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Old 05-29-2013, 10:21 AM   #41
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We're taking a 3 month excursion through Alaska and Canada. Something we planned for years. We have set money aside - independent from our investments. Now, while we're healthy enough.
We did something like that when I retired in 2008, took a trip I had planned for most of my life, cost a bit but was well planned for. Definitely confirmed that I was now retired:

Driving to the Arctic
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:29 AM   #42
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I have $75k set aside outside of my portfolio for 4 bucket list trips. I will probably go on two of those trips. The rest of the money will be used to "shore up" the success rate of my portfolio (I only have a 90% success rate to age 91 per FIDO and 100% in Firecalc using 90% of my portfolio right now). Bottom line is, I worry to much and will probably not splurge as much as I could, because not spluging will make me happier than worrying if I wasted money.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #43
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I'm waiting for my DW to retire in a couple of years. At that time we expect to do some traveling together. However, we have a travel budget in the ER spreadsheet. I don't know how much of a splurge it will be but it will be out of the ordinary for us.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:11 AM   #44
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Hakuna - I see what you mean and I agree with it. If I wanted to live barebones I could've retired a lot earlier. Instead I was willing to work a few more years and enjoy some selective luxuries (still watching the bottom line) while otherwise living more sensibly. Sounds like that's exactly what you are doing. The amount of the luxury doesn't matter, it's understanding the tradeoff, and also not getting sucked into the lifestyle. If you were to buy the car, and then say, "oh, this car doesn't belong in this neighborhood, we need to live in a more upscale place" or "seems silly to buy a nice car and then sit on this plain couch every day, let's go furniture shopping!" then you are looking for trouble. I can see that's not your way.

You owe us a review on the car after you get it and have driven it for a month or two (or even if you just test drive it and decide against).
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #45
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The reason I started the thread is that it seems after a lifetime of saving and not spending, I was wondering how difficult people were finding it to shift gears. I want to enjoy my retirement and the work I have done to get to that. Just not working and an early retirement isn't my goal but enjoying the fruits of that hard work is.
In retirement, I haven't felt any pressure whatsoever to "keep up with the Joneses" but like you, I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor, not to mention that beyond that I still haven't spent a cent of my modest inheritance. This year I increased my spending by buying a second big screen TV (for my home gym; there is only one of me here), and paying for a dental implant. Paying for both in March caused me a little angst but I have gone over and over the figures, and I can easily afford this. So, I am coming to terms with the idea that I can spend and that is OK. It's a process and I am getting used to spending more, although gradually. I did come to realize that if I felt this much angst over $5K extra, probably it is a mistake to be looking at houses as I have been doing from time to time. I am perfectly happy in my present house anyway.

What is difficult for me is when I buy something and then find out that I didn't want it, because it feels like I am throwing my money away. To avoid this I am spending time trying to identify exactly what I want before buying. I hate the fact that I am not even using my new DVR and if that doesn't change I might return it to the cable company.

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I have a very good friend who retired last year and he is struggling with that I think. I know his finances (we are good friends) and he could easily spend triple what he is spending and be below 2% on his withdrawal rate. But he finds it hard to spend money and that is fine -- to each their own. I don't anticipate "I" will have that issue
Exactly! If he is happy, then more power to him. Perhaps he has reached a philosophical peace associated with spending less, or perhaps he is saving for something, or whatever. Or maybe he just likes having a lot of money, a la Scrooge McDuck. There is no rule in retirement that says you have to spend all that you can spend, and as long as he is happy I think you might as well just let him do his thing.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:24 AM   #46
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A while back we sold our RV (someone offered me what I paid for it after my 3 years of use) and are looking at replacing it. We want to move up this next time (still contemplating what we call moving up), but shopping around for the best bang for the buck while we decide... We are also looking for a piece of property that is easily turnable, but can be used as a campsite for us and a few select friends during the time that we own it... It will need a pond, easy highway access, close enough to real life, etc...
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:24 AM   #47
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yes I do live near Seattle. I had the top down on the Miata a lot. <looks to the left, looks to the right, coast is clear> psstt..It doesn't rain as much as people think up here!

I never have let the weather dictate my lifestyle up here, and the top goes up and down in 12 seconds. And the summers here are awesome--bluest skies I have ever seen.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:58 AM   #48
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Exactly! If he is happy, then more power to him. Perhaps he has reached a philosophical peace associated with spending less, or perhaps he is saving for something, or whatever. Or maybe he just likes having a lot of money, a la Scrooge McDuck. There is no rule in retirement that says you have to spend all that you can spend, and as long as he is happy I think you might as well just let him do his thing.
I think he just doesn't know "How" to spend it to be honest. He and his wife (who unfortunately passed away last year) scrimped and saved their entire life (they were married for 43 years before she died) and just never learned how to spend money. I was in the same boat with my first wife as we got married quite young and never had two nickels to rub together it seemed. With my current wife it has been a very different experience and I have learned I enjoy saving but I also enjoy spending!

His son who is about 40 will be a very lucky young man as he is an only child and will get all of this money, and I know my friend is fine with that.

As for him doing his thing--telling my good friend how to spend his money is the furthest thing from my mind. I equate it to what he drinks--he drinks Bud Light and as a home brewer that is not my taste but I always keep a few bottles of Bud Light around for him. Telling him what to drink or how to spend his money is none of my bidness! He is spending what he feels comfortable spending and that is fine by me--frankly it is none of my business. I was just using him as an example of people saving and having difficulty spending. It seems that is a big shift, at least it was for me. And I have to admit even for my friend has started to ease up--since his wife passed he outfitted a 'man cave' with a slot machine, tv, etc.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #49
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That's great about his "man cave". Maybe it is just taking him a little time to gradually get used to spending more. From my own experiences, I would guess that it just takes time to get used to the idea that one can spend more and that is OK. I have been spending 2% but I think that this year it may be closer to 2.5% - - still not all that FIRECalc says I can spend, but I am gradually learning to enjoy spending more. At first one can become a little scared of going overboard towards the opposite extreme and spending way too much. There were so many years of penny pinching and it takes time to overcome these habits in a sane and sensible way.

Another factor is that when one has been scrimping and saving, the joy one gets from even a tiny purchase is as much as from a large purchase sometimes. Just a $5 iPad app can be simply terrific. He has a lot of catching up to do as far as spending goes.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:07 PM   #50
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Kind of a car guy, so for what it's worth, I'd say "Go for it" (especially if DW is enthusiatic as well)

Not a retrement splurge, but back in 1997 my DW fell in love (lust?) with the BMW Z3. It was way over what we felt comfortable spending on a "toy", but realized that we could afford it and were just having to overcome our ingrained LBYM mindset.

Fast forward 16 years.... that car was probably one of the best "investments" we've made. DW still loves her car, has no desire to replace it ($$$ savings) and, more importantly, still smiles every time she drives it. (And if Momma is happy, everyone is happy.)
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:11 PM   #51
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Retirement at 50 with two pre-schoolers WAS the bigh splurge! It took me about 5 years more to convince myself that we'll be just fine and it was the right move.
That was 13 years ago.

Just remembered another "splurge" from that first year, a pop-up camper that led to many fond memories and good times when the boys were young. Still have it (paid a whole $3500 for new, old stock one from a dealer going out of business) but it now only leaves the driveway about two times a year.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:22 PM   #52
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Very nice ride OP. The major splurge for us, will be a cruise for our family (six of us). It's something we haven't been willing to do in the retirement/college saving years, but we definitely plan to do it. We'll have a separate fund for it, so it won't feel like we're taking away any money from our retirement budget. Now we just need to figure out the destination.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:19 PM   #53
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The thing with some of these higher end cars, they may be an initial splurge, but you get to keep slurging on insurance, gas, tires/maintenance, and then the worry of some moron scratching or denting your beauty. Don't mean to be a buzzkill, but just some food for thought from an exotic car lover
YES, you ARE a buzzkill I'd go for it. You only live once and why not have a blast since you are retiring early. I just bought a new Mazda CX-5 (yeah, I know its not even close to a Jag) and love it. I'm thinking once the girls go off to college in 3 years it will be time to jettison the van and get a Miata (or even a JAG!!)
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:06 PM   #54
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My take is that you might consider splurging on something that makes you happy. Conspicuous consumption has been tested in many experiements against happiness. If you buy-in to those goofy psychologist's tests, buying something to show off always comes up short on the happiness scale, I'm afraid. If you can show-off and create a chunk of life you didn't have (like taking up RVing) I think that's a different story. If you want to "enjoy the doing as much as the done", then buying a car is all "done".
I would evaluate these two examples diametrically opposite to what you have done. First of all, the are many pleasures from a well chosen car. Likely many car lovers would place showing-off in about 104th position, if it placed anywhere.

Then there is how often you use it. Car-everyday. It is far from "done" when you buy it, the pleasure is renewed every time you smell the leather seats or feel the cornering ability or the push against your back if you put your foot into it. RV -likely 50 days a year would be heavy usage.

Esthetics- no matter how much you spend on an RV, at best it is an eyesore, While many luxury cars and sports cars are so beautiful that they are found in museums at times. And as far as activities, would it be more fun to drive your Mercedes AMG or Audi S-8 down to the golf club or tennis club, or spend a day loading your pusher and then trying to find a place to park it?

What money gets you depends very closely on who you are. I believe there are not many accurate generalizations.

Ha
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:08 PM   #55
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This was my biggest splurge since ER and I'm loving it right now (while posting this):
Can I Afford It?

Prior to that (right after ER), I splurged on a home generator which has given me great peace of mind.

My next splurge will likely be an electric self-driving car. I can't wait!!!
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:18 PM   #56
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My take is that you might consider splurging on something that makes you happy. Conspicuous consumption has been tested in many experiements against happiness. If you buy-in to those goofy psychologist's tests, buying something to show off always comes up short on the happiness scale, I'm afraid. If you can show-off and create a chunk of life you didn't have (like taking up RVing) I think that's a different story. If you want to "enjoy the doing as much as the done", then buying a car is all "done".

Interesting take on it--I am not buying it to show off though. I am buying it because of the aesthetic of the car appeals to me as an Architect, and also the way I anticipate it will handle. Now granted if I drive it and it isn't what I am expecting I likely won't buy it. But based on the reviews I fully anticipate if I drive it that will increase my desire. One reason I haven't scheduled a test drive yet. I honestly think the car will make me happy.

Once I drove the BMW for example I immediately wanted to buy it. I bought the Miata for the same reason--although after driving the BMW the Miata wasn't as much fun as before I will grant you. I don't drive a lot but when I do I like to enjoy the drive.

ahh--I see haha has addressed the same point
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:32 PM   #57
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We have not splurged on anything major since I retired, but lately we have been contemplating a big reno for our Southern house (kitchen, flooring throughout, bathrooms, backyard). It will likely be our retirement home when DW quits her job and we would like it to be all done before we move back in. I am looking into redoing the backyard right now, and I am getting some pretty hefty quotes (~$75K) so perhaps we'll have to do it in stages.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:04 PM   #58
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Then there is how often you use it. Car-everyday. It is far from "done" when you buy it, the pleasure is renewed every time you smell the leather seats or feel the cornering ability or the push against your back if you put your foot into it. RV -likely 50 days a year would be heavy usage.

Esthetics- no matter how much you spend on an RV, at best it is an eyesore, While many luxury cars and sports cars are so beautiful that they are found in museums at times. And as far as activities, would it be more fun to drive your Mercedes AMG or Audi S-8 down to the golf club or tennis club, or spend a day loading your pusher and then trying to find a place to park it?

What money gets you depends very closely on who you are. I believe there are not many accurate generalizations.

Ha
Agree 100% Well said.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:11 PM   #59
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The splurge is in our plan.

1. We will sell our main home and build on the cabin property. (hopefully close to a wash)
2. Trade TT for Motor Home for commuting to snowbird place fro winter and for general camping.
3. Some kind of restored muscle car convertible for a "fun" car.

We plan to pull the plug in 3 years. We may execute 2/3 before then but not sure.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #60
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Esthetics- no matter how much you spend on an RV, at best it is an eyesore...
Even an old curmudgeon should know beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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What money gets you depends very closely on who you are. I believe there are not many accurate generalizations.
So true - your generalization disparaging RV's makes your point beautifully.
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