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Old 02-18-2010, 09:59 AM
 
454 posts, read 1,243,330 times
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My friend and i were talking about this the other day......we're saving up the wazoo for "retirement"........we're in our 20's and the way we're saving, we should have 3-4 million in retirement (age 64).
But, we live frugally now, we don't drive fancy cars, etc.

you see people reaching the retirement age and either drop dead or simply too tired/sick/old to 'do anything' exciting. we don't want to be them! what's the point of having 4 millions and not having the energy or the desire to have FUN! why shouldn't we drive that sports car that we've DREAMED about for as long as we can remember? while we're young and full of excitement for life!?!

i pose this question: IF you're at the age of retirement, please share your wisdom. would you have done anything differently? Do you wish you had bought that 100k car when you were 30 and maybe not have had as much as you do now?

cheers.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:12 AM
 
2,377 posts, read 4,853,167 times
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I don't think you should be so frugal that you don't enjoy things while you are young. Some of the things that are new, exciting and fun at 20 are not the same when you get older.. and wiser
As I think back, I should have saved more...that is probably true for most of us.. but I would not have given up many of the things I bought and had fun with. I wish I had put "some" money away, a little at at time and had the will power to leave it in the bank
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,606,705 times
Reputation: 1230
Default I still watch TV on a 19-inch screen !

We all know what this current economy is like but very few could have predicted it, certainly not me.

HAD I NOT lived a frugal life during my working years, living BELOW my means and saving substantially ~ I would not be enjoying my retirement years now !!
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:59 AM
 
71,461 posts, read 71,629,249 times
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the thought that one day i would actually live long enough to retire was so far fetched.... well here i am, pulling the plug next year, and glad i saved all i could instead of following my gut which said forget about saving you will never see the day.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,648,620 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleenex View Post
My friend and i were talking about this the other day......we're saving up the wazoo for "retirement"........we're in our 20's and the way we're saving, we should have 3-4 million in retirement (age 64).
But, we live frugally now, we don't drive fancy cars, etc.

you see people reaching the retirement age and either drop dead or simply too tired/sick/old to 'do anything' exciting. we don't want to be them! what's the point of having 4 millions and not having the energy or the desire to have FUN! why shouldn't we drive that sports car that we've DREAMED about for as long as we can remember? while we're young and full of excitement for life!?!

i pose this question: IF you're at the age of retirement, please share your wisdom. would you have done anything differently? Do you wish you had bought that 100k car when you were 30 and maybe not have had as much as you do now?

cheers.
I lived a frugal life and then illness, losing my part of my 401k to a crooked union and job loss happened. It all went away and I had to start over again at age 55. I don't have the time to save as I did when I was younger but I will work longer and do the best I can.

With all of this, I do consider myself lucky because all my hard-earned savings that would have gone for retirment went to keep me alive during those times. I lost the 401k but I didn't have my eggs in just one basket. I had other resources to rely on. I just had to use it all sooner than I had expected to but when I needed it, it was there.

I am telling you this because you should be aware that anything can happen. Put something aside for later but enjoy your life now (within reason). If you can buy that sports car now and still be able to save for later, I say go for it. Of course it depends upon how much you can afford.

The best advice I can give is don't live beyond your means. Don't become a credit card junkie or go into major debt. But do enjoy what you have.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:06 PM
 
28,231 posts, read 39,866,600 times
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Now may (or not) be a poor time to consider it, but buy gold and other precious metals in addition to using the "usual" investments.

When I was looking at gold as an investment (decided against it ) I was going to invest $10k and it was at $270 an ounce. If I had cashed out recently I would have just about quadrupled my investment.

Take a middle of the road stance. Afford and enjoy some of those things you want, but also keep putting money away for your future. That is pretty much the way we have lived our lives and we will enter retirement (this year! ) with enough to survive comfortably for our remaining years, even if we live to 100. Look into an LTC policy when you reach your early to mid fifties.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:08 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,526 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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Save reasonably, but have 'quality' fun (I saved ~ 20% / yr of GROSS and still lived very well). Fully fund future TAX FREE accts (i.e. ROTH, lots of potential future benefit there)

Do;
  • Eat wise, keep healthy, walk a lot. (smell the roses)
  • Plan strategically, but not to a fault (be flexible for fun / crisis')
  • Determine your passions and enrich them (mine is travel, learning, and teaching. I still do all, as I did in my 20's. Living abroad was a very valuable and enriching experience)
  • Leverage your strengths and opportunities. (my employer PAID for 3 EDU degrees and 2 international assignments, tons of hotel and airline perks which I enjoy today).
  • Be diversified in investments (ex. buy commercial income properties that will REPLACE your job income in 20 yrs, when they are paid off)
  • Help others and avoid any 'me' focus (helps curtail haunting memories on your death bed). Your achievements focused on YOU will have little lasting value.
  • Keep your friends close, make it a purpose to renew and sustain friendships. (spend a little money here if necessary, but certainly allocate time to this)

Don't;
  • Don't borrow on depreciable items (cars, electronics, furniture ...) UNLESS they are legitimate business expenses
  • Don't live beyond your means. (have a decent place to live, but don't let it become a burden)
  • Don't get married if there is ANY chance of getting divorced.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:22 PM
 
28,231 posts, read 39,866,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Don't;
  • Don't borrow on depreciable items (cars, electronics, furniture ...) UNLESS they are legitimate business expenses
  • Don't get married if there is ANY chance of getting divorced.
An exception to borrowing: If you are making more interest from an account than the interest paid go for it. The depreciation doesn't change depending on how you pay for a vehicle, but making more money on interest than you are paying out is a plus. We did this for one of our cars and ended up money ahead.

If the criteria for marriage was ANY chance of divorce no one would get married.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:29 PM
 
4,571 posts, read 7,053,444 times
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well, these are different times than when I grew up, but I would say:

Find a place you really want to live, and save/buy a home there - #1st priority would be a house way over a car or any depreciating item. Live in the smallest, cheapest place you can find until you save enough for a down payment. A paid off house is the best hedge against retirement problems.

Don't wait too long to get married and have children.

Save some money every pay check. For example, take the money you spend at Starbucks and put it in your 401K or whatever form of savings you want. Have it taken right out of your paycheck and you will never miss it.

Don't get into credit card debt. This is obvious by now.

See, when you are older you WILL still want to have fun and travel and all that...and if you don't have any money, it will feel way worse than when you were young with no money.

Just my two cents...
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:31 PM
 
13,313 posts, read 25,542,533 times
Reputation: 20477
Good question.
I do not advocate living in a cardboard box eating noodles "for retirement savings." I do wish I'd had some sense of being financially attentive at all, that is, saving in general. Had I done some fairly minor things at your age, I'd be in much better shape than I am, which is playing catch-up.
I certainly think that, if you can afford it, don't blow off opportunities/adventures that cost money or might cost opportunity I'd consider these such as travel if so desired, expensive hobby if a passion.
People can drop dead whether they've saved money or not. They can also live a long time whether they've saved money or not. I personally have no interest in "stuff," like cars or clothes or buying things. I've changed jobs/states/schooling and once, countries. All cost me, all I'm glad I did. I do wish I'd had a saving ethic along with those choices. If I'd saved ten bucks a week since my first job at age 16...
I think being broke at any age feels bad and can cause bad living (crummy housing, bad teeth, no new glasses, unsafe old car, etc.). I do think a regular account of savings (some in retirement account, some in account to be accessed if need be) is very smart, easy to do if starting so young, and can really protect you from some of life's downsides at any stage in life.
I have certainly continued to spend money (which I can) on things that I likely will find difficult or impossible when older. I went trekking in Nepal on credit when I was 39 because my sister got cancer and I'm at risk. As it turned out, I injured my back a year later and would never take a trek trip now (and didn't like it enough to want to do it again).
I take pricey vacations of horseback riding in the Mountain West for a week. I savor the feeling, knowing that there might come a time when this won't work physically. I adopt multiple dogs and support charitable things that I care about, with money that could be saved.
A balance. Once you understand that, financially, you can't get a long time frame back when it's shorter, is a real eye-opener.
Balance. And/or a job/career with a real pension (something I finally admitted to wanting at age 47).
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