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Old 06-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #61
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No.

The upside is we avoided the chains, the worry, and the userous interest rates of consumer debt.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:16 AM   #62
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No.

The upside is we avoided the chains, the worry, and the userous interest rates of consumer debt.
+1

We are sooo glad to have zero debt. While for the moment I am working, it is optional, and still most of the unplanned-for income is going to savings to be spent later. If one thinks about it that is being optimistic since it relies on the assumption that there will be a "later". If there isn't, well, I lost the bet.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:17 AM   #63
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We did not save a great deal at first. What we did do was build equity and greatly reduce our interest expense by eliminating our mortgage as quickly as possible ( interest is not a tax writeoff where we live). So the mortgage went to 20, then to 12 years and so on. Then we moved to a larger house and did the same all over again.

We did not buy new cars every three years like many of our friends/neighbours, nor did we buy expensive furniture, etc. Our children were able to graduate without the burden or student loans. Seeing a few friends and relatives mired in consumer debt and poorly managed finances just encouraged us to stay on the path. We never really did without anything we just did not over consume.


Like others, I worked in an industry for Megacorp that saw continuous downsizing and mergers for the last 20 years of my career. I was concerned about the double whammy of loosing my job and having unmanageable debt. Fortunately it never happened to me-but I saw it happen to others.

When we became mortgage free, saving was very straightforward as we had been living well under our income level. I was on a variable salary program at work. We lived on the base, and saved the rest. I stopped work at 58 with no worries whatsoever. We just sold our house in order to downsize. We are going to store our things and travel overseas for six months.

It never felt like we were giving up anything. We were fortunate-we were both raised with a strong work ethic, conservative approach to personal finance, and a belief that borrowing money to purchase depreciable assets, vacations etc. was the path to financial ruin.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #64
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do any of you who are retired regret that you saved too much when you were younger? Do you look back and wish you would have spent a bit more to enjoy your youth, or your kids' youth? Do you now realize that you oversaved and you have more than you need, and you should have spent a bit more when you were younger?
I do not regret saving, and, to be honest, I do not regret anything else that I have done. I love life, and have done the best I could with my life given the circumstances. Part of that was making the best and most logical decisions I could and I would make the same decisions again under the same circumstances.

As for money, I am enjoying it now, and have a lot more time to do so in retirement than I did when I was working. The Catch-22 of buying a lot of expensive "good for me" presents when working is that you really don't have much time to enjoy them, because of the work that you have to do to pay for them.

Of course, life is a gamble and if one doesn't spend and dies young, it is tragic for many reasons. Saving is always a risk, in that sense.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #65
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What is worse? Saving too much, or saving too little?

I'll just restate the question in this manner of saving/investing too much or saving/investing too little.

There is no scenerio of "saving too much". If you have saved/invested more than you need, the excess will be used by others (personal or charity) to improve their "situation".

As for me? I would rather die with money than live without it (of course, I've always made that statement). There will never be any "loss", if you think of it in that matter.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:48 AM   #66
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Given the background of this forum I would be surprised if many felt they saved too much. The LBYM ethos pretty well prevents ever having this thought.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #67
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Yes, a bunch of LBYM'ers here, and delayed gratification is the rule.

One of my brothers and his wife have a different philosophy: "Carpe diem!". We never share each other's income or net worth, but I know he has a nice salary and a reasonably secure job. I don't think he knows my net worth, or even how much it takes to retire like us.

He should know how much SS he will have, but has he figured out how much 401k and after-tax savings it will take to maintain his lifestyle? I don't think he has, but one time he volunteered that there was no way he could save enough for early retirement, so why bother. I bit my lips, trying not to ask if he thought he could ever retire, period, leave alone early.

So, two persons, raised in the same family, have totally different philosophies. When we buy something, we usually get the run-of-the-mill quality, figuring it would be good enough. My brother and his wife usually get the "good stuff", which costs 2x or 3x what we are willing to spend. The "good stuff" is of course better quality, no doubt, but we were just not willing to pay the price.

We derive more pleasure from looking at our 7-figure portfolio on the Quicken screen, in our big-enough home (2800sqft, too big for empty nesters!).

My brother and his wife get more pleasure from their top-notch kitchen remodel, with all new appliances and pots and pans, in his 3500-sqft home of higher build quality and in a nicer neighborhood, with a much smaller portfolio.

Who's right? Who's wrong? We live our lives the way we want it, and that's that. I could be diagnosed with some terminal disease tomorrow. I still would not regret not spending more.

I should note here that my wife and I share the same philosophy, while my brother and his wife are also a good match.

Back to the OP pondering, I think if one has to ask himself if he is too stingy, and if he craves something that is affordable, it might be better for his psyche to just get it than feeling deprived and miserable.

I would hasten to add that if my portfolio happens to grow like Jack's bean stalk, I would learn how to cope. Spending more is easy! I am not sure if it would make me happier though.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:57 PM   #68
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No, don't regret our slightly frugal years (I don't think we were ever really frugal) which has certainly opened up paths to moderate splashes of luxury we enjoy now. I do remember those years when my friends/relatives tell us about their overseas holidays and the jewellery they bought and they asked me why I don't have that many similar stories to share. Well, those were the less spendrift years for us but I don't think we missed much. I now hear from some of these folks about their money woes while we enjoy our holidays and lifestyle.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:46 AM   #69
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The Catch-22 of buying a lot of expensive "good for me" presents when working is that you really don't have much time to enjoy them, because of the work that you have to do to pay for them.
+1 This is what I frequently see. Either that or there is a rush to squeeze the enjoyment into some very short time off.

I am finishing the last 20 years in academia after 10 years in industry. It was a large drop in income but also a pleasant life style change. Neither of us care for jewlery, expensive clothes, or the need to keep up with the Jones but now we can continue to enjoy our time and afford to buy what ever really pleases us and pay cash. If I "buy the farm" first I have the peace of mind knowing that my wife will have no worries about a place to live or her next meal.

No regrets here.

Cheers!
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:47 PM   #70
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re: the question ... are you kidding me?
FIREd since July 2007 and living the life.
Wouldn't be able to if not for over sufficient savings.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:26 AM   #71
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I would hasten to add that if my portfolio happens to grow like Jack's bean stalk, I would learn how to cope. Spending more is easy! I am not sure if it would make me happier though.
I agree.

For me, as the stash gets bigger though, I keep upping the bar - Sisyphus style. If I was smart I would up the lifestyle now so as to achieve some level of Kotlikoff style consumption smoothing.

Lee Eisenberg in his book "The Number" speaks eloquently about this very topic. About how we never quite get there and how we never quite seem to have enough. It's a great book to read if you haven't already done so.

Somehow, Somewhere though, all that self-deprivation needs to pay off. It already has in many ways per the reduced stress thing and being able to live on your own terms. But really, I should take some of all that money and buy myself some nice stuff. Trouble is that after decades of LBYM It just doesn't seem important. Besides I already have everything I ever wanted.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:36 AM   #72
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For me, as the stash gets bigger though, I keep upping the bar - Sisyphus style. If I was smart I would up the lifestyle now so as to achieve some level of Kotlikoff style consumption smoothing.
You could start by upgrading your LBYM adobe:

Home exchanges anyone?

Running water would be a good start...
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #73
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You could start by upgrading your LBYM adobe:

Home exchanges anyone?

Running water would be a good start...
I am glad you liked our house and that it made a lasting impression. We work hard to make it comfortable.

But it is starting to feel cramped and we feel that we should upgrade.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #74
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Trouble is that after decades of LBYM It just doesn't seem important. Besides I already have everything I ever wanted.
Copy that. I have stuff I'd just as soon get rid off, including a Porsche I hardly drive anymore. Not sure why I even bought it; it violated my generally cheap philosophy. Will sell it as I figured what the taxes, insurance, and depreciation were per mile driven. Obscene. We'd put more money into DOING stuff (travel) but are restricted in caring for MIL. Buying stuff because we can just seems to generate buyers remorse and no real pleasure. At this rate our kids will be the beneficiaries!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #75
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No regrets - choices are good.

When I start drawing my pension in 3 years we will have enough income from dividends, pensions and DH's SS (disability) to cover our normal spending (although most is not COLA so we'll have to draw on investments to cover inflation). We do expect to need some of our stash to cover LTC expenses when DH's MS progresses further, hopefully not anytime soon. But our biggest concern is that we don't want to leave our two kids so large an inheritance that it interferes with their own well-being. So we are considering options for what we might do with what we consider our "excess" should that happen (charities, etc.). Nice problem to have.

In the meantime, I still clip coupons for the grocery store, even as we are considering a large purchase of something that is clearly a luxury. LBYM habits are hard to break!
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #76
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Hey, I do have running water in my class C RV. I just cannot let the water run while brushing my teeth, or the 35-gal tank will not last long.

And talking about this used RV, originally I wanted to spend more money, but my wife talked me out of it. In fact, she stalked craigslist for me daily, and told me about the posting. After seeing it and agreeing that it was a good buy ("Still, honey, couldn't we get something better? I do have the money, you know."), and buying it, I slowly warmed up to it.

Traveling in this 8'X25' RV awakens me to the fact that I really need very little to have a comfortable life. RV'ers use much less resources like water and electricity, and generate much less waste and garbage. I do burn hundreds and hundreds of gallons of gasoline, but then I am a traveler, not a camper, and my wife still has some commitments, so we have a timetable for returning home. Full-time RV'ers travel more slowly and do not spend nearly as much as I do for fuel. They also pay monthly or weekly rates to park, compared to the daily rates like I do.

Anyway, one can have a good life with less money. It all depends on what one defines as "good". Tough luck if one envies Larry Ellison.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:23 PM   #77
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Do I regret saving? Not at all. It has allowed me to be retired today. Otherwise I would be heading out to work tomorrow instead of going fishing... the more you save, the earlier you retire.
But if you'd been happy with saving a little less, maybe you could have retired yesterday instead and had a few more days of fishing. You could also think of it as "the more you want to save, the more you have to work."
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #78
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No regrets - choices are good.
I have no regrets either, more or less. However, I only wish I could say that my choices were good. I'd say that when examined dispassionately my choice record is fairly spotty.

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Old 06-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #79
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No! I didn't save enough(in my mind). Put out to pasture at 49 instead of 63 like my plan. I 'knew' I was in trouble. However my cheap SOB ways(her words) and my agile, mobile and hostile attitude saved my tush via time in the market. Bless the 90's.

Did I really want a Buick or higher standard of living so much that I went back to full time WORK!!



heh heh heh - No and no - neither too much nor too little. And no 1993 -2013 if I make 20 yrs of ER will I buy myself a gold watch and unretire back to work? Dance with whatever you got when the time arrives and make it work.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #80
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I constantly regret saving too much. Every time I pass a homeless person or hear a friend stress about money worries, I wish I could be less financially secure so I can empathize with them properly.

I think we need a new snarky emoticon.
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