How do you stop moving the goal posts.

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TheTimeLord
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How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am

Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years. Anybody have any tips or insights. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

Mike Scott
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Mike Scott » Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am

Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.

arsenalfan
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by arsenalfan » Tue May 22, 2018 8:41 am

Stop checking balances as frequently? Consider monthly checks, so you can review transaction accuracy.

If you have them, delete finance apps from your phone, like Personal Capital, which let you keep realtime score daily.

johnz1001
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by johnz1001 » Tue May 22, 2018 8:51 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
Good suggestions..

protagonist
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by protagonist » Tue May 22, 2018 8:51 am

It's much easier if you are committed to a plan that minimizes how much you have to think, because nothing you do will have a significant impact on reaching your goals.

So if, for example, you decide to invest x % of your assets in a broad based index fund, you will not be susceptible to reacting to vicissitudes in the market. Your x% is on autopilot. Whereas if you are trying to maximize profit by trading, for example, you constantly have to shift gears to reach a goal. You are judging yourself by your daily successes and failures and thus assessing your self worth by your net worth. IMHO there are much better reasons to feel good or bad. If in all index funds and fixed income vehicles there is not much you can do to achieve a specific financial goal....your money is at the mercy of fate and you are free. And if you lose a bundle at least you can't blame your own stupidity.

I have not read the WSJ since I gave up trading cold turkey back in 1999, unless I was stuck in a waiting room where I had no other viable choices (sadly, often the case these days). I don't set financial goals. Why bother? My money does what it wants to do and I can't stop it.

As a result I must say I am a happier retiree and I sleep easier at night.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
I already do goal setting in all areas so that is why I am concerned it will be difficult to carve out one specific area. For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

goblue100
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by goblue100 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:17 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Doesn't your plan include a draw down phase? Perhaps your new goal should be to withdraw and spend 3.5% of your portfolio with inflation adjustments over the next 20 years. There are years that will be hard to achieve, due to fear. As I recall, you've postponed your retirement the last 4 years. You have to be in much better shape financially then you were 4 years ago?
Some people are immune to good advice. - Saul Goodman

dbr
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by dbr » Tue May 22, 2018 9:31 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
I already do goal setting in all areas so that is why I am concerned it will be difficult to carve out one specific area. For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Not me. No goals.

Maybe you need a Zen attitude that the goal is to have no goals.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am

goblue100 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:17 am
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Doesn't your plan include a draw down phase? Perhaps your new goal should be to withdraw and spend 3.5% of your portfolio with inflation adjustments over the next 20 years. There are years that will be hard to achieve, due to fear. As I recall, you've postponed your retirement the last 4 years. You have to be in much better shape financially then you were 4 years ago?
Much better shape, like with most investors the last 4 years have been fantastic. That is part of the problem, I have become accustomed to seeing my balances increase virtually every month and the year over year increases have exceeded all of my expectations. The standard of living I will have in retirement today will be significantly higher than what I would have had 4 years ago.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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bligh
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by bligh » Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am

I wonder about this too, from a slightly different angle. I wonder if I will ever be okay watching my account balances shrinking instead of growing. When I think about it, it feels a bit depressing. Almost like a clock ticking down to that inevitable grave.

I am quite a few years away from being in that situation, but I hope to generate some income through the pursuit of my passions part time. In some sense I plan on never "retiring" in the usual sense of the word. I hope to reach a point of financial independence where I no longer work for money, but rather work on some fun projects that I have lined up for myself.

So in a sense I actually am hoping to never stop moving the goal posts. Instead I will pursue those financial goals in a different manner.. via entrepreneurship and self employment.

Though part of me agrees with dbr's post above... I hope that by the time I reach the age where I am ready to go into retirement, I am able to reach the Zen state of mind where I am okay with watching my account balances go down. We'll see.

Atgard
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Atgard » Tue May 22, 2018 9:55 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am
Much better shape, like with most investors the last 4 years have been fantastic. That is part of the problem, I have become accustomed to seeing my balances increase virtually every month and the year over year increases have exceeded all of my expectations. The standard of living I will have in retirement today will be significantly higher than what I would have had 4 years ago.
I KNOW it is easier said than done, but it seems to me your goal-setting has been designed to build up a sizable nest egg, which you have done in spades. What is the purpose of having that money? To jump into a pile of coins like Scrooge McDuck? (Admittedly, that would be kinda cool. :D ) Probably not. It is probably so you can have freedom, freedom from worry, freedom from having to work if it no longer suits you, freedom to travel, to give charitably, to write that novel, etc. (unique to you & your family). So instead of just moving the goalpost higher ("I need $XX instead of $X"), now you can transition to a totally different TYPE of goal. "I have all the money I am reasonably likely to need to do what I want to do. Now what I want to do is ________." Now the money is just a tool to achieve that other ultimate goal.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 22, 2018 9:56 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
Well said.

There are many of life's "goal posts" that cannot be entered on a spreadsheet.
In reality, those are the one's that ultimately define us.

Of course, it is a bit easier to achieve this balance when one is financially independent.. . . . .
aloha
j :D

LarryAllen
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by LarryAllen » Tue May 22, 2018 10:01 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:33 am
Much better shape, like with most investors the last 4 years have been fantastic. That is part of the problem, I have become accustomed to seeing my balances increase virtually every month and the year over year increases have exceeded all of my expectations. The standard of living I will have in retirement today will be significantly higher than what I would have had 4 years ago.
I have this problem too. I am so accustomed to asset values going up I worry about the day I start drawing down, which might be combined with the market going down, it's really going to be different than I have become accustomed to. Soooo I keep working.

thangngo
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by thangngo » Tue May 22, 2018 10:20 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years. Anybody have any tips or insights. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
Setting goals and achieve them is what I know how to function my whole life. I can't imagine changing that mindset. I'm still young so I don't know what's it like to wind down and enjoy the savings at retirement.

Maybe setting goals to minimize the tax at drawdown and maximize the utility for each dollar you spend? Maybe maintain your portfolio balance while living your best days? It will be a challenge in its own way.

"Either keep busy living or keep busy dying."

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David Jay
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by David Jay » Tue May 22, 2018 10:35 am

I am right on the cusp of retirement (Class of 2019), so I can identify with your question.

I have spent a lot of time working through my retirement finances. I put together a year-by-year spreadsheet with spending, income source and tax consequences. Still doing some "what-if" scenarios around start date for SS benefits (not much difference in outcome between 68 and 70) and Roth conversions.

I think everyone needs to "retire to" something. I am looking for my challenge. Thinking about learning Spanish. I will be following this thread for commentary.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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David Jay
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by David Jay » Tue May 22, 2018 10:36 am

Oh, and a single-hander sailboat :happy
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

staythecourse
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by staythecourse » Tue May 22, 2018 10:37 am

I'm surprised you have been happy up to this point in your life if your goals are so centered around $$ signs. The reason is that rabbit hole never ends as there is always another $$ to be made or not made.

Try shifting your goals to finding something to be passionate about. I've already shifted my goals to spending time with the kids now that they are getting older and figuring ways to help society. That is probably why I am a good investor is NOT because of bogleheads, but the fact I learned no matter how high my balances were getting and now matter how many times it was passing the million mark was being passed it did NOT change my
happiness so I don't pay attention to what is happening in my accounts.

Personally, I located an orphanage in a third world country to donate each month for staples which brings me a lot of happiness. It is nice to see money I'm making helping others who are not as fortunate. So I would say you need to find what brings you happiness and focus on setting goals on how to better attain that happiness. For example, if you like to travel rent an RV and plan a trip or learn to sail. If you like music learn a new instrument. If you like sports go join an amateur league or learn a new sport.

The HARDEST thing I have found living as long as I have is 1. Finding what makes you truly happy and 2. Figuring out how to accomplish getting to do what makes you truly happy.

Good luck..
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 11:08 am

staythecourse wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:37 am
I'm surprised you have been happy up to this point in your life if your goals are so centered around $$ signs.
Surprised you took that from this. If I wasn't clear goal setting is something I apply to all areas of life.
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. ...................... The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by midareff » Tue May 22, 2018 11:13 am

I took an excel spreadsheet page and listed all the countries in the world in one column and all the states in the US in another. I'm checking them off one by one but fully understand I'll never get them all. 42 countries and 42 US states so far. We will add the Ukraine next month. Currently @ 70, still in the go-go years but got lots of US travel for conferences and exhibitions I could add personal days too pre-retirement.

balbrec2
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by balbrec2 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:20 am

Where is it written that your balances will be shrinking? They might but,
If you are sensible about your spending and WR and are invested using a reasonable AA
then you might just find it is possible to have your cake and eat it too!

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Info_Hound
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Info_Hound » Tue May 22, 2018 11:26 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
Well said!

Just because you retire does not mean the world stops spinning. I find myself with more goals (which means new goal posts. such as hiking new places, traveling/seeing new locations, improving my specialized hobby skill sets, etc) than I ever had before. Evaluate current activities, eliminate goals posts that are no longer relevant, add new goals (and new goal posts) as your life style changes.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 11:28 am

balbrec2 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:20 am
Where is it written that your balances will be shrinking? They might but,
If you are sensible about your spending and WR and are invested using a reasonable AA
then you might just find it is possible to have your cake and eat it too!
My plan calls for my balances to decrease, which is fine and my rational mind accepts and understands, but I worry about my emotional reaction to the reality when it actually starts happening. Will I feeling like I am not making my goal or failing? Will that lead to my short changing myself just to have a different digit in my account balance?
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

Dottie57
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Dottie57 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:35 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
I already do goal setting in all areas so that is why I am concerned it will be difficult to carve out one specific area. For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Set a goal for spending your money. Pick a leiaure activity and focus. How about a book club in a subject you want to learn?

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orthros
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by orthros » Tue May 22, 2018 11:39 am

I've had written goals since I was 19. I did 1/3/5/10 year goals. 10 year goals were especially fun because you can look back at them and see what was really important to you when you were younger vs. today with the benefit of age and wisdom.

Since you seem highly goal-oriented, I suggested a "Four Box" approach to goals.

Take a sheet of paper for whatever goal periods you want - I recommend at least 1, 5 and 10 year goals, but if you want monthly or quarterly goals, that's great too - and fold it twice so you have 4 squares.

Label each of the squares:
1) Financial
2) Spiritual & Emotional
3) Physical
4) Intellectual & Social

Then make SMART goals for each one:
(S)pecific - Not vague, but concrete
(M)easurable - Could someone who isn't you figure out objectively if you hit your goal?
(A)ctionable - Is it something you have complete or at least significant control over?
(R)ealistic - Do you have a prayer of attaining it? Is it 'sleeping on the floor' because it's so easy?
(T)ime-bound - The 1/3/5/10 year sheets do this automagically

It may not be easy at first, but you'll get better with time. If you think of stuff you forgot at a later date, just add it in. Or if you think you messed up completely, re-write them.

Takes me 30 minutes tops. And it's kind of fun because I usually take another 30 minutes reviewing what my goals were from 10 or 20 or (gulp) almost 30 years ago.

As another poster said, if you don't need to have goals and can let go, that's fine too. But if not, this is a good balance between neurosis and complete lack of structure.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you'd like some samples of the kinds of goals I've personally used - not as a template but to spark your own ideas and personal interests.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Tue May 22, 2018 11:40 am

Once you finish the accumulation stage of your financial life, wouldn’t it make sense to set actionable,
measurable financial goals for decumulaton?

For example, can you set specific annual personal spending, familial gifting, or charitable giving goals and then monitor your decumulation to make sure that you meet those goals?

Do you have specific bequest goals? If so, you can develop a strategy for measuring whether you are on track to meet those? This could be another area for post-retirement planning.

Likewise, it might make sense for you to set goals for things like conversation of tax-deferred investments to Roth investments, or goals about how you will manage RMDs when you reach that stage.

If you enjoy setting goals like these and measuring your achiement of them, there is no reason to stop doing this when you retire — but you will need to identify new goals that align with your new circumstances.

Andy.

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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Tue May 22, 2018 11:48 am

bligh wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:34 am
I wonder about this too, from a slightly different angle. I wonder if I will ever be okay watching my account balances shrinking instead of growing. When I think about it, it feels a bit depressing. Almost like a clock ticking down to that inevitable grave.
Since death is inevitable, it might be realistic and healthy to acknowledge this appropriately in our financial behavior and elsewhere.

Some people I know seem so scared of death and dying that they avoid making important decisions. Treating one’s own death as a taboo may certantly lead to bad outcomes, and it seems to me sensible to adjust one’s financial plans and behavior as one moves closer to death. So, viewing decumulation as you do might be a useful thing as long as fear of dying does not paralyze you or cause you to act irrationally.

Andy.

Spyder59
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Spyder59 » Tue May 22, 2018 12:13 pm

Following PhilosophyAndrew’s comment.

From the Stoic Seneca:

Epicurus says, “Rehearse for death,” or, if this conveys the meaning better for us, “it’s a great thing to learn how to die.” Perhaps you think it useless to learn something that must only be used once; but this is the very reason why we ought to rehearse. We must study always the thing we cannot tell from experience whether we know. “Rehearse for death”; the man who tells us this bids us rehearse for freedom. Epistle 26.8

gotester2000
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by gotester2000 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:11 pm

dbr wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:31 am
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
I already do goal setting in all areas so that is why I am concerned it will be difficult to carve out one specific area. For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Not me. No goals.

Maybe you need a Zen attitude that the goal is to have no goals.
+1

My goal is no goals - it has given me real happiness independent of any achievements.

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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue May 22, 2018 1:13 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years. Anybody have any tips or insights. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
You won. Time to play a new game.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by The Wizard » Tue May 22, 2018 1:14 pm

Warren Buffett is the epitome of moving the goal posts, though I'm sure he wouldn't phrase it that way.
Other folks don't have his durability and stamina and end up being quitters.
So the question for you: do you aspire to be the next Warren Buffett or do you want to be a quitter?
Attempted new signature...

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HomerJ
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by HomerJ » Tue May 22, 2018 1:14 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:04 am
Mike Scott wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am
Keep setting goal posts. However, the new goal posts may be more about personal growth, family and friends and experience etc rather than work and accumulating money. You will also need to continue managing your resources so redefine those goals as appropriate for you.
I already do goal setting in all areas so that is why I am concerned it will be difficult to carve out one specific area. For the most part I don't think people would post here unless they got some sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from managing their finances in a way that is progressing toward their financial goals.
Keep working then. If you are meeting all your goals in all other areas, and can't think of any new goals, then there's no reason to quit.

Me, I'm not meeting all my goals in all other areas, and I can think of multiple new goals I'd like to set for myself, but working 40-50 hours a week impacts my achievements in those other areas.

So I will be quitting when I have enough money. One goal met, and I can start working on the other goals.
The J stands for Jay

mptfan
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by mptfan » Tue May 22, 2018 1:22 pm

Atgard wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:55 am
What is the purpose of having that money? To jump into a pile of coins like Scrooge McDuck? (Admittedly, that would be kinda cool. :D ) Probably not.
Actually, I think jumping into a pile of coins would be rather uncomfortable.

2015
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by 2015 » Tue May 22, 2018 1:23 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:13 pm
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years. Anybody have any tips or insights. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
You won. Time to play a new game.
This!
I'm currently surrounded by lots of people in the final stretch of life. Not a single one has mentioned wanting larger account balances or wishes they'd constructed a more clever portfolio. In each their own way, every one of them is too busy wishing they could claw back the many experiences they'd had.

Not a day goes by that Reality doesn't beat a spreadsheet and it's many false narratives.

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bligh
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by bligh » Tue May 22, 2018 1:38 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:13 pm
TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Most of my life I have achieved things by setting goals, achieving them (hopefully) then moving the goal posts and essentially starting the process over. I have used this method to keep myself engaged at work, athletically and in my financially life. Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years. Anybody have any tips or insights. The last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life worshiping my account balances but goal setting is quite the engrained behavior at this point so I worry about this positive becoming a negative moving forward into retirement.
You won. Time to play a new game.
Wow. Very nicely said. I am jealous I wasn't smart enough to have come up with that ....

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bligh
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by bligh » Tue May 22, 2018 1:45 pm

Spyder59 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:13 pm
Following PhilosophyAndrew’s comment.

From the Stoic Seneca:

Epicurus says, “Rehearse for death,” or, if this conveys the meaning better for us, “it’s a great thing to learn how to die.” Perhaps you think it useless to learn something that must only be used once; but this is the very reason why we ought to rehearse. We must study always the thing we cannot tell from experience whether we know. “Rehearse for death”; the man who tells us this bids us rehearse for freedom. Epistle 26.8
I absolutely agree with your and PhilosophyAndrew's point of view. However, there is a slight divergence between where I want my mental state to be and where it is. :D It's kind of how I know I shouldn't be eating ice cream but ....

Fortunately, right now the path forward is obvious for me... Achieve financial independence.. after that we can see what comes next.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue May 22, 2018 1:48 pm

Generally financial goals by themselves aren't very useful. The money has to be for something or it just becomes abstract.

Part of the problem, as I see it, is that you think you have enough to retire but don't want to do so. That's okay. You don't need to retire because someone else or some arbitrary numbers tell you that you should.

Just consider yourself financially independent and retire when you want. Stop driving yourself nuts.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

david
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by david » Tue May 22, 2018 2:13 pm

I would move the goalposts. From one with a number to achieve to one of spending targets.

Are you coming in at or under budget with your spending? How have your investments done this year, should you adjust spending? Are you accomplishing your goals with your money that you need to (e.g., hitting your "bucket list" items that you didn't have time for when working, traveling to places you wanted to see, spending time with the people you care to spend time with).

At the end of the day, a declining net worth isn't a problem if you are not close to financial ruin. I see declining net worth anxiety giving my parents grief because they have a "spend the interest not the principal" mentality. If this is the case, then you need to make your goalposts about spending more on things that matter to you and give you happiness and if you aren't sufficiently spending the money then you aren't reaching your goals.

hawkfan55
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by hawkfan55 » Tue May 22, 2018 2:37 pm

The standard of living I will have in retirement today will be significantly higher than what I would have had 4 years ago.
When you retire, you will have to stop measuring your self worth by the movement of your financial asset balances. As you stated, your standard of living in retirement today is significantly higher, however, you gave up 4 years of retirement freedom to create that reality. What if markets had gone the other way and your balances were 30% below where they were 4 years ago? Would you still work OMY? You have to ask yourself, "do I have enough" to meet expenses over the expected lifetime of my retirement given expected investing results?

My opinion is that you have to feel comfortable that you have enough to meet your expenses AND that you can "adjust" your spending to whatever changing financial circumstances/balances require or provide.
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by jebmke » Tue May 22, 2018 2:45 pm

I have to confess that we never set any specific financial goals. We did adopt some specific strategies and tactics and simply "hoped for the best." For many years we only had visibility of the results only once per year so it was easy to ignore.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 4:13 pm

hawkfan55 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:37 pm
The standard of living I will have in retirement today will be significantly higher than what I would have had 4 years ago.
When you retire, you will have to stop measuring your self worth by the movement of your financial asset balances. As you stated, your standard of living in retirement today is significantly higher, however, you gave up 4 years of retirement freedom to create that reality. What if markets had gone the other way and your balances were 30% below where they were 4 years ago? Would you still work OMY? You have to ask yourself, "do I have enough" to meet expenses over the expected lifetime of my retirement given expected investing results?

My opinion is that you have to feel comfortable that you have enough to meet your expenses AND that you can "adjust" your spending to whatever changing financial circumstances/balances require or provide.
If I measure anything by my financial balances it is a sense of security, which while probably not the ideal way to view it but very different from self worth. Personally, I don't see myself as having given any freedom these past 4 years, to the contrary I went back to work after a nearly one year hiatus mostly because I was bored and directionless. If my balances were 30% less than 4 years ago I would be even more thrilled at my decision to keep working and paying my expenses out of a paycheck and very likely would be having zero struggle with a decision to continue working. The biggest difference in now and 4 years ago is I am beginning to feel it is time to get on with some things because age will start becoming a factor and the additional monies accumulated in the last 4 years have provided me with some increased options.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue May 22, 2018 4:14 pm

jebmke wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:45 pm
I have to confess that we never set any specific financial goals. We did adopt some specific strategies and tactics and simply "hoped for the best." For many years we only had visibility of the results only once per year so it was easy to ignore.
I have a friend like this, and I envy that ability.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

SGM
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by SGM » Tue May 22, 2018 4:34 pm

I truly believe self worth is not related to either net worth or income. Someone suggested an exercise of writing a "manifesto" which listed the reasons why you are entitled to be a "connoisseur of happiness". The manifesto could be used like an investment plan statement that you can refer to whenever you have any doubts.

Some characteristics that come to mind are intelligence, friendliness, sense of humor, creativity etc...

Freefun
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Freefun » Tue May 22, 2018 4:46 pm

Get some hobbies. Do different things. Volunteer.

There's more to life than just work and goal posts.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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HomerJ
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by HomerJ » Tue May 22, 2018 5:03 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 4:13 pm
If I measure anything by my financial balances it is a sense of security
There is no number higher than 100%. By definition, that is the highest it can be.

:)
The J stands for Jay

finite_difference
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by finite_difference » Tue May 22, 2018 7:40 pm

How to stop moving goal posts: don’t be like TheTimeLord.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Dandy
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by Dandy » Tue May 22, 2018 8:01 pm

Oh been there done that and still doing that but to a lesser extent. Retired in 2008 so the bull market and pension helped me not see the "number" shrink but actually grow -- until this year. Still a faint hope to see balance exceed prior high water mark but not a real focus now.

I am focusing on generating "early inheritance" to my children, getting the house ready for sale in a few years, enjoying more travel and vacations and time with the grand kids and their parents.

I check my balance much less frequently but miss the excitement of growth rather than decline. I try to remember that like most of us I am better off than 99.999% of the people who ever walked this earth -- and most of the people who live on earth today -- so it is a time to be very thankful not worried or distracted. Nothing says once you reach your goal you have to set a higher one. The real goal was to enjoy the fruits of your saving, living below your means, etc. not a higher number.

randomguy
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by randomguy » Tue May 22, 2018 8:12 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 am
Now as I approach retirement I am wondering how I will react to no longer doing this financially since if all goes to plan watching our balances shrink not increase over the years.
If all goes to plan, my balances will keep on increasing throughout retirement. That is the downside of a conservative SWR.

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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by emoore » Tue May 22, 2018 8:20 pm

Maybe you should define goals that include working at least part time for a long time. I don’t think you like being retired in a traditional sense which is ok. You just have to realize you are not the retiring type.

jebmke
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by jebmke » Tue May 22, 2018 8:23 pm

At some point the numbers inevitably turn down. Markets don't rise forever. I retired in December 2007. I'd guess that 15 months later we were probably 40% in the hole.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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cfs
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Re: How do you stop moving the goal posts.

Post by cfs » Tue May 22, 2018 8:32 pm

At this point the goal should be to

STOP thinking about money
STOP thinking about money
STOP thinking about money

Gracias por leer / cfs
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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