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Is ignorance bliss?

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  • MPMD
    replied




    I don’t know. I’ve never been a spender, I have always hated debt and like saving for the future. I wasn’t ever saved by this website, just found a group of like minded people. I don’t even know what I would spend more money on, this year we are set to make twice as much as I ever imagined, so we are just throwing all the extra into a taxable account.
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    I'm a frustrated spender. Like I've said if you gave me $100k and told me I had to spend it on myself I could do it in a day with things I already know I really want.

    I just can't spend unless I know I can afford it. Like I honestly think if I drove off the lot in a brand new Audi on a loan I think I might have to pull over to vomit.

    I actually anticipate that at some point in my mid-late 40s I might seek some professional coaching about spending on myself. I am borderline pathological about it. I have to think for 2 days before I buy a new pair of pants. At my NW and income that is just silly but it's how my addled brain works. Maybe I should drink more.

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  • nephron
    replied
    The problem with planning in personal finance is that no one knows when they are going to die.   I once posted that you could end up dying with too much, and some people seemed to think that you could never have too much.   The problem is that unless you inherited a large sum or are mega-wealthy, the only way to build up wealth is to sacrifice some now/save some now so that you can have more later.   People die at all ages though, and I imagine that it must be frustrating to be saving up for an early retirement and not even make it there.  There are always things that you could have spent more money on if you knew that you actually weren't going to need it later, like a better cabin in a cruise, better hotel, first class airline ticket, etc.   Those things probably won't matter that much later on, but at the very least, you could have cut back on your hours and spent less time at work if you knew that you really didn't need that much money.  If I knew that I was going to die in the 60's, a retirement around my 50's would look more reasonable.  If I am going to live to 100, then I might as well keep working until my 70's to ensure that I do not run out of money and just to keep busy.   I would like my kids get get some money in inheritance after I die to ensure that they are financially alright, but I think that most of the times, money inherited is usually lost after 1-2 generations, and you really have to wonder if those that get large inheritances are better off then those who received very little to none.   Even if your kids aren't made worse for it, it's hard to predict what a large sum would mean for your grand kids or their kids.   It's like winning the lottery, a lot of times, people would have been better off without the winning ticket.

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  • Lordosis
    replied
    I am not much of a spender either but if I didn't know better I can see myself just building up a huge bank account of money with no purpose. Even a non spender can be tempted.
    Now that I max retirement accounts and 529s and the rest goes to taxable. My large purchases have to be planned and we'll thought out. I think not having so much ready cash makes me a more intentional spender.

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  • Infinity
    replied
    "Delay gratification" and "Compound interests" are the 2 most important financial concepts for me.

    As high income professionals, it should not take more than 15 yrs of self discipline to get financial problems out of our lives.

    After that, we will have 20+ yrs to live the way we want, sponsored by "Compound interests" with little taxes.

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  • wideopenspaces
    replied
    I don't know. I've never been a spender, I have always hated debt and like saving for the future. I wasn't ever saved by this website, just found a group of like minded people. I don't even know what I would spend more money on, this year we are set to make twice as much as I ever imagined, so we are just throwing all the extra into a taxable account.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied


    Would that have made me happier?
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    I had so much fun in my youth on nothing more than pocket change. I would have been significantly happier without call, but more spending wouldn't have made much difference.


    Does anyone else ponder these things?
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    The idea that we'd be happier if only we spent more money is a recurring topic on this forum. I just don't get it.

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  • G
    replied
    Ignorance is bliss until my partners realize that I am working 33% less than them (soon to be 50% less), take a month off every year, still seem to have nice toys/experiences, am pondering when to take a year off, and am further pondering whether to even plan on returning after that year off.

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  • legobikes
    replied
    Probably if I had not come across the concept of investment via index funds, I would not be investing at all. Any time I have to pick and choose it seems too much like gambling, but putting money in the market via index funds is a set-and-forget maneuver which I have no problem with.

    I would still be saving, and I do not think I would have a more expensive home or car, because I already had convictions about the necessity of moderation.

    I will never believe in deliverance via wealth and comfort, so aside from the logistics there is not much that changed.

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  • ajm184
    replied


    Does anyone else ponder these things?
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    Not for myself, but for a particular couple whom I analyzed a PFS (Personal Financial Statement) many moons ago.  The loan was basically a personal loan to individuals guaranteed by a business.  Anyway, the business was a well-known large local Chicago law firm with good CF, but the PFS.....  A couple, both partners in said law firm, collectively earning the equivalent of $1 million per annum.  They had a credit score of like 500, virtually no retirement savings, didn't own a home (rented a crazy nice place on Michigan Ave just north of Oak Street Beach), had a number of maxed out CC including store cards.  It was really sad, and this from the mid-20's me who was making $24K/year and happy to have $20 for a saturday night out with my friends.

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  • VagabondMD
    replied
    I caught the PF bug right out of training (but not before I purchased a European luxury car, on credit, before receiving my first attending paycheck ). Since then, my PF discipline has waxed and waned over time, but I nonetheless feel that, late in my career, my PF goals have been largely achieved.

    Once you have access to a certain body of knowledge, philosophy and experience, it is impossible to "unknow" it.

    Last week when I was out of town orienting for my new position, my old buddy (and now my boss) picked me up in a gorgeous, leased Audi convertible. I enjoyed the ride on a pleasant evening with the top down as he showed me around town, eventually taking me to his home in a very fashionable part of the HCOL city (where NFL players and titans of business and technology lived) and described his plans to demolish a multimillion dollar house and rebuild one on the same site.

    I have no idea how he intends to pay for it. Perhaps his family has been considerably more financially successful than mine. Maybe his wife inherited a lot of money. Maybe he won the lottery. Maybe he will write a check for the whole project and not think twice about it. I have no idea, and it is none of my business.

    What I do know is that for me "bliss" might be define by not having to deal with the planning and logistics of moving out, demolishing my primary home, and rebuilding on the same site. In fact, that scenario sounds to be the opposite of bliss, which might be dubbed "misery". Bliss, in this context as defined by me, is the ability for me to call my shots, and getting to that point was not made possible by ignorance.

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  • StateOfMyHead
    replied
    Unlike what I assume to be the average physician's upbringing I wasn't fortunate enough to have been born into an affluent family so being frugal was more a matter of survival than choice. It has always been my goal to work smarter, not harder and I am now what I consider to be financially comfortable. I can justify spending on things that bring me joy like nice restaurants and travel. While I envy the blissfully ignorant who make far less and have way better stuff than I do that wasn't ever an option for me based as much on my lot in life as on my temperament. I came to WCI with the blocks and I'm learning how to position them more strategically.

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  • Lordosis
    replied


    The grasshoppers tend to be happier than the ants (until winter comes).
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    This is basically why I think I am right for caring about this now and being prepared.


    The majority of people on this forum will die with a sizable amount left over.  That’s the (sad) reality.  Life is all about balance.  We try to spend lavishly on experiences and travel.  Those make us happy.  Material items much less so.
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    True.  If I work a full career and do not increase my spending I will have a ton extra.  Good problem to have.  Retiring early would be a solution but I do not see myself doing that.  Part time might be intriguing but not for another 15-20 years.


    I imagine many of the spendthrifts will be unhappy with their retirement lifestyle on $80k/year from $2M in savings.
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    True.  If I did not save so much and spent more then I would need more to maintain my elevated standard of living in retirement.  Which would force one to work longer then they may want.


    I think the WCI lesson that will echo over my life and that of my kids is 20% saving for retirement.
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    Very good point.  I am glad I was only a few years into my career when I found WCI but being able to get my kids on the right track early is a huge benefit.


    I do think ignorance is bliss though. I see people who make less than half what I do living very high on the hog, late model cars, beautifully appointed homes etc and if they are stressed I sure can’t tell.
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    Exactly.  I guess they will figure out their folly at some point but 30-40 years of living it up does sound nice.

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  • MPMD
    replied
    I think about this a ton.

    I wasn't profligate before learning about WCI but I also wasn't extremely frugal. I certainly picked one of the most expensive med schools in USA w/o much of a second thought.

    I think if I hadn't found WCI I would be doing ok but not great. Probably not worth nearly as much, probably in a bigger house, def driving a much nicer car on a payment. Honestly I think the WCI lesson that will echo over my life and that of my kids is 20% saving for retirement. I've been doing that for 7.5 years now and we added my wife to that as soon as she finished residency. I mean, that's some real cash at this point, like a point at which most people would say they had it made.

    I do think ignorance is bliss though. I see people who make less than half what I do living very high on the hog, late model cars, beautifully appointed homes etc and if they are stressed I sure can't tell.

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  • ScientistPhysician
    replied
    I imagine many of the spendthrifts will be unhappy with their retirement lifestyle on $80k/year from $2M in savings. It will be a step down for them, not even taking into account the devaluation of that money over time.

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  • DCdoc
    replied
    The majority of people on this forum will die with a sizable amount left over.  That's the (sad) reality.  Life is all about balance.  We try to spend lavishly on experiences and travel.  Those make us happy.  Material items much less so.

    Leave a comment:

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