A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

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TheTimeLord
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A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 am

As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card. It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement. I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason timeframe. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated a new. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life. Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?
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clutchied
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by clutchied » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:29 am

Enjoyed the read!

I agree it is a great feeling to be able to do those kinds of things.


It makes me wonder if others who are not in a position also feel that way when they swipe only to deal with the repercussions later on? I know plenty of people who don't shop by price but should.


true freedom to ignore the cost is quite a feeling.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by btenny » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm

I had a similar moment two weeks ago. I was startled at how lucky and good my life has gone. I worked hard and saved a lot and am now well into retirement. I was having dinner with my wife and my daughter and her husband. We had just watched a great theater play and were enjoying good Indian food in downtown London. I paid the bill with no worry about the price or the exchange rate or anything. I just signed.

I was thinking about how Life is Good.

Good Luck.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Nicolas » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:20 pm

Please separate your text into paragraphs. It's difficult to read it the way you presented it.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:24 pm

btenny wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm
I had a similar moment two weeks ago. I was startled at how lucky and good my life has gone. I worked hard and saved a lot and am now well into retirement. I was having dinner with my wife and my daughter and her husband. We had just watched a great theater play and were enjoying good Indian food in downtown London. I paid the bill with no worry about the price or the exchange rate or anything. I just signed.

I was thinking about how Life is Good.

Good Luck.
Well said, "Timelord" and thanks for sharing the story.

"Like 'btenny", I had the same experience 2 weeks ago. Family visiting. Great home style Italian restaurant, in our town. Italian family from NY owns and runs the place, terrific.

I handed DW my credit card. She took care of it.

I still don't know what it costed me.

Yes. Retirement Life Is Good.
Count our blessings.
Mahalo.
j :D
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TheTimeLord
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:53 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:20 pm
Please separate your text into paragraphs. It's difficult to read it the way you presented it.
Honestly be thankful there was more than one sentence. I am sure if you could have seen my hand gestures and whiteboard while reading it would have been easier to follow.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by friar1610 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:03 pm

Time Lord,

Nice post. I guess we have achieved sufficient abundance to be at the 3rd level you mention. Still live reasonably frugally day-to-day (more out of habit and predisposition than necessity) but don't hesitate to splurge for a reunion with old friends, a special occasion or a trip.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by smitcat » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:04 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 am
As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card. It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement. I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason timeframe. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated a new. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life. Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?
Funny as I had this type of experience with my brother a couple of months back now that we are both on the verge or retirement. After I pointed out that we finally feel this way he was quick to state that he has almost always felt the same way and was curious why folks are so uptight about these issues.
His financial situation is not 1/5th prepared as far as we would be concerned but as they say "its all in your head".

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:19 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:03 pm
Time Lord,

Nice post. I guess we have achieved sufficient abundance to be at the 3rd level you mention. Still live reasonably frugally day-to-day (more out of habit and predisposition than necessity) but don't hesitate to splurge for a reunion with old friends, a special occasion or a trip.
It is definitely a relative thing, as we can all come up with some absurdly expensive items that will always be out of our reach. But that is why it is so important to understand what is important to you. If what you love is to stay home and garden or ride horses on your land it will require a much different level of spending than someone who is determined to jet around the world in first class or wants a home overlooking the California coastline.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by surfstar » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:26 pm

Don't most studies show that people spend LESS in retirement than they thought they would?

I think you're trying to say that you are planning on spending MORE in retirement, just so that you can justify staying at work longer and letting your balances rise. (ergo One More Year)

Wait until the next market drop - that'll be another reason for One More Year.

Your heirs will be thankful that you don't want to retire. One More Post that is proving that this is your true desire.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by heyyou » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:28 pm

We worked and saved until the pension credits equaled our spending then we quit our jobs, ending 30 years of work stress and retirement saving. The ensuing decade of retirement was the happiest, most carefree years of my life. My unexpected financial revelation was how joyous life could be without any of the concerns from having or needing a job. Money is not the end goal, the free time with freedom from financial worries is the real treasure.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by midareff » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:31 pm

That's the only reason I look at the total bill too... just to figure the appropriate tip. The bucket list has been reduced to places I have not been yet, a car I have ordered but not delivered, and a Patek. 8 days from 70.. DILLIGAS.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:38 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:26 pm
Don't most studies show that people spend LESS in retirement than they thought they would?

I think you're trying to say that you are planning on spending MORE in retirement, just so that you can justify staying at work longer and letting your balances rise. (ergo One More Year)

Wait until the next market drop - that'll be another reason for One More Year.

Your heirs will be thankful that you don't want to retire. One More Post that is proving that this is your true desire.
Could be, but what I am intending to say is for me having the ability not to be concerned about spending (within reason) is a tremendous luxury that I have discovered I value very highly. So yes, I am willing to work a little longer in order to achieve the buffer I would need over and above the number I project to achieve my targeted lifestyle. For others, retiring earlier may be of greater value so the possibility of making adjustments in retirement is a very palatable solution for them.

Bottom line is know yourself and what you truly value and strive for that, instead of what society or others tell you to value. I believe that will lead you to have more peace and contentment in your life.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by GerryL » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:42 pm

I've been having the same revelation over the past several months.

I've always been frugal. (My brother used to call me a "frugal miser.") I searched menus for low-cost options that would satisfy me. I thought long and hard before even deciding to eat a meal out and rarely did so any place close to home, where I already had groceries. As my happy financial condition has begun to really sink in, I have become more generous -- both with myself and with others. While in France I routinely ate full meals out instead of picnicking to protect my budget. I feel much more comfortable treating friends (and even my brother!) when eating out.

Although I still consider the value of what I buy, I am not anxious about spending more than ... well, more than I used to be comfortable spending. My new mantra is "I can afford it."

PS Given my frugal nature, I am not worried about the risk of overdoing it and jeopardizing my retirement.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:45 pm

Awesome! :sharebeer

I've had a similar epiphany, where I realize I don't need to worry about money. I don't have to worry about employment or reaching a specific number. It is a sense of freedom a weight off the shoulders and being able to reduce work and live a fuller life. A lot for me is from childhood where money was a concern.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:49 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:26 pm
Don't most studies show that people spend LESS in retirement than they thought they would?

I think you're trying to say that you are planning on spending MORE in retirement, just so that you can justify staying at work longer and letting your balances rise. (ergo One More Year)

Wait until the next market drop - that'll be another reason for One More Year.

Your heirs will be thankful that you don't want to retire. One More Post that is proving that this is your true desire.
My guess is my retirement will be like the first words from little Johnny who didn't speak until he was 8 years old and when he did simply said "Soup's cold". When asked why he hadn't spoken until now, Johnny replied "Up until now everything has been fine". I expect one day to just wake up and think "I'm done" and if someone asks me why retire now my answer would likely be "Because I wasn't done yesterday".
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by rec7 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:50 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 am
As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card. It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement. I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason timeframe. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated a new. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life. Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?
I thought the other people would hit you up for money or tell you about their money problems that is what usually happens to me.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by mak1277 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:51 pm

Definitely different for me. Even when I had less than $1,000 to my name I never "worried" about money. I always did pretty much whatever I wanted and never got in too deep (just through dumb luck as opposed to brilliant design). I once blew through 75% of my assets (starting point $1,200) on food and gambling and booze in Reno. Stupid, sure, but it's a darn good story amongst the friends I was with.

In terms of epiphanies, it really was when I learned about the 4% rule and realized I wouldn't have to work until I was 60. What a revelation!

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by whatusername? » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:55 pm

I don't get that feeling when I spend money on myself, but I keep getting surprised when someone asks for a donation to something that I think is worthy and my first thought isn't "can I afford to give something" but "how much do I need to make the check for." It's a bit humbling but a great source of gratitude to be in the position to do what you like without always relating it to expenses.

I'm glad you enjoyed the meal with your friends. Many happy returns of the season!

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:56 pm

Looks like the TimeLord has stepped into his well planned and carefully orchestrated future.

:beer

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by an_asker » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:01 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:20 pm
Please separate your text into paragraphs. It's difficult to read it the way you presented it.
Since it's been a while since we've had The Munchkin Man (where are you buddy?), let me go one step further and Munchkinize the OP! ;-)
As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family.

Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant.

We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company.

Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card.

It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling.

There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer.

For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me.

First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature.

Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement.

I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance.

Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason timeframe.

So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated a new.

I have had what for me is an epiphany.

I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there.

I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have.

It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life.

Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by mrpotatoheadsays » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:26 pm

Perhaps you should be concerned that your "true sense of freedom" was associated with "the swipe of a card."

This is the objective of credit card marketing; they seek those who purchase with "no thoughts about the total."

Your "crystal clear picture" is very murky to me.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:35 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:26 pm
Don't most studies show that people spend LESS in retirement than they thought they would?

I think you're trying to say that you are planning on spending MORE in retirement, just so that you can justify staying at work longer and letting your balances rise. (ergo One More Year)

Wait until the next market drop - that'll be another reason for One More Year.

Your heirs will be thankful that you don't want to retire. One More Post that is proving that this is your true desire.
I'm not familiar with those studies. Could you point me to one? The studies I'm aware of do show that most retiree's spending trends down as they get older, unless/until they wind up with expensive medical needs. Which I think is a really good idea. Spend the money while you can enjoy it.

Younger retirees with a yen to travel, play a lot of golf, etc can easily spend more on entertainment than they did while working. This might or might not be offset by things like paying off the house. Also the pre-medicare retiree may be looking at pretty hefty medical insurance costs.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:07 pm

rec7 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:50 pm
TheTimeLord wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 am
As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card. It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement. I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason timeframe. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated a new. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life. Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?
I thought the other people would hit you up for money or tell you about their money problems that is what usually happens to me.
Although we don't ever directly discuss it, I would be shocked if our friends (retired) were not members in very good standing of the 8 figure club. So we were definitely the lower net worth folks at the table.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:10 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:56 pm
Looks like the TimeLord has stepped into his well planned and carefully orchestrated future.

:beer
I would probably say over planned, but Thank You very much. A good plan still requires a fair amount of good fortune along the way.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:16 pm

mrpotatoheadsays wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:26 pm
Perhaps you should be concerned that your "true sense of freedom" was associated with "the swipe of a card."

This is the objective of credit card marketing; they seek those who purchase with "no thoughts about the total."

Your "crystal clear picture" is very murky to me.
Fidelity gives me 2% cash back, the cash in my wallet doesn't, so dinner would have cost more if I paid with cash. As far as being crystal clear or murky, I was referring to the lifestyle I was working towards and having it actually change from a murky number in my mind to a vivid and detailed picture. So now I feel I have a crystal clear picture of what I am aiming for and that should make it easier to achieve and easier to know when I have reached that level.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:18 pm

The company + the meal + uniqueness/frequency + financial independence = Joyful moment

If you change any of the variables it may not be as special. If you do this 20 days of each month, you may begin to loathe the occasions.

Happy it was an enjoyable situation. Good reminder of thinking about the importance of different situations.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:22 pm

And at the end of the meal, everyone donated a big chunk of money to their favorite charity. Nice!
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:24 pm

I doubt there will ever be a time where I don't pay attention to the price. It doesn't have anything to do with my financial status. It's just the way I'm wired.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by telemark » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:27 pm

Nice feeling, isn't it? There are still things I can't afford without careful planning, like a new car, but most of my budgeting now is for time off from work (there's never enough).

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by veindoc » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:43 pm

I don’t feel the need to pinch every penny anymore. There was a time if I purchased gas at one station then found it cheaper by a penny in another gas station I would feel physically ill that I overspent my 20 cents.

I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:34 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (revelation).
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:09 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:18 pm
The company + the meal + uniqueness/frequency + financial independence = Joyful moment

If you change any of the variables it may not be as special. If you do this 20 days of each month, you may begin to loathe the occasions.

Happy it was an enjoyable situation. Good reminder of thinking about the importance of different situations.
Perhaps I didn't convey this as I wanted but the epiphany was more my realizing this is the type of lifestyle I wish to achieve through saving and investing rather than the actual event itself. It could have just as easily happened if I was buying a car and added an option and realized I had done without regard to the price or upgraded an airline reservation from coach to business. To me it is the fact that I now have a very clear understanding of the level of financial independence I am striving for that has given me a since of peace around my finances that was lacking regardless of the size of my assets. Removing the uncertainty about what I want given me certainty about what I need to be content.
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Dandy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:01 pm

Neat post. Glad you are in such a nice place.

I am in that happy place especially regarding to dinner bills. I remember having second thoughts about whether to spend an extra 50 cents to have a cheeseburger vs just a hamburger. :oops:

It is nice to have fewer financial worries - wish for everyone to get to that place. It is even hard for dedicated Bogleheads to be able to shed some of their frugal ways and enjoy some of the fruits of their sacrifices earlier in life.

The next focus is staying healthy.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Artful Dodger » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:19 pm

Here's my "munchkinizing"...for Nicolas :D (sorry, too many English teachers in the family)

As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card.

It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement.

I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason time frame. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated anew. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life.

Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?

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Nicolas
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Nicolas » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:29 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:19 pm
Here's my "munchkinizing"...for Nicolas :D (sorry, too many English teachers in the family)

As with many people, the holidays are a time we catch up with old friends who are in town visiting family. Last night we had the pleasure of joining two such friends for dinner at a nice restaurant. We had a lovely time and very much enjoyed the evening and their company. Our bill was 2 or 3 times what we normally spend when we dine out, nothing absurd or near what you would pay in say Manhattan though, and it was quickly dispatched by the swipe of a card.

It dawned on me this morning during my coffee that I had only noticed the amount so I could calculate the tip and that was a wonderful feeling. There was no thoughts about the total or why did I order that appetizer. For lack of better description it was a true sense of freedom to be devoid of financial concern and two thoughts came to me. First, I am truly blessed and fortunate to be in the financial position to view the check in that way, as no more than a signature. Second, that is the level of Financial Independence I want to have in retirement.

I have posted about what I consider the 3 levels of Financial Independence before and to me this is the embodiment of the third level, what I call abundance. Currently, I am not at that level but it is definitely achievable in a reason time frame. So today as I look at my number, my assets and work I am invigorated and motivated anew. I have had what for me is an epiphany. I now have a crystal clear picture of exactly what I want financially instead of an abstract concept, and I understand how my work will help get me there. I have always believed understanding what is valuable to you is an important step on the road to being at peace and content, and today I feel I understand that better than I ever have. It is great to have my financial plan evolve from the pursuit of a number to focused picture of how I want my finances interacting within my life.

Have any other BH had a similar epiphany?
Much better Artful Dodger -- Thank You!
Never ask a barber if you need a haircut. Vox audita perit littera scripta manet.

Capsu78
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Capsu78 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:36 pm

For me, the moment occurred after we completed our last child's wedding. We realized all of our kids educations had been paid for, weddings paid for, kids stable and decently employed. I started remembering all the things I would put off or try to DIY for our house and cars. I started to look for problems to fix that used to bother me- hired a painter dude to paint better than I could, hired an electrician not just to fix issues, but because I wanted additional outlets installed where I wanted them, getting bi monthly housekeeping so our main clean up energy is keeping things cleaned between visits. It just felt good knowing that I could write the check and not angst over "What will this decision do to my retirement plans?"

Last weekend I was visiting both my kids homes, including grandkids.. I looked up at a smoke detector and couldn't figure out if it was operating or not. Found the same issue at my house on one of mine that were maybe 10 years old. I told my wife "I'm calling in the electrician and am going to upgrade everyone's smoke detectors, equip with CO2 detectors, and make them all verbal command so the grandkids kids could understand that hearing these sounds must not be ignored. Was decision to bring in the electrician a bit much? My house was a pretty easy plug and play swap out. However, both of my kids houses required some "wire twisting"... my "revelation" is I would rather have this done right, have all of us equipped with easy to maintain identical equipment that the grandkids can understand in the event of an emergency no matter what house they are at. I feel blessed and fortunate to simply scratch the check or swipe the card.

PSA/ PS- learned that smoke detectors, even if they beep at test time should be replaced after 10 years- The actual sensors can get covered in dust and unless you actually try smoke tests, you just don't know.

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Alexa9
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Alexa9 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:56 pm

I understand your point that it is nice not to worry about finances. However it is not a good mentality to have where you just hand over the plastic no matter how well off you are. You should always pay attention to how much you are paying and whether it is a fair price particularly food and drink prices at restaurants and the grocery store to see if you are overcharged or something is unfairly priced. You should have a baseline for what things cost and not pay more than X% above that (including inflation).

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:09 pm

btenny wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:15 pm
I had a similar moment two weeks ago. I was startled at how lucky and good my life has gone. I worked hard and saved a lot and am now well into retirement. I was having dinner with my wife and my daughter and her husband. We had just watched a great theater play and were enjoying good Indian food in downtown London. I paid the bill with no worry about the price or the exchange rate or anything. I just signed.

I was thinking about how Life is Good.

Good Luck.
You have won the game we are all playing!!! Well done sir!!

duckcalldan
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by duckcalldan » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:37 pm

Like many, I am frugal by nature and always look at the price tag. Having said that, I’m much more willing to make purchasing decisions (within reason) without worrying about the price or making a decision solely on price.

For example, we went out last week with good friends. I almost ordered the ribeye (most expensive item on the menu) but ended up with rotisserie chicken because it sounded like a better meal. If the ribeye sounded better, I would have chosen that without blinking.

I have come to the conclusion that I’ll remember how delicious a meal was, or how fantastic the view is from a nicer hotel, or how much I enjoy wearing a pair of well-made shoes WAY MORE than I’ll remember how much I paid for those items vs the price of a item or experience I’ll enjoy less.

And I encourage my frugal wife to do the same. We can make purchasing choices based mainly on the joy it will bring us, which didn’t use to be the case.

In addition, I am getting so much joy from our sizably increased giving. Donating from our DAF makes it easy to be generous. It’s no longer mine. Just that one fact helps me to give with more joy.

Good times.

wrongfunds
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:09 pm

The real question is "can you afford to do this every single month? every single week? 3 times a week?" Don't you think it is not enough to feel financially secure unless you can do it as often as you want rather being limited to once in a blue moon? Remember, once you retire, you are no longer earning a big paycheck which is fueling your feeling of financial freedom. Are you sure when the assets start going down instead of going up, you will NOT feel differently?

Sorry, I understand I am NOT helping but sometimes cold water needs to be thrown :-)

retire57
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by retire57 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:35 pm

Know what you mean. I had a corollary experience some years ago, before retirement, walking through a casino/hotel. I saw a sweet-looking older couple enjoying some good wine in a nice bar. It suddenly struck me: THAT is what I want from my retirement savings. To be able to sit with DH and cheerfully order some good wine in a cozy spot without worrying about the bill. I admit I was concerned we might not achieve that place. Years later, we have. That brief serendipitous moment provided a visual goal.

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by MoonOrb » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:53 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:56 pm
I understand your point that it is nice not to worry about finances. However it is not a good mentality to have where you just hand over the plastic no matter how well off you are. You should always pay attention to how much you are paying and whether it is a fair price particularly food and drink prices at restaurants and the grocery store to see if you are overcharged or something is unfairly priced. You should have a baseline for what things cost and not pay more than X% above that (including inflation).
I don't think OP is literally saying he is ignorantly signing the bill without thought or concern for its accuracy. He's saying that he's signing the bill without thinking things like "wow this meal is expensive, maybe I shouldn't have spent the money on this."

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GerryL
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by GerryL » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:55 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:09 pm
The real question is "can you afford to do this every single month? every single week? 3 times a week?" Don't you think it is not enough to feel financially secure unless you can do it as often as you want rather being limited to once in a blue moon? Remember, once you retire, you are no longer earning a big paycheck which is fueling your feeling of financial freedom. Are you sure when the assets start going down instead of going up, you will NOT feel differently?

Sorry, I understand I am NOT helping but sometimes cold water needs to be thrown :-)
A large part of feeling financially secure is that your wants/desires are in line with your ability to pay. Financial security isn't about a specific dollar figure or even about having more next month than I had last month. It's understanding that you have more than you need to live the life you want.

Related to this discussion, check out this article about people who should be feeling financially secure: The Insane Amount of Money Millionaires Say They Need to be Happy (http://time.com/money/5071182/money-happiness-million/)
[Caution: video with audio may start automatically.]

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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:05 pm

MoonOrb wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:53 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:56 pm
I understand your point that it is nice not to worry about finances. However it is not a good mentality to have where you just hand over the plastic no matter how well off you are. You should always pay attention to how much you are paying and whether it is a fair price particularly food and drink prices at restaurants and the grocery store to see if you are overcharged or something is unfairly priced. You should have a baseline for what things cost and not pay more than X% above that (including inflation).
I don't think OP is literally saying he is ignorantly signing the bill without thought or concern for its accuracy. He's saying that he's signing the bill without thinking things like "wow this meal is expensive, maybe I shouldn't have spent the money on this."
+1
"As long as I wasn't defrauded, I don't care about the cost."

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FreeAtLast
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by FreeAtLast » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:17 pm

Good for you, TimeLord!

When I am eating out by myself, I will be fairly frugal. But when I see a real good time coming at me with either family or a bunch of old friends, I am going to splurge. You have to take advantage of those precious moments that you will remember fondly in the future. :beer
Illegitimi non carborundum.

bayview
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by bayview » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:22 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:09 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:18 pm
The company + the meal + uniqueness/frequency + financial independence = Joyful moment

If you change any of the variables it may not be as special. If you do this 20 days of each month, you may begin to loathe the occasions.

Happy it was an enjoyable situation. Good reminder of thinking about the importance of different situations.
Perhaps I didn't convey this as I wanted but the epiphany was more my realizing this is the type of lifestyle I wish to achieve through saving and investing rather than the actual event itself. It could have just as easily happened if I was buying a car and added an option and realized I had done without regard to the price or upgraded an airline reservation from coach to business. To me it is the fact that I now have a very clear understanding of the level of financial independence I am striving for that has given me a since of peace around my finances that was lacking regardless of the size of my assets. Removing the uncertainty about what I want given me certainty about what I need to be content.
You seem to have always had a difficult time figuring out your version of "The Number."

It appears that maybe instead you have found your version of "The Feel", where all that anxiety has started to be replaced by some serenity, and that's what you needed instead of a number.

Congrats to you. :beer
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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TheTimeLord
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:34 pm

MoonOrb wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:53 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:56 pm
I understand your point that it is nice not to worry about finances. However it is not a good mentality to have where you just hand over the plastic no matter how well off you are. You should always pay attention to how much you are paying and whether it is a fair price particularly food and drink prices at restaurants and the grocery store to see if you are overcharged or something is unfairly priced. You should have a baseline for what things cost and not pay more than X% above that (including inflation).
I don't think OP is literally saying he is ignorantly signing the bill without thought or concern for its accuracy. He's saying that he's signing the bill without thinking things like "wow this meal is expensive, maybe I shouldn't have spent the money on this."
Exactly.
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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TheTimeLord
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:36 pm

GerryL wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:55 pm
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:09 pm
The real question is "can you afford to do this every single month? every single week? 3 times a week?" Don't you think it is not enough to feel financially secure unless you can do it as often as you want rather being limited to once in a blue moon? Remember, once you retire, you are no longer earning a big paycheck which is fueling your feeling of financial freedom. Are you sure when the assets start going down instead of going up, you will NOT feel differently?

Sorry, I understand I am NOT helping but sometimes cold water needs to be thrown :-)
A large part of feeling financially secure is that your wants/desires are in line with your ability to pay. Financial security isn't about a specific dollar figure or even about having more next month than I had last month. It's understanding that you have more than you need to live the life you want.

Related to this discussion, check out this article about people who should be feeling financially secure: The Insane Amount of Money Millionaires Say They Need to be Happy (http://time.com/money/5071182/money-happiness-million/)
[Caution: video with audio may start automatically.]
Well put.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

JustBill
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Re: A meal with friends yields a financial revelation

Post by JustBill » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:43 pm

Rarely do I post on these boards, but I wanted to thank you for your expressions and congratulate you for arriving where you are. Moreover I wanted to convey to you that I intend to "copy" your words and forward them to our DD who is yet to begin her career as food-for-thought for her future self.

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