FWIW there are a lot of studies out there about Hedonistic adaptation\treadmill in terms of valuing experiences over items. Over time you tend to revert to a baseline level of happiness despite new 'things' while the transient nature of experiences prevents adaptation which, frequently, makes their impact more substantial. This may seem counter intuitive (which I thought when I first started reading about it) because the experience is temporary while the thing has more permanence. However its the fact that the experience is temporary that lends itself to the greater impact. There are, obviously, gray areas. For example, frequent repetition of an experience* can easily result in adaptation if its frequent enough while things can enable more experiences (like camera equipment to capture those fleeting experiences) preventing or slowing adaptation. There are also points of diminishing returns in both areas.
While responses will vary by individual and thing I would caution people out there who are saying that things give them greater pleasure than experiences** because our ability to adapt to circumstances and things is a very strong behavioral pattern with roots in our survival instinct. If people are consistently able to revert to their baseline after significant events like the death of a spouse, birth of a child, job loss etc ("Reexamining adaptation and the set point model of happiness: Reactions to changes in marital status." 2003) its unlikely material things beyond meeting basic\traditional needs can make substantial impact on your baseline over a meaningful duration. Even if you say a car lends itself to the 'experience of driving' its likely that your driving experiences are not sufficiently varied to prevent the adaptation.
Please keep in mind that there were a lot of qualifiers in this post
*on some papers there is a distinction drawn between an 'experience' and a 'frequent event' where an experience is defined as having a limited number of occurrences. Thus constantly utilizing an item does not count as an 'experience' unless it is used in new\novel to you ways
**this is not an endorsement for a specific experience
leonard wrote:Unless folks are independently wealthy and have already won the game and retired - for the most part - these are ridiculous numbers to spend on vacations.
I don't think you need to have won the game already to spend a significant amount money on it. I think 'On the way to winning' is more than sufficient. If you're on track with your desired plan and desired retirement age why not spend the money on something you like? Lots of stories out there about people putting those things off until retirement only to die before or shortly after retiring.