I Just Want To Live While I’m Alive

Midpack

Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
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DW and I are 68 and 70. After a life of LBYM, extending into retirement, I’ve finally come to realize we’ve probably delayed gratification too long and over planned - first world problem. I don’t want to live forever, my parents lived too long at 93 and 96, and the last decade wasn’t enjoyable for either. I think we should travel more now, stay in nicer hotels, eat at nicer restaurants and enjoy ourselves sooner rather than later. [There’s no chance we’ll over react and spend too much, we’re both hard wired otherwise] DW fears death and can’t talk about it, so she plans accordingly - putting life off as if there will always be time later.

Just wondered if anyone else has been able to get this conversation going with a spouse before it’s too late?
 
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We are hardwired savers as well. We have no children and it is hard for us to open up our checkbook. I just turned 65 and DW is 68. We are looking for a new truck but can't seem to pull the trigger as prices have gotten so high. We do talk about it a lot and have it least allowed ourselves to not worry about smaller price items. We are less concerned with food prices for example and just buy what ever looks good and not worry about costs. Having no direct heirs( we have lots of nieces and nephews) should allow us to spend more freely but it has been a challenge to do so. However we are both very content in life and if we die with a large excess we are ok with that. Some charities will be beneficiaries of that.
We have a 5 week trip planned for late August and all of September for Glacier and the Canadian Rockies. We both are fit and active hikers. The only real goal is to do trips and activities that are enjoyable and help maintain our physical and mental health whether expensive or not.
 
I retired early (age 50) specifically because my family is short lived. No 90 year olds for us. I had talked to DW about FIRE for many years, but she never really believed it would happen. It took a couple of years before she bought into the concept. But we've had a great time over the past 18 years.

When I started getting sick (heart, then kidney disease) we had a few heart-to-heart talks about mortality. We're not stopping the fun things, although we're definitely slowing it down. My DW also has a hard time dealing with the inevitable end of one of us, but just like with planning for FIRE or estate planning or any other serious topic, sometimes you just have to sit down and have a serious talk. It can be hard to start, but it will be worth it. Maybe start the topic as estate planning, then morph it into how best to spend your remaining time and money to do some bucket list things.

As difficult as it might be, it's better than waiting until something happens to one of you, then regretting what you didn't do. I'm still sad I probably won't be through hiking the AT. But other than that, No Ragrats!
 
We are similar to both of you, saved and now we have 2 homes to pass on along with small 7 figure retirement funds. We have 3 pension checks and one SS with plan to take mine next year at 69. We have traveled and spend what we want but funds continue to outpace our spending. I passed on a new truck at this point also due to cost and all the unnecessary electronics on current vehicles.
To the situation as I understand it, we have put some $$ in budget for travel while we are physically able and currently spending about $9K to put a laundry room in upstairs. We plan to do one project on the house each year. Hopefully with travel budget and a project each year we will be able to enjoy our savings and still pass along substantial to heirs. Oh, we also have upped our charitable giving and have designated our TIRA to charitable causes.
 
I'm glad you're having that convo now. My parents have definitely slowed down their travel appetite after turning 75. Mum has sciatica, Dad has a knee facing TKR, so they aren't as mobile as before. I've been telling them to upgrade to business class for a decade or more to make long flights more comfortable, and they are only just now going to do that.

They recently visited a lovely island but most of their complaints were related to mobility.
 
DW and I are 68 and 70. After a life of LBYM, extending into retirement, I’ve finally come to realize we’ve probably delayed gratification too long and over planned - first world problem. I don’t want to live forever, my parents lived too long at 93 and 96, and the last decade wasn’t enjoyable for either. I think we should travel more now, stay in nicer hotels, eat at nicer restaurants and enjoy ourselves sooner rather than later. [There’s no chance we’ll over react and spend too much, we’re both hard wired otherwise] DW fears death and can’t talk about it, so she plans accordingly - putting life off as if there will always be time later. Just wondered if anyone else has been able to get this conversation going with a spouse before it’s too late?
+1. (See my signature! )
I just turned 72 yesterday. While DW and I have been "fat fire" for almost 20 years, I am saddened and frustrated by the idea that I may only have 20 years left and maybe only 10 of them good ones.

We have no children and are at the financial point where it keeps growing faster than we can spend it, despite DWs best efforts.

YES! It's time to loosen the purse strings. Your spouse may think she'll live forever but try to remind her that, at best, she only has maybe 10 years before she'll no longer be physically able to spend what is left.

Nothing sadder than "could of, should of". Life is for living. Life is too short to not have the very best...it only cost just a little more to go first class.
 
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Your spouse may think she'll live forever but try to remind her that, at best, she only has maybe 10 years before she'll no longer be physically able to spend what is left.
Exactly what I am asking. I just haven't been able to find the words that will allow her to face the fact we won't live forever, and our active years even less so. She shuts down, even cries if I push no matter how gentle/supportive I try to be. I was hoping someone else had found a non threatening way to break through, that I have not figured out.
 
Exactly what I am asking. I just haven't been able to find the words that will allow her to face the fact we won't live forever, and our active years even less so. She shuts down, even cries if I push no matter how gentle/supportive I try to be. I was hoping someone else had found a non threatening way to break through, that I have not figured out.
There may be deeper issues here. Sorry for you. Hope someone out there might have something.
 
MP, we RE'd at 56/57 so we would have the energy for travel and hiking to the photo views. Two years ago we started flying first class for any overnight flight so we could sleep better. This month, on a fairly simple trip in the Michigan UP, we rented log cabins twice at $400+ per night because we love them, but didn't build one of our own. It's time to BTD.
 
I've been going through the same thing with my wife. After many years, I've concluded that there's little chance of changing her mindset. However, I've found a "work around" is just to suggest, encourage and talk about what a great time we'd have doing whatever activity or travel being discussed. Often, she gets just as enthusiastic about it as me and will come up with her own suggestions. So we're not doing it because of the avoided we don't live forever topic but because we'll both enjoy period. In sum, don't make big 10 or 20 year plans based on mortality, just live more in the now.
 
Exactly what I am asking. I just haven't been able to find the words that will allow her to face the fact we won't live forever, and our active years even less so. She shuts down, even cries if I push no matter how gentle/supportive I try to be. I was hoping someone else had found a non threatening way to break through, that I have not figured out.
I've found DW is not fond of these discussions and neither am I. Couple things worked for me even just a crack.
1) I have a FP with Fidelity that we talk with once a year. I keep this relationship so that DW will have someone she knows and is comfortable with if I go before her. The FP proded us to get wills and medical directives in place and I took it a step farther to put in place TOD for houses. This allowed me to conversate a bit about final plans.
2) We have been talking about a budgeted travel each year so that has prompted or allowed discussions about travel today while we are mobile. Also has opened conversations about where we want to travel and which are most important. This disclosed some things we didn't know before and prompted some thinking more about how long will we be this mobile. Antarctica would need to be done before a river cruise where less demanding.
I've talked around the edges and it seems to open the door for both of us a bit. I probably like the discussion topic even less than she does :)
 
Exactly what I am asking. I just haven't been able to find the words that will allow her to face the fact we won't live forever, and our active years even less so. She shuts down, even cries if I push no matter how gentle/supportive I try to be. I was hoping someone else had found a non threatening way to break through, that I have not figured out.

I'm very sorry to hear that. I heard someone once say (I think it was Steve Jobs?) that you should spend money on what brings you joy. One idea might be to think about what that is for her. For DW is was spending more on clothes. I have subtly push her into buying something she would not have in the past and have reminded her how happy she was with her purchase. Maybe what might work is to focus less on the time that is left and more on what will bring her joy now. She may be more willing to do those things or buy those items if it is not because time is running out.

Best of luck.
 
Maybe what might work is to focus less on the time that is left and more on what will bring her joy now.
enjoyinglife102 said:
After many years, I've concluded that there's little chance of changing her mindset. However, I've found a "work around" is just to suggest, encourage and talk about what a great time we'd have doing whatever activity or travel being discussed. Often, she gets just as enthusiastic about it as me and will come up with her own suggestions. So we're not doing it because of the avoided we don't live forever topic but because we'll both enjoy period. In sum, don't make big 10 or 20 year plans based on mortality, just live more in the now.
+2. We have always been totally honest with each other, so not telling her why I’m pushing for more now, acknowledging our mortality WRT active years, hadn't occurred to me. Feels like I’m manipulating her somewhat, but it may be the best/only approach in our situation. I’ll have to think that over…my conscience may not allow it.
marko said:
There may be deeper issues here. Sorry for you.
I’m pretty sure I know what the issue is, and there’s no way I/anyone can ease that pain. Thanks.
 
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Good thread - I struggle with the right balance. Worried about having enough for long term care later, (since LTC policies are crappy coverage for ridiculous cost), so I hesitate to "overspend" (whatever that means) now.

Yet, it's sad to think I scrimped and saved my entire life, just to make sure I have a slightly nicer nursing home room vs BTD on adventures and pleasures.
 
Whenever “sooner, rather than later” conversations came up with DW and kids over the years, I would remind them that these carbon-based transport and support systems, and our CPU, has an expiration date! That is the reality.
 
Perhaps a way to think/talk about it:

In order to grow, we have to do things that scare us. Spending money can be scary after a life of winning the game by not spending money. But that behavior is now a barrier to personal growth rather than a helper.

Phrasing it this way is less about “live today for tomorrow we die” and more about what’s necessary to keep growing.

This is how I’ve been thinking about things now that we’ve FIRE’d. That DW almost died a few years ago perhaps makes this easier to process.

I have a brother who desperately needs to make this transition. He just passed on a dream house over a price difference that would have been 2% of his assets. His frugality, which helped him raise a fabulous family and retire at 62, is now in his way.
 
Another really great thread and touches each of us all in some aspect. We are from being very wealthy, but we should have enough to make it to the point of life. Then again who knows for sure till that time comes.

We do spend on things we but never have ovah spent on anything in our life. Yes, we could spend more on luxury to buy/have but that isn't in our genes.

My wife isn't afraid of spending money knowing we have enough and may never run out. The thing is we all have got to ER with having that frugal LBYM mentality all our life and that is very hard to break.

We/I are in the early stage of/hoping to buy more land and that doesn't even cause a discussion of the money that we will be spending. She doesn't care and does know the value of money but also knows we only have so much time left.
 
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We are having these conversations and thanks in no small part to this community.
She has placed an arbitrary time for her retirement when we get home occupancy on the new place.
She has no illusions about declining mobility, the RA has taken so much of her freedom in the last 10 years.
Her issue is denial that we have enough to retire. Yesterday we went over the accounts again and the numbers. It seems to help.
 
That DW almost died a few years ago perhaps makes this easier to process.
This is the reality that many face - me and DW certainly did. You may not want to talk about death and it may be hard to do things that go against our nature but at some point life comes in and smacks you in the face. Then you can’t help but deal with it.

Midpack, I hope it doesn’t take a medical condition to get your DW to talk about living a little differently but that may be what it takes. Thankfully, for me and DW, our medical situations were not debilitating. They were, however, eye opening - especially for DW.

For a short time, DW thought about going back to work. I looked her in the eyes and said, “you’ve just been given a wake up call about how fragile and short life can be and you think the best use of your time is to go back to work?” We were FI by that time so that wasn’t an issue (thankfully). Ultimately, she came to understanding it was time to retire. I got sick a few years later, had already retired, and now we’re both fully appreciative of the reality that time is short and good time is even shorter.

No sage advice here, short of a medical scare that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, other than to keep trying and more important, to lead by example.
 
Spending, but not wasting, money has been a big problem for us. It seems that life has too many good choices for us and we don't know which one to choose from. We have done three international trips this year so far (South America, Asia, Europe). I just spent some time to decorate my patio with potting flowers which makes it beautiful. We have vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, growing in the front and back yards. Now, leaving home for more than two days seems not a good idea anymore, as the summer sun may kill the patio flowers. We are worrying about not making more trips as we are to reach 60 in less than a year. But staying home and making home beautiful (busy around home) seems not too bad. Life is good, we should really not worry about anything.
 
Spending, but not wasting, money has been a big problem for us. It seems that life has too many good choices for us and we don't know which one to choose from. We have done three international trips this year so far (South America, Asia, Europe). I just spent some time to decorate my patio with potting flowers which makes it beautiful. We have vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, growing in the front and back yards. Now, leaving home for more than two days seems not a good idea anymore, as the summer sun may kill the patio flowers. We are worrying about not making more trips as we are to reach 60 in less than a year. But staying home and making home beautiful (busy around home) seems not too bad. Life is good, we should really not worry about anything.
I have been dealing with that with automated drip watering. I too want to garden in the new place but I will not let that get in the way of travel. If we need to pay a house sitter we will. A house/pet sitter is an acceptable cost of having a nice place and wanting to travel too.
 
Marrying a second husband who was 15 years older gave me a good perspective. I was 50 and he was 65. I'd had it in the back of my mind that if we saved all the good travel (and we both loved exploring new places, especially Europe) till I retired (age 65 was the plan) he might not be up for it. Good decision- I retired at 61 and he died at 78. We switched to Business Class on long hauls early- he was over 6' tall and had a creaky back. We got hotel rooms with a nice sitting area so he had a pleasant place to rest when needed. We stayed near the main attractions or near good public transportation stops. It was worth it and now I make the same decisions for myself. Hotel overnight near the airport for ridiculously-early AM flights, car service to and from home airport, Business Class flights.

I'm slowing down a bit due to mitral valve prolapse but the docs tell me it's important to keep moving, so I do. I still have a primary objective of providing for my own LTC if I need it and leaving a legacy but I'm having fun with come of my money.
 
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I will pay more for a nicer room in a good location. I will pay more for extra leg room on a flight. I will reserve things ahead of time even if means I don’t get last minute pricing. I’ll buy better seats at a concert. I’ll replace my nonstick pans when they start to stick a little, not wait until butter sticks. I’ll get a few more comfort options on my next car.

I’ll spend more to help my kids, especially with the cost of housing.

What I won’t do is spend money on more stuff that clutters up my life for them sake of spending more.
 
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We are worrying about not making more trips as we are to reach 60 in less than a year. But staying home and making home beautiful (busy around home) seems not too bad. Life is good, we should really not worry about anything.
many people travel into their 80s. It’s just slower travel doing in three days what you used to do in one. And skipping stuff like zip lining over a 300 foot deep canyon in Upper Boulderstan.

I have friends who do thinks like scale rocky cliffs with ropes, pitons, etc. etc. They are in their mid 60s. I would not try these things myself for fear of life altering injuries. But they love it.
 
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