Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

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Jackson12
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Jackson12 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:05 pm

My parents had a very high income and had no regrets for living frugally. They had all they needed or wanted and had no desire to impress anyone. Late in life, they did buy a small condo in Florida and became snowbirds. But that was their greatest indulgence.

If we had the same income, I'd follow their example - and already do. I am grateful that my parents left me enough to have some financial cushion without it being so excessive that I'd be tempted to waste money on frivolous things.

We are doing okay and I can't see how more stuff would make us happier. Perhaps that is because we're heading into retirement and looking at all our material possessions with a different perspective.

Suddenly, the reality of life being short is striking home.

And so our priorities have shifted. We want to downsize and spend more time with family and friends instead of caring for the larger home where we raised 3 kids. We don't want to spend as much on home maintenance.

Our only concern is covering health care expenses as we age. If we could see into the future and know we'd be fine on that front, there'd be no major worries at this point.

We try to take things day by day because who knows what tomorrow may bring?

space-ham
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by space-ham » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:22 pm

In retrospect, I probably did live too frugally when I was in my 20s. At that time, I did not know I would eventually have a high income or a high net worth. So I was spending under the assumption that I would not. I ended up making much more money than I could have reasonably expected. So, in retrospect, I could have been a little looser with my spending in my 20s. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and it was highly likely back then that I would not have eventually had a high income. So this does not mean my spending habits were poor, given the information I had at that time.

am
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by am » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:24 pm

space-ham wrote:In retrospect, I probably did live too frugally when I was in my 20s. At that time, I did not know I would eventually have a high income or a high net worth. So I was spending under the assumption that I would not. I ended up making much more money than I could have reasonably expected. So, in retrospect, I could have been a little looser with my spending in my 20s. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and it was highly likely back then that I would not have eventually had a high income. So this does not mean my spending habits were poor, given the information I had at that time.
Yes, if we only knew what the future had in store for us, it'd be much easier to plan, spend and have fewer potential regrets :)

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randomizer
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by randomizer » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:31 pm

I'm (currently) high income but not high net worth (started late). Frugality is awesome. Wish I'd practiced it more and more often!
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by ff4930 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:47 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
vitaflo wrote:Only on BH would owning a $650k house be considered living the "frugal life".
Depends on what you get for $650k. In parts of Brooklyn NY, you "might" be able to find a single family house with a 1970s kitchen, a 1970s bathroom with pink and black tile, wallpaper throughout on a 18 x 90 foot lot and no driveway. Sound appealing to you?
Yup, depending on where you live. In HCOL area such as areas outside of NYC (Queens, Brooklyn), single family houses run between 700-900k and fancier single family houses are upwards of 1 million right now.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:55 pm

am wrote:I am Top 5th percentile networth for my age group (40-49) and top 2-3% income with no debt thanks to being frugal and being a boglehead now for 10 yrs. We drive > 8 yr old cars and have a remodeled but modest house In a middle to upper middle class area worth about 650k. We can afford a house twice as much in a more affluent area that is nicer and closer to water. We can probably afford nicer cars and things. But with nicer things would come less savings. Our only splurge is travel but I wouldn't call our accommodations luxurious. I worry that my savings could be wiped out or perhaps health issues may make the future less enjoyable. Than there may be regrets with regards to saving hard and living modestly when we could have lived it up while we could. After all, you can't take it with you, Anyone else feel the same way?
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Artsdoctor
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Artsdoctor » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:56 pm

Define "frugal."

Are you talking about being prudent or are you talking about being skimpy?

One can easily be prudent and want for nothing.

If you're miserly or cheap, that's another matter.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by hightower » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:07 pm

I regret that I DID NOT live a frugal lifestyle from the age of 29-34. Those were the first 5 years of attending salary after residency. We could have easily paid off all my student loans and put a very nice chunk of change into retirement accounts. Instead we upgraded our lifestyle with a big fixer upper house (that required lots of cash to restore) and went on a lot of nice vacations. I don't regret the vacations per se because they are life experiences that I'm very thankful for, but I do wish we would have stayed in our very modest condo and waited to buy a house. However, we had an itch to buy an old house and we had to scratch it. The other thing that makes me feel better is that we bought the house when the market was still down quite a bit and when this neighborhood was just starting to go through a transition. We paid 140k for it. Now the house is worth nearly 600k. We have probably 400k total into the house, with a 295k mortgage. So, we are in good shape now as far as housing goes, but it would be nice to have a lot more in savings.

We're both on board now to live the rest of our lives as frugally as possible. The last few years taught us a valuable lesson about the importance of saving. I'm glad that I learned this lesson at the age of 34.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by island » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:17 pm

hightower wrote:I regret that I DID NOT live a frugal lifestyle from the age of 29-34. Those were the first 5 years of attending salary after residency. We could have easily paid off all my student loans and put a very nice chunk of change into retirement accounts. Instead we upgraded our lifestyle with a big fixer upper house (that required lots of cash to restore) and went on a lot of nice vacations. I don't regret the vacations per se because they are life experiences that I'm very thankful for, but I do wish we would have stayed in our very modest condo and waited to buy a house. However, we had an itch to buy an old house and we had to scratch it. The other thing that makes me feel better is that we bought the house when the market was still down quite a bit and when this neighborhood was just starting to go through a transition. We paid 140k for it. Now the house is worth nearly 600k. We have probably 400k total into the house, with a 295k mortgage. So, we are in good shape now as far as housing goes, but it would be nice to have a lot more in savings.

We're both on board now to live the rest of our lives as frugally as possible. The last few years taught us a valuable lesson about the importance of saving. I'm glad that I learned this lesson at the age of 34.
You're young and a physician with time and earning power on your side. Give it a few years and I bet you won't regret that decision at all.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by sambb » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:20 pm

Its interesting that people think that some spend money to keep up with the jones. There is also the possibility that the individual spenders may actually like what they buy, regardless of the joneses. I definitely like buying certain things. I wont shop in a thrift store as someone mentioned earlier, for example - I might go to nordstrom or brooks. it has nothing to do with the joneses. Same for buying a business class ticket. it has zero to do with the joneses. it is because I dont want to travel in coach for 14 hours. Same for driving a newer car instead of a 1999 camry. I just dont want a 18 year old car. I dont care what the neighbors or coworkers drive. They would never know at work, we park somewhat remotely.

I dont want to buy at a thrift store, take the bus to work, or take a vacation camping instead of a nice hotel. That doesnt make me happy to be that frugal. It has zero to do with keeping up with the joneses. And I bought a grade latte today at starbucks for $4.50, and enjoyed paying for overpriced coffee (by bogleheads standards). Yes, I know that coffee money could be worth $74.23 one day if invested - I dont really care, but I fully respect those who wouldnt buy the coffee. its just not for me. I didnt buy the coffee to keep up with the joneses, i bought it because it makes me happy.

For those who want to do the thrift store thing, best wishes, and If it makes you happy, then I support you. Save and Live!

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by btenny » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:27 pm

I saved and have been frugal my whole life. I am still frugal. I am married to a frugal lady. I had good luck and stayed healthy. I lived on less than I made and started investing very young and kept at it for decades. I stayed in my LCOL area and learned to be happy with my job and career. But I also lived pretty well and had fun as much as possible. I bought nice homes. I owned a sports car and a convertible and a boat when I was young. I took my kids on vacations and to the beach. I enjoyed good times but I saved money too.

I saw my parents struggle for decades to make a living when I was young. They were victims of the depression. They taught me to work hard and get an education and be frugal and save money. Then they were gone. My only regret is not helping my parents when I got out of school and started working my first good job. I saved money then instead of giving some of it to my Mom.

But I am happy now and have two good kids and some grand kids and enjoy a nice retirement. All that saving worked out for me. I have more than enough and travel as I want and live like I want. Life is good. Plus since I started so young I was able to retire very young.

I have some friends who have been "consumers" their whole lives. They love to show off and keep up with the Jones. They have lots of stuff but little savings. So they are still working full time in their 60s with no end in sight. They wonder if they will ever be able to retire.

So there are trade offs. Good Luck.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by multiham » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:44 pm

I'm a planner by nature. My goal is to properly invest enough $ each year that I'm working to allow my wife and I to have a very comfortable retirement without worrying where the next $ will come from. Once I have that covered, I am good with us spending our money. Both our cars are from 2016 and have the latest safety features. My car is also very fun to drive. It puts a smile on my face everyday when work is over and I get to drive home. Could I have invested the $35,000 in a mutual fund? Sure, but I'm not looking to build wealth at a higher level than I have it.

I NEVER buy anything to impress anyone but myself and my family. I could care less what you drive, wear, live in, or vacation at. My choices are what makes US happy. I have no regrets with my decisions because I believe we properly planned, saved, invested, and enjoyed each and everything we spent money on.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by afan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:38 pm

fposte wrote:
afan wrote:Saving money is good in and of itself.
There may be a bit of a schism on this topic, because I don't agree with that or other intimations on this thread that there's a moral aspect to this. Acquiring tools and options is good, and money provides that. But there's nothing inherently virtuous in saving if for sure you don't need to; money is ultimately just stuff too.
I am not sure it is about being "moral" or "virtuous". It is about being a productive and responsible member of society.

Generating earned income is a key part of being productive.

Not wasting the money you have generated is the responsible part.

Being self supporting is critical. Not just "I have saved enough to retire early, so I don't need to work." That is not self supporting.

Self supporting is "I earned enough today to pay for today AND for tomorrow. I am one day further ahead." Better still, 3 days ahead for each day worked. That depends on earned income and on spending, where "spending" includes taxes.

Striving for higher earning and lower spending through life. Striving for highest net worth on date of death, but the volatility of the markets works against this.
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Toons » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:01 pm

None whatsoever.
Frugality and investing has afforded us "options" in the retired life life to do what we choose,when we want.
Currently traveling and spending time with family.
:happy
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by KATNYC » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:22 pm

hightower wrote:I regret that I DID NOT live a frugal lifestyle from the age of 29-34. Those were the first 5 years of attending salary after residency. We could have easily paid off all my student loans and put a very nice chunk of change into retirement accounts. Instead we upgraded our lifestyle with a big fixer upper house (that required lots of cash to restore) and went on a lot of nice vacations. I don't regret the vacations per se because they are life experiences that I'm very thankful for, but I do wish we would have stayed in our very modest condo and waited to buy a house. However, we had an itch to buy an old house and we had to scratch it. The other thing that makes me feel better is that we bought the house when the market was still down quite a bit and when this neighborhood was just starting to go through a transition. We paid 140k for it. Now the house is worth nearly 600k. We have probably 400k total into the house, with a 295k mortgage. So, we are in good shape now as far as housing goes, but it would be nice to have a lot more in savings.

We're both on board now to live the rest of our lives as frugally as possible. The last few years taught us a valuable lesson about the importance of saving. I'm glad that I learned this lesson at the age of 34.

Same here. That's my only regret. My student loans should be paid off but I blew that money on lots of other stuff, including travel.
Luckily I did snag my apartment in a down market. It's worth about $700K now and we owe $177K one the HELOC due to a gut renovation.
We travel, often, but flights have been free/cheap due to credit card points. From the outside, people presume we are big spenders.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by KlingKlang » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:30 pm

White Coat Investor wrote: Whenever you start thinking you might regret not spending money, spend the money.
I really like this quote and I wish that I could apply it more often in my own life.

This morning my wife complained that she couldn't see the whole 8 day weather forecast on our TV. I tried to explain that it was because we have an old CRT TV and the screens are formatted for wide screen TVs. Then the announcers started pushing their station's weather ap and I had to explain that you need a smart phone to use it and that we don't have smart phones.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by ynotredrum » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:17 pm

For me, the benefit is being thoughtful about what you will use frequently (or as Marie Kondo would say, what "sparks joy" in your life). Simplifying to the 10% of my belongings that give me 90% of the happiness has made my life so much better.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:32 pm

mancich wrote:
WolfgangPauli wrote:No regrets at all... Living frugal is not only good for you financially but it is good for the soul. After a while you realize all the "stuff" is just crap anyway. A good family, good children, great life experiences beat cars and boats anyway.

Also, it is so liberating to know you are not a slave to your job. Great to know you live a life style which does not require you to work but allows you to work at something you enjoy.

Finally, it is great to know you don't have to worry. I hear this all the time, "You can't take it with you". Right, but if you turn 70 and something happens requiring a bit more money than you anticipated, you cannot get it either. to this, I am reminded of Pascal's wager:

When asked why he believes in God, Pascal said (all this is totally paraphrased but you get the drift):

"If I believe in God and live a religious life, and I am right, I am going to be in heaven for eternity. If I am wrong, the worst thing is I just lived a good life. If you don't believe in God and you are wrong, you have a real problem".

Same is true with investing... If I over save and I don't end up needing the money, who cares. But, if my neighbor does not and he needs the money, he is screwed.
+1 The thing that spendthrifts often don't get is that it is not a matter of denial when we BH's live frugally. It is just that buying a bunch of "stuff" doesn't bring real happiness. I have a brother-in-law who always says "life is short, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow". Ummm, well yes, but chances are, you WON'T get hit by a bus tomorrow. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on stuff because something bad might happen to me in the short term. I enjoy the simple things in life. I always counter with "well, if you believe that, then cash out everything you have and go spend it all today". That usually shuts him up until the next time :beer
I believe in LBYM, paying yourself first, etc.. Not big on being frugal, spending money doesn't necessarily mean more stuff done correctly it should mean acquiring items or experiences that are valuable to you. If what you buy has no value to you then the cost is irrelevant because. It is worthless. I wouldn't trade the travel in my life, some pretty expenses trips, just to have a bigger pile of money. I believe you have to live life throughout your life not just after retirement. You need to understand yourself and what is important to you and go from there.
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by dewey » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:55 pm

Jags4186 wrote:OP, take a reality check. (and I mean that in a nice way).

You live probably a really really nice life style compared to almost everyone in the world. I could be wrong, but my guess is your total cash outlay over the course of a year is between $75,000 and $100,000 a year. That isn't living frugally. Sure you may be able to spend more, but the reality is your expenses shouldn't grow to fit your income, your expenses should grow to fit your needs. Don't compare yourself to others in your peer group, do what's best for you.

After all, if you earned 10x your income next year and spent 10x what you spent this year, with the same ratios, would you still consider yourself "frugal"?

My only advice would be....you want a new car go buy a new car.
+1
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:58 pm

HueyLD wrote:No regrets.

The ability to retire when one is still young and active is priceless. It is possible because of frugal lifestyle during one's work years.

100% agree.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:01 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
HueyLD wrote:No regrets.

The ability to retire when one is still young and active is priceless. It is possible because of frugal lifestyle during one's work years.

100% agree. In terms of material possessions, giant houses, fancy cars, etc - you don't own that stuff, instead that stuff ends up owning you.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by ausgenf » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:43 pm

No regrets, although I would not describe ourselves as frugal, just dedicated LBYMers. We have had a high income for the past decade, yet we still live in the same small house which we purchased when our income was considerably lower (it is paid for now). And while we live in the suburbs, my wife and I share a single, non-luxury car. We do not yearn for anything fancier. LBYM allowed us to build a net worth large enough to semi-retire in our 40's. Having more free time to enjoy life is priceless.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:26 am

If you orient your spending towards what you value most, frugality isn't painful at higher income levels. Even if you're not a "keep up with the Jones Family" sort of personality, spending by people you know can become a baseline of what's normal unless you actively resistthat societal pressure.. Be proactive about discovering what you truly value, negotiate that with spouse, and then orient your reduced spending levels towards those values. For example, if your goal is for your next address to be a beach in Tahiti at 55, living in the less expensive house becomes more palatable.

I would only be concerned about whether certain experiences can't be enjoyed later in life. Adventure travel and adding on personal vacation to business travel were two areas where I splurged even while super-saving for early retirement. [Luckily I did most of my travel before corporal punishment of passengers became common, although at the time I was worried more about declining health limiting my travel in retirement (hasn't happened yet).] Working fewer hours to spend time with young children is another example of a time-limited opportunity.

If you are considering spending a large amount on something, do an informal estimate of how many hours (after tax) you had to work to earn that amount, & then roughly estimate how much you'd have at age 65 if you invested that money instead of buying the item. Your reaction to those estimates will usually give you a gut check on how much you really want that "something". I spend on travel, but I'm a minimalist on cars & houses. Buying my freedom through Early Retirement was my ultimate splurge. YMMV

I truly believe we are all going to need more money for medical and long-term care expenses than we think. If it turns out I don't incur those expenses (YEAH!), I'm totally ok with charities & my nieces/nephews inheriting money. I've paid for peace of mind. I don't feel a need to personally spend all of my money as long as I'm happy. BTW, simplifying my life (I donate lots of stuff to charity) continues to feel incredible. Focusing on fewer, higher-quality possessions has improved my life.

Good Luck.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by msk » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:36 am

Of course all those who died young (and presumably regret having been overly frugal) are unable to post...

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Ninnie » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:16 am

msk wrote:Of course all those who died young (and presumably regret having been overly frugal) are unable to post...
Interesting thing about that. It's not just death that could cause regrets. You could end up constrained in other ways and live to regret it.

In my case, I acquired a chronic health condition a few years ago that makes it impossible for me to travel in a meaningful way, the situation is not likely to ever resolve. I regret not having gone to dream places like Japan and Norway while I had the health and the money.

You can never predict the future, and it can be stranger than you might imagine.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by lostdog » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:49 am

No regrets. In fact we're getting rid of "stuff" that provides no value . We'll eventually sell our house and add that money to our freedom portfolio. We're debt free including mortgage. No kids. Frugal. I am semi retired at 41. She is working full time and likes her job. We're going on vacation mid summer and late summer.

Don't keep up with the Jonses. Save for your freedom. No regrets!
Last edited by lostdog on Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by knpstr » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:52 am

Frugality is a virtue, so I wouldn't think so.

I'm only in my early 30s, but as of yet, I don't regret it.

But there is a difference between frugal and cheap... don't be cheap!

:beer
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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:07 am

afan wrote:
fposte wrote:
afan wrote:Saving money is good in and of itself.
There may be a bit of a schism on this topic, because I don't agree with that or other intimations on this thread that there's a moral aspect to this. Acquiring tools and options is good, and money provides that. But there's nothing inherently virtuous in saving if for sure you don't need to; money is ultimately just stuff too.
I am not sure it is about being "moral" or "virtuous". It is about being a productive and responsible member of society.

Generating earned income is a key part of being productive.

Not wasting the money you have generated is the responsible part.

Being self supporting is critical. Not just "I have saved enough to retire early, so I don't need to work." That is not self supporting.

Self supporting is "I earned enough today to pay for today AND for tomorrow. I am one day further ahead." Better still, 3 days ahead for each day worked. That depends on earned income and on spending, where "spending" includes taxes.

Striving for higher earning and lower spending through life. Striving for highest net worth on date of death, but the volatility of the markets works against this.


Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

If I have enough money to support myself for life without working, then by definition I am self-supporting. Working for the sake of working is a waste. Earning money just to have more money is a waste. For the overwhelming majority of people in the world, given the option to do anything they could on any given day "going to work" would not be the choice. Doing something you wouldn't rather do, just to put another zero behind a net worth you'll never spend as it is, is throwing those hours of your life away imo.

Spending the money I've generated on "living" is the goal. When I'm spending the money I've earned/gained through investments, I'm a productive member of society because someone else can sit there in the job I would otherwise occupy. The money I'm spending goes to employ other people and drive up the bottom line of various companies. I'm contributing by spending. I don't need to "work" to contribute and help society. As such, I'll stop wasting my life going to work as soon as I can afford to be self-supporting for the rest of my life. I feel sorry for anyone going to work when they have no need to and would rather be doing something else.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:14 am

vitaflo wrote:Only on BH would owning a $650k house be considered living the "frugal life".
Being Frugal is more about your purchases based on your income then just the cost of what you buy. if you make 100,000 a year have maybe million dollars and you live in a $650,000 house that could just be a good investment or may not be considered being frugal. But if you're net worth is 80 million and your house is worth $650,000 value that's​ being frugal.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Goodman60 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:03 am

Ninnie wrote:
msk wrote:Of course all those who died young (and presumably regret having been overly frugal) are unable to post...
Interesting thing about that. It's not just death that could cause regrets. You could end up constrained in other ways and live to regret it.

In my case, I acquired a chronic health condition a few years ago that makes it impossible for me to travel in a meaningful way, the situation is not likely to ever resolve. I regret not having gone to dream places like Japan and Norway while I had the health and the money.

You can never predict the future, and it can be stranger than you might imagine.

I'm very sorry about your health situation and wish you the best. For reference, however, I don't travel much and view life this way: I was lucky enough to have been born in the USA in the wake of WW2. I have clean running water, heat, A/C, any food I could ever want at the big box grocery store, can get into my luxury motor vehicle and drive to wherever I want, I can look at a screen on my desk and see just about any place in the world. Travel is overrated. My general motto is "make your home comfortable and stay there". Not being able to travel in this era isn't such a hardship.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by CoAndy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:07 am

Longdog wrote:
mancich wrote:The thing that spendthrifts often don't get is that it is not a matter of denial when we BH's live frugally. It is just that buying a bunch of "stuff" doesn't bring real happiness. I have a brother-in-law who always says "life is short, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow". Ummm, well yes, but chances are, you WON'T get hit by a bus tomorrow. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on stuff because something bad might happen to me in the short term. I enjoy the simple things in life. I always counter with "well, if you believe that, then cash out everything you have and go spend it all today". That usually shuts him up until the next time :beer
The sooner in life you recognize that acquiring stuff does not bring you happiness, the happier you will become in so many ways. Ironically, so much of our economy relies on convincing people that if they just had this "one more thing" they'd be happier and their lives would finally be complete. But really, all of it is just a Grand Illusion.
Nice play on the Styx song! And a great point to boot!

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:12 am

Goodman60 wrote:
Ninnie wrote:
msk wrote:Of course all those who died young (and presumably regret having been overly frugal) are unable to post...
Interesting thing about that. It's not just death that could cause regrets. You could end up constrained in other ways and live to regret it.

In my case, I acquired a chronic health condition a few years ago that makes it impossible for me to travel in a meaningful way, the situation is not likely to ever resolve. I regret not having gone to dream places like Japan and Norway while I had the health and the money.

You can never predict the future, and it can be stranger than you might imagine.
I can look at a screen on my desk and see just about any place in the world. Travel is overrated. My general motto is "make your home comfortable and stay there". Not being able to travel in this era isn't such a hardship.
You can't honestly be serious. If anything travel is underrated, you don't experience much of anything through a screen as compared to being there. Just like watching the moon landing wasn't anything like being an astronaut.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by CoAndy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:17 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Goodman60 wrote:
Ninnie wrote:
msk wrote:Of course all those who died young (and presumably regret having been overly frugal) are unable to post...
Interesting thing about that. It's not just death that could cause regrets. You could end up constrained in other ways and live to regret it.

In my case, I acquired a chronic health condition a few years ago that makes it impossible for me to travel in a meaningful way, the situation is not likely to ever resolve. I regret not having gone to dream places like Japan and Norway while I had the health and the money.

You can never predict the future, and it can be stranger than you might imagine.
I can look at a screen on my desk and see just about any place in the world. Travel is overrated. My general motto is "make your home comfortable and stay there". Not being able to travel in this era isn't such a hardship.
You can't honestly be serious. If anything travel is underrated, you don't experience much of anything through a screen as compared to being there. Just like watching the moon landing wasn't anything like being an astronaut.
Agree 100%. There is nothing like traveling.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:36 am

jlcnuke wrote:
Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

If I have enough money to support myself for life without working, then by definition I am self-supporting. Working for the sake of working is a waste. Earning money just to have more money is a waste. For the overwhelming majority of people in the world, given the option to do anything they could on any given day "going to work" would not be the choice. Doing something you wouldn't rather do, just to put another zero behind a net worth you'll never spend as it is, is throwing those hours of your life away imo.
Work is a major part of life. I feel sorry for those who feel it must be or make it drudgery instead of appreciating the social interactions, mental stimulation and sense of accomplishment it can provide. I foolishly spent decades with a focus on retiring in my early 50s, I have now come to realize how misplaced that focus was. I was chasing a mirage, not actual early retirement, Financial Independence is the ticket everything flows from there. As virtually everyone here knows I have been back and forth about retirement for 2+ years but I hope I have finally accepted work isn't bad at all and on balance I have far more good days and good times at work than bad. When the day comes that I have something to retire to that is better then I will step off the stage, but until then I will just be thankful for my awesome work situation and remind myself that retirement doesn't look like the commercials on TV, especially if all your friends are still working. My advice appreciate the good things in each phase of your life and don't be in such a hurry to move on to the next.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jlcnuke » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:44 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
jlcnuke wrote:
Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

If I have enough money to support myself for life without working, then by definition I am self-supporting. Working for the sake of working is a waste. Earning money just to have more money is a waste. For the overwhelming majority of people in the world, given the option to do anything they could on any given day "going to work" would not be the choice. Doing something you wouldn't rather do, just to put another zero behind a net worth you'll never spend as it is, is throwing those hours of your life away imo.
Work is a major part of life. I feel sorry for those who feel it must be or make it drudgery instead of appreciating the social interactions, mental stimulation and sense of accomplishment it can provide. I foolishly spent decades with a focus on retiring in my early 50s, I have now come to realize how misplaced that focus was. I was chasing a mirage, not actual early retirement, Financial Independence is the ticket everything flows from there. As virtually everyone here knows I have been back and forth about retirement for 2+ years but I hope I have finally accepted work isn't bad at all and on balance I have far more good days and good times at work than bad. When the day comes that I have something to retire to that is better then I will step off the stage, but until then I will just be thankful for my awesome work situation and remind myself that retirement doesn't look like the commercials on TV, especially if all your friends are still working. My advice appreciate the good things in each phase of your life and don't be in such a hurry to move on to the next.
I'm not saying a person should live a miserly existence just to save as quickly as possible for FIRE. I'm saying having financial independence and working just to be working makes zero sense to me. Amassing more money just to die with a bigger pile of money, for the sake of having a bigger pile of money, makes zero sense to me.

If someone handed me $100,000,000 today, I'd work long enough to not screw-over my friends/co-workers (i.e. pass off my projects) and not a day longer. I can think of plenty of things I'd rather be doing on any given day and if I had the money to do that instead, that's where I'd be. I'm fairly certain I'll be in the category of people who "can't believe they had time to work" after retiring instead of those who can't figure out what to do after retiring (though I appreciate that not everyone is the same in that manner).

However, I'm not to that point yet, so I still work and I still make it a point to enjoy life reasonably while working. I'll take a domestic vacation and an international vacation each year, and I'll do some "staycations" throughout the year as well. I go have fun on the weekends and I'll even play golf once or twice during the week if I have the time.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:52 am

sambb wrote:Its interesting that people think that some spend money to keep up with the jones. There is also the possibility that the individual spenders may actually like what they buy, regardless of the joneses. I definitely like buying certain things. I wont shop in a thrift store as someone mentioned earlier, for example - I might go to nordstrom or brooks. it has nothing to do with the joneses. Same for buying a business class ticket. it has zero to do with the joneses. it is because I dont want to travel in coach for 14 hours. Same for driving a newer car instead of a 1999 camry. I just dont want a 18 year old car. I dont care what the neighbors or coworkers drive. They would never know at work, we park somewhat remotely.

I dont want to buy at a thrift store, take the bus to work, or take a vacation camping instead of a nice hotel. That doesnt make me happy to be that frugal. It has zero to do with keeping up with the joneses. And I bought a grade latte today at starbucks for $4.50, and enjoyed paying for overpriced coffee (by bogleheads standards). Yes, I know that coffee money could be worth $74.23 one day if invested - I dont really care, but I fully respect those who wouldnt buy the coffee. its just not for me. I didnt buy the coffee to keep up with the joneses, i bought it because it makes me happy.

For those who want to do the thrift store thing, best wishes, and If it makes you happy, then I support you. Save and Live!
Whenever there is a thread about Apple products or luxury vehicles I actually seek out your posts; I don't know that I've ever heard someone else say things like that they would have no issues paying 50x the retail cost for an Iphone and that their Iwatch was life-changing. To each their own, but it shouldn't be that hard to understand that your perspective is not the norm around here.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Levett » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:55 am

Meir Statman addresses the issue (for retirees) in today's Wall Street Journal ("The Mental Mistakes We Make with Retirement Spending"):

http://trueviralnews.com/the-mental-mis ... -spending/

Lev

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by sadie wess » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:59 am

SGM wrote:
Longdog wrote:
SGM wrote:We could spend more on vacations but we have difficulty getting away for long because of elderly relatives that need minding. I don't wash them often because they get dirty just going down the driveway.
I would think for general health and hygiene reasons you should wash them daily - even if they do get dirty going down the driveway. :D
I can be funny without even trying this early in the morning. :oops:
I do hire people to wash the elderly.
Thanks you two, I needed the smiles on this gray day. :)

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by mptfan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:13 am

afan wrote:My car gets me where I want to go, it is safe and reliable. What more could I want? My house is comfortable, warm in the winter, quiet and safe. An American living a safe comfortable life is living in the lap of luxury by the standards of the vast majority of humans who have ever lived and of those alive now. Rather than congratulate ourselves for being frugal, just be grateful that we can live the way we do with plenty left for savings.
Well said!

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:41 am

I am in similar situation but I won't say I live "frugally." However, we live below our means. I have few regrets monetarily speaking. There are times I look at other's lifestyle with envy as I have great confidence that both our income and our net worth is far greater than theirs but I hope to have great financial security once I retire. It's thus a balance for us between living in the moment and great financial security in the future. It sounds to me like there is nothing missing from your life so I wouldn't overthink it too much. Occasionally creak open that wallet and see if the experience is enjoyable. Good luck on the travels of life.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by SQRT » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:54 am

Couple of thoughts. I think there is a big difference between being frugal and LBYM. Also, there is probably a difference between being in accumulation mode and being in draw down or retirement mode.

There can be little debate about the concept LBYM in accumulation mode as this is usually the only way to become financially independent. But once retired it is no longer so obvious. Maybe living "at your means" makes more sense? Being "frugal" is open to interpretation, and should be viewed in relation to one's means. No one would view me as frugal but I have lived below my means for a long time. To be, what most people would define as "frugal" with my means, wouldn't be optimal in my view. It would also create a very large legacy.

My in laws were very frugal and died leaving a large legacy that was about 5 times their net worth when they retired. Just couldn't spend. Great for their heirs. Money always gets spent, either by you or others, either now or later.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by SQRT » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:58 am

Levett wrote:Meir Statman addresses the issue (for retirees) in today's Wall Street Journal ("The Mental Mistakes We Make with Retirement Spending"):

http://trueviralnews.com/the-mental-mis ... -spending/

Lev
Good article. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jharkin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:58 am

jlcnuke wrote:
Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

If I have enough money to support myself for life without working, then by definition I am self-supporting. Working for the sake of working is a waste. Earning money just to have more money is a waste. For the overwhelming majority of people in the world, given the option to do anything they could on any given day "going to work" would not be the choice. Doing something you wouldn't rather do, just to put another zero behind a net worth you'll never spend as it is, is throwing those hours of your life away imo.

Spending the money I've generated on "living" is the goal. When I'm spending the money I've earned/gained through investments, I'm a productive member of society because someone else can sit there in the job I would otherwise occupy. The money I'm spending goes to employ other people and drive up the bottom line of various companies. I'm contributing by spending. I don't need to "work" to contribute and help society. As such, I'll stop wasting my life going to work as soon as I can afford to be self-supporting for the rest of my life. I feel sorry for anyone going to work when they have no need to and would rather be doing something else.
+ 1,000,000


At time on this board I get the feeling like many here see accumulating zeros in the account as the end goal. Like the thread about people saving 50% of income - where anyone who did less was made to feel as though we are less worthy.

Nevertheless I wholeheartedly agree that LBYM, avoiding consumerism and being reasonably frugal are healthy ways to live. But Im accumulating those dollars to serve ME, not the other way around. I dont want to go though life eating ramen noodles and watching an old B/W TV while driving to work in a 25 year old beater just to leave millions of dollars to my kids who I'm raising to be perfectly capably of providing for themselves.

So bottom line... No I dont live in a McMansion, I dont get a new phone every year and I dont wear designer jeans. But if I want a new car once in 10 years, to spend on an expensive but fun hobby, or to take my wife out for a nice dinner before I'm 70 years old then dammit I'm gonna do it. try and stop me :twisted:

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:17 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
jlcnuke wrote:
Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

If I have enough money to support myself for life without working, then by definition I am self-supporting. Working for the sake of working is a waste. Earning money just to have more money is a waste. For the overwhelming majority of people in the world, given the option to do anything they could on any given day "going to work" would not be the choice. Doing something you wouldn't rather do, just to put another zero behind a net worth you'll never spend as it is, is throwing those hours of your life away imo.
Work is a major part of life. I feel sorry for those who feel it must be or make it drudgery instead of appreciating the social interactions, mental stimulation and sense of accomplishment it can provide. I foolishly spent decades with a focus on retiring in my early 50s, I have now come to realize how misplaced that focus was. I was chasing a mirage, not actual early retirement, Financial Independence is the ticket everything flows from there. As virtually everyone here knows I have been back and forth about retirement for 2+ years but I hope I have finally accepted work isn't bad at all and on balance I have far more good days and good times at work than bad. When the day comes that I have something to retire to that is better then I will step off the stage, but until then I will just be thankful for my awesome work situation and remind myself that retirement doesn't look like the commercials on TV, especially if all your friends are still working. My advice appreciate the good things in each phase of your life and don't be in such a hurry to move on to the next.

You make an excellent point. More than a few folks earn a reasonable living doing what they love to do (and would actually do it for a lot less or for free) if they were not well paid. It might be said that this set of people do not actually "work for a living" by some standards. If you actually consistently love what you do to earn a living you are very smart and very lucky or both.

Sadly a majority of folks "work for a living" by performing some set of actions/service/expertise that do not particularly enjoy doing that on an ongoing basis, and more than a few seem to genuinely hate every minute of their jobs.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by warowits » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:18 am

JoMoney wrote:I wasn't really sure how this measured, but I used this https://dqydj.com/net-worth-by-age-calc ... ed-states/
Which is using data from the 2013 Federal Survey of Consumer Finances (2016 survey data doesn't appear to be out yet)
:thumbsup to what WolfgangPauli said....
I can't think of anything I regret not buying, but there's plenty of things I wish I hadn't bought.
That calculator is very sad, as the graph makes it clear that 70% of people have practically 0 net worth throughout their lives.
There are an army of people whose pay checks depend on convincing people to invest in ways that are against their self interest. This forum is the volunteer army that fights back!

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:20 am

No regrets. :D

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:23 pm

I don't live a frugal life to save money, I save money because I live a frugal life. So I don't have regrets about "nicer" things passed up, because I already get what I want.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:27 pm

The one thing about "things" for frugal people is that going out and buying a $50k+ car (even if you have a $3MM net worth) would activate the sensors in the brain that go off every time you get in it thinking about the fact that it's a dollar a mile the first 20k miles you put on it. If Bob Barker delivered a $50k car in my father's driveway he'd sell it within 48 hours, even if Bob offered to pay the property tax and ins the first year.

"Things" and experiences are two different things. For many on here, it seems the $12k European trip with the family is worth more than the first year of depreciation on a luxury car.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by twins2012 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:28 pm

Why would anyone regret having freedom at earlier age? Frugal = more money in the bank therefore more freedom to choose to work or not.

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Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

Post by jrbdmb » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:41 pm

afan wrote:
mindboggling wrote: Spending all my money by death is not a goal.
Accumulating more money throughout life is a goal.
I would argue that spending all of your money on "stuff" before you die is an empty goal, but saving as much as possible just for the sake of saving as much as possible can also be an empty goal.

As was said earlier, there is a broad continuum between spendthrift and miser, and a key is to find a balance on that continuum that makes you happy. I might be happy eating soup out of a can while my by bank accounts continue to grow, but my wife still likes to eat out on occasion. :)

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