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Old 08-26-2013, 12:03 AM   #21
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Our focus these days is getting rid of things. As many things as we won't rally miss. We don't want to take care of a big yard and house filled with stuff that takes up space, and requires cleaning and maintenance. That is all time not spent at the beach, parks or bike riding.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:08 AM   #22
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I find that I enjoy extraordinary things more if they are and remain exceptions of my normal life.
Like a meal at a very good restaurant: if it comes frequently the fun wears off.
IMO the main reason for lifestyle inflation.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:35 AM   #23
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We've become much more selective about acquiring any more stuff since we have plenty already and are (slowly) working on getting rid of it.

Thankfully neither of us are travel bugs but we do like day trips or occasional short overnight stays.

I do have a weakness for photography and motorcycle gear and have to constantly steel myself to look away from ads for such. Logically, reasonably, rationally, I know that a new lens, flash, light modifier, tripod or camera isn't really going to improve my photos all that much. But they sure look neat.

We did have the luxury of free time for a spur-of-the-moment lunch meetup with some friends in PA yesterday. And that's more important that just about anything else I can think of.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:05 AM   #24
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I think I'm experiencing a little "hedonistic creep", or whatever they call it as I get older. For instance, I finally got an iPhone 4S about five weeks ago. I was happy, for the most part, with the ancient Motorola flip phone I had been using, except that its screen was getting hard to read, it had a little dead-spot on the display, and the silver keypad was hard to read. I could've just gone with another cheap phone, but now that I've made the leap to a smart phone, I don't want to go back.

I've seen it in other stuff too, like television sets, electronics, cars and so on. And one day, I'd like to have a house with more than one bathroom!

I don't know if any of this is really wanting the finer things though, or simply the baseline is creeping upward. Once upon a time, even a basic cell phone, or power windows in a car, or air conditioning in a house...or indoor plumbing for that matter was a luxury! But, now it's all pretty much expected.

I have started liking nicer clothes, I'm finding. But that's often because they're a better, more flattering fit, a more tasteful cut or design, and tend to last longer.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:45 AM   #25
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It's only been a year for us and although we have the means to splurge more without negatively impacting our savings I still don't have an interest in acquiring more things or spending more money. It's been a little frustrating trying to loosen up. Heck I even look for BOGO coupons before we go out to eat. What I really want is to be able to be as active as I was a couple of years before all the surgeries. That's not going to happen. I would really like to buy one of the new Indian motorcycles (and can easily afford it) but I already have a couple of nice motorcycles and just don't see the point of spending the money just because I can. It's frustrating to now have the money and not need to be so frugal. Other than the inability to be more physically active I'm pretty content with my lifestyle.

Cheers!

Cheers!
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:39 AM   #26
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Once you taste the finer things of life, you can never, I mean never go back - so you better learn how to pay for them -
Totally disagree. Eventually you'll find that the 'finer things' don't really bring more happiness. Good luck though.

I'd trade all of my 'finer things' for more loving family and friends any time.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #27
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Totally disagree. Eventually you'll find that the 'finer things' don't really bring more happiness. Good luck though.

I'd trade all of my 'finer things' for more loving family and friends any time.
Agreed watched my FIL chase things, some very expensive, he never found happiness. You can't put prices on good family and friends.

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #28
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Personally I'll take the concept of having both good family and friends and enough resources to enjoy some material things in life. They're definitely not mutually exclusive.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:13 AM   #29
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I've flown business class on long flights, from upgrading with miles.

But when I have to buy tickets, so far have resisted buying business or first class tickets.

I don't think even a 15-hour trip is worth paying 5 to 10 times as much as coach.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:16 AM   #30
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I am not sure this actually answers OP's question about my experience since I have not actually retired yet; but, I have developed a taste for some of the finer things in life, large Mangelsen prints and Nicholson Jones Cabernets are two that come immediately to mind.

However, the same frugal tendencies that have allowed me to reach FI continue to prevent me from actually spending money on these things to enjoy in my own home. I have no idea if having these things would actually make me any happier in the long run; but, I do know that I feel a certain sense of melancholy thinking about such things knowing that I am too frugal cheap to purchase them for myself.

For the sake of my future financial stability, I do hope that my fear of buyer's remorse will continue to override my desire for these kinds of luxuries.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #31
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I think it's more about getting wiser in your spending and focusing it on things that matter the most. Those things may (will) vary from person to person. I spent quite a bit on my bike, for example, but I put more miles on it than on my car, so I've never even thought about second guessing that spend.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:19 AM   #32
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I've flown business class on long flights, from upgrading with miles.

But when I have to buy tickets, so far have resisted buying business or first class tickets.

I don't think even a 15-hour trip is worth paying 5 to 10 times as much as coach.
If you are flexible and patient, business class (or domestic first) can often be had for 2x-3x coach. If you're flying to big business cities on big work flying days, you'll get into the 5x+ range.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #33
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I'm worried I'll want these even more when I have more time to enjoy them in retirement.

What has been your experience?
There's definitely some truth to the concept that giving up "indulgences" is not always easy.

For example, here in the Chicago area dining at nicer restaurants, especially if you enjoy a cocktail before dinner and a nice wine with dinner, runs $60 - $100 per couple. (Of course, you can spend much more if desired.) If we go through a period where we're out frequently due to special events, friends in town visiting, etc., etc., we miss it when we cut back.

Another example is using handymen or tradesmen for projects around the house. For a number of reasons, all related to geezerhood, repair projects aren't as much fun as they used to be. I used a plumber to install a back up sump pump and replace a faucet shortly before we left for a trip last year. I liked the results. Now I need to replace an outdoor faucet which is dripping. I can do it. But it's hard to give up the luxury of picking up the phone and having someone else take care of it.

I try to enjoy the times we can afford to pay for luxuries and extras and, when we have to cut back, be glad we could afford them some of the time. It's not always easy.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #34
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There's definitely some truth to the concept that giving up "indulgences" is not always easy.

For example, here in the Chicago area dining at nicer restaurants, especially if you enjoy a cocktail before dinner and a nice wine with dinner, runs $60 - $100 per couple. (Of course, you can spend much more if desired.) If we go through a period where we're out frequently due to special events, friends in town visiting, etc., etc., we miss it when we cut back.
Mentioned in an earlier post, but our solution has been to simply indulge less often for those finer things we really enjoy, not give them up entirely. We're also in Chicagoland, and we used to eat at high end restaurants literally every weekend. We still eat at the same high end restaurants (often much higher than your $ figures), but usually on special occasions now, and less even less in summer when there are so many other things to do outdoors. And when we do have a hankering for a great Chicago meal outside a special occasion once in a while, we don't deny ourselves.

We did give up some silly indulgences altogether and don't miss them at all (we look back and wonder who we were trying to impress)? But I don't think we could have given up all the finer things, and dining out is one of them. But we find we actually enjoy them more by not indulging as regularly as we used to. YMMV
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:03 AM   #35
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Mentioned in an earlier post, but our solution has been to simply indulge less often for those finer things we really enjoy, not give them up entirely. We're also in Chicagoland, and we used to eat at high end restaurants literally every weekend.
That's a habit we never developed, thank goodness. But from time to time, we seem to have bursts of going out due to special events, travel, friends, etc.
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And when we do have a hankering for a great Chicago meal outside a special occasion once in a while, we don't deny ourselves.
That's our issue. After dining out more frequently due to special occassions, invitations from friends, etc., we do find "denying ourselves" by cutting back is a tad "painful." That is, there is some truth to the adage that a period of indulgence is followed by a period of missing the indulgences when they need to be cut back. It's just part of life. OP will need to deal with the issue, but likely shoudn't give up the fun now.
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We did give up some silly indulgences altogether
We've never really had the "silly indulgence" problem, at least by our definition of "silly indulgence."

But, to OP's point and question, if you use some surplus income to create some really good times, no doubt you're going to miss them if you have to cut back later. But, so what? If you are afraid to do anything that feels good because the good feeling will be missed when you stop, that would make for a sad life.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #36
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I'm not sure what constitutes a luxury, but we certainly restrained our spending during the working years and took every opportunity to save, not spend. Now, retired and approaching full fledged geezerhood we are spending more on ourselves than ever before, enjoying it and hope to continue.

Close family members from the previous generation that have passed all seemed to feel, when close to the end, that in their later years they had been too thrifty. We are right at 4% withdrawal at age 60, so I guess that means we are living at our means, perhaps a bit above, but not below. We have given the kids all that they need and then some, so we feel no obligation to hold down our spending on their behalf.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #37
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I've always had a taste for it, but sometimes the paying for it gets in the way. Nevertheless, we are finding quite a bit of satisfaction in decluttering and transitioning to a simpler life with less possessions.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #38
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Fired 55.5, 2007. First 5 years watched expenses very closely. Somewhere on this site, it was said that the skills used to fire, will protect you in er. But that you will never spend all of your money because you were so frugal. True wisdom!
I now coach travel to europe and spend some of my loot. I simply wont be around to enjoy it all. Dw is set up, no kids.
I can get ss soon(62), but planned to live without it and so will need to decide what to do with it. Maybe ease up and enjoy some less simple lux.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:41 AM   #39
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Getting rid of stuff and not getting more stuff: the biggest luxury of all! We are moving into experiences for any luxury fix we might need. Like many here, better groceries, a little upgraded travel experience once in a while, etc.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #40
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Do people dine out more or less after ER?

After all, a lot of the restaurant expenses is tied to work, like lunches of dinners when you've been too busy at work to prepare your own dinner?

Of course, this thread is discussing more the finer dining, though if one was regularly spending over $100 on a meal, that would make FI more difficult.

Certainly not something most of us are budgeting for as a regular expense in retirement?
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