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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 01:57 PM   #41
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Nords,

I don't think anyone here is knocking being "careful" about wasting money. I think the issue, at least with me, is being anal about it to the point of losing your direction in life. Some people believe it to be a contest to see who can live on the least amount of money. Good for them but it is not for me. I made many decisions in my life and career to allow me to have a certain life style. However, that does not mean I piss money down the drain. I shop at Sam's and Costco and WalMart to save money so I can be more extravagant in some ways. We are focused on saving but we don't deprive ourselves of certain things.

I know that once we do retire, we will cut back more and will be making some life style changes but we will not be in the race to see if we can live on $25/day. I have better things to do with my time than go dumpster diving to maintain my lifestyle.

Frugal is not bad.....until it becomes the ONLY thing in your life.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 01:59 PM   #42
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I have better things to do with my time than go dumpster diving to maintain my lifestyle.
Me too.

But if I see something in a dumpster that I want to have, then ah-oo-gah...
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 02:09 PM   #43
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
But if I see something in a dumpster that I want to have, then ah-oo-gah...
OK, Nords. This falls in the category of "things I've always wanted to know but was afraid (I would look stupid) to ask." Does the US Navy still use that funky horn sound to signal the sub crew you are going to submerge?

And in my defense, you're the one who brought it up...

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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 02:39 PM   #44
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!


Comment by Nords:
We don't focus on "saving every dime". We avoid wasting the dimes on things that have no value to us or that would consume way too much of our time.

That is exactly how we feel!

One time I was at a friend's house and she picked up the phone to call information for a phone number even though she had a phonebook and a booted up computer sitting right there. I asked her why she didn't use the 2 free options available and she teased me for being concerned about her spending fifty cents. Well, the way I figure it, if you can get something free without much trouble then spending the fifty cents is a total waste. There are lots of things you can't get free and I'd rather put my fifty cents towards those things!

I know this makes me frugal, but it is the opposite of deprivation (I get more for my 50cent)
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 03:02 PM   #45
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
OK, Nords.* This falls in the category of "things I've always wanted to know but was afraid (I would look stupid) to ask."
We're not still talking about dumpsters, are we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Does the US Navy still use that funky horn sound to signal the sub crew you are going to submerge?

And in my defense, you're the one who brought it up...
Sorry, old figure of speech. Usually when those slip out my spouse nudges me and says "You can speak English now."

When I joined the submarine force (1979) that ah-oo-gah was the ONLY diving alarm available. (It's spelled that way because most submariners have it on their vehicle's vanity license plates.) But by the time I got to a LOS ANGELES class submarine in 1989 we had this weird electronic diving alarm that sounded like a three-year old waking up from a cranky nap-- "WaaaaaAH!, waaaaaAH!". Most red-blooded submariners clapped their hands over their ears in pain, immediately ripped it out, and replaced it with the old-style alarm.

Then some inspectors got a bit pissy about the subject. ("It's not part of the standard plans, we don't carry repair parts for that anymore, some crewmembers might be confused between the old & new alarms, ad nauseum.) For a long while you'd carry the old-style alarm hidden away somewhere and only install it when you were out at sea without inspectors on board. Then you'd have to remember to replace it when you got back into port or you'd get in trouble. It reached its peak of silliness when you were greeted at the pier by squadron weenies staff who'd come below and have you test the alarm to make sure you had the "right" one. Eventually the oldsters (hey, I'm one now!) all retired and everyone on sea duty thinks that "waaAH" is the "right" sound. But the traditional alarm still makes its way into the Submarine Birthday Balls and other bubblehead gatherings.

In the mid-70s the submarine force went through a brief infatuation with voice-response technology. The traditional gongs, bells, bleeps, & ah-oog-ahs were replaced by a VERY seductive woman's voice. (I'm referring to the voice. I was told the woman was a grandmother in her 60s.) Instead of being blasted out of your rack at 3 AM by the fire alarm, your dreams would suddenly be affected by this lovely voice gently murmering into your ear: "Fire. Fire. Fire in the ship's laundry." You'd smile lazily and roll over to pat something when you'd suddenly realize that you were at sea with a male crew and that burning smell was not good.

There used to be training films on the system. There's something very dissonant about that voice saying "Steam line rupture" or "Flooding. Flooding. Flooding in the engine room." Since this was the primitive days before cheap RAM, the voice was recorded onto audio tape which either broke frequently or was subject to very innovative experimentation by juvenile delinquents with too much time on their hands inquisitive sailors on quiet watchstations.

Eventually the voice became known as the "b**** in a box" and shortly afterward the status quo ante returned. By the time I got to the fleet the only remnants were the training films.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 03:57 PM   #46
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Quote from: Caroline on August 10, 2005, 08:12:28 PM

But I started to find that this laser focus on saving every dime left me MORE distressed, rather than less.* Would I sacrifice for retirement only to find that I'd grown old in the process and had lost interest in things I wanted to do?* (Travel, meaningful work for humanity, etc.)?* Would I save like mad only to become sick or die before my time?* After some years I decided that for me personally, balance was going to be more important than leaving my job on the earliest possible date.

From Nords:*

People keep bringing up frugality and dragging it across the line into deprivation.
Exactly my point, Nords!* When frugality becomes deprivation, the pendulum has gone too far, and you need to get back to center.*

For myself, I loosened the purse strings enough to do some of the travel I was putting off until "someday."* On the other hand, I still don't own a clothes dryer -- hanging the laundry is relaxing, and it smells so Gooooood.* And the vast majority of my clothing still comes from the thrift store (I can see some people shuddering now.)

I think we all chart a course, but have to make little corrections now and again as we learn more about the journey, and about ourselves.









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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 04:03 PM   #47
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Originally Posted by Caroline
On the other hand, I still don't own a clothes dryer -- hanging the laundry is relaxing, and it smells so Gooooood.* And the vast majority of my clothing still comes from the thrift store (I can see some people shuddering now.)
I enjoy the idea of hanging laundry (and saving all that electricity) but spouse won't do without a dryer and won't put up with hanging clotheslines.

So we've compromised with a drying rack for the elastic/delicate stuff, and I fill it before I start using the dryer.

Our Goodwill shorts & t-shirts have the same logos and the neighbor's $20 shorts & t-shirts. It really hit home when our kid took the middle school's "consumer economics" class, budgeted her $10 at Goodwill, and watched the other kids spend $150 at the malls.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 04:04 PM   #48
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

I agree about the balance - and while I try to mind the small stuff to the point where it doesn't get out of control, some of it is not worth stressing about. *I'm currently taking some university classes this summer as a non-matriculated student. *I have a long commute. Going by public transportation is free (pass was included with tuition) and I can study along the way. *Driving cuts my commute in half, but costs $7 and I'm not productive. *Most days I opt for public transportation, but on Fridays I'm willing to pay to drive in order to get a jump on my weekend. *Likewise, I bring my lunch because its cheaper and better, but I don't sweat purchasing coffee on campus - bringing a thermos is more hassle than I want. *However I will bring my own empty mug to get a 75 cent discount.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 04:33 PM   #49
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The traditional gongs, bells, bleeps, & ah-oog-ahs were replaced by a VERY seductive woman's voice.
Eventually the voice became known as the "b**** in a box" and shortly afterward the status quo ante returned. By the time I got to the fleet the only remnants were the training films.
I love that seductive voice in elevators. . . "Going down, Going down."
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-11-2005, 05:25 PM   #50
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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I love that seductive voice in elevators. . . "Going down, Going down."*
Apparently Steven Tyler felt the same way... one of his better efforts!
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 05:31 PM   #51
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

I mentioned at work the other day about some good finds that I bought at Goodwill. The 2 ladies that I was talking to both crinkled up their faces and said that they could never shop at Goodwill. They stated that you had no idea who had worn those clothes and whether they had been washed or not. I told them that, believe it or not, I had a washing machine and was able to wash the clothes! They still were not buying it. I told them that both of them enjoy eating out alot and did they have any idea about the people cooking their food and how clean their hands were at the time. I also told them that when they go to hotels, the sheets that they are sleeping on are not brand new and other people have been sleeping on them.

My spouse is always picking up money on our evening walks or when we are out and about. It is amazing that there is so much money laying around!

I definitely do not wash out plastic bags, but I always look up phone numbers in the book. I am frugal about some things and spend too much on other things, especially if it concerns DD.

Reading some of the threads on here and seeing how much money that some people have in savings, makes me feel that I am failing somehow. I try to save, but I don't think that I will ever have a million or even come close to it. Oh well, I am not going to let that stop me from retiring. If JG can do it, so can I!! Maybe not, since I don't have his great intellect!!! I will just have to muddle through somehow.


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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 05:50 PM   #52
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Originally Posted by Dreamer
My spouse is always picking up money on our evening walks or when we are out and about.* It is amazing that there is so much money laying around!
We went on vacation to Australia one time to visit various relatives I have (including my brother and his 3 children).* Tickets were $1200 each for the 4 of us, but the vast majority of our accomodation was free.* Our 16 yr old daughter has had a knack of finding money lying around the streets but her best was yet to come.* We had a great family day out at a gem field near Emerald (close to where my brother, a coal miner, works).* For $20 we got a wheel barrow with all the tools we needed for a family of 4.* We then wandered about digging up dirt until the barrow was full, then back to wash and sieve etc.* Our daughter hated the thought of the whole day and was there under protest.* However, while walking to find a spot to dig she bend down and picked up a loose rock that turned out to be the best find of the day.* It cost another $20 to send it off to be cut and polished.* It came back as a 4.5 carret black star sapphire.

A couple of years later we had it made into a ring for her 18th birthday, total cost $500 (well, it was her 18th!!).* A few weeks later we decided to get it valued as our house insurance required jewelry to be valued.* $5,500.* Not bad for a kid being dragged out to somewhere she didn't want to go.* Of course she tells the story quite differently today.* (She is 24 and married).

All that glitters is not gold ...... but you may be lucky!!
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 06:11 PM   #53
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I mentioned at work the other day about some good finds that I bought at Goodwill.* The 2 ladies that I was talking to both crinkled up their faces and said that they could never shop at Goodwill.* They stated that you had no idea who had worn those clothes and whether they had been washed or not.* I told them that, believe it or not, I had a washing machine and was able to wash the clothes!* They still were not buying it.* I told them that both of them enjoy eating out alot and did they have any idea about the people cooking their food and how clean their hands were at the time.* *I also told them that when they go to hotels, the sheets that they are sleeping on are not brand new and other people have been sleeping on them.

My spouse is always picking up money on our evening walks or when we are out and about.* It is amazing that there is so much money laying around!

I definitely do not wash out plastic bags, but I always look up phone numbers in the book.* I am frugal about some things and spend too much on other things, especially if it concerns DD.

Reading some of the threads on here and seeing how much money that some people have in savings, makes me feel that I am failing somehow.* I try to save, but I don't think that I will ever have a million or even come close to it.* Oh well, I am not going to let that stop me from retiring.* If JG can do it, so can I!!* Maybe not, since I don't have his great intellect!!!* I will just have to muddle through somehow.


Dreamer
Hi Dreamer. Yes, you too can ER. Most people make it too difficult.

Your comments about Goodwill (we shopped there today), and
not knowing who might have had their hands on your food, plus
lodging cleanliness really struck a chord. I have done a lot of traveling
and have some real horror stories, but I was never harmed by Goodwill,
The Salvation Army, or any other resale shop. However, last night I dined
at a very upscale restaurant (DW wisely stayed home). Ended up
in the ER at 4 a.m. with what I thought was food poisoning. Sushi and
calamari almost did me in. One sick puppy.

JG
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 06:24 PM   #54
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Sushi and calamari almost did me in. One sick puppy.

JG
Whaddya expect when you eat bait.

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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 09:04 PM   #55
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Sorry to hear that JG. You are certainly having a rough go of it lately. How is your back?

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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-13-2005, 09:21 PM   #56
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Originally Posted by Dreamer
Sorry to hear that JG.* You are certainly having a rough go of it lately.* How is your back?

Dreamer
You don't know the half of it. Thanks very much though.
Appreciate it. Truly.

Back is still pretty tender.

JG
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-15-2005, 10:51 AM   #57
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I mentioned at work the other day about some good finds that I bought at Goodwill.* The 2 ladies that I was talking to both crinkled up their faces and said that they could never shop at Goodwill.*
In general, neither would I shop at Goodwill. The selections not good enough.
Prefer independent charities, esp. hospital related. Where do you think the ladies-that-lunch-then-go-shopping doctors' wives dispose of their barely used purchases?
London, where there is alot of old (and new!) money has great thrift stores.

I get colder in the winter than DH, so one of my best finds was a nice mink short coat for $21 (end of season sale). The sleeves were a bit tight and short, so i cut them off and wore the vest around the house to stay warm. Warning: do not wear though when doing dishes.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-15-2005, 11:26 AM   #58
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.S.
I get colder in the winter than DH, so one of my best finds was a nice mink short coat for $21 (end of season sale). The sleeves were a bit tight and short, so i cut them off and wore the vest around the house to stay warm. Warning: do not wear though when doing dishes.

Why? Do the dishes throw red paint at you?
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-15-2005, 01:21 PM   #59
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

Goodwill in my town is mostly filled with junk. And it is over priced junk.

When I was in law school I used to go to rummage sales in fancy neighborhoods with friends. We found lots of really good stuff for very little money. But with Antiques Roadshow, it now seems like everyone thinks their used junk is worth tons of money. Plus the estate/rummage sales that look potentially good often have lines of people waiting to get in. No thanks. That isn't my idea of balance.
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!
Old 08-15-2005, 06:41 PM   #60
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Re: Help me stop my constant worrying about retirement!

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Originally Posted by Martha
Goodwill in my town is mostly filled with junk.* And it is over priced junk.
That's too bad. Most of my wardrobe comes from our Pearl City branch, and it's not unusual to see retailer's stock dumped directly from the store to the Goodwill.

Our kid's bicycle was half the price of the bike shop next door. It still had sale tags on it.

One time my spouse was going through the old clothes. Our kid was bored, so she picked up a kimono laying on a pile of clothing and started to take it apart. Apparently the Goodwill staff wasn't aware of the Asian practice of stashing cash in a fine kimono because a $100 bill dropped on the floor. Our kid picked up the bill and opened her mouth to say something, my spouse clapped a hand over her face and hustled her out the door, and everyone went home happy.

Last month we saw a lady at the register pay $15 for a Lladro. We went home and looked it up-- it's retailing for $125.

I like being able to buy books for under $1 and taking them on vacation. I don't have to worry about losing them and I don't care enough to drag them home.
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