High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

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ram
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by ram »

OP: Do it.
Nicolas wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:06 pm For that money you could do a round-the-world cruise (maybe), but that would take quite a bit of time.
In that case he would be mostly in the company of 80 yr olds.
Ram
dukeblue219
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by dukeblue219 »

Please, DO IT and then report back with some photos!

Money in the bank adds nothing to the enjoyment of our short lives, but a trip like this will be a lasting memory. Don't even think twice about it.
gogreen
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by gogreen »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm The cost all-in including gear, flights, and the expedition itself is ~$75K.

Me: 39 years old
Gross: $210k/year.

NW: ~3.6M including home equity
Go for it. Doesn't matter if it's a polar expedition or a visit to high stakes lounge at Vegas :sharebeer
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WoodSpinner
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by WoodSpinner »

OP,

Sounds great to me! Would love some more details. You have my blessing!

WoodSpinner

Lusting after an Antarctic Expedition….
protagonist
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by protagonist »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
1) Am I crazy?[/b


Probably, but so what?

Has anyone ever done this and regret it?


Yes. Roald Amundsen. And his trip probably cost way more than yours .

2) How would you pay for it? Currently have $80k cash emergency fund (which I dislike).


Emergency fund is for emergencies. Is this trip an emergency? If not , don't use emergency funds.

Selling options is probably a good option (not sure if pun is intended). Definitely do not borrow money to do it. Then again, Amundsen probably did and he never had to pay it back.....
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Shackleton
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Shackleton »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:03 pm
er999 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:52 pm You need to post a link to the trip so the rest of us can check it out. It must be a spectacular trip as when I’ve looked at Antarctic cruises at quark expeditions (which seem like a good choice) they seem to start at $8k for a shared cabin for a shorter trip. It will be a nice addition to the expensive car threads that are posted every few months on here.
Here is the trip:
https://www.mtnprofessionals.com/polar- ... st-degree/

There are a few providers like them and everyone is at the same ballpark cost. That's because they all use the same logistics provider to get you from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Union Glacier to 88th degree, and then all the way back.

I would definitely recommend Quark. My wife and I did one of those in 2012. They actually have a Black Friday deal going on right now. Their crew/staff are awesome and we definitely have tons of memories from that trip.
Well, as you can tell by my name, I approve of this trip. Look out for the sea ice. 😀
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton
psychoslowmatic
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by psychoslowmatic »

Absolutely yes, do it. And if you’re going to spend this much, do a few things to make it more special and memorable.
Have maybe a cork board/vision board with articles, pictures, or news clippings around someplace you’re at every day. Make yourself think about and visualize yourself on the trip a little every day.
Train like you’re planning. Both because you can get more out of it but also because it’ll help you visualize and anticipate it.
Keep a journal or blog during it with notes. What you saw, who you meet, how you feel.

Enjoy!
surfstar
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by surfstar »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:01 pm
surfstar wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:21 pm I'll endorse your spending, but only if you can tell us your secret to that NW at that age with that savings rate. crypto? IPO? lol
Great question. Actually it's all about this community. I've been working now full time for about 15 years, but only seriously started investing about 10 years ago. At that time one of my good friends introduced me to this forum and I've been a frequent reader (only a few time poster ever since).

Definitely no IPOs and only started dabbling in Crypto with my "fun money" (which I think is not even an allowed discussion point here). No inheritance either. Have just worked at MegaCorp (my wife at the same one until a few years ago), and worked slowly up the corporate ladder to the fun place of middle management. But really it comes down to budgeting and living below your means and just continuing to save as much as you can as early as you can and following the simple portfolio philosophies here. We are at 85% stocks (60% US, 25% Intl), 15% Bonds and have very simple portfolio, where everything is an ETF except for MegaCorp stock which I'm locked into. That's what this community is about, and it's served me well!
Nice work - slow and steady! When you live so far below your means it actually makes things affordable! We also enjoy that feeling :)

Enjoy the trip!

This is so much more inspirational than a $5k watch thread.
moneyflowin
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by moneyflowin »

How long is the trip?

This sounds like a very long trip. Something to consider is the lost income from not working. Not saying you should or shouldn't do it, but you should consider its true price tag before deciding -- including the lost income
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JoeRetire
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

59Gibson wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:32 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:13 pm
esteen wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:50 pm
marcopolo wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:10 pm You are doing great financially.
Go enjoy your adventure. It will have negligible impact on your long term finances.
If you don't spend your money on things you enjoy, your kids will, after you are gone.
+1. I say go for it.

Just don't do something like it every year :)
If this is for the 40th birthday, I suspect the once-in-a-lifetime will actually be once-each-ten-years.

I have a friend who has done this sort of thing repeatedly. But he also buys himself plenty of toys as well (multiple Tesla purchases, etc). After all, it's only x% of his net worth next year too.

It makes no sense to spend an emergency fund on non-emergencies, IMHO. But whatever.
Ha. Kind of reminds of the folks that go out every New Year's eve and get smashed because it's a new year #. Couldn't one rationalize doing that every day?
Some do.

"Because I deserve it." is a very handy rationalization. Works in almost every scenario.
I love a good nap. Sometimes it’s the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning.
stoptothink
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by stoptothink »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:55 am
59Gibson wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:32 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:13 pm
esteen wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:50 pm
marcopolo wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:10 pm You are doing great financially.
Go enjoy your adventure. It will have negligible impact on your long term finances.
If you don't spend your money on things you enjoy, your kids will, after you are gone.
+1. I say go for it.

Just don't do something like it every year :)
If this is for the 40th birthday, I suspect the once-in-a-lifetime will actually be once-each-ten-years.

I have a friend who has done this sort of thing repeatedly. But he also buys himself plenty of toys as well (multiple Tesla purchases, etc). After all, it's only x% of his net worth next year too.

It makes no sense to spend an emergency fund on non-emergencies, IMHO. But whatever.
Ha. Kind of reminds of the folks that go out every New Year's eve and get smashed because it's a new year #. Couldn't one rationalize doing that every day?
Some do.

"Because I deserve it." is a very handy rationalization. Works in almost every scenario.
:oops: The terms "deserve" and "fair" are not allowed to be used in our home...But I do think OP should go.
minimalistmarc
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by minimalistmarc »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:56 pm Thanks for all the great advice!

It is actually a "South Pole Ski the Last Degree" trip where you first fly to Punta Arenas, Chile. You then fly down to Union Glacier and get acclimated to the 10,000 ft elevation for a few days. They then fly you to the 88th degree, where basically you are 80 miles or so from the South Pole. You then ski and camp for 6-7 days to get there, and then camp overnight. The return trip is via flight.

I've done the Antarctica trip that a few of you mentioned - my wife and I about 9 years ago before we had kids and we absolutely loved it (Quark as er999 mentioned, who I would strongly recommend!). Over the past year or so I've researched this trip and now want to commit to doing it. For me, it's not only about getting to the South Pole, which I think is a huge accomplishment, but it's also setting the goal and the training and preparation required to get there that few people can say they've done. In fact, there is a training trip in the dead of the winter in Colorado that I'd do to make sure that I could do it and that it's the right thing for me to do. I wouldn't commit until after that trip, of course.

It would just be me - my wife has no interest in this type of activity. Plus she and the grandparents have to watch the kiddos.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and encouragement not to just continue to hoard money, but enjoy it along the way. I'll respond to some other of the comments directly. Thanks again! Such a great community here!
So you get the 75k yolo trip, but what does your wife get to keep it fair? Maybe you should get her the Tesla.
Boston33
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Boston33 »

Perhaps I missed it:

What is the length of the trip?

75k for one week is too much.

For a month, maybe okay

Does this price include all transportation, room, food, etc.?

There will be more trips in your life.
metacritic
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by metacritic »

Holy heck, that sounds great. I'll see you there :)
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:56 pm Thanks for all the great advice!

It is actually a "South Pole Ski the Last Degree" trip where you first fly to Punta Arenas, Chile. You then fly down to Union Glacier and get acclimated to the 10,000 ft elevation for a few days. They then fly you to the 88th degree, where basically you are 80 miles or so from the South Pole. You then ski and camp for 6-7 days to get there, and then camp overnight. The return trip is via flight.

I've done the Antarctica trip that a few of you mentioned - my wife and I about 9 years ago before we had kids and we absolutely loved it (Quark as er999 mentioned, who I would strongly recommend!). Over the past year or so I've researched this trip and now want to commit to doing it. For me, it's not only about getting to the South Pole, which I think is a huge accomplishment, but it's also setting the goal and the training and preparation required to get there that few people can say they've done. In fact, there is a training trip in the dead of the winter in Colorado that I'd do to make sure that I could do it and that it's the right thing for me to do. I wouldn't commit until after that trip, of course.

It would just be me - my wife has no interest in this type of activity. Plus she and the grandparents have to watch the kiddos.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and encouragement not to just continue to hoard money, but enjoy it along the way. I'll respond to some other of the comments directly. Thanks again! Such a great community here!
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sunny_socal
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by sunny_socal »

Do it OP! (I'd rather go somewhere warm...)

Life is meant for living.
nigel_ht
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by nigel_ht »

afan wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:48 pm
KlangFool wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:51 pm
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
529 - $18K/year
Taxable - anything left - currently about 20K/year
$1.3M taxable,
CincyGuy,

1) Spend down your 80K emergency fund.

2) Refill it by

A) Do not contribute to 529
B) Do not invest your extra 20K per year in the taxable account
C) Do not reinvest your taxable account dividend and distribution.

Aka, spend the 70K without paying additional taxes.

KlangFool
So empty out the emergency fund??? What happens if there is, you know, an emergency?
Folks with $2.9M portfolio and saving $100K+ a year don’t need a cash EF.

KF is right, don’t pay any taxes to fund this. Just burn down the EF and cash flow it and refill the EF as needed.
Better idea- save up enough to pay for the trip without touching the emergency fund.
And hold $150K liquid? While losing 5% from inflation? Why?
Is there some hurry? Will you no longer be able to pursue this by the time you save up for it?

Keep the 529 investments. Keep reinvesting capital gains and dividends.
You can afford it once you have accumulated the money to pay for it, which has not happened yet.
The dude saves over $100K a year. He can cash flow it if he just uses a part of his EF. You act like it’s a huge amount of money for him…he can afford it.

If he can’t afford it right now, he will never be able to afford it.
I would not consider spending anything approaching 2% of my networth on a vacation.

"Once in a lifetime" expenses have a way of becoming recurring costs.
So what? If he does this every 10 years that’s 0.2%. If the market goes up, no issues. If the market stays level, no issues…he’s STILL saving $100K a year. If the market crashes…he’ll have to skip the next trip. But then his retirement is even more set as he’ll be buying in a down market at $100K a year.

Big deal.

Some stuff is better done in your 40s than 50s. Stuff hurts more and I don’t recover as fast and I’m in better shape today than 10 years ago in my 40s.
nigel_ht
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by nigel_ht »

protagonist wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:47 pm
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
1) Am I crazy?[/b


Probably, but so what?

Has anyone ever done this and regret it?


Yes. Roald Amundsen. And his trip probably cost way more than yours .

2) How would you pay for it? Currently have $80k cash emergency fund (which I dislike).


Emergency fund is for emergencies. Is this trip an emergency? If not , don't use emergency funds.

Selling options is probably a good option (not sure if pun is intended). Definitely do not borrow money to do it. Then again, Amundsen probably did and he never had to pay it back.....


Folks above a certain NW don’t need a EF. Their portfolio is large enough to weather an emergency.
nigel_ht
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by nigel_ht »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
Gross: $210k/year.
Total savings - ~$115-125K/year

NW: ~3.6M including home equity
Excluding 529, ~$3M for retirement ($1.3M taxable, $1.6M tax free or tax deferred, rest cash)
No debt except for $100K left on mortgage. Cars paid off and generally living below our means (I think).
For all the naysayers…gross $210K, savings $115K means he’s spending less than $100k gross a year.

$2.9M portfolio. Pay off mortgage and it’s $2.8M.

If he retires today his WR is 3.6% to support $100K/year and no mortgage.

Looking at the ERN table 3.75% has a 92% success rate for 60 years at 75/25 AA…he’s got some margin for success even with current valuations.

This essentially means that as long as his life doesn’t collapse in the next few years he will remain FI at his current lifestyle even if he loses his job.

The 529s will suffer since there will be no further inflows and he may need to figure out what to cut to get decent health insurance but still can gross $100K a year from his portfolio.

If there is a significant enough black swan that his current financial situation is shattered another $75K in the EF will likely make no difference in the final outcome. The scenario will have to be so catastrophic that his life is upended but sufficiently not severe enough that 2% makes a difference in outcome.

Given that, he might as well have the memory of this great trip vs the tiny risk that somehow $75K will make the difference between salvation and destruction in a black swan event.

And you never know who you meet that makes a difference in your life. Folks on this trip will obviously have some means…and it seems sufficiently challenging that there will likely be some bonding.

Finally, if ultra conservative KF says spend down the EF…well holy cow…you can spend down the EF.

He’s like twice as paranoid as I am.
nigel_ht
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by nigel_ht »

To the OP…thinking about it, your two biggest risks are a) not coming back from this trip and b) coming back from this trip needing long term care.

A) is mitigated by a decent term life policy I assume you have.

B) I have 66.66% long term disability which probably doesn’t cover the outcome without some impact to my family. You’ll want to make sure this base is covered better than that.

These aren’t any special risks…we have these risks just driving to work but you’d feel worse if they happened on a risky adventure if your family wasn’t covered.
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OldTimer
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by OldTimer »

Without a doubt do it. My wife and I did a $60k trip to Europe when I was 64, Now 70 and due to health reasons we can't ( forgetting Covid). Best trip ever.
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Watty
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Watty »

minimalistmarc wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:02 am So you get the 75k yolo trip, but what does your wife get to keep it fair?
That is a good point, but they can afford that too.

Another consideration is that with the time commitment they might have to give up taking any large family vacations with the kids that year, or maybe for two years if the Colorado training trip and the big trip are in different years.

It would also be good to check to see if your life insurance will consider this an extreme sport that is an exclusion and not pay out if you die while doing this. That could leave your wife and kids in a bind if something happens when you are down there. Everything in life has risks but when you are that far from help even something like an appendicitis can get real serious real fast.
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:38 pm You are 40. Its either this or a $75k Porsche. You choose.
For the record, I bought 3 Porsche’s before I made it out of my 40s and one was sold for a profit, one was just about break even, and the other cost me maybe $6,000 to own, tax, tags and insurance included.

I’d never spend $75,000 on a trip- especially if my family wasn’t coming along. When you make a decision to get married and have a family I feel like spending that sort of money on yourself might not be the best idea.
Lou Sevens
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Lou Sevens »

Hello I am a long time reader but just created my account today- I would also factor in based on the last 2 years that a once in a lifetime vacation could be beneficial. Who knows, perhaps we could have another type of pandemic later on? I would encourage you to do it .

I originally had a cruise scheduled for last May to Bermuda- adding everything up it was higher than normal around $3.8k (this was including stay in NYC, show, etc. hotel + cruise itself). Even though my prior cruises were less expensive I rationalized by the fact I was taking profits from funds and leaving the original purchase amount in them.

Another thing I tend to calculate is how long for the funds I am spending to replenish themselves through dividends or investment growth.
elle
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by elle »

In case you need another person to put you over the edge on the decision, yes. Do it.
mbasherp
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by mbasherp »

If your numbers are anything close to correct, you’re easily financially independent. So the question is: can a financially independent 39/40 year old take a once in a lifetime expensive trip, while still planning to keep working?

Of course you can. That’s pretty much the definition of financial independence. If all else stays the same (meaning this is not ongoing lifestyle inflation), every penny you earn from here on is gravy anyway. Even if this were to become a periodic adventure, you’re well on your way to being independent enough to fund that too.

Enjoy and be safe!
ikowik
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by ikowik »

OP, thanks for this thread. It has inspired me to think about doing something like this. Except, having lived for decades in a very cold area, I favor something warmer. I should start looking for a Sahara expedition.
mrmass
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by mrmass »

But what will you do when you turn 50?
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JoeRetire
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

mrmass wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:52 am But what will you do when you turn 50?
If my friend's experience is any indication, it's obviously an even bigger "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation.
Repeat at least every 10 years.
I love a good nap. Sometimes it’s the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning.
EddyB
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by EddyB »

afan wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:48 pm
KlangFool wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:51 pm
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
529 - $18K/year
Taxable - anything left - currently about 20K/year
$1.3M taxable,
CincyGuy,

1) Spend down your 80K emergency fund.

2) Refill it by

A) Do not contribute to 529
B) Do not invest your extra 20K per year in the taxable account
C) Do not reinvest your taxable account dividend and distribution.

Aka, spend the 70K without paying additional taxes.

KlangFool
So empty out the emergency fund??? What happens if there is, you know, an emergency?

Better idea- save up enough to pay for the trip without touching the emergency fund.

Is there some hurry? Will you no longer be able to pursue this by the time you save up for it?

Keep the 529 investments. Keep reinvesting capital gains and dividends.
You can afford it once you have accumulated the money to pay for it, which has not happened yet.
I don’t understand the logic. What are all OP’s existing savings “for”?
afan wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:48 pm "Once in a lifetime" expenses have a way of becoming recurring costs.
So the conclusion would be not to do anything once unless one could do it on a recurring basis?
surfstar
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by surfstar »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:06 am
mrmass wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:52 am But what will you do when you turn 50?
If my friend's experience is any indication, it's obviously an even bigger "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation.
Repeat at least every 10 years.
Not a bad way to go through life.
ThankYouJack
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by ThankYouJack »

Another vote to go for it. In fact, you've already put so much time into researching and thinking about it, I think it could be a big regret if you don't make it happen.

But...what happens if you have to back out or reschedule (say you test positive for covid just before take off)? I would make sure you have some very good travel insurance in place
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by iamlucky13 »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:56 pmFor me, it's not only about getting to the South Pole, which I think is a huge accomplishment, but it's also setting the goal and the training and preparation required to get there that few people can say they've done. In fact, there is a training trip in the dead of the winter in Colorado that I'd do to make sure that I could do it and that it's the right thing for me to do. I wouldn't commit until after that trip, of course.
To me, the financial questions were pretty adequately addressed in the first post. There's less important related details, like whether to spend down the emergency fund or sell investments, but those are optimization questions.

The bolded part addresses the key concern I had after financial viability was addressed. This kind of trip takes a lot of personal investment and dedication, so since you're clear it is going to be physically very difficult and requires a lot of preparation, I don't see much reason to opine against it.
EnjoyIt
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by EnjoyIt »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:45 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:38 pm You are 40. Its either this or a $75k Porsche. You choose.
For the record, I bought 3 Porsche’s before I made it out of my 40s and one was sold for a profit, one was just about break even, and the other cost me maybe $6,000 to own, tax, tags and insurance included.

I’d never spend $75,000 on a trip- especially if my family wasn’t coming along. When you make a decision to get married and have a family I feel like spending that sort of money on yourself might not be the best idea.
Me personally, I too would have a hard time taking such an expensive trip without my spouse.

Plus, as many married couple will say. Always expect to pay double. If your going to spend $75k on yourself, expect at some point in the near future your spouse will be looking to do the same.

I love the idea of a once in a lifetime experience, but those experiences should be shared with my spouse.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | viewtopic.php?p=1139732#p1139732
marcopolo
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by marcopolo »

afan wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:48 pm
KlangFool wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:51 pm
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm
529 - $18K/year
Taxable - anything left - currently about 20K/year
$1.3M taxable,
CincyGuy,

1) Spend down your 80K emergency fund.

2) Refill it by

A) Do not contribute to 529
B) Do not invest your extra 20K per year in the taxable account
C) Do not reinvest your taxable account dividend and distribution.

Aka, spend the 70K without paying additional taxes.

KlangFool
So empty out the emergency fund??? What happens if there is, you know, an emergency?

Better idea- save up enough to pay for the trip without touching the emergency fund.

Is there some hurry? Will you no longer be able to pursue this by the time you save up for it?

Keep the 529 investments. Keep reinvesting capital gains and dividends.
You can afford it once you have accumulated the money to pay for it, which has not happened yet.

I would not consider spending anything approaching 2% of my networth on a vacation.

"Once in a lifetime" expenses have a way of becoming recurring costs.
Did you miss the $1.3M in a taxable account?!? :oops:
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by KaskadeForever »

Go for it CincyGuy! I want to be friends with you! I'm 39, live in Cincy, like backpacking, and always up for an adventure (although not a $75k adventure).
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

surfstar wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:45 am
JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:06 am
mrmass wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:52 am But what will you do when you turn 50?
If my friend's experience is any indication, it's obviously an even bigger "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation.
Repeat at least every 10 years.
Not a bad way to go through life.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Mr.RegPark »

After watching a convincing Colin Farrell as Henry Drax, i'd wait until global warming melted just a little more of that polar ice.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by Cruise »

DO IT. We never scrimped on travel during our 30s to our now late 60s, but there are some adventure-type travel I wish I did prior to having age-related medical complications that just make it harder to be at altitude or in the wilderness. Stuff one takes for granted when young can be a limiting factor as one ages. DO IT!
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by PowderDay9 »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:22 pm Only if it's a real once in a lifetime trip... (or maybe every 10 years)

We did a Holy Land cruise (Rome, Athens, Egypt, Israel) 15 years ago that cost us like $15k which we considered it worth it because it was a "once in a lifetime" trip..

Of course now we spend that nearly every year on new once in a lifetime trips...

It's become normal.. which means we now need more to retire to maintain our higher standard of living. But we are okay with that.

So just be careful that this new adventure side of you doesn't require a new $75k adrenaline rush every year.
I think this is spot on. At 40 you're still pretty young for the "once in a lifetime" vacation. You have the net worth to do several more of these big trips if you get the bug for more of them.

Knowing that caveat, I think you should go on this trip. It sounds like you have a passion for it and the trip will probably be an incredible challenge and experience. I think you'd be much more likely to regret not going than going. Let us know how it goes!
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

Although I confess, just to continue the contrarian candor of most of my posts, that $75k for a two week trip that omits the spouse sounds excessive to me, I will also confess that my travels enriched my life in ways I could never have predicted and seemingly frivolous spending (a $600 interview suit, fancy health spa visits) paid certain dividends too.

I definitely notice how the failure to do what one really wants when young drags people down and diminishes their day to day productivity and earnings capacity, while those who made what they wanted happen remain young in spirit beyond their years. So the costs of spending and the costs of frugality each manifest over time. Activities often have costs and benefits that we cannot predict.

Smart or stupid?
The “expensive and unnecessary” prestige university?
The “expensive” doctor?
The unpaid internship?
The costly built in pool?
That “impractical” trip?

All can pay dividends.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by HomerJ »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:54 pmI definitely notice how the failure to do what one really wants when young drags people down while those who made what they wanted happen remain young in spirit beyond their years.
Eh, maybe.

This certainly isn't a universal rule.

And you definitely don't need to spend $75k.

Again, I'm fine with the OP doing this.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

HomerJ wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:02 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:54 pmI definitely notice how the failure to do what one really wants when young drags people down while those who made what they wanted happen remain young in spirit beyond their years.
Eh, maybe.

This certainly isn't a universal rule.

And you definitely don't need to spend $75k.

Again, I'm fine with the OP doing this.
You’re right I tend to generalize too much- whoops just did it again! It isn’t a universal rule. But of the unhappy people I know most of it ties back to some critical moment where they deferred something of importance to them at the time.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:54 pm I definitely notice how the failure to do what one really wants when young drags people down and diminishes their day to day productivity and earnings capacity
Huh? So do what you "really want", and your productivity and earnings capacity will soar?

YOLO and you will prosper? Is this a Law of Attraction variant? :confused
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:31 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:54 pm I definitely notice how the failure to do what one really wants when young drags people down and diminishes their day to day productivity and earnings capacity
Huh? So do what you "really want", and your productivity and earnings capacity will soar?

YOLO and you will prosper?
Well within reason - taking risks and following one’s dreams isn’t a bad thing. My point is that old fogies like me who had fun in life seem much happier and productive than old fogies I know who don’t have good memories to warm their later years. It’s easier to accept the hardships of life and boring aspects and drudgery when one has a repository of great memories. I know people who regrettably poison their present by hanging onto that unfulfilled dream in their past.

I generally think the YOLO mindset is irresponsible but there is a smidge of truth to it. Seal said it best - we’re never gonna survive… unless we get a little crazy. So yes, even if the trip or dream one has when young is a stupid mistake, not doing it and learning the lessons of it could be an even bigger mistake.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:36 pmMy point is that old fogies like me who had fun in life seem much happier and productive than old fogies I know who don’t have good memories to warm their later years
The don't have good memories to warm them because presumably they didn't have fun in life. Thus, they are unhappy and not productive. Hmm.

Fun while young is good. Not sure it really has anything to do with productivity later in life.
I generally think the YOLO mindset is irresponsible but there is a smidge of truth to it.
Okay. So what good is a smidge amongst an irresponsible mindset?
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:41 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:36 pmMy point is that old fogies like me who had fun in life seem much happier and productive than old fogies I know who don’t have good memories to warm their later years
The don't have good memories to warm them because presumably they didn't have fun in life. Thus, they are unhappy and not productive. Hmm.

Fun while young is good. Not sure it really has anything to do with productivity later in life.
I generally think the YOLO mindset is irresponsible but there is a smidge of truth to it.
Okay. So what good is a smidge amongst an irresponsible mindset?
I have a few specific people in mind from my circle of acquaintances and I can’t explain their destructive and bitter behavior so I assume it must be due to this. When you see miserable people, you don’t say that they must have had a great youth.

I think the YOLO and FIRE movements provoke such fury precisely because they are mostly untrue and wrong but enough true to get peoples goat. Or they wouldn’t be excoriated like they are.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by JoeRetire »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:45 pm I have a few specific people in mind from my circle of acquaintances and I can’t explain their destructive and bitter behavior so I assume it must be due to this.
You can't explain it, so you explain it this way. Interesting assumption.

Can't say it makes any sense to me. But I wish you well anyway.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

JoeRetire wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:53 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:45 pm I have a few specific people in mind from my circle of acquaintances and I can’t explain their destructive and bitter behavior so I assume it must be due to this.
You can't explain it, so you explain it this way. Interesting assumption.

Can't say it makes any sense to me. But I wish you well anyway.
Thank goodness. But back to OP, if you think this trip will enrich your life and give you great memories and a feeling of personal satisfaction, $75k may be a bargain in the long run. And even if it isn’t all you hope for, it’s not going to bankrupt you.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by MikeG62 »

CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:05 pm Hi All! Been a long time since I've posted here. I'm looking to get feedback on a high cost once-in-a-lifetime "vacation".

I'm looking to do a big trip for my 40th Birthday next year - specifically a polar expedition (which is why I put vacation in quotes). The cost all-in including gear, flights, and the expedition itself is ~$75K.

I'm looking to get feedback on:
...How would you pay for it? Currently have $80k cash emergency fund (which I dislike). If save my usual taxable investment for next year (see below - $20k or so), I could simply cash flow it (which would leave me a ~3 month emergency fund next year when the big payments are due). I could also sell some vested options (incurring taxes now vs. 2026), take a margin loan, HELOC, etc. Can't put it on a no-interest CC unfortunately.

Your inputs are greatly appreciated!

Background:
Me: 39 years old
Gross: $210k/year.
Wife: $25k self-employed (almost all saved in solo 401k so don't really include that in my cash flow)
We typically save:
Max Roth $12K/year
Max 401k - $12K/year (limited by HCE) + wife ($22K/year) + My employer Contribution $33k/year - $67K/year
HSA $7.2K/year
529 - $18K/year
Taxable - anything left - currently about 20K/year
Total savings - ~$115-125K/year

NW: ~3.6M including home equity
Excluding 529, ~$3M for retirement ($1.3M taxable, $1.6M tax free or tax deferred, rest cash)
No debt except for $100K left on mortgage. Cars paid off and generally living below our means (I think).
At first blush, it certainly appears you can easily afford this based upon your net worth ($3.0 million excluding 529's). However, I'd like to know how much of that $3.0 million is in home equity? I'm somehow guessing it's a large share of the $1.3 million you refer to as taxable.

OTOH, it appears somewhat less affordable based upon your available cash or your annual net positive cash flow into your taxable accounts. Take a margin loan or borrow on a HELOC to pay for a vacation? I personally would not do that. At your current rate of annual taxable savings, this will take 4 years to replenish.

Having said that, I suppose you could redirect retirement savings for a year (or go the option exercise route) and easily fund this, so that appears the best option to me given the size of your retirement (tax deferred and tax free) accounts. You won't know it's gone in a year or two (or maybe even a month or two depending on how markets perform).

Separately, you've got a lot saved for someone earning $250K per year and an amazingly large amount (and % of your net worth) in tax free/deferred accounts. While I wonder how you've been able to accomplish this, that is irrelevant to your question.
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Re: High Cost Once-in-a-lifetime "Vacation"

Post by retire14 »

JackBoglereader21 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:23 pm
CincyGuy wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:03 pm
er999 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:52 pm You need to post a link to the trip so the rest of us can check it out. It must be a spectacular trip as when I’ve looked at Antarctic cruises at quark expeditions (which seem like a good choice) they seem to start at $8k for a shared cabin for a shorter trip. It will be a nice addition to the expensive car threads that are posted every few months on here.
Here is the trip:
https://www.mtnprofessionals.com/polar- ... st-degree/

There are a few providers like them and everyone is at the same ballpark cost. That's because they all use the same logistics provider to get you from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Union Glacier to 88th degree, and then all the way back.

I would definitely recommend Quark. My wife and I did one of those in 2012. They actually have a Black Friday deal going on right now. Their crew/staff are awesome and we definitely have tons of memories from that trip.
Thank you for posting this question and, more specifically, thank you for sharing your income and NW. While I don't currently have a once-in-a-lifetime trip in mind, your post and the community's responses have given me the encouragement to start thinking differently about how much I could actually afford. I have been reading this forum for longer than I can remember and am grateful always to get a new perspective, especially about spending. Growing up with much, much less than I have now, it's always hard to breakthrough the fear of what-if-we-don't-have-enough. The reality is we have far more than we need but still difficult to live like we do. Recently member questions about whether they should spend on vacation, cars, etc which include income, NW, savings have been very helpful (and appreciated).

We have not flown since Nov 2019 are thinking about a summer trip to the East Coast from California. For the first time I am considering Business Class fares for my family. For our dates, Coach is $350, Extra Legroom $500 and Business Class $1,100. I will discuss it over turkey tomorrow but I think I'm going to go for it. Happy Thanksgiving.
Wow. This just described my wife and me perfectly! For years we have made numerous trips to visit my family in Australia from the East coast. We always flew economy and were usually miserable for a few days in both directions. This year, I need to visit my Mom who is not well ( applying for visa exemption to. Australia). Been thinking about flying business but do not have the courage to pull the trigger yet. My friends always told me if you don’t fly first class, your kids will. I did break down once and bought a Tesla and gave away my 210k mileMDX!
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