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Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-06-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

There is an interesting article in The Economist about "work and Play, The Land of Leisure" The story is about how maybe Americans are not as overworked as they claim. Near the end of the article (http://tinyurl.com/bf4ub) they refer to research by Daniel Hamermesh of the Univ of Texas that indicates that the cause of too little leisure is......too much money!
People who have a high income ( I assume this is above subsistance level) are not willing to trade the income for leisure time. Sort of rings true,sounds like our JG, Uncle Mick and a few others.
Usually I think that* the goal is to amass enough assets to get free time, never thought the opposite is happening.
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Re: Too Much Money+ Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-06-2006, 09:11 PM   #2
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Re: Too Much Money+ Too Little Leisure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
...Usually I think that the goal is to amass enough assets to get free time, never thought the opposite is happening.
Usually I think more and more the goal is to zero-out income with expenses, so that we "live up" to our means. This sets the wheel of fortunes spinning, since we can never achieve equilibrium...we must continue to "raise" our living standards, keep up with the Joneses, and perpetuate the affluenzic virus. Enough is, simply, never enough. I am acutely aware of this, having spent enough time in impoverished nations, and seen how the rest of the world does quite well, thank you, on so little. I suspect the Chinese, for example, will enjoy their higher standard of living only to a point, and then become more and more dissatisfied with their lives as they become entangled in the web of consumerism...
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-06-2006, 10:44 PM   #3
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

I have to disagree with this article. I think it's just expensive to live in the US.

We are saving 42% of our gross income for retirement savings. We have a pretty good household income (we're DINKs with a combined $150k per year income) with no debt.

We spend two hours commuting a day. It seems like I dial in every weekend to work and I am on call every other week. This weekend I will spend at least 12 hours on Saturday at the office. I do get comp. time for some of this, but it still robs me of my free time (I don't get comp time for driving into work when I need to be there and I don't get comp. for being on call unless I get paged, which limits my activities).

I really don't know how lower income people survive when they can no longer work. How do they save for retirement ? How do people with no pensions, no health insurance during retirement and low paying jobs retire ?

I'm hoping that I retire and realize that I saved too much for retirement because I will have more money to spend then I know what to do with. I don't think that will be the reality. I'm guessing that most Americans will just be scraping by and having to chose between staying warm and eating.

You must admit that the people who post here do not represent the general population. We are a very different breed here. Most of us make or did make high incomes and we all (except for Mr. Galt) planned long and hard for retirement.

If early retirement is anything before 65, then it seems like it takes a lot of effort to shave a mere 9 years off. Or, maybe we just didn't start saving early enough.

Without our pensions and health benefits, we would have to work until we are 65. I think in the coming years the public servants will become the elitist class (we both work in government jobs). That sounds like the making of a revolution.

-helen
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 05:51 AM   #4
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

I think it is a matter of what life you are willing to live with. In this website, I saw someone mention a book "Your Money or Your Life". Got it about amonth ago and have started following steps. Certainly changed my perspective on how much I make/spend.
The key is what are you comfortable to live with, keeping up with someone or following your own path.
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

Quote:
I really don't know how lower income people survive when they can no longer work. How do they save for retirement ? How do people with no pensions, no health insurance during retirement and low paying jobs retire ?
I know a couple who is in this kind of situation. They hardly have any savings. However, they are content with their standards of living. They are hoping that they can live on social security payments and medicare when they turn 66. They do have two sons who are doing well financially (a civil engineer and a pharmacist). Maybe they can depend on them for support as well.
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 07:43 AM   #6
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

Good post Helen. I know a lot of people who make around $20,000 a year. There social security will be about half that when they retire at full retirement age. Some manage to save a little, even on that kind of income. Even so, they will struggle to get along.
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

OK Here's a question for the forum:

How much is enough ?

Lets say your expenses including medical and some fun money are X.

Using the 4 percent safe withdrawal rate of 4 % of your stash you could retire when you have 25X. But maybe you want a cushion so you won't retire until you have 30X, 35X,... 100X.

What factor of your expenses would you feel comfortable retiring at ?

How much is enough ?

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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Lets say your expenses including medical and some fun money are X.
Using the 4 percent safe withdrawal rate of 4 % of your stash you could retire when you have 25X. But maybe you want a cushion so you won't retire until you have 30X, 35X,... 100X.
What factor of your expenses would you feel comfortable retiring at ?
When portfolio reaches 30X target expenses we would both retirie.
But we have very flexible expenses, meaning we are aiming for 4% SWR but can lower it to less than 2% if necessary, without resorting to "possum living".

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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 09:32 AM   #9
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

I like Cut Throat's method of taking your bare bones expenses, multiplying them by two and then multiplying by 25 to get the portfolio needed.


For myself? Don't know. I guess that means we aren't where we want to be yet.
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

Quote:
I like Cut Throat's method of taking your bare bones expenses, multiplying them by two and then multiplying by 25 to get the portfolio needed.
Well, I can cut expenses really low. Medical expenses plus a 50 pound sack of pinto beans once in awhile should keep us alive. Illuminate the house with a 25-watt light bulb and you are set.

Still I don't think I want to live like that.



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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 10:35 AM   #11
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

I'm a big fan of "Your Money or Your Life" as well. *I agree with the article. *I refuse to work more than 40 hours per week, I refuse to have a long commute (currently live five blocks away from my job), because I highly value my leisure time. *Only under extremely horrible economic conditions would I shift thses rules. I know these choices limit my potential income, but I'm happy with that. *I make less than 40K. *However, I have time to exercise, eat healthy and do the things I enjoy. *In addition to this I save about 30% of gross pay. *Health is my number one priority. *If I were to work 60 hours a week and make tons of money only to retire early all stressed out in poor health, I don't think it would be worth it.
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?
Old 02-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #12
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Re: Too Much Money= Too Little Leisure?

There is an online summary of Your Money or Your Life at www.newroadmap.org.
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