Keeping your focus


Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Dec 3, 2002
As in any important endeavor. keeping focused on your
early retirement goals is critical to having it come to
fruition and function as you would like. It is easy to
make choices which end up setting back your ER
planning. In my case (especially right after I semiretired), I would see business opportunities
everywhere. Getting involved would have tied up my
time and my cash, and restricted my freedom to come and go at will. I treasure that far more than any possible gains from business adventures. Luckily I
resisted the impulse and now it is much easier just to
ignore that stuff. Travel light my friends. It will pay
I'm at that point right now, trying to stay focused. Any guidelines on how to strike that balance between focusing on ER goals without feeling like you're depriving yourself?

I recently bought a house. I'm still in sticker shock, and I still can't get over the fact that owning a house costs so much! But it's helped my life tremendously by slashing my errand times and commute down to something manageable (like almost nothing). However, I do plan to sell the house when I RE and move someplace much cheaper.

I tell ya, though... I'm still torn about how I feel about this house. It needs a little work, not much. But I don't know how much I should spend on this house vs. saving toward RE. Any tips on how to balance the future with the present? I'm STILL struggling with this one! :-[
But I don't know how much I should spend on this house vs. saving toward RE.

In thinking about some of your former posts, CK, I would say you may fear enjoying the present a bit when you could be doing something useful like saving for retirement. Living Below Your Means is dandy, as long as you don't forget to Live.

Try a priority list. Figure out what you would like to change most about your house. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to save for it (1 day is to little - 3 years is too long) and start putting part of your savings towards the number one thing on your list. Just putting that money aside for a specific purpose ought to bring some joy all by itself. And you still be putting money aside for RE.

You've worked hard all your life. You deserve to enjoy the present as well as the future.

arrete, as always, you are truly helpful! Thank you (I still refer to your "Lessons Learned" post on the REHP from time to time).

Ah yes, living in the present. Tough to do for me. Very tough. So naturally, that's probably the thing I should focus on....

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