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It is hard to change spending habits ....
Old 10-28-2007, 03:52 PM   #21
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It is hard to change spending habits ....

A couple of weeks back, I'd finally had enough. We know we can manage if I quit now but hanging on for another 28 months gives us far more than we can ever spend I think as I would get a pension immediately plus health insurance. If I quit now it would be over 9 years for a pension and no health insurance.

So I called my HR manager from where I am paid out of in Louisiana to verify my pension details and told him what I planned to do. He was very understanding and said, if it was corporate IT that I was sick of, then they were looking for a EE project engineer with experience that just about suited my own, plus I was very well known and respected at the site. I said I was interested so he checked with the VP in charge ( a very good friend of ours)and came back to me within 2 hours and offered me the job - same salary, slight reduction in bonus.

DW and I talked it over and decided it was well worth doing for the benefits it would give in terms of money and long term affluence. But then in planning the move and the next 2 years it took a while to get out of our penny pinching habits and decide to not scimp on expenses in this 2 year assignment, but it was hard to change the mindset.

So, we are retaining our 3 bed apartment here in Texas, our son is going to move in and pay us rent at the same rate he is is paying now for his 1 bedroom place. We'll rent a 2 bedroom place in Baton Rouge, and "so what" if living expenses are much higher for 2 years. We will retain our links to the place we have come to call home, we'll have plenty of trips back (5 hr drive) as every 3rd week I have Friday off, and the pay-off is huge in long term security.

However, I still feel guilty about the prospect of upping the spending and also not having the courage to jump ship and RE right now. However, I am really looking forward to going back to my roots career-wise and also back into a place where we have lots of friends both inside and outside of work. ( The new job starts Jan 1 )
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:43 PM   #22
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Does anyone else have this problem?
Has anyone been able to change from the cheapo mindset and loosened the purse strings, at least a little ? How did you do it? Do you have any regrets?
I think it takes several years to really get used to what your portfolio will support and just to get used to the general idea of living off your investments.

We've been retired 8 years, and I think it's really only in the last 2 that I relaxed considerably about expenses. The first 2 or 3 years we were pretty cautious although we had set aside a large travel budget for the first few years and indulged in that.

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Old 10-28-2007, 05:59 PM   #23
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We've had this discussion a few other times on this forum. There's no easy solution.

I've sometimes thought that I should take the amount that firecalc says we should spend in a given year and put it in a separate account. We will then force ourselves to spend all of the money in that account by the end of the year.

It reminds me of my first time jumping off the high diving board as a kid. I remember thinking "I know it seems like I'm going to kill myself, but I've already decided that it's safe and worth doing, so I'm just going to do it." And I jumped.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:41 PM   #24
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It reminds me of my first time jumping off the high diving board as a kid. I remember thinking "I know it seems like I'm going to kill myself, but I've already decided that it's safe and worth doing, so I'm just going to do it." And I jumped.
You thought that too?? I thought I was the only one. All the other kids seemed so unconcerned.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:57 PM   #25
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thanks everyone. I thought some might have a similar feeling. We have bought a few electronics recently, as DH is a gadget junkie. I took a nice trip with a friend and we are taking one soon together. I am not actually worried, as I tracked the last few years and we are spending well under a 4% SWR. I guess what we need is some time to get used to it a little more, especially with Dh still working.

and even though DH is still at work with me home now he walks into a neat house, lawn mowed, clean undies in the drawers and good food on the table. It used to be much more of a shared proposition, so now he has time to pursue his interests much more as well. He promises to go back to sharing when he pulls the plug.

Now all we can do is hope they have an early out - he will be the first in line.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:07 PM   #26
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thanks everyone. I thought some might have a similar feeling. We have bought a few electronics recently, as DH is a gadget junkie. I took a nice trip with a friend and we are taking one soon together. I am not actually worried, as I tracked the last few years and we are spending well under a 4% SWR. I guess what we need is some time to get used to it a little more, especially with Dh still working.

and even though DH is still at work with me home now he walks into a neat house, lawn mowed, clean undies in the drawers and good food on the table. It used to be much more of a shared proposition, so now he has time to pursue his interests much more as well. He promises to go back to sharing when he pulls the plug.

Now all we can do is hope they have an early out - he will be the first in line.
I think I know exactly how your DH feels. We used to share all the household chores until DW RE'd 3 years ago and it feels wonderful to come home ad never have to worry aboutcooking, cleaning etc. We have a whiteboard style marker on the fridge and when I want soething write it don and th shopping fairy gets it for me. It has made my working life a lot easier to tolerate until I RE in just over 2 years.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:15 PM   #27
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It's a real problem for a lifelong tightwad like me.
My forcasted budget was based on living in the USA, but last year when I went to SEA for 9 months I lowered that budget by at least 50%. My problem is that I actually spend less than 1/2 of that while in SEA. I am returning again to SEA in November and my challenge will be to spend 50% of my original US budget.

Life can be quite difficult for a tightwad.

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:30 AM   #28
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I am not retired yet, but my parents and my aunt/uncle are - and they all retired in their mid-50s. We are a family of savers, so I understand where you are coming from.

For about 10 years, they continued to spend way below what they probably could have. They would all travel around out west on vacation, but they were doing that before and it was in their budget.

In the last 5 years or so, Mom and Dad are getting better about spending (new golf clubs, flat screen TV, new piano), and my aunt has decided she better spend some before she goes - she just remodeled her kitchen, went to Italy, and is going to Alaska (with me) next summer.

I think, now that they have hit their late 60s, they realize that they are not going to run out of money even if they live to 100.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:54 AM   #29
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Does anyone else have this problem?

Has anyone been able to change from the cheapo mindset and loosened the purse strings, at least a little ? How did you do it? Do you have any regrets?
Lost everything in Katrina - moved 1000 miles inland(to the top of a hill), new car, new house with mortgage - basically all new 'stuff'. Three deaths(we'll skip that part).

Don't do it 'that way.'

But - however it does get one 'in touch with your feelings' - party now the clock is ticking(party being whatever floats your boat- travel, phys ed, doughnuts, kayaks, hooker who takes credit cards in Nevada, - don't procastinate on something you feel you must do.

Don't feel bad about taking the balcony suite on a cruise and then touring the Salvation Army sidewalk sale with your bib overalls and 251,000 pickup with rusty fender - while the new SUV sits in the driveway awaiting the next 17 hr drive to New Orleans.

The late Joseph Cambell's - Follow your Bliss:

Becomes unclemick's warm and smarmy - be your own kind of cheap bastard with outbreaks of wildy frivolous.

Still practicing after 13 years.

heh heh heh -
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:06 PM   #30
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I FIREd end of June this year. About 30% of our expenses have gone out to 'travel' expenses so far. Airfares, hotels, condo rentals, tours, car rentals, visas, ...etc. are the bulk of the 30% (some for upcoming trips). I think that this may level off after a few years, but this was my treat to myself and DW for enduring 30 years of MegaCorp deprivations. I have 'invested' in some 'feel goods', like a large mp3 player (my excuse is that we need it for our travels and to 'archive' our music collection ). Also invested in more memory for my digital camera (yeah, another rationalization).
DW still maintains her LBYM habits as I do. In short, as others have suggested, we skimp on day to day stuff and spend on things we view as having value.
Summary: we are NOT having a hard time spending more on stuff we WANT.
We do monitor what we spend (I used the ss that someone had posted here on the forum) and that helps us know if we are digging too deep a hole. For us, knowledge of what we are doing to ourselves and 'where we are' helps us keep everything in perspective (and allows restful sleep at night). So far so good
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:07 PM   #31
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The late Joseph Cambell's - Follow your Bliss:

Becomes unclemick's warm and smarmy - be your own kind of cheap bastard with outbreaks of wildy frivolous.

Still practicing after 13 years.

heh heh heh -
Yes, this does describe us. We didn't wait for retirement to do stuff along the way, we have traveled more than anyone we know, but drive very old cars and wear clothes out for instance. When I see those articles about how to save x amount of dollars, I look down the list and see nothing we do (you know, the not have a latte out, wash your own car, don't pay interest on credit cards etc). We do have more than enough and even since I have left work this spring we have done very well, with our investments making way more so far this year than we could ever spend. that is bound to not keep up, especially once DH leaves work of course, but with our balanced investments we should do OK even in down years. I guess we just need some time.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:13 PM   #32
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Does anyone else have this problem?

The weird thing is that we really have a hard time spending money. Our circumstances with DH working beyond the FI point and our investments doing well is we could have some good splurges, but for some reason we just cannot do so besides some great vacations. We do focus on healthy foods and lifestyle, and don't scrimp in the grocery store or in the gym.

I don't think you have a problem. If you are happy at your current spending level and taking some great vacations, what's the problem?

Don't worry, be happy!
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:57 PM   #33
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I'm sure you've heard that nobody,while on their deathbed, wishes they had spent more time working . In a similar manner, if you can be on that bed and not have any regrets about not spending more, then I wouldn't worrry about it but if you would have any regrets, then you might consider loosening up a little. Since the kids are independent, I'm sure they'll wish that their parents had spent a little more on themselves. I know I did.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:28 PM   #34
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My grandparents and parents stopped spending when they stopped working, houses were paid off, pensions, SS. They built huge estates even with just CDs. It made me very sad that they were obsessed with saving money/not spending. I would have to talk my grandmother into buying a new lampshade for example.

I really hope I am not the same. I feel sometimes like I am slipping into the same mode. I am 5 years away from FIRE and feel like cancelling vacations! My hub is the same. I think it's going to be tough for us.

I do not want to miss the opportunity to have fun now that we have worked so hard for so many years.
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