Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

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Topic Author
Buy_N_Hold
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Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
Brewo
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Brewo »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm
Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
My wife and I finally started to earn enough money to make decent sized 401k contributions in 2007 (before that it was grad school and paycheck to paycheck income). If you don't know what happened to those contributions next feel free to Google. We had also bought a condo close to the peak of the local market in 2005 and were underwater. And we welcomed our first child in early 2009. All of that is a long winded way of saying, I can relate!

What helped me was sites like this one and learning about how markets are cyclical. It was a tremendously useful insight to me to realize that a correction or recession means I get to buy everything at a discount vs worrying that I would lose everything when I didn't really have much.

If I were to give you one piece of advice it would be to understand that you are young and have many years for the market to grow. Instead of worrying about your retirement investments going down when you don't need them for 40 years, focus on maximizing them and on your human capital and what you can do to grow your income.
SnowBog
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by SnowBog »

I think about the following:

1) historically - overtime - we are almost always at (or near) "market highs" (as the market generally goes up - that's why we invest)

2) meet the world's worst market timer: https://thereformedbroker.com/2020/12/2 ... ket-timer/

3) time is on your side... You are 28. It's all but guaranteed the markets with "crash" at some point in your investment career. But time in the market is your friend...
lazynovice
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by lazynovice »

A few of the risks you list are insurance. Do you have health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance? If not, get some! Make sure you have an adequate emergency fund. Then you can scratch those off the list.

Make sure you have a healthy balance of spending and saving. Some people overspend and some people oversave. Don’t create worries about the markets to justify spending a little money today.

What are you suggesting you do instead of save and invest? The other alternative is to spend. Are you saying you want to spend it all? If so, I can’t relate. If you want to take a trip or go out to eat a little more often, then yes, I can relate.
“I didn’t want my sailboat to be in the driveway when I died.” Nomadland
Topic Author
Buy_N_Hold
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

lazynovice wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 10:40 pm A few of the risks you list are insurance. Do you have health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance? If not, get some! Make sure you have an adequate emergency fund. Then you can scratch those off the list.

Make sure you have a healthy balance of spending and saving. Some people overspend and some people oversave. Don’t create worries about the markets to justify spending a little money today.

What are you suggesting you do instead of save and invest? The other alternative is to spend. Are you saying you want to spend it all? If so, I can’t relate. If you want to take a trip or go out to eat a little more often, then yes, I can relate.
Yes we do have health insurance, but not disability and an inordinate amount of life. I guess that might be a good place to start. I am essentially feeling like I would like to spend more and save less. I suppose that is ultimately a personal preference thing more than anything.
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
Topic Author
Buy_N_Hold
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

Brewo wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 10:29 pm
Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm
Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
My wife and I finally started to earn enough money to make decent sized 401k contributions in 2007 (before that it was grad school and paycheck to paycheck income). If you don't know what happened to those contributions next feel free to Google. We had also bought a condo close to the peak of the local market in 2005 and were underwater. And we welcomed our first child in early 2009. All of that is a long winded way of saying, I can relate!

What helped me was sites like this one and learning about how markets are cyclical. It was a tremendously useful insight to me to realize that a correction or recession means I get to buy everything at a discount vs worrying that I would lose everything when I didn't really have much.

If I were to give you one piece of advice it would be to understand that you are young and have many years for the market to grow. Instead of worrying about your retirement investments going down when you don't need them for 40 years, focus on maximizing them and on your human capital and what you can do to grow your income.
Sounds like 2005-2010 was a difficult stretch! I did not start taking serious interest in investing until 2016 or so, so I still feel like I have not lived through a true bear market yet. March 2020 was followed by such a fast recovery that I didn’t feel particularly challenged.

Your advice to focus on growing my income is much appreciated. I have been deliberating for weeks now about whether or not to pursue CFP designation and I think I’m finally starting to conceptualize it as an investment, just like an index fund purchase. Thanks for sharing your personal story and opinions. I appreciate it.
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
SnowBog
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by SnowBog »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Unless you are lucky to have a job with a pension - saving for retirement is no longer an "option."

I suspect the part you are missing from your comment above is thinking this is an "either or" discussion. Ideally, its not... Assuming you've paid off debts (if not - do that ASAP) other than a mortgage, then its about finding balance. No one expects you to not have vacations or live in a 1 room apartment for the rest of your life, so just so you can "save for the future."

For many, saving 15% of their gross (pre-tax) income may be sufficient - assuming they work until normal retirement age and also get social security.

Ultimately, its a matter of "living below your means"... Its all about ensuring that you don't overspend what you earn, as that's disastrous to your financial life. For most - a 10-15% reduction is hardly noticed in day-to-day spending, but super powerful over time for retirement savings.

Lastly, at 28 - the best thing you can do is grow your earnings/career. Let's say you save 10% of your income now, but put 50% of all pay raises into savings (keeping the other 50% for "living today"). If you can substantially grow your career/earnings, you'll end up having a very large savings rate and a very comfortable life. You don't need to pick one over the other...
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peetsperk
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by peetsperk »

You have got to stop reading and listening to this type of noise. We live in a world where every time we read the written word on-line or watch a video, Google will just feed us more and more of that which it knows we're interested in. That's how they make money and it quickly distorts our view of the world. If you want to regain your investing motivation, follow this advice and stop watching and reading the words of those who preach the sky is falling. This video (which David Jay recently recommended) makes the point better than I ever could (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63 ... =JoshHuynh ). Enjoy and I wish you success!
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peetsperk
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by peetsperk »

duplicate
Last edited by peetsperk on Sun May 16, 2021 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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peetsperk
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by peetsperk »

duplicate
Topic Author
Buy_N_Hold
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

SnowBog wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 10:57 pm
Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Unless you are lucky to have a job with a pension - saving for retirement is no longer an "option."

I suspect the part you are missing from your comment above is thinking this is an "either or" discussion. Ideally, its not... Assuming you've paid off debts (if not - do that ASAP) other than a mortgage, then its about finding balance. No one expects you to not have vacations or live in a 1 room apartment for the rest of your life, so just so you can "save for the future."

For many, saving 15% of their gross (pre-tax) income may be sufficient - assuming they work until normal retirement age and also get social security.

Ultimately, its a matter of "living below your means"... Its all about ensuring that you don't overspend what you earn, as that's disastrous to your financial life. For most - a 10-15% reduction is hardly noticed in day-to-day spending, but super powerful over time for retirement savings.

Lastly, at 28 - the best thing you can do is grow your earnings/career. Let's say you save 10% of your income now, but put 50% of all pay raises into savings (keeping the other 50% for "living today"). If you can substantially grow your career/earnings, you'll end up having a very large savings rate and a very comfortable life. You don't need to pick one over the other...
We do not have a pension option at either of our jobs, unfortunately. Our income has scaled dramatically, and it has been very difficult to keep our discretionary expenses from increasing as well. Fortunately, we do not have any debt at this time. I think it may help for both of us to up our 401(k) contribution percentages to just take the temptation to spend out of the equation entirely. Your perspective about scaling my income makes good sense as well. Thanks for taking the time to share.
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
Topic Author
Buy_N_Hold
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

peetsperk wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 11:04 pm You have got to stop reading and listening to this type of noise. We live in a world where every time we read the written word on-line or watch a video, Google will just feed us more and more of that which it knows we're interested in. That's how they make money and it quickly distorts our view of the world. If you want to regain your investing motivation, follow this advice and stop watching and reading the words of those who preach the sky is falling. This video (which David Jay recently recommended) makes the point better than I ever could (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63 ... =JoshHuynh ). Enjoy and I wish you success!
I saw this clip recently on this forum actually. Hilarious and certainly appropriate given my line of thinking I have been going through. It’s funny how the brain can create such positive and negative momentum depending on what one is feeding it. Thanks for the perspective!
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
JBTX
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by JBTX »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today.
There is always uncertainty about the future. I'm in my upper 50s and I've followed this stuff one way or other for 4 decades. There are always those saying the end of the world is coming. The market is going to crash. The economy is going to crash. The US will lag the world. Inflation will get out of control. These are not new worries. So yes, there are lots of uncertainties, I don't buy that there are more, at least from what I've experienced over the decades.
What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital?
This is why I stay market weight in international. And also have bonds.
What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s?
.

Buy some ibonds or maybe some tips, or even some gold, if it worries you. We may very well have inflation. But it doesn't necessarily have to play out like the 70's. The world economy is substantially different. Also, if you have international, even if the US has inflation, the rest of the world may not.

What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die?
If you are dead it doesn't matter, does it? Are you thinking your life would be much more fulfilled if you spent 10-20% more right now?
What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital?
What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
Seems to me these are reasons to save, not to stop saving.
I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Obviously there is a balance. I'd agree, it's probably worthwhile to travel when younger. I'm glad I did what I did and I wish I had the opportunity to have done more. However, I'm not sure a fancy car is going to make you any happier.

I guess the flip side is you get to 60, you have little saved up, and you have to keep working and you are faced with 25-30 years of living a meager life on social security.
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1789
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by 1789 »

Good questions. I assume your dependent is a very young one. Make sure to get life and disability insurance. Please dont skip these two. Coming back to what you asked. Regardless of you are saving for retirement or any other long term goal, you HAVE TO make sure you are spending money NOW on the things you value. For example, if you like traveling make sure to put some money for that every year and enjoy doing that with your family. For this type of thing it doesn’t make any sense to postpone this to post retirement. You may not survive that much. (Yes yes i know BHs tell you you will have a very long life time of 100 year because that’s what some tables on the social security system says. That is average, and none of these people think they will fall to the left side of that curve). Eat well, drink well, exercise, travel enjoy your life while you can and of course save some money your future life too.
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Drewski04
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Drewski04 »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I’ve often thought about the same things, including the idea that $1 spent today on things like vacations, skiing, and other activities is far more valuable than when I am much older in retirement.

Think of it this way:

When you are 65 or 70 (no guarantee we will make it there) how much would you pay to be 30, 40, or 50 and in good health and take that amazing vacation or other fun activity?

I’d pay many more multiples than what it costs me today. So today, not only do I pay less, but I enjoy it more due to being far younger. And, today’s consumption is a guaranteed return on investment as opposed to a future return that is far from certain.

We’ve made it a priority to have balance. Definitely save adequately for retirement, but actually have the same discipline to enjoy the here and now...tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Will we have a bit less in retirement? Sure, but I’d rather spend extra now than have extra in retirement when the consumption value is greatly reduced.

And many of those who have the highest savings rates to ensure their retirement, are at the same time being very risky in betting that they will be completely healthy and live to 90+.

Again balance is key, and in my opinion that balance means being just as committed and disciplined to spend/enjoy today as you are in planning for the later years.
SnowBog
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by SnowBog »

If it helps you, we basically started investing around 2001, able to save roughly $2k into a 401k (on our combined income just coming out of school). The following year, added another $6k. But that was the year we decided we "needed to save", so started putting 50% (or more) of all future pay raises into 401k contributions. I also become very serious about growing my income/career. Within 2 years, we were able to max out my 401k.

Sadly, our initial plan of following the same strategy for my spouse was forgotten... "Life" got in the way...

For the most part - we spent the rest for many years. There were some great vacations, lots of "help" to friends/family, but no real savings (outside of the 401k). OK - transparently, spouse will have a nice pension when they retire... And my first few jobs also had a pension, which I stayed long enough to "vest" in - but will be very small...

When I started a new job roughly 10 years ago, it didn't have a pension - but did include stock grants. In my mind - I equated that to the pension from my prior job(s) - and didn't have any plans on selling/using those. That was basically the start of our "taxable" savings - again mostly "forced" savings from employers... (or that's how I thought about it).

Candidly - we never looked at our balances... For something like 17 years of saving - we were full on financially illiterate... So many missteps in those years - as we simply didn't know better... But we started to save early - kept on saving, and spent our energy growing our careers...

Then in roughly 2017/2018 - two major things occurred. The first is - although we were making very good money - we always felt "money was tight." Our "regular" spending exceeded our "base" pay - and we were eating into bonuses and other income which was not guaranteed to make ends meet... The second is my employer had a major reorganization - where I saw some really good employees finding themselves without a job through no fault of their own (prior reorgs seemed to target underperformers, this one cut high performers). This was our "wake-up" call - we needed to get our financial lives in order...

As we started digging into things - while we made many, many mistakes over the years - the main things we did correctly were:
  • Save early/save often - maxing out even a single 401k for nearly 15+ years and not touching those stock grants (along with good market returns from 2001 -> 2018) was an excellent place to be starting from... [edited to add - for clarity - I wish I had sold and reinvested into something like VTI - as we now have more employer stock than we "should" have... But the "did right" part is that we didn't count these as income - and sell and spend the money on expenses... They were always part of the "long term" savings...]
  • Probably through dumb luck of simply being financially ignorant - we kept investing before/during/after crashes and before/during/after "market highs." We never even thought about "selling" - or thought about "timing the market" - we just let the money stay invested - and kept adding to it...
  • Focusing on growing our careers (not managing our investments). The higher earnings I make now dwarf what I ever thought possible 20 years ago, and provide so much room to "live life" and "save for retirement" at the same time.
Since overall, we were in good financial shape, I potentially overreacted to my "wake-up" call - but we made some significant changes - as I had a new quest to be "financially independent" ASAP. Some of the changes we made:
  • Use mint.com to track spending, after getting 12 months of "baseline" data - used that to establish a "budget" that stayed without our "base" pay.
  • Finding my way to Bogleheads - and the world of wisdom and knowledge it contained!
  • Starting spouse retirement account (and eventually maxing it out) - as we had planed to do 10+ years prior.
  • Learning about the existence of "Backdoor" and "Mega Backdoor Roth" accounts - and starting to use those for even more tax efficient investing.
  • Learning about the benefits of maxing out ESPP - and about "concentration risk" and why its recommended to not hold large amounts of employer stock. :oops:
  • Getting our financial house in order, including life insurance, will, retirement plan, investment policy, etc.
Through a combination of hard work, dumb luck, long term savings, "investing" in career/earnings growth (which a very high savings rate these past few years), and great market returns - we've nearly reach our "financial independence" goal. That wouldn't be possible if we hadn't started to invest - and invest no matter what the markets were doing for the past 20+ years...

And now I'm returning to more of a "balance" - we'll continue to save - but also enjoy life along the way!
Last edited by SnowBog on Mon May 17, 2021 12:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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HomerJ
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by HomerJ »

Continue to get at least the match in the 401k... That's free money.

If you feel like you're saving too much now, back off a bit. Balance is important.

But going forward, save half your raises and spend the other half. That way your savings slowly goes up, AND your spending goes up.

Put it on autopilot and stop thinking about the future. It takes 10-20 years... But, at some point, you'll hit a tipping point, and you'll realize you're rich. And that's freedom.

Almost every one of the extreme situations you mentioned, having money saved up will put you in a better position than having less money saved up.
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Nohbdy
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Nohbdy »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I definitely can relate.

Be super careful about new cars at your age. There are a lot of things you can do that present unique life opportunities for a tenth the cost of a new car. Or less even.

I agree with Homer’s post and would just like to suggest a taxable account for intermediate term goals. Don’t give up on savings - retrain yourself by saving for a more tangible goal. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investi ... m_timeline

I would always continue the employer match, else discontinue employment. If you aren’t there to take the employers money, then why even go?
Last edited by Nohbdy on Mon May 17, 2021 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Trader Joe
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Trader Joe »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
No, not at all. I always invest.
Marseille07
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Marseille07 »

Not at all. Downturns are actually when you *want to* invest, not upturns. So the answer is always the same - keep investing.
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ApeAttack
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by ApeAttack »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
Life is full of risks and our ability to predict the future is quite poor. So all we can do is place a series of bets and see what happens. You will win some and lose some.

Historically, in the US there is no greater way to build wealth reliably for yourself and loved ones than having a diversified portfolio. If there is a specific extreme risk (e.g., a Nikkei-like crash), there usually is a specific action you can take (e.g., invest more in ex-US stocks) that carries its own risk (e.g., underperformance).

Are you actually worried about the specific concerns you mentioned, or are they just examples? The wonderful folks on this forum can help address specific concerns.

If you feel you must enjoy life more now while you are still able to bound up stairs without effort, it is okay to back off investing a bit to enjoy life more in this moment. But you must be okay with the consequences -- your 70-year old self will have less money to enjoy life.
Just another lazy index investor who recently found out about I-Bonds (https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds.htm).
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Wiggums
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Wiggums »

Yes, you could pass away tomorrow, but that is unlikely. The people in the US can do amazing things when we work together. The economy has had several big challenges in the past. Changes are made and the economy slowly recovers.

My SIL “cannot save”, because they chooses not to. She lost her job at age 50 when her company got out of the loan business. She spent her severance on non essentials and finally looked for a job after 2 years of doing nothing.

My wife grew up poor and said she would never be that way again. We live well today and we invest go tomorrow. Two sisters, two very different financial outcomes. Life is a balance. Saving for the future over long periods of time is easier than making a big push prior to retirement.
gtrplayer
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by gtrplayer »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
If a 28 year old in Japan had been investing regularly prior to the crash and continued to invest regularly, I would imagine they’d have fared fine - I’m sure someone could do the math on that. The market may have taken decades to recover, but most people weren’t investing solely at the absolute peak. If the market here in the US dropped by 50% tomorrow and you continued to invest, you’d ride along with whatever rise would come after that. If it never reached the peak again, you’d still be fine - unless it drops to 0 and stays there, you’d experience the crash and the subsequent gains after the crash.

Japan is an argument for lowering your risk as you get older as someone retiring the day after the crash would not have wanted all their money in stocks as there is no guarantee of a quick rebound.

If inflation picks up on a consistent basis, I would imagine stocks are still a good place to be. There could be a drop but over time, companies will earn more money because prices go up which should in turn lead to higher stock prices.

Long story short - at 28, a market downturn could even be advantageous over the long term.
Cyanide123
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Cyanide123 »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Maybe invest in alternate investments like physical real estate which have less volatility, especially large multi family properties.

I'm personally an accredited investor, but I'm starting to put a lot of my money in passive multi family syndicate deals. These are illiquid, but a 200 unit apartment price depends on the cash flow it creates and the rental income, rather than anything going on with the rental market.

Those sort of investments are surprisingly more stable, plus they can be passive when done through a syndication, with decent yield 12-20% IRR and they might protect you from a Japan like event.

Also... Maybe you should be at least 45 percent in international stocks. The US markets make up about 55 percent of the markets, so if you think there US could drop significantly from such incredible highs, then just diversify internationally. I mean international stocks have been a good value compared to the price to earning ratios of US stocks.

So maybe you could have a 30-40% US portfolio, 40-50 percent international, any 20-30 percent physical real estate where you are partner and own something tangible and receive K1 income.

Just a thought for you to consider.

Another alternate way to play the stock market, which has decreased volatility, is to sell puts. The pessimist in you then can buy stocks when they drop through selling puts, and essentially be paid to wait for the drop. However, a buy and hold strategy usually over performs. But selling puts over performs in a down market. So in a Japan like event, a put seller will have done better than someone investing directly in the market.
RobLyons
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by RobLyons »

SnowBog wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 10:57 pm
Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Unless you are lucky to have a job with a pension - saving for retirement is no longer an "option."

and a very comfortable life. You don't need to pick one over the other...

I have a pension and saving for retirement is still not an option!

And to OP - I've never "lost interest" to invest. I look at investing (and insurance) as a way to ensure the future financial stability of my family if I were to become disabled / pass away. So yes we could run through a million what ifs but a lot of big trips and living it up will not improve or complete my life if I were to pass away in a couple years.

Also, if you ever needed capital for a start up I believe you can take it from your Roth IRA contributions.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
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Harry Livermore
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Harry Livermore »

OP, you have been given great advice here.
I would advise that it's not a binary choice, and you should take steps to ensure your perception reinforces that. What I mean is, don't wait until you are retired to take your spouse out to dinner. Maybe just don't eat out every night. And be careful with cars. It's OK to drive a slightly shabby car until your are older.
By your own admission, you are worried that life will be more difficult in the future. I would argue that this means you should invest MORE. Money does not buy happiness, and in historically extreme events it may not buy anything, but in almost all circumstances it can buy choices.
You speak of enjoying $1 more "now". I would argue that the dollar you enjoy today might have been the dollar that keeps you from having to be a Walmart greeter at 80 (I'm not trying to bash Walmart greeters, or folks working at 80 by choice; certainly if you are bored at 80, and want to get out of the house, and like people, that would be a fine choice)
I missed out on some fun group vacations in my twenties, mostly with folks I don't really see or hang out with anymore. I have some regrets, but being frugal and saving allowed me to be a homeowner in my mid twenties, and invest in the stock market early and often. Now, at 54, I have many choices that I would not have had if I simply had a good time. And along the way, my wife and I have gone on a few really nice romantic getaways, and we've taken our children to Disney several times, and taken them to London once... so it's not like we have lived in a shoebox and saved every penny.
Balance.
I would advise you to find a fun activity that you can do solo, or with your spouse. And wait on the car. Unless you are a "car guy". In which case, you have found your activity.
Cheers
Silverado
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Silverado »

Never lost interest or focus on pouring as much as practical into the market. I hit 50 this year and have been regularly investing since 1993, so ever since you were born. A couple downturns, a couple career changes ( military to grad school to engineer) and just had monthly investments set on auto the entire time.

As mentioned, it is not an either or proposition. We’ve traveled, consumed some great food and wine, live in a nice house, and so on. We will retire at 55, mainly because we never gave a thought to stopping pouring money into the market.

Ease up if you must, but please be careful. The attitude of new cars and fancy vacations can be a slippery slope.
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Cyclesafe
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Cyclesafe »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

There is always uncertainty. When I was 28 in 1982, housing was unaffordable, mortgage interest rates were nearly 14%, the cold war was raging, Japan was going to take over the world etc. Every generation has its challenges. Housing is unaffordable again, many are burdened with student debt, but mortgage interest rates are historically low. We have new cold wars with the USSR (now branded as Russia) AND China, and terrorism. Japan is a shadow of its former economic self.

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Tastes change. Certainly fund those things you want to do now and can't do later. And do them at a level that you won't feel comfortable doing later. Think hostels, cafes, and flying economy, not full-service hotels, fancy restaurants, and business class. Keep fit and healthy, then there is nothing you can do in your 20's that you can't also do in your 60's - at least occasionally.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

More of a hindsight than a regret: I should have invested more in equity, NEVER have invested in a variable annuity, and otherwise never should have trusted a financial "advisor". I invested following the tenets of the day, so I don't blame myself too much. Been a happy Boglehead since 2014. Stay the course. If things go to heck, then you'll have more serious problems and wish you had prepped for Armageddon.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” (Dwight Eisenhower) | "Man plans, God laughs" (Yiddish proverb)
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galawdawg
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by galawdawg »

All in moderation. I recommend that folks try to achieve balance in their lives, including in the area of personal finance and investing. As was mentioned, it isn't "all or nothing."

At your age, if you and your wife will find a percentage of your gross income that you are comfortable saving and investing (such as 20%), and then putting that on autopilot, you will likely find that you can very comfortably live on the remainder without much in the way of sacrifice. When it comes to spending, be selective about how you spend your money. Purchase those things and experiences that add value to your lives and avoid spending money just to "spend money".

By setting aside a fixed percentage for saving and investing, you also reduce your spending such that when you retire or are no longer able to work, your retirement savings and social security don't have to go quite as far. A simple example: If you gross $100k annually and save/invest $20k of that, you'll set a standard of living for yourself that is supported by $80k annually. In thirty years at an average annual return of 5%, that $20k per year will have grown to about $1.4 million. That would provide $56k per year at a 4% withdrawal rate. Add social security and you should be able to maintain the same standard of living in retirement as you had prior to retirement.

Use the same example to compare with a posture of "spend the money now when I will enjoy it more" where you spend that $20k rather than invest that $20k. What happens when you retire or are no longer able to work. Now you have little to nothing saved for retirement AND you have a spending rate of $100k annually to support. How does that math work?

Again, all in moderation! You can enjoy life now AND save for retirement, those goals are not mutually exclusive. :beer
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markjk
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by markjk »

Yes to worrying about the future but no to losing the motivation to invest. Here is the thing. All of those bad things you described and an infinite number of more bad things "could" happen. But, there are quite a few good things that could happen as well and you need to prepare.

You have to control what you can control. With a government mandated inflation target of 2% per year, you just can't afford not to invest. If you put your money under the mattress or in a bank, you are locking in around a 50% loss in purchasing power every 20 years. That is enormous.

I've also thought a lot about the liquidity over the years. While I've made it a priority to invest in the tax advantaged accounts, we also made our after-tax investment accounts a close second. I think it's really important to have a mix of accounts 401K, IRA, Roth-IRA, after-tax brokerage, etc. to cover various scenarios. For example, we may want to shut it down a bit at 50 and switch to lower paying but lower stress and higher flexibility jobs. We can't do that with everything locked up in retirement accounts. I also want a cushion in case something happens unexpectedly.

You can mitigate many of the risks you describe (getting sick, starting a business, needing more liquidity for whatever reason) by mixing account types. In my opinion, the answer is not to stop investing. The answer is to structure your accounts in a way where you can invest but also have access to a portion of the money. If you do that, you'll be able to weather just about any storm.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by CyclingDuo »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Every generation has to learn, or rather, figure it out when it comes to the value of long term investing in spite of any self-induced or media induced or induced by others' opinions that include woes/worries/doom/gloom/doubt. You are only age 28, so seem to be ahead of many others that are your age in terms of being able to set aside money in your retirement funds. Think of those that are so saddled with debt (student loans, car payments, CC debt, etc...) that they are not in any kind of shape to invest part of their paychecks due to servicing their debt. Be thankful you are able to do so at your age.

Those of us who are decades older than you would simply suggest that you stay on target with your regular contributions (be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) through thick and thin. I didn't start investing until I was about your age due to dealing with student loans at double digit interest rates in the 1980's and decided to pay them all off before making my first investments in mutual funds. As a couple, this is our 33rd consecutive year of investing a percentage of our income from our human capital. Have we enjoyed life along the way? Absolutely! You only get one journey, so you have to strive to find a balance that still fits within not spending/saving beyond your paycheck.

There certainly is no shortage of famous quotes, thoughts, or ideas - but keep it simple. Let's use John Bogle as the example...

“The courage to press on regardless–regardless of whether we face calm seas or rough seas, and especially when the market storms howl around us–is the quintessential attribute of the successful investor.”
— John C. Bogle

In the long run, investing is not about markets at all. Investing is about enjoying the returns earned by businesses.
— John C. Bogle

“The stock market is a giant distraction to the business of investing.”
— John C. Bogle

“The winning formula for success in investing is owning the entire stock market through an index fund, and then doing nothing. Just stay the course.”
— John C. Bogle

“The historical data support one conclusion with unusual force: To invest with success, you must be a long-term investor.”
— John C. Bogle

Keep contributing a portion of your income while you enjoy your spouse, child, career, exercise, food, fun, friends, family on this one journey we get called life.

CyclingDuo
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Mon May 17, 2021 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
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JoeRetire
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by JoeRetire »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
What if you live a long, happy life, and want to have the money to do the things you would enjoy in your old age?
I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.
YOLO!
Live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse!
Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life?
Sorry, no.

Maybe you could talk with your parents, grandparents, or other older folks in your life to get their perspective.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
ddurrett896
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by ddurrett896 »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.
and what is none of those things happen? Life is all about balance.

Some on here will recommend driving a Toyota Camry for 20 years, eat out 2x/year, Saturday lunch is samples at Costco while they buy a couple $5 rotisserie chickens that will feed them lunch/dinner for the following week....all while making $200K/year, living in a LCOL area.

At the end of the day, save 20% of your gross income and do what you want.
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winterfan
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by winterfan »

No because I know that how I feel about where the economy is headed, how the stock market is going to fare, etc. is rarely accurate. Most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised at how well our portfolio is doing.

You've done a great job at your age. I predict in 20 years (where I am now), you and your wife will be happy that you tucked this money away. Don't forget that you have access to the money if you need it before you are 59.5. You can pull out your Roth contributions if you need to. In the case of having cancer at 30, the best defense is having a term life policy if the worst happens. You'd probably want an emergency fund too. In most cases, you can take time off from work for treatment, but it also sounds like you are not a single income household, so you have that money coming in at least. If you have a business idea, you can throttle back your investments and pile up the savings outside of your retirement accounts to fund it.

There is always going to be uncertainty. I think the Great Recession was a horrible time. It affected my extended family greatly and felt like we would never recover as a country. But, in hindsight, I'm sure glad I never stopped investing during this time period.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Sandtrap »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

However, the past six months or so I have slowly been losing my desire to save and invest. My thought process is this:

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Age 28. . . ..

First:
1a. Read: "Life Strategy" and "Life Code" by Dr. Phil McGraw (paperback. . . highlight and underline, wear them out).
1b. Read: "Richest Man In Babylon" by Clason (paperback. . . highlight and underline, wear it out. . lst thing in the morning, last thing at night).
1c. Read: "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill, (or keep the "tape or audio in your car and listen to daily for 1 year or more). As above.
1d. Read: "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen (as above, lst thing in the morning and last at night daily for 1 year or more). Combine with audio in your car daily.

Why?
Because at age 28 (or any age), if you don't "reset and ground" the inner, the outer will be in constant flux and influenced by the changing dynamics of job, family, society, news media, and overwhelming external input that demands our attention, our reaction, and our change of ethos to conform and be compliant.

What does this have to do with investing, finance, money, enjoyment, happiness, "sacred transient subjective feelings for the day", ad nauseum?
Everything. Because your "thinking and feeling, craving and et al" effects all of that. If you change each "thing" outside of yourself, nothing will last, so, inner lst. Make this your personal lifetime project. Do this and all the others will come to pass by themselves. No kidding.

Next:

1. Take nothing for granted. Realize and realize profoundly that everything that you take for granted right now, family, marriage, finances, employment, assets, savings, friends, health, etc, can completely go away inside of 1 month, 1 week, 1 day, 1 second. Anyone can visualize and imagine this academically and mentally and say, "yea, I get it", but if it never happened to you, then it's just intelectualizing, and easy talk. So, find a way that "works for you" to realize this in a profound way so that it effects your planning and thinking. Not in a morose way, but in a way of clarity. (no rose colored glasses).
Sort of the ebb and flow of life.

2. Post a "portfolio review" in this forum. (in the proper format) Just the act of filling out the format is humbling let alone letting senior portfolio reviewers at it. See where you are "really" at as far as long term retirement strategy, where you are at right now and could improve, etc, etc.
Asking Portfolio Questions
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... =1&t=6212
*The temptation of retirement or investment planning is the tendency to disassociate it with what is going on in the present.

3. Finally, this is a tough one: With the modern overwhelming emphasis on "feelings" and "oneself" and etc, it becomes natural to be myopic. So, the goal of al of the above is to:
a) Establish short, medium, long term, and forever, goals larger than one's self that bring reward in the efffort. (for oneself, and one's "self", and for others).
b) Have a short, medium, and long term comprehensive financial strategy that "includes" investments (portfolio), career advancement, diversification and expansion of income stream, estate planning for you family (if you lost your job and income for 1 year right now and were unable to work, then what? This a huge anti-complacency, anti "feelings" thought. See?)
c) Have a short, medium, and long term comprehensive strategy to increase and maintain your health and fitness (including nutrition, fitness, emotional health, et al. in a daily, weekly, monthly, consistent effort that will challenge you forever). This you do for you and in turn for your family.

4. Finallly, finally, realize that you don't have from age 28 to retirement age which seems like a long time. You actually have only a certain length of time in each "stage of life" which includes family, career earning power, health, etc, etc. So, have a plan, work your plan, evaluate and revise and repeat. Never give up your inner sense of urgency.

5. Lastly and finally: What the economy and market and the world is doing today or trending next month or year, has nothing to do, realtively speaking, with what "you do". So, stop reacting to print, digital, and video, and TV, media news, which is designed to do just that. Make a plan and stick to it..
Read the Forum Wiki: on "Behavioral Pitfalls" and memorize it. Read some good material on Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology.

6. Hopefully finally: Know where you are at. Make it a brutal reality check. Talk regularly (have coffee or lunch) with folks that have walked up the sand of Normandy in WWII, or hunkered down at Bastogne during WWII (thank you Taylor!), retired successful business man that have gone from rags to riches [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek], read "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. Remain humble, associate with others beyond your peer group. Daily life is about "context", look and read everything in its context and relationship to the largest and biggest. (Like an ant amongst 8 billion ants on a round ant mound orbiting the sun.)
Fore example: though I'm a senior, I regularly have long conversations every week with "super senior" close friends who are over 80 and well over 80.

I hope this is helpful.

*dislaimer: there are over a zillion ways of looking at these things based on one's background, character, career, "feelings", ambition level, and position of the sun and stars. So, opinions and input vary with non more correct or incorrect.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon May 17, 2021 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wannaretireearly
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Lots of great advice above. Just wanted to say the monthly drip system really works. Set it and forget it, you will be rewarded in 20 years
Conversely you will regret not investing regularly thru 401k. ROTH etc, in 20 years. Guaranteed. Good luck, you found this forum so you're 3 steps ahead of most ppl your age.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
knowledge
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by knowledge »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm
There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
You need to balance the likelihood of these risks against more positive scenarios. If you survive past age 30 (you're 28, it's highly likely) then how does that change your view?

A lot of the risk you mentioned can be mitigated. Too much US concentration? Skew more Intl. Want to start a business? The world is awash with capital for great ideas. You get the point. There are some risks that cannot be reasonably mitigated, but building capital provides a buffer that can help in states of shock.
Leesbro63
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Leesbro63 »

To the original poster: Warren Buffett has spoken about when he first started investing in 1942, when it was not clear that the Allies would win. And how the newspaper headlines on that day were dire. And how if you read the newspaper headlines every day since, you'd NEVER invest. I try to keep that in mind. WW2 with the first nukes, Post WW2 inflation, Korea, McCarthy, the Cold War, late 1950s pandemic, Eisenhower's military industrial complex warning, Cuban Missile Crisis, murder of a US President in broad daylight, Vietnam, Civil Unrest, Inflation, gas lines, Watergate, more inflation, more gas lines, misery index, Iran crisis, Iran-Contra, tech bubble, tech crash, Iraq War1, 9/11, Iraq War2, housing bubble, housing crash, financial crash, unpredictable elections, pandemic and on and on.

I'm 61 but my kids are about your age and I tell them to keep the noise of the day at bay and invest on through it. I wish I had learned that when was 28. I was almost 40 before I figured most of this out.
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Buy_N_Hold
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Buy_N_Hold »

I want to say how grateful I am to all of the contributors to this thread. These past 12 months have been incredibly challenging personally and professionally, as I am sure it has been for many. While I don’t have time to respond to each one of you, I have read each response and will continue to do so to reflect and ponder. This forum has been a source of wisdom and encouragement to me, and I truly appreciate the free time that so many contributors give on a frequent basis to share their knowledge and experience.

All that being said, we will continue to live below our means and invest the difference, trusting the markets to do what they’ve always done. As Jack said, Stay the Course. Again, thank you.
“To turn $100 into $110 is work. To turn $100 million into $110 million is inevitable.” -Edgar Bronfman
Exchme
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Exchme »

Remember that whatever today' s market worries, they will be long forgotten 40 years from now when you need the money. By then, odds are good that your new investment monies that you are so worried about today will have doubled 4 to 6 times over! Focus on that and tune out the fear.
mr_brightside
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by mr_brightside »

no.

turn off the TV / social media -- or at least significantly dial WAY back on your consumption of it. way too much NOISE as 'content'. focus on YOUR near world.

we faced DECADES of Cold War potential of nuclear annihilation and got through it. take the long view. even the 9/11 type events eventually fade into the rear view as bad as they are at the time. same with COVID.

of course enjoy the day for what it brings. bottom line -- no one can predict the future but you must reasonably prepare for it. best wishes--

----------------------------------------------------------
GoneCamping
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by GoneCamping »

Well, the whole "balance" thing has been driven home here already so hopefully you are noting that trend in the replies :happy I didn't start earning or saving much until my early thirties and even then I was definitely spending more than I was saving. As life progresses, I naturally became more financially conservative and things that once were important suddenly weren't so important, while other things became more important, one of those dealt with money where spending was less important, saving more.

Life is a journey, definitely enjoy it now but the retirement years are (hopefully) a part of that journey too so yeah, balance... If you do make it to retirement age and life continues on, you'll want some funds to continue enjoying it.
Arby
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Arby »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital?
The company match is a great deal.

You can withdraw your Roth contributions at any time without a penalty (not the earnings) so if you really need the money you have access.
sailaway
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by sailaway »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
How is having less saved going to make any of these things better? Seems like these are all actually good reasons to save more.
Dottie57
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Dottie57 »

Save 15-20% of gross income each year. - retirement. Down markets are a blessing since you are buying at a lower price. Stop watching the markets closely. Make your investing automatic. Your future self will be happy.
Dottie57
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Dottie57 »

sailaway wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 11:37 am
Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?
How is having less saved going to make any of these things better? Seems like these are all actually good reasons to save more.
+1. Saving/investing means you will be better off than you would without it.
exodusNH
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by exodusNH »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pm I am 28 y/o and married with one dependent. My wife and I have ~$120k saved in retirement accounts currently from these past 5 years of our respective careers. I have always tried to max out my Roth IRA and take advantage of my company match for 401(k).

There is SO much uncertainty about the future, and so much more known about today. What if the US goes through a Japan-like scenario at some point, leading to an almost permanent loss of capital? What if inflation takes off in a major way and wreaks havoc on the equity and bond markets a la the 1970’s? What if I get cancer at 30 years old and die? What if I end up having an idea for a business and really need the money for the start-up capital? What if either of us become disabled and need more liquidity during our working years?

I know many of those are very extreme and admittedly unlikely scenarios, but they have been bothering me more. Conversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.

Has anyone else gone through similar stretches in their life? How did you overcome and/or process those feelings? Also, any feedback from retired individuals on this forum about their regrets or lack thereof from saving/investing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Get term life insurance. Buy long-term and short-term disability insurance. Those are all cheap.

The future is always uncertain. But what is certain is that if you don't save for retirement now, you won't have it for later. (Barring winning the lottery or inheritance from a long-lost relative.)

Save what you can. Ignore the day-to-day noise. You can't use your retirement for another 40 years. The world will look very different then. 40 years ago, IBM introduced the floppy disk. Intel introduced the 4004 processor. We put leaded gasoline on our cars.
Onlineid3089
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

I'd say to pick out how much you want to save and automate it. Then don't feel bad about spending the rest.
fcf18
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by fcf18 »

Don't spend money for the sake of spending money, are you feeling missing out because you have to save? If so, given you have saved a decent amount already, I would say you can certainly spend a bit more to make yourself happier. The only thing I would be cautious about are spending money on things that have ongoing cost (ie: buy a timeshare, get a boat, etc).
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HomerJ
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Re: Losing Motivation to Invest - Anyone Relate?

Post by HomerJ »

Buy_N_Hold wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:58 pmConversely, it seems like I might also value $1 today more than $1 in retirement, even adjusted for inflation. In planning for retirement, many people talk about a desire to travel the world, and do lots of eating out, and drive a fancy car etc. However, it seems like many of things are potentially more enjoyable and fun while one is young and full of energy and vigor.
Whatever you do, don't get a fancy car.

Find a balance. Drop back to at least get the match in your 401k, and spend a little more if you want. Go on a trip or two. Eat out one extra night a week (but don't do "a lot" of eating out).

You seem to want to move from one extreme to the other. Just move to the middle.

And going forward, commit to saving half your raises... (and spending the other half, so your lifestyle will continue to increase as well).
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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