ruralavalon wrote:This is an interesting discussion.
After living frugally for so long when (if ever) do we switch to more comfort or more luxury? Do we want to switch? Why or why not?
Yes, this is exactly what I am struggling with.
Just like Physician On FIRE, I started out spending quite a bit. I always saved and invested, but I also bought BMWs (used at first, then new), bought more house than I should have, some fancy computer and camera stuff. But In my early 30's, I dialed it way back, and found I was just as happy.
My salary increased quite a bit over time, but I avoided the dreaded "lifestyle inflation". Well, except for a little dalliance about 8 years ago, when I had a health scare. That's when I bought MY Mustang convertible! (which I still own, BTW).
And then the proverbial power of compounding kicked in, my salary kept increasing, and all of a sudden it's like, wow, I think I can afford some of this stuff now. But old habits die hard.
I've successfully made the transition from do-it-yourselfer to payer-of-someone-else-to-do-it. I can justify that as buying free time.
I buy higher quality food and beverages, and eat out twice a month (up from near zero). We splurge on a week of vacation each year, and I force myself to spend freely then, with zero guilt.
But these big ticket items are still a hurdle for me. I sometimes wonder if it's a psychological problem, or maybe an innate instinct that I should be thankful for, or something in between. Maybe I'm just overthinking things and need to start yelling YOLO!!
Retirement: When you reach a point where you have enough. Or when you've had enough.