Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

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protagonist
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Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by protagonist » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm

I'm playing devil's advocate here.

I'm addressing this to what I think is representative of many self-proclaimed retired "Bogleheads" who have won the game.

And by winning the game, I don't mean the extremely rich. But rather those, after working hard all their lives for a happy retirement, shouldn't worry much about money anymore.

Example: a 70 y o male with $1 million in assets and $30K annual income. That is probably vaguely representative of many who frequent this site.

If this is you, by Social Security tables, you have about a 65% chance of living to 80, a 21 % chance of living to 90, and a 1% chance of living to 100. Sorry to break the news, but you have a 2.5x greater chance of dying within the next year than to live to 100. Out of every hundred 70 year old males, 35 of you will die within ten years and 79 of you will die within 20. Only one of you will live another 30. http://www.businessinsider.com/social-s ... rts-2014-3

Let's say your $30K annual income, inflation-adjusted, was guaranteed- eg Social Security. If you made absolutely NOTHING on your investments beyond keeping up with inflation, and had no other source of income, you could still spend $50K plus $30K= $80K per year if you are the very lucky one in five or so who lives to 90, and if you run out you would still have $30K annual income for the rest of your life. You would hardly be desperate. And odds are you will make at least SOME money on your investments.

So unless you live an extravagant lifestyle or you are stupid about money, you have won the game. You probably have nothing to worry about.

So why worry? All the concerns over optimal drawdown rate (4%? 3%?), Roth conversions, whether to "tilt", whether to buy a new car or take a vacation that you worked all your life to NOT worry about, shopping at Costco to save on staples....

I get that you want to leave money to your heirs. Chances are you will leave plenty. I get that you would rather not give money you earned to the government. I get that you could be one of the rare few who wind up spending six years on a respirator or in some expensive nursing facility. But the fact is, if you are vaguely sensible about money, your risk of not being able to do what you want to do for the rest of your life is relatively low from a financial perspective, and you are way more likely to die this next year with your million dollars intact than live to 100.

Just as there is a strong relationship between risk and reward when it comes to investing, there is a strong relationship between risk and reward when it comes to living. Isn't it time, now that you "won", to accept some of that risk for the sake of life's rewards? Really, if you are just a sensible individual, those risks are low for you, and extremely low for those with, say, $1.5M or $2M (including home equity, since it can be tapped if absolutely necessary).

Most people with a fraction of what you have live a financially satisfying retirement. So why worry so much about money?
Last edited by protagonist on Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm

Could be that the worriers are the minority who post about their worries. Maybe the rest are just finance junkies.
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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by protagonist » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:38 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
Could be that the worriers are the minority who post about their worries. Maybe the rest are just finance junkies.
+1. Funny, but probably true, now that I think about it. In which case, if that brings you pleasure, ignore everything I said.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:39 pm

When you suffer from fear of something for so long it's hard to suddenly stop fearing it even when the thought of it is irrational.
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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by protagonist » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:40 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
My 18-year-old wife has to worry, doesn't she?
It goes both ways if you consider your increased risk of heart attack, or homicide.....

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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by nisiprius » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:53 pm

I don't think I do worry that much about money... at about age 55, I remember going over my spreadsheet and saying to my wife, "We're there! We're not where I want to be, but if we reached 65 with no more than we have now... assuming Social Security and Medicare... we'd be OK. A bit cramped, but OK." Since then I haven't worried all that much.

But, to give you a straight answer... not "should be" but "why do we..."

1) I think there's something I'll call "worry homeostasis." People who worry about money tend to worry about money. It's a characteristic of them, not of their situation. I remember reading somewhere that if you ask people about their salary, and what would be "enough," you get a surprisingly consistent answer: everyone wants, thinks they need about a 30% higher salary than they have, whatever it is.. It's just human nature.

2) Part of living in a consumer society is that we are constantly bombarded with advertising and other messages suggesting that it hugely important to spend any amount of time and effort to get "the very best," and that there's something wrong with us if we are willing to settle for something suboptimal. This carries over into investing.

3) Nobody likes to accept the reality of risk, so we deflect our anxieties by trying to be overprecise in controlling the things we think we can control.

4) A lot of the insurance and investment industries, as well as hundreds of other consumer-related companies, are experts in swindling us in small ways. In reality, it is not going to ruin our retirement to pay an 0.75% ER instead of an 0.25% ER (yes, I can do compound interest calculations), but a lot of us get up a big emotional head of steam about being swindled. We hate to see people being talked into load funds or bad variable annuities.

5) Finally, there's the intellectual thrill of the chase. The question remains open, and genuinely interest: is it possible to beat the market... intrinsically, over a long period of time, in some way other than luck... by following some [insert interesting strategy name here]?

Look, you're right. The extreme case of what you're saying is advocated by a number of religious traditions, some of which hold that it is actually wrong to plan for tomorrow or put aside savings. I can't go that far myself. I continue to be a saver and I continue to worry moderately about money.
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:00 pm

After reading Daniel Kahneman's book on Thinking, Fast and Slow, the OP's right that we have nothing to worry about financially, other than poor health but that still can be managed to some extent by healthy habits such as exercise and eating "well". Good genes would also help.

My portfolio is about 55-45 in stocks over bonds, still on the riskier side for my age. I might drop it to 50-50 by age 70.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:18 pm

This thread needs some music. The only question is whether you listen to Pink Floyd's Time first or Money first. Not a bad album with the eclipse happening soonish.
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm

If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by 9-5 Suited » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:45 pm

It really is a fascinating utility problem, and one that involves the intersection of philosophy and mathematics.

On the one extreme, you could blow all your money today on whatever would be the most fun day of your life you could imagine. On the other, you could torture a penny and die with millions of unspent loot. Both are clearly not utility maximizing approaches.

So how does one weigh all the possibilities within these two extremes to determine the right spending approach with so many unknown variables? I wish I knew :) I suppose the easiest compromise is to establish a thoughtful income floor for your needs through SS, annuities, and bond ladders and then do whatever the heck you want with the rest of it.

I'm lucky to have a spouse who is more oriented to spending today since I'm more geared toward saving for tomorrow. The yin and yang keeps us a nice equilibrium, and like you said the odds that we'll ever completely fail financially are incredibly low.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by The Wizard » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:49 pm

Getting back to the OP's question, there is rightfully some financial concern at the start of retirement since it's ae new experience and it may take some time (months) for the newbie to get confident handling his new income situation.

Plus there's that Sequence of Returns thing to worry about for a while for some of us.

As for me, 4-1/2 years into retirement, there are really no more worries along those lines.
Nowadays, it's just a matter of monitoring things, akin to keeping the car on the road during a long road trip...
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jimmyq » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:51 pm

Yes, I am mildly obsessed with money as I'm saving madly for retirement in (hopefully) the next few years. But I also realize that this obsession, while good for the pocketbook, is not good for my ultimate well-being. So it's posts like this that get me thinking about what I'm saving for and how I need to change my thinking so that I can pry open the pocketbook and enjoy the fruits of my labor once I retire. Hopefully I'll find a good balance. If not, then I guess my relatives and some lucky charity will be the ultimate benefactor when I depart for "The Great Gig in the Sky"

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:04 pm

For me money is a number that enables and represents freedom, safety, choice and nothing more. Spending money for us in no way equates to having fun or living it up.

In terms of worrying about money, I am careful to preserve and maintain our "number" only because it supports our financial independence. An important factor governing our current level of satisfaction/happiness is that over many years of living well below our means (to create our FI), we developed habits, behaviors, and a perspective to see joy, satisfaction, and peace in a simple life that involves a lot of activity, socializing, recreation, and give back but very little consumerism.

I do admit to being somewhat unconcerned at what happens in very old age end game - respirator, nursing home , etc. - spending that time ensconced in relative high end facility and care rather than in low end facility and care means very little to me. I want to live a rich life but could care less about dying a rich man. See - The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy for further references ; )
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jebmke » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:11 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
exactly!

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by JBTX » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:21 pm

1. By nature those that worry enough to save are probably still going to worry when the goal is reached. There are always theoretical risks and benefits to having more. Conversely those who don't worry probably won't save as much to begin with.

2. While it is true that people generally start to become happier as they get into their 50s and older, by the same token mental "abnormalities" tend to become more exaggerated too. This includes anxiety and OCD.

3. Looking at some older folks I know who by any reasonable measure have done and saved well, once retired investing and managing money becomes primary focus vs secondary focus to working, family etc. people tend to worry to a certain level by their nature, whatever the issue. It could be about big job issue or later in life it could be worrying about people stealing documents from your mail box. The worry just transfers to the most available and new important priority.

4. In our particular case we'd have to cut some things out to get to get to $80k per year. Obviously can be done it could cause some tension in the marriage. Plus we may have some ongoing obligations with our kids.

5. The markets could plausibly crash and stay down for a while.

[OT comment removed by moderator prudent]

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by veindoc » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:28 pm

I've come to believe that my husband will always worry about money, no matter how much he has.
I've tried my best to reassure him that we are not destitute and are not in danger of being destitute with various spreadsheets, projections, calculators and such. None of it convinces him for any length of time.

I too found myself a victim of needless worry earlier this month. We save well over 50% of our gross income. This year I decided to loosen the purse strings a bit and do some home remodeling. When I reviewed how much we spent over the last six months compared to last year, I nearly had a heart attack. A review of our goals and plan for this year along with a review of the accounts was needed to make me relax a bit.

I often wonder if chronic savers - non spender types ever change. How do they transition from save mode to spend-down mode?

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by iceport » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:57 pm

protagonist wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm
I'm playing devil's advocate here.

I'm addressing this to what I think is representative of many self-proclaimed retired "Bogleheads" who have won the game.

And by winning the game, I don't mean the extremely rich. But rather those, after working hard all their lives for a happy retirement, shouldn't worry much about money anymore.

[...]

Most people with a fraction of what you have live a financially satisfying retirement. So why worry so much about money?
Seems like you might be talking to me, though I'm probably on the very low end of comfortable for Bogleheads. So I'll attempt an answer.

It's a great question. For a bit of personal history along these lines, as I embarked on my life journey — leaving home and going to college — I had a relatively modest financial goal (even if it remains out of reach for all too many people): I wanted simply to earn/have enough that I didn't have to worry about money. That was my measure of ultimate success. (This is absolutely true.)

Almost 4 decades later, as I contemplated early retirement, I thought of that philosophy often. By that early, even naive measure, I had achieved my goal. What more could I gain by working longer? A nicer house or car? To what end? I realized I was probably on the right path when I was 18. I have an annuitized income stream that just about covers daily living expenses, and a portfolio that could theoretically generate a similar order of magnitude on a sustainable basis.

So why do I continue to think about money so much? It's almost as if the more financially secure I became, the more I thought about money, not less. It's paradoxical and counter-intuitive!

Here are four possibilities:

► Part of it is surely that all the thinking about money was what helped get me to the point where I shouldn't have to think about it anymore. It wasn't just a coincidence; one was necessary, to a large extent, to produce the other.

► Similarly, after all these years, there's an element of habit. (A bit of innate OCD tendencies?)

► Despite decent odds for success, the time period just before and early in retirement — right now for me — is the most critical for personal sequence of return risk. So there is some real risk to financial security involved, it's not all imaginary.

► Finally, there's certain a feeling of expertise, of mastery — whether it's justified or not. And that feeling of being good at something often makes that something enjoyable (even if it's phenomenally dweeby).
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by RadAudit » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:16 pm

protagonist wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm
Most people with a fraction of what you have live a financially satisfying retirement.
Something I need to be reminded of fairly frequently. Thanks.
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by blueblock » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:28 pm

iceport wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:57 pm
Here are four possibilities:

► Part of it is surely that all the thinking about money was what helped get me to the point where I shouldn't have to think about it anymore. It wasn't just a coincidence; one was necessary, to a large extent, to produce the other.

► Similarly, after all these years, there's an element of habit. (A bit of innate OCD tendencies?)

► Despite decent odds for success, the time period just before and early in retirement — right now for me — is the most critical for personal sequence of return risk. So there is some real risk to financial security involved, it's not all imaginary.

► Finally, there's certain a feeling of expertise, of mastery — whether it's justified or not. And that feeling of being good at something often makes that something enjoyable (even if it's phenomenally dweeby).
+4

Two years into retirement, I experience each of these in a sort of overlapping rotation.

I would add that there's a difference between interested monitoring and worry. I'm not worried. I'm confident that I'll be just fine.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by delamer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:01 pm

I have to protest the math here:

"If this is you, by Social Security tables, you have about a 65% chance of living to 80, a 21 % chance of living to 90, and a 1% chance of living to 100. Sorry to break the news, but you have a 2.5x greater chance of dying within the next year than to live to 100."

Technically this is correct, but the interpretation is off. Yes, I (well not me; I am a younger-than-70 woman) have a 2.5 times greater chance of dying in the next year than I do of living to 100.

But who cares? The probability of either thing is so low as to not be worth planning around. A one percent chance or a 2.5% chance just does not merit my attention, except that it is something I can take off my list of worries.

(This is tactic is used in drug ads all that of the time. Why would I pay for -- and deal with the side effects of -- a drug that cuts my risk of stroke in half when that risk was only 4% to begin with?)

As a more general point, there is a difference between worrying about money when you have reached your goals and continuing to monitor and pay close attention to your finances at that point. There are both types on the forum. I certainly put myself in the later category. We have no real financial worries, but that does not mean that we can spend without thought. We can have a comfortable life but not a life without financial constraints.

Also, we are hearing more and more from friends who are not as well prepared, and that is an incentive to keep a budget (or spending plan, if you prefer).

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by delamer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:12 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:16 pm
protagonist wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm
Most people with a fraction of what you have live a financially satisfying retirement.
Something I need to be reminded of fairly frequently. Thanks.
I agree that it never hurts to remember that you are among the fortunate financially.

And there are a lot of people who are doing OK financially in retirement without the prototypical Boglehead's assets. But that does not mean they are having a "financially satisfying retirement" to my way of thinking. I know several families who will live middle-class lives in retirement, unless there is one premature death of one spouse, a disability, or some other crisis. Then life may not be so middle class anymore.

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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:13 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
My 18-year-old wife has to worry, doesn't she?
No she has you. And you are lucky if you have 18 yr old wife. That's the smart way to pay for your eldery care.

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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:14 pm

Lucky Lemon wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:47 pm
livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
My 18-year-old wife has to worry, doesn't she?
No, but your current wife's future 24 year old husband does :twisted:
Now thats funny

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by indexonlyplease » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by jbolden1517 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:55 pm

For me it isn't about win or lose. The draw percentage in retirement makes a massive difference regarding what you can invest in and how you invest.

At 2% you can hold an accumulation portfolio and focus on the heirs. You don't need to shift to an income portfolio at all.
At 3-5% you can hold a moderate growth portfolio and likely meet your own needs and the heir's needs. Things are getting more dangerous.
At 6-9% you are going to have some very nasty choices to make regarding types of tail risk. Your portfolio will look nothing like an accumulation portfolio and be dedicated to generating a strong stable inflation adjusted annual return.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by littlebird » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:00 pm

indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll yourself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor. . . . I would rather give the money to my family.
Many people say this when they're young, but few do anything about it when they're old. My 94 year old grandmother and Diane Rehm's (former NPR talk show host) husband figured out how to leave this world on their own timetable when going on living became too much of a burden. It was by a method that is pretty much within everyone's own control, even if they're physically disabled, as long as they have enough cognition to figure out what we all intrinsically know. But I don't know of anyone else who's done it.

On the other hand, my 91 year old spouse, with 2 graduate degrees and no religious inhibitions, is reasonably contented in his home-like assisted living group home, although he has completely lost all use of his arms and legs and needs 24 hour complete care. He has a private room and bathroom. This home doesn't accept Medicaid. He gets excellent care and attention; I visit him daily. We do exercise and recite poetry; we talk about everyday life and current events; he is watching television for the first time in his life and is absorbed in recent public affairs.

He knows what to do if he wanted to exit. He doesn't feel dead; he's enjoying a little extra "dessert" after a long satisfying life.

But I'm sure your last sentence is true.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by silvercertificate » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:11 pm

protagonist wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:34 pm

So why worry so much about money?
I think the most honest answer is, because they cannot stop. Generally, I think the person you describe accumulated their assets by focusing on (worrying about) money. That is how they got to where they are, they have a lot invested (time, energy, etc.) and they don't want to lose it. However, I think there is much truth to what you are saying. Though I am only in my early 40s and you might argue that given my financial situation I could soon retire, I think I am more likely to be one of those that you describe in your post.

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Will do good » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:18 pm
This thread needs some music. The only question is whether you listen to Pink Floyd's Time first or Money first. Not a bad album with the eclipse happening soonish.
Pink Floyd – Time
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

Home
Home again
I like to be here
When I can

When I come home
Cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones
Beside the fire

Far away
Across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Zott » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:21 pm

We read your mortality probabilities and understand them. You are correct and rational in what you say. Nonetheless, deep down in each of us, we don't want to accept or believe we will pass on, no matter how we speak about it or plan for it. Our minds and emotions can't picture us dead, we don't accept it. So we go on planning like we are going to live forever, just as we have been.....

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Will do good
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Will do good » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm

indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.

delamer
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by delamer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 pm

Will do good wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.
For those of us who had relatives who spent the end of their lives in a nursing home/memory care unit due to dementia, this is a deeply unsettling way of thinking. About half of people over age 85 have dementia.

Do you suggest we put our elders out in an ice floe when we think they are spending our inheritance?

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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:29 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Will do good wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.
For those of us who had relatives who spent the end of their lives in a nursing home/memory care unit due to dementia, this is a deeply unsettling way of thinking. About half of people over age 85 have dementia.

Do you suggest we put our elders out in an ice floe when we think they are spending our inheritance?
No we do the best we can for them. My dad had alzheimers/dementia. He went through a lot of changes as the disease progressed. I stiil miss his voice calling me by a nickname.

lightheir
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:32 pm

mrsytf wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:28 pm
I've come to believe that my husband will always worry about money, no matter how much he has.
I've tried my best to reassure him that we are not destitute and are not in danger of being destitute with various spreadsheets, projections, calculators and such. None of it convinces him for any length of time.

I too found myself a victim of needless worry earlier this month. We save well over 50% of our gross income. This year I decided to loosen the purse strings a bit and do some home remodeling. When I reviewed how much we spent over the last six months compared to last year, I nearly had a heart attack. A review of our goals and plan for this year along with a review of the accounts was needed to make me relax a bit.

I often wonder if chronic savers - non spender types ever change. How do they transition from save mode to spend-down mode?
Seriously, no joke - I got married. My wife isn't a big spender at all (probably below-avg actually!) but I had to loosen the purse strings BIG time once we were settling down together. The fault was with me though - she was normal in spending habits, and I was the one so cheap that I felt it was a waste of money to buy a set of 4 wine glasses since wine could be drunk from our cheap regular plastic mugs :oops:

lightheir
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:35 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Will do good wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.
For those of us who had relatives who spent the end of their lives in a nursing home/memory care unit due to dementia, this is a deeply unsettling way of thinking. About half of people over age 85 have dementia.

Do you suggest we put our elders out in an ice floe when we think they are spending our inheritance?
No, but the cold, hard reality of it now is that elders with financial resources can easily burn through $250k+ in nursing home fees in the last two years of their lives in a nursing home, so unless your parents have a lot more than that, you should adjust your inheritance expectations to account for it.

Txsman
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Txsman » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:26 am

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Here I am at 64 1/2, sitting in my office, getting paid money I don't need, reading the Boglehead forums. We are going to the east coast for 2 months to the beach. I can't drink but can smoke some funny tobacco. I wonder if the 24 yo from Scandinavia is still renting beach chairs..Time to buy that condo. Thanks for this thread!

wrongfunds
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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:06 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
My 18-year-old wife has to worry, doesn't she?
Your 5-year anniversary party was fabulous. I enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you for inviting us. Looking forward to your 10-year anniversary party. I hope it is even grander with your 23-year old wife at that time.

wrongfunds
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Re: Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:07 am

protagonist wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:40 pm
livesoft wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:37 pm
My 18-year-old wife has to worry, doesn't she?
It goes both ways if you consider your increased risk of heart attack, or homicide.....
"If she dies, she dies!"

Gretchen
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Gretchen » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:39 am

Because if you spend at the rate that gives you a high probability of success for a 30-year retirement, you come to believe that you will live for another 30 years.

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bottlecap
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by bottlecap » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:45 am

Solution: The annuity.

Problem: Solved.

JT

IlliniDave
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:51 am

Part of it is probably a sense of stewardship--for most of us it takes a lot of effort through many decades to "win the game", and it's maybe a form of self respect to tend assets carefully. I also think it truly becomes a hobby for many.

Worry also has a lot of shades of meaning, ranging from simply something a person pays attention to on an ongoing basis, to something that keeps them up and night and degrades their well-being. A certain amount of "worry" about financial matters is simply prudence, just don't want to let it grow into a disorder.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

North Texas Cajun
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by North Texas Cajun » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:53 am

I'm definitely in the group that won. I don't worry about money at all. I do worry a little about the cancer I had last year coming back. But most of the time I just enjoy being with my golf buddies and enjoy traveling with my wife.

Just this morning I came across a different view about money. A translation of a Russian proverb:

"It isn't money that makes you happy. It's lots of money."

indexonlyplease
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by indexonlyplease » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:49 am

delamer wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Will do good wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.
For those of us who had relatives who spent the end of their lives in a nursing home/memory care unit due to dementia, this is a deeply unsettling way of thinking. About half of people over age 85 have dementia.


Do you suggest we put our elders out in an ice floe when we think they are spending our inheritance?
No it's not about the money. It is just hard to visit your relatives that are veterans and are living in the VA nursing home or even and nursing home. The problem is the people taking care of them are new to this country and have no idea what war veterens went through fighting in our wars. I see it now and I am living it with my elder realitives. No way to live and be treated that way.

But forget this lets get back to investing.

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Hayden
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Hayden » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:11 am

This thread is timely for me as I have spent the last 2 days debating whether to purchase a condo that seems to me to be very expensive and grand. I have so far resisted the temptation to post a "can i afford this condo" thread because I know the answer: of course you can afford it. I think I worry about it because:

1. I have always been an extreme saver. It pains me to part with money.
2. Material possessions have never appealed to me.
3. I probably am always going to worry about something. I am mostly retired, and don't have anything else to worry about right now.

larsm
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by larsm » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:37 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
In all seriousness, by the time being "put into a home" occurs, it is highly likely you will not know the difference between a $14k per month and lesser varieties.

At least in the case of dealing with my parents, they couldn't appreciate decor/food etc to any real extent. The only important factor is "quality" of front line staff; and, it isn't clear to me there is a high correlation with monthly cost...

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protagonist
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by protagonist » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:32 pm

North Texas Cajun wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:53 am
Just this morning I came across a different view about money. A translation of a Russian proverb:

"It isn't money that makes you happy. It's lots of money."
I relate more to this line from a song by country singer Jerry Jeff Walker: "I make money. Money don't make me...There ain't a dollar in this world'll make me change my stuff". I carry that attitude throughout my retirement. It's always worked for me. I wonder if Jerry Jeff did as well (I think that might have been from his first album).

fsrph
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by fsrph » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:57 pm

I don't know if I'd call it an obsession it's more like a habit. Save and save for decades, invest prudently and hopefully watch your investments grow and grow. This is behavior that you followed for decades and it's not easy turning the switch from saving to spending. Here's an article that may be helpful. A snippet from the article.

"Imagine spending a lifetime acquiring habits that offer the promise of a longer, happier and more fulfilling life. Then imagine that to have that fulfilling life, you suddenly must abandon all those habits."

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-yo ... 2017-05-09

Francis
Last edited by fsrph on Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie

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Will do good
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by Will do good » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:32 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 pm
Will do good wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:32 pm
indexonlyplease wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:20 pm
jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:10 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:39 pm
If I get put in a home, I'd rather be in one where I can private pay $14k a month and get real food, tv, a nice environment and enough health care staff to notice whether or not I'm still alive vs being in one where for entertainment, I get to lean against a cement block wall and where a nurse comes in once or twice a week to point out if I'm dead.
Bottle of good tequila and a lawn chair at low tide.
Thats why you have a pool and build a ramp for your wheelchair. This way you can just roll youself into the pool. Because in a nursing home at 14k or 3k you are still dead. I have family in both VA nursing home and one paying 12K a month. Both are just wasting away being kept alive by drugs from the doctor.

Or you could have the 18 yr old wife push you in.

I would rather give the money to my family.
+1
It's the quality of life that matters, spending 12k/month in a comfortable nursing home just to stay alive longer is not living.
For those of us who had relatives who spent the end of their lives in a nursing home/memory care unit due to dementia, this is a deeply unsettling way of thinking. About half of people over age 85 have dementia.

Do you suggest we put our elders out in an ice floe when we think they are spending our inheritance?
I'm sorry for your elder problems. I was talk for myself and not suggest what you or anyone should do.

michaeljc70
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:28 pm

Though I am not entirely retired, I've always believed in moderation leaning toward frugality after seeing Grandparents towards both extremes (saving vs/ spending). I will say though, as I get closer to the goal posts (retirement/financial independence, not death), I feel able to loosen up the purse strings more and more. Nothing crazy, but a little. If you live your whole life very frugally, a lot of people have trouble transitioning to spending more. I think that is the issue many have.

I don't have kids, so I have little desire to leave money behind. I don't entirely get it even if you have children (unless they are very young or have a disability). My parents always said (and still do) that they earned their money and if there is any left (there almost certainly will, but they set the bar low), the kids will be lucky to get it. They tried to raise us to be able to be self-sufficient.

heybro
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Re: Retired Boglehead obsession with money- devil's advocate

Post by heybro » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm

So if not a million at 70 years old, what number then? 500k? Let me know and I'll start spending more now.

As someone said, most of what money can buy me doesn't appeal to me much. So the joy of compound interest is where it goes.

I can certainly force myself to spend more money but that seems odd. Does anyone know how to do it? hehe.

And in terms of men and their lifespan, how should we look at this different? Should we retire even earlier?

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