I Just Want To Live While I’m Alive

You know, I’m not sure some of us in this thread are giving ourselves enough credit. Not being broke in old age has value, too. I know that was job #1 for DW and me when I got interested in saving and investing in my late 20s. So far, so good, and anything can happen, but there is a lot of mental comfort and value in having a very long runway, just knowing it’s there and growing.

Job #2 is ensuring my 84 yo mother in good health is taken care of. DW and I and my brother and his husband help her stay in independent living, and it feels good.

Beyond that, yeah, I have ambitions for nice things, great meals, luxury travel and so forth, and we do those within reason for us. I say “within reason” because most of our friends seem headed into older age with less and I’m a bit concerned we’ll seem like we’re flaunting our circumstances. We have the same normal house and I’m still buying used cars. Maybe it’s midwestern values too.

We have no kids and if a we end up with a pile that goes to charity, I’m good with that.
 
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?
Maybe you should just plan and book a trip and then let her know where and when you are going. Ask her to plan the next one. My wife does not like to book flights, hotels etc. but if I (or one of her friends) will do it for her she is always ready to travel. Having the "talk" about it is not as important as actually doing it.
 
Work arounds are not manipulative if they are honestly discussed. It’s a negotiation and part of that is making the other party see the upside of the deal. And there is a huge upside as most of us know.
 
Based upon medical and family histories, I am much more likely to go way in advance of DH. I consider each day a precious gift - a little jewel to be cherished and enjoyed - whether I am spending money or not. I enjoy petting my pup, the breeze on my face, the sun, the rain, the time with DH and speaking with and/ or visiting friends and relatives. I appreciate the time when I am not in pain, and also appreciate that I can do exercise to reduce it when it comes. I appreciate my spiritual side. I have no concerns whatsoever about not blowing all the dough before I shuffle off this mortal coil (my goals focus around DH being able to maintain a good standard of living after I'm gone, and having all the funds he needs to be able to travel, BTD on the children and grands, and eventually hire help).

I did encourage DH to buy himself a pricey laptop yesterday for his photographs, as I know he will get a lot of enjoyment from that.

He does not like to talk about my departure but, I give him instructions from time to time. I have been working on simplifying financing, and do hope that I will hold out long enough to get everything on autopilot. (Certain things are age dependent, such as annuities, so it does not make sense for me to trigger them now.)
 
I wasn’t referring solely to spending more, not really a factor for us - though DW is probably concerned about spending too much. More importantly I meant we need to get out and do things while we’re still physically able - and still alive.
 
I’m pretty sure I know what the issue is, and there’s no way I/anyone can ease that pain. Thanks.
I don't know if this will work as a good way to start discussions in your particular case.

We found a card game that asks questions in a pretty non-threatening way. It is really rather good, IMO.
However, if there are more serious underlying issues it may not be the way to go.

 
I wasn’t referring solely to spending more, not really a factor for us - though DW is probably concerned about spending too much. More importantly I meant we need to get out and do things while we’re still physically able - and still alive.
If two like to travel yes, I agree it very important to do those things as soon as you can in life. While you Can!!

In our case travel is not a priority and enjoying our home and simple/solitaire lifestyle is more important to us.

I do agree if waiting too long and worried about using some money maybe a mistake.
 
We are 66 (DW turns 67 later this year, she robbed the cradle :)). While she prefers not to think about these things, since I retired she has seen so much death and disability among her circle of friends (some younger that us) that she has become more aware of it. In addition, when she fractured her ankle last year (fortunately after our BTD Paris/Normandy trip), it prevented another BTD trip and a trip to see family members overseas. Finally, seeing her mother and last surviving uncle, though both are sound of mind, no longer able to travel, uncle in assisted living, mother needing home help, is also bringing these things home to her.

In sum, she has started to look around observe, and realize that what we have with our health and mobility at our age we cannot take for granted. I rarely said anything directly to her about this, but her observing these things led to conversations about us trying to do more while we can. For example, she was eager to take a road trip to see the eclipse (kind of a spur of the moment decision on my part), and we recently returned from 4 days at our college class reunion event - as in her view "I cannot assume I will get another chance for these things").

At our college reunion there is a memorial remembrance time when they read the name of all out classmates who have died. She noted 30 additional names since our last reunion 5 years ago (which probably half of those 30 had attended). It was another reminder to do the things we can while we can, and that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
 
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.
But "because we're gonna die" isn't the main/only reason, it's just another push. Focus on the other reasons. Because we want to, because we've earned it and can afford it, and would enjoy ourselves - those are probably the bigger reasons.

I'm already making those arguments with DH and we're mid-50's, so the aging is just another reason for you, but you're not being dishonest if you don't make it the focal reason.
 
I wasn’t referring solely to spending more, not really a factor for us - though DW is probably concerned about spending too much. More importantly I meant we need to get out and do things while we’re still physically able - and still alive.
This plus her fear (?) of discussing death/dying, perhaps your DW has some depression or something going on. Aging can be frightening for some people. Does she like to go out and do things like travel, etc? If not, perhaps she has some anxiety.

Being an RN, I have had more general exposure with death and dying. DH has more life exposure as he has one living relative left.
We frequently talk about our time left and what we desire. It's not always a happy discussion, but necessary.
We want to be sure we have enough to get us to the finish line, but are OK with loosening up the purse strings for some extra fun along the way.

Does your wife take an interest in finances? Has she actually seen firecalc/spreadsheets/ etc and understand your reasoning that you can spend more and do more?
If she will travel, maybe start slow by going first class and high end resorts, etc. Buy front row tickets for plays, concerts, etc for things you do now.

I think frequent, open, honest discussion might be best. Don't be afraid to bring up the difficult stuff. It can be done gently, over time.
Best wishes to you.
 
I wasn’t referring solely to spending more, not really a factor for us - though DW is probably concerned about spending too much. More importantly I meant we need to get out and do things while we’re still physically able - and still alive.
Maybe DW doesn’t want to get out and do other things. Me and DW are what most would call home bodies. We do go places now and then, but really have little desire to do things much beyond our daily routine.

Agree with Aerides, talk more about what you and your DW would like to do. It’s hard for a lot of people to contemplate dying but maybe she’s just trying to tell you that she doesn’t want to do things. My grandson will say “I’m good” when he doesn’t want to do things. Maybe your DW “is good”.

That may mean you might want to do some things on your own or with a group of friends. Not great, but a compromise that many people make.
 
^ I see some of that too. She does not want to do all the things I want to do. Hopefully she will keep it honest and not just go or do to keep me company.
 
I have good friends in their later 50’s who are well off. He would travel a lot more and is very active while she doesn’t seem interested, especially in international travel. Some times people have different interests and that’s ok.

Midpack, maybe you can suggest a solo trip or experience if DW is not interested? That’s a slippery slope, but if it goes well, it can be a good conversation. I wish you all the best and hope you can figure out something that works for both of you.
 
... I think we should travel more now, stay in nicer hotels, eat at nicer restaurants and enjoy ourselves sooner rather than later....
Is it possible she just likes the way things are and doesn't want to do 'more'? What does she say when you ask her if she'd mind if you did these things yourself?
 
Maybe DW doesn’t want to get out and do other things. Me and DW are what most would call home bodies. We do go places now and then, but really have little desire to do things much beyond our daily routine.

Agree with Aerides, talk more about what you and your DW would like to do. It’s hard for a lot of people to contemplate dying but maybe she’s just trying to tell you that she doesn’t want to do things. My grandson will say “I’m good” when he doesn’t want to do things. Maybe your DW “is good”.

That may mean you might want to do some things on your own or with a group of friends. Not great, but a compromise that many people make.
This looks like good advice.

I'm not married so can't contribute much on this topic but I lean more to a home body lifestyle. My one and only vice is my beach condo. I do enjoy going there. I've had it for 10 years and have thought about selling it due to insurance cost and hurricane risks. But I'm having health issues and could easily be dead in 5 years so might as well hold onto the one thing that I enjoy the most. Let my nephews dispose of it when I go belly up.
 
Somewhere I read something to the effect "If you don't fly 1st Class your children will". We have no children or heirs. We've LBYM and have held back BTD for DW's ACA subsidy, which in retrospect we really didn't need to do.

So we've decided to live "1st Class" whenever it makes sense. I'm sure OP & others could ease into that mindset without any problem. :)

_B
 
If you view your recent time as "delayed gratification" - definitely make changes !!! I've always done all the trips, hobbies, and experiences that popped in my head over the years.

As far as "nicer restaurants, nicer hotels, and flying first class" - those have "negative value" - I hate doing those things - always have.

Anything that "buys me time" in convenience I am interested in....
 
Previously on this board I think, someone introduced the concept of QTR--Quality Time Remaining.
Compute by taking the longest living directly relative's age at death, deduct an allowance for later years in suboptimal status to get personal QTR. For example, oldest relative died at age 95, minus 5 (?) yrs for suboptimal health yield 90 minus age equals QTR. In this example, QTR for a 75 yo is 15 years.
Do the math and pose the query, what are the most important things you want to enjoy for our QTRs?
We live in a CCRC and we regularly witness the QTR realities. Often the future becomes abruptly short.
Personally, no signs of any hip dysfunction and just finished having hip replacement surgery on both sides since Jan. Good news both procedures went well and we can resume agressive travel this fall. (we are 76/76) and figure our QTR is probably 12-15 years at best,
 
I have stated this concept a few times. Folks who have LBYM'd their way into FIRE just have a tough time changing their stripes.
I certainly don't have to convince my fiance to spend; sometimes it is the opposite. However could I find more to spend on, yes I could if we had even a higher level of investments.
A simple example was our trip to Turkey. 10+ hours in coach. If we had much more monies allocated to Travel, then would have been first class with the decision being made in 10 seconds.
Midpack - you will get there over time.
 
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]
I have had some success with DW regarding the above. My approach was to tell DW that if we do all these extra things (x some large number of times), the impact to our NW will be in the noise in the long run. I gave clearer examples such as: if we remove a fairly large amount of $ from our NW tomorrow, our life style will be unchanged. This seemed to relax DW the most.
Known to be an idiot in this forum, but I am the financial expert at home, and I have always given DW the ZPIA and that has always given her peace. The reward has been wonderful for both of us (better flight seats, more travelling which we both enjoy + other BTD things etc.).
 
Neither of us are very spendy and when we had a Fidelity CFP lay out a safe withdrawal plan in retirement, that annual withdrawal would have been close to the sum of our SS and my pension- IOW much more than we typically spend. We did two years of almost no withdrawals, but not trying to skimp either, and after our SS and my pension income we used less than 1% of our savings. Problem is she has real trouble with numbers, it's some type of dyslexia. She's going to need someone to help her if I'm gone and given our relative health history I'll probably go first, and her father is 100 and is in a middle-of-the-road $4500/month nursing home. So longevity in her family. And with no kids to rely on, I fear she might need enough, for long enough, that maybe it's not a good idea to splurge even a little. When I try to discuss it she just says she prays to go first because she will never be able to handle the numbers and won't be able to know if an advisor is behaving badly.
 
A few years ago I started counting active years left. Realizing there were many places we would probably never return to. Prioritizing carefully for those places we did wish to return to at least once more.

Also there are types of travel we’ve put off until we needed the easier mode of travel. I see that happening sooner now. DH just turned 69.

Fortunately for me DH has been very oriented towards a “if we don’t do it now when will we do it” way of thinking.

I’ve always been aware of mortality as my mother didn’t make it to 64, my current age. That shocking experience drove me to ER.
 
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I’m the planner for all family matters, including finances, travel and death. My family history isn’t especially long lived, DH’s dad lived to his 90’s so DH thinks no need to discuss or plan. (However, he takes after his mom more than dad and she passed in her early 80’s.) He’s old enough to start RMD’s. Any discussion about discussing end of life is pretty short. I was at least able to secure the requisite: will, POA, Advance Directives. So that’s a start. What we have discussed successfully is what we each don’t want; such as burial.

I think in time, we may be ready to watch a YouTube video about Death Cafes and if he’s open to it, check one out in the hopes of learning from other participants.

Has anyone on Forum attended a Death Cafe gathering?
 
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