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Author: TMFBigFrog Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 46825  
Subject: Re: What to do AFTER the house? Date: 5/5/2005 11:16 PM
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Paul,

My wife has family that now finds themselves in a very similar situation to what you describe. In their case, though, it's a matter of the fact that the husband has just retired from a job where he worked for thirty-some-odd years. His retirement plan had accumulated a large balance, courtesy of an extremely generous employer contribution policy.

The upshot of this wealth is that their take-home now, after taxes, is larger than their gross income was when he worked, and the conservative projections from their financial planner indicate that they should be able to keep up that size draw-down for at least sixty years, even adjusting for inflation. (The aggressive projections say the money would last forever.)

With more money than they need and a straightforward lifestyle that they thoroughly enjoy, they've taken to traveling more. They've been to Italy, Ireland, Alaska, and all sorts of other places that they'd always wanted to go, but could never afford while they were working. They're enjoying themselves immensely. (Best of all - there's no "junk" to clutter up the house or other flashy displays of wealth.)

They've also talked about starting a gifting program to their adult children, in their words "so that the kids can have the money while we're still around to see them enjoy it."

They seem to have a decent attitude about their money; the basics are taken care of, and the cash flow will likely outlast them. Anything above and beyond? Spent on enjoying themselves and their family while they're still young enough to do so...

suffice to say that I find it is actually difficult to spend money instead of saving every penny.

While I'm not in your shoes, I understand your predicament completely. With means that outstrip your goals and a deeply ingrained scarcity mentality, it can be quite a foreign concept to learn that "hey, it's okay to spend." What might help a bit is actually putting together a budget item that says "entertainment." It can even start small - say $50 a month.

Many folks on the Credit Card board often say that having some money set aside for entertainment helps them better keep to their debt paydown snowballs, as there's less chance that they'll deprive themselves so much that they'll binge spend and ruin their progress.

In your case, putting an "entertainment" line item in the budget may help you in a similar way for your opposite problem. In your case, it'd be a way to convince yourselves that "no, it's really okay, we can spend the money - it's in the budget."

--

I will tell you though - be careful. Even multimillionares can outspend their wealth. Bad investments, outlandish toys, crooked advisors, poor planning, or a just plain "devil may care" attitude has ruined many lives of the formerly rich and possibly famous.

Reading your post, I get the impression that you've got a great salary and strong foundation for your future, but that you've still got to work in some capacity today. Make sure that you keep your head about you and be sure that you're prepared for the eventualities of disability, disease, or premature death, because any of those can ruin the best laid plans.

Best of luck to you and yours,
-Chuck
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