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Old 06-13-2016, 06:48 PM   #61
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My thinking is that there are a lot of two comma people that post here and the difference between say $2m and $4m in liquid NW is not enough to make a significant difference in one's life style so - impact on NHL (Net Happiness Level - I'm liking this acronym business) is pretty small. There are no 3 comma posters at this site that I am aware of so the question shall remain unanswered - MAYBE a WHOLE lot mo' money does impact happiness but I just don't know.

Actually for myself when I think of the wonderful comfortable but fairly anonymous level of satisfaction that low level two comma LNW brings I wonder if I would trade that for the worries about kidnappings, security, a phalanx of lawyers and accountants, schedulers, butlers etc etc. Dunno, I like to go to my back deck and pee down the hill without wondering if a paparazzi is taking my picture with a mondo telephoto lens.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:57 PM   #62
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That's what I consider the level you need to really be rich. Servants. Live in servants. Three minimum, a butler, a maid and a cook.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:59 PM   #63
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Well, who cares about billions when you can kick back, let your hair hang down, and laissez les bons temps rouler.
Why people in Louisiana are so happy (and how you can be too) - TODAY.com
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:01 PM   #64
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Sure, but if you are comfortable and have more than enough, is more going to make you less happy with your life?
Giving more % wise to uncle sam would certainly make me unhappy, but if it went to other good causes possibly not. And possibly it might also make me less appreciative to life's simple and free pleasures.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:03 PM   #65
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That's what I consider the level you need to really be rich. Servants. Live in servants. Three minimum, a butler, a maid and a cook.
Well, you know, since I've lived in third world countries I can tell you that t standard is not that hard to meet, in fact you can add a driver too since the traffic in those places is usually hellish...

Now, that standard in a first world country - now you're talking...
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:26 PM   #66
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I got out of the military in 1983 and got a job a Hughs Aircraft. Worked typically 60+ hours a week, which seemed normal to me. Got married in 1991 to a similar lady who worked at 3M. We made good money, owned a home, and were fairly frugal in most of our life choices. Risked it all in 1993 and built an oceanfront inn in the bay area. Ran it for 16 years and sold last year. We are now worth $8.25 M, so I guess we are near the 1% mark. I'm 59 and my wife is 62. I drive a 1992 Honda Accord and my wife drives a 2003 Lexus. We are trying to be less frugal, but its a struggle (we do take nice vacations though)
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:03 AM   #67
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You have mentioned some of the things you feel you are lucky to afford, like multiple homes and trips. But what do you LIKE about your expenditures, other than being able to afford them? Does one or more of your homes have a terrific swimming pool, surfside view, easy access to the many shops and restaurants of a major city, ballroom for inviting hundreds of friends to a dance with live music, or what? Did you especially enjoy seeing the Parthenon or the Mexican pyramids or the black sand beaches of the Big Island? I get the sense that you just like *having* money but that really you aren't finding much satisfaction in spending it. I hope that is not the case.
Thanks for your concern. I think you might be mistaking a tendency on my part to describe our lifestyle in somewhat antiseptic of impersonal terms with my desire not be seen to be bragging or being smug. I assure you I enjoy our lifestyle very much. I hope no one takes this post as bragging, certainly not my intention, but I felt I should respond to your post.

Never been to any of the places you mentioned but have been to lots of others. Our trips since retirement have generally been of the active type. Just got back from an excellent biking trip to Umbria, Italy. Great biking, great food and wine, great friends. Other trips have included friends and family on cruises, Europe, Turkey, Southeast Asia, etc. I really enjoy our travels and they tend to be expensive. Have another biking trip to Bavaria and Austria planned for September with a group of friends we met in Arizona.

Our homes are indeed enjoyable. The Arizona house has a very nice pool and gardens. This place is our winter respite from the harsh Canadian winters. Have met new friends and enjoy the excellent restaurants. Our house near Banff offers world class scenery, biking (both types), hiking, skiing ( also both types). I sit on a not for profit board there and have met some wonderful people. Our Lakehouse is our place to get some quiet solitude in a natural setting. Great boating, water sports, fires in the big stone fireplace in winter. We use this a lot for entertaining our family who are still mostly based in Ontario. Lots of fun there. Finally, our Toronto condo is right downtown and walking distance to both major sporting venues, opera house, live theatres, and at least 100 restaurants. Don't spend too much time there. Mostly when we visit our parents who live in Toronto, but when we are there it has an eclectic urban vibe which we enjoy. It also serves as a staging point for visits to the Lakehouse. We often loan our places to friends and family. None of our places would accommodate 100's of guests as you suggest. Wouldn't be our style anyway.

As I said, I am really enjoying our retirement lifestyle. Not suggesting for a moment, that others would or should. We have built this lifestyle over several years since retiring, and although we currently are having a ton of fun, I can certainly see how we will need to simplify at some point. Hopefully we will still be having a lot of fun whatever we do.

I can also see that retirees can have just as much fun for a lot less money. After all fun and happiness are very personal things. But I reject the idea that having more money somehow makes it less likely you will be happy. Certainly money that has come from a lifetime of working when used to generously fund a retirement can help make someone happy and secure. I also reject the idea, sometimes discussed here,that there is a universal "sweet spot" of wealth. Each person decides on their own "sweet spot" which can be quite different from others. Not surprisingly these so called "sweet spots" tend to be around that person's actual wealth.

Again, I apologize if this post seems smug or bragging. I also hope it doesn't sound defensive.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:29 AM   #68
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From some of the advice & feedback I have read on this forum, it sounds like a couple needs to be in the top 5% to retire early and have enough money to protect themselves from health insurance, healthcare, and long term care inflation. I know there are many people on this forum who are budgeting $20,000-$30,000/year for health insurance & healthcare. Those numbers plus a 3% ER withdrawal rate adds up to nearly a million on its own. Reading the MMM, website, I thought $1.25 million plus a little bit of rental income would be enough for us to retire on. From the feedback I have been given & read on ther posts, I think we need closer to $1.5 million in savings + 2 houses paid off (main + rental) + a dinky pension in 19 years + a part time job for several years. Is every early retiree couple ages 45-60 shooting to be in the top 5% or close to it? I hope this does not sound negative as I am really curious what others think.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:44 AM   #69
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Hey, I got to see the black sand beach in the Big Island many years ago, when I did not even get to 2-comma status. Now, that I am there, I want to be in the 99% level ($9M net worth). It's not to get bigger houses, or any stinkin' fancy car. It's so that I can pay for business class airfare.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:54 AM   #70
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We have it made! Could we live on less money? Yes! Could we use a bit more money? Sure.

Do we need another million? No! Could we give up a million and be just as happy? I doubt it.

Could we use a little more sunshine? Yup we are in Amsterdam and it is cloudy and cool. Sadly more money cannot fix that problem...
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:08 AM   #71
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Hey, I got to see the black sand beach in the Big Island many years ago, when I did not even get to 2-comma status. Now, that I am there, I want to be in the 99% level ($9M net worth). It's not to get bigger houses, or any stinkin' fancy car. It's so that I can pay for business class airfare.
LOL! Happiness is being able to routinely afford business class airfare?

Could be. Could be!!

Especially to get to the point where you don't think much about what else you could spend that money on instead.

I know people who charter private visit planes to wherever they want to go. I don't feel sorry for them. I don't feel sorry for me either, even though that option will always be out of my reach. Happy people adjust to whatever their circumstances are, and make the most of what they have according to their personal goals and values.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:15 AM   #72
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We have it made! Could we live on less money? Yes! Could we use a bit more money? Sure.

Do we need another million? No! Could we give up a million and be just as happy? I doubt it.

Could we use a little more sunshine? Yup we are in Amsterdam and it is cloudy and cool. Sadly more money cannot fix that problem...
One of my favorite places! Yes, it's a bit like Seattle at times. Well, most of the time.

Just think of us sweltering in South Texas! I wouldn't mind a spell of cloudy and cool right now. And you'd probably find me heading to the Flemish Bakery in Jourdaan.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:38 AM   #73
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We have it made! Could we live on less money? Yes! Could we use a bit more money? Sure.

Do we need another million? No! Could we give up a million and be just as happy? I doubt it.
...
Well said. Agree with your sentiment.

I used to travel to Amsterdam regularly for business. Can often be cold and rainy. We were there once for Queen's Day (late April). What a zoo. Everybody gets into a boat and jams the canals downtown drinking themselves silly. Party runs all night.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:43 AM   #74
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LOL! Happiness is being able to routinely afford business class airfare?

Could be. Could be!!

Especially to get to the point where you don't think much about what else you could spend that money on instead.
Agree. This could certainly be viewed as a significant milestone for many people. A similar milestone for me was being able to stay in better more expensive hotels while on personal vacation as opposed to what I would charge to my employer while on business. This reversal of mindset seemed significant to me at the time.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:54 AM   #75
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Reminds me of my two happiest days with a boat, day I bought it and day I sold it

I've amended that cliche to suit my own personal needs.

"The day I bought it, and the day it started"
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:01 AM   #76
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I'm nowhere near either $429,000 in income, or $8.4 million net worth.

But I feel rich in that I have what I need. Honestly, life is awfully good with a whole lot less than that.
+1. Although I wouldn't mind having $8.4 million. I imagine my happy meter would go up a bit.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:24 AM   #77
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We’ve had this discussion before, more than once IIRC.

Everyone would like a bit more money, and all other things being equal, it might make life a bit easier. All other things aren’t equal, however, and money doesn’t fall from the sky. More money means either sacrificing more earlier in life or retiring later. That’s one facet of the “happiness trade-off”. Does more money mean more happiness? It depends on what we have to do to get it, and it seems that most of us have found that point where the marginal value of more money isn’t enough to keep our noses to the grindstone.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:44 AM   #78
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It's not to get bigger houses, or any stinkin' fancy car. It's so that I can pay for business class airfare.

+1. I've made many, many overseas trips to Europe and Asia during my working years and, luckily, have always travelled business class. Now, as DW and I approach retirement, were considering the travel we want to undertake. We're looking at destinations closer to home because I can't stand the thought of: i) sitting in the back of the plane for 10 hours or more; or ii) paying 5 times the price to buy business class tics. It truly would be nice to be able to afford that without worrying about the $$$.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:49 AM   #79
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From some of the advice & feedback I have read on this forum, it sounds like a couple needs to be in the top 5% to retire early and have enough money to protect themselves from health insurance, healthcare, and long term care inflation. I know there are many people on this forum who are budgeting $20,000-$30,000/year for health insurance & healthcare. Those numbers plus a 3% ER withdrawal rate adds up to nearly a million on its own. Reading the MMM, website, I thought $1.25 million plus a little bit of rental income would be enough for us to retire on. From the feedback I have been given & read on ther posts, I think we need closer to $1.5 million in savings + 2 houses paid off (main + rental) + a dinky pension in 19 years + a part time job for several years. Is every early retiree couple ages 45-60 shooting to be in the top 5% or close to it? I hope this does not sound negative as I am really curious what others think.
Short answer: Not needed. See FUEGO's posts and blog, among others (He springs to mind because he has three kids and isn't even at your "45-60," but there are many others posting here with less than the numbers you are talking about.) Heck, just look at the posts on this thread.

I am among those budgeting 20-30K for health insurance--but we have no chance of qualifying for ACA subsidies given our other spending desires. IF you can qualify, or if you have retiree medical kicking in at an early age, things change drastically.

Longer answer: You'll often hear that it isn't how much you make (or save)--it is how much you spend. Same is true in retirement. It all depends upon what you want to do with your time/life (and, of course, where you are in the 45-60 age range!). Business/first class travel, multiple homes (or a nice place in San Fran/Vancouver/NYC...), liveaboard diveboats, fine dining, memberships in desired wine clubs, etc. etc. require biggish money. Long walks in natural areas or public parks, diving into the library for a joyous stretch of reading, affordable drinks while cooking fine food with your mate in North Alabama or South Tennessee (for example), extensive use of local museums/concert_venues, etc. etc., not so much. Still have Kids at home? Public schools versus private? HS soccer versus elite traveling hockey teams?
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:52 AM   #80
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The business class travel is my "I have enough" threshold also. Last summer, due to a timely fare sale - we splurged on Business class for our trip to Europe. It was NICE. But our cross country trip this year will be in the back of the plane. Perhaps if the market had done better in Jan and Feb I would have loosened the purse strings....

But - as has been mentioned here - being adaptable and adjusting to market conditions is one of the inputs to ER success. I didn't have to cancel the planned trip... but decided not to splurge on business class.
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