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Old 02-08-2021, 10:06 PM   #41
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Most of my discretionary spending is for experiences. Sure my ebike, hiking shoes, camera gear and woodworking tools/ supplies are "things", but they are things that enable experiences.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:17 AM   #42
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What good is a new car when we are away for four or five months a year??

Experiences are what count for us now, not things. After all, time is running out. Morocco is next, then back to Greece and to Thailand/Australia next winter IF they are open. New cars can wait.
As others have pointed out, everyone enjoys different experiences. If you're a car person you might enjoy a new car more than a trip. Neither choice is right or wrong.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:26 AM   #43
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Great thread.

I do like my material things, like a fine watch or a well-balanced fly fishing combo. But yeah, put me on a trout stream with any old fly rod and a decent cigar and I'm good.

I do own a blindingly expensive stereo that I enjoy greatly...

What type of audio gear do you have? If you don't mind sharing I am always interested in this subject.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:55 AM   #44
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Money affords me the luxury to sit here on a cold weekday morning sipping coffee while all of my friends are busy at work. It also affords me the ability to help my friends and family with my time (or money) whenever they are in need. We are not so much materialistic as grateful for the time money affords.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:31 AM   #45
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Money affords me the luxury to sit here on a cold weekday morning sipping coffee while all of my friends are busy at work. It also affords me the ability to help my friends and family with my time (or money) whenever they are in need. We are not so much materialistic as grateful for the time money affords.

Ditto. Snowing right now in southern NH. On about my 3rd cup already.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:45 AM   #46
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Good article, I agree with much of it and utilize those points in my life.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:38 AM   #47
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Good topic, one that we have been spending a lot of time thinking about. DW will retire in less than 1.5 yrs now and we have 2 homes, 6 cars (3 antiques) and lots of stuff. We are on a glidepath now to start downsizing.


The approach I take is ask yourself "What do you Value?". You don't value a new car. You (possibly) value the thought of have a brand new issue free car, one that has leather heated seats. Maybe it's all the tech. And maybe it's the attention it gets you?

Do you value a 4 bedroom 3000 sf home? No, you might value having ample space to host dinner, or overnight guests, or maybe (not in my case), the opulence of it.


Do you value travel? I sure do. But what do you really value about it? The excitement of experiencing new places? The feeling of closing the door on a rental car, starting it up and heading out in a new place/country to explore? The new dining offerings? Maybe an outdoor adventure or two, camping, hiking?

We find once we boil it all down to the humanistic things that we value, we can build back up from there a lifestyle/housing/transportation strategy that fits within out means/budget and ambitions...



We're not there yet, but are of that mindset to do it.

Also (as sort of noted above), one of my mantra's is "Life is not about things. It is about experiences and relationships".
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:08 AM   #48
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^ It took us less time than we thought. After downsizing/selling our home we put what was left in a storage container and travelled internationally for seven months.

Then we rented a furnished one bedroom suite for three months. After that we moved into what we thought would be a short term two bedroom condo rental. Short turned into four years. Nine years later we are still giving things away that we placed in that 8X8X16 container.

We did enough travel and stayed in so many different types of acomodation. We got used to not having 'our stuff' around us for a year. We realized that we did not need it all.

Since then we have had many wonderful travel experiences that for us have eclipsed the joy of 'things'. We have considered buying a second home in a number of areas...Mexico and Costa Rica. but have never wanted to tie ourself down to the same winter escaper year after year.

Looking back....so glad that we did not make any sudden decisions after downsizing with regard to where to live, what to buy, etc. Our preferences changed over the first few years or retirement/downsizing, etc.
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Old 02-09-2021, 02:19 PM   #49
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...not really liking the way they do things (much as I feel about yard services.
My neighbors were paying $300 per month just for grass cutting. I lucked out and found a great yard service run by a guy with actual training in yard maintenance, pesticides, herbicides, etc. They come in every other week, trim the trees and shrubs, cut the grass, apply Round Up where needed, and clean up nicely. I couldn't be happier with their work! All for the same $300 monthly cost!
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:49 PM   #50
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My neighbors were paying $300 per month just for grass cutting. I lucked out and found a great yard service run by a guy with actual training in yard maintenance, pesticides, herbicides, etc. They come in every other week, trim the trees and shrubs, cut the grass, apply Round Up where needed, and clean up nicely. I couldn't be happier with their work! All for the same $300 monthly cost!


Yep, I used to pay for a yard guy. Once I realized I didnít value a yard because it didnít do anything for me, I started living in places without yards...and saving that $300/mo for something that does make me happy.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:55 AM   #51
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Yep, I used to pay for a yard guy. Once I realized I didnít value a yard because it didnít do anything for me, I started living in places without yards...and saving that $300/mo for something that does make me happy.
I like my yard because it provides a buffer from the neighbors...it's 116' x 630' and borders a farmer's field. It's nice to sit on the deck and not see another house.

But we also don't care to have a perfect lawn, and of course with over an acre and a half it's not feasible. So we do the minimum...cut it when it needs and not worry about it. I'm sure that even if we had a small yard we wouldn't bother with anything more than the minimum maintenance. The open space is what makes us happy, not the grass.
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Old 02-10-2021, 07:59 AM   #52
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Time is preciousóbuy yourself some more of it
Yes, I ended up marrying an older man 3 years ago. I am retiring at the end of this year, at 52, so we can spend time together while we are both active and healthy.

Invest in experiences - we love to travel, and hope to do plenty of it starting again in 2022. We also love theatre and other "experiences"; not shopping or buying things.
Spend on others - Yup. We both give time and money to charities/organizations that are important to us
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:46 AM   #53
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I like my yard because it provides a buffer from the neighbors...it's 116' x 630' and borders a farmer's field. It's nice to sit on the deck and not see another house.

But we also don't care to have a perfect lawn, and of course with over an acre and a half it's not feasible. So we do the minimum...cut it when it needs and not worry about it. I'm sure that even if we had a small yard we wouldn't bother with anything more than the minimum maintenance. The open space is what makes us happy, not the grass.
Attachment 37670
+1 We moved into a house about 2.5 years ago that is on the edge of a major southern Ontario city but is situated on 2 acres. For a kid that grew up on a cattle farm it is a welcome return to peace and quiet. I've never given a damn about the lawn besides cutting it (which thankfully DW enjoys doing now on a riding mower) which used to be a more awkward attitude in suburban houses.

When we fully retire in the next year or so it will be to a rural setting. Privacy and quiet are what make me happy and spending money to make that happen will be money very well spent.
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:56 AM   #54
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+1 We moved into a house about 2.5 years ago that is on the edge of a major southern Ontario city but is situated on 2 acres. For a kid that grew up on a cattle farm it is a welcome return to peace and quiet. I've never given a damn about the lawn besides cutting it (which thankfully DW enjoys doing now on a riding mower) which used to be a more awkward attitude in suburban houses.

When we fully retire in the next year or so it will be to a rural setting. Privacy and quiet are what make me happy and spending money to make that happen will be money very well spent.
I'm on the edge of a major city too, the end of my property is city limits.

My GF has taken over riding mower duties...she loves it. In fact when I went to buy a new one last fall she insisted on coming with me and sitting on it first to make sure it was comfortable.

My house is close to one side of the yard. After I bought it I added a garage on the other side of the yard and ran a fence in between it and the house. When you're on the deck you have complete privacy from both neighbors and the front street. Plus the wide open view out back as shown in the pic. This is likely our forever home, at least until we're unable to stay here.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:54 AM   #55
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But we also don't care to have a perfect lawn, and of course with over an acre and a half it's not feasible. So we do the minimum...cut it when it needs and not worry about it. I'm sure that even if we had a small yard we wouldn't bother with anything more than the minimum maintenance. The open space is what makes us happy, not the grass.

I'm the same way with our second house on a lake. Almost 1.6 acres to mow. I have a "if it grows, it mows" philosophy. I don't water, fertilize, herbicide, insect control anything. I have a good size tractor and also, never mow all of it at once. Mid summer I spend 20-25 mins on the tractor maybe every 3-4 days. Don't want to be doing this for the next 15-20 years, but for now I'll take it as the price for a private lot.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:54 AM   #56
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DW get's her first SS Payment this week, she is going to donate it to the local Food back and homeless shelter.
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:26 PM   #57
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I love bending a motorcycle through curvy canyon roads.

But you have to buy the motorcycle first.

I love the solitude of fishing in the delta and I love the taste of fish that lived the day I ate them.

But you need to buy the boat first.

Yeah, I love the experiences!
Other than friends and family....Motorcycling and fishing are also some of my passions that makes me happy. People who do not ride a motorcycle are missing out. I have a boat with a cabin so I stay out on the lake for 3 days and 2 nights and enjoy the sunset and sunrise. As long as I have my old $6000 used cabin boat and my $3000 used motorcycle then I hardly need anything else.

I am an unpaid volunteer for a nearby city and I surprised my doctor when I informed him that I can wait for a vaccine. This is because I am ex-Army who tend to care about other people before myself. I am trying to get away from the "me first" mentality. I find happiness in making sacrifices for my community because "serving your community" is like "serving your country".
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:39 PM   #58
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Yep, I used to pay for a yard guy. Once I realized I didnít value a yard because it didnít do anything for me, I started living in places without yards...and saving that $300/mo for something that does make me happy.
It's not the yard that makes me happy. It's the birds that inhabit the overgrown tree area behind the yard...I feel like we're living in a nature preserve. It's amazing to me that something like
0.35 acres can support so much wildlife!
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:47 PM   #59
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"Invest in experiences"

Sounds like a travel industry commercial to me.
Well it may be, but that is pretty much how I feel. I no longer want "stuff" I want experiences. That usually means travel, but it doesn't have to be. For example, for my 65th birthday (in 2019) I hosted a birthday weekend and just invited my immediate family and my two closest friends (and their wives). We went to a ballgame on Saturday then I took everyone out for brunch on Sunday then went back to the house for coffee and birthday cake. My treat. No gifts. It was the best birthday I had since my 7th (which was really special). It was well worth the money for that experience.
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:53 PM   #60
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Good posts. Thank you midpack! I have been pondering these questions for a while. My wife just retired and she appears to be going to little stir crazy. You know, COVID and all. I think the answer for me is experiential in family spending. You can never make up great experiences and memories. We also became patrons of our local libraryĎs. For whatever reason that makes me feel great. Andrew Carnegie would be rolling over in his grave. Iím almost 62 and still working. I do like my job but more recently Iím thinking I could spend my time doing better things. We do like helping charities. Along time ago I heard a quote by the Dalai Lama, he said ďmoney can only make you happy when you give it away.Ē Perhaps Iíll keep a little for myself.
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