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Old 12-10-2015, 09:13 AM   #61
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Well, certainly if you have adequate resources and enjoy travel, you should do so early in your retirement. I retired at 56, about nine years ago and travelled extensively right out of the gate, 3-4 big trips a year often paying for friends and family to accompany us. Still do a fair bit of travel but now mostly active, ie biking trips.

I have found that after a while you sort of settle into a certain retirement lifestyle and coast along for a while. If boredom is the worst thing that can happen in retirement (?) I think you need to be flexible and try new things from time to time. This is much more difficult for older people, ie me. For the last few years we have been mostly travelling to/from our own places but I can see this getting a little stale at some point. Maybe, it's time to shake things up a bit while we can? I constantly think and worry about having regrets when checking out. Hopefully not too soon.

As I said before couch potato may be a good investment strategy, but it's a terrible retirement strategy. Keeping a balance between running out of funds and leaving too much ( assuming there are things you would have liked to spend more on) is the biggest issue for me in retirement other than staying fit and healthy. Somehow we need to keep interested in doing new things as we age. A challenge for sure but being passive and just taking life as it comes has never been my style. I am constantly trying to formulate better plans, approaches,etc.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:45 AM   #62
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The only leisure activity I enjoy is travel. Earlier this year, I took the RV for a 2-month trek through the western states. We just did a 1-week in Maui to revisit after 26 years, and will be taking a cruise next week out of Florida. I cannot see doing more travel than this. If we had more money, we would upgrade our flight and accomodations, but I don't know if I can travel more. Oh wait. If I get to fly at least business class, perhaps I would not mind more air travel.

Anyway, if the market tanks, I can be happy just putzing around the home experimenting with making new dishes. And when I am bored with that, I can go up to my high-country place to putz around some more.

Unless one is hungry, cold, or sick, it is an individual's fault to be unhappy. People spend money because they can. They don't really have to. And counting money can bring happiness the same as spending it. In fact, spending money on stuff that you do not really care for can be counterproductive.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #63
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Mom was the saver in our family. Dad was the spender. But he would get an allowance from Mom. Their only big investments were a house, a car and a cottage, "first of"s for both their families. They lived a simple life and only travelled on company conventions.

When Mom died of cancer at age 57, he adopted an even simpler life, spending summers at the cottage, and taking public transit every day to experience the city for 3-4 hours. When he died at 95, he had about $200k in cash, having lived largely on his meagre pension.

Even though he had mastered a spreadsheet for vacation planning for his workers, banks and finance made him nervous.

I think the issue is that the vast majority of the population is like him. Not sophisticated at investing, used to living on what he has. While we might rail at the inefficiency of that, it is unlikely to change.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:35 AM   #64
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Unless one is hungry, cold, or sick, it is an individual's fault to be unhappy. People spend money because they can. They don't really have to. And counting money can bring happiness the same as spending it. In fact, spending money on stuff that you do not really care for can be counterproductive.
Agree. As I said, people often settle into a "groove" in retirement. Just make sure it isn't a "rut" We should look for new interesting things to do whether it costs money or not. Certainly having a little extra spending capacity opens up the possibilities though.

Also agree that hoarding money provides enjoyment for some people. I have to consciously resist this sometimes even though no one would ever call me frugal or cheap.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:40 AM   #65
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Yes, any of us could die 6 months into retirement, but we could likewise have died 6 months after birth or 6 months after marriage or 6 months after making our first hole in one - does anyone plan his or her life on the basis of this fact?
I've been reading this forum for over 10 years, and based on what I have read I would say that a fair number of people do plan their lives to be sure to use up every bit of buying power, or at least they write as if they do.

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Old 12-10-2015, 10:45 AM   #66
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I would think writing as if you plan to is easier than actually having the nerves to willfully plan for it. At least among our select bunch.

I'm certain many in society at large DO accomplish this via a lack of willfull planning.
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Running out of money vs. Too much money but couldn't enjoy it
Old 12-10-2015, 10:50 AM   #67
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Running out of money vs. Too much money but couldn't enjoy it

OK, I just HAVE to weigh in on this thread. As always, I have many opinions (who me, opinionated? yep). Some of these opinions may not be all that popular but here goes:

My views are that someone who has achieved bliss, contentment, nirvana, or whatever you wish to call it, in life, does not have a duty to toss it out the window and engage in hyperconsumerism when they are already content.

If someone is already content, it seems to me that very little enjoyment can be had from just spending more money on things/experiences for the sake of spending it. Sometimes not spending can provide more enjoyment than spending. Sometimes the greatest new experiences are free. Sometimes extra things are just an albatross.

I see zero reason for someone who is content to feel obligated to spend everything they've got, even though they do not find doing this is necessary for further contentment, so as to not have a penny left when they die.

My thinking is that it is not immoral to leave money to one's heirs, or to charity, and at the same time to ensure that one has enough money to live to over 100 years old without depending on someone else's tax dollars.

Now, on the other hand, if someone is truly NOT content, then that's a different matter.

* If you always longed to, say, go on a photographic safari in Africa, and can afford it, then do it while you're young.

* If you always wanted a Dream House and can afford one, then buy one and move (and hurry up with that too - - moving before you're 65, in my experience, was a whole lot less exhausting and stressful than moving after 65).

* If you want to travel by RV before you die, then by all means buy a nice one if you can afford to do so, and take off! Again, this is probably better done while you are young enough to see well and drive safely.

And so on. But if you would rather just stick with the status quo, there's nothing inherently wrong with that either. Just make sure that is really what you want, and that you are truly content.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:57 AM   #68
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w2r. Can't argue with you on this. If I may summarize: do what makes you happy if you can afford it and don't worry. Don't spend just for the sake of spending because that probably won't make you happy. Miss anything?
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:10 AM   #69
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w2r. Can't argue with you on this. If I may summarize: do what makes you happy if you can afford it and don't worry. Don't spend just for the sake of spending because that probably won't make you happy. Miss anything?
That about covers it. Nice and concise, too.

I don't see any reason to criticize anybody that dies with a lot of unspent money, as long as they lived a happy and contented life and weren't longing for anything.

Maybe I was talking more to my family and friends, than to the board. Throughout my life, my family has thought I was slightly cuckoo because I didn't want a lot of money and didn't spend much. My friends even said I was ascetic, at one point. But really, the above has been my point of view all along and isn't even contradictory to an ascetic lifestyle (although I don't think that ever was my inclination, and my present life is quite the opposite).
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #70
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If I live to an old age I plan to spend most of my assets not just to spend money needlessly but because this was the plan from the beginning and allowed for the earliest possible retirement date.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:19 PM   #71
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That about covers it. Nice and concise, too.

I don't see any reason to criticize anybody that dies with a lot of unspent money, as long as they lived a happy and contented life and weren't longing for anything.
.
Agree as long as they understood this could be the outcome and were happy with where the money eventually went. After all you could view the unspent money as a gift which could be viewed as spending in a sense. I fully expect and indeed plan on leaving a sizeable estate.

But if someone leaves a large estate to people they didn't know or like just because they were too lazy to face the issue, or simply liked hoarding money, not so much. I think people with money have some responsibility to ensure it is well spent, eventually. Either by themselves, charities, or heirs.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:54 PM   #72
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OK, I just HAVE to weigh in on this thread. As always, I have many opinions (who me, opinionated? yep). Some of these opinions may not be all that popular but here goes:

My views are that someone who has achieved bliss, contentment, nirvana, or whatever you wish to call it, in life, does not have a duty to toss it out the window and engage in hyperconsumerism when they are already content.

If someone is already content, it seems to me that very little enjoyment can be had from just spending more money on things/experiences for the sake of spending it. Sometimes not spending can provide more enjoyment than spending. Sometimes the greatest new experiences are free. Sometimes extra things are just an albatross.

I see zero reason for someone who is content to feel obligated to spend everything they've got, even though they do not find doing this is necessary for further contentment, so as to not have a penny left when they die.

My thinking is that it is not immoral to leave money to one's heirs, or to charity, and at the same time to ensure that one has enough money to live to over 100 years old without depending on someone else's tax dollars.

Now, on the other hand, if someone is truly NOT content, then that's a different matter.

* If you always longed to, say, go on a photographic safari in Africa, and can afford it, then do it while you're young.

* If you always wanted a Dream House and can afford one, then buy one and move (and hurry up with that too - - moving before you're 65, in my experience, was a whole lot less exhausting and stressful than moving after 65).

* If you want to travel by RV before you die, then by all means buy a nice one if you can afford to do so, and take off! Again, this is probably better done while you are young enough to see well and drive safely.

And so on. But if you would rather just stick with the status quo, there's nothing inherently wrong with that either. Just make sure that is really what you want, and that you are truly content.
Very well said. I totally agree.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #73
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Spending money takes a certain amount of effort. What if you're lazy...........?

LOL!
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:06 PM   #74
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Agree W2R. See no reason why our kids won't inherent a sizable estate and we're ok with that. It's not the goal, but even with having ramped up the lifestyle as much as we're comfortable, it's pretty inevitable. I'm not going to spend my time seeking things/experiences that aren't meaningful to us. Not denying ourselves the things that are either.

Let's face it, for those for whom a portfolio is the principal retirement resource there is likely a small percentage who go screeching into the grave, party drink in hand, having just spent the last of the money at a clip they had been sustaining for a reasonably long retirement. That may be the goal but I seriously doubt it happens much! Good luck if that's your goal!
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #75
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My brother is 59 years old. He has lived at home all his life, with my mother -- not to take care of her but because he does not want his own place, plus he is incapable of making decisions or commitments. He pays half the monthly expenses -- which comes to about $350 per month.

He can afford his own place -- he has $640K in investments and cash. He went on disability 6 months ago. He thinks the world and everyone is against him. He has issues -- mental and health. He admits he has issues but can't/won't do anything to improve his quality of life. In my eyes, he definitely fits into the 'existing but not living' category.

He says he has dreams of a better life but bemoans the fact that he has very little money coming in and thinks the world is against him. (Again, he has $640K available to him.)

He spends his days reorganizing his hoard of trash -- plastic bags, pencils, pens, empty storage containers, closets full of clothes that don't fit, etc. He documents everything. He labels everything. -- This is a guy who has a college degree.

There are clearly mental issues that drive his lifestyle.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:36 PM   #76
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Well, unless we can see the end of our life, and many posters want to live past 100, can we ever be sure that we will leave behind a lot of money? The market god may just take it all back in the next few years.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:59 PM   #77
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I just talked to a colleague at work as we saw each other at the parking lot. We've been friends for years but never talked about retirement. So, I opened up about the issue and asked him straight - I asked "when are you retiring Lar?" He says "I don't know. I don't have any retirement plans." I asked - "How old are you?". He says "I'm 68, and wife is 66. But we cannot retire." I said "Why not?" He says "I still have 2 mortgages, not much saved, and we'll work till we croak. I will work till I'm 75 or until I can. Let's just say - we spent our retirement to enjoy our money in our younger days." I said "Well, you can collect maximum SS at 70 and that's in 2 years". He says "That won't be enough with our 2 mortgage payments and we have horses." I'm still shaking my head in disbelieve, because he and his wife are probably pulling $200K a year or so.


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Old 12-10-2015, 09:38 PM   #78
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My parents will likely pass with millions, but it's a very conscious decision. They have everything they want and they like the "game" of building net worth.


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Same here with my dad and his wife... This question wouldn't resonate with him as he has no interest in spending his money. His last breath will not be "I should have spent more money". The thought just doesn't compute with him.


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Old 12-10-2015, 09:48 PM   #79
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I just talked to a colleague at work as we saw each other at the parking lot. We've been friends for years but never talked about retirement. So, I opened up about the issue and asked him straight - I asked "when are you retiring Lar?" He says "I don't know. I don't have any retirement plans." I asked - "How old are you?". He says "I'm 68, and wife is 66. But we cannot retire." I said "Why not?" He says "I still have 2 mortgages, not much saved, and we'll work till we croak. I will work till I'm 75 or until I can. Let's just say - we spent our retirement to enjoy our money in our younger days." I said "Well, you can collect maximum SS at 70 and that's in 2 years". He says "That won't be enough with our 2 mortgage payments and we have horses." I'm still shaking my head in disbelieve, because he and his wife are probably pulling $200K a year or so.
Well, I can certainly understand the "we have horses" part. My wife got into mini horses a couple of years ago (we retired 12 years ago) and let me tell you, we are certainly contributing to the equine economy. We had as many as 40 goats before we got our 5 horses - no comparison -
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:42 PM   #80
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We had as many as 40 goats before we got our 5 horses - no comparison -
I have never had any animals other than cats, but I know one can get milk from goats to make cheese, and I have never heard or read about horse milk.

So, goats definitely contribute to your financial well being, in contrast to horses.
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