Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
billthecat
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:50 pm

Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by billthecat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:32 am

Did you figure economy class is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want more?

Did you figure an econo box is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want better?

Travel, transportation, housing, food, entertainment, clothing - you retired figuring a certain level. But what you can cope with when young is different from when you are older. Even if you planned for luxury to grow over time, did your actual desired luxury grow faster than what you had planned?
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.

User avatar
Flobes
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:40 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Flobes » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:34 am

Did yours?

jebmke
Posts: 9365
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:36 am

I had no plans
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

User avatar
Topic Author
billthecat
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:50 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by billthecat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:36 am

Flobes wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:34 am
Did yours?
I'm not retired. So, did yours?
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 2745
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:14 pm

The one thing that we have done more of has been initiating home improvements.

We have spent, and will probably continue to spend a lot more than we have thought we would be able to fit into our withdrawal rate, based on this still-running bull market.

Our projects would not have been done so quickly as they are now being considered and funded.

We spend lots more, which means we will enjoy our freshened casa earlier rather than later. I don't believe in fixing up our home so a subsequent owner can enjoy the improvements. We want to enjoy the home improvements ourselves. We don't care if the improvements add to or take away from our home's value, the improvements make us happy.

Not sure it is all that much more luxury, but it is definitely more spending.

We gutted kitchen, remodeled with new appliances, replaced all flooring downstairs last year and this year, replaced undersized gutters with larger gutters w/leaf filter.

Next up new front door, fence and possibly new shower enclosure, tile in master bathroom. New countertops and calibrations a few years ago. DW wants a larger shower enclosure with nice bench, and removal of adjacent regular tub. I think the tub has been used only to bath grandchildren when they were younger.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 4442
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:40 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:14 pm
The one thing that we have done more of has been initiating home improvements.

We have spent, and will probably continue to spend a lot more than we have thought we would be able to fit into our withdrawal rate, based on this still-running bull market.

Our projects would not have been done so quickly as they are now being considered and funded.

We spend lots more, which means we will enjoy our freshened casa earlier rather than later. I don't believe in fixing up our home so a subsequent owner can enjoy the improvements. We want to enjoy the home improvements ourselves. We don't care if the improvements add to or take away from our home's value, the improvements make us happy.
Yes, spending on home improvements has been quite a bit higher than I originally anticipated for me as well, but like Broken Man 1999, I see them as investments that will increase my enjoyment of this home for the long term. Many will also reduce future ongoing operating costs (e.g., removing the inground pool and deterioriating fencing, getting a low maintenance easy to maintain but very beautiful landscape installed, adding a beautiful shady veranda where I can happily pass hot summer days without needing to turn AC on, investing in community solar and LEDs to reduce future utility costs, etc.) Also, it is now so nice here in the summer that I feel less need to travel, and enjoy eating and entertaining more at home rather than dining out.

User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Bogle7 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:47 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:14 pm
The one thing that we have done more of has been initiating home improvements....We spend lots more, which means we will enjoy our freshened casa earlier rather than later. I don't believe in fixing up our home so a subsequent owner can enjoy the improvements. We want to enjoy the home improvements ourselves.
+1
For us it is cost divided by [hopefully] 20+ more years. We did a major renovation of a 6-1/2 year old kitchen. Major.
billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:32 am
Did you figure economy class is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want more?
We will only fly business class to Europe. Of course, we are playing the points game with multiple credit cards.
billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:32 am
Did you figure an econo box is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want better?
I grew up with econo boxes. My wife has lost her car obsession completely. Our current car is 12 years (52K miles) and we put 4200 miles per year on it. We are in 1 more year mode with plans to lease our next car (100% electric vehicle) when the right car appears in the market.

protagonist
Posts: 5829
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:59 pm

Good question.

So far, no.

I think about it (flying 1st class because I can afford it, fancier car because I can afford it, etc)...like, "why not?"....but every time I come to the conclusion that those things just aren't worth it to me as they would likely not bring me much, if any, more pleasure.

I'm not cheap, either. If I want something I buy it. I just ordered a new sofa today, and not at all a cheap one. If I want to go somewhere or eat something or do something I do it without thinking. I don't think about budgeting.

I am frugal, however, in the sense that if something is not worth the money to me I resist spending it. To me, the only difference between a fancy hotel and a basic decent one is chocolates on my pillow. I'm happier choosing my own chocolates, and it saves money.

I have no interest in flaunting my wealth or in most frivolous luxuries. In fact, for the most part I frown on it when I see others doing it, and I live in a community of largely like-minded people. It works for me.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ychuck46
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:54 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by ychuck46 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:05 pm

We travel quite a bit, about 4-5 months out of the year, although we stay in one resort for three months during the winter so it is more like a second home (we have a lot of timeshare points in case you are wondering). Otherwise our costs have been capped pretty well since I retired five years ago, and have actually been dropping over the last few years due to various reasons. Since we only spend about 2% of assets per year we should be in good shape.

Smoke
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:45 pm
Location: TN retired

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Smoke » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:38 pm

The luxury of not waking up to an alarm clock for the past 15 yrs happened just as fast as I thought it would.
Other than that I live the same way I always have.
And am quite content to keep doing so,
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 2322
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by GerryL » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm

I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost.

Just came back to the West Coast from London. I had not paid ($169) for premium economy on the return because the only seats left were middle seats. But before arriving at Heathrow I saw that the available seating had changed (maybe aircraft change) and asked at the airport if I could get an upgrade. I was told it would only be 39 pounds (!!!) but then the agent couldn't get my (airline-branded) card to work, so she gave me the upgrade for free -- in an empty row. Luxury AND a bargain.

And I have been looking into biz class opportunities. Except for one great deal to Peru (but not on the return) I have not found luxury flights I think are worth the spend. Almost tried one of those outfits that offers great deals on first/biz class international flights, but feeling in my gut -- and a great premium economy price an agent found for me -- changed my mind.

User avatar
Svensk Anga
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Svensk Anga » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:54 pm

I think the answers you get will reflect the times. After a ten year bull market, most retirees depending substantially on portfolio withdrawals will be feeling flush and spending more freely. In late 2008, early 2009 the answers would have been different.

I have been retired three years. We are definitely spending more than planned. Spent more on Roth conversion taxes too. Still, the portfolio is up substantially.

User avatar
WestUniversity
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:27 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by WestUniversity » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:04 pm

Not so far. I’m only seven months in however...

livesoft
Posts: 66990
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:11 pm

No, luxury level has diminished and not increased. I desire even less.

I don't drive a Lexus anymore (not even a beater Lexus), but drive Subaru. I went to Hawaii 4 times before retirement and haven't been since I retired. I slept in a tent for almost 60 days in the past 7 months instead in hotels or even an RV. I still mow my own yard unless one of the kids comes home, then I have to pay them to do it. My clothes are just T-shirts and shorts. I haven't even bought a pair of jeans in about 5 years. I'm still flying economy because that uses the lowest number of FF miles. The home thermostat is still set the same way it has always been: 78 deg in summers and 68 deg in winters. Utility bills are slightly lower.

And maybe worst of all: Internet speed is still the slowest available and we have no Netflix, no Roku, no Hulu, no Amazon Prime, no SiriusXM, and no cable. But I did recently have to renew my library card because my old one expired.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Topic Author
billthecat
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:50 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by billthecat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 pm

GerryL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost.
A recent trip in economy is exactly what prompted my question. And so I'm looking at moving up to premium economy as you describe. And then I started thinking about how my desires may change in the future, for better cars, premium entertainment (like, say, seat location?), fancier food, nicer clothing, etc. I want to avoid early retirement regret (I probably should have noted that in my first post).
Last edited by billthecat on Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.

User avatar
Topic Author
billthecat
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:50 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by billthecat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:21 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:11 pm
No, luxury level has diminished and not increased. I desire even less.

I don't drive a Lexus anymore (not even a beater Lexus), but drive Subaru. I went to Hawaii 4 times before retirement and haven't been since I retired. I slept in a tent for almost 60 days in the past 7 months instead in hotels or even an RV. I still mow my own yard unless one of the kids comes home, then I have to pay them to do it. My clothes are just T-shirts and shorts. I haven't even bought a pair of jeans in about 5 years. I'm still flying economy because that uses the lowest number of FF miles. The home thermostat is still set the same way it has always been: 78 deg in summers and 68 deg in winters. Utility bills are slightly lower.

And maybe worst of all: Internet speed is still the slowest available and we have no Netflix, no Roku, no Hulu, no Amazon Prime, no SiriusXM, and no cable. But I did recently have to renew my library card because my old one expired.
Thanks, makes for an interesting data point. I did ditch cable but I don't think I could give up fast internet.
We cannot direct the winds but we can adjust our sails.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 16517
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Watty » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:18 pm

I was never a high end traveler but in some ways some of the places I am staying at now are sometimes a notch lower than when I was working and had limited time off.

We tend to go for longer trips now instead of fancier trips because since we have more time.

For example I went to Australia for five weeks this spring and when you are traveling for that long finding a place with a kitchen where you can fix some of your own meals works better than staying in a nicer hotel where you would be eating out at restaurants.

The hotels in Sydney(like many large cities) were pretty expensive so we actually stayed at a hostel where we had a private room and bath. I had carefully selected it and it was fine and actually interesting to meet the other people in the hostel. I think we stayed in Sydney for six nights so paying for an expensive hotel for that many night would not have been worth it to us.

Taking a longer trip is a luxury but not really a fancy luxury but we anticipated that. I suspect that in five weeks of leisurely travel we did not spend much more than many people that try to "do Australia" in two or three weeks.

I retired four years ago and as another poster mentioned investments have been doing good so last year I bought a new car a few years earlier than planned to get some of the new safety features and to have a car that was better for road trips. It is nice, but is is only a Corolla so it is not a "luxury" car even though buying it early was a bit of a splurge.

JackoC
Posts: 798
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by JackoC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:44 am

billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:32 am
Did you figure economy class is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want more?

Did you figure an econo box is fine, what's the big deal, only to later decide you want better?

Travel, transportation, housing, food, entertainment, clothing - you retired figuring a certain level. But what you can cope with when young is different from when you are older. Even if you planned for luxury to grow over time, did your actual desired luxury grow faster than what you had planned?
Our spending has grown faster than inflation. But hasn't exploded. Some of that is stuff not under our control (prop taxes, health insurance, healthcare out of pocket). Most of it is voluntary (much more charity, more expensive cars, more elaborate trips). But then there's a counter current of gradually losing interest in various things with age, for example wife used to like expensive jewelry time to time but that's notably diminished. I foresee the same gradually happening with me and cars and has happened in some smaller hobby categories already. Also our travel spending would be much higher if we felt like travelling constantly. A couple of my wife's sisters do that, new trips to all over the world every few months it seems. Once or twice a year is enough for us and I don't anticipate our mental/physical energy level increasing from here on.

It's better to have room in your plan to increase spending than not, all else equal. But all else is not usually equal, it involves some other kind of trade off. A hard trade off like working more years when you really don't want to, or a softer one like $1 more in spending now is $1 plus returns minus taxes (if any) less to heirs in the future. We would have to spend way more to be likely to ever run out of money, but the spend v inheritance trade off may have some influence constraining our spending. OTOH the inflation adjusted principal has grown substantially since we retired and that probably has some influence on our spending having increased. Who knows *exactly* why they spend what they spend?

User avatar
Cyclesafe
Posts: 837
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Cyclesafe » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:10 am

There's something desirable about gradually ramping up. What was fine for the younger years resulted in a usually-not-so-bad-but-usually-different experience.

There's not anything favorable to say about coach other than it gets one "there", is cheapest, and it makes one appreciate premium economy etc. when one just can't bear coach anymore. Similar things can be said about staying in 3 star and plus accommodations after a epoch of staying in youth hostels and/or camping. The experience in the posher digs is different - not always better - but decidedly preferred now that we are older.

Concurrently, though, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the costs of traveling. Also (probably related), we have been dismayed about how crowded everything seems to be, no doubt due to the geometrically accelerating increase in the number of Chinese nationals touring about. Large hotels are inundated and tourist sites are overwhelmed. Prices have skyrocketed as demand exceeds supply and displaced travelers seek more and more off-the-beaten-track experiences. A 1987 one-month trip to New Zealand, which we will be nearly duplicating this December, has gone from roughly US$100 per day to nearly $1000. Of course, this also reflects inflation and lifestyle creep, but is nevertheless IMHO illustrative.

However, the most important reason for our level of luxury increase is the insistence of DW. I'd be happy to camp and still do so when I am off on my own. But I just don't call the shots.

MathIsMyWayr
Posts: 521
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:23 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:10 am
Concurrently, though, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the costs of traveling. Also (probably related), we have been dismayed about how crowded everything seems to be, no doubt due to the geometrically accelerating increase in the number of Chinese nationals touring about. Large hotels are inundated and tourist sites are overwhelmed. Prices have skyrocketed as demand exceeds supply and displaced travelers seek more and more off-the-beaten-track experiences. A 1987 one-month trip to New Zealand, which we will be nearly duplicating this December, has gone from roughly US$100 per day to nearly $1000. Of course, this also reflects inflation and lifestyle creep, but is nevertheless IMHO illustrative.
Wealth used to be concentrated only to a small number of countries in the past. Now, wealth is more widely spread across the globe. We cannot say any longer that the productivity of country "A" is necessarily higher than that of country "B" in all industries.

msk
Posts: 1231
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by msk » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:28 am

The booming stock market since my retirement 20 years ago has made me unexpectedly generous, giving away a 6-figure sum to my potential heirs annually and once-off a 7-figure sum to my alma mater. I am still very reluctant to pay for Business Class except if it's overnight in sleeper seats and the flight is over 6 hours long. Econo habits are difficult to shed, but I expect that I will cough up for an upcoming 21-hour trip each way to the other side of the world :annoyed

Random Poster
Posts: 1806
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Random Poster » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:54 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:10 am
A 1987 one-month trip to New Zealand, which we will be nearly duplicating this December, has gone from roughly US$100 per day to nearly $1000. Of course, this also reflects inflation and lifestyle creep, but is nevertheless IMHO illustrative.
$100 a day in New Zealand in 1987 (or around $220 to $230 today, according to the CPI Inflation Calculator) made for a very nice trip experience. That is certainly not a "youth hostel experience" budget. Nor, for that matter, is $1,000 a day.

THY4373
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:15 am

GerryL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
Almost tried one of those outfits that offers great deals on first/biz class international flights, but feeling in my gut -- and a great premium economy price an agent found for me -- changed my mind.
I would exercise some caution with said outfits as many though not all are basically buying points from folks (which is almost always in violation of the programs terms) and using those points to acquire tickets in premium cabins that they sell. These folks mostly know how to work the system but there is something of an arm race between them and the credit card companies and airlines. This means there is a non-zero risk that your tickets would be cancelled, made invalid, etc. I am not sure how common this is but it is a risk I would factor into the decision of whether to use them or not.

visualguy
Posts: 1392
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by visualguy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:10 am
There's something desirable about gradually ramping up. What was fine for the younger years resulted in a usually-not-so-bad-but-usually-different experience.

There's not anything favorable to say about coach other than it gets one "there", is cheapest, and it makes one appreciate premium economy etc. when one just can't bear coach anymore. Similar things can be said about staying in 3 star and plus accommodations after a epoch of staying in youth hostels and/or camping. The experience in the posher digs is different - not always better - but decidedly preferred now that we are older.

Concurrently, though, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the costs of traveling. Also (probably related), we have been dismayed about how crowded everything seems to be, no doubt due to the geometrically accelerating increase in the number of Chinese nationals touring about. Large hotels are inundated and tourist sites are overwhelmed. Prices have skyrocketed as demand exceeds supply and displaced travelers seek more and more off-the-beaten-track experiences. A 1987 one-month trip to New Zealand, which we will be nearly duplicating this December, has gone from roughly US$100 per day to nearly $1000. Of course, this also reflects inflation and lifestyle creep, but is nevertheless IMHO illustrative.

However, the most important reason for our level of luxury increase is the insistence of DW. I'd be happy to camp and still do so when I am off on my own. But I just don't call the shots.
Yes, travel has become extremely expensive, and you have to face incredible crowds. Heavy crowds, which seem to exist everywhere worth going these days, seriously degrade the experience. This, combined with "been there, done that" and less tolerance for jet lag, caused us to reduce it quite a bit. Glad we did a lot of it in the old days with smaller crowds! Still thinking about what kind of travel makes sense after retirement considering all factors.

neilpilot
Posts: 2596
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:44 am

visualguy wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am


Yes, travel has become extremely expensive, and you have to face incredible crowds. Heavy crowds, which seem to exist everywhere worth going these days, seriously degrade the experience. This, combined with "been there, done that" and less tolerance for jet lag, caused us to reduce it quite a bit. Glad we did a lot of it in the old days with smaller crowds! Still thinking about what kind of travel makes sense after retirement considering all factors.
We travel 3-5 times a year, typically 2-3 weeks at a time including an annual trip to Europe. Most trips are shoulder or off season, to avoid not just crowds but also very hot weather. Also, contrary to the areas that less experienced travelers consider “worth going these days” we target alternative locals. For example, we love Paris and have been there several times but for our 3 weeks in France last year we chose the Dordogne region. Great scenery and lots to do, and arguably better and more affordable food. We almost never do Europe for less than 2 week. We’ve recently combined much of our travels with house/pet sits, that sometimes also include use of the homeowner’s car, which can make travel both upscale and very affordable.

CurlyDave
Posts: 1072
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:57 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:11 pm
No, luxury level has diminished and not increased. I desire even less.

I don't drive a Lexus anymore (not even a beater Lexus), but drive Subaru. I went to Hawaii 4 times before retirement and haven't been since I retired. I slept in a tent for almost 60 days in the past 7 months instead in hotels or even an RV. I still mow my own yard unless one of the kids comes home, then I have to pay them to do it. My clothes are just T-shirts and shorts. I haven't even bought a pair of jeans in about 5 years. I'm still flying economy because that uses the lowest number of FF miles. The home thermostat is still set the same way it has always been: 78 deg in summers and 68 deg in winters. Utility bills are slightly lower.

And maybe worst of all: Internet speed is still the slowest available and we have no Netflix, no Roku, no Hulu, no Amazon Prime, no SiriusXM, and no cable. But I did recently have to renew my library card because my old one expired.
I drive a Subaru (admittedly a high end one) and feel like that is a luxury.

I don't spend as much time outdoors as you, but it is in an old trailer I call the "redneck hunting lodge".

I do set the thermostat more comfortably now, give more to our church, and volunteer more.

BarbBrooklyn
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 am
Location: NYC

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:20 am

billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 pm
GerryL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost.
A recent trip in economy is exactly what prompted my question. And so I'm looking at moving up to premium economy as you describe. And then I started thinking about how my desires may change in the future, for better cars, premium entertainment (like, say, seat location?), fancier food, nicer clothing, etc. I want to avoid early retirement regret (I probably should have noted that in my first post).
+1 THIS.
We just got back from a round trip to Amsterdam. I told DH that we are never again flying economy. I have varicose veins and he's on blood thinners. I'm going to hang either premium economy or business class on the idea that dying from a blood clot is uneconomical.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 4442
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:34 am

BarbBrooklyn wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:20 am
billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 pm
GerryL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost.
A recent trip in economy is exactly what prompted my question. And so I'm looking at moving up to premium economy as you describe. And then I started thinking about how my desires may change in the future, for better cars, premium entertainment (like, say, seat location?), fancier food, nicer clothing, etc. I want to avoid early retirement regret (I probably should have noted that in my first post).
+1 THIS.
We just got back from a round trip to Amsterdam. I told DH that we are never again flying economy. I have varicose veins and he's on blood thinners. I'm going to hang either premium economy or business class on the idea that dying from a blood clot is uneconomical.
My general response to cramped airplane seating discomfort on long flights has been to favor more domestic travel, and in particular travel along NorthEast corridor that can be done by Amtrak, where one is free to get up, stretch, and walk around the train whenever one wants to do so. It takes longer and clearly rules out certain destinations but there´s plenty to see by train. And stopovers are usually in the heart of downtowns. I will say that I do generally splurge on Business Class in Amtrak for greater personal space and comfort. (My BoA Amtrak credit card gives me good Amtrak Rewards to help reduce the cost of this splurge.)

So much more pleasant to travel by train than plane.

And environmentally better too. I take a 15 minute ride on public transit bus from my house to the Amtrak station (costs me 65 cents as a senior citizen), no worries about parking. Then hop on Amtrak which takes me to the heart of downtown in my destination, again making it easy to hop on public transit at the other.

There are limits though. I am planning a trip to Colorado Springs for a wedding in the fall. Can´t be done reasonably by train. I have bought premium economy United for that trip.

But when I can avoid it, I try to take the train rather than plane these days.

rjbraun
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by rjbraun » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:00 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:34 am
BarbBrooklyn wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:20 am
billthecat wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 pm
GerryL wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost.
A recent trip in economy is exactly what prompted my question. And so I'm looking at moving up to premium economy as you describe. And then I started thinking about how my desires may change in the future, for better cars, premium entertainment (like, say, seat location?), fancier food, nicer clothing, etc. I want to avoid early retirement regret (I probably should have noted that in my first post).
+1 THIS.
We just got back from a round trip to Amsterdam. I told DH that we are never again flying economy. I have varicose veins and he's on blood thinners. I'm going to hang either premium economy or business class on the idea that dying from a blood clot is uneconomical.
My general response to cramped airplane seating discomfort on long flights has been to favor more domestic travel, and in particular travel along NorthEast corridor that can be done by Amtrak, where one is free to get up, stretch, and walk around the train whenever one wants to do so. It takes longer and clearly rules out certain destinations but there´s plenty to see by train. And stopovers are usually in the heart of downtowns. I will say that I do generally splurge on Business Class in Amtrak for greater personal space and comfort. (My BoA Amtrak credit card gives me good Amtrak Rewards to help reduce the cost of this splurge.)

So much more pleasant to travel by train than plane.

And environmentally better too. I take a 15 minute ride on public transit bus from my house to the Amtrak station (costs me 65 cents as a senior citizen), no worries about parking. Then hop on Amtrak which takes me to the heart of downtown in my destination, again making it easy to hop on public transit at the other.

There are limits though. I am planning a trip to Colorado Springs for a wedding in the fall. Can´t be done reasonably by train. I have bought premium economy United for that trip.

But when I can avoid it, I try to take the train rather than plane these days.
Interesting. For me, I almost feel as if Amtrak would have to pay me to ride Business Class; I certainly would not pay up (and regret when I have). As long as the train has a Quiet Car, I will always opt for that. Once when I was in Business Class I was seated next to someone on endless phone calls. Unlike in the Quiet Car I had no ability to tell him to stop. Only reason I did not move to the Quiet Car was concern that I wouldn't get a seat. That and the upheaval of only having to return to Business Class.

As for long-haul air travel, we are at the point of seeking out premium economy or better. We were lucky to recently book premium seats to Rome for only slightly more than economy. Not sure how easy it will be to act when the price differential is more significant. The reduce seat width and pitch are less of an issue for me than the anxiety associated about adjacent passengers. If I were traveling with my partner or a friend on a plane with 2-seat sections and no ability for seats to recline, I think I could live with economy (given the price saving). It's when the person seated in front of me fully reclines their seat or we share the seat cluster with another passenger with pick-your-favorite peeve that I want to avoid flying economy.

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 4442
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:10 pm

rjbraun wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:00 pm

Interesting. For me, I almost feel as if Amtrak would have to pay me to ride Business Class; I certainly would not pay up (and regret when I have). As long as the train has a Quiet Car, I will always opt for that. Once when I was in Business Class I was seated next to someone on endless phone calls. Unlike in the Quiet Car I had no ability to tell him to stop. Only reason I did not move to the Quiet Car was concern that I wouldn't get a seat. That and the upheaval of only having to return to Business Class.
Interesting to me. My experience is that Business Class is often quite deserted and I often have nobody near me. I do have noise-cancelling headphones to listen to music on, which could come in handy.

I don´t think there are Quiet Cars on most of the routes I take (primarily based in Upstate NY). On NE Corridor Acela (Boston to DC), the minimum class is business class and there is a car which is both business class AND quiet car.

bhsince87
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:40 pm

WestUniversity wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:04 pm
Not so far. I’m only seven months in however...
Same here!

But my spend level is lower than I had planned.

I'm still a little worried about spending much now with potentially 40+ years ahead yet.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

THY4373
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by THY4373 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:15 pm

I am not retired quite yet but watching my parents who have more or less been retired for a couple of decades I have noticed:

They spent a lot of a money on upgrading and maintaining house. Upscale kitchen, major new addition and getting everything fixed up to essentially outlast them. Seems a common theme on this thread.

They do travel business class internationally but they were doing that before retirement and they only do it once a year or less. Also my mother more recently has dome some light churning of credit cards for cover some of the trips.

That is pretty much the only places they have upgraded their lifestyle as near as I can tell. They still drive Fords and keep them longer if anything.
Last edited by THY4373 on Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nowizard
Posts: 2065
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Nowizard » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:26 pm

Not at all. We are not wealthy by the standards of many who post here but are comfortable with the knowledge that we can support our chosen lifestyle and will leave an inheritance for our children, though that is not a goal. We have lived within our means, have purchased all that we need and almost all that we want forever and continue to do so in retirement. We continue to fly economy, for example. Air travel is a pain for other reasons that would not be affected by flying first class which for domestic travel is among the top items we feel are greatly overpriced in terms of what you receive. We joke about the efforts of airlines to make first class appear to be something everyone should desire, particularly the way the lines on entering the gate are separated by a foot or so and lead to the same ticket-taker.

Tim

michaelingp
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by michaelingp » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:13 pm

I would say either not at all, or maybe a little bit. For us anyway, I think our values are pretty well set in cement and our financial situation doesn't seem to affect them much. We have a motor home, but we had one before we retired (7 years ago). We still have the 15 y.o. Honda. We're a little more generous with gifts, but that's really part of the estate plan, not a level of luxury.

curmudgeon
Posts: 1820
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by curmudgeon » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:08 pm

Not so far. But it's been less than three years at this point. We've been doing a lot of traveling, as planned, though adding in more cruises than I would have predicted. Some home repair and improvements, mostly as planned.

We did fly business class one way on our last trip to Europe, but that was with miles; still haven't paid cash for BC, but maybe sometime. We have started moving up a notch or two on the cruise lines; it's a little easier to feel the value when it's 11 days rather than 11 hours.

So far the house improvements are mostly things that add lasting value if we sell in the next few years (somewhat likely). Or sometimes modest cost stuff mostly for my personal satisfaction in doing them myself.

The last 10 or 15 years before retirement we had opened up somewhat on spending (once the kids were through college and savings in good shape), so retirement hasn't changed much.

ronno2018
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:31 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by ronno2018 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:10 am
There's something desirable about gradually ramping up. What was fine for the younger years resulted in a usually-not-so-bad-but-usually-different experience.

There's not anything favorable to say about coach other than it gets one "there", is cheapest, and it makes one appreciate premium economy etc. when one just can't bear coach anymore. Similar things can be said about staying in 3 star and plus accommodations after a epoch of staying in youth hostels and/or camping. The experience in the posher digs is different - not always better - but decidedly preferred now that we are older.

Concurrently, though, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the costs of traveling. Also (probably related), we have been dismayed about how crowded everything seems to be, no doubt due to the geometrically accelerating increase in the number of Chinese nationals touring about. Large hotels are inundated and tourist sites are overwhelmed. Prices have skyrocketed as demand exceeds supply and displaced travelers seek more and more off-the-beaten-track experiences. A 1987 one-month trip to New Zealand, which we will be nearly duplicating this December, has gone from roughly US$100 per day to nearly $1000. Of course, this also reflects inflation and lifestyle creep, but is nevertheless IMHO illustrative.

However, the most important reason for our level of luxury increase is the insistence of DW. I'd be happy to camp and still do so when I am off on my own. But I just don't call the shots.
I have said this before on these forums but house trades REALLY WORK GREAT, and sometimes you end up in really interesting less busy locales, i.e. Limerick not Dublin, Brest not Paris, etc. Give it a try! homeexchange.com etc.

Gnirk
Posts: 983
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Gnirk » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:25 pm

I think the only luxury I/we indulge in post-retirement is flying business class internationally, and economy-plus on cross-country flights. Mainly for comfort because of our ages. Seats are more comfortable, and we don't have to stand in long lines. Something else that is definitely uncomfortable at our ages.

However, I still hate paying the (sometime much) higher prices.

Other than that, we don't really indulge in luxuries.

Gnirk
Posts: 983
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Gnirk » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:38 pm

[/quote]

+1 THIS.
We just got back from a round trip to Amsterdam. I told DH that we are never again flying economy. I have varicose veins and he's on blood thinners. I'm going to hang either premium economy or business class on the idea that dying from a blood clot is uneconomical.
[/quote]

DH complains about the cost when I purchase business class for our 13 hour flights to Europe; he always says "I'm just fine in coach". And I tell him "Hey, you've NEVER flown coach to Europe, but if you want to fly coach while I fly business, that will save me a bundle of money". :twisted:

RadAudit
Posts: 3425
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by RadAudit » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:39 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:47 pm
We will only fly business class to Europe.
A relative of mine thinks that anything less than business class to Europe is a human rights issue. I don't agree, yet. But, I'm beginning to see his point.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

User avatar
Will do good
Posts: 843
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Will do good » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:43 pm

No, ours move up a little, much less than what we can afford. It's hard to change our spending habits after decades of LBYM.

User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 2322
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by GerryL » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:16 pm

I neglected to say above (in discussion about premium economy and biz/first class) that my level of luxury has increased largely because "I can afford it." After a life of frugality, I have saved enough to have a very comfortable retirement. Why not spend it for a good purpose? Charitable causes and my comfort!

flyingaway
Posts: 2294
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:04 pm

My new retirement number: If I feel comfortable to buy a business class seat for international travel, it is time for me to retire.
(I probably could afford a business class seat, but I still buy basic economy as of today).

heyyou
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:58 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by heyyou » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:23 am

Thirteenth year of retirement, and our level of luxury has not increased, possibly for these reasons: We didn't need to cut back at retirement, since we waited for the pension credits to catch up to our conservative spending level while working. The 2008 Crash helped us pay attention to our retirement spending, then the ten year bull market has kept our portfolio higher than when we retired. Most of all, we were just glad to get away from our jobs, since we were already living in an area where the recreation suits us.

MarkerFM
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:18 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by MarkerFM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:30 am

You know how when you read some threads here about people with plans to retire and you realize that while they are planning, their plan is not well-founded and they are reaching?

Well, we had the opposite problem. Our "plan" was to basically throttle spending below what would be reasonable considering our circumstances. After I realized we weren't spending enough, we stepped on the gas. This didn't happen until seven years in.

We lived a nice life before, but now are living at a different level. Kids will still inherit a bundle. Before changing, they would have inherited two or three bundles.

neilpilot
Posts: 2596
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:20 am

ronno2018 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 pm


I have said this before on these forums but house trades REALLY WORK GREAT, and sometimes you end up in really interesting less busy locales, i.e. Limerick not Dublin, Brest not Paris, etc. Give it a try! homeexchange.com etc.
Haven’t tried house trades since we usually have a friend stay in our house and watch our dogs when we travel. However we use a web sit that lets us stay in pet owners homes so long was we care for their pet while they travel. We sometimes also get use of their car. I’m writing this from the balcony of a $1M beachfront condo in Florida that we’re in while the owners cruise. This is our 7th house sit in 2 years, including homes in France and Canada. We’re off to the UK in September to do it again.

User avatar
Cyclesafe
Posts: 837
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by Cyclesafe » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:46 am

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:44 am
visualguy wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am


Yes, travel has become extremely expensive, and you have to face incredible crowds. Heavy crowds, which seem to exist everywhere worth going these days, seriously degrade the experience. This, combined with "been there, done that" and less tolerance for jet lag, caused us to reduce it quite a bit. Glad we did a lot of it in the old days with smaller crowds! Still thinking about what kind of travel makes sense after retirement considering all factors.
We travel 3-5 times a year, typically 2-3 weeks at a time including an annual trip to Europe. Most trips are shoulder or off season, to avoid not just crowds but also very hot weather. Also, contrary to the areas that less experienced travelers consider “worth going these days” we target alternative locals. For example, we love Paris and have been there several times but for our 3 weeks in France last year we chose the Dordogne region. Great scenery and lots to do, and arguably better and more affordable food. We almost never do Europe for less than 2 week. We’ve recently combined much of our travels with house/pet sits, that sometimes also include use of the homeowner’s car, which can make travel both upscale and very affordable.
Not to highjack the thread, but I just want to interject an aside that we have addressed the this issue by "walking" in the UK and elsewhere. In this scheme, popular especially in the UK, one's baggage is transported between accommodations leaving one free to walk with a daypack. As we have aged, we insist on "sections" remaining under 12 miles and accommodations only in the near luxury category. This way we are enjoying nature far from the crowds while staying in very comfortable places. It is also very reasonable. Start here:

https://www.sherpaexpeditions.com/?gcli ... gJJ6vD_BwE

ronno2018
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:31 am

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by ronno2018 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:20 am
ronno2018 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 pm


I have said this before on these forums but house trades REALLY WORK GREAT, and sometimes you end up in really interesting less busy locales, i.e. Limerick not Dublin, Brest not Paris, etc. Give it a try! homeexchange.com etc.
Haven’t tried house trades since we usually have a friend stay in our house and watch our dogs when we travel. However we use a web sit that lets us stay in pet owners homes so long was we care for their pet while they travel. We sometimes also get use of their car. I’m writing this from the balcony of a $1M beachfront condo in Florida that we’re in while the owners cruise. This is our 7th house sit in 2 years, including homes in France and Canada. We’re off to the UK in September to do it again.
Wow, that sounds fantastic too!!! Way to go! I will have to check that out. What a cool concept.

bhsince87
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:19 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:20 am
ronno2018 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:17 pm


I have said this before on these forums but house trades REALLY WORK GREAT, and sometimes you end up in really interesting less busy locales, i.e. Limerick not Dublin, Brest not Paris, etc. Give it a try! homeexchange.com etc.
Haven’t tried house trades since we usually have a friend stay in our house and watch our dogs when we travel. However we use a web sit that lets us stay in pet owners homes so long was we care for their pet while they travel. We sometimes also get use of their car. I’m writing this from the balcony of a $1M beachfront condo in Florida that we’re in while the owners cruise. This is our 7th house sit in 2 years, including homes in France and Canada. We’re off to the UK in September to do it again.
Would you care to share the website? PM if you don't want to make it public, I guess.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

Post Reply