Why NOT make more money?

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flyingaway
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Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm

There is a thread about "why make more money"? So this one is to discuss about the other side of the story. For myself, I am actually in the middle and in a difficult situation to go either way.

Here is my situation (said before in other threads): We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.

So why NOT make more money?

The potential problem for me is: Why not make more money to fly in business class, to slow travel overseas in good hotels 6 months every year, to eat lobsters every week, and to buy a luxury car every three years?

jlcnuke
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by jlcnuke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:39 pm

The simple answer is:

There is only so much time you get in this life, and making money (for the vast majority of people) takes time away from doing the things we'd like to do.

The more complicated answer is:
Just about anyone in our society can quit working and "live" off of what they have. Similarly, most people can work until they die if that's their desire. Finding where, between those two extremes, you'll be happy/happiest is the goal for those seeking to maximize their enjoyment of this life. Those goalposts can, and often do, change as we move through life. At one point in my life I'd have told you that I'd be perfectly happy/content if I had enough to pay for an apartment, the internet and other bills necessary to let me play video games and watch TV all day long. Today, my desires are more costly than staying home in a 1-bedroom apartment so I must work longer to achieve the financial security to be able to engage in those activities at will (within means) eventually.

open_circuit
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by open_circuit » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Disclaimer, I'm not retired yet.

Retire when you can comfortably do so if you have other things you want to pursue that do not align with continuing to work.

To put things in perspective, here's an anecdote:
This week, a former coworker passed away. He tried to retire a couple years ago, but was convinced to stay on for a while longer at work. Ultimately, he never was able to enjoy a retirement due to one-more-year syndrome or peer pressure. I don't want that to be me. Would you like it to be you?

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bligh
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by bligh » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:09 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
There is a thread about "why make more money"? So this one is to discuss about the other side of the story. For myself, I am actually in the middle and in a difficult situation to go either way.

Here is my situation (said before in other threads): We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.

So why NOT make more money?

The potential problem for me is: Why not make more money to fly in business class, to slow travel overseas in good hotels 6 months every year, to eat lobsters every week, and to buy a luxury car every three years?
Let's say you have the average 80 year life span.

When you are 20 years old, you have another 60 years to live. When you spend 1 year working, you are giving up 1/60th or 1.7% of your remaining life to earn the money you will earn that year. Considering you don't have much money, but you have a lot of time, it feels (and likely IS) a great trade.

When you are 50 years old, you have another 30 years to live. When you spend 1 year working, you are giving up 1/30th of 3.3% of your remaining life to earn the money you will earn that year. Considering you have a lot of money, but you dont have a lot of time, it MAY feel like it isn't that great a trade anymore.

There is another aspect to it however. Not all alive time is equal. Your health and your ability to do the things that you may want to do in your late 70s is not the same as in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Let's pick a time block of "good" health. This is where you are mobile, active, energetic, and of clear mind. Let's say this period is between 20 and 60. The "Prime" of your life.

When you are 20 years old, you have another 40 years of "Prime" life left. When you spend 1 year working you are giving up 2.5% of the remaining prime of your life to earn money.

When you are 50 years old, you have another 10 years of "Prime" life left. When you spend 1 year working you are giving up 10% of the remaining prime years to earn money.

In this case too, if the 50 year old is FI he needs the money less than the 20 year old, and he is giving up far more.

Having said all this, if there really isn't anything else you'd rather be doing that going to work every day, then there is no trade off. You should keep working. In fact, there is no reason to retire. Ever. You only really need to retire when you'd rather be doing something else with your time than working. See Warren Buffet as an example.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flamesabers » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:56 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
So why NOT make more money?

The potential problem for me is: Why not make more money to fly in business class, to slow travel overseas in good hotels 6 months every year, to eat lobsters every week, and to buy a luxury car every three years?
My answer would be money isn't everything and not everybody is interested with living an extravagant lifestyle. Some personal anecdotes:
  • When I was on active duty in the army, just being home on leave and spending time with my family felt like a vacation to me. It's hard for me to relate to people who feel they must go to a tropical place like Hawaii or overseas to be able to relax.
  • The time on active duty that I earned the most money was when I was deployed in Iraq (I was getting hazard duty pay plus my base pay was exempt from income taxes). However, due to the work environment and the long hours I was on duty, I didn't have the time or opportunity to enjoy the extra money I was making. When I got back to the states, I didn't feel like buying a brand new vehicle or going on a major shopping spree. Having financial security is a lot more important to me then driving the newest vehicle or having the latest gadgets.
If I was presented the choice of working the weekends to buy a luxury vehicle or having the weekends to myself, I would choose the latter every time. The same goes for eating lobsters, flying first-class or staying abroad in 5-star hotels.

mak1277
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:49 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm

The potential problem for me is: Why not make more money to fly in business class, to slow travel overseas in good hotels 6 months every year, to eat lobsters every week, and to buy a luxury car every three years?
If those things are important to you, then you should keep working.

I'm fairly vocal about not working longer than you have to. But at the same time, I won't consider myself financially independent unless/until I can live the lifestyle I want to live without working anymore. I'm not going to retire when I get to a point where I can "just get by". If I valued weekly lobster dinners, that would be part of my planning for expenses and would impact when I considered myself financially independent.

Lonestarz
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Lonestarz » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:24 pm

We look at it like a value proposition. We live a good lifestyle on about half our income. Once we reach FI based on that + some buffer (like health insurance) we will need to make a decision how to proceed. Do we want to work more for luxury? Part time?

I may decide I need an extra 100k for a annual first class flight and delay retirement or I could decide to retire and break the trip up into segments since time won’t be a factor (you can even cruise).

But there are things I will not Work longer for - drinking fancy Champaign in my orange juice vs the nice $7/bottle stuff? IE doing things just to be fancy that don’t add value. You don’t need to work another year to buy that $10/lb lobster unless you want to go to a restaurant where they charge you $30/lb - if you like it that much you should learn to cook it.

If it adds value relative to the cost of work, do it

kenoryan
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by kenoryan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:25 pm

My solution to this is to take more time off work. Go part time. That way you can enjoy time off and keep earning money for the business class flights too.

mak1277
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:37 pm

kenoryan wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:25 pm
My solution to this is to take more time off work. Go part time. That way you can enjoy time off and keep earning money for the business class flights too.
Nice gig if you can get it. I would guess the majority of people who aren't self-employed don't have this option.

Crow Hunter
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Crow Hunter » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:55 pm

Real life example:

My Father worked for 30+ years for the "telephone company". He retired in August of the year he turned 60 with more than enough money to do what he wanted to do.

There was no family history of serious health problems in the family (his brothers and sisters are either still alive or died in their mid 80's). He was in excellent shape, ate right, exercised every day, never smoked, never drank, never did any drugs, had a wonderful marriage and children that had left the nest and was looking forward to a long retirement enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Around Christmas of that year, he had what he thought was a gall bladder pain. In January he went in to have it evaluated, and was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver.

He passed away 2 years later after a very hard but ultimately unsuccessful fight, having only had the opportunity to make one trip with my Mom to one of the many places that they had on their bucket list prior to his diagnosis.

10 years later at age 68, my Mother, was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and passed away in May having never smoked a cigarette in her life and no other member of the family ever having cancer.

No matter how much money you have, you will never be able to buy more time.

flyingaway
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:02 pm

kenoryan wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:25 pm
My solution to this is to take more time off work. Go part time. That way you can enjoy time off and keep earning money for the business class flights too.
I do have that option and I have been doing that for the past 10 years.

flyingaway
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:08 pm

bligh wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:09 pm
Having said all this, if there really isn't anything else you'd rather be doing that going to work every day, then there is no trade off. You should keep working. In fact, there is no reason to retire. Ever. You only really need to retire when you'd rather be doing something else with your time than working. See Warren Buffet as an example.
Since I teach at a university, I have a lot of free time. I think, at this time if I retire, there are not many things that require more than three months of my time in a year. I am considering retirement because even the academic job has started bothering (not killing yet) me. But, on another thought, why NOT make more money.
Last edited by flyingaway on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by HomerJ » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:08 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule).
Many people on this board are very fortunate to hit 25x expenses in their late 40s or early 50s or even mid 50s. Going a little further for some extra luxuries is not a huge sacrifice.

But you only get so much time.

flyingaway
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:19 pm

Crow Hunter wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:55 pm
Real life example:

My Father worked for 30+ years for the "telephone company". He retired in August of the year he turned 60 with more than enough money to do what he wanted to do.

There was no family history of serious health problems in the family (his brothers and sisters are either still alive or died in their mid 80's). He was in excellent shape, ate right, exercised every day, never smoked, never drank, never did any drugs, had a wonderful marriage and children that had left the nest and was looking forward to a long retirement enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Around Christmas of that year, he had what he thought was a gall bladder pain. In January he went in to have it evaluated, and was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to his liver.

He passed away 2 years later after a very hard but ultimately unsuccessful fight, having only had the opportunity to make one trip with my Mom to one of the many places that they had on their bucket list prior to his diagnosis.

10 years later at age 68, my Mother, was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and passed away in May having never smoked a cigarette in her life and no other member of the family ever having cancer.

No matter how much money you have, you will never be able to buy more time.
I am very sorry for your losses. Yes, I am in a difficult situation as I mentioned in my OP. On one hand, I am thinking to retire fully and enjoy my life (which I don't know much yet, except a lot of travel). On the other hand, my portfolio is still not that solid and my wife does not want to downsize either our house or our life style. My job is not hard (university), but I do not enjoy it anymore. I have been thinking about retiring or not retiring almost every night.

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FraggleRock
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by FraggleRock » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:22 pm

Because I am too lazy.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:38 pm

To me the reason not to make more money is one of two. You are making money for money's sake, which I feel is a waste or the extra whatever the additional money will provide is of little or no value to you. But it seems to me to just be a personal decision or preference.
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RadAudit
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by RadAudit » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:41 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
The potential problem for me is: Why not make more money to fly in business class, to slow travel overseas in good hotels 6 months every year, to eat lobsters every week, and to buy a luxury car every three years?
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:08 pm
Since I teach at a university, I have a lot of free time. I think, at this time if I retire, there are not many things that require more than three months of my time in a year. I am considering retirement because even the academic job has started bothering (not killing yet) me. But, on another thought, why NOT make more money.
I recall from my days as a student - when dinosaurs roamed the campus - that some professors would take temporary assignments at an affiliated university (in Switzerland) from time to time. Teaching a semester course at the other institution seemed to give them a break from the usual routine. Something like that might be worth a try, if it's available.

That said, if you have a lot of free time and the job is only bothersome, it might be worth your while to struggle on if luxury cars / travel / dining mean that much to you. Usually, the answer to these things tend to be personal and the correct decision becomes intuitively obvious to the individual over time. Working through the decision on timing is left as an exercise to the individual.* Best of luck.

* I apologize. I waited fifty-four years to be able to give that answer to a professor. But, it's still true.
Last edited by RadAudit on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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daveydoo
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by daveydoo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:42 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.
Not there yet, but I've thought the same thing many times. I never know what to do with the 25X goals, etc. I file them away but I don't find them actionable because our spending has varied wildly from year to year -- and all with a good (knock wood) quality of life. What if I want to buy more cars or do some crazy things or take that African safari? The most depressing notion of the 4% withdrawal rate is the expectation that my life will be grocery bills, electric bills, and gas bills. I know the objective is to also average in all the new roofs and new cars and foreign travel and assorted other discretionary spending, but who knows what those numbers will be?

AZAttorney11
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by AZAttorney11 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:43 pm

I don't understand the line of reasoning that you are giving up a year of your life if you continue working. Do all of you work in sweatshops that forbid time off on the weekends, prevent long vacations once or twice a year, and ignore holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? It's okay to travel overseas, eat good food, and enjoy life while you are working, even during the week. There's no need to make this a pure work vs. pure leisure argument.

Slacker
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Slacker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:16 pm

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:43 pm
I don't understand the line of reasoning that you are giving up a year of your life if you continue working. Do all of you work in sweatshops that forbid time off on the weekends, prevent long vacations once or twice a year, and ignore holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? It's okay to travel overseas, eat good food, and enjoy life while you are working, even during the week. There's no need to make this a pure work vs. pure leisure argument.
Well, I've heard some guys call my workplace a white collar sweatshop...

You'd have to be more specific on what you consider a "long vacation". It may be a three day weekend, but I've actually got work to do - cya later.

thangngo
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by thangngo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:23 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
So why NOT make more money?
To me this is a rhetorical question. It's very obvious that if you can make more money then you should.

When you start young, do everything you can (and then go extra mile) to earn and save as much as you can. Why not strive to be the top performer? Why not be the fastest one among your peers to get promotion? Why not get the biggest bonus check at year-end? :confused If you don't have that drive, I'm afraid I can't help you.

open_circuit
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by open_circuit » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:26 pm

thangngo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:23 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
So why NOT make more money?
To me this is a rhetorical question. It's very obvious that if you can make more money then you should.

When you start young, do everything you can (and then go extra mile) to earn and save as much as you can. Why not strive to be the top performer? Why not be the fastest one among your peers to get promotion? Why not get the biggest bonus check at year-end? :confused If you don't have that drive, I'm afraid I can't help you.
At some point, the marginal utility of each additional dollar of salary "earned" is diminished by taxes, lack of time to enjoy it, exhaustion, etc. I could pick up a second job or work (paid) overtime to earn more money, but choose not to. Money isn't the only scoreboard for life.

skime
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by skime » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:28 pm

I think this is a very valid and personal question. I have made it to 48x annual expenses. I'm still concerned about my future at 48 years old. But to your point, I have watched a number of family members pass away at relatively young ages. I don't think they were concerned with their careers when facing the reality of mortality.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Crow Hunter » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:43 pm
I don't understand the line of reasoning that you are giving up a year of your life if you continue working. Do all of you work in sweatshops that forbid time off on the weekends, prevent long vacations once or twice a year, and ignore holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? It's okay to travel overseas, eat good food, and enjoy life while you are working, even during the week. There's no need to make this a pure work vs. pure leisure argument.
With only 10 days a year of vacation earned at 6.67 hours/month with days needed for Dr. Appointments, family emergencies, household contractors, dental appointments, eye doctor appointments, etc and jobs that require presence at work of one spouse at specific times of year and weekend work. Unexcused absences from work without taking paid leave is a great way to get fired at the jobs I have had and being salaried, unpaid time off isn't really an option. So we have to work within our very limited 2 weeks of paid time off.

So yes, I and my wife at least, work in "sweatshops" that prevent long vacations.

As I am typing right now, I am getting ready to go and make myself a sandwich because my wife will not be home until 8:30 pm CST after having gone in to work at 2:30 am CST this morning. This is to direct a company paid for meal on all three shifts for the Veterans at the company she works for (on top of her normal work load) and I am on call all weekend and need to stay within a 45min drive of work.

This is not an isolated job requirement weekend for either of us. It is actually pretty typical. When we do actually get a weekend when something isn't going on, we usually try to rest and catch up on all the home stuff that has been neglected up to that point.

Being retired will allow us to finally make vacation plans and still get to take them even when some disaster strikes.

(Assuming we live long enough)

Slacker
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Slacker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:10 pm

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:43 pm
I don't understand the line of reasoning that you are giving up a year of your life if you continue working. Do all of you work in sweatshops that forbid time off on the weekends, prevent long vacations once or twice a year, and ignore holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? It's okay to travel overseas, eat good food, and enjoy life while you are working, even during the week. There's no need to make this a pure work vs. pure leisure argument.
Just stopped in again to add that I am surprised that you, as an attorney, have so much time available. I can't tell you the number of times I've taken calls or had my calls taken by attorneys at 6,7 or even 8PM during the week...on the weekends, I don't take their calls and let them leave a voicemail - no need in letting them know I'm at work on the weekend as that opens a whole new can of worms.

I will grant that I have never been called by older partners at law firms at late hours or on weekends and they definitely seem to have time on their hands as many attorneys with Patent practitioner registration numbers below 30,000 [aka been around a long time] and having a last name that matches one of the law firm's names love to talk on the phone with all manner of great stories or to ask me about whatever area I live in currently.

flyingaway
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:23 pm

Crow Hunter wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm
AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:43 pm
I don't understand the line of reasoning that you are giving up a year of your life if you continue working. Do all of you work in sweatshops that forbid time off on the weekends, prevent long vacations once or twice a year, and ignore holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? It's okay to travel overseas, eat good food, and enjoy life while you are working, even during the week. There's no need to make this a pure work vs. pure leisure argument.
With only 10 days a year of vacation earned at 6.67 hours/month with days needed for Dr. Appointments, family emergencies, household contractors, dental appointments, eye doctor appointments, etc and jobs that require presence at work of one spouse at specific times of year and weekend work. Unexcused absences from work without taking paid leave is a great way to get fired at the jobs I have had and being salaried, unpaid time off isn't really an option. So we have to work within our very limited 2 weeks of paid time off.

So yes, I and my wife at least, work in "sweatshops" that prevent long vacations.

As I am typing right now, I am getting ready to go and make myself a sandwich because my wife will not be home until 8:30 pm CST after having gone in to work at 2:30 am CST this morning. This is to direct a company paid for meal on all three shifts for the Veterans at the company she works for (on top of her normal work load) and I am on call all weekend and need to stay within a 45min drive of work.

This is not an isolated job requirement weekend for either of us. It is actually pretty typical. When we do actually get a weekend when something isn't going on, we usually try to rest and catch up on all the home stuff that has been neglected up to that point.

Being retired will allow us to finally make vacation plans and still get to take them even when some disaster strikes.

(Assuming we live long enough)

I would certainly retire from a job you described as soon as I have FI. I have lost interest in intensive and demanding work after 42.
Last edited by flyingaway on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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samsoes
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by samsoes » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:33 pm

thangngo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:23 pm
To me this is a rhetorical question. It's very obvious that if you can make more money then you should.
I disagree wholeheartedly! :!:

Money is the means to an end, not the end itself. As a prior poster stated, you can always make more money. You can't make more time.
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bligh
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by bligh » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:05 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:42 pm
do some crazy things or take that African safari? The most depressing notion of the 4% withdrawal rate is the expectation that my life will be grocery bills, electric bills, and gas bills. I know the objective is to also average in all the new roofs and new cars and foreign travel and assorted other discretionary spending, but who knows what those numbers will be?
My understanding is that the 4% withdrawal rate does not define your lifestyle and how much you can spend. Instead, we set our lifestyle first and figure out how much it will cost, and then have a portfolio large enough to support that lifestyle via a 4% withdrawal rate. If you are referring to how hard it is to predict your expenses in retirement, I think the best you can do is try to be as accurate as you can and then build in a safety margin.

So for example, try to have the "living" expenses (groceries, electricity, gas, HOA, prop taxes, medical etc.) be supported by a really conservative withdrawal rate 2%*, or fully covered by social security/pensions.

Have your comfort or one-off expenses (basic new cars, new roofs, eating out occasionally, shopping, movies, etc.) be another 1% withdrawal rate*. That way a 3% withdrawal rate lets you be comfortable, and not delay maintenance, car upgrades or pinch too many pennies.

Have your luxury expenses (travel, flying business class, gifts, general life upgrades like luxury cars, and such) be an additional 1% withdrawal rate*.

So let's say you see the market is going good, you can withdraw at a 4% withdrawal rate and live large.

If you see a prolonged bear market early in your retirement, you can drop to a 3% withdrawal rate and still be comfortable.

If you see a severe prolonged depression or major economic crisis, you can drop to a 2% withdrawal rate and still survive. ie. The portfolio should be big enough that a 2% withdrawal will provide you with the basic necessities of life, a 3% withdrawal will provide you with a comfortable life, and a 4% withdrawal rate is your luxury (or your safety margin!).

* These percentages are just examples, not suggestions for actual use. Figure out what works for you. People with really large portfolios or luxurious lifestyles, may find that it is 4%(luxury), 2%(comfort) and 0.5%(basic). In my case. I am a long way away from FI, but I am shooting for a ~3.33-3.50%(luxury), with a fall back to ~2.5-3% (Comfort) and ~1.5-1.8%(Basic). I also pretend that there will be no social security, or pension. All this adds to my safety margin, but in the end, I will have what I end up with and I will do my best with what I have.
Last edited by bligh on Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:07 pm

samsoes wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:33 pm
thangngo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:23 pm
To me this is a rhetorical question. It's very obvious that if you can make more money then you should.
I disagree wholeheartedly! :!:

Money is the means to an end, not the end itself. As a prior poster stated, you can always make more money. You can't make more time.
While I agree with you on money not being an end in itself, I don't agree you can always make more money, or even money at the same rate you are today. I just don't think that is the case for the majority of people.
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Olemiss540
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Olemiss540 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:54 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:42 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.
Not there yet, but I've thought the same thing many times. I never know what to do with the 25X goals, etc. I file them away but I don't find them actionable because our spending has varied wildly from year to year -- and all with a good (knock wood) quality of life. What if I want to buy more cars or do some crazy things or take that African safari? The most depressing notion of the 4% withdrawal rate is the expectation that my life will be grocery bills, electric bills, and gas bills. I know the objective is to also average in all the new roofs and new cars and foreign travel and assorted other discretionary spending, but who knows what those numbers will be?
Whereas the most depressing notion in my mind is that of never being able to have enough. Passing away 6 months after I retire so my SO can take wild vacations in her 60s.

I think "enough" is a sliding scale for many, and the more you make the more expensive it gets. Trying to solidify happiness decades before retirement tgrough the practice of contentment is what has lead to the various MMM and early retirement forums that seem to contrast some folks here.

sambb
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by sambb » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:20 pm

It seems like this thread has been hijacked by people who should b e posting in the other thread. The OP asked for the other side of the coin - why not make more money. I see no problem with it. If you like your job, and want to increase inheritance, spending, etc. then yes, go ahead and make more!

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Sandtrap
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm

1
If someone is doing what they love and earning money as a byproduct, then the motivation and gratification goes beyond "making more money".
2
Money or assets "buys" options in life. Less money = less options at any given moment, in some respects.
3
Whether before or after retirement, Bogleheads are very very interested in making more money, or at least preserving capital. . . which means maximizing returns to offset inflation, market losses, etc. . . which means. . making money.
4
In some respects, even though one is not "working" / employed after retirement. . or after "making one's number". . . being a careful steward of one's investment portfolio is still. . . working.. . . and making more money.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:31 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:27 pm
1
If someone is doing what they love and earning money as a byproduct, then the motivation and gratification goes beyond "making more money".
2
Money or assets "buys" options in life. Less money = less options at any given moment, in some respects.
3
Whether before or after retirement, Bogleheads are very very interested in making more money, or at least preserving capital. . . which means maximizing returns to offset inflation, market losses, etc. . . which means. . making money.
4
In some respects, even though one is not "working" / employed after retirement. . or after "making one's number". . . being a careful steward of one's investment portfolio is still. . . working.. . . and making more money.
5 Making more money allows me to buy Bitcoin without risking my entire financial future (LOL).

Full disclosure to date I have not purchased any cryptocurrencies but I am constantly tempted to throw a little money (well less than 1 Bitcoin) that way for the fun of it.
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GerryL
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by GerryL » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:34 pm

I don't need MORE money.
I have ENOUGH money. Actually, I have MORE than ENOUGH.

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Watty
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Watty » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
Here is my situation (said before in other threads): We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.
It sound like you are pretty secure financially but not really financially independent yet.

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:06 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.
I think I am doing similar things that I call "experiencing retirement". I plan to travel to 10 countries each year.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:11 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:06 pm
Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.
I think I am doing similar things that I call "experiencing retirement". I plan to travel to 10 countries each year.
Maybe a stupid question but if you can travel to 10 countries a year while working how much more would you be doing if you were retired?
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Slacker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:19 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:10 pm
Here is my situation (said before in other threads): We are in early 50s and have achieved financial independence at the comfortable level (4% rule). But my financial independence has no margin of error, i.e., no specific money budgeted for kids' wedding in the future, for slow overseas travels, etc. (only $10K is budgeted for travel), and extra cushion for sequence of return risks, etc.
It sound like you are pretty secure financially but not really financially independent yet.

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.
By spending more on "things like travel" does this mean you just purchased business class instead of economy and 5 star hotels instead of 4 star hotels?
-or-
Does spending more on "things like travel" mean going on more trips -> if this is the case, and you were working fulltime, how did you squeeze in more trips with the same amount of vacation time? I find weekend trips to be very unsatisfying unless we are doing something like flying into Vegas to see a show and flying back the next morning vs going to an actual destination for the destination itself.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:21 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:11 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:06 pm
Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.
I think I am doing similar things that I call "experiencing retirement". I plan to travel to 10 countries each year.
Maybe a stupid question but if you can travel to 10 countries a year while working how much more would you be doing if you were retired?
I want to travel to most countries in the world. But the bigger problem is that I would like my wife to travel with me. She works at an IT company and her vacation time is limited. I have plenty of time as I work at a school.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Slacker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:26 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:21 pm
TheTimeLord wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:11 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:06 pm
Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

One thing I did about five years before I retired was that I cut my retirement savings back to be just enough to get my employers 401k match and I then started spending more on things like travel while I was still working.
I think I am doing similar things that I call "experiencing retirement". I plan to travel to 10 countries each year.
Maybe a stupid question but if you can travel to 10 countries a year while working how much more would you be doing if you were retired?
I want to travel to most countries in the world. But the bigger problem is that I would like my wife to travel with me. She works at an IT company and her vacation time is limited. I have plenty of time as I work at a school.
So is the real issue that you would like your wife to take part time work or find work that offers a similar schedule as your own? Sounds like you have enough saved if one or both of you continue working but not quite enough for both of you to stop working and feel comfortable about it.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:33 pm

Slacker wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:26 pm
So is the real issue that you would like your wife to take part time work or find work that offers a similar schedule as your own? Sounds like you have enough saved if one or both of you continue working but not quite enough for both of you to stop working and feel comfortable about it.
The real issue is that my wife does not want to travel to those countries that do not have good accommodations and other living conditions. She wants to stay at good hotels, while I could just sleep at airport floor if necessary. In that sense, we do not have enough and she does not mind working for a few more years.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by EnjoyIt » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:00 am

Although at some point I will stop and retire early, these are the reasons why I am still making more money:

1) We were foolish and bought slightly too much house. Now that we are used to living in this home it would be tough to downgrade and therefor we need to work just a bit more to be able to fund living in it in retirement. The only way we will downgrade is if we leave this City/State and make a life somewhere else.

2) We enjoy travel and experiences both of which usually cost money. We want to make sure we can continue those experiences without being worried about how to finance them.

3) Fear. I think fear of the unknown is likely the biggest reason why we continue to work.
a) Fear of healthcare costs
b) Fear of a prolonged recession and running out of money
c) Fear that our tastes will become more expensive
d) Fear of missing out on being able to add more funding in the next recession
e) Fear of being bored in early retirement and then not being able to return back to work a few years later
f) Fear that this time it is different

As an above poster pointed out, each additional dollar earned provides less and less utility. At some point a fancier X or a larger Y adds very little extra value compared to the time lost working for it. At some point I will have to accept my fears and realize that earning another dollar is just not worth my time, and that time lost is not worth whatever item that dollar could buy.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TD2626 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:13 am

jlcnuke wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:39 pm
The simple answer is:

There is only so much time you get in this life, and making money (for the vast majority of people) takes time away from doing the things we'd like to do.

The more complicated answer is:
Just about anyone in our society can quit working and "live" off of what they have. Similarly, most people can work until they die if that's their desire. Finding where, between those two extremes, you'll be happy/happiest is the goal for those seeking to maximize their enjoyment of this life. Those goalposts can, and often do, change as we move through life. At one point in my life I'd have told you that I'd be perfectly happy/content if I had enough to pay for an apartment, the internet and other bills necessary to let me play video games and watch TV all day long. Today, my desires are more costly than staying home in a 1-bedroom apartment so I must work longer to achieve the financial security to be able to engage in those activities at will (within means) eventually.
Very good points. It ultimately gets down to the meaning of money and its proper purpose and role in life.

Many of my models, simulations, and equations (which assume a bunch of things like "non-satiety") basically say I should aim to work as many hours a day as possible, forever, in order to maximize the net present value of my human capital. The models also suggest living in a tiny apartment and eat ramen noodles in order to maximize the amount available to invest. This is what mathematically is best for my portfolio size. However, whenever I get this out from a simulation, I realize the limitations of these models which assume non-satiety - they don't take into account this simple fact:

"To what end?"

Money is simply a tool. It frees one from want, provides security, and allows the purchase of needed and desired goods and services. It isn't in and of itself a good thing once one has "enough". Finding what "enough" is is a big part of life. You can't take it with you.

However, heirs and charities can ultimately receive funds, so if this is a consideration, one can have a goal of having a substantial end-of-life portfolio value. Still, though, this goal should not be such an overwhelming one that one can't enjoy life.

It's also worth noting that if someone does want to live in a tiny apartment and eat ramen noodles, only a small portfolio is needed. The size of portfolio needed to sustain perpetual withdrawals of this level of funding is such that it is a lifestyle choice for many on this site to keep working beyond a certain point. If one desires a non-ramen-based lifestyle, one needs more savings. If one loves their job and feels they are making a meaningful contribution to the world through their work, they may keep working even if they don't financially have to.

The nice thing is that I feel that the Boglehead philosophy works for people regardless of what lifestyle they desire (and it is ultimately a personal choice, though I feel very high expense lifestyles are wasteful). Someone who desires to have a portfolio large enough to enable spending $25k a year would likely have relatively similar investments to someone who desires a lifestyle that entails spending 50k or 100k a year.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 am

We hit our FI number 2-3 years ago about the same time we discovered the concept. In the meantime, the tailwinds of a strong stock market and continued earnings at an anesthesiologist's salary have put us comfortably beyond FI.

I've chosen to make less money now. I'm still working, but at a slower pace, with a 0.6 FTE position. The hours I gave up were those which were taxed at a much higher rate. I broke down the details here, but I expect to be taxed at about 23% overall for the hours I'll be working in this lighter schedule, and I've given up hours that would be taxed at 44%.

Also, I'm now able to disappear for weeks at a time. My family is embarking on a three-week Spanish immersion adventure starting this Sunday. I wouldn't be able to do so if I were focused on making more money.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by mega317 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:20 am

OP, you don't have enough money to do things you want to do. You clearly want to travel more than you've budgeted, make big-ticket purchases for your kids, etc. And you will have anxiety without "extra cushion" as you say. So keep working!

While I don't usually advocate for this type of thinking, I think it could be helpful here: consider that either you can retire today and go on a long trip, flying coach, or work X days more and fly first class. For me, no thanks I'd rather go today. Or, I could retire today and wish my daughter luck with her wedding, or work another couple months and pay for it. All things equal I think I'd do the latter.

I am fortunate to like my job.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by market timer » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:34 am

PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 am
Also, I'm now able to disappear for weeks at a time. My family is embarking on a three-week Spanish immersion adventure starting this Sunday. I wouldn't be able to do so if I were focused on making more money.
This is the main freedom I miss by having a job. In my ideal world, I'd have summers off to travel with the kids, at least for 6 weeks, and another 4 weeks throughout the year. Hardly any jobs offer this. Maybe after I save another million, I'll request an amendment to my contract for 10 weeks of vacation. Worth a shot.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:21 am

market timer wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:34 am
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 am
Also, I'm now able to disappear for weeks at a time. My family is embarking on a three-week Spanish immersion adventure starting this Sunday. I wouldn't be able to do so if I were focused on making more money.
This is the main freedom I miss by having a job. In my ideal world, I'd have summers off to travel with the kids, at least for 6 weeks, and another 4 weeks throughout the year. Hardly any jobs offer this. Maybe after I save another million, I'll request an amendment to my contract for 10 weeks of vacation. Worth a shot.
I know two people that were laid off from IT jobs in their 50's that got jobs as school bus drivers and pretty much had that schedule. It did not pay a lot but it came with benefits and it worked for them as a bridge job to full retirement. That probably isn't something they would have planned but they REALLY enjoyed having as much time off as they did.

One thing to watch out for is that extended travel is not for everyone. I find that when I have been traveling for about three weeks I am getting to the point where I am ready to go home. I retired a few years ago and we seem to be taking one big trip a year then a couple of weeks and long weekends in the US. I don't mean to sound like I am bragging this year will we will have been traveling about 40 nights and I would not want to travel more than that, but that is just us.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by J295 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:26 am

For some of us, questions like these are answered by discernment, not analysis.

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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:37 am

In the end virtually the only thing that matters is how have you used the precious time you have had in your life. What have you contributed in service of others and have you lived a satisfying and fulfilling life? Only you can judge how you spent your precious days (and most will likely have time to take a full accounting near the end).

If the answer to a meaningful fulfilling life lies in more time working to accumulate more money for what a person considers luxuries that bring them happiness than that is the correct path they should take.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: Why NOT make more money?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:46 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:00 am
Although at some point I will stop and retire early, these are the reasons why I am still making more money:

1) We were foolish and bought slightly too much house. Now that we are used to living in this home it would be tough to downgrade and therefor we need to work just a bit more to be able to fund living in it in retirement. The only way we will downgrade is if we leave this City/State and make a life somewhere else.

2) We enjoy travel and experiences both of which usually cost money. We want to make sure we can continue those experiences without being worried about how to finance them.

3) Fear. I think fear of the unknown is likely the biggest reason why we continue to work.
a) Fear of healthcare costs
b) Fear of a prolonged recession and running out of money
c) Fear that our tastes will become more expensive
d) Fear of missing out on being able to add more funding in the next recession
e) Fear of being bored in early retirement and then not being able to return back to work a few years later
f) Fear that this time it is different

As an above poster pointed out, each additional dollar earned provides less and less utility. At some point a fancier X or a larger Y adds very little extra value compared to the time lost working for it. At some point I will have to accept my fears and realize that earning another dollar is just not worth my time, and that time lost is not worth whatever item that dollar could buy.
My motivations line up almost exactly with yours. Our number 1 is a slightly difference twist. For us we have more than enough house, so we will downsize but to my dream house and with the increase in construction costs even a house 3/4 the size will cost more once I am done with finish out, appliances and gadgets. Also, I probably don't worry about 3F because to me it is always different and yet the same but if you are talking a Japanese type of event I get where you are coming from. Other than that you express my reasoning better than I do. 3E is a huge one for me.
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