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Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 11:55 AM   #1
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Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I am 43 and planning to retire at 50. My sister is 44 and will work until 65 (maybe longer). She saves a little for retirement and should be ok for retirement by 65, and I should be able to retire at 50.

The problem seems to be that I (and my wife) think about retirement alot and are always saying we cannot wait until we are retired so we can do ____. This seems to make the things we are doing now just a little less fun because we always think that when we are retired it will be better. My sister seems to be just living her life and never really thinks much about retirement other than putting some money in a 401K.

I am thinking that my sisters way may be better. Maybe I should find work in an area that I would enjoy living (instead of living where I can maximize my income and savings) and take all my vacation time and spend more on vacations. And not think about retirement as much. When I get enough to retire I will retire. I would not be able to retire at 50, but maybe the day to day life leading to retirement would be better.

I guess I am getting burned out with working and saving for an early retirement and seemingly wishing my life away until the day I can retire. Any other Young Dreamers feel like this?
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Sometimes I do, Wompo.

I get obsessed with the planning and saving, and wishing. I usually step back and realize we have to have balance, have to enjoy life now. You never know what might happen tomorrow!
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 12:17 PM   #3
 
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I would not put anything on hold today for retirement tomorrow. I don't believe it's an either/or situation.

Can you tell us exactly what you are waiting for retirement to do?
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I would not put anything on hold today for retirement tomorrow. I don't believe it's an either/or situation.

Can you tell us exactly what you are waiting for retirement to do?
Lots of things planned for retirement. Love to hike and fish and play tennis, golf. We love to travel and want to live at least part time in other countries. Right now we live in a city and access to hiking and fishing and outdoor stuff is limited. This is why I am thinking moving to an area that has outdoor activties close to our doorstep would be better even though the pay would be less and retirement would be pushed back.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I know exactly what you mean. That is basically what I have done. Only one more year to go so gonna stick to plan. My 25 year old nephew OTOH is doing the opposite. He lives in Vail, CO in an apartment with several friends and is having a ball. He went to a culinary school for a short time and works in Vail pursuing that career but having lots of fun. Enjoys skiing, snow boarding, hiking, rafting, etc... * He just got back from a 2 week vacation in Hawaii. Doesn't save a nickle.

Don't get me wrong, I have had some fun over the years. But if I had it all to do over again, I would have traveled more. Funding your retirement is important, but have fun along the way!
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

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Originally Posted by DOG51
Don't get me wrong, I have had some fun over the years. But if I had it all to do over again, I would have traveled more. Funding your retirement is important, but have fun along the way!
I am slowly sliding in that direction. Looking at arranging a vacation in Grenada that will likely be more expensive than most of my past jaunts. I started to waver over $800 plane tickets, but I have decided that if I can get the schedule to work, I will bite the bullet and go. I am getting tired of denying myself stuff I really want, especially when most material stuff doesn't do a lot for me. DW is pregnant with #2 and DD will be over 2 YO after this trip, so future vacations will be a lot more of a production. Better go to a small, rugged island while I still can.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wompo
I am 43 and planning to retire at 50.* My sister is 44 and will work until 65 (maybe longer).* She saves a little for retirement and should be ok for retirement by 65, and I should be able to retire at 50.*

The problem seems to be that I (and my wife) think about retirement alot and are always saying we cannot wait until we are retired so we can do ____.* This seems to make the things we are doing now just a little less fun because we always think that when we are retired it will be better. My sister seems to be just living her life and never really thinks much about retirement other than putting some money in a 401K.*

I am thinking that my sisters way may be better.* Maybe I should find work in an area that I would enjoy living (instead of living where I can maximize my income and savings) and take all my vacation time and spend more on vacations. And not think about retirement as much. When I get enough to retire I will retire. I would not be able to retire at 50, but maybe the day to day life leading to retirement would be better.*

I guess I am getting burned out with working and saving for an early retirement and seemingly wishing my life away until the day I can retire. Any other Young Dreamers feel like this?
Choosing to retire early is a lot like choosing to quit smoking. *(Actually, I never smoked, so I'm making this up). *It is not easy. *It requires some short term sacrifice. *And there is no guarantee it will even pay off. *You could get hit by a truck tomorrow. *

It's a lifestyle choice. *Balance is what you need. If you're getting burned out, you haven't found that yet. *Move the other way a little and see if the burn-out lessens. *
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I am definatly leaning in the direction of getting a job in an area closer to good snow skiing and hiking, fishing even if it means delaying retirement. *

Currently I max out my 401k (14,000 this year) and then pay all our bills with my salary. *We save everthing my wife earns (she also maxes out her 401k). *She has a pretty specilized job (job can only really be done in this city) and would probably not work if we moved. *I am a software engineer so I can get work in most places. *
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I am like the others here who say you need to balance enjoyment today with enjoyment tomorrow... the balance is in how much you pay for things and how many things you think you need...

People laugh at me because I had a 15 year old car, but I also had a 6 year old car... two cars for one person WHY? Because I wanted the other one (fast sports car!!)..

Take vacations just past the main season when it is less expensive.. and sometimes you can actually see more because there are less people...

But, I also save a lot for the future..
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

I am currently in the hunt for what I consider to be my "dream job" (if there is such a thing *) but if I don't get it I will move to a place that suits my interests. *I am willing to pass on a little money and add a few years to my ER date. *Just not worth it to me anymore.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 01:54 PM   #11
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
I am currently in the hunt for what I consider to be my "dream job" (if there is such a thing *) but if I don't get it I will move to a place that suits my interests. *I am willing to pass on a little money and add a few years to my ER date. *Just not worth it to me anymore.
The job I am currently in was supposed to be my "dream job". Work I really enjoy that pays me very well. The problem is that I have to struggle with traffic every day (even on weekends) and the things I really enjoying doing are at least a couple hours drive away. I believe I would be happier if I had an "Ok" job that paid ok, but lived in an area that I really enjoyed living day to day. It would be bad, I think, to keep living here for 7 more years to maximize my savings only to wind up in bad health and not be able to enjoy retirement.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 02:09 PM   #12
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Wompo . I struggled like you, deceiding wether to to buy a boat and enjoy the summers, or put a lump of cash into the market. I was 43 at the time. I had/ have some friends in their 50's and watched as heart troubles , variuos medical problems started to plaque them. (most where stress related). I figured , "early retirement starts now" and bought the boat... all though I was still working. I had a BLAST for the next 3 summers. Scratched an itch that I tought i never would.

I had a few friends pass during that time , got tired of the boat, sold it. and now am approaching 50. Alot of great memories during those years, never one regret. I am planning retireing 1 month after my 50th birthday in march.

The money spent , if saved, may or may not have survied the "market correction" as I teneded to be agressive in my savings. I may or may not of had more cash than I have now. If I had completly denied myself for an uncertian future, I most certianly would have regrets now. Things change, things happen, when it all comes down to it all we have is now.

Plan for early retirement, but don't forget you are alive today. Live a little .. Chris24
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 02:15 PM   #13
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

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Originally Posted by Chris24
I had a few friends pass during that time , got tired of the boat, sold it. and now am approaching 50. Alot of great memories during those years, never one regret.* I am planning retireing 1 month after my 50th birthday in march.

The money spent , if saved, may or may not have survied the "market correction"* as I teneded to be agressive in my savings. I may or may not of had more cash than I have now. If I had completly denied myself for an uncertian future, I most certianly would have regrets now. Things change, things happen, when it all comes down to it all we have is now.

Plan for early retirement, but don't forget you are alive today. Live a little .. Chris24
Agree!,

Time is relative (Duh).* You never know when yours is up.* Like C-T says,* life is about balance.* Save but also live.* Live for today but also plan for tomorrow.* You never know when tomorrow will actually be here.* *

We have delayed ER (again) because we enjoy having two full paychecks and all that goes with it. We have delayed ER by a couple of years to do some big ticket things while we can and still save for ER. We have taken three trips this year with one being a cruise. We are looking at funding a family trip next year and that will not be cheap. So, we choose to do a limited amount of what we want while still saving. You can do both.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 02:31 PM   #14
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wompo
Lots of things planned for retirement.* Love to hike and fish and play tennis, golf.* We love to travel and want to live at least part time in other countries.* Right now we live in a city and access to hiking and fishing and outdoor stuff is limited.* This is why I am thinking moving to an area that has outdoor activties close to our doorstep would be better even though the pay would be less and retirement would be pushed back.
Do as much as you can of those things now.

Do more of them later when you are retired.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 03:00 PM   #15
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
The job I am currently in was supposed to be my "dream job". Work I really enjoy that pays me very well. The problem is that I have to struggle with traffic every day (even on weekends) and the things I really enjoying doing are at least a couple hours drive away. I believe I would be happier if I had an "Ok" job that paid ok, but lived in an area that I really enjoyed living day to day. It would be bad, I think, to keep living here for 7 more years to maximize my savings only to wind up in bad health and not be able to enjoy retirement.
Right on Wompo. You hit the jackpot if you can find both. It is one or the other for me. If I were to get the "dream job" in the city I am sure it will probably burn me out like you eventually. Big cities just aren't for me but that is where the jobs are in my case.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 05:50 PM   #16
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wompo
Lots of things planned for retirement.* Love to hike and fish and play tennis, golf.* We love to travel and want to live at least part time in other countries.* Right now we live in a city and access to hiking and fishing and outdoor stuff is limited.* This is why I am thinking moving to an area that has outdoor activties close to our doorstep would be better even though the pay would be less and retirement would be pushed back.*
None of the stuff you want to do sounds that outrageous or expensive, certainly nothing that should be put off until retirement.* I was born in Denver, grew up in the Seattle area and have lived up and down the west coast - there are plenty of places where the city vs. outdoor tradeoff doesn't have to be made.* *Take some trips, think about moving, try some new acitivites.

I struggled with balance* for a long time and think I finally got a grip on it last year.* We still save a lot, but there is no guilt about doing the things we want to do.* Every weekend we're out hiking or cycling or SCUBA diving or playing raquetball or having friends over, and we take at least one big travel trip per year.* This year we spent a month in Spain which cost a bundle and a week in Idaho mountain biking - nearly free thanks to MIL who lives there.* I honestly, don't think our retired life will be much different except we'll be able to stay longer when we're having a good time instead of rushing back to work and we won't have to wait for the weekends to hit the backcountry.*

BTW, I just got into cycling and highly recommend a bicycle as a great way to "be outdoors" even when you can't get to a trail.* Good luck.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-21-2005, 07:28 PM   #17
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wompo
I am definatly leaning in the direction of getting a job in an area closer to good snow skiing and hiking, fishing even if it means delaying retirement.

Currently I max out my 401k (14,000 this year) and then pay all our bills with my salary. We save everthing my wife earns (she also maxes out her 401k). She has a pretty specilized job (job can only really be done in this city) and would probably not work if we moved. I am a software engineer so I can get work in most places.
A few more things to consider. She might not be able to work in her current field but she could probably find some sort of rewarding lower paying job. If you're moving from the city to the country you might also benefit from lower living costs depending on where to where. Another benefit on moving early to your "final destination" is the ability to slowy reduce your working hours rather than taking the all or nothing ER approach. Finally, once you have a decent stash built up the interest and cap gains will start to outweigh the effect of additional savings. Thus earning enough just to cover living expenses might be all you need to think about at some point.


Are you a long time skier?
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-22-2005, 05:05 AM   #18
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wompo
Lots of things planned for retirement.* Love to hike and fish and play tennis, golf.* We love to travel and want to live at least part time in other countries.* Right now we live in a city and access to hiking and fishing and outdoor stuff is limited.* This is why I am thinking moving to an area that has outdoor activties close to our doorstep would be better even though the pay would be less and retirement would be pushed back.*
Wompo
I started out my career in a very large city, high pressure job, 6-7 days a week, hours away from hiking, fishing and outdoor activities. Made a decision to move to a location where country and woods were within a 10-15 minute drive, less traffic, better schools, etc. Still had to work the 6-7 day weeks to build a career and income and made less money that would have had I stayed in the big city.

I have never regretted it for one second. Once we got settled in, we worked out way into the job, career, community and at the same time had the opportunity to hike not only on the weekends, but also after work for an hour or so, ski in the winter, fish in the summer, hunt, bike, canoe, play sports, etc. all things that would have been much more difficult to do if we had stayed. I don't golf unless I have to (played softball insead) but many do and golf in an afternoon league, etc.

You'll have to make the decision on your own, best for you and your family. But it certainly is out there and available in many places.

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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-22-2005, 06:20 AM   #19
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

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Are you a long time skier?
Yes. I started skiing about the same time I was learning to walk. I used to ski almost every day of the season when I was in high school (night skiing). The last few years I have not been skiing much (I live on east coast near very crowed slopes). Would love to move out west to a city/town near good skiing. Maybe Denver area or near Albuquerque/Santa Fe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I kind of went through the same thought process about 25 years ago. I interviewed for a Job in Idaho Falls, Idaho - Got an offer and had to make a decision. Do I stay in the big city where there are a lot of job opportunities or do I move to a 1 horse (1 job) town and be close to World class trout fishing. (Yellowstone Park 70 miles away etc. etc.)

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I chose to stay in the city and take a couple of yearly vacations with the extra money that working in the city pays. I went to Alaska 17 times, Argentina, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Ireland, Christmas Island, British Columbia,Italy, the Canadian Arctic, New Brunswick, Labrador, NorthWest Territories. I also took shorter trips to Montana and Wyoming every year for 20 years.

Now that I am retired I can go to Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho any time I want - I just pack the car and head out. I probably have caught more and bigger fish than the folks that lived in the country. So, I feel I got the best of both worlds! When you are retired you are less likely to spend the money to take an exotic trip.

So Take a few trips and re-evaulate your postiion in Life. - You'll have a great time and get a better perspective. And you will be energized and feel like you are 'living' today instead of living for tomorrow! 8)
Sounds like a good approach. After talking with my wife I think we will stay here for another year or two (with more vacations) and then look to move out west. I am going to keep my eyes open for opportunities in the mean time and if something good come along then we might move earlier.
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?
Old 11-22-2005, 11:14 AM   #20
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Re: Is planning/saving for FIRE worth it?

Quote:
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Yes. I started skiing about the same time I was learning to walk. I used to ski almost every day of the season when I was in high school (night skiing). The last few years I have not been skiing much (I live on east coast near very crowed slopes). Would love to move out west to a city/town near good skiing. Maybe Denver area or near Albuquerque/Santa Fe.
Cool. Then you are well trained in man made snow stuff, crusty ice, freeze your butt weather, and long weekend lines. Used to race slalom and GS in the old bamboo pole (no helmut) days, but nowadays I just go out with the kids (who only snowboard) on the local bunny hill . I think its a great activity to stay with into retirement, especially out west.
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