In our case, it's letting the Jones' stay ahead. Different approach, same end (hopefully). Last year we decided to ditch our perfectly ok 3-br, 2 bth 1800 sf house for what will serve for the next 15 years as our dream house. Because of my increased income and an incredible 1999 in the stock market, we decided to convert some of that asset to real estate. We built a 3100 sf, 4 br, house in 2 acres of woods with everything we wanted. But the houses going up around us make ours look modest.Is this LBYM? Not exactly. But by converting asset money, we avoided an insane mortgage payment that would have required me to sustain the insane rat-race job I'm in now. We got our child off a busy road into a beautiful wooded subdivision. And in 15 years, the house will probably be worth enough to sell and retire off of by itself, not counting the stock market assets we still have. I have exactly the same end goal - retire to a relatively cheap, warm place and keep working part time at whatever I feel like doing. I'll be 52 (54 when my daughter graduates college). And the houses around us will help out (45 ft long master bedrooms!?!?), but they'll be being paid for by people who have absolutely maxed themselves out.(That said, I could have paid off that mortgage and gone independent this year. But we didn't want to live there.)
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