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Old 01-31-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
Reputation: 16632

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We've all seen the "Free Tomorrow" signs on various businesses. Of course, "Tomorrow" never comes because it's always Today! The parallel to this in retirement savings is the notion: "If I live life for today .... Tomorrow take care of itself." The problem is that life passes quickly and retirement time often arrives unexpectedly or at least sooner than many imagined it would.

Like many things in life, 'saving for retirement' starts with one's attitude toward the relative importance of today versus a seemingly nebulous, far distant future. Many are so absorbed in every step they take today, they fail to look-up and see they are approaching a cliff. Yet, in contrast, most of us can look back on past decisions and events and think, "If I had only done that differently, I would be in a different situation now."

While one may never qualify for "Free crabs and beer tomorrow," aging and retirement are inevitable -- and future days will be just as important to you then, as today is now. Whatever amount you set-aside today, thinking "in order to do this means I must do without something today," will come back to you later as something you do not have to do without tomorrow.

People find reasons to refuse to save for the future, ... but most are based on a skewed attitude toward the value of today versus the value of future days? People who have less today, learn to live on less, therefore, the lament, "I can't afford to save for retirement" is a false dialog. Retirement planning and saving is a choice, not a "Free crabs and beer tomorrow" possibility.

Last edited by jghorton; 01-31-2017 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:02 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,129,272 times
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Even in this august forum I see threads along the lines of "travel now, don't wait until you are old" - in essence, live for today.

A few years ago, prior to the crash of '08, I saw a guy with a crew cab 6+L rig set up for towing with the vanity plate "LIV4NOW." My interpretation of the sentiment was, this was not a Buddhist monk preaching. Sure enough, I saw him a few other times. Once I saw him pull into his driveway and there was a very expensive boat there. He lived in a home that was substantially more expensive than most of the ones in our community. He was quite young. Now, it may be possible that his ingo was so much greater than his outgo, that he could live for now. But just a guess ... he was a complete debt addict.

Don't be a debt addict, suck it up, save ... and be "The Millionaire Next Door."

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Old 01-31-2017, 01:36 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post

People find reasons to refuse to save for the future, ... but most are based on a skewed attitude toward the value of today versus the value of future days?
And some have it all sussed out perfectly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fWUNpnfYvU
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: San Diego
156 posts, read 149,414 times
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Well, OP, I thought this post was going in a different direction. My wife and I are the types that did live below our means and now are comfortable enough in retirement. The twist, however, is that our lifetime habits of frugality makes it damn near impossible to loosen up and be gypsies or butterflies or spendthrifts. That's OK, I guess; we are who we are.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:53 PM
 
6,212 posts, read 4,718,283 times
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I think this is the wrong forum for this topic. For any of us retired or those about to retire, it is too late. Saving and foregoing unnecessary expenses is something that needs to be done over the years, over the decades, in order to prepare for retirement. Some of us have done so and can now live comfortable retirements with money available for travel and toys and hobbies. Others either had poor luck or poor planning and are looking to live cheap.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:00 PM
 
4,477 posts, read 4,738,767 times
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I guess this must be the monthly reminder.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Vespa View Post
Well, OP, I thought this post was going in a different direction. My wife and I are the types that did live below our means and now are comfortable enough in retirement. The twist, however, is that our lifetime habits of frugality makes it damn near impossible to loosen up and be gypsies or butterflies or spendthrifts. That's OK, I guess; we are who we are.
That's kind of the point. If one does something repetitively it becomes ingrained in their psyche and a part of who they are -- such as living within one's means and saving. Choosing instead to live like gypsies, butterflies and spendthrifts ... doesn't typically turn-out too well, in spite of the notion of some that they are immune from consequences.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I think this is the wrong forum for this topic. For any of us retired or those about to retire, it is too late. Saving and foregoing unnecessary expenses is something that needs to be done over the years, over the decades, in order to prepare for retirement. Some of us have done so and can now live comfortable retirements with money available for travel and toys and hobbies. Others either had poor luck or poor planning and are looking to live cheap.
Living within one's means and saving is the reason many of us retirees can now live comfortable retirements with money available for travel, toys and hobbies. For the others, it's never too late to start.

A large number of folks on this forum are not-yet-retirees attempting to look down the road and see what has worked for those who are successfully retired. It's not yet too late for them and where else would they look for that information,except on the retirement forum.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,535,380 times
Reputation: 27576
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
We've all seen the "Free Tomorrow" signs on various businesses. Of course, "Tomorrow" never comes because it's always Today! The parallel to this in retirement savings is the notion: "If I live life for today .... Tomorrow take care of itself." The problem is that life passes quickly and retirement time often arrives unexpectedly or at least sooner than many imagined it would.

Like many things in life, 'saving for retirement' starts with one's attitude toward the relative importance of today versus a seemingly nebulous, far distant future. Many are so absorbed in every step they take today, they fail to look-up and see they are approaching a cliff. Yet, in contrast, most of us can look back on past decisions and events and think, "If I had only done that differently, I would be in a different situation now."

While one may never qualify for "Free crabs and beer tomorrow," aging and retirement are inevitable -- and future days will be just as important to you then, as today is now. Whatever amount you set-aside today, thinking "in order to do this means I must do without something today," will come back to you later as something you do not have to do without tomorrow.

People find reasons to refuse to save for the future, ... but most are based on a skewed attitude toward the value of today versus the value of future days? People who have less today, learn to live on less, therefore, the lament, "I can't afford to save for retirement" is a false dialog. Retirement planning and saving is a choice, not a "Free crabs and beer tomorrow" possibility.
I don't agree with this philosophy.

There is a strong middle ground between going completely YOLO and deferring everything into old age/retirement. With that said, I've seen too many middle aged people defer this or that until an older age, only to either die or be severely medically or financially impacted to where they cannot do what they set out to do years earlier. These were often reasonable things a working person could accommodate.

I've also seen young people like me die for seemingly no reason. A friend of mine got ran off the road near our homes our first year after high school - he hit a building which basically cut the car off at the A pillars. He had to have been beheaded from the impact.

This kind of event could happen any of us, at any time. I believe in saving, but also striking a balance with living life in the here and now.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:35 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,223 posts, read 12,487,684 times
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I agree that this is the wrong forum, because there is more to it than saving for retirement. Many people never learn to manage their own finances. I know employed millennials who live paycheck to paycheck and don't even have a personal budget, but I see them squandering money every day while complaining about being broke. Their financial horizon is two weeks instead of twenty years. When I was their age retirement was not a priority, but I at least had an annual budget broken out to daily and monthly levels. When I went off budget, the whole thing got revised. Believe me, there were some monstrously huge revisions, like Christmas of 1972 when I spent 10 days in intensive care without medical insurance and was unable to return to work for two months, or 1980-1983 when the Reagan recession coupled with an acrimonious divorce put me thousands of dollars in unplanned debt. Still, I managed to build a solidly middle class life through budgeting and financial planning with a steadily increasing horizon.

Home ownership was a part of it, which dovetailed neatly with retirement. We bought smart and had it paid off by the time the Bush recession hit. By the time we bought our current home our financial horizon to retirement was 20 years, so a 15 year mortgage made sense. At that point we could look at our finances and make what adjustments we could for retirement. Being mortgage-free allowed me to sock another $20,000 a year into my retirement accounts.

Young people have no concept of the fact that they are facing a 50 year working life.

The thing is that I had plenty of crabs and beer on the way, I just caught the crabs myself, and a buddy who is an amateur craft brewer brought the beer. Having fun is not expensive at all, and will fit into just about any budget. I bought my fishing and crabbing boat second hand. It's not much, and you wouldn't want to take it out on the open ocean, but it's fine for bays and estuaries. Sometimes I don't even go to the ocean. Local crawdads are delicious fresh water lobsters, and you can catch 300 without even a fishing license. Combine that with a charcoal grill, a couple steaks and some corn on the cob that you can grow yourself, then give your buddy a call to bring the beer.

When I was in my 20s, I knew a lot of local musicians. I started holding a Sunday brunch at my house, that was nothing much, just hash browns, pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy or whatever I felt like, washed down with black coffee. The musicians would work until 2, stick around for a few after hours drinks, pack up their gear, and start arriving about 5 am. I would have the coffee on, and would cook while they played music, talked or just sprawled after work. Before long my house became one of the "in" spots in town for the art crowd, not just musicians, but artists, writers, and creative people of every description. By sunrise, after a gallon of coffee, everybody was sober and getting creative. Contrary to popular mythology, the really creative people were the first of the anti-drug crowd. Hangers-on were free to get stoned, but performers didn't get up in front of hundreds of people and make asses out of themselves because they were too drunk or stoned to cope. Caffeine was the drug of choice, and I was pushing fresh roasted, fresh ground Arabica in an era when Yuban was still considered a premium coffee.

It was cheap. The most money I spent was on coffee beans. Do you know how many people you can feed on $10 worth of pancakes and eggs? This was the early '70s when eggs were 25 cents a dozen, so multiply that number by 5. You don't have to bust your budget to have fun. Fresh crabs and beer are cheap once you have the fishing license a plastic garbage can and some clean bottles.. Buy a few gallons of gas for the outboard and you are good to go. Once you realize that squandering money is not the key to happiness, living the good life will have no effect at all on your retirement plans.
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