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Old 06-20-2016, 01:04 PM   #41
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Why do so many threads devolve into discussions about how many miles you have on your cars? Geez.
Well, if I had multiple houses or traveled to 50 different countries while flying first or business class on vacation, I suppose I could boast about those accomplishments. But, unfortunately, I don't, and having a 2003 Jetta with 300K on the odometer is a show of my accomplishment in frugality.

And, by the way, it is still in very respectable condition as I keep the maintenance up. But, it's not the *usual* frugal car as it has a turbocharged diesel engine, 5 speed manual transmission and larger fuel injector nozzles.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:04 PM   #42
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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.
And when you weren't working, you might very well be sitting at the BMW dealership sipping $6 Starbucks getting your car worked on. Here is a comparison of a popular BMW and the Infiniti G37 (Accord/Civic has similar numbers of the Infiniti) according to True Delta (actual reports from owners). This is number of repairs per 100 cars.

Edit: Also attached one for Highlander v. BMW X5
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File Type: jpg TD1.jpg (154.4 KB, 32 views)
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:11 PM   #43
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Having enjoyed a wide range of incomes over the years (from poverty level to top 1%), I can say from experience that more money has always made me happier.

That being said, for us, there was definitely an inflection point where the utility of more income started to diminish greatly. Even when our income was high enough to remove virtually all constraints on spending, our spending settled naturally in the upper 5-figure range when we lived in the South and at the bottom of the six figure range when we lived in the Bay Area.

Also, happiness is the sum of many more factors than just money. While happiness might increase with more money, the stress of a high-paying job might affect happiness negatively by taking a toll on relationships, health, job satisfaction, etc... By retiring early, my wife and I have accepted a much lower income, which affects our happiness negatively, I have no doubt, but the lower stress level and greater freedom more than make up for it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:38 PM   #44
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Garages are a huge waste of money if all you're going to do is store your depreciating cars inside*.
Perhaps this is a function of where you live. In Texas, due to hail storms and heat, I wouldn't be without a garage.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:59 PM   #45
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.................. it's not the *usual* frugal car as it has a turbocharged diesel engine, 5 speed manual transmission and larger fuel injector nozzles.
I thought I could best you until you hit me with the larger injector nozzles.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:10 PM   #46
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I thought I could best you until you hit me with the larger injector nozzles.
I left out some detail (For those who don't understand), there is also a larger VNT turbo, 3 Bar MAP sensor, larger intercooler, upgraded clutch, and remap of the ECU fueling (aka "tune").
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #47
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I left out some detail (For those who don't understand), there is also a larger VNT turbo, 3 Bar MAP sensor, larger intercooler, upgraded clutch, and remap of the ECU fueling (aka "tune").
Well sure, but do you have a pair of these?
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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...
Old 06-20-2016, 02:21 PM   #48
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Money and happiness just how correlated are they...

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Why do so many threads devolve into discussions about how many miles you have on your cars? Geez.

+1

I think everyone has gotten the message that sticking with a trusty (usually Japanese) "old paint" Is the general consensus on this forum.

No need to provide additional anecdotal confirmations


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Old 06-20-2016, 02:30 PM   #49
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Having enjoyed a wide range of incomes over the years (from poverty level to top 1%), I can say from experience that more money has always made me happier.

That being said, for us, there was definitely an inflection point where the utility of more income started to diminish greatly. Even when our income was high enough to remove virtually all constraints on spending, our spending settled naturally in the upper 5-figure range when we lived in the South and at the bottom of the six figure range when we lived in the Bay Area.

Also, happiness is the sum of many more factors than just money. While happiness might increase with more money, the stress of a high-paying job might affect happiness negatively by taking a toll on relationships, health, job satisfaction, etc... By retiring early, my wife and I have accepted a much lower income, which affects our happiness negatively, I have no doubt, but the lower stress level and greater freedom more than make up for it.
Money can buy some things, especially peace of mind. But we were really bored where we used to live and all the money in the world would not have changed that, nor added forests, mountains, lakes and an ocean or changed the weather.

We also only spent up to a certain amount and then just saved the rest when we both had decent paying jobs. We'd work with people with similar household incomes as us who would buy super expensive homes, have exotic cars and fly to New York on two day weekends, and we'd be fine with driving Toyotas, camping, hiking, canoeing and money in the bank. We were just really happy to live some place where we could enjoy our outdoor activities. I remember having some really weird what did you do on the weekend discussions with some of them on Mondays.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:38 PM   #50
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And an article whereby in the U.S. "about $75,000" annual income is where you find your most happiness. Just passing it on:

Here Is The Income Level At Which Money Won't Make You Any Happier In Each State

Rich
Makes sense to me. Basically we live off of the "happiness requirement" in CA (+ a small amount, call it the SoCal tax I guess) and save the rest. Makes moving to Nashville sound appealing!
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #51
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75k seems so arbitrary.

Wouldn't that number actually represent the level at which you significantly outearn (say 50%) your typical neighbor?

i.e. if you are them Joneses that others want to keep up with, happiness ensues ..

So in Nepal (just throw out an example) it would probably be 10k or so ..
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:57 PM   #52
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75k seems so arbitrary.

Wouldn't that number actually represent the level at which you significantly outearn (say 50%) your typical neighbor?

i.e. if you are them Joneses that others want to keep up with, happiness ensues ..

So in Nepal (just throw out an example) it would probably be 10k or so ..
You just need to make one dollar more than your sister-in-law's husband.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:00 PM   #53
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Makes sense to me. Basically we live off of the "happiness requirement" in CA (+ a small amount, call it the SoCal tax I guess) and save the rest. Makes moving to [some part of Tennessee other than] Nashville sound appealing!
We love it here, but the housing cost increases in the past 5 years likely make the "happiness requirement" higher than most of the state. I doubt we'd remain "happy" here in retirement on 75K, esp. if budgeting 2K a month on health costs.... (Then again, that would be substantially less than our planned retirement spending and cutting from the baseline makes happiness harder, as alluded to by many above!)
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:09 PM   #54
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Well, if I had multiple houses or traveled to 50 different countries while flying first or business class on vacation, I suppose I could boast about those accomplishments. But, unfortunately, I don't, and having a 2003 Jetta with 300K on the odometer is a show of my accomplishment in frugality.

And, by the way, it is still in very respectable condition as I keep the maintenance up. But, it's not the *usual* frugal car as it has a turbocharged diesel engine, 5 speed manual transmission and larger fuel injector nozzles.
If you were suggesting that I have boasted in this way (sounds like it), I think you are wrong. I certainly didn't hijack the thread if I did. This thread is about happiness not mileage. Your comment was uncalled for.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:10 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
Having enjoyed a wide range of incomes over the years (from poverty level to top 1%), I can say from experience that more money has always made me happier.

That being said, for us, there was definitely an inflection point where the utility of more income started to diminish greatly. Even when our income was high enough to remove virtually all constraints on spending, our spending settled naturally in the upper 5-figure range when we lived in the South and at the bottom of the six figure range when we lived in the Bay Area.

Also, happiness is the sum of many more factors than just money. While happiness might increase with more money, the stress of a high-paying job might affect happiness negatively by taking a toll on relationships, health, job satisfaction, etc... By retiring early, my wife and I have accepted a much lower income, which affects our happiness negatively, I have no doubt, but the lower stress level and greater freedom more than make up for it.
Well said and on thread topic. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:13 PM   #56
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We love it here, but the housing cost increases in the past 5 years likely make the "happiness requirement" higher than most of the state. I doubt we'd remain "happy" here in retirement on 75K, esp. if budgeting 2K a month on health costs.... (Then again, that would be substantially less than our planned retirement spending and cutting from the baseline makes happiness harder, as alluded to by many above!)
True, Nashville isn't equivalent to the rest of the state, but that said, it's not equivalent to SoCal either in terms of cost of living! There are some attractive things about that area (heck, they named the city after my internet handle!) and we've got our eye on it for a prospective move in 3.5 years when I change jobs (or retire altogether).
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:07 PM   #57
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I'd like to brag about my 1992 Thomas school bus that has 250,000 plus miles on it. In it, we have visited 16 countries! But not exactly first class...

Happiness is hard enough to quantify, let alone attach a dollar figure to it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:25 PM   #58
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75k seems so arbitrary.

Wouldn't that number actually represent the level at which you significantly outearn (say 50%) your typical neighbor?

i.e. if you are them Joneses that others want to keep up with, happiness ensues ..

So in Nepal (just throw out an example) it would probably be 10k or so ..
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You just need to make one dollar more than your sister-in-law's husband.
Yes, I think there's a lot of truth in that.

Even the most basic car nowadays lets you get from point A to point B reliably and in comfort. A basic car for around $20K gives you a lot of comfort and conveniences compared to a model T of yesteryear. And not everyone could get a model T back then. So why are people drooling over these fancy-schmancy cars, if not because their neighbors have it? One feels pretty good driving a Tesla, but will he feel the same when his neighbors start jetting around in their personal Jetson flying saucers?

Same thing about homes. One needs to visit kings' castles and early-20th century billionaires' mansions to see how comfortable the modern home is.

I can go on and on. And we still want more.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #59
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And that's a good thing, else we'd still be living in caves and crapping in the bushes.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:05 PM   #60
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And that's a good thing, else we'd still be living in caves and crapping in the bushes.
There is some appeal to that in certain circles.
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