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Getting Older--Not Spending Enough
Old 05-02-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
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Getting Older--Not Spending Enough

Is there anyone here who has been retired for a while, getting up there in years, and realizing, "holy cow, I'm not spending near what I can"?

ER happens largely through savings and frugality. Both of those traits have been an abiding philosophy. It's part of the DNA of early retirees.

What happens when we've gotten older, realize there's no way we could ever spend down our nest egg (within reason), and then go balls out on a spending spree.

It would not be enjoyable. Frivolous spending would not create a greater happiness. I've seen it both ways: those who have lots of money, still living a frugal life, and those who realize time is short and it's time to spend, often on stuff that is not wanted.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:01 PM   #2
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If you are healthy, travel.
Fly business class.
Stay in better hotels.
Search out better restaurants with Yelp and TripAdvisor.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:05 PM   #3
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If you are healthy, travel.
Fly business class.
Stay in better hotels.
Search out better restaurants with Yelp and TripAdvisor.
I agree.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:27 PM   #4
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I've never understood this 'problem'. In my earliest economics class, they defined economics as the study of Unlimited Wants with Limited resources.
Just put the financial interests to your 'wants' - whether it be Travel, Charity, or other 'Hobbies'.
I would have no trouble spending any amount of money until I got over a few hundred Million... Private Jets would be nice. And if I did have over a couple hundred Million, it would be loads of fun to give it away. I actually believe that you cannot take it with you.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
If you are healthy, travel.
Fly business class.
Stay in better hotels.
Search out better restaurants with Yelp and TripAdvisor.
We are world travelers. But by not flying business class, staying in luxury hotels and eating in restaurants that are pricey and unappetizing, we can afford to go overseas twice as often.

We just don't have it in our psyche to go past middle of the road. And we still have a great time everywhere we go.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:31 PM   #6
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I was just thinking something like that the other day. I'm not up there yet age-wise, but would I feel that I should spend more in the later years if I accumulated too much, or would I still worry about long-term care cost, etc that might or might not happen and I wouldn't be able to spend money any more freely than I am spending now? (I'm spending less than 3% of my spendable asset currently, so theoretically, when my SS starts, I should be able to spend more, but I don't know... I may still be worried about all the what if's...?
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:37 PM   #7
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Maybe think about what you feel is “frivolous spending”. There was a Bob Newhart (psychologist version) episode in which he listened to a patient’s woes and said something like, “Well, stop doing that!!”.

So... Stop doing that! But look for things that aren’t frivolous to you and remember you can now afford them and probably should.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:42 PM   #8
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:42 PM   #9
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I have zero desire for luxury international travel and that sort of thing, unless you put a gun to my head.

I can say with complete honesty that I have everything I want in life (well, other than immortality).

And yet, I am underspending and really not spending as much as many forum members, although I spend on different things than most do. I guess this is why I don't feel bad about buying some things that others here might think frivolous and I do enjoy them. For example,

1) buying new middle-to-high end laptops every year or two even when I don't need them,
2) having grass fed beef steaks delivered to my front door every two months,
3) having a smart tv that I almost never watch, and
4) having a lawn guy instead of doing the mowing myself.

My original username here was Want2Retire, and then I retired and have been so happy. This is the first time in my life when I have felt truly content, and it feels good. I wish I could bottle this and give it away to everyone.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbata View Post
Is there anyone here who has been retired for a while, getting up there in years, and realizing, "holy cow, I'm not spending near what I can"?

ER happens largely through savings and frugality. Both of those traits have been an abiding philosophy. It's part of the DNA of early retirees.

What happens when we've gotten older, realize there's no way we could ever spend down our nest egg (within reason), and then go balls out on a spending spree.

It would not be enjoyable. Frivolous spending would not create a greater happiness. I've seen it both ways: those who have lots of money, still living a frugal life, and those who realize time is short and it's time to spend, often on stuff that is not wanted.
First of all, look really hard at anything important to you that you have been putting off because it seems to cost too much.

Then review your priorities, and look at where spending more would: significantly improve the experience or save you serious time and hassle.

Finally, review how you feel about gifting while you are still alive - to charities and to individuals, heirs perhaps.

Spending doesn't have to be "frivolous" - you have to be careful dismissing something as frivolous that might really make a difference.

Do what matters to you. If you still have plenty left your heirs will be very happy.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
We are world travelers. But by not flying business class, staying in luxury hotels and eating in restaurants that are pricey and unappetizing, we can afford to go overseas twice as often.
It's too complicated logistically for us to go overseas twice as often, so we choose to spend heavily on the one big trip that we do take each year so as to make is as comfortable and enjoyable as we can.

We don't spend money in any restaurant that is unappetizing.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Elbata View Post
Is there anyone here who has been retired for a while, getting up there in years, and realizing, "holy cow, I'm not spending near what I can"?

ER happens largely through savings and frugality. Both of those traits have been an abiding philosophy. It's part of the DNA of early retirees.

What happens when we've gotten older, realize there's no way we could ever spend down our nest egg (within reason), and then go balls out on a spending spree.

It would not be enjoyable. Frivolous spending would not create a greater happiness. I've seen it both ways: those who have lots of money, still living a frugal life, and those who realize time is short and it's time to spend, often on stuff that is not wanted.

I have a few friends that have loads of $$, but are so frugal they will undoubtedly die with most of that money, and their heirs will get it (whether that was their intent or not). I have less $$ than several of these folks, and I've always been pretty frugal also, but at age 64, DW and I have decided to start spending down our stash on things that bring enjoyment to us. We're not exactly going on a spending spree, but we have made a few big purchases lately that we probably would not have made several years ago. Nobody knows exactly how long they will live, or even how long they will remain reasonably healthy, so my feeling is why not spend some of it now, if whatever you are spending it on brings you enjoyment while you are still active and healthy. Striving to accumulate more and more $$ until the end comes never made much sense to me.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:01 PM   #13
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In my 18th year of retirement, I find my annual spending is 3X what it was before. The simple reason is that we both love to travel, particularly out of the country, and upgrading the travel experience is well worth the cost for us. Another part of that is that we're very much aware that our desire for travel will diminish greatly at some point, so we're trying to pack in as much as possible now so we'll have the memories later. We live very simply, both at home and while traveling. But the cost of getting there and back is where the big cost comes in.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:11 PM   #14
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In my 'lottery fantasy mentality' as my psychology professor once put it, I've been wondering what happens if I end up in the upper 50% of FIRECALC's projections. Buy a bigger, nicer house? Buy more jewelry for my wife? Buy a Ferarri? First class tickets to the Maldives? Problem I see is that that much excess, if it happens, may be so far out in years that I may be too old to enjoy spending...helicopter lessons might be fun!
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:16 PM   #15
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It has often been my experience that I see an older person who could well afford to do things to improve their well being but does not. I assume this is due to some combination of frugality, lack of knowledge, aversion to technology, aversion to change, privacy concerns. Or, of course, these things just don't matter to them. I am thinking of things like:

Hiring someone to install computer/printer and other technology that the person is able to use, and instruct and be available for support.

Hiring Uber when unable or unwilling to drive.

Hiring adequate housekeeping help.

Using meal services to maintain good nutrition when cooking/shopping is difficult.

Hiring personal trainer/therapist to improve physical condition.

Updating home to make it safer, cleaner, and easier to navigate.

An interesting topic and I hope I don't repeat these mistakes when I am a bit older!
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:38 PM   #16
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What happens when we've gotten older, realize there's no way we could ever spend down our nest egg (within reason), and then go balls out on a spending spree.

This is why I am splurging whenever I can. Sometimes, I have to force myself to spend the money. Accumulation game is over. I won. It's time to win the spending game.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:40 PM   #17
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It has often been my experience that I see an older person who could well afford to do things to improve their well being but does not. I assume this is due to some combination of frugality, lack of knowledge, aversion to technology, aversion to change, privacy concerns. Or, of course, these things just don't matter to them. I am thinking of things like:

Hiring someone to install computer/printer and other technology that the person is able to use, and instruct and be available for support.

Hiring Uber when unable or unwilling to drive.

Hiring adequate housekeeping help.

Using meal services to maintain good nutrition when cooking/shopping is difficult.

Hiring personal trainer/therapist to improve physical condition.

Updating home to make it safer, cleaner, and easier to navigate.

An interesting topic and I hope I don't repeat these mistakes when I am a bit older!
I think for my Dad a lot of these things became too much trouble and he just didn’t want to deal with it. Thank goodness that he had a decent housecleaner for many years, but still had her come less often than he should. Years ago my brother got him set up with a physical therapist for a while and he was enthusiastic at first, but stopped after a short while. He initiates very little these days and doesn’t like to ask for help.

It’s actually pretty difficult to hire reliable honest help, so that’s a barrier.

For myself, I plan to outsource this type of support to a CCRC.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:20 PM   #18
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:33 PM   #19
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Buy a new car, travel first class and never rent a room w/o a jacuzzi!
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:56 PM   #20
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It’s actually pretty difficult to hire reliable honest help, so that’s a barrier.
So so true. And (derailing for a moment), if you're married to a perfectionist engineer, it is difficult to hire repairs that live up to spouse's standards.
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