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Old 05-05-2011, 12:57 PM   #21
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It's harder to lose 10lbs than it is to never gain it in the first place.

The advice to increase spending now under the assumption that it will magically, and easily, fall away in the future doesn't seem that sound to me.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #22
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I've ALWAYS saved my dessert for last, both literally and figuratively. Although I agree with Burns' premise, old habits die hard. Thus, I don't know whether I'd feel comfortable "having my dessert first." It's worth thinking about, however.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:59 PM   #23
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I liked the article because it was refreshing to read something that wasn't trying to instill fear. So many things I read, including on this forum, remind me of the occasional "prophet" I've seen standing on a busy city corner yelling about the impending end of the world.

It gets tiresome to only hear that, and it was nice to read another point of view. Kind of a breath of fresh air. Won't change a thing my DH and I are currently doing, but I liked the concepts discussed in the article, and I appreciate that it was shared here.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #24
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The advice to increase spending now under the assumption that it will magically, and easily, fall away in the future doesn't seem that sound to me.
It's a self-fulfilling prophesy... if we spend it now then it most surely won't be available for spending in the future.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #25
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It's a self-fulfilling prophesy... if we spend it now then it most surely won't be available for spending in the future.
I guess it's true, then, that you can't have your dessert and eat it too.
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:16 AM   #26
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The advice to increase spending now under the assumption that it will magically, and easily, fall away in the future doesn't seem that sound to me.
+1

I don't want to be forced to downgrade my wife's my lifestyle because I've spent too much up front. My elective spending probably will decline at some point - I just can't predict when.

Likewise, I don't want to worry about getting to an age where I need assistance, extra medical care etc and finding that I can't afford it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:23 AM   #27
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if I save my dessert for last, I may only be able to eat jelly and there's no fun in that. Everything in moderation and finding the right balance - hard to do but doable. The bucket systems currently works ok for me.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:56 AM   #28
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Great article. Health and age definitely have to be factored into your decision making.

I'm reminded of the story of my elderly neighbor who always dreamed of owning a top of the line volvo. But she was also very frugal so she was only going to pay cash for it. So she saved and saved. It took her 6 years from when I met her to when she was able to purchase the car. But soon after that her health began failing so she was only able to drive the car for a few years. Then she passed away.

She should have had her dessert first.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:49 AM   #29
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Great article. Health and age definitely have to be factored into your decision making.

I'm reminded of the story of my elderly neighbor who always dreamed of owning a top of the line volvo. But she was also very frugal so she was only going to pay cash for it. So she saved and saved. It took her 6 years from when I met her to when she was able to purchase the car. But soon after that her health began failing so she was only able to drive the car for a few years. Then she passed away.

She should have had her dessert first.
I liked the article because it took a broad view of the issue and showed a responsible way of reducing long term spending by a small amount to allow for a relatively large increase for the near future. The article did not advocate throwing caution to the wind or sacrificing your future for the present.

Imho, it is always good to know all the options before coming to a decision.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:38 AM   #30
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Funny how the board is pretty split on this. The first four posts of the thread like it, call it a gem, etc.

Some posts say it's okay, take in moderation. Others say it's terrible, author is out of his mind, etc.

Quite the range of opinions on it.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:42 AM   #31
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Great article. Health and age definitely have to be factored into your decision making.

I'm reminded of the story of my elderly neighbor who always dreamed of owning a top of the line volvo. But she was also very frugal so she was only going to pay cash for it. So she saved and saved. It took her 6 years from when I met her to when she was able to purchase the car. But soon after that her health began failing so she was only able to drive the car for a few years. Then she passed away.

She should have had her dessert first.
One of my uncles died suddenly of a massive heart attack in his mid-forties. He lived large and loved to throw money around. Everyone thought he was loaded. It turned out his estate owned nothing but debts. He sure lived right, in retrospect. Had he lived to 100 everything would have looked different. So I'm not sure how much these stories apply to those of us who don't know when, were, or under what circumstances the end will arrive.

If I thought I was suffering under my current budget, and really felt the need to increase my spending to get the most out of life, I never would have quit my job. The answer, for me anyway, isn't to try to finagle spending as high as possible with fancy withdrawal strategies or assumptions that may not be realistic but to make sure I have enough to meet my needs, and my wants, at the get go.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #32
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Quite the range of opinions on it.
Normal.

Everybody (including DW/me) will look at it vs. their own "life". It's a subject with a lot of opinions, and every one of those opinions are valid based on your personal situation, IMHO...
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #33
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All but a very small part of what is written or said about retirement investing and retirement funding is really non-testable opinion and actually worthless.

Pundits who advocate oversaving are the least dangerous. The worst they can do is cause you to have more money than you turn out to need.

Occasionally something turns up, like "did you know about this or that discount available to people in your situation".

But 99% of everything else in the money sphere is just bs-including "it works for me", "I feel comfortable with that" etc.

As if one's comfort had anything at all to do with how things turn out. Remember how comfortable we all felt with assuming 15%/year minimum equity returns in the late lamented '90s?

Also, those of us who have had auto crashes generally felt quite comfortable until micro-moments before we got clobbered.

I would say that it might be especially important to be prudent when the societal rules are being challenged in far reaching ways, and when it looks like the only solvent governments may be very young industrial economies that do things quite differently from the US and Europe.

Then there is the explosion in commodity prices- at least one person with a long history of being right, Jeremy Grantham, thinks that commodities will fluctuate as always, but toward higher and higher levels overall.

Ha
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:58 AM   #34
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So we save and save... Just in case we live to be 90 or 100.

and we only spend 4% (or less and for some of us a lot less) of our nestegg each year just in case the economy stops working.

yet the probability of us living to what age we plan to isn't so high. The probability of us depleting our nestegg is really low.

Clearly, from an outsiders point of view, what we are doing is not so optimal. Maybe we should have taken that trip to Panama or have bought that house by the lake.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #35
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Funny how the board is pretty split on this. The first four posts of the thread like it, call it a gem, etc.

Some posts say it's okay, take in moderation. Others say it's terrible, author is out of his mind, etc.

Quite the range of opinions on it.

I think this comes from different peoples experiences and how they veiw things....

My mom and dad started to travel after most all the kids were out of the house... good thing because my dad died when he was 63...

My mom traveled a LOT for a few years, going to over 50 countries etc... but as he got older her travels became less and less... now at 91 she only drives within 3 miles of her home... if it is farther it is one of her kids who drives (mostly me and one of my sisters who lives close to us).... her spending has gone WAY down from where it was 20 years ago...


If she had not done all that traveling when she could.... she would have more money today, but would have missed out as she can not travel... she really enjoys looking at the books she put together of her trips... a book made for every big trip...


So just in my immediate family I have seen both sides... and both sides tend to show me that it is better to, as the article says, eat some dessert now while you can or else there might not be any dessert at all...

All of this as others have said in moderation....
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #36
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...the probability of us living to what age we plan to isn't so high. The probability of us depleting our nestegg is really low....
This is what I take away from the article when applied to DH and myself, and I don't think an article reminding people about that is a bad idea, especially since the author is presenting the flip side of a previous article's thesis.

And by eating dessert early in our case we're talking about an oatmeal raisin cookie, not a Godiva cheesecake. (Of course our Taubes followers are never going to eat dessert anyway!)

And never forget, stressed spelled backwards is.....
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #37
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Clearly, from an outsiders point of view, what we are doing is not so optimal.
No doubt about that. But this is not a problem that lends itself to optimization.


You choose which set of rocks you really want to avoid, and steer closer to the others.

The reason that this generates such great careers in pundit/blogosphere is that the topic is important and somewhat anxiety arousing, but there really is no answer. Thus whatever you say or advocate, it is difficult to be proven dead wrong. If you can allay the readers anxiety, and give him or her some seemingly intelligent things to say to their spouses you will always have an audience.

Ha
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:56 AM   #38
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It actually makes a lot of sense. Instead of worrying about if you will have enough money to get a good room next to the oxygen cylinder storage and buffet line on that cruise when you are 90, perhaps enjoying a bit more in your 60s and 70s might be in order.

Besides, with the increasing rate of Alzheimer's in the very elderly, you won't even remember you don't like cat food each time you sit down for din din.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #39
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Thus whatever you say or advocate, it is difficult to be proven dead wrong.
Except in the case of having far too little money. Too much? Who's going to say that Warren Buffet should have lived his life differently? Someone scraping by at the end of their days, relying on public assistance and charity, when that end was completely avoidable is a whole other story.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:26 PM   #40
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I'm eating a modest but tasty desert first. The way I see it is that I like desert more than salad and, if I am not going to have room left over, I would rather skip the salad.
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