Author Topic: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?  (Read 4756 times)

Thomas54

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Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:25:36 PM »
I've been reading MMM for a few months now and I know that I risk taking a beating for this but here goes.

After 40 years of federal service, including some military, I retired at 57 years of age a little over 2 years ago.  I was pretty high up in the ranks and I maxed out my savings plan for the last few years.  My wife and I are pretty frugal, me more than her, and we live well within our means, putting a couple of thousand away each month.  Our house and cars are paid for and we have no debt.  We only use a Discover or Chase card because we get paid back a little bit for using them for things like gas or purchases at Home Depot.  We take one vacation a year, usually to Colorado.  Sometimes two if we feel like skiing.  We have 7 grandkids, the oldest is 8, and they are the joy of our lives.  We spend quite a bit of time with them.  Overall, life and retirement is good.

So, here's where I might not be a Mustachian:  We belong to a nice Country Club and we keep a large houseboat docked there on the lake.  Our grandkids enjoy fishing from the doc, kayaking, and jet skiing.  It's pretty reasonable to belong because it's only $500/month in dues plus any restaurant charges (there is no minimum which is rare).  Dock fees alone in some cities are more than $500/month, like in Austin, and that is without any club amenities.  It has a workout center with all kinds of machines and free classes and a nice outdoor pool which we use quite a bit with the grand kids.  I have a covered houseboat slip with dock power.  The boat has air conditioning, a kitchen, DishNetwork and it sleeps 8.  We are out there several times a week with the kids or friends during probably 8 months of the year.  It is like a condo on the water.
 
So, since the grandkids are getting older and I'm thinking of spending another $200/month to up my membership to get unlimited golf with cart and free range balls.  The grandkids can tag along for $20 and they can accompany me to the range for free. 

Even though the extra $200 is a pretty good deal for unlimited golf and cart, spending $700/month on a regular basis was more than my old house payment.  I'm leaning towards doing it and since we are not hurting financially, my wife says to go ahead.  But, she's not the one that handles the finances and looks at the economy.  As long as she can buy groceries, go to lunch with her friends, take a vacation now and then, spend a few bucks on clothes and treat the grandkids to stuff when she wants to, she is fine.  She always says that we can't take it with us and who knows how long we will be here, so lets enjoy the last years of our life.

So, can I rule out being a Mustachian?

surfhb

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 08:30:36 PM »
Since you are FI and you feel it will bring enjoyment to yourself and family, you are a MMM superstar!  In fact, I would say you are the perfect example of what a muschtacian embodies.   Now if you were to never use the houseboat and golf then you'd deserve a face punch :)

 Carry on....congrats!!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 08:34:56 PM by surfhb »

davisgang90

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 09:46:34 AM »
I agree.  We all embrace Mustachianism to varying degrees.  You've saved well, live well within your means and you are retired.  No one can tell you what to do (other than your wife). 

Enjoy and thanks for your service!

okashira

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 09:57:20 AM »
I've been reading MMM for a few months now and I know that I risk taking a beating for this but here goes.

After 40 years of federal service, including some military, I retired at 57 years of age a little over 2 years ago.  I was pretty high up in the ranks and I maxed out my savings plan for the last few years.  My wife and I are pretty frugal, me more than her, and we live well within our means, putting a couple of thousand away each month.  Our house and cars are paid for and we have no debt.  We only use a Discover or Chase card because we get paid back a little bit for using them for things like gas or purchases at Home Depot.  We take one vacation a year, usually to Colorado.  Sometimes two if we feel like skiing.  We have 7 grandkids, the oldest is 8, and they are the joy of our lives.  We spend quite a bit of time with them.  Overall, life and retirement is good.

So, here's where I might not be a Mustachian:  We belong to a nice Country Club and we keep a large houseboat docked there on the lake.  Our grandkids enjoy fishing from the doc, kayaking, and jet skiing.  It's pretty reasonable to belong because it's only $500/month in dues plus any restaurant charges (there is no minimum which is rare).  Dock fees alone in some cities are more than $500/month, like in Austin, and that is without any club amenities.  It has a workout center with all kinds of machines and free classes and a nice outdoor pool which we use quite a bit with the grand kids.  I have a covered houseboat slip with dock power.  The boat has air conditioning, a kitchen, DishNetwork and it sleeps 8.  We are out there several times a week with the kids or friends during probably 8 months of the year.  It is like a condo on the water.
 
So, since the grandkids are getting older and I'm thinking of spending another $200/month to up my membership to get unlimited golf with cart and free range balls.  The grandkids can tag along for $20 and they can accompany me to the range for free. 

Even though the extra $200 is a pretty good deal for unlimited golf and cart, spending $700/month on a regular basis was more than my old house payment.  I'm leaning towards doing it and since we are not hurting financially, my wife says to go ahead.  But, she's not the one that handles the finances and looks at the economy.  As long as she can buy groceries, go to lunch with her friends, take a vacation now and then, spend a few bucks on clothes and treat the grandkids to stuff when she wants to, she is fine.  She always says that we can't take it with us and who knows how long we will be here, so lets enjoy the last years of our life.

So, can I rule out being a Mustachian?

Don't forget the brand new 4x4 Suburban you purchased to drive 18,000 miles per year. ;-)

Seriously though, Mustachian is a self applied label. There are no clubs to join or membership fees here.
I don't consider you folks to be frugal, not in the least. But you have the money, and you're retired so you have no need to be and you can do whatever you want. More power to you.

yyc-phil

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 10:30:01 AM »
I've been reading MMM for a few months now and I know that I risk taking a beating for this but here goes.

After 40 years of federal service, including some military, I retired at 57 years of age a little over 2 years ago.  I was pretty high up in the ranks and I maxed out my savings plan for the last few years.  My wife and I are pretty frugal, me more than her, and we live well within our means, putting a couple of thousand away each month.  Our house and cars are paid for and we have no debt.  We only use a Discover or Chase card because we get paid back a little bit for using them for things like gas or purchases at Home Depot.  We take one vacation a year, usually to Colorado.  Sometimes two if we feel like skiing.  We have 7 grandkids, the oldest is 8, and they are the joy of our lives.  We spend quite a bit of time with them.  Overall, life and retirement is good.

So, here's where I might not be a Mustachian:  We belong to a nice Country Club and we keep a large houseboat docked there on the lake.  Our grandkids enjoy fishing from the doc, kayaking, and jet skiing.  It's pretty reasonable to belong because it's only $500/month in dues plus any restaurant charges (there is no minimum which is rare).  Dock fees alone in some cities are more than $500/month, like in Austin, and that is without any club amenities.  It has a workout center with all kinds of machines and free classes and a nice outdoor pool which we use quite a bit with the grand kids.  I have a covered houseboat slip with dock power.  The boat has air conditioning, a kitchen, DishNetwork and it sleeps 8.  We are out there several times a week with the kids or friends during probably 8 months of the year.  It is like a condo on the water.
 
So, since the grandkids are getting older and I'm thinking of spending another $200/month to up my membership to get unlimited golf with cart and free range balls.  The grandkids can tag along for $20 and they can accompany me to the range for free. 

Even though the extra $200 is a pretty good deal for unlimited golf and cart, spending $700/month on a regular basis was more than my old house payment.  I'm leaning towards doing it and since we are not hurting financially, my wife says to go ahead.  But, she's not the one that handles the finances and looks at the economy.  As long as she can buy groceries, go to lunch with her friends, take a vacation now and then, spend a few bucks on clothes and treat the grandkids to stuff when she wants to, she is fine.  She always says that we can't take it with us and who knows how long we will be here, so lets enjoy the last years of our life.

So, can I rule out being a Mustachian?

In mustachianism, there are no stripes or badges to earn in order to move to a higher rank, or certain financial level to be considered FI, but I think there is at least some fundamental principles, one of which is, I believe, to lead an environmentally responsible lifestyle. What constitute an environmentally-responsible lifestyle is also open to debate and there are no set dogma. This being said, my own personal mustachianism involves trying to have the smallest environmental footprint possible and using resources -not only my own financial resources but the earth's resources- as efficiently and sustainably as possible. It would exclude owning a whole bunch of vehicles or motorized toys, large houses, and purchases that I consider frivolous not because of their cost but because of their usefulness toward my overall happiness. On the other hand, it includes walking, biking, using transit, living in a small house, maximizing my food budget, frugal travel, camping, reusing, recycling, repurposing, buying consigned quality clothing, etc. One aspect I am struggling with personally is air travel and its environmental impacts, especially that I must travel by air monthly between home and my place of work, and that my wife and I enjoy international travel. Many people on this forum are much more mustachian than I am, and some are not, regardless of their financial position. According to my personal definition of mustachianism, you would not qualify. According to yours or other forum members, you would. In any case, I'd say that just the fact that you are on this forum makes you a mustachian in training.

CommonCents

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 12:45:18 PM »
but I think there is at least some fundamental principles, one of which is, I believe, to lead an environmentally responsible lifestyle.

Eh, I think that's a byproduct (of not spending gobs of money on useless crap), not a fundamental tenant of mustachian.  To me, fundamentals are saving for your future freedom, living within your means and spending money only after carefully calculating the overall happiness (learning to do things yourself rather than expensive outsourcing, learning to not want things).

OP, it looks like you are still saving thousand a month, even in retirement ("My wife and I are pretty frugal, me more than her, and we live well within our means, putting a couple of thousand away each month.")  Is that correct?  If so, while you aren't the most frugal on here (neither am I), you are FI, living well below your means, and if you've decided this expenditure will bring you maximum happiness for the money (rather than say, another trip or two each year), then go for it.

Bob W

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 01:39:42 PM »
My guess is that you have an enormous pension, SSI and free medical care.  So your income equates to having a nest egg of something like 1.6 million.   You probably have another million or so stashed away?    You would probably be better served by figuring out how to safely maximize your return on your investments than worrying about pissing away $700 a month.   

On the other hand if you don't have plenty of investments to provide lots of future money for your grandkids you may be more frugal. 

They will love you more when your dead if they receive a very nice monthly trust fund payment rather than having memories of that day you took them golfing, boating and to the arcade.

I do those things with my kids,  but I don't spend $700 a month.   The houseboat is probably another big chunk you didn't account for?    Most boaters around her in my lake community spend gobs and gobs of money on boats --- taxes,  gas,  depreciation,  loss of alternative use of funds etc..

Sure your mustaschian because you are becoming money conscious after year of being on auto pilot.   Now you get to make decisions based on your new awareness.   Sure your guaranteed income for life but what will you do with that great wealth?   Party till the sun comes up?  or Plant some oak seeds so that your grandchildren may have shade?

Eric

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 01:51:10 PM »
Your boat has air conditioning?!?  If you use that, then no, not mustachian.  Otherwise, you're probably fine. :)

hybrid

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 01:55:58 PM »
Hmmmmm, interesting question. I was in a Country Club until I found this site, and then I got out. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, or couldn't afford it, or was worried about the environmental impact, but because I wanted to buy the missus and myself the gift of time. We may get back in once we are FI.

Not your problem! You are comfortably in the black every month, so the money part isn't an issue for you. Personally speaking I think the Mustachian label does embrace a bit of environmentalism, and well, your lifestyle just isn't. If I had to give you a yes or no, I'd have to say no. And so freaking what. You are financially independent, I'd enjoy the time you have left, whether it be four years or forty. If golf and boating are what do it for you, more power to you.

I think the best thing you could do for your grandchildren is teach them how you got to be where you are, but show them how they can get there ten or twenty years earlier if you want to embrace Mustachianism.

hybrid

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 01:59:57 PM »
They will love you more when your dead if they receive a very nice monthly trust fund payment rather than having memories of that day you took them golfing, boating and to the arcade.

Yeah, I'm going to respectfully disagree here, unless Bob means your grandchildren love inheritance money more than family. Recall, MMM plans to leave nothing to his child, better for his child to make his own way in the world rather than live off of his deceased parents.

OP, since you are in the sharing mood, how do you plan on handling the estate (hopefully many long years from now)?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2014, 03:43:45 PM »
What Hybrid said...

furrychickens

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 05:44:01 PM »
The monthly fees and expensive floating toy seems silly to me, but you're FI, so what do you care what any of us say?

Enjoy the time with the grandkids.

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Re: Can I rule out being a Mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2014, 12:36:09 PM »
You don't "get" anything for being Mustachian.

It's a mostly meaningless label.

Asking whether you qualify or not for this label is missing the point of it, IMO.
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