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Old 06-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #61
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Yes, the much coveted "simple life"
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:32 PM   #62
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Money is not important... until you do not have any. Then, all you can think about is where and how to get some.

I like to have enough, so that I can clear my mind to think about something else. Like designing and building a DDS/PLL hybrid synthesizer, just for the heck of it. Can't be thinking about travel all the time, ya know?

Great points ... On money ...

Now, What's the DDS synthesizer going to be used in ?
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:47 PM   #63
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DH and I had a discussion about this recently. We don't have much income (since we're retired) but when we were working we tried to live on 1 salary - and we both worked 80% schedules - so it was close to 75-80k/year. We were happy.

On the assets front. Our investments are smaller than a lot of people here (excluding the house). The house isn't fancy - a 2ksf 50 year old tract home... but it's on pricy dirt (soCal, coastal.) We talked about what we'd change if we had another 500k in our investments.... we both said "Business Class!!!!" - but that was really the only thing we'd change.

Our all-in budget is $84k/year for a family of 4... so not that far off from the 75k sited.

Oh - and DH's 21 year old truck has 160k, my 11 year old highlander has 103k.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:36 PM   #64
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Also, happiness is the sum of many more factors than just money.
A definition of human happiness: A human is happy if they are physically, emotionally, intellectually, and financially healthy.

According to this definition, financial good health is necessary for human happiness, but not sufficient.

This definition supports the old adage that 'money can't buy happiness'. It's easy to list scenarios where money can't buy physical good health, emotional good health, intellectual good health, or financial good health.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:51 AM   #65
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A definition of human happiness: A human is happy if they are physically, emotionally, intellectually, and financially healthy.
And those are listed in a good order of importance.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:23 AM   #66
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Money can buy happiness, but only to a certain extent. It depends on how much you have.

1) Poor. Can money buy happiness: Yes
2) Average middle class. Can money buy happiness: Probably, but not always
3) Upper middle class. Can money buy happiness: Probably not, but sometimes
4) Wealthy. Can money buy happiness: No
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #67
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I feel that money does make us happy in that, we do not need to worry about our financial future. Being FI is very liberating and if we weren't FI we would be less happy, to a significant degree, given that we are essentially retired as of this year. Even though we have more than we need, I do not find that spending it makes us happy. I think just the opposite, not spending it makes us happier than spending it. We do have to be careful not to take this perverse truth to the extreme.

DS called last night to tell us that he has been wooed to go to work for Amazon at nearly double his current salary. He is a SE and makes a six figure salary at a start up with RSU's and sees a very good career trajectory over the next 3 years, so he said no thanks. I am proud of him for not jumping ship just for the money.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:48 AM   #68
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I personally believe that more money is more happiness. All of us are on this forum because we are all good stewards of money. Think of how much good and happiness would come from helping others with all the extra money you would have.
Yes, you may have enough to live comfortably, and most of you do, but think about the happiness you could provide yourself and others by donating, giving or through random acts of kindness.
Being able to take care of each other would bring immense happiness.
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Old 06-21-2016, 10:06 PM   #69
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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".
But they start easier in a garage in the winter.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:41 PM   #70
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But they start easier in a garage in the winter.
As long as my battery isn't bad, I've never had a problem (even in 16 year old cars). Of course it rarely gets below 15-20 degrees here, so YMMV depending on where you live I guess.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:40 AM   #71
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I think one of the biggest inhibitors to general happiness and to financial well being is the inability or the refusal to discern wants from needs.

It breeds a culture of consumer debt, a constant desire to keep up with others, and establishes an unrealistic link between happiness and material possessions. Some people are never really satisfied or happy with what they have.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:10 PM   #72
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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.
It depends where you live. I live on the Canadian prairies and almost everyone with a house has garage. Only the foolish fill it with junk and park outside in the winter. All it takes is one winter of scraping the ice off the windows and cleaning snow off in -35 to either build a garage or clean the one you have. Around here, houses without a garage are harder to sell and will go for less.

To keep on topic...having enough money to own a house with a garage ensures happiness for me.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:48 PM   #73
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Why do so many threads devolve into discussions about how many miles you have on your cars? Geez.
It's because the OP started this thread with how happy he was with his considered old car. So, other posters have to chime in to say theirs are even older, and that does not hamper their pursuit of happiness.

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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...
Or rather, money should not make anything worse, unless one is an idiot and does not know how to manage it.

"I have never been in a situation where having money made it worse." - Clinton Jones

Quote:
... 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.
There is always some trade-off. If additional money comes with no hardship attached, who would say no? Or if one enjoyed the work that brings money, who would quit? I do not see any reason for Buffett to retire early, as long as his health holds out.

I enjoyed my work (it paid fairly well too) and would have continued if it weren't for megacorp's hassle. They could have upped the pay, and it would have been OK too. But they thought that I loved the work enough that they did not have to pay me more. They were wrong.

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...And we still want more.
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And that's a good thing, else we'd still be living in caves and crapping in the bushes.
Well, once we moved out from a cave and have a toilet and running water, why do we need to upgrade from a 1,500-sq.ft. to a 5,000-sq.ft. home?

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There is some appeal to that in certain circles.
"I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money." - Pablo Picasso

I am sure that Picasso still wanted good food and running water in the home. The point is that once basic needs are met, much else is really fluff.

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... All it takes is one winter of scraping the ice off the windows and cleaning snow off in -35 to either build a garage or clean the one you have...

To keep on topic...having enough money to own a house with a garage ensures happiness for me.
Yes. But I maintain that it is still relative, because you see your neighbor driving his car out from his garage without having to scrape ice like you do. There are very few absolute things in life. We always measure our situation with that of surrounding people.

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Great points ... On money ...

Now, What's the DDS synthesizer going to be used in ?
What will I have to do to you, once I tell you?

It is not important, other than that I have done a few PLL synthesizers, but not yet a low phase-noise DDS-PLL hybrid design. So, it's something I like to attempt now.

Not having to worry about money and having free time to pursue whatever interest one has on the spur of the moment is part of happiness.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:03 PM   #74
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Well, once we moved out from a cave and have a toilet and running water, why do we need to upgrade from a 1,500-sq.ft. to a 5,000-sq.ft. home?
Why to install a custom home theater room and a game room with pinball machines and a pool table and a wet bar with slot machines and a poker table of course.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:08 PM   #75
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Not for me. TVs have not been turned on for so long, I forgot.

But I've got my son's vacated bedroom turned into a nice electronics work room, with an industrial lab bench installed, 2 o'scopes, 2 spectrum analyzers, 4 signal generators humming...

May be able to fit that in a smaller home, but 2,700-sq.ft. is enough.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:14 PM   #76
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After dealing with back problems for the past few months I can say that having the money to pay for the bills and insurance is buying me some happiness as I don't have to worry about the financial part of the equation.

The nurse at the doctors office yesterday looked at me kinda weird when I told her I was going to get the epidural injection irregardless of whether it was approved by the insurance company or not.

Unfortunately in the end when it comes to medical issues sometimes no amount of money can ultimately buy you happiness though 😢

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Old 06-22-2016, 02:24 PM   #77
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Yes, I can attest to that, as 3 years ago I went through some painful surgeries (and literally have scars to show for it).

But I reminded myself how more miserable I would be, if I had no insurance or money to pay for it. Or if I had to drag myself back to work during the treatments.

Money may not buy happiness, but it can reduce your pain.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:28 PM   #78
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Yes. But I maintain that it is still relative, because you see your neighbor driving his car out from his garage without having to scrape ice like you do. There are very few absolute things in life. We always measure our situation with that of surrounding people.
Actually, it's the other way around...I have a garage and my neighbor scrapes windows. But, yes, it's all relative. I had a modest income and have a modest pension...but consider myself to be happy because it's "enough" and I never felt that I was missing out.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:33 PM   #79
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What matters is to do what makes you happy. Buy the toys you want, travel as you will (or not), eat what you want and drink what you want. Live where you want.

More dough just gives you more options to do what you want. Or not.

There is no way that I can see that having more dough would not make me more happy. I just have more options and less worry.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:11 PM   #80
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In another thread, Mulligan summed up in one line the point of one of my favorite happiness books : There's always something to spend money on.

At some point, I think most of us have a saturation point for consumer goods and services and more is not going to make us any happier.
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