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Old 06-16-2011, 12:24 PM   #21
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Someone once said that you should save enough each year to pay the bills and stay on track for your retirement, then you're free to spend the rest on whatever makes you happy.

If saving money makes you happy, well then, do that.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:51 PM   #22
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Like others have said, the key is striking a balance between present and future, but that's unique to each one of us and in my experience it changes over the course of your life.

Those who choose to live entirely for the present with no regard for the future will come to deeply regret it IMO, but we all make our own choices.

I spent more and saved less when I was younger. Our income has increased faster than inflation thanks to promotions over the years, but we didn't spend (much) more, I just saved more. Now nearing retirement, we've lived comfortably on about 30% of our income for the last 5 years or so. I wouldn't recommend it for someone starting out with or without a growing family, but later in life it's an option.

Where the right balance is for you, is whatever you are comfortable with. As long as you consciously account for present and a future you're comfortable with, it's really that simple...
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #23
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As someone young (29), I still find that retiring early is one of the top goals I have set in my life. I don't want to put up with the corporate grind forever and a day. I enjoy the life I am building outside of working hours too much. So I save a sizable portion of my paycheck every two weeks into my 401K, but I also don't want to put off living while I build a nest egg. I find that it's about balance. Time will tell, but I don't see my mindset on things changing all that much.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:38 PM   #24
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Good points all. Priorities can only be established by each of us, either individually or with our SO. After our kids were done with school we really tighted the belt and increased our already high savings rate. Then 2009 rolled around, my DW lost her job and I had to reapply for my job of 30 years. Lucky for us things worked out fine on the employment front but it reinforced our frugality. Now it is time to loosen up and enjoy ourselves a little more. This really hit home this last weekend when a neighbor our age wasn't outside at the lake. Another neighbor told us he had relapsed and probably won't make it. It kind of puts things into perspective.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:28 PM   #25
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As someone young (29), I still find that retiring early is one of the top goals I have set in my life. I don't want to put up with the corporate grind forever and a day. I enjoy the life I am building outside of working hours too much. So I save a sizable portion of my paycheck every two weeks into my 401K, but I also don't want to put off living while I build a nest egg. I find that it's about balance. Time will tell, but I don't see my mindset on things changing all that much.
I'm 30 years older, but that is a philosophy that worked for me. I've traveled extensively, have a nice but not ostentatious house and drove new cars (subsidized by employer) for 20 years before retiring. Still hit 7 figures by age 45 by living frugally in areas that didn't matter to me. I'd do it the same way all over again.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #26
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I'm in a very similar situation. Haven't been on the boards in at least 6 months, but we're still plugging away at FIRE.

We make sure to take our annual, nice (read: pricey) vacations, because that's what the DW and I like to do. Sure we could retire earlier if we don't do it, but there's no sense in being miserable for the next 15 to 20 years. Besides, de-stressing and spending money on yourself is an investment in your health because it lowers the blood pressure/stress levels.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:04 PM   #27
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I'm in a very similar situation. Haven't been on the boards in at least 6 months, but we're still plugging away at FIRE.

We make sure to take our annual, nice (read: pricey) vacations, because that's what the DW and I like to do. Sure we could retire earlier if we don't do it, but there's no sense in being miserable for the next 15 to 20 years. Besides, de-stressing and spending money on yourself is an investment in your health because it lowers the blood pressure/stress levels.
So do other activities.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:29 PM   #28
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This really hit home this last weekend when a neighbor our age wasn't outside at the lake. Another neighbor told us he had relapsed and probably won't make it. It kind of puts things into perspective.

This truly is another consideration.

Billy and I have recently received numerous emails from long time friends (none of us are “old”) informing us of health issues and unexpected deaths or accidents. One long time friend always wanted to retire (had savings and owned a million dollar flat in NYC) but was afraid he wouldn’t have enough money. Others were continuing to work to have more, but then a major health issue came in and instead of retirement, they dealt with life or death topics. Another friend had an unexpected motorcycle accident where his wife died and he is now in physical therapy trying to get his life back.

I guess it just comes down to not knowing the future. One can plan and get the ducks all lined up but Life’s challenges happen anyway.

Finding the balance in so many areas…

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Old 06-29-2011, 05:05 PM   #29
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Racing to the ER finish line at the expense of your day to day life is big risk. Sucks if you're waiting for your golden years and you never make it. Moderation. Work hard, save some money and have fun along the way.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:34 PM   #30
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Besides, de-stressing and spending money on yourself is an investment in your health because it lowers the blood pressure/stress levels.
Absolutely.


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Old 06-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #31
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DH and I have gone through pretty frugal times and we have gone through times when we let loose a little bit more. Lately, I guess we've been more in a frugal mode because of the economy and kind of waiting to hear what is going to happen regarding Medicare for those under 55 as of 2011. Even though we don't need to, we always seem to tighten up on spending when everyone else is.

I agree that you have to have a little fun with your money along the way, otherwise, what's the point?

We love concerts and will be going to two this summer: The Doobie Brothers in August and Chicago in September. We'll be doing a little fine dining beforehand. We also like to go to museums, aquariums, zoos, etc. so we try to do something along those lines a couple of times a year.

We love our home and spend a lot of time having cocktails on the patio, barbecuing and hanging out - just everyday easy living.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #32
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When I was working, my job was stressful and almost round-the-clock ( I was responsible for Asia Pacific distribution sales ) with meetings and conference calls. In particular, the commute through traffic was literally driving me crazy ( pun intended ).

The stress probably contributed to my current High Blood Pressure, so now that I've crossed the bridge to retirement, I hope to work out more, relax more and bring it down.

Still, I recognize that life itself is full of stress - family, health, relationships, financial, etc. So one has to roll with the punches.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #33
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Yup - balance is the key - pay for what you value in life and minimize the cost of that which you do not (or get rid of it if you can).
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:13 PM   #34
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I agree that you have to have a little fun with your money along the way, otherwise, what's the point?

We love concerts and will be going to two this summer: The Doobie Brothers in August and Chicago in September. We'll be doing a little fine dining beforehand. We also like to go to museums, aquariums, zoos, etc. so we try to do something along those lines a couple of times a year.

We love our home and spend a lot of time having cocktails on the patio, barbecuing and hanging out - just everyday easy living.
Those two shows should be fantastic! I love live music and it is one area we try to spend freely in, because every concert or festival leaves us with a story to tell.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #35
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What people are calling "balance" here makes sense only if your w*rking life is tolerable. For many of us, it wasn't, no matter how we tried to compensate for it.

If you're drowning, you don't pause to admire the pretty fish. You just do everything you can to get to the surface before you expire. That was my situation, and so that was my approach to FIRE. I had no other choice, and I'm happy with the way things have turned out.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #36
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What people are calling "balance" here makes sense only if your w*rking life is tolerable. For many of us, it wasn't, no matter how we tried to compensate for it.

If you're drowning, you don't pause to admire the pretty fish. You just do everything you can to get to the surface before you expire. That was my situation, and so that was my approach to FIRE. I had no other choice, and I'm happy with the way things have turned out.
Yeah, who are these people who "love their job"?
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #37
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What people are calling "balance" here makes sense only if your w*rking life is tolerable. For many of us, it wasn't, no matter how we tried to compensate for it.

If you're drowning, you don't pause to admire the pretty fish. You just do everything you can to get to the surface before you expire. That was my situation, and so that was my approach to FIRE. I had no other choice, and I'm happy with the way things have turned out.
Well said!
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:34 PM   #38
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Saving conflicts with living ONLY insofar that living=spending money. There are other ways to live. Just sayin'...
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:38 PM   #39
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Yeah, who are these people who "love their job"?
Since U asked:

I Love My Job | Group with Personal Stories, Forums and Chat

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Old 07-05-2011, 10:14 PM   #40
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If you're drowning, you don't pause to admire the pretty fish. You just do everything you can to get to the surface before you expire. That was my situation, and so that was my approach to FIRE. I had no other choice, and I'm happy with the way things have turned out.
After one has invested time, effort and money qualifying for a particular occupation, and then additional time and effort building relevant experience/expertise, it is easy to feel trapped. But the reality is that - absent unusual circumstances - almost all of us have a choice whether to continue or try something else.
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