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Old 01-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
The 'nature' vs 'nurture' has been discussed many times. I think the 'nature' aspect is more important since in many cases (including mine) siblings who got exactly the same education in exactly the same environment could end up being very different money-wise. I have always been a saver for as long as I can remember while my brother keeps spending every dime he makes. Case in point, he just installed an in door pool (and a huge one too!) which I would never do although I can afford it.
Would your building allow that?

Ha
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #82
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No, but I could buy a house in Florida for example with a pool. I can afford it but this purchase, to me, would be a complete waste of money.

My brother, on the other hand, is proud to show off his toys. I would be embarrassed to show off my wealth. it's just the way I am wired. Also influenced by what I see in third world countries. Feeling of guilt. Difficult to explain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha
Would your building allow that?

Ha
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #83
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Make a deal with yourself to spend X amount of that surplus just for sheer fun, kinda like a reverse New Year's resolution. Your money, your rules.

Go have some fun!!!!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #84
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I have the same problem and was recently thinking that it really was a problem that was getting worse with age. Today I initiated switching my brokerage account from Scottrade to Vanguard and there is going to be a $75 charge from Scottrade. I had dinner plans with my son and that fee made me want to cancel dinner to recoup that loss. I didn't cancel dinner but that was my first thought to reduce the anxiety the fee caused.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:30 PM   #85
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I've been debating about sharing my feelings here as they will probably seem different than most who have responded. Not that I'm ashamed, but rather, I'm not sure they will be productive - given that they are outside the mainstream.

I've related elsewhere that our cash burn has been higher (much higher) than during w*rking years. I've also related that our cash burn is higher than I thought (did the old to-the-penny spending spread sheet in 2011). So, I've stopped thinking of myself as a tightwad. So, it may come as a surprise that I related to Alex in Virginia. Why am I concerned about our "profligate" spending since we are still on plan?

While I would consider myself (and DW) frugal in most regards, we have been willing to pay the price to live in Paradise - and the price isn't cheap if you live anyplace but under a blue tarp on the beach (as do a surprising number of the working poor.)

Here is my take on holding the purse strings a bit closer to the vest than would otherwise seem prudent: I lived through the '70s.

There were the multiple oil-shocks, "stagflation", "WIN" buttons, Nixon price controls, dollars valued in, well, dollars instead of gold or other non-fiat based "money". With a doubling of the national debt in the past (help me here, 8 years?), a couple of wars, "free health care and drugs for all", spending out of control (my opinion), it's beginning to look like we're setting up for another '70s type scenario - on steroids. I may be wrong and I hope I am. But if a similar (or worse) economic situation returns, those of us no longer w*rking (and in my case, probably incapable of w*rking) will find it difficult to keep up with possible hyperinflation. I know we've discussed this particular subject before, so rather than debate, let's just leave it at "I think it's possible". With that in mind, loosening the purse strings is more about "what ifs?" than about just being my usual frugal self.

I have no idea whether such feelings could be affecting Alex (and other tightwads) at the subliminal level. But, if you've ever seen prices going up at the rate they did at the height of the 70s inflation, it will give you pause about using up your seed corn too fast. Alternately, it may make one want to get "rid" of dollars and actually "own" something of some value. In any case, this would be my take on why it's more difficult to spend than I thought it would be when I know the end is much closer than the beginning.

Not trying to be the party pooper (and clearly, not claiming to be the "voice of reason"). I'm simply suggesting that frugality comes from SOMEPLACE. I don't believe it is totally genetic. I'm just guessing that some of us (maybe more than would admit it) are frugal for reasons beyond w*rking toward FIRE. Again, not suggesting another "inflation debate" because YMMV.
This is part of the reason that when I officially retire at age 58 1/2 at the end of 2013 with a 7 figure nest egg and 200%+ expenses covered from other income sources, I will still try to save some of it. I remember the late 70's and the 15%+ CD rates and 2007/2008 is not far in the rear view mirror either.

I think it boils down to "because I can". There is probably some guilt built into that that says "I should". At least for another 6 or so years until I hit 65 or until my husband retires.

DH will not be retiring when I do so my thinking is I will still save in hopes of simply increasing the quality of our retirement when he does. At that point, hoping the travel budget expands exponentially!

Of course, if things are going really well prior to that...I can think of a few things to spend it on.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:38 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
No, but I could buy a house in Florida for example with a pool. I can afford it but this purchase, to me, would be a complete waste of money.

My brother, on the other hand, is proud to show off his toys. I would be embarrassed to show off my wealth. it's just the way I am wired. Also influenced by what I see in third world countries. Feeling of guilt. Difficult to explain.
I think you missed Ha's sense of humor. You wrote about your brother's in door pool ... where I THINK you meant indoor.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:49 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Alex in Virginia View Post
Some may think this is a strange problem to have, but it is real and it is getting in my way.
I've got an annual retirement income surplus of $25,000 AFTER taking into account every expense and every contingency I can think of. IMO I have more than ample reserves as well. Although I don't have a lot of things (toys) I want to buy, I do have things I want to DO. But I somehow feel wrong about going ahead and spending the money on them. Same thing with things I DON'T want to do -- I resist paying someone else to do them, even though I financially could.
Yes, I'm cheap and a tightwad, but if I don't spend the money I'll have to give it away in my will. And I'm not up for that.
I see some ways of going ahead, probably by striking some kind of deal with myself. But I would appreciate any feedback, input or tales of lessons learned -- before I end up spending my money on a shrink to get over this.
I think you should experiment with donating some money to a charitable gift fund and then making grants to charities.

You could start by reading this book:
Book review: The Life You Can Save

You learned your frugal habits a long time ago, and now you can learn new spending habits. But you can still achieve balance by being frugal for the things that you find challenging & entertaining:
Frugality after financial independence
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #88
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I think you missed Ha's sense of humor. You wrote about your brother's in door pool ... where I THINK you meant indoor.
AWeinel,

As you may or may not be aware, obgyn lives on a high floor in a downtown condo. I think Ha may have been asking if the condo rules would allow a obgyn to install a pool within his condo.

omni
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:45 AM   #89
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I apologize for the typo and missing the joke. Again, my native tongue is not English, hence the occasional faux-pas. Not the first time, and not the last. :-)
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #90
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #91
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Funny you should mention this because we are in the same situation and I've persuaded DW to spend some money to alleviate pain and suffering on an individual - me.

Before Christmas I could see that this was the 3rd straight year after ER'ing that we are well in surplus and have drawn no more than 1.3% in any given year. We have a trip to Europe coming up in April so I told her than since we hurt so much on those long-haul flights that we should fly First/Business, and for the dates we want it would cost ~$4,400 each instead of ~$1,000. It took a couple of weeks for the idea to take root, and then today she came to me with some figures. If we fly to New York we can sail over to Southampton for $699 on the QE II, returning in September on the Queen Mary, which is more expensive but with all the added expense it is still substantially cheaper to do this than fly Business Class.

Plus, we get 8 days sailing each way with all meals included and entertainment etc. There are even lectures on a variety of subjects we could attend.

does the wife know she will be rowing"? lol
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #92
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Although I have not RE, Hopefully the suggestions given will help Alex and others (me included) transition from Saving, Saving Saving to spending on what is in line with their values and makes them happy.

Only thing I might suggest as an educator at a school with limited funds, if you want to donate $$, consider an elementary school. Gifts received by my school have made a BIG difference. They have come mostly from grandparents of the students. One donation provided books to an entire grade level, another paid for buses for a field trip, and yet another have the library over 100 library books. The students and teachers were extremely grateful and the donors saw how much the gifts impacted the students.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #93
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I was going through some files today and found this newspaper clipping I saved from 5/11/2008. I was a huge fan of Humberto Cruz and miss him, he retired a few years ago. This article is apropos, I found it via Google. This is the plight of many of us here!

Some savers must learn to spend in retirement - Sun Sentinel
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