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Old 06-23-2014, 03:43 PM   #21
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ocdokie - I already gave my answer, but thought I could provide a little more color based on my parents' and aunt's experiences. My parents and my aunt retired early.

My parents traveled quite a bit from age 57 to 67 in addition to spending 3 months a year in sunny FL during the winter (they live in NH). From 67 to 76, they kept going to FL, but didn't really travel anywhere else. The past two years, my mother's health has been declining, and this past winter was the first year they didn't make the trip to FL because the trip would have been too arduous for her.

My aunt also retired in her 50s. Her second husband is 15 years older than her (she is 71 now and he is 86). For years, they traveled around the country in their RV every year, for months at a time. They even discovered cruises and went on several really great trips. By that time, her husband was in his early 80s, and although she would love to keep traveling, he, unfortunately, has Alzheimer's and other issues and has in-home care. She can't travel any more because she won't leave him, and he isn't well enough.

The point is - do it now while you can. You can afford it, and you never know when you may not be able to enjoy your "spoils" in this way.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:46 PM   #22
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One thought would be to at LEAST restructure some of your investments. I'm thinking specifically about converting some qualified money (traditional IRAs, 401k's, etc.) to ROTH IRAs. Pay any taxes with after tax money. That would lower the nominal value of your stash, but will potentially give you a better tax situation in the future (get professional help with this if you consider it!)

Second, I have somewhat the same "fears" of getting into my stash, but mine is more about ending up with less money from year to year. IOW I'm okay with spending form the stash. I just don't want to see the total (after "results" going down.) Not sure why it bothers me, but it does. I'm sure I have inflation fears (my primary issue) as well as fears of gummint "confiscation" through means testing or VAT or other taxes on spending (which adds up to triple taxation in some cases.)

I suppose you have to do what gives you the most comfort. Just understand there are "costs" to doing so (IOW, you give up extra travel or other things you really love.) Good luck with this. If you figure out a good way to get through your dilemma, be certain to get back to us about how you made the change of heart.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:23 PM   #23
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Why don't you start out spending an extra $15,000 on travel . If you look for deals you can do some great trips for this price . Do it now ! As we age health tends to get in the way .
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:33 PM   #24
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Without crunching any number, what I see is that the OP has her current expenses more than covered with pension and the soon-to-come SS. The pension is not COLA'd but within the next 5 years or so, that should not be a problem.

Then, what is the $1.9M stash for? I would book that Danube cruise now while I still care about it. The OP does not even have children who can take the cruise in their memory later.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:44 PM   #25
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I just looked at off season package trips to Hawaii for a week on Expedia for us. There were many choices under $2.5K air fare and hotel. You could easily take a few trips like that a year and not even miss the money.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:45 PM   #26
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Didn't someone post Dalai Lama's wise saying about this on another thread? The answer is there somewhere - Customer died suddenly - perspective.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:48 PM   #27
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It should be ok to take trips because you might feel different about it in 10 years. It is only temporary as I see it. Maybe you will say been there done that. Your money pile is so big if I were traveling I would only skim the surface of it. But I think 30k of travel is very wild. I am sure you can get it done for a lot less.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:53 PM   #28
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To: daylatedollarshort .......I live in Hawaii, when is the "off season" LOL!

PS. Only meant this as fun!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:03 PM   #29
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Why don't you start out spending an extra $15,000 on travel . If you look for deals you can do some great trips for this price . Do it now ! As we age health tends to get in the way .
+1
It's not necessary to spend $30k to have some great trips. Just do it!
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:09 PM   #30
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So, what do you say? If you were me, would you spend more -- on travel, or anything else?
I say not only "Yes", but "Hell Yes!".
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:30 PM   #31
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Yes, do it.
The phrase "spend it while you can" has deep meaning. The older you get, the less you'll want to travel and the more you'll regret not doing it while you could have.
X2, money can't buy your health back. Go and enjoy travel, you worked hard to accumulate the money, now reap the reward for that hard work.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #32
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To OP: Yep..I would. I would take minimum 3% WR and add it to my pension to spend for a year. Spend it while you're young, able to travel and move around.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #33
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Looks like you have more than enough money to go on some nice trips. Go for it. Enjoy.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #34
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To: daylatedollarshort .......I live in Hawaii, when is the "off season" LOL!

PS. Only meant this as fun!!!
Off season for people who don't have to time their vacations to school vacations. Our trips there got a lot more expensive when we couldn't go in October and March.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:43 PM   #35
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Off season for people who don't have to time their vacations to school vacations. Our trips there got a lot more expensive when we couldn't go in October and March.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:45 PM   #36
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Hi, OP here. Thank you, thank you to all who have replied! The thought of spending from the stash still nauseates me, but how I can let that get in the way of what I'm sure will be wonderful experiences?

As a couple of posters suggested, I did re-run FireCalc, setting aside a chunk for "fun money" and subtracting it from the total stash. I still ended up with a 100% success rate. Thanks for that suggestion! I found a level of comfort in that result (knowing that past market returns don't predict the future, but you go with what you got).

I also liked that several posters advised to "do it now" because there's no guarantee of good health in the future. I've seen this personally with my own mother, who at the age of 85 and in the period of one year, has gone from living independently to living in a nursing home, afflicted with dementia to the extent that she cannot speak, walk, or feed herself.

I so appreciate all your input. When I think of things by myself, I always wonder, "What am I overlooking?" That's why a forum like this is so helpful.

In the last hour, DH got an e-mail from Delta Airlines trumpeting sales on fares to Europe this fall. Now, I check ER.org and get positive feedback from you good folks on traveling while we're physically able. I know from previous experience that both DH and I value experiences more than "stuff", so I went over this thread with him. His eyes lit up and he said, "China!" A little more thought, then "India!" Getting very excited now, "A Galapagos cruise and Machu Picchu!" Then he stood up and announced, "New Zealand! (Pause) In Business Class!"

I think I need a new suitcase. Thanks again, one and all.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:54 PM   #37
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"New Zealand! (Pause) In Business Class!"
Now, you are talking spending!

I have not gathered up the courage to get a Business seat with my own dime, but with your pension, you are in better financial shape than we are. Enjoy!
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #38
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So happy to hear you are going to do some travel and that your DH is excited about traveling.

My answer to your original post is am emphatic YES! Spend some of that money you earned and saved for just this time in life and enjoy.

Looking forward to reading about some of your adventures.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:15 PM   #39
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Here is some recent research on how to make the most of your trips.

The science of the perfect vacation: 4 keys to making it memorable | CTV News
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:16 PM   #40
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Here's the way I figure it. According to FireCalc and a few other calculators, I could end up on my death bed with a slight deficeit, probably less than 50,000. But, most likley I end up with a lot of cash left over, anywhere from about $300k to several million.

So, with the odds that I will not outspend my money, I might as well spend more now while I can enjoy the fruits of my labors. If things head south, I can always tighten up the budget a bit.
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