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Old 06-05-2010, 08:23 PM   #41
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Yeah, I should have said "some of" the best days of our lives--I have always said the best time of my life is now . But the times we had nothing turned out to be pretty damned good too.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:35 PM   #42
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Shoot...in 1975 I was making $2.20 an hour. I had it made!

Man...I sure had some fun back in the daze....and I'm still able to let loose a chortle or two now....
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:28 AM   #43
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I was happy at work for many years . It was only at the end that I got burned out and that was after forty years .
Ditto. It was challenging in a good way for a number of years then I progressively became burned out and bored. I've done 20+ years. There is no way that I want to do 30 years - no matter how good the money is.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:03 AM   #44
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I need what I need, and I don't care what the other people around me have as long as it isn't at my expense. I became a lot happier when I stopped worrying about keeping up with the Joneses and decided to ease up and let them win.
Yes, yes, yes!

When we moved to WV I couldn't wait to get the WV tags on my 18-year-old pickup truck and send photos to the family. It looked like a stereotypical WV pickup - 4WD, peeling paint, rusted roof, hood, and some rust on the sides, but the mechanics all worked fine. I only bought a new one because parts availability was getting problematic. We had planned the purchase years before.

In contrast, one BIL has a Spendarina wife and will be a slave to the credit industry for what appears to be the foreseeable future. Poor guy.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:16 AM   #45
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. . . But you know, I have to admit that really the best days of my life are right NOW....

Just like my fishing buddy, a border collie named Taffy, I am now living in the moment and relishing it. Until I retired at 52, the serial saver mentality caused me to miss some of these moments. I have known many men who worked simply because it had become their identity. Along the way some had neglected to develop balance in their interests. Others ended up chasing power or money, neither of which will help you put a bass on the business end of a rod in the quietude of a spring morning. Never been happier.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:38 AM   #46
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But isn't it funny to look back at ourselves starting out, making hardly any money, and remember that time as the best days of our lives....
Those days sucked, both from a financial and emotional sense ..

But again, I'm only talking about my situation (from birth till my early 30's).

Being in my 60's, retired, and feeling that these are the "best days" of my life, I would never want to trade them for what was the first half of my life...

But then again, everybody's life is different.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:04 AM   #47
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These are related. If a job is one which a lot of people would find "fun," they don't have to pay much to get people to do it. So it probably is self-fulfilling that they both (a) enjoy their job and (b) can't afford to retire.

With very few potential exceptions for exceptional talents (sports and entertainment come to mind), show me a job most people would enjoy doing and I'll show you a job that pays like dirt. You simply don't have to pay someone six figures to do something they *want* to do when they wake up every morning. The "demand" for those jobs relative to their limited supply will take care of that.
Perhaps you are right to a degree but I had a job (not in entertainment or sports) that paid very well (mid seven figures) and I loved it for a long time. Eventually the pressure got to me and I retired early. The enjoyment came from a number of sources I think: the power I had, prestige, untellectual challenge, and knowing how much money I was making. I know this isn't the norm but may be interesting nevertheless.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:16 AM   #48
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We could survive on 60k, but I wonder if we would be happy. 60k is my barebones survival ER budget, which includes little to no fun, and a lot of scrimping. Heck, nearly half of the 60k would go to property tax and insurance, and health insurance and deductibles. We would have to sell our dream home to be able to stay consistently that low and still say we were enjoying it. So long as we keep the place (and the accompanying tax and insurance bills) we will be comfortable and happy at about 100k after tax. Add a travel trailer to the mix and we get to about 110-115k...make that a nicer RV and we climb up yet again to maybe 135k. So, it all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want and are accustomed to living.

That said, we were quite happy 26 years ago as newlyweds making $4.25 an hour for a total of 50-60 hours a week between us and going to school. (we ate a lot of mac n cheese n wieners back in those days, but there were certain, ahem, other aspects that made life real enjoyable).

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Old 06-06-2010, 09:27 AM   #49
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Did many listen to Kahneman's video? Because the message is actually quite a bit more complex than this $60,000 idea, which on the face of it is highly doubtful. What do you think that would buy in NYC? I wonder when was the last time Daniel Kahneman lived on $60,000?

$60,000 would not qualify me for a mortgage on any SFH in a non-slum area in Seattle, and it might not even do it in the slums.

To me at least, the main point of his talk was that there are two separate types of happiness, experiencing, and remembering. Experiencing happiness is what occurs in the moment. It is sensate. "Remembering happiness" is a more complex construction of the meaning and the perceived track of one's life. It is more sensitive to income, showing no flatline as was posited for "experiencing happiness".

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Old 06-06-2010, 09:35 AM   #50
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The $60 K number didn't do anything for me. It is a result of a poll of 600,000 people and there are bound to be exceptions. He says that they didn't expect to find the number.

I found the separation of the "experiencing self" and the "remembering self", and the concept of "focussing illusion" to be very interesting and can see them at play in my own life.

I found this article that also looks at the connection of income & happiness
Link between income and happiness is mainly an illusion

From the article
Quote:
"Despite the weak relationship between income and global life satisfaction or experienced happiness, many people are highly motivated to increase their income," the study said. "In some cases, this focusing illusion may lead to a misallocation of time, from accepting lengthy commutes (which are among the worst moments of the day) to sacrificing time spent socializing (which are among the best moments of the day)."
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #51
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The $60 K number didn't do anything for me. It is a result of a poll of 600,000 people and there are bound to be exceptions. He says that they didn't expect to find the number.

I found the separation of the "experiencing self" and the "remembering self", and the concept of "focussing illusion" to be very interesting and can see them at play in my own life.

I found this article that also looks at the connection of income & happiness
Link between income and happiness is mainly an illusion

From the article
This is an interesting article, but the conclusions seem hardly unexpected. What they are calling focussing seems similar to the more general idea of "anchoring". Any prior consideration, even if only a randomly generated number, will affect opinions or statement coming afterward.

And the experiencing self and remembering self. Does your income level affect your orgasm intensity? I would think only if income is so low as to prevent a modicum of privacy.

Does you income level, clothing, etc. affect how you are perceived by others? Of course. It is popular to deny this, but at least 75 years of research and hundereds of years of literature suggest otherwise. And do others' perseptions of your income and social standing affect your own contentment? Again, I would expect many denials, but research and human history and culture suggests very strongly otherwise.

So there can be large disconnects between what works for the experiencing self, and what feeds the remembering self.

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Old 06-06-2010, 10:12 AM   #52
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Did many listen to Kahneman's video? Because the message is actually quite a bit more complex than this $60,000 idea, which on the face of it is highly doubtful. What do you think that would buy in NYC? I wonder when was the last time Daniel Kahneman lived on $60,000?

$60,000 would not qualify me for a mortgage on any SFH in a non-slum area in Seattle, and it might not even do it in the slums.

To me at least, the main point of his talk was that there are two separate types of happiness, experiencing, and remembering. Experiencing happiness is what occurs in the moment. It is sensate. "Remembering happiness" is a more complex construction of the meaning and the perceived track of one's life. It is more sensitive to income, showing no flatline as was posited for "experiencing happiness".

Ha
Since the 60k mark is an average, the salient compairison would be to take the average income for where you live and multiply that by 1.2 to arrive at the comfort level point needed for the max happiness level. This isn't the only happiness survey to conclude happiness requires a comfortable margin but having far more than the average income level does not give more happiness.

There is probably also a function that those who achieve a 20% over the avg income for where they live also have an emotional governance to be happy with enough and not always have grasp to for more and more. An ability to be able to reach satisfaction has to enter into it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:02 PM   #53
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What they are calling focussing seems similar to the more general idea of "anchoring". Any prior considreation, even if only a randomly generated number will affect opinions or statement coming afterward.
You're right - they're the same thing, and first theorized by Tversky & Kahneman.
From
Anchoring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The anchoring and adjustment heuristic was first theorized by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. In one of their first studies, the two showed that when asked to guess the percentage of African nations which are members of the United Nations, people who were first asked "Was it more or less than 45%?" guessed lower values than those who had been asked if it was more or less than 65%.[3] The pattern has held in other experiments for a wide variety of different subjects of estimation.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:42 PM   #54
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Daniel Gilbert put the number at $50,000...

The truth about happiness may surprise you - CNN.com

Re: the Princeton article (which states people overestimate how happy they would be with more income), the other direction is true for us — we are MUCH happier retired than we would have guessed we would be. We were taken completely by surprise by how much happier we are eating healthier, exercising more often, being outdoors every day, and enjoying much less stress.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #55
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Daniel Gilbert put the number at $50,000...

The truth about happiness may surprise you - CNN.com

Re: the Princeton article (which states people overestimate how happy they would be with more income), the other direction is true for us — we are MUCH happier retired than we would have guessed we would be. We were taken completely by surprise by how much happier we are eating healthier, exercising more often, being outdoors every day, and enjoying much less stress.
The same has been true for me so far. I have been simply blown away at how much happier I am in retirement, being able to govern my own time and do as I please. But then you all know that. I think I have finally found my niche in life.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:41 PM   #56
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I think I have finally found my niche in life.
I have long known that I was born to retire!!
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:23 PM   #57
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I have long known that I was born to retire!!
yes .. also born to be wild and free.

My take on happiness is to be grateful for what you already have and attain realistic goals. The key is to stop comparing and graving.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:07 AM   #58
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I'm very happy in retirement, partly because I don't worry about (or track) my spending. I know (or sincerely believe) it's less than 3% of my holdings and therefore even if it's 33% more than what I think it is, it shouldn't be a problem.

WTFC if it's $20K or $200K? It's the percentage that matters.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:55 AM   #59
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Just know this: you can be happier.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:57 AM   #60
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I just know that for years I have lived on a small portion of my salary - put the rest into 403b, ROTH IRA, other investments - and managed just fine. I am living on way less than $60K. I expect to happily continue when I retire (soon). The biggest jump will be health insurance and medical expenses, until I'm 65.

I don't have a set amount to live on, I'll just see what I need. I think over all it will be sufficient. I haven't felt poor in a long time.

Of course it helps to live in a relatively low cost part of the country.

I have this big theoretical spreadsheet of how my assets will last - I plan on comparing it to reality every year and adjusting my spending accordingly.

But happy? I'm THRILLED to be counting down the days! July 2 = end of work.
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