Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Smelling the roses along the way
Old 10-29-2007, 02:44 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 538
Smelling the roses along the way

Hi Folks,

I had an interesting discussion with a buddy of mine this weekend as we were able to slip off and ride motorcycles in the mtns. Due to different duty assignments we arenít able to get together very often but we do talk every weekend. So this trip was the beginning of a ramp up to a cross country trail ride we intend to take together when he retires a couple of years after me in the 2013 time frame. The riding was fun but I really enjoyed just hanging out with him.

The discussion was about spending more money/time and/or doing more things along the way to FIRE and the overall impact on terminal portfolio value, having no debt, and the ability to RE. But for me the big question was did it really matter?

What got me to thinking about it is he has some long term health issues and is in his mid 30s. These issues may limit his time and ability to do things with his family and friends later on. I guess the underlying thought could apply to many situations such as wanting to spend time with kids before they were off to college etc.

At the end of the weekend more questions came out of it than answers and we both left with more to think about. It seems like many folks who are marching towards FIRE are good stewards of what they have and at the beginning is in an all or nothing mentality. I would think many put off spending/doing things today for the possibility of future consumption/time when they RE or the desire to leave something for heirs, favorite cause etc. No matter what the situation they must believe there is value in doing this or they wouldnít do it. We see it posted here periodically where people have a hard time loosening up after they RE or being RE is not what they expected.

So whatís my point? I donít know I guess. Just something on my mind as I get closer to RE. How do you strike the balance? Is there a balance? How much is enough? Etc.

Tomcat98
__________________

__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-29-2007, 03:13 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
That's the big question, how much to save now so that we can live better lives later. What is the optimal lifetime savings/spending strategy ? Should I work for the man now to live better later ? Should I live now and pay that price later ?

You are right, saving money is deferring current consumption so that at some stage in the future you can (hopefully) enjoy even more consumption. If you save enough you can give up working for money and live off of your accumulated assets.

The questions you pose are for you alone to answer. There is no correct answer here.
__________________

__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Always a balancing act, and one I have not managed too successfully in the last several years.

I had a key insight recently: Once your portfolio is up to a certain size, the returns it generates over time far outweigh the effects of your additional contributions. To me, in my current situation, this is a big deal. It means that if I dialled back my efforts in my career and spent more time sniffing roses with my wife and kids, it would make only a small difference in when I get to check out for good.

I am preparing to act on this insight. Once I land a new job, I think I will have a bit of a challenge to get used to not running at full tilt in my career.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 03:47 PM   #4
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 47
I agree this is a personal decision. Brewer, to me, that sounds great. I too do the nj/nyc daily grind. Eventually when I marry and start a family it's the same move I'd like to make. Best of luck in the transition.
__________________
hova22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 04:43 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 538
Understand its a personal decision but what other things should be considered?

Tomcat98
__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Consider that you may die young, or that you may live way longer than you think

Consider that the money you save as a young person is worth way more than the money you can save as an old person.

Consider, the aging process in that some things you can only do as an younger person. Also consider that some things put off for a few years no longer seem very important.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 04:53 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
What is the greater tragedy... To die young with a large nest-egg, or to die old (miserable and cynical) eating cat-food cause you spent it all ?

What is the greater life lived... To live a full zestful and high consumption youth and then spend your later years toiling, or to live a nose-to-the grindstone youth and then live a long comfortable life free of money worries ?
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:12 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
maddythebeagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,450
It's probably best not to deny yourself....I think sometimes people confuse LBYM with eating ramen noodles...
__________________
maddythebeagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:18 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
What is the greater tragedy... To die young with a large nest-egg, or to die old (miserable and cynical) eating cat-food cause you spent it all ?

What is the greater life lived... To live a full zestful and high consumption youth and then spend your later years toiling, or to live a nose-to-the grindstone youth and then live a long comfortable life free of money worries ?
Never never never turn down the chance to party! - the one thing I learned over thirty years in New Orleans. Put your savings on autopilot and learn to make do with the rest. Party is attitude - not necessarily spending money.

Live fast, love hard, die young. Remember the clock ticks twice - while time in the market helps, you are not getting any younger - kayak now (so to speak).

Here's to Second Line, Viagra, and Poorboys made from french fries and gravy. I figure by the time I get old - even a used Hoverround(if Lithium bats evolve)) will peel rubber in all four gears chasing those nursing assistants and drag racing with the boys.

Anybody who told you that you can't party while you DCA into balanced index- sold you a bill of goods.

heh heh heh - just came back from Walmart(the lowest around here) with the Halloween candy - being careful to select only the kinds I like - just in case there are not enough kids this year. Didn't happen last year so again this year I will sample some - you know to make sure it tastes ok.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:20 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcat98 View Post
Understand its a personal decision but what other things should be considered?
Great thread. I think it's the difference between full-on retirement and Bob Clyatt's early semi-retirement.

Some may have jobs that allow cutting back the hours, others are willing to bail on a bigbucks megacareer for a job with fewer hours. My personal regret was not realizing how I could leave active duty for the Reserves with hardly a noticeable change in pay (when on orders) yet a huge difference in quality of life. But we figured out the right answer a few years later when my spouse was confronted with a similar unrefusable offer.

The board already has a lot of threads on the boundary between frugality/simple living and stark raving mad deprivation. As for working, I'd say that if you're clenching your jaw so hard that your teeth are grinding, then it's probably time to get out of the current job (big bucks or not) and find a way to cut back. Even a year off would be better than dancing a coronary duet with the Grim Reaper.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 05:54 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
.

I had a key insight recently: Once your portfolio is up to a certain size, the returns it generates over time far outweigh the effects of your additional contributions. To me, in my current situation, this is a big deal. It means that if I dialled back my efforts in my career and spent more time sniffing roses with my wife and kids, it would make only a small difference in when I get to check out for good.

I am preparing to act on this insight. Once I land a new job, I think I will have a bit of a challenge to get used to not running at full tilt in my career.
Even before your portfolio hits this point that contributions are no longer a significant contributor to your long wealth, people should shift some of their focus from their career to their investments. Take the case of a professional at MegaCorp earning $150K. A average performer might get a 4% raise while good performer might get 6%. The incremental income is $3K per year. It may require an extra 10 hours of week to earn that top performer rating. On the other hand if the person has 300K in financial assets a 1% increase in portfolio performance will also earn $3K per year and the work required is a lot less than 10 hours a week.

I was constantly amazed at the number of my collegues with assets approaching or exceeding $1 million, who would put in 10-12 hour days, but wouldn't devote 10-12 hours a year to their investments. Now this is probably not the case for Brewer because his career is involved with money management
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 06:03 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 538
After I started this thread I went in and plugged in my own personal numbers as they stand today just to verify the FI side of the equation. As I suspected we have enough already to go when the time comes. Its just the impact to the cushion if we do more. But the more I think about it it really doesn't matter to much in the grand scheme of things. We aren't hardcore LBYMs people and we actually do a lot of things. I would hate to get to the end and wish I had done more. Although right now we are pretty happy. Its good to hear other views though.

Tomcat98
__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 07:16 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
I keep going back and harping on the the 'mental' aspect cause that's what seemed to change most - with the help of hindsight.

Even when I saw it - I didn't believe it - until I decided I 'really' saw it/got it.

As a jobshopper doing a Clyatt making the big bucks as a temp without 'full benefits' I was mentally 'underemployed' even though two yrs into ER I kinda 'knew' I was FI and didn't really have to work/had a good handle on expenses, etc.

I suspect there are a variety of ways each ER 'gets it', gets there - makes the mental adjustment.

heh heh heh - If I hadn't been canned/layed off at 49 - a part of me has a real strong hunch - my early retirement would have been age 63, 2006.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 07:24 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcat98 View Post
After I started this thread I went in and plugged in my own personal numbers as they stand today just to verify the FI side of the equation. As I suspected we have enough already to go when the time comes. Its just the impact to the cushion if we do more. But the more I think about it it really doesn't matter to much in the grand scheme of things. We aren't hardcore LBYMs people and we actually do a lot of things. I would hate to get to the end and wish I had done more. Although right now we are pretty happy. Its good to hear other views though.

Tomcat98
DH and I have always saved 15% of our income -- it became such a habit we didn't even miss it in our expense budget. DHs best friend and wife (who lived two time zones away) were in a similar situation. We used to talk about taking great trips with them once we were all retired.

Several years ago, we and they decided -- pretty much on a whim fueled by a couple of bottles of good wine over dinner -- to take our kids and go to Ireland for three weeks...not an inexpensive trip by any means. While we were planning the trip, we had several talks about how much this was going to cost and how it probably was going to cut into our retirement planning, etc., but we decided to do it nonetheless. "Retirement be damned...book those first class tickets!"

The seven of us had more fun than I can even describe. We traveled all over the Republic of Ireland -- kissing the Blarney Stone, driving the Ring of Fire, meeting fabulous people, eating wonderful food, and making memories to last a lifetime.

I cannot tell you how happy we all were to have taken this trip. Less than a year later, our dear friend was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that killed him ninety-three days after diagnosis. Fortunately we were able to spend a few days with him before he died, and we spent most of our time together reliving those Irish memories.

Bottom line? The cost of the trip was little more than a blip in our overall portfolio, but what it provided couldn't be replaced.

Like the others have said, it's all about balance -- and what makes sense for you, not necessarily what is right for someone else.
__________________
Achiever51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 07:56 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,032
My wife and I approached this problem with a different prospective: sacrifice a lot of comsumption in the first few years, and then progressively loosen up. At 33, and with many good years still ahead of us, we have already saved enough money so that we could stop contributing to our retirement accounts, let the money compound at 7-8% a year for the next 30 years and retire comfortably at age 63. As other mentioned, the money you save during your early years is the one with the most compounding potential. So now we have choices: either continue saving aggressively and retire in our forties, OR stop saving and enjoy life more today (well if spending a lot more money really translates in enjoying our life more, which I doubt) and retire in our sixties, or take the middle road: spend a bit more but continue saving to be able to retire in our fifties. As we were already quite satisfied with our lifestyle and did not feel the need to spend considerably more money to be happier, we have decided to loosen up our budget just a bit while still saving a relatively high percentage of our income and we are now looking at retiring in our early 50s.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 08:00 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,634
I have often thought some of the posters here seem to overweight the RE side of the equation. It would certainly be a shame to skip by life while you save for retirement. I saw the trailer for the "Bucket List" the other day. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson meet in the hospital (cancer ward I assume) and the rich Nicholson character makes a pact to take Freeman's character around the world to complete their "bucket lists:" stuff they always wanted to do before they kick the bucket. Looks like a good, feel-good movie. At any rate, as I watched the exciting stuff they were doing I realized that I had done a lot of that stuff. I don't really have a bucket list and am glad for it. If I get interested in something I tried to work in in when I could. Why wait until FIRE?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 08:16 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
Sandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 855
There are also some of us who always put current lifestyle first. I have consistently turned down j*bs that required long hours and/or extensive travel - regardless of $$, because that was a lifestyle I was unwilling to pursue (even before kids).

On the other hand, my DH never gave much thought to $$ until I convinced him of the soundness of FIRE. Now, his current j*b is clearly a hostile work environment, and I have been encouraging him to find something else for 2 years. He did not want to because of various $$ incentives and our plans. This weekend he said enough. Today he arranged a resignation for 2 months from now with time off in between, but doesn't have anything lined up yet. I expect it will work out, but it is unlikely he will completely make up the finanicial shortfall. Hopefully it will not delay FIRE plans, but if it does, that is ok, I would rather have him here and happy than stressed and stroked.
__________________
I would not have anyone adopt my mode of living...but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Thoreau, Walden
Sandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 377
I think it depends on your age alot too. I sacrificed almost everything from 18-30.

To me it is well worth it being able to retire at 30. Was it rough? yep.

I have the rest of my life to catch up though.

Now if I had just woken up at 30, then I think it would be much harder.
__________________
No Soup for you! Come back 1 year!
Bigritchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 07:09 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Quote:
The cost of the trip was little more than a blip in our overall portfolio, but what it provided couldn't be replaced.
Achiever51.. how lucky you both were to've been able to take that great trip!

Quote:
We aren't hardcore LBYMs people and we actually do a lot of things. I would hate to get to the end and wish I had done more. Although right now we are pretty happy.
Tomcat.. I think it's just a matter of looking at and assessing what the "lot of things" that you do ARE and whether they are just notches on a belt or whether they give you the same satisfaction as the simple motorcycle ride with your friend or the important memories of Achiever51's trip. Also, what is the "more" that you might wish for? Is it stuff, time, experiences?

I notice there are a lot of credit card ads that encourage people to mortgage their futures expand their horizons with lists of exotic adventures and acquisitions to make "before you die". I can't imagine myself wanting nearly any of them and, anyway, that way lies madness. There will always be something MORE exotic or expensive that you don't have, and they'll keep making those lists to give you ever-more-high-octane suggestions!

In another thread I brought up mindFUL consumption and I think that's where you and your friend sound like you may want to focus. Does "not being hardcore LBYM" mean you might be spending in ways that don't really increase your happiness? It's not only about cutting spending, but -most often- finding ways to cut out stuff you really don't need in order to spend it on things with a better happiness "yield". But those decisions are highly personal.

I used to go out with a guy who wore a T-shirt: "He who dies with the most toys wins". I think that's a common feeling. I don't know your situation so I'm not saying that's you.. but I think it's a good example of an anti-FIRE mentality.

In contrast, I think your XC trip is an awesome idea and here's to 2013!
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 07:28 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
maddythebeagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
My wife and I approached this problem with a different prospective: sacrifice a lot of comsumption in the first few years, and then progressively loosen up. So now we have choices: either continue saving aggressively and retire in our forties, OR stop saving and enjoy life more today (well if spending a lot more money really translates in enjoying our life more, which I doubt) and retire in our sixties, or take the middle road: spend a bit more but continue saving to be able to retire in our fifties. As we were already quite satisfied with our lifestyle and did not feel the need to spend considerably more money to be happier, we have decided to loosen up our budget just a bit while still saving a relatively high percentage of our income and we are now looking at retiring in our early 50s.
Good points and good to have options....I have thought about this also....You know..."Your best savings years are before 35"...and after that use savings more for tax breaks and continue some form of work and increase consumption a bit....
__________________

__________________
maddythebeagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Try to smell the roses while planning... thefed FIRE and Money 13 05-30-2006 11:57 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:00 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.