How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
retire57
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by retire57 »

We have everything we want or need, so we give. Talk about maximizing enjoyment! :D
ballons
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by ballons »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:24 pm Very interesting responses. Thank you all. I guess, having grown up with less than I have now, I am able to have everything I thought I wanted materially by spending about 13% of my take home pay. For the first several years of my career, I was 100% focused on buying a house and then paying it off, then paying off student loans, and then buying rental properties and later paying those off too. The whole process happened a lot faster than I expected and now I step back and, for the first time ever, I feel secure and think I have a baseline level of level that gives me security. People in my social circle refer to their money such that it allows them to enjoy whatever they value. For me, I want to find that “thing.” If not for enjoyment, what is it for?
Then that is your goal. Spend your free time trying to find that "thing" as an individual or as a couple with your wife. Each weekend/free time you spend trying something different. That "thing" should be synonymous with enjoyment/happiness but it doesn't have to be.

https://youtu.be/PunAKEccqyU?t=124

(I can't believe I'm quoting City Slickers. :) )
Dottie57
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Dottie57 »

mhc wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:01 pm Use your money to help others in need. The joy from helping others far surpasses a large home or fast car.
I like this.

But I also like physical things. A nice home ( not necessarily big) with furnishings which give you pleasure. Home in an enjoyable area. A nice music setup. Travel is fine. How about memberships in museums, theater tickets, etc.
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Nicolas Perrault
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Nicolas Perrault »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pm My spouse and I save about 87% of our NI, have no debt and enjoy our life but, now that we have achieved a base level of FI, we are questioning whether there are ways we can spend a little more money to maximize our happiness, but do not know how. For context, we are in our 30s and have a NW of over $3mm and save over $350k/yr. ZERO debt including no mortgage. We want to continue a high savings rate to maintain security but feel we have a little flexibility. Any suggestions? Is it just a bigger house and faster car? We do not want to FIRE or just give all of the money away. We find no value in just saving 80%+ every year but also don't know how much happiness or fulfillment comes from leasing a car for $1,200/month or buying a 7,000 SF home that reqs constant maintenance.
You can give your money to me, that will maximize enjoyment 8-)

Oh you meant your own enjoyment?? :annoyed

Anyway, there are tons of exotic cash-hungry hobbies out there. You could try coin collecting, the hobby of kings. Roman coins are a world of their own, they are so much more variable than modern coins, which are minted virtually identically year after year. It's exciting to learn to recognise emperors. The cheapest emperors in good condition (Extra Fine and above) are about $40-50, and the more expensive ones go into the thousands. I like buying fewer coins of high quality than lots of poor quality coins. Careful for counterfeiters, avoid ebay while a beginner. Vcoins.com has a lot of great sellers, and I have a soft spot for Lodge Antiquities. Don't trust the coin ratings by numiscorner, they systematically over-rate their coins. Check out my collection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nico ... collection.

Or you could learn to build or fly a plane. I hear there are few hobbies more expensive than that.
Last edited by Nicolas Perrault on Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CoinCounter
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by CoinCounter »

This is a confusing way to ask what the meaning of life is.
I think what I am seeing here is the ol' behavioral finance trap of loss aversion. Namely, folks rate losses twice as bad as the corresponding gains. Get over it. Get over loss aversion. - livesoft
renue74
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by renue74 »

CoinCounter wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:53 pm This is a confusing way to ask what the meaning of life is.
+1. Once you live long enough, most people find little use for material things. People spend a lifetime accumulating "stuff," and then downsize.

You can't ask people here how to maximize enjoyment because it's different for each person. You're asking...once we have enough money to be safe, what is next?

For me...I have rental houses and I rehab/flip for fun....because I actually enjoy learning building/construction techniques. Some people would hate, hate to do that...but it "brings me joy," even though I could hire crews to do my rehabs.
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watchnerd
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by watchnerd »

CoinCounter wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:53 pm This is a confusing way to ask what the meaning of life is.
+10
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NDAMERICA
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by NDAMERICA »

I would say the goal would be to lead a meaningful life, not a happy one.

Also, you’re so young, what about a nice long walk to get perspective like the Appalachian trail or the Pacific Coast Trail. I might be too old for such things now.
BogleFansToo
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by BogleFansToo »

You sound content with what you have. If so, know that is quite rare. Without contentment, no amount of money will be enough. Studies show that happiness only slowly increases above a certain income (~$75K).
https://www.inc.com/peter-cohan/will-10 ... -away.html
Generosity toward others (especially anonymously) will bring real joy and will benefit others. Food banks and other groups that meet basic needs of people (food, shelter, clothing) do fine work. Go visit some of them and see if they are doing good work.
Read Millionaire Next Door.
Love your wife.
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celia
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by celia »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:40 pm
J295 wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:27 pm FI and 7 years retired here (myself in spouse of 38 years.. we are 60)

Respectfully, you may wish to examine if you are asking the right question for yourself and spouse.

Personally I don’t seek to “maximize enjoyment.”

Kind regards.
Interesting question you pose. I never thought that something other than happiness is what is meant to be maximized. Please elaborate.
Let me try to elaborate. Think outside of yourself and your surroundings to find something you value or is important to you. Do you contribute both your time and “treasure” to it? Have you considered how to “maximize” your impact in the world or your community? Will the world be better off when you are no longer here?

Do you care about the environment more than most people? If so, how can you make a positive contribution to it, both through action and supporting organizations that have a similar belief as you? Do dwindling rain forests bother you? The bee population shrinking? Trash in the ocean? Climate change? Urban sprawl taking over large areas where nature used to exist?

Do those less fortunate than you, without the opportunities you had, pull on your heartstrings? Are you interested in helping others have food to eat, better health, safe living conditions, or better education? Do you know there are teens in every community who are in foster care? They never had your opportunities but they often need mentors or host families to live with. Or they might have been abandoned as drug babies or lost their parents in an accident or didn’t have responsible adults in their life. Many just need long term mentors who share their experience of life choices. Or an organization like Habitat for Humanity will let you work with them on building shelter for those in need. Food Finders collects food from markets that is about to be thrown away and shares it with food banks.

Is education more important to you than it is for most people? Do you know about tutoring programs in your community and what resources are needed? Do kids have someone who will read with them? That skill is often taken for granted but illiterate adults exist in most communities. They can’t read the directions on a medicine bottle, their bills, or flyers showing resources that might benefit them. Many libraries have programs to address this and need your help.

Are the fine arts or sports important to you? Does your community have programs for all ages to address these? If you have a hobby along this line, do you belong to an organization that shares what you know with beginners? Does the organization need team leaders/coaches, art materials, instruments, costumes, or athletic gear?

Do you like physical/mental challenges? Would you want to help out on disasters, after a fire, hurricane, earthquake? Did you know the American Red Cross always need volunteers to help on these events? Training is provided all year round and you need to take certain classes to be ready to go when help is needed. Since many volunteers are retired folks, they always need replacements when the experienced volunteers can no longer participate.

How is this for a start? All of these needs can take you out of your comfort zone, expand your horizons, and give you a sense of purpose. The experiences can be life-changing, but you will realize there are more important things in this world than what you currently experience.
bhsince87
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by bhsince87 »

rerod wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:25 pm Most people who retire regret it. Go back to work part time.
That would be a very interesting development if true.

Can you cite some data to back that up?
"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
kidshrink
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by kidshrink »

BullMoose wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:23 pm
MostWonderfulTime wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:06 pm I am very surprised no one has suggested this yet.

Consider starting a family. My children are the greatest joy in my life and they certainly helped solve any worries about having too much money - between the cost of raising and educating them and my reduced salary to spend time with them.

I have decades of good memories and the chance to build new ones with them in the years ahead.

Congratulations on your financial success and best wishes in your search for happiness.
Having children: the quickest way to reduce your bank account balance...I mean, I love them and all, but... :happy
I noticed BullMoose (and most people with children I've met) commented on his/her children and not his/her spouse. Agree w/ MWT that children are expensive; child support and alimony add to those expenses. As of now, my experiences in America have led me to only have a child through surrogacy so I have full custody and to prevent the chid from being used as a chess piece by a vindictive spouse.
kidshrink
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by kidshrink »

watchnerd wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:22 pm
CoinCounter wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:53 pm This is a confusing way to ask what the meaning of life is.
+10
I'm 38, and my profession as a psychiatrist has given me incredibly valuable insight into people's fantasies, regrets, pain, and everything in between.

Found this thread and worked backwards to learn from other bogleheads' experiences: viewtopic.php?t=246499

I did a brief experiment 5 years ago. I worked 8 hours a week. Had 6 days a week to do whatever I wanted with sufficient income and frequent flier miles:

Flew international business and first class (flights over 8 hours are painful to me, regardless of cabin).
Saw family in other countries (fun on a superficial level, but way too much narcissism and OCPD to enjoy more than 3 days with them)
Drove a Porsche down the Pacific Coast Highway (great views, cabin too cramped)
Dined on the 101st floor (food tasted the same as on the 1st floor)
Went up to some popular mountains, Jackson something (couldn't breathe well at the elevation)
Et cetera.

The bucket list experiences taught me about my preferences, but didn't bring much meaning to my life.
Donation and charity work also do not appeal to me because my work is largely charity work (80% foster children, underprivileged, and from that I learned that giving people money without responsibility is a temporary fix and delay of their suffering.

So I come back to talk therapy. I enjoy exploring the hidden unconscious intentions of myself and others. I spend time in deep thought about issues I feel passionate about, and uncover the reasons why I'm passionate about them. I discovered I enjoy peace and quiet, and have spent my money on ensuring my environment and relationships provide that for me. I keep a part-time schedule to visit my parents and family quarterly, but limit the visit time.

It's flattering to hear patients in their 60s and 70s comment that I'm able to provide them with wisdom.

As long as I keep learning and stay self-aware, I feel like I'm on the right path of leading a meaningful life.
Starfish
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Starfish »

"Maximizing enjoyment" is for people with competing desires, hobbies, passions for a limited quantity of money. You have an opposite issue.

For example I have a list of things to do in this life that I cannot reasonably hope to achieve, mainly because of money constraints. For this reason I rank these things, and I spend my money in the order of happiness per $. It's in my nature, I do this since I was a teenager, I always wanted to do too many things with too little money.

You do not have the same issue. Most people don't ask on forums about how to spend money, especially in their 30s. If you do not know, nobody can tell you.
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cinghiale
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by cinghiale »

A thought...

How about creating some categories and then finding one appealing strategy and/or action for each? For example,

1) Charity. Find a cause that lines up with your values. Figure out whether you want to go big (confronting environmental degradation and pollution) or small (assistance to a local food bank). Then, become a major contributor. Make a difference, a significant difference, for one group that is trying to effect meaningful change.

2) Comfort. Buy or contract out for one thing that would provide you with great comfort. We dropped a tidy sum for an outstanding mattress. An excellent investment in what constitutes a third of one’s life. Not a moment of regret.

3) Health. Stop looking at price tags for high-quality food. Buy fresh, buy organic, and explore new ways to cook and enjoy your meals (On the latter, see #4 below.). Make sure you are allotting sufficient time for exercise and movement. Join a pool and do “aqua gym” each day. Discover yoga, light weight training, Pilates, bicycling, hiking, deep breathing... something that gets you moving and keeps you moving.

4) Creativity. Find something intriguing within which to up your skills. Cooking delivers so many benefits. Watercolors? Woodworking? Writing? There’s great pleasure in breaking new ground and discovering a new passion.

5) Curiosity. Ever been to Paris? Seen the Badlands of South Dakota? Hiked the Cotswalds or the Grand Canyon rim to rim? This is the complement to #2 and comfort. Find a way to break out of the comfort zone.

You can add, delete, or modify the categories to suit your purposes. Talk them over as a couple. Enjoy the journey.
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell
Dottie57
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Dottie57 »

flyingaway wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:58 pm
livesoft wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:50 pm Backpacking away from civilization for days on end.
They make and have saved too much money to do backpacking.
Maybe the OP can rent a private jet once in a year to go somewhere Livesoft backpacks.
I suspect it is the journey that is important in backpacking.
Paddygirl
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Paddygirl »

Personally, I would take up with a fly fishing group and learn the basics. You can travel all over to unique places throughout the world. Then, I would buy a boat if you are near water and fish some more. Invite others, make some great friends. Plan trips. Find your passion and pursue it!
J295
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by J295 »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:40 pm
J295 wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:27 pm FI and 7 years retired here (myself in spouse of 38 years.. we are 60)

Respectfully, you may wish to examine if you are asking the right question for yourself and spouse.

Personally I don’t seek to “maximize enjoyment.”

Kind regards.
Interesting question you pose. I never thought that something other than happiness is what is meant to be maximized. Please elaborate.
Best I can do in this format to elaborate is to share personal perspectives that…

You can’t follow your own path if you’re on the road to another person’s city.

To determine your path dig and scrape with high awareness to expose your True Self

To implement these things you need to be asking the “right questions.” That is, what is “right “for you/your spouse.

In some sense, it’s simple but not easy; and the path is not very crowded.
livesoft
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by livesoft »

kidshrink wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:31 am....
So I come back to talk therapy. ....
Participating here is sort of like that, isn't it? People that one helps even tend to send one thank you messages.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
bltn
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by bltn »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:32 pm
njdealguy wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:59 pm By base level of FI, does it mean you can theoretically live off your assets at a 4% annual withdrawal rate? If so I'd continue plugging away at accumulating more savings until the FI enables just a 2% or 3% withdrawal rate before allowing for some lifestyle inflation accordingly!
We collect about 29k of rent after all expenses on RE investments (there is no debt, just taxes, insurance and maintenance) and 30k of dividends so just passive income without touching principal is more than our total nut without needing any of our salaries, which are each over 250k and growing. We both enjoy our work and much of our social interaction is from work so we don’t want to FIRE.
I can t read further in the thread without a response.

You are successful on so many levels at this point in your life.
1. You have managed to find jobs that you like. Possibly one of the most important achievements in life.
2. You have managed to live with satisfaction on expenses well below your earnings.
3. You have saved and invested your savings.
4. You are an age that allow you so many options for your future.

In your position, I would continue my work. The majority of people in our country don t really enjoy their work . And with the high level of compensation in addition to my job enjoyment, I would feel truly blessed.
I would continue to save, but maybe at a 70% level and allot another 75-100,000 dollars to spend annually. If I didn t have a particular desire currently to spend the additional money, I would put it in a separate money market account that would be designated to be spent and donated, not invested.
I would continue to save 250,000 dollars a year for the next 5 -10 years and watch my investments grow. After that, my accumulation would support my new spending level. Then I could consider cutting back on work.
I would remember that future earnings and investment success is never guaranteed, and I would certainly continue the work and savings.
I would dollar cost average into index funds and continue to read this Bogleheads forum. A great source of information.

Best of luck.
H-Town
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by H-Town »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pm My spouse and I save about 87% of our NI, have no debt and enjoy our life but, now that we have achieved a base level of FI, we are questioning whether there are ways we can spend a little more money to maximize our happiness, but do not know how. For context, we are in our 30s and have a NW of over $3mm and save over $350k/yr. ZERO debt including no mortgage. We want to continue a high savings rate to maintain security but feel we have a little flexibility. Any suggestions? Is it just a bigger house and faster car? We do not want to FIRE or just give all of the money away. We find no value in just saving 80%+ every year but also don't know how much happiness or fulfillment comes from leasing a car for $1,200/month or buying a 7,000 SF home that reqs constant maintenance.
Being FI is supposed to give you options. Now the question you and your spouse gotta ask yourself: what do we want? What make you happy? No wrong answers here, except those that could wash away your wealth.

1) If work make you both happy, maybe continue working but dial back saving?
2) If work doesn't make you both happy, maybe time for a change?
3) Using money to maximize your time, i.e. pay for services that would not require you to do the choir that you're not happy doing.
4) Using money for health: do you want to extend your life expectancy? Now you have money and options to do it.
5) Using money for comfort: house, car, traveling, etc.

You can do those things with the excess of your income and without touching your savings.
WildBill
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by WildBill »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:23 pm
mcblum wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:15 pm throw away all your socks and neck ties
And watches and coins. Whew!
And take a hammer to the alarm clock
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid
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UpsetRaptor
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by UpsetRaptor »

+1 for kids. Think to when you're elderly and in a retirement home, getting family visits where you get to play with grandkids.
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cashboy
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by cashboy »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pm My spouse and I save about 87% of our NI, have no debt and enjoy our life but, now that we have achieved a base level of FI, we are questioning whether there are ways we can spend a little more money to maximize our happiness, but do not know how.
you do not have to spend money to be happy, or spend 'more money' to be 'happier'.

be content with the life you already live knowing you are FI.

look for ways to help others less fortunate than you; you will find that this brings much joy to the heart.
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CDs - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)
FishTaco
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by FishTaco »

What an interesting dilemma to have.

OP, I would suggest engaging in a some thought experiments to figure out what you would do with your life if you didn't have any of the financial constraints normal people have. Imagine you win the lottery. Imagine its one of those obscene amounts in the hundreds of millions that means you never have to give a thought about acquiring money for the rest of your life. Then ask what do you do? For me, that means stop my income producing occupation and just live my life. I can't even see beyond the first few years in that scenario because the idea of not having to engage myself in my job/career is so intoxicating to me. I know alot of people don't feel this way but to each their own. After that, I'd imagine doing some big trips that require lots of free time (backpacking, canoeing, boating, RVing) and not too much money. But I never get beyond the idea of just leaving my job when I imagine winning the lottery or the sort.
ballons
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by ballons »

bhsince87 wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:23 pm
rerod wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:25 pm Most people who retire regret it. Go back to work part time.
That would be a very interesting development if true.

Can you cite some data to back that up?
  1. Life/identity is based around their job
  2. Lack passion/hobby/goal outside of job
  3. Love their job
Then you can also work too long and regret that.
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tryingtogetahead
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

bltn wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:31 am
tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:32 pm
njdealguy wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:59 pm By base level of FI, does it mean you can theoretically live off your assets at a 4% annual withdrawal rate? If so I'd continue plugging away at accumulating more savings until the FI enables just a 2% or 3% withdrawal rate before allowing for some lifestyle inflation accordingly!
We collect about 29k of rent after all expenses on RE investments (there is no debt, just taxes, insurance and maintenance) and 30k of dividends so just passive income without touching principal is more than our total nut without needing any of our salaries, which are each over 250k and growing. We both enjoy our work and much of our social interaction is from work so we don’t want to FIRE.
I can t read further in the thread without a response.

You are successful on so many levels at this point in your life.
1. You have managed to find jobs that you like. Possibly one of the most important achievements in life.
2. You have managed to live with satisfaction on expenses well below your earnings.
3. You have saved and invested your savings.
4. You are an age that allow you so many options for your future.

In your position, I would continue my work. The majority of people in our country don t really enjoy their work . And with the high level of compensation in addition to my job enjoyment, I would feel truly blessed.
I would continue to save, but maybe at a 70% level and allot another 75-100,000 dollars to spend annually. If I didn t have a particular desire currently to spend the additional money, I would put it in a separate money market account that would be designated to be spent and donated, not invested.
I would continue to save 250,000 dollars a year for the next 5 -10 years and watch my investments grow. After that, my accumulation would support my new spending level. Then I could consider cutting back on work.
I would remember that future earnings and investment success is never guaranteed, and I would certainly continue the work and savings.
I would dollar cost average into index funds and continue to read this Bogleheads forum. A great source of information.

Best of luck.
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
truenorth418
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by truenorth418 »

I love to travel all over the world, even for months at a time. I love to take cruises. But I can't do those things anymore because of the coronavirus situation. Now I just sit at home and think about doing those things, which is not nearly as enjoyable. Thanks China!
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JPH
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by JPH »

I'm not as wealthy as you, but I am FI for my standard of living. I also can't think of anything that I could purchase that would really spark more then momentary joy. For me, the enjoyment comes from the security of knowing I don't need to worry about basic necessities, losing my job, a nursing home stay, or a stock market crash.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt
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Sandtrap
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Sandtrap »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:19 pm
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
It is difficult for children not to grow up with an innate sense of entitlement in a wealthy household.
If the "safety net" will be with them for their lifetime, IE: trust fund, everything paid for, etc, then the damage is not so apparent.
But, if the parental expectation is self reliance and true young adult independence, that may or may not be a tall order.

For DW and I, there's nothing we can buy that would add to our level of inner peace and daily lifestyle, or health. So, we don't think about it.

So, actionably, take and use what you "need" and let estate planning take care of the rest.

Meet with an estate legal counsel, set up a trust, fund the trust.

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
stoptothink
Posts: 8343
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by stoptothink »

JPH wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:08 pm I'm not as wealthy as you, but I am FI for my standard of living. I also can't think of anything that I could purchase that would really spark more then momentary joy. For me, the enjoyment comes from the security of knowing I don't need to worry about basic necessities, losing my job, a nursing home stay, or a stock market crash.
Same. We've traveled quite a bit internationally (including 1st class), plenty of experience driving my brothers' Porsche Turbo and AMG, plenty of expensive dining out (on the company's dime); none of those things do pretty much anything for me. We have enough in our mid-late 30's where we could probably not earn another penny and survive with our current level of expenditures, but I gain a lot of enjoyment/satisfaction out of increasing that level of stability and security for my family.
Topic Author
tryingtogetahead
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:45 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:13 pm
JPH wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:08 pm I'm not as wealthy as you, but I am FI for my standard of living. I also can't think of anything that I could purchase that would really spark more then momentary joy. For me, the enjoyment comes from the security of knowing I don't need to worry about basic necessities, losing my job, a nursing home stay, or a stock market crash.
Same. We've traveled quite a bit internationally (including 1st class), plenty of experience driving my brothers' Porsche Turbo and AMG, plenty of expensive dining out (on the company's dime); none of those things do pretty much anything for me. We have enough in our mid-late 30's where we could probably not earn another penny and survive with our current level of expenditures, but I gain a lot of enjoyment/satisfaction out of increasing that level of stability and security for my family.
Sounds like we are about the same age and have similar situations. Do you mind me asking what your NW and income are and what you spend, including on your home?
huskerfan1414
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:51 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by huskerfan1414 »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:19 pm
bltn wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:31 am
tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:32 pm
njdealguy wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:59 pm By base level of FI, does it mean you can theoretically live off your assets at a 4% annual withdrawal rate? If so I'd continue plugging away at accumulating more savings until the FI enables just a 2% or 3% withdrawal rate before allowing for some lifestyle inflation accordingly!
We collect about 29k of rent after all expenses on RE investments (there is no debt, just taxes, insurance and maintenance) and 30k of dividends so just passive income without touching principal is more than our total nut without needing any of our salaries, which are each over 250k and growing. We both enjoy our work and much of our social interaction is from work so we don’t want to FIRE.
I can t read further in the thread without a response.

You are successful on so many levels at this point in your life.
1. You have managed to find jobs that you like. Possibly one of the most important achievements in life.
2. You have managed to live with satisfaction on expenses well below your earnings.
3. You have saved and invested your savings.
4. You are an age that allow you so many options for your future.

In your position, I would continue my work. The majority of people in our country don t really enjoy their work . And with the high level of compensation in addition to my job enjoyment, I would feel truly blessed.
I would continue to save, but maybe at a 70% level and allot another 75-100,000 dollars to spend annually. If I didn t have a particular desire currently to spend the additional money, I would put it in a separate money market account that would be designated to be spent and donated, not invested.
I would continue to save 250,000 dollars a year for the next 5 -10 years and watch my investments grow. After that, my accumulation would support my new spending level. Then I could consider cutting back on work.
I would remember that future earnings and investment success is never guaranteed, and I would certainly continue the work and savings.
I would dollar cost average into index funds and continue to read this Bogleheads forum. A great source of information.

Best of luck.
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
I agree with those who say you need to look into therapy to sort some of this out.

Lets focus on the “more” part in bold. You feel this way because there is more. There is more to life than numbers on a screen in a bank account. Why are you worried about security? Security for what? Sounds like, according to your spending (which is fine), you have already reached security. The ancient pharaohs would pack their tombs full of riches for income security in the afterlife. Thats essentially what you are doing....you are planning on accumulating security to sit in a bank for ten lifetimes.

You haven't experienced anything different because you are choosing not to. When I read your posts, I see you looking not for advice, but for validation...(something we are all guilty of, including me)....I can tell this because the only posters you are responding to are those who are telling you to essentially keep on doing what you are doing but in different forms and ways via different avenues.

Look, its your money. You have earned every right to do what you want with it, including burying it in the yard. But you run the risk of becoming a miser and those values on the screen essentially, at a certain point, become like monopoly money to you....if it will never be used, its worthless.
That might make you feel happy and secure, but when you are old and unable to do things, you don't want to have remorse and realize all the money you saved was essentially pointless.

Now, Im not saying go blow money on cars. The fact that you have referred to fast cars and big houses as your only options to spend the money leads me to further believe that you really don’t know whats out there simply because you haven't experienced it.
Do you enjoy reading? Think back to high school and college, what subjects interested you? Learn more about them and then go visit places that hold significance regarding your interests. While you're there take in a new restaurant....go for a run along the scenic parts of the area, gift your wife a massage....etc. It doesn't have to be Paris.
Go rent a boat for a week on some vacation destination lake.
Go to an area in need and spend half your time helping out snd half your time seeing the sights.
As you get out there and learn, you will notice things you didnt before and realize your interests. Since you have the financial means to do so, you can now pursue those new interests or buy those things. Voila!

If it makes you feel better, put the vacation funds in a CD and make some interest before going, so you are budgeting for it and using the interest to help fund your trips. “We are going three places next year, so I’m putting $x amount into a 1 year CD to help pay for it” etc etc.

Consider children. I wouldn't trade any of mine for 10 million bucks, however, it is not to be an end all for your happiness, so think about it. I certainly don't think your reasoning to not have them is good enough....spoiled and entitled kids are raised by bad parents, irregardless of money or income. Humble and hard working kids who value a dollar are raised by good parents of all levels of income. It comes down to realizing that the money is yours and not theirs.

Good luck OP. You deserve happiness. I’d tell you the secret and help you find what means most in life, but its against forum rules....but lets just say this week is significant to the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The more I learn, the dumber I feel.
hoops777
Posts: 3297
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by hoops777 »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:40 pm
J295 wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:27 pm FI and 7 years retired here (myself in spouse of 38 years.. we are 60)

Respectfully, you may wish to examine if you are asking the right question for yourself and spouse.

Personally I don’t seek to “maximize enjoyment.”

Kind regards.
Interesting question you pose. I never thought that something other than happiness is what is meant to be maximized. Please elaborate.
I think happiness and enjoyment are not the same thing. You can enjoy all the toys and trips but maybe contributing to society by working or consulting or even volunteering will bring more happiness/ fulfillment. Having a bunch of money and just “enjoying” life at such a young age is not what humans were meant to do. Most of us are not built that way. If you never have to do anything difficult/hard it is not a great existence in my humble opinion.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
Random Poster
Posts: 2246
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Random Poster »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pm My spouse and I save about 87% of our NI, have no debt and enjoy our life but, now that we have achieved a base level of FI, we are questioning whether there are ways we can spend a little more money to maximize our happiness, but do not know how. For context, we are in our 30s and have a NW of over $3mm and save over $350k/yr. ZERO debt including no mortgage. We want to continue a high savings rate to maintain security but feel we have a little flexibility. Any suggestions?
You should invest more and keep investing.

Just having a baseline of financial independence is not enough and will likely be a constant source of anxiety and concern.

Personally, at your level, I’d be more concerned about losing what you’ve got then trying to “maximize enjoyment” now or whatever it is you think that you are seeking.

Get to a financial level where you can lose quite a bit and still be financially independent and then get back to us (or, at least, me). Then, at that point, you can have some flexibility.

But that’s just my view and I’m likely in the minority here.
StealthRabbit
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by StealthRabbit »

Find your passion, then do it.

Since ours is helping others... in our 30's... We took all our wealth and put it in a family foundation. (Not much since we were single earner factory night shift wage family.)

Fast forward 30+ yrs... Our foundation perpetually gifts annually, and we donate our time and talent to volunteer and teach others to have a better quality of life. (International and domestic). We often stay and volunteer for free room and board and develop rich and interesting long term relationships. Have done this for decades.

Took many sabbaticals while working. Homeschooled and lived internationally. Kids turned out ok! They invest their lives in others too. (By choice, from the example of many generations before them). We always have given away more than we spent on ourselves. We have always had plenty to spare for others.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4743
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by EnjoyIt »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:19 pm ....
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
Looks like you fully realize that spending more money just because you have it to get bigger things will not necessarily add any happiness to you. This is how I would proceed and have proceeded in my life as we hit our baseline FI yet continued to work.

1) Spend money to make life simpler. I don't mean easier, I mean simpler. Remove some complexity from your life. Just imagine an incandescent lightbulb up high that needs a long ladder to replace and you need to replace it every 2 months. Now imagine replacing it with one of those fancy LED lights that costs much more, but now you don't have to get the ladder out for 5 years. This is just a tiny example of how to think. That does not mean hiring someone to your house every day to wash your dishes for you as something like that would distort the sense of reality for your future children, and yourself. But it may mean buying an electric car for driving around town. You eliminate needing to stop for gas and oil changes. Recently we spent some money to make listing to music throughout our home better and easier. Putting up speakers in multiple rooms with easy to use access that always works. Prior to this I had a much more complex and less expensive setup that failed every so often. With money I eliminated that complexity and made life easier and more enjoyable. Just think about some of the complexity in your life and spend money to simplify.

2) I would start looking to decrease the things you dislike about your job if at all possible. Outsource those things, get an assistant maybe. Pay money to make life even better at work. If you enjoy work now, consider how much better it would be if you never had to do the thing you hate.

3) Start looking to add interesting experiences in your life that only money could afford. I don't mean blowing $3k a night in a Las Vegas hotel. But maybe as someone said, rent a house on the water with a boat for a week and experience that. Maybe set up a 1 week vacation home in the mountains with you and a few friends. Take a day renting a fast car on the race track. Maybe donating to charity if that may make you happy. I gave you some things I like. Again, you need to do what works best for you. Things that you may enjoy.

My other advise is to start adding things slowly. Increase you spending by $5-$10k this year on some of those things. And don't increase it again until your net worth is able to support the new spending. Then bump it up another $5k-$10k. This way you get to have some lifestyle creep, but still be able to afford it even if something bad happens.

Good luck,
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
stoptothink
Posts: 8343
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by stoptothink »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:22 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:13 pm
JPH wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:08 pm I'm not as wealthy as you, but I am FI for my standard of living. I also can't think of anything that I could purchase that would really spark more then momentary joy. For me, the enjoyment comes from the security of knowing I don't need to worry about basic necessities, losing my job, a nursing home stay, or a stock market crash.
Same. We've traveled quite a bit internationally (including 1st class), plenty of experience driving my brothers' Porsche Turbo and AMG, plenty of expensive dining out (on the company's dime); none of those things do pretty much anything for me. We have enough in our mid-late 30's where we could probably not earn another penny and survive with our current level of expenditures, but I gain a lot of enjoyment/satisfaction out of increasing that level of stability and security for my family.
Sounds like we are about the same age and have similar situations. Do you mind me asking what your NW and income are and what you spend, including on your home?
You are way ahead of us financially. Our NW is ~$1M, HHI ~$220k/yr, our annual expenses are ~$40k but that includes mortgage (done in the next few months), childcare (son goes to school in September so that is done), and my wife's tuition (she graduates in December). Our annual expenses for a family of 4 will likely be ~$25k starting next year.
bloom2708
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by bloom2708 »

Spend less time working, save less.

That frees up more time to do the things you want. That doesn't mean you have to have expensive hobbies or expensive trips.

Until I can work less, there aren't many options.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
StealthRabbit
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by StealthRabbit »

As a gentle reminder... I don't see many comments on 'longevity' / quality of life / changing desires and capabilities as you age.

Consider the above thoughts on purposeful living / spending.

My dad had the world by the tail. Then woke up one morning at age 47 with a significant stroke. Lost 7 businesses, ranch, farm, nice cars, Investments, beautiful view home we had slaved for years to build. Spent next 37 yrs institutionalized and under my care. Very miserable for him and the rest of us. (Emotionally destroyed and immense anger and violence).

I am so grateful for the many great memories I have purposed to create during my own life. Daily seek those opportunities. Tomorrow is fleating, and may be far different than you have the ability to choose or plan.

Definitely have that part of your life planned for ease of 'execution' by those who will need to make your choices for you. I keep applications to care facilities filled out and current (in case my motorcycle or bulldozer ride today goes bad) Have joined funerals.coop, & I keep fuel in the backhoe for "burial-in-place". Next day DS holds the estate auction and is set free. BTDT since I was age 29.

Be ready to go! At all times.
Live your life purposefully, as if this is your last breath.

(I do hospice volunteering and often often witness the many ways people and families neglect to do this.).

Someday there will be no tomorrow (for each of us).
Topic Author
tryingtogetahead
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:45 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

Random Poster wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:10 pm
tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pm My spouse and I save about 87% of our NI, have no debt and enjoy our life but, now that we have achieved a base level of FI, we are questioning whether there are ways we can spend a little more money to maximize our happiness, but do not know how. For context, we are in our 30s and have a NW of over $3mm and save over $350k/yr. ZERO debt including no mortgage. We want to continue a high savings rate to maintain security but feel we have a little flexibility. Any suggestions?
You should invest more and keep investing.

Just having a baseline of financial independence is not enough and will likely be a constant source of anxiety and concern.

Personally, at your level, I’d be more concerned about losing what you’ve got then trying to “maximize enjoyment” now or whatever it is you think that you are seeking.

Get to a financial level where you can lose quite a bit and still be financially independent and then get back to us (or, at least, me). Then, at that point, you can have some flexibility.

But that’s just my view and I’m likely in the minority here.
Thank you for your feedback. What do you think is “enough?” For a long time, my number is $20mm because, even without any promotions, just using a 3% COL income increase and similar COL increase for expenses and a modest return on our investments, we should hit that by the time we are 55 years old. Naturally, that will be worth about $13mm in today’s dollars though by the time we hit it.
AlohaBill
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:20 pm
Location: California

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by AlohaBill »

How about considering joining the Peace Corps?
Topic Author
tryingtogetahead
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:45 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:27 pm
tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:19 pm ....
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
Looks like you fully realize that spending more money just because you have it to get bigger things will not necessarily add any happiness to you. This is how I would proceed and have proceeded in my life as we hit our baseline FI yet continued to work.

1) Spend money to make life simpler. I don't mean easier, I mean simpler. Remove some complexity from your life. Just imagine an incandescent lightbulb up high that needs a long ladder to replace and you need to replace it every 2 months. Now imagine replacing it with one of those fancy LED lights that costs much more, but now you don't have to get the ladder out for 5 years. This is just a tiny example of how to think. That does not mean hiring someone to your house every day to wash your dishes for you as something like that would distort the sense of reality for your future children, and yourself. But it may mean buying an electric car for driving around town. You eliminate needing to stop for gas and oil changes. Recently we spent some money to make listing to music throughout our home better and easier. Putting up speakers in multiple rooms with easy to use access that always works. Prior to this I had a much more complex and less expensive setup that failed every so often. With money I eliminated that complexity and made life easier and more enjoyable. Just think about some of the complexity in your life and spend money to simplify.

2) I would start looking to decrease the things you dislike about your job if at all possible. Outsource those things, get an assistant maybe. Pay money to make life even better at work. If you enjoy work now, consider how much better it would be if you never had to do the thing you hate.

3) Start looking to add interesting experiences in your life that only money could afford. I don't mean blowing $3k a night in a Las Vegas hotel. But maybe as someone said, rent a house on the water with a boat for a week and experience that. Maybe set up a 1 week vacation home in the mountains with you and a few friends. Take a day renting a fast car on the race track. Maybe donating to charity if that may make you happy. I gave you some things I like. Again, you need to do what works best for you. Things that you may enjoy.

My other advise is to start adding things slowly. Increase you spending by $5-$10k this year on some of those things. And don't increase it again until your net worth is able to support the new spending. Then bump it up another $5k-$10k. This way you get to have some lifestyle creep, but still be able to afford it even if something bad happens.

Good luck,
Thanks. This is great actionable advice. I am definitely going to execute on this right away with outsourcing my yard work and house cleaning and see how that goes. No more mowing the lawn!

Experiences definitely > material possessions. I bought a sports car (Porsche) a few years back for $90k after we paid off our mortgage on our primary residence. The fun quickly dissipated so I sold it before long and took a $20k bath on the sale. That was the only big indulgence we had in our careers. As I said, we have otherwise been very prudent. Time spent traveling (especially with loved ones and close friends) is much more fun IMO.

I understand your point about inflating my lifestyle slowly over time and also building my income as I do so. Part of my problem is that I have trained myself all of my life to be frugal and seek value in everything I do/buy, so now (other than my one-time Porsche purchase), it's hard for me to justify expenses that I deem extravagant. For example, we typically stay in $100-200/night hotels. There is a beach resort we have been eyeing but it's minimum $800/night. That would be nearly a $10k/week vacation with dinners, travel, etc. How do I justify that to myself. Also, for our next vehicle (when we have a baby), we were eyeing an SUV that costs $60k but can't justify it when we have seen $30k SUVs that are 80% as nice for half the cost. How do you justify that for minimal extra comfort and style? I know it's a mindset but am just not sure how to get there...
as9
Posts: 200
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by as9 »

If I were you the two main things I would do are

1) take long, expensive vacations. African safaris, fancy resorts, etc.

2) pay for time and quality as much as possible. basic things like house cleaning, yard work, etc. but I'd also look into a personal chef for some amount of meals/days a week.

Or, I'd pick a number to work towards and then never work again.
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 15191
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by HomerJ »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:46 pmAny suggestions? Is it just a bigger house and faster car? We do not want to FIRE or just give all of the money away. We find no value in just saving 80%+ every year but also don't know how much happiness or fulfillment comes from leasing a car for $1,200/month or buying a 7,000 SF home that reqs constant maintenance.
A more expensive house and car are the two WORST possible choices.

Because that increases your monthly spend, which may even kick a person out of FI.

Don't increase your FIXED expenses... Spend a bit more on variable expenses that you are not locked into.

Like better vacations, or more nights out at fun events (can't do that right now) or random toys (a car "could" be in this category, if you are a car person).

A bigger house just because you can is almost always a bad idea.

Now, in YOUR case, you guys are so rich, and saving so much, you could indeed buy a nicer house, if it actually would give you more joy.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
surfstar
Posts: 2247
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by surfstar »

I agree with helping others.
We are not FI. Hint, hint. We would also have plenty of things to do once reaching FI (and the CV issue ending).
Travel. Backpacking. SCUBA diving. Surfing. Climbing. Camping. Campervan. Etc, Etc. These are the things we do on weekends and holidays. They bring us joy and friendships.
Feel free to donate to our FI fund and you too can bring us joy ;)


Yet again, I see the catch-22 of high income earners. The push/desire/drive - whatever you want to call it - that gets someone to achieve a high income, usually runs counter to those who wish to achieve FI and "retire".
If you don't spend your days dreaming of what you do on your days off - you might be a high earner.
If you spend time at work calculating how early you can retire, if only ___, you might be FIRE appropriate.

I want to create a fund that helps these people exchange funds - you know - we'll put your money to work for the FIRE movement, as you don't seem to be able to do so. We'll just use the interest/dividends and happily return it to you/your estate after we've passed on.

If you are unable to figure out what makes you happy prior to achieving FI - having more money won't help. Feel free to donate it to those of us who would know what to do with FI :mrgreen:

*only half-joking post
PoppyA
Posts: 648
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by PoppyA »

To maximize enjoyment,I would strive to feel like I held true to my values when I put my head on the pillow at the end of the day. That I treated people decently, spoke my truth, etc.

As a 30 year old, I had no hobbies. Like someone else said, you may still be finding yourself in your early 30’s. I found one in my mid 30’s and I am still with it many years later. It brings me joy and I can get lost in time while doing it. When I find myself bored, worried, excited, inspired, etc. I can turn to my hobby that brings me joy.

Some of the other things that bring me happiness are simple. Having the time to enjoy my coffee in the morning v. rushing out the door to work. The sounds and sights of Lake Superior bring me immense happiness.
Random Poster
Posts: 2246
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Random Poster »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:00 am Thank you for your feedback. What do you think is “enough?” For a long time, my number is $20mm because, even without any promotions, just using a 3% COL income increase and similar COL increase for expenses and a modest return on our investments, we should hit that by the time we are 55 years old. Naturally, that will be worth about $13mm in today’s dollars though by the time we hit it.
I don't know what the answer is and I'm sorta working through all of this myself, but I think that you'll know it when you reach it.

At a minimum, though, I would think that "enough" would be an amount that would roughly support or be equal to the following:

* All of your annual expenses, including required and desired;
* With an added 25% to 50% buffer;
* That can be generated at a 2.5% or lower withdrawal rate;
* And no debt to service.

So, if your annual expenses are $75,000, a 25% buffer would make them $93,750, which would need $3,750,00 at a 2.5% withdrawal rate.

Perhaps even better would be to further "discount" the $3,750,000 number by 25%, which would be the same as lowering the withdrawal rate to 1.875%, which would make the $3,750,000 amount now $5,000,000.

At some point though, the numbers become ridiculous and "enough" becomes a state of mind and not a figure on a page.
EnjoyIt
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Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by EnjoyIt »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:33 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:27 pm
tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:19 pm ....
Thank you for your insight. Many of the comments I have gotten have been insightful. I expected nothing less from this like-minded community. I plan to continue along my journey financially and expect to easily surpass a $10mm net worth by age 47, and even sooner if I get my next promotion during that period. If so, our combined incomes will rise from $550,000 to well over $1mm or even more. As I said, I consider my current $3mm net worth to be a baseline level of FI because I can cover my current nut entirely on passive income without touching salaries, and all debt is paid off, but we have not inflated our lifestyle in any way over the past 12 years we have worked. At the risk of getting philosophical about life, we just feel that, while we are satisfied now, there has to be more. We feel that there must be something different to look forward to at the end of this journey we have worked toward that we call FI. We haven’t experienced anything different other than just numbers on a page. We were happy when we had a negative $250,000 net worth 12 years ago. We want the money to give us a more meaningful and enjoyable life but so far it has only been a mental source of security. Maybe that is enough? Also, while we can afford it based on income and NW, we find it hard to justify certain purchases based on the absolute cost of the item. For example, how do you justify paying $800/month to lease a luxury vehicle that is maybe 20% better than a $200/month economy vehicle? We are also concerned, as we begin a family, that if we inflate our home, cars, and lifestyle overall, our child/children will have a distorted sense of reality. It’s a lot to consider.
Looks like you fully realize that spending more money just because you have it to get bigger things will not necessarily add any happiness to you. This is how I would proceed and have proceeded in my life as we hit our baseline FI yet continued to work.

1) Spend money to make life simpler. I don't mean easier, I mean simpler. Remove some complexity from your life. Just imagine an incandescent lightbulb up high that needs a long ladder to replace and you need to replace it every 2 months. Now imagine replacing it with one of those fancy LED lights that costs much more, but now you don't have to get the ladder out for 5 years. This is just a tiny example of how to think. That does not mean hiring someone to your house every day to wash your dishes for you as something like that would distort the sense of reality for your future children, and yourself. But it may mean buying an electric car for driving around town. You eliminate needing to stop for gas and oil changes. Recently we spent some money to make listing to music throughout our home better and easier. Putting up speakers in multiple rooms with easy to use access that always works. Prior to this I had a much more complex and less expensive setup that failed every so often. With money I eliminated that complexity and made life easier and more enjoyable. Just think about some of the complexity in your life and spend money to simplify.

2) I would start looking to decrease the things you dislike about your job if at all possible. Outsource those things, get an assistant maybe. Pay money to make life even better at work. If you enjoy work now, consider how much better it would be if you never had to do the thing you hate.

3) Start looking to add interesting experiences in your life that only money could afford. I don't mean blowing $3k a night in a Las Vegas hotel. But maybe as someone said, rent a house on the water with a boat for a week and experience that. Maybe set up a 1 week vacation home in the mountains with you and a few friends. Take a day renting a fast car on the race track. Maybe donating to charity if that may make you happy. I gave you some things I like. Again, you need to do what works best for you. Things that you may enjoy.

My other advise is to start adding things slowly. Increase you spending by $5-$10k this year on some of those things. And don't increase it again until your net worth is able to support the new spending. Then bump it up another $5k-$10k. This way you get to have some lifestyle creep, but still be able to afford it even if something bad happens.

Good luck,
Thanks. This is great actionable advice. I am definitely going to execute on this right away with outsourcing my yard work and house cleaning and see how that goes. No more mowing the lawn!

Experiences definitely > material possessions. I bought a sports car (Porsche) a few years back for $90k after we paid off our mortgage on our primary residence. The fun quickly dissipated so I sold it before long and took a $20k bath on the sale. That was the only big indulgence we had in our careers. As I said, we have otherwise been very prudent. Time spent traveling (especially with loved ones and close friends) is much more fun IMO.

I understand your point about inflating my lifestyle slowly over time and also building my income as I do so. Part of my problem is that I have trained myself all of my life to be frugal and seek value in everything I do/buy, so now (other than my one-time Porsche purchase), it's hard for me to justify expenses that I deem extravagant. For example, we typically stay in $100-200/night hotels. There is a beach resort we have been eyeing but it's minimum $800/night. That would be nearly a $10k/week vacation with dinners, travel, etc. How do I justify that to myself. Also, for our next vehicle (when we have a baby), we were eyeing an SUV that costs $60k but can't justify it when we have seen $30k SUVs that are 80% as nice for half the cost. How do you justify that for minimal extra comfort and style? I know it's a mindset but am just not sure how to get there...
Getting the lawn care is a great idea as a cleaning service. Free up your lives a bit to do the things you enjoy.

Regarding an expensive car. Here is how I justify more extravagant expenses.

You have $3million. $3million at a very very conservative withdrawal rate of 3% will allow you to spend $90k a year. Personally I use 4% where half of my spending is discretionary and can easily be dropped but I digress. You can comfortably spend up to $90k a year and never work another day in your life. When you have more money, feel free to spend more.

Be mindful how you spend. Keep an eye on things that may inflate your lifestyle cost but add minimal value. Technically an expensive car is like that. But if you plan on keeping it for 10 years then, then so what. Just don’t make the car ostentatious like a Bentley. Don’t buy stuff to show off. Buy quality stuff that you will need, use, and will last.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
hoops777
Posts: 3297
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by hoops777 »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:14 am
tryingtogetahead wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:22 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:13 pm
JPH wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:08 pm I'm not as wealthy as you, but I am FI for my standard of living. I also can't think of anything that I could purchase that would really spark more then momentary joy. For me, the enjoyment comes from the security of knowing I don't need to worry about basic necessities, losing my job, a nursing home stay, or a stock market crash.
Same. We've traveled quite a bit internationally (including 1st class), plenty of experience driving my brothers' Porsche Turbo and AMG, plenty of expensive dining out (on the company's dime); none of those things do pretty much anything for me. We have enough in our mid-late 30's where we could probably not earn another penny and survive with our current level of expenditures, but I gain a lot of enjoyment/satisfaction out of increasing that level of stability and security for my family.
Sounds like we are about the same age and have similar situations. Do you mind me asking what your NW and income are and what you spend, including on your home?
You are way ahead of us financially. Our NW is ~$1M, HHI ~$220k/yr, our annual expenses are ~$40k but that includes mortgage (done in the next few months), childcare (son goes to school in September so that is done), and my wife's tuition (she graduates in December). Our annual expenses for a family of 4 will likely be ~$25k starting next year.
I am always amazed at how a family of 4 has expenses of only 25 K. Do you not have property taxes,insurance,cars. My wife and I are retired,live a simple life,everything is paid off and we have solar. Are expenses are about 36,000 if you eliminate any travel.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
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