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Old 06-20-2016, 08:54 AM   #21
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I think it's more "true" that the lack of money brings unhappiness. But it's all relative, of course.

For example, I make a very good living, by any standards. And I am content. But if my income were to be cut in half, no doubt I would be quite unhappy, even though I still would be above the median income in the US. And if that condition persisted for any length of time, I imagine I would adjust and settle into a new level of "content."

Oddly enough, I think the same transition would happen if my income were to double --content to elated to content.
9 years ago, I took a 75% pay cut to change jobs. I am much happier now (although I'm admittedly still beyond the threshold in Rich's article).
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:56 AM   #22
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Heck, your car is a lot newer than mine. What do I need a new car for? My 2003 SUV still has only 27K miles on the odometer, and still looks shiny due to being kept in the garage.

That said, I still like to have more money. It would bring me happiness in the following sense, even if I might not spend much more.
I would a agree on both your points...and yes a 2009 is still a new vehicle in my mind. Our 2012 Highlander is pretty much BRAND new! Which now I realize is kind of funny. Both cars belong to DW and me, but we rarely drive but the same one and thus it becomes "my car"...this is something that never really occurred to me.

I truly think the key to keeping a car for many, many, years and especially for keeping them looking new is putting them in the GARAGE. Hmm. I wonder how many people who are FI at a younger age use the garage for car storage as opposed to the much-more Americanized use...storage of all the crap we will never use again...
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #23
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Well, I still have a lot of "stuff" in the garage.

There's wood-working equipment, plus a lot of electronics that is left-over from the closed startup. I started to play with electronics again. These bring me some happiness and are already paid for. I cannot get rid of them now.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:27 AM   #24
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To me it is not how much money, (I have been FI for 6 years now) it is the efficiency of it's use. For instance, we have food at the house ready to cook for dinner, then at the last minute decide to go out. That is $50 wasted. Another example is not maximizing all opportunities like coupons, mortgage refi's and 401K (don't always max out.) I don't think it would make me happier to make more money. It would make me feel better about not squandering opportunities/resources. I am working toward maximizing where/when the dollars go. When I refi, use a coupon or max 401K contributions I do feel much better.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:54 AM   #25
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My 2003 SUV still has only 27K miles on the odometer, and still looks shiny due to being kept in the garage.

Geez, I thought we were keeping the mileage down on our 2008 Mazda 3 that has about 55,000.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:00 AM   #26
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For example, I don't believe that owning a 'Benz is going to make me happier, but I really don't know because I've never owned one, or even ridden in one that I can remember, so maybe it's a case of I just don't know what I'm missing.
When I lived in Germany I drove many many Benzes, Porches, and Beemers. Assessment: Crap. I put all that talk about how great this or that car is in the same category as that thing about "masturbating will make you go blind" they used to tell teenagers.

The national sports of Germany are soccer and talking about why your car is in the shop this week.

I have a 2010 Focus that is in every way the same or better driving experience as those Beemers and Benzes were. Except when I step on the gas it takes me 1.1 seconds longer to get to the intersection. I could be soooo much happier
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:15 AM   #27
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My 2003 Jetta Diesel just turned 300K Friday night. And it is easily good for a lot more.

191,000 for the 1998 Camry. runs great
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:19 AM   #28
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I'm pretty happy regardless of money. My family did not have money, and I grew up hearing "they're rich, but they're not happy." Now of course I know sometimes "they" are, that what makes me happy isn't necessarily what makes someone else happy, and the amount of money may or may not make a difference. One thing for sure, I don't think other people's happiness is related to mine or that they should be more or less happy with something that makes me more or less happy.

The sweet spot of having enough money is different for everyone imo, but having more money than that doesn't decrease happiness--I don't believe any of the studies show a bell curve.

I know a few people who are in the one-percent club because of their own efforts and a few people who were born into it. Their apparent happiness is all over the map.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:28 AM   #29
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9 years ago, I took a 75% pay cut to change jobs. I am much happier now (although I'm admittedly still beyond the threshold in Rich's article).
Right, but are you happier because you earn less or happier because something else changed, like the job itself or its envireonment?
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:37 AM   #30
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Right, but are you happier because you earn less or happier because something else changed, like the job itself or its envireonment?
Most definitely because the job itself is better, and I have more of a life outside the office. The money, even though it was a very large number, proved to be irrelevant to my happiness.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:39 AM   #31
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To me it is not how much money, (I have been FI for 6 years now) it is the efficiency of it's use. For instance, we have food at the house ready to cook for dinner, then at the last minute decide to go out. That is $50 wasted. Another example is not maximizing all opportunities like coupons, mortgage refi's and 401K (don't always max out.) I don't think it would make me happier to make more money. It would make me feel better about not squandering opportunities/resources. I am working toward maximizing where/when the dollars go. When I refi, use a coupon or max 401K contributions I do feel much better.
Being inefficient with money makes me unhappy too.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:40 AM   #32
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Most definitely because the job itself is better, and I have more of a life outside the office. The money, even though it was a very large number, proved to be irrelevant to my happiness.
I guess retirees feel similar. My income in retirement is about 1/3 of what it was while working. But I am definately happier. I would even be happier ( I think perhaps only marginally)if my income in retirement was the same as when working.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #33
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Geez, I thought we were keeping the mileage down on our 2008 Mazda 3 that has about 55,000.
The Nissan SUV has not been driven much ever since we bought the smaller CRV to tow behind the motorhome when we took up RV'ing. The smaller car is a lot more convenient as a daily driver to run errands. Even so, we put less than 7K miles on it a year, that is not counting the several K miles it was pulled behind the MH (the odometer does not advance when in neutral). When not traveling, we do not leave the home unless there is a need to.

My wife has been talking about getting rid of the SUV, but I do not want to. It is still spanking new, and will be ready to serve us when we use it more after the smaller car wears out. I try to remember to take it out on an errand once a month, and to put a bit of fresh gas in it. The rest of the time, it is inside the garage, put on a battery maintainer. Just had to replace all its tires recently due to dry rot!
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #34
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My wife has been talking about getting rid of the SUV, but I do not want to. It is still spanking new, and will be ready to serve us when we use it more after the smaller car wears out. I try to remember to take it out on an errand once a month, and to put a bit of fresh gas in it. The rest of the time, it is inside the garage, put on a battery maintainer. Just had to replace all its tires recently due to dry rot!
On occasion I think about getting rid of the Highlander, but then there is some project around the house that requires moving large items and I decide it's a terrible idea to get rid of it. It gets decent mileage and drives like a car but when I need it to, it will tow our trailer with 5,000 lbs of stuff in it with little effort.

I figure it will last us about as long as I will be able to do large projects around the house so I suppose we will keep it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:12 PM   #35
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Why do so many threads devolve into discussions about how many miles you have on your cars? Geez.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:14 PM   #36
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Back on happiness, both of my younger and still working brothers got BMW SUVs. I looked at these with indifferent eyes. I think that if I were still working, I might be tempted to get one too. My theory is that when people work hard, they like to compensate themselves by splurging on something, so that they feel rewarded.

Man, on a day like this when it gets to 115F, just not having to fight the traffic to and from work is enough reward. Beats being stuck in traffic in any fancy car, ya know?

If I had a $10M net worth, I may get an X5 too, just for the hell of it. But I don't have that money, and so I drive my pedestrian cars. And I do not envy or crave any stinkin' car. The non-ownership of one does not decrease my happiness. Or to put it in a pessimistic view that I hold, if I am unhappy, it is not because I do not have such a car.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:23 PM   #37
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When I initially retired, I did so because it was getting too hard to look the other way when encountering unethical behavior and greed at work after a so called merger of equals. The hard work or time commitment was never that much of an issue for me. However, I was not prepared mentally for retirement and actually missed work. I went back as an individual contributor making close to half as much, but found myself much happier. Kept working for a number of years until the commuting and road construction in DFW area did me in, and then retired for good. Don't miss work or the money, so it worked out fine for me in the end.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:24 PM   #38
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I have a 2010 Focus that is in every way the same or better driving experience as those Beemers and Benzes were. Except when I step on the gas it takes me 1.1 seconds longer to get to the intersection. I could be soooo much happier
+1

I've ridden in plenty of luxury cars and never been that much more impressed than riding in a Civic or Accord. I don't like the feel of leather seats so I'm kind of stuck with lower trim level non-luxury cars or paying $$$$ to downgrade seats (or sucking it up and sitting on something that's less comfortable to me).

Of course I much prefer walking or taking the bus if I'm not carrying a load and it's nice outside. True luxury = the time to do that.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:30 PM   #39
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I truly think the key to keeping a car for many, many, years and especially for keeping them looking new is putting them in the GARAGE. Hmm. I wonder how many people who are FI at a younger age use the garage for car storage as opposed to the much-more Americanized use...storage of all the crap we will never use again...
Garages are a huge waste of money if all you're going to do is store your depreciating cars inside*.

In hindsight, I'm glad I ended up buying a house without one. Opportunity costs of the cash tied up in the initial garage purchase plus the extra costs to maintain, insure, plus the annual taxes more than offset any kind of slight increase in value of the cars garaged within. I say that as someone that just sold our two 16 year old Hondas for above KBB values even though they've been sitting in the sun exposed to the elements for 16 years.

* you could possibly persuade me that some really expensive cars and/or classics would hold value better if garaged, and it might offset the total ownership cost of a garage. But then we have to address whether buying those cars in the first place is "a huge waste of money".
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:02 PM   #40
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Garages are a huge waste of money if all you're going to do is store your depreciating cars inside*.

In hindsight, I'm glad I ended up buying a house without one. Opportunity costs of the cash tied up in the initial garage purchase plus the extra costs to maintain, insure, plus the annual taxes more than offset any kind of slight increase in value of the cars garaged within. I say that as someone that just sold our two 16 year old Hondas for above KBB values even though they've been sitting in the sun exposed to the elements for 16 years.

* you could possibly persuade me that some really expensive cars and/or classics would hold value better if garaged, and it might offset the total ownership cost of a garage. But then we have to address whether buying those cars in the first place is "a huge waste of money".
We shall agree to disagree then. For the neighborhood I wanted to live in, there wasn't much choice in NOT having a garage. Taxes are minimal (since it's not counted against living SF) and the cost to maintain (it's part of the basement if you will) is also fairly minimal. Plus, I realize savings on the insurance for them being garaged (they haven't reached the threshold of dropping comp/collision yet) and I don't have to worry about hail damage or people breaking into the cars. And there is an added bonus that they are already nice and cool in the summer and nice and warm in the winter! But...pOtato...pAtato...to each their own.
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