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If people realized how profoundly choosing debt was likely to affect their lives, you'd think more people would choose to avoid it.

That is a very astute observation, SP, and it seems like it should be common sense but isn't.

Indeed, and I have always found the idea that if you want to maximize your lifetime spending the way to do it is to save and live well below your means for the first part(*) of your life. You accumulate a lot and then have the means to do a lot more spending than if you had been spending most/all of your income all along. As a saver, I found this very interesting in that I will very likely outspend my spender-siblings in the long run as I loosen up on spending in the later years. In fact, at 40 and with a significant net worth already, I have already loosened up a bit on spending (while still saving a lot and rocketing toward FIRE).

I very likely learned that concept on these boards, and quite possibly from SP, some few years ago.

(*) What "part" of your life must be devoted to saving in order to maximize spending? I suppose in the extreme case it would be your entire life until the moment of your death, when you suddenly spend your huge fortune all at once. Since that is far from ideal for most of us, a middle ground is much more attractive and I think even among savers there will be a lot of variation in when people choose to start spending more.

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