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Retired, now how do I spend the money?
Old 04-18-2015, 06:50 PM   #1
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Retired, now how do I spend the money?

Sort of a strange question but I'd love to hear from anyone else that has been in the same situation. I know it's a great problem to have and I apologize ahead of time for sounding like I'm throwing it in your face. It's not my intention.

I retired recently in my mid 50's with a defined government retirement plan that pays me 100% of my final salary for life, this includes a spousal continuous option when I die plus a COLA each year. As for medical, both my wife and I have 100% paid medical/dental for life.

Our financial picture is this, including my wife working until age 62 most likely. In cash savings and investments we have almost a million dollars put away and kids college costs have all been paid for by us. Our current house is almost paid off and we have no real plans to move, we live in a very sought after area.

Here's the problem, each month we easily save a couple of thousand dollars with no real purpose or need and when our house is paid off it'll be another $1,200 added to that each month. We pretty much have the means to buy what ever we want but tend to not waste our money. At the same time we we're not afraid to buy things we want or need including yearly travel.

I've thought about buying a vacation home but I've heard so many people say they were sorry they bought one simply because they feel like they have to use it all the time to justify the cost. Plus, if we bought a vacation home it would limit the money available for yearly trips which we love.

The bottom line is, I've done a great job in saving for retirement but now I'm afraid to spend the money. This has to be a common problem for people like myself who have spent so many years saving money but find it hard to part with. I realize I should have planned this better but I was hesitent to do anything until after my kids were out of college and that financial burden was over.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #2
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Philanthropy? Start an expensive hobby? Start smoking dope?
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:23 PM   #3
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Fund the early retirement of a complete internet stranger? :-)
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:37 PM   #4
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"Including my wife working until age 62 most likely" Why?
Sounds like you have the means that she could be enjoying retirement with you....
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:02 PM   #5
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Gambling!

Vegas trips, Louisiana, Atlantic City, Connecticut (Foxwoods..yes!)

You could easily have a lot of travel fun and blow through some big dough!

Just curious, what did you do for a living to get the 100% pension and 100% lifetime medical coverage?
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:09 PM   #6
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What aja88 said ^
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:57 PM   #7
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Plan a once a month trip to somewhere you've never been.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:58 PM   #8
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Open a donor-advised fund at Vanguard and designate a percentage to your favorite charities each year.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:03 PM   #9
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Is there something you'd like to do that you're not currently doing? Travel or another hobby? If not, then don't worry about it and just continue to enjoy life. You never know when you might develop new interests, or become involved in a cause that you want to support.

If the additional money can let you do things you enjoy, great. But feeling you "need" to spend it, may just add other stresses or complications to your life.
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:38 AM   #10
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I recommend reading "Happy Money" by Dunn and Norton. The book uses behavioral science to help understand how to use money to have a positive impact on your sense of well-being.


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Old 04-19-2015, 05:23 AM   #11
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I can relate. We are in a similar situation. DH already enjoys a pension. My pension will start in 3 years. Thus we both retired in 9/2013, at age 55 and 61. We have saved more than enough to cover the gap, having carefully planned for ER and saved enough to be sure that we can afford our lifestyle "and then some" on our ongoing income.
Coming from financially responsible families we never enjoyed spending frivolously.

Our current lifestyle is exactly how we like it.
We love travelling AND our home. We do not regret spending for both.
We look out for good stuff but higher price tags do not necessarily buy more happiness for us.
We support a couple of charities.
We are happy as it is.

We feel no urge to spend more but love the feeling that we could. For example I have seen a trip to Antarctica with all bells and whistles. It would cost A LOT. But it might be the gift for my 60th birthday.

Starfting retirement together has been the best decision ever and the money we spend to cover the gap till my pension kicks in is our best investment.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:27 AM   #12
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Give it away.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:27 AM   #13
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Do you have LTC insurance? You may need to spend today's excess during your later years for in-home care or assisted living.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky View Post
Open a donor-advised fund at Vanguard and designate a percentage to your favorite charities each year.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SCGamecock View Post
Do you have LTC insurance? You may need to spend today's excess during your later years for in-home care or assisted living.
This is where I'm at. DW and I both are covered by pensions that exceed our needs, plus we have enough investments to replace the income from the pensions if we lost them.

But if either one of us needs long term care, we want to be able to pay for it without bankrupting the other spouse. Whatever is left over is someone else's problem.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:51 AM   #16
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Hookers 'n blow. Think that will fill out your budget nicely.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:36 AM   #17
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We recently built a nice little oasis in our back yard and love it. Redid the old patio and expanded it out and added a gas fire pit and new landscaping including low voltage lighting. We're planning on spending a lot more time outside this year.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:46 AM   #18
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There are plenty of things to enjoy that cost money. There are plenty of worthwhile things you can do to help others. Someone nearby have a house fire? Local person have a medical need and lack insurance? Habitat for Humanity? College scholarships? Sponsor the local schools for a trip to a museum? Buy the school science department some equipment? Computers/internet for low income families? Sponsor a free public Shakespeare play?
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:12 AM   #19
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Maybe save the monthly extra $ in an investment account for your future grandkids? Will be a nice surprise gift for them when they grow up.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #20
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Do lots of world travel, eat in great restaurants and stay in top class hotels, you'll soon lighten the load. I'm in a similar position, aiming to get out this summer and have always been frugal, I'm wondering how I'm going to shift my savings, travelling is probably the answer. I don't need a Ferrari or a 6 bedroom house, better to spend it on experiences rather than material things.
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