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Retirement Discussions / Retire Early Liberal Edition

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/at-the-end-of-january-i-think-we-were-both-a-25191177.aspx

Subject:  Re: Are Americans saving too much for retirement Date:  2/19/2007  11:09 AM
Author:  ResNullius Number:  2384 of 60037

At the end of January I think we were both a little shocked at the excessive amount of money we spent. But we added up all the restaurant meals and then added up all the grocery bills and compared the two. And she understood then that eating out was a "want"; groceries were a "need".

DW and I eat out a lot. We can walk to many nice bars and restaurants, and we do so often. It's part of our social life, when you get right down to it. We run into folks we know all the time. We live in a resort area, so there are lots of folks in the village during weekends, holidays, and summers, plus whenever the snow is good for skiing. During the week, the village is mostly occupied by the permanent residents, and most of us know each other. Anyway, eating out is a want, not a need, but it's a want that we really like to enjoy. If money ever gets short, then eating out is the place to cut. Of course, drinking wine when we eat out makes up almost half the bill, so reducing wine consumption also would help. Anyway, I liked the concept of wants and needs, because making choices is what life is all about. I made a choice to save and invest throughout my years in the rat race. We lived well, but I focused on achieving a life-long goal of retiring before I died at my desk. I always wanted to retire before 55, but I made it (except for some part-time consulting) at 49. This was a want, not a need, but it was a want that we needed. DW and I are (were) both professionals, and we worked all the time, as in all the time. We now work very little, and we don't actually need to, but I guess we still need the "fix" for a few more years. I don't think that's a need or a want, but we do it anyway.
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