70, and you had to work until 65+, you will wish you would have skimped and retired earlier... Doing stuff in your 40s as a ER adventure, not at 65.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:09 AM   #29
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This is very similar to the kids/no kids debate. If you skimp and save, I think you can retire very early, maybe even by 40. Live on $30K a year, save $50K for 20 years, and you are nearly there.

The other option leads to a 'standard' retirement of 65, or layoff at 55. Save $10K, spend $70K. When you retire, it is likely with a lower standard of living. Maybe losing the house or living in a apartment you did not want to move to.
You don't have to go to extremes. There is middle ground. A spend/save of $60K/$20K or $50K/$30K will likely get you to FI earlier than 65 while maintaining the same standard of living throughout.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:20 AM   #30
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... or pulling your motorhome into a vast truck stop on the Ohio turnpike and selecting a spot far from the existing semi-trailers to go to sleep, only to wake up at 1AM when two gigantic semis pulled in and sandwiched you in the middle, and ran their refrigeration units the rest of the night. Cost: $0. Memory: priceless.
Been there, done that...albeit with a 5th wheel rather than a motorhome.......those reefers are some noisy!
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:40 AM   #31
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If you die at 70, and you had to work until 65+, you will wish you would have skimped and retired earlier... Doing stuff in your 40s as a ER adventure, not at 65.
Our good friend did the OMY thing because the money was soo good (i.e. $100k for one month buying trip to Italy). Finally retired 5 years ago. But has let her health go for over 15 years and now can only get around with great difficulty.

She will never get to enjoy the tremendous wealth that they have amassed.

Now it is tough to feel sorry for someone who HAD to go to Italy every year! But we manage it.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:18 AM   #32
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I think DH and I did a good job of spending $$ on travel vs. saving for retirement, although we cut back in other areas that weren't important to us (restaurant meals, cars, up-to-the-minute fashions) to do it.

When the financial crisis hit, the value of our assets was depleted by multiples of my annual salary. Strangely, one thing that kept me sane was that we'd enjoyed some of the money along the way. It would have been much harder on me if we'd saved every penny and had that much more disappear.

Most of the investments recovered, of course, but it was a good lesson on the value of experiences.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:27 AM   #33
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Been there, done that...albeit with a 5th wheel rather than a motorhome.......those reefers are some noisy!

I remember being at the Madison Regatta, circa 1972, when some reefer pulled in next to us...
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:34 AM   #34
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...

Now it is tough to feel sorry for someone who HAD to go to Italy every year! But we manage it.
We went to Italy in September for a month. I find it hard to figure out why I'd want to do it every year though. Is it the weather? We have a Mediterranean climate in California.

The historic stuff is fascinating but seems like one would not need a dose every year. Insights?
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #35
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Talk about investing in experiences, sometimes an experience requires you to get "stuff", such as an RV, a fishing boat, a motorcycle, etc... Many hobby activities also require tools and material. The only activity that does not require too much stuff is travel.

And about travel, having appeased the missus with a recent Maui trip followed by a Caribbean cruise, I wonder if I should start thinking about spending 2016 summer on an Alaskan RV trip. Or perhaps my wife has in mind something more like Tuscany or the Lombardy region?

Or should we do both? Next year, without wedding expenses and home projects (knock on wood), I should have more money available. But after a summer long trip, is there enough time, or do I even have the energy, to enjoy autumn in Europe? So many places to visit, so little time...
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:01 PM   #36
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Here's another, albeit outlying, perspective: some of us just don't care that much for travel. My generation (those wonderful boomers) McD'd everything--their houses, cars, jobs, clothes, vacations, and now their infamous "bucket lists". Ugh. I've always wanted nothing to do with any of it (not that I wasn't part of it, mind you).

I've promised to take my SO on a trip to the Caribbean this year and am having trouble getting myself to book it (however, other travel has been booked for this year). Some of us just prefer to hang out. And some of us really prefer adventures of the mind (ask me how many books I've read in the past year).

It's a lovely rainy day outside and I'm looking forward to curling up on my usual spot on the sofa in the deserted cafe near my house with my book. That's my kind of adventure.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:04 PM   #37
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I've promised to take my SO on a trip to the Caribbean this year and am having trouble getting myself to book it. Some of us just prefer to hang out. And some of us really prefer adventures of the mind (ask me how many books I've read in the past year).
To each his own. If that makes you happy, why should anybody else judge?

FWIW, I don't think Baby Boomers are as monolithic a group as some people think. Other than having a similar age range (by definition), BBs are remarkably varied in just about everything, IMHO.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:14 PM   #38
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FWIW, I don't think Baby Boomers are as monolithic a group as some people think. Other than having a similar age range (by definition), BBs are remarkably varied in just about everything, IMHO.
Although the categorization is pretty meaningless, I would even quibble with the "similar age range." DW and I always have felt that "boomers" referred "old people," as we came in near the end, in '60 & '61. (In fact, from wiki, it seems that some have jiggered with the cutoffs and would now include DW in the "X" cohort with our siblings.)
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:39 PM   #39
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...I've promised to take my SO on a trip to the Caribbean this year and am having trouble getting myself to book it (however, other travel has been booked for this year). Some of us just prefer to hang out. And some of us really prefer adventures of the mind (ask me how many books I've read in the past year).

It's a lovely rainy day outside and I'm looking forward to curling up on my usual spot on the sofa in the deserted cafe near my house with my book. That's my kind of adventure.
It's a rainy day here too. And I read books a plenty. Still have not been up to my high-country home since Labor Day (the low is in the teens right now), but I have spent time up there in the past reading, listening to music, while snow fell outside.

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To each his own. If that makes you happy, why should anybody else judge?

FWIW, I don't think Baby Boomers are as monolithic a group as some people think. Other than having a similar age range (by definition), BBs are remarkably varied in just about everything, IMHO.
Yes, one should pursue his happiness in his own way.

For us, we do not really have a bucket list. When not traveling, we are homebodies, and usually only leave the home to run errands. But after a while at home, the wanderlust slowly sneaks back, and I wonder about the places that we have not been to and only read about. I don't really have to go to some particular place, but prefer to go where we have not been to before.

A concurrent thread about how time goes so slow when we were young compared to now points out the difference. When we were young and acquiring new life experiences, the days were exciting and last longer. And in old age, people tend to fall in a rut, and the repetitive days go by quickly without adding any new memory. They all seem to blend together.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:47 PM   #40
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I've taken the kids to the Bahamas, Hawaii and several times to Florida. I sent the daughter to Europe too. All Funded by years of thrift ..couldn't be happier.


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