And then pakamoky asked:Open the spigot, eh?
So I should fly business class to Madrid in March just because I can?
Hmmm, I'm not sure about that.
There's a certain attention to expenses, not frugalness exactly, but attention that remains in retirement.
I did not mean to equate “opening the spigot” with frivolous spending. Nor a hat-waving, “yee hah!” ride atop unbridled spending until you get bucked off by a market plunge.Out of curiosity for those of you who have "opened the spigot", what do you spend money on now that you didn't before?
We have attempted to— if not open the spigot to full force, at least nicely increase the flow— in these first few years of retirement. What does that mean? In theory, it means providing some treats, some luxuries, some rewards after decades of work and sacrifices made to enable savings and investment. It means that, built into the term delayed gratification, there’s a time when it is appropriate to stop delaying.
In practice, each person will have had a lifetime to determine what kinds of rewards are worth it; which ones feel like good value for the money. Personally, new cars and big screen TVs do not make my list. Travel does. That first class seat to Madrid may be worth it to you. Or maybe it’s worth trading in some extra credit card points for the upgrade. Maybe a short 8 hour flight from Boston to Madrid is just as easily done in premium economy, with a thousand or so saved for a nice hotel, meals out, and entrances to the Prado, Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. The point is, if you want to see Madrid, do it while you have the energy and endurance to do so.
Around 15 years ago, I had the chance to live abroad for an extended time, with lots of travel built in. A cousin wrote to me with this reaction, “Good for you. You’re old enough to appreciate it, and young enough to endure it.” Memorable, good travel needs both.
No one wants to run out of money. But we also deal in another currency: time. That should be cultivated as mindfully as we tend our portfolios.