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>> I've raised my savings to 11% this year. As someone has already pointed out I could start doing different vacations or travel cheaper and invest the difference. That's not something I'm willing to do just yet. I have a stressful job and I like nice vacations to relax. <<

I certainly understand the need to relax from a stressful job. I don't necessarily *think* it needs $5,000 each year. Occasionally for a special trip maybe, but year after year, it sounds like a lot.

Have you ever ran the numbers to see how many more years that amount of money, each year, is keeping you locked into the stressful job?

You're in pretty good shape overall, much better than most -- fully funded emergency fund, no debt, more than 10% being saved for retirement. Ultimately there's a tradeoff between how much you spend on recreation and other indulgences (to help cope with the stressful job) and how soon you can get away from that stressful job for good. For example, consider these three scenarios:

* Continuing to spend this much on your vacations and being able to retire at 55
* Cutting out the vacation/travel budget completely and being able to retire at 50
* Cutting the vacation/travel budget by 2/3 and being able to retire at 52

And obviously, there would be other points in the graph this would plot. You have to contrast your own need to "get away" at your current level with your desire to get out of the rat race and set your finances accordingly. For example, you may find that you can't cope with cutting out completely but that by scaling back how much you spend (not necessarily how LONG you spend) on your vacations you can knock 2-3 years off your working life...and that could be worth it. (The trick is to develop in an interest in "budget travel" or some such.)

One of my biggest concerns here is that NOW may be the best time to put a LOT of money away for retirement -- for two reasons. First, compound interest is your best friend when you are young; a dollar set aside at 25 is likely to grow a LOT more with a market rate of return than one set aside at 35 or 40. Secondly, if there may be marriage, children and a mortgage in your future, your ability to fund retirement may be seriously dented for a few years -- making it even more important to aggressively fund it *now*, while you don't have those other financial obligations that must be met before you can set money aside for retirement.

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