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
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tryingtogetahead
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

prairieman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:55 pm For us it WAS winning a bidding war (3 bidders in first day) on a house that we REALLY wanted in an area that we REALLY wanted to live in. We had searched very hard without making a single offer - and then suddenly it was the perfect house and we had to act very fast.
Once your home totally fits you, it becomes much easier to be happy.
A major surprise was that after we moved I enjoyed being home so much more than before that I WANTED to stay there more - and this caused me to retire earlier than I would ever have expected from a job I loved.
This led to us having more time to travel, entertain, and to be more generous with spending time with others. Thus, we have more and deeper friendships.
I truly never expected to be as happy as I am, and it all started with getting exactly the right house.
How big and expensive of a house did you buy and what state are you in?
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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by TheTimeLord »

prairieman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:55 pm I truly never expected to be as happy as I am, and it all started with getting exactly the right house.
A house can enable a lifestyle in many ways. I think its value is highly underestimated by most BH. Many seem to be in such a hurry to retire they don't consider the value in having a great base camp to operate from.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
MJS
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by MJS »

Invest in making your 70 year old selves comfortable and happy -- take care of your bodies and home:
Get shoes that fit superbly with excellent support. Get merino wool socks. Get or do manicures & pedicures every week.
Find a really good dentist and take care of your teeth: ditto eyes. Spend money on annual checkups. It's hard to believe, but you won't always be as fit and healthy as you are now.
When you replace clothes, get high quality, well fitting pieces that will last for decades instead of things that will go to land fill in 4 years. Look at the Capsule Wardrobe plans to get some ideas.
If you have inexpensive furniture, find high quality *durable* (perhaps used) pieces to replace them over the next four decades. A dresser that doesn't work is harder to deal with when you have arthritis! Good chairs and couches will be appreciated.
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gr7070
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by gr7070 »

First and foremost, don't wait until after FI!
Monsterflockster
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Monsterflockster »

I don't think it is "things" that make you happy. I make no one near what you do but investing in experiences & time with loved ones works for me.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Monsterflockster wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:22 pm I don't think it is "things" that make you happy. I make no one near what you do but investing in experiences & time with loved ones works for me.
Of course, "things" often facilitate gathering and experiences with your loved ones.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
SimpleDude
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by SimpleDude »

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.
It seems you are entering a stage which i hope to exit - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=300487. There is well known u-curve of happiness during middle-age - trying to define purpose of all this.
I have no definite answers, but few things will really help (it certainly would have helped me, when i was at your stage)
- Hobbies, do meaningful activities with a purpose.
- smell the roses along this way - it will only get late.(the next 10 years are so are the best - with youth, health and FI)
- purposeful existence, looking out to help others in any way or form.
- Thrive instead of rushing - No need to keep score of money or frustrations regarding work or other aspects of existence.
- No need to compare what others spend vs you do - no external validation required.
- Re-discovering, re-focussing is key because your stage is successful but isolated from most in peer group - while others are contending with paying bills or accumulating toys, make money and keep repeating - you are looking the purpose of all this.
- Yes, you may have intuitively learned what other still need to comprehend - Read Psychology of money
prairieman
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by prairieman »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:31 am
prairieman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:55 pm For us it WAS winning a bidding war (3 bidders in first day) on a house that we REALLY wanted in an area that we REALLY wanted to live in. We had searched very hard without making a single offer - and then suddenly it was the perfect house and we had to act very fast.
Once your home totally fits you, it becomes much easier to be happy.
A major surprise was that after we moved I enjoyed being home so much more than before that I WANTED to stay there more - and this caused me to retire earlier than I would ever have expected from a job I loved.
This led to us having more time to travel, entertain, and to be more generous with spending time with others. Thus, we have more and deeper friendships.
I truly never expected to be as happy as I am, and it all started with getting exactly the right house.
How big and expensive of a house did you buy and what state are you in?
That is fairly irrelevant but I can say we can afford much bigger or more prestigious living and could live anywhere in the country we choose. What a person likes is what they like..... location, size, view,.... We really thought about it and saw a lot of houses that came close, but all lacked something. We both knew this is it when we saw it.
It helps, too, to have a spouse that you still love and desire.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
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cos
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by cos »

SimpleDude wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:54 pm - Yes, you may have intuitively learned what other still need to comprehend - Read Psychology of money
That was a surprisingly entertaining read. Thanks!

I especially like the following quote as it pertains to this thread: "The social utility of money [comes] at the direct expense of growing money; wealth is what you don’t see."
confusedinvestor
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by confusedinvestor »

If I had 'that' much, I'd eat out 5 days/week with my family, and take my kids to Legoland, Disney, Sea World every weekend.

I'd work part time, so I can spend more time w my kids, they are so much fun :-)

If I'd guess, I think you enjoy savings beyond your needs+wants+wishes…
shell921
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by shell921 »

celia wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:06 pm There's more to life than "enjoyment". Why should that be maximized?

Aren't there some causes or people who you care about who need financial help?
Would you like to make the world a better place (in your mind, at least)?
What are the most important things in your life that you don't yet see?

My "enjoyment" would be to help make some of these things happen!
I like this answer and the others that mention helping others.

Read this - it came from a psychiatrist's book I read years ago.
Gordon Livingston :

"We ALL might do well to write an obituary for ourselves ! i think we all, starting in our twenties, should write and revise an obit every year or two. What better way to confront who we are, what we're doing, what it all means, and whether we are making any progress toward becoming the people we would like to be remembered as?...what we write about ourselves can be a work of fiction. But the process of selecting how we would wish to be remembered has a way of focusing attention on what we have done, or - more important - failed to do with our lives...the real power of the exercise, however lies in the regret most of us feel (and that is never mentioned in actual obituaries) about our unfulfilled dreams. It turns out that few of us are living the lives we imagined for ourselves when we were young. We are often better off financially than we would have predicted, but it is unusual for someone to report that he is happier than he ever thought he would be. In fact, there is a kind of wistful quality among most people in middle age or older. This frequently takes the form of nostalgia for a simpler life that held more possibilities than the one we are actually living...."
Afty
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by Afty »

Some thoughts:

1) Buy what you really want. If you want a Porsche, don't buy a Miata. If you want a Macbook Pro, don't buy a Chromebook. If you want that LG OLED TV, don't buy a Vizio. It's not that the cheaper versions are not good, but there's no need for you to compromise.

2) Don't wait for a sale. I watch deal websites, set up alerts, etc. But you could just buy what you want, when you want it. It's nice not to have to wait.

3) Don't sweat the small stuff. I really don't like getting ripped off. But in small cases, does it really matter? If I was overcharged by $5 and didn't notice it until I get home, is it really worth my time to go back to the store and ask for a refund? I used to keep all my receipts and match them against my credit card bill, line by line, looking for discrepancies. Every once in a while I would find a small discrepancy -- a waiter adding $1 to their tip, a double charge. Then I would spend time on the phone trying to iron it out with the vendor. My payback on that activity was probably $1/hr. I don't do it anymore. If you ever start telling yourself, "It's the principle of the thing," that's a good sign it's not worth your time to argue about.

4) Pay others to do things you don't want to do. I recently sold a car private party. I made about $2k more than I would have trading it in, for about 20 hours of work. So I effectively earned $100/hr, a pretty good rate. However, I absolutely hated the process -- I hate negotiating, I hate being on guard for people trying to rip me off, I hate people making appointments and then not showing up. Next time I'll eat the $2k and make it someone else's problem.
av111
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by av111 »

flaccidsteele wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:10 pm
cos wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:08 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:59 pm When you’re young you trade time for money

When you’re middle aged you trade money for convenience

When you’re old you trade money for health
There has to be a better way, right? This can't be it.
There is

The way is to recognize that money is an external tool and that happiness and enlightenment arise from what happens internally

YouTube a few hours of “Alan Watts” may help
Very nice. Thanks for posting!
AV111
arsenalfan
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by arsenalfan »

Easy. Kids.
deserat
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Re: How do you maximize enjoyment after achieving FI?

Post by deserat »

OP,

You are asking good questions that are relative to your stage in life and economic situation. Based on your post asking how/why some of your peers seem not to save as much or more than you with similar or more current earning capability, I would say that many people do not try to optimize how they spend, ie, they want what they want and buy it. It takes discipline and patience to save money, get fit, raise children, etc. It's a skill that some people have more than others.

I also sense you are comparing yourselves to your current peer group, which is normal for most people, however can be a fool's game. Based in what you've posted, your peer group is fairly far out in the higher sigma range of the normal distribution curve with respect to earnings and lifestyles. I've found that broadening my perspective outside that near peer group gives me a better view. You have much to be grateful for...you have earned it, but as several have posted it can be taken away quickly due to circumstances beyond your control.

In your situation, I would focus inward and work to determine those things that are of value to you. As many say here, it's about what is important to you, not what others do or have. They are on their own journey as you are on yours.

You say you are contemplating having children. That will keep you very busy, challenge you and possibly bring you much satisfaction or heartbreak all at the same time. Savor this break and your time to contemplate. It will diminish.

Lastly, keep doing what you are doing financially. You never know when you might be a mentor/example to someone a d/or need those funds for something very important. As many wise people have said, "To thine own self be true."
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