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First Class Retirement?
Old 03-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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First Class Retirement?

A few years ago there was a commercial where a guy was on a plane and his "retired self from 30+years in the future" came back and told him how good he was doing saving (LBYM). As "future self" said good bye he went back to his seat in First Class. He had earned it through his diligent LBYM while he worked, was the message I got.
FI. What does it mean to you?
Now you are retired, do you indulge/pamper/treat yourself more?
I had a friend who told me FI meant not having to look at prices when he bought things. I caught myself going thru the airport buying what I wanted, not fretting about what it cost, lately, and felt a sense of what he meant.
I don't think I'll ever be able to completely stop myself from lifetime ingrained habits of comparison shopping, but it is nice to feel I'm at the end of the rainbow and can relax and enjoy things, not worrying about what minor things cost.
I just cleaned my office out this morning. Last day is Thursday!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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I recently ER'd and so far I am the opposite. I find myself procrastinating over small financial decisions, consciously saying "I really don't need that", and avoiding shopping malls. Perhaps once I have a year of experience under my belt, and see how markets and my budget perform, I may feel more comfortable spending money.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #3
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I cannot imagine flying first class after I FIRE, even if I can afford to. A couple of thousand dollars' difference in airfare can go a long way when buying medicines or medical supplies for the free clinics abroad. A couple of times in the past, I saw children eating grass as they were so hungry. Totally heartbreaking. I just would not be able to look in all these hungry children's eyes and say "sorry, kids, I flew first class this year, so no amoxicillin for you. " I just could not do it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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I hope to have more available income after retirement than I do now....I guess that would be how I would define a first class retirement. Whether I succeed only time will tell.

However, I will never be in a position (unless I win the powerball tonight) to consider flying 1st class a smart decision. The only exception may be the first post-retirement trip the wife and I take.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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My grandparents liked to travel and while they never did the First Class airfare (which is a short part of any trip), they did enjoy the ability to upgrade to more accommodating destinations and services (such as freely using taxis or a private driver) once they got to where they were going. Having the ability to increase their spending probably kept them able to enjoy travel much longer as they aged. Similarly, they were able to stay living "independently" much longer as they were able to afford to hire additional help that they never would have considered as younger, more able bodied versions of themselves.

I'm seeing similar effects with my parents, who have retired to their "vacation" house, despite having to hire a maid service and working with local handy men for most of the outside chores my dad used to enjoy doing, but cannot keep up with anymore. I believe they are much happier living where they want to, with accommodation they can purchase, than they would be living in a less expensive lifestyle but missing out on some of their old interests.

I understand the notion that the old old may decrease their spending as they are content with less adventurous activities, but in my experience older folks who can afford to increase spending to stay engaged with activities seem to really enjoy doing so. Part of my ER planning is focused not just on how soon I can ER, but how I can have sufficient resources to fund this kind of lifestyle creep as I age.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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This is our second year of ER and we watched things carefully the first year but still by no means deprived ourselves. Since Mr. Market has been kind over the last year and a half I am now getting a bit more confident about our decisions and am starting to losten up some. I think I'll always be a comparison shopper, simply because I like getting a good deal, but we're starting to loosen up on the purse-strings for the occasional splurges.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
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I would only consider first class if the plane flight was over five or six hours. I plan on paying for quality, not spending money indiscriminately.

By the way, any commercial remembered where one doesn't remember the product is a lousy commercial.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
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I think First Class Retirement is having the financial independence to be able to live the life you've imagined and dreamed of. For me, it's living with my better than I deserve DW, in a nice house, in a beautiful area, near lots of family. I've lived much of my life in Europe, so we're already kind of traveled out. It will be nice to be rooted. I know this is just the opposite of what many anticipate for their own First Class Retirement. Our first event as a FIRE'd couple will be a family reunion, one we haven't been able to attend for years and years until now, because our choice to retire near family now makes it possible.

To me, FI is not about being able to not look at the price, it's about having the passive income cash flow to sustain your desired standard of living and desired lifestyle without working a j*b. I won't be cheap, but a little healthy frugality will have to be exercised to ensure I don't boomerang back to the ranks of the w*rking class.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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We don't have a first class lifestyle now that we can afford it so it's doubtful we'll have one when DW retires.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #10
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We do not fly first class or have a luxurious lifestyle, but I would call our retirement first class just because we were able to retire early, and for me that's better than first class any day.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #11
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I really think that the frugality that allows us to become financially independent is, in some ways, the same frugality that keeps us from recklessly spending it once we have accumulated it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgang View Post
Now you are retired, do you indulge/pamper/treat yourself more?
Absolutely! This year is my 4th year of retirement. Although I do not spend much compared with some people, I am spending more this year than I have in the past. There are several reasons for this, and here are some that immediately came to mind:

1. I no longer need to tuck away every possible cent in order to save for retirement.
2. Retirement turned out to be cheaper than I thought it would be.
3. The market is surging, my portfolio has grown, and thus a given percentage of my portfolio is more than it was.
4. I spent less than planned during my first three years of retirement so I am ahead of the game.
5. You can't take it with you.

I honestly have no desire to fly or travel, but I have been spending on other things that make life easier and so pleasant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgang
I had a friend who told me FI meant not having to look at prices when he bought things.
I still look at prices for most things. It is fun to get something for a few dollars less than I thought it would cost.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #13
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Steerage Class.

Haven't flown since 1987 or worked for pay since 1989.

Frugality ingrained.

Never concerned about money.

Live beyond anything we ever expected.

Life IS good!
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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We do not fly first class or have a luxurious lifestyle, but I would call our retirement first class just because we were able to retire early, and for me that's better than first class any day.
+1 - that is expactly how I feel about my upcoming ER.

I need more of nothing other than time to smell to roses.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
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We planned all along to live the same as when we were both working, no better, no worse. Planning to 'go first class' in retirement implies you'll live better than when you were working, which in turn implies you're willing to work longer so you can up your spending. Some irony in that?

But I've been retired just under 2 years, so I don't assume how the next 40 years will play out. We may be able to pamper ourselves years from now, or we may be pinching pennies, no way to know this early on...

And FI doesn't mean not looking at prices for me, I'll always want to know I'm getting value for our spending, even if I don't need to...
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #16
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I expect my day-to-day existence to be similar to now, though there won't be as much "disposable" income...
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #17
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I am careful with my money, but I am also aware that not spending enough of it will negatively impact my quality of life.

I would not fly first-class or even business class due to the extra cost. But, very occasionally an airline will offer me an upgrade that adds about 20% to my ticket. I will spring for that.

Being FI means not having to go to work to earn what I need to live and enjoy life. It does not mean spending without thought.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:29 PM   #18
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I'm cursed with the thrifty gene, so I doubt my retirement will be of the first class variety. But because I'm a planner, I can use a budget to my advantage. For instance, if we got a great deal on an apartment for our last trip of the year, and we would be coming in under budget, I don't see why a 1st class upgrade would be off the table.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #19
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We live exactly the same LBYM lifestyle we always did, with one exception.
When we take a European vacation (typically every 1-2 years), we spring for business class on the trans-Atlantic leg. Sometimes that can be done with frequent flyer miles, but if we have to pay for it, we will.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
We planned all along to live the same as when we were both working, no better, no worse. Planning to 'go first class' in retirement implies you'll live better than when you were working, which in turn implies you're willing to work longer so you can up your spending. Some irony in that?

But I've been retired just under 2 years, so I don't assume how the next 40 years will play out. We may be able to pamper ourselves years from now, or we may be pinching pennies, no way to know this early on...

And FI doesn't mean not looking at prices for me, I'll always want to know I'm getting value for our spending, even if I don't need to...

Agree with everything, especially the last line. Actually when I got home from work my last day, DH and I actually sat down over a drink and talked about exactly that.
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