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Old 10-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #21
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Yes, spend it.

The whole point of a retirement spending plan is to avoid both extremes. Some people spend so fast that they are sure to run out of money. Others are so conservative they never get to enjoy the things they saved for.

Hence we come up with all these strategies (4% SWR, percentage withdrawals, deferring SS, annuities, bucket/want matching, etc.) to give ourselves permission to spend without worrying that we'll outlive our money. Pick a strategy that makes you comfortable spending, then go for it.
At the risk of being labeled a heretic, I always thought that the idea was to live below my means before retirement so that I could live AT my means once I had the freedom to do the things that are most meaningful to me.

IF you have the means to cover your expenses and a reasonable cushion to cover the unexpected, why wouldn't you want to take that trip, buy that item that you've always wanted or perhaps even needed but delayed buying, eat that special meal, help out someone in need or do whatever it is that would give you the most joy? There will come a time, believe it or not, when you won't have the energy to do some of these things...or have the health to enjoy them. But assuming you have the financial means available, what are you waiting for?

IMHO, there is nothing as sad as a life that ends with regret..."woulda, coulda, shoulda" is a woeful way to live one's life. If I wanted to delay living my life to the fullest...I would have continued working.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:37 PM   #22
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After a long and thrilling career as a cheap SOB (her words) - post Katrina trying to switch to the you can't take it with you mode - I found it terrifying, scary and thoroughly uncomfortible - almost to the point of seeing a shrink and taking anti-depression meds. But since that cost's money I avoided that.

Even with some pssst Wellesley type Norwegian widow stocks and balanced index funds we were fortunate to have a few minor dips this last decade to make me all warm and fuzzy and point - ah ha see we got to be frugal(that's high class for for cheap).

Unfortunately balanced index/time in the market/I'm not getting any younger - means spend more(no heirs).

I passed up my favorite Salvation Army Store - bought a winter coat(1/2 price) at Sears and a Stetson hat at Dilliards and new tires at 60k miles for my Equinox. Actually gave my 250k GMC- with rusty fender to someone who needed a vehicle.

heh heh heh - Trying to force myself to enjoy spending more - but it's hard. .
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:52 PM   #23
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We wonder if we should spend every nickel before we die and just leave the kids with the life insurance?
Here are examples of the things that we want but always "afraid" to buy...
If you want to spend but leaving something for the kids sounds nice too, you can have it both ways........

I have three grandkids, one with special needs. I told my son I'd pay for college for all three and additionally set up a significant trust fund for the one with special needs (if he doesn't go to college, the $$$ can just be added to his trust fund). There, that money is spent. What's left we plan to be as daring about spending as our conservative dispositions will allow us. Having those family commitments funded makes us feel like we've done our thing for the next generation and we can set our sights on enjoying the rest.

Of course, if we're killed by a grizzly on our next canoe camping trip, DS stands to get much more than we committed. And so be it........
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:27 PM   #24
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Independent The whole point of a retirement spending plan is to avoid both extremes. Some people spend so fast that they are sure to run out of money. Others are so conservative they never get to enjoy the things they saved for.

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Originally Posted by Achiever51 View Post
At the risk of being labeled a heretic, I always thought that the idea was to live below my means before retirement so that I could live AT my means once I had the freedom to do the things that are most meaningful to me.
I think my wording was too broad. I should have said, "The whole point of distribution spending plans like 4% SWR, .... " I agree with you regarding the accumulation phase.

I was talking about how to live AT your means after retiring.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:02 PM   #25
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Be prudent and make sure you reserve enough money to support a decent lifestyle as long as you think you will live... spend the excess. You earned it, therefore you deserve to enjoy it.

Personally I would not take the money and just blow it... but I would not deprive myself either.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #26
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heh heh heh - Trying to force myself to enjoy spending more - but it's hard. .
... uh need help? ... just trying to be neighborly
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:48 PM   #27
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Spending is American all time favorite activities. I enjoy it as much as the next guy but trying to be discipline and LBYM for so long and now, seeing someone seriously ill with so much money left to spend but can't, make me want to pull the trigger and buying everything insight..... hum, easy said then done.

I tossed, I rolled, I turned, I flipped... still I can't do it. Oh sure I love the "spanking" and the new stuffs but ... I feel that it's an obligation to leave as much as possible for my children so they don't have to work as hard as we do. I have seen children with "well to do" parents, they tend to enjoy more of a good thing in life and have less stress than children come from poor families.

Thanks for everyone suggestion. I guess here is how I want to do it.. Accumulate as much as possible. So first, I can buy freedom then continue to LBYM but with more extravagant buying and still left everything to them someday, hopefully I don't outlive my money.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #28
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I tossed, I rolled, I turned, I flipped... still I can't do it. Oh sure I love the "spanking" and the new stuffs but ... I feel that it's an obligation to leave as much as possible for my children so they don't have to work as hard as we do. I have seen children with "well to do" parents, they tend to enjoy more of a good thing in life and have less stress than children come from poor families.

Many of them have DIFFERENT stress. They confuse want with need, judge themselves by ownership of 'toys', and judge others in the same way.

Love them well, educate them well, and try and raise true adults.

If their reaction upon your death is 'well, we can get a new car!', something is wrong

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Old 10-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #29
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While my preference is not to die, I'll be perfectly happy if I die "filthy rich." I won't be disappointed if my lifetime savings go to charity.

I don't need to spend a lot of money to be happy, and I don't see my frugal ways changing very much after I ER. My initial SWR will probably be under 1%. With my pension, I may never touch my investments. In fact, I may remain in the accumulation stage for the rest of my life. Of course, time will tell. Yes, I want to do things that I haven't done while being employed. But this is not a money issue. It's a time issue. I look at money as a source of freedom and security. I don't know what the future will bring, so I can sleep well at night knowing that the money is there. Spending isn't prohibited, but it's not required.

But that's me. To each his/her own.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:55 AM   #30
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To do this you have to set a DOD (date of death). I chose a date that is 10% longer than anyone in my family. If I'm still around at that date I would sell my real estate and rent. That should get me another 5 to 10 yrs down the road. If at this point I'm still around I really don't care as I'll probably be drooling on myself staring out a window somewhere. Sorry kids, I spent it.
Choosing a date 10% longer than any family member works for me - my grandmother died at 98
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:54 AM   #31
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i too am in the camp of planning to spend it all (if I live long enough) - what this doesn't include will be my last home and possessions which would still be enough to satisfy my beneficiaries... now if I live longer than I expect a reverse mortgage may even take this away...
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:06 AM   #32
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I don't have kids so can't really comment on the idea of leaving an inheritance for your family, but: I really hope that my own parents are not pinching pennies so that they can leave me something...
Ditto, no kids.
I try to strike a balance between saving and splurging - delayed gratification and all that jazz.
FWIW, my Mom had this same attitude about sacrifice so she could leave something for us kids. She did not have a lot at all. No pension, only SS and some CDs.
I used to hound her to spend it on herself. I sent her "mad money" so she could have fun. That she did use!
She eventually listened to me a little and used a bit of her own...however I did inherit my stubbornness from somewhere.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:02 AM   #33
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... I feel that it's an obligation to leave as much as possible for my children so they don't have to work as hard as we do. I have seen children with "well to do" parents, they tend to enjoy more of a good thing in life and have less stress than children come from poor families.
An interesting read is The Millionaire Next Door. Although published in 1996, it points out that most of the country's millionaires are first-generation and came from poor or working poor backgrounds. Many of the people interviewed expressed the same sentiment that Enuff2Eat has.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:30 AM   #34
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My DW/me are "financially blessed" to do what we want, and live in the manner we wish, in retirement.

Can we spend more? Sure. Do we need to spend more? No. We travel (both foreign and US) several times each year. We built our "terminal home" to our specifications and even though it's not a castle, it's certainly large enough for the two of us (with our two dogs - we do rescue work). We don't deny ourselves anything by a comment "we can't afford it" (however, we don't spend $$$ just for the heck of it.)

I never looked at retirement/end-of-life assets as a "zero sum game".

We will have more than enough to carry us till our end of life. Our liquidated estate at that time will go to our named charities, to allow them to continue their work and share in our good fortune.

We have no regrets on leaving anything behind; in fact our saying has always been "we've rather die with money, than live without it"....
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:42 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
Spending is American all time favorite activities. I enjoy it as much as the next guy but trying to be discipline and LBYM for so long and now, seeing someone seriously ill with so much money left to spend but can't, make me want to pull the trigger and buying everything insight..... hum, easy said then done.

I tossed, I rolled, I turned, I flipped... still I can't do it. Oh sure I love the "spanking" and the new stuffs but ... I feel that it's an obligation to leave as much as possible for my children so they don't have to work as hard as we do. I have seen children with "well to do" parents, they tend to enjoy more of a good thing in life and have less stress than children come from poor families.

Thanks for everyone suggestion. I guess here is how I want to do it.. Accumulate as much as possible. So first, I can buy freedom then continue to LBYM but with more extravagant buying and still left everything to them someday, hopefully I don't outlive my money.
It's helpful to listen to other POV's, but as you know the "right answer" is different for each and every one of us. I think about that balance between "now" and the "future" all the time, and probably always will. But my answer is uniquely my own, like everyone else.

And no one can plan to die broke, leave exactly X inheritance - you develop a viable plan, adjust along the way and get as close as you can. Some people will die before they planned, some after. Some will have better returns than they expected, so lesser. Some will have expenses greater than they planned, some less. Inflation will be more than some plan, less for others. Social Security will deliver as currently planned for your lifetime, or may not. And so on...
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:10 AM   #36
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It's only free if you can talk DW into it.

I can't begin to imagine what it would cost if DW caught you and whomever you paid.
I thought you could do it all by yourself....
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:31 PM   #37
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After a long and thrilling career as a cheap SOB (her words) - post Katrina trying to switch to the you can't take it with you mode - I found it terrifying, scary and thoroughly uncomfortible - almost to the point of seeing a shrink and taking anti-depression meds. But since that cost's money I avoided that.

Even with some pssst Wellesley type Norwegian widow stocks and balanced index funds we were fortunate to have a few minor dips this last decade to make me all warm and fuzzy and point - ah ha see we got to be frugal(that's high class for for cheap).

Unfortunately balanced index/time in the market/I'm not getting any younger - means spend more(no heirs).

I passed up my favorite Salvation Army Store - bought a winter coat(1/2 price) at Sears and a Stetson hat at Dilliards and new tires at 60k miles for my Equinox. Actually gave my 250k GMC- with rusty fender to someone who needed a vehicle.

heh heh heh - Trying to force myself to enjoy spending more - but it's hard. .
My situation is similar.
No heirs, hate shopping.
Have increased amount given away.

Come November, I will buy some new clothes; stuff is starting to get rather shabby.

And next year I will start accessing my retirement accounts.
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:43 PM   #38
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Khan, I went to Academy earlier this afternoon to buy some more of the polo shirts that I often wear. They usually cost $10-$20. I picked out six of the same brand that I always buy, and it turned out they were on sale for $2.44 - - all six, with tax, totalled $15!!!

I am pleased but I guess my attempts at a spending spree will have to wait until another day.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #39
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W2R, you just 'saved' $75 to add to your next spending spree!

(Isn't mental accounting fun )

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Old 10-16-2009, 06:26 PM   #40
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This is a fascinating subject. I think I've learned a few things about myself - not a bad trick for someone of my age. I find myself most in tune with Uncle Mick, I think. For the first time, I had to actually take money from my 401(k) this year (for other than Roth conversion) and it almost put me into A-Fib (I can sympathize with RonBoyd). Fortunately I only had a few palpitations!

It's funny, too, because I wasn't always so frugal. I don't know if I just "saw the light" about LBYM or if it's in the genes (both parents were adults during GD) and those genes are just now being expressed. In any case, I seem to need belt/suspenders/backups-to-backups, etc. At what point do I "realize" that none of us gets out of here alive?

Don't get me wrong. I think we live very well. We don't actually lack anything, but we could have most of the "spanking" new things we want but settle for used or refurbished or at least discounted - e.g., I've never intentionally flown 1st class. Nor are we going to leave it all to the kids. We've always been of the school of thought "Give the kids the boost they need at the time - education, maybe house down payment, etc. - then leave the rest to the charities we've supported all our lives."

So maybe the point is that each of us has to do what is comfortable and not worry too much about how we could do it differently. I'm most blessed in having a spouse who is at nearly the same page as I when it comes to spending/accumulation of things/kids/charity/etc. I strongly suspect that Uncle Mick's SO uses "cheap SOB" as a term of endearment rather than a criticism. If he doubts that, he should try altering his spending habits (maybe for just a month, heh, heh) and see if she starts to call him "profligate SOB"! YMMV

Thanks to all for your usual helpful insights.
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