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Old 01-27-2014, 05:16 PM   #21
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For me personally, I find that the older I get, the less desire I have to purchase any material items. <snip>
Experiences, OTOH, are very enjoyable to me, and I do plan on taking some nice vacations this year.
Agreed! While I certainly have my collection of 'toys' most of them provide some useful function such as the 5 year old laptop that I am writing this message on. I would be a poorer man if I never participated in this forum.

OTOH, given the choice between having a late model Lexus or BMW in the driveway or a few weeks in Europe, I'll go for Europe. Or some NP's I haven't seen yet. I find the payback on experiences goes on for years and years, while most 'things' wear out, become obsolete or just get boring.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:08 PM   #22
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Even though I am very frugal, I already spend enough on myself today to make me happy. With a few exceptions, there is nothing more I wish to buy. If I want something, I get it. While I seek value, cost is not a significant issue.

Most of the activities I enjoy cost very little. I do not believe this will significantly change in the future. Nor do I believe this would change even if my net worth increased 1000 times. I have no desire to eat at a fancy restaurant or drive a big car.

I am still working. What I do not spend on today is time. I do not have time to read the literary classics. I do not have time to take a history class at the local community college. I do not have time to fix the bathroom sink (or wait around for the plumber to do it for me). I do not have time to go on a multi-week backpacking trip or ride my bicycle across the country. Nor do I have time to do nothing all day.

Yes, there are a few high-cost adventure items that I would like to pursue in retirement. But for the most part, I do not pursue them today due to a lack of time, not due to an unwillingness to spend money.

I agree with others in that money provides a sense of security, and this is priceless. So in a way, I am already "buying" one of the most important things to me with the money I have.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:39 PM   #23
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Interesting thread.

I was thinking about this the other day and my thoughts were similar to all of you who posted especially Ready and Youbet. I view that we have 3 desires in life, NEEDS, WANTS and DREAMS. Needs are just that, Insurance, Housing, Food etc. Wants are things that we really feel make our everyday life enjoyable. These are different for each of us, but I can tell you one of those for me is fishing. Dreams are those things that you want to do but you know it's going to stretch you or you are going to have to make a trade off to achieve (like working a part time job).

One idea I had was to create sort of a line of credit or Cash bucket (I am the one funding it from my assets) and then living off the cash flow generated by the remainder of the assets and other sources of income. The cash flow would cover the Needs and Wants. The line or cash bucket would fund the capex expenses like a new roof, HVAC, new car and the dreams. If during the course my wife and I find that our investments or possibly part time jobs replenish the line ahead of a long term trend then we could splurge as we go. If things get tight with the investments or we get hit with a large capital NEEDS expenditure earlier than planned we can pull back a little. I guess what I am saying is I would be willing to spend down the line a little ahead of projections to enjoy things like a Galapagos Island trip which requires us to be in good physical condition and then replenish the line later with a part time job, downscale a future capex Need or trade off a future dream. Not sure if I am making sense as I am still working this out in my mind. I just know from experience (I live in an area where there is a large disproportionate amount of retirees) that most of us will not be very active and limited in what we can enjoy after we reach 75 yrs old, assuming we make it that far. Sorry, if I offended any 75+ yr olds, but if I did then it's because you are one of the few that has beaten the odds by being in great physical and mental health. So, congratulations!
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:38 PM   #24
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Without risking your future retirement, I say spend it while you can get the most out of spending it. If you can't, I will help spend it for you.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:23 PM   #25
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An interesting subject which in some fashion or other is covered frequently here - and that's a GOOD thing! What could be more basic? How DO we balance "living now" with never running out of money?

The first symptom I noticed that this was a difficult balance to achieve: FIREing at 58, I assumed a 30 year life span (reasonable - no parent or grand parent on either side made it quite that far.) Now, heh, heh, at 67, heh, heh, the plan is for a 30 year retirement. Maybe that's not so bad since, supposedly, if a couple reaches 65 (2 years ago) ONE of them stands a 25% chance of reaching 95.

Next symptom is that, even though we spend much more now than when w*rking, we still haven't actually approached our theoretically "allowable 4%" WDR. What's wrong with this picture? Actually, nothing. That IS our plan.

So, I guess I come down on the "not running out of money" end of the spectrum rather than the "leaving money on the table" end. Honestly, we have "handled" the "leaving money" end of the spectrum. We KNOW where the left-overs will go and it's the same places it would go NOW if we were not concerned about running out of money. A good place to be IMHO.

So, we do still occasionally agonize about whether we should spend for something, but, for the most part, we just follow the "plan". It's very comforting. It's not for everyone, so YMMV.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:41 PM   #26
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To me this thread is somewhat of the holy grail of early retirement. Few of us want to deprive ourselves of things and experiences that would make our retirement more enjoyable and die multimillionaires as a result. OTOH, few of us want to splurge too much today and end up being a burden to our kids or to society and subsisting on cat food in our old age.

Many of us have found it hard to go from savers to spenders. You don't reverse a lifetime of frugality and accumulation easily to spend without some trepidation and worry.

I was very conservative in my first year of ER as not having income was new and scary. We are now in our third year of ER and I am more confident that we have "enough" (the investment results for the last two years has helped) so we are spending more this year (currently in Hawaii on one-leg of a six week vacation away from snow and cold).

But if investment performance were to go sideways, we can always tighten our belts a little and would be fine. If things get real bad, we can always start my pension or SS earlier so we have a number of relief valves available to us if needed.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:48 PM   #27
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I may not leave much money on the table, but that is because I would rather give it to my heirs now, while I can see them use it to improve their lives.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:05 AM   #28
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Many of us have found it hard to go from savers to spenders. You don't reverse a lifetime of frugality and accumulation easily to spend without some trepidation and worry.
We're looking at this now too. We're putting off SS probably until I'm 67, perhaps later, and will be withdrawing from savings. The numbers work but it sure goes against the grain.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:15 AM   #29
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OTOH, given the choice between having a late model Lexus or BMW in the driveway or a few weeks in Europe, I'll go for Europe.
Of course there's the "both" option: go for European deliver on your new German luxury car and spend a week or two driving around the autobahns/autostradas/etc.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #30
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This is how much Canadians actually spent on goods and services in 2012.

Average household spending rose 2.0 per cent in 2012: Statistics Canada | CTV News

Of course, this does not include income taxes. I spent more than the average senior but less than the average household.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #31
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Many of us have found it hard to go from savers to spenders. You don't reverse a lifetime of frugality and accumulation easily to spend without some trepidation and worry.
It is hard, I agree. During my first year of retirement, I began to notice (and look forward to, and record) my dividends and regard that as an additional source of income. Dividends mean a lot more to me in retirement than they did before retirement.

So far my spending in retirement has been less than my dividends. However, after 5 years of retirement I am becoming more open to the idea of spending more. I have been increasing my spending gradually, because I don't want to "go nuts" and overspend.
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Of course there's the "both" option: go for European deliver on your new German luxury car and spend a week or two driving around the autobahns/autostradas/etc.
Ew, none of this appeals to me at all! But, I have other ways to spend money. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:57 AM   #32
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I have been increasing my spending gradually, because I don't want to "go nuts" and overspend.
When you report you purchased a septic system we'll send the guys in white coats to pick you up...
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:18 AM   #33
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When you report you purchased a septic system we'll send the guys in white coats to pick you up...
For sure! That would be the best thing to do if you ever saw me doing something like that, given my opinion of septic systems. And when I see the guys in the white coats, I'll know that they are coming to take me away due to having lost my mind completely!
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #34
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Tough subject for me. I have always been frugal and as many have said this is a hard habit or character trait probably to change.

If I need something I will buy it, my water tank was going so I had to replace it. My roof may need replacing in a few years (big expense) as well as my well pump. But I don't buy things for myself, I don't need or want anything. I did splurge last year and spent $3636 last year on something I wanted, yes I did check the spreadsheet tracking money spent on that hobby! But interest in it has waned and I'm not spending money on it now. I have no interest in traveling, I'm a home body. I just don't know what I'd want, I need nothing.

I do have a huge dilemma right now and this is classic me. After 21 years my wood stove is worn out. If I used it only for supplement heating to the boiler then it is fine and would function for another decade at least but I use it to heat the house, the boiler seldom runs other than for hot water. I have observed it is not burning all night like it used to and I wake up 8 hours later to find that end of the house at 64 or 66 vs 70 or 72 and the bedroom end of the house is 56! Yep at 56 the boiler kicks on, this is a sound I am unfamiliar with. I was at a shop and the price for a new stove is $2200 to about $3000. I may want to sell this house in 2 or 5 years. I think I might want to move to AZ. Now if I stay here and die here then buying a new stove makes sense. But I may not be physically able to haul, stack and split wood, it is a lot of work and I'm healthy but I am noticing that I'm showing signs of aging. Spending money on that stove if I can't do what I have done for 20+ years would be foolish. Dilemma squared!

I never have owned a nice new car, my current new car is 21 years old and my old one is 41 years old. I'd like a nice new car, something in the $40k range to me would be like a Rolls Royce! But then the frugal guy voice says buy a used car and save money. Old habits or character traits are pretty embedded.

My game plan is to leave as much of an inheritance for my sister and that is a big impediment to spending money. I do wonder sometimes what I'd like to have but anything I think of I can find a reason to say but you really don't need that!
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:23 PM   #35
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I don't see a problem here. I've got a list of toys that would do any kid at Christmas proud. A couple ATVs and a trailer for them, a Harley, bigger tires for my Jeep, new toys for my soon-to-be wood shop, backyard observatory with a super-nice telescope, home theater. All these after I get my house built. So what did I spend my extra money on lately? A new ski outfit for DD.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:40 PM   #36
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I do have a huge dilemma right now and this is classic me. After 21 years my wood stove is worn out. If I used it only for supplement heating to the boiler then it is fine and would function for another decade at least but I use it to heat the house, the boiler seldom runs other than for hot water. I have observed it is not burning all night like it used to and I wake up 8 hours later to find that end of the house at 64 or 66 vs 70 or 72 and the bedroom end of the house is 56! Yep at 56 the boiler kicks on, this is a sound I am unfamiliar with. I was at a shop and the price for a new stove is $2200 to about $3000. I may want to sell this house in 2 or 5 years. I think I might want to move to AZ. Now if I stay here and die here then buying a new stove makes sense. But I may not be physically able to haul, stack and split wood, it is a lot of work and I'm healthy but I am noticing that I'm showing signs of aging. Spending money on that stove if I can't do what I have done for 20+ years would be foolish. Dilemma squared!
I'm looking at a soapstone wood stove. It is supposed to continue to radiate heat for a couple hours after the flame has died down. They are rated for 12 or so hours, so with burning pine, and stoking it in the evening, I should be good 'till the morning. I'm hoping a power splitter solves the effort needed to keep up with firewood. I have enough down and standing dead trees to last my lifetime and probably my kids too.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #37
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....I do have a huge dilemma right now and this is classic me. After 21 years my wood stove is worn out. If I used it only for supplement heating to the boiler then it is fine and would function for another decade at least but I use it to heat the house, the boiler seldom runs other than for hot water. I have observed it is not burning all night like it used to and I wake up 8 hours later to find that end of the house at 64 or 66 vs 70 or 72 and the bedroom end of the house is 56! Yep at 56 the boiler kicks on, this is a sound I am unfamiliar with. I was at a shop and the price for a new stove is $2200 to about $3000. ....
Have you checked or replaced the gasket material that makes the stove airtight? From what you described, it sounds like the gasket may be worn so the stove is letting in more air than needed and that is why it no longer will burn all night. Similarly, given it age it might be that the firebrick needs to be replaced. My point is that a good refurbishment of your existing stove may be a better alternative than a new stove.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:46 PM   #38
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I'm looking at a soapstone wood stove. It is supposed to continue to radiate heat for a couple hours after the flame has died down. They are rated for 12 or so hours, so with burning pine, and stoking it in the evening, I should be good 'till the morning. I'm hoping a power splitter solves the effort needed to keep up with firewood. I have enough down and standing dead trees to last my lifetime and probably my kids too.
We have a soapstone woodstove and like it. It does a good job of retaining heat. If I load it up when I go to bed and turn the damper down I usually still have coals in the morning that I can put a piece of wood on, open the damper and it takes off from there. Ours is a Hearthstone Phoenix.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:18 PM   #39
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Now, some four years into my own ER, I have gradually convinced myself to loosen my wallet and buy stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise in my early years. (Such as a $100 sub-woofer for my 1970s Sansui 7070 stereo.)...
I have a pair of classic 70-era Pioneer speakers with 12" woofer. They do not sound that good anymore in the high-frequency range compared to modern speakers. So, I use them as sub-woofers, and when driven with my 5-channel 100W/ch amplifier, their thunderous bass will rattle furniture. Thought I might want to experiment with bi-amping some day, but have not done so. I guess my interest has waned.

I also have 3 subwoofers in my collection. One was the Bose subwoofer in the Bose 5 Acoustimass set. It was sold for $5 by Goodwill because the satellite speakers were missing. I have read that Bose stuff is overpriced and not very good, so for $5 I wanted to see for myself. Opened it up and saw that the components inside were indeed not high-quality.

When I was in my teens, thought that I would one day get an Altec Lansing Voice of the Theater set. Now that I can afford it, and have a home to house them, I am not interested anymore.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:30 PM   #40
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Yeah I spent a lot of money when I was young on stereo equipment.

Now, I mostly listen to podcasts on my iPods and iPhone.

Did get a decent set of surround sound speakers and receiver for my TV but I haven't used them in stereo or music only mode, though the receiver supports Airplay so I could stream my music to it.

I still have a 100 CDs I could rip, but I no longer have a computer with a CD or DVD drive, though when I do listen to music, it's stuff I've had for a couple of decades or more, nothing new.
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