Author Topic: I feel like scrooge mcduck...  (Read 2203 times)

infromsea

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I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« on: December 27, 2017, 06:02:52 PM »
TLDR: I'm hoarding cash due to mental trauma of reduced income...

I'm retiring from the military and while I'll be receiving a pension, it's about 1/3 of what my active duty pay was.

Mathematically, this is not an issue. Spouse still works, expenses are low, only debt is the home, networth is positive six figures. We still earn about 3 times living expenses.

Mentally, the fact that income is "down-sizing" is taking some getting used to, the security blanket isn't as big as it used to be (for what it's worth, we lived on 48% or income and invested/saved the rest).

With all of that in mind, I've been grabbing cash from the ATM and putting it in an envelope at home and take great comfort in knowing that despite being in great financial health, that cash is still there if we need it. I always keep an emergency hundred in the wallet (folded up and out sight) and we've kept a couple of hundred in a the lockbox, I've far exceeded that and, take comfort in knowing I could pay for a major home repair, a minor health issue, or even buy a cheap used car with the cash on hand. I even feel compelled to continue to add to the stash and don't know where my upper limit is. I'm doing all of this fully aware of the fact that it's not the best place for this amount.

I know that eventually, I'll come to terms with the reduced income and comfortable with the situation to the point that I can go deposit the cash back into an account that will earn something, I do wonder how long that will take.

Anyone else have a similar "phase".

(for context, we grew up poor and often struggled financially, leaving this gravy train of a miserable job was mentally one of the toughest things I've ever done)

Imma

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 04:57:49 AM »
I think this is pretty normal given the circumstances you grew up in. If a relatively small amount of cash gives you peace of mind, I think that's worth it. You can always reduce the amount you have in cash in the future when you feel more secure. It does depend on the amount though. It's sensible to have $1000 in cash, $20.000, not so much. For safety reasons as well as the fact that that cash isn't earning any money for you.

For me, I don't really stash cash money, but I do have a well-filled pantry in case I run out of food and I know the market value of everything I own, just in case I have to sell it. I think it takes a long time before the fear of being poor again leaves your thought processes. But you've done really well, coming from those circumstances and now having a 6 figure net worth and being able to retire on a pension that's only 1/3 of your former income. You have every right to be proud of your achievement.

former player

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 05:23:49 AM »
What are your plans for spending your time in retirement?  It sounds to me as though you have the finances dialed down and that a few weeks or months into retirement the need to have cash in hand during a period of big change in your life will settle down.  Finding an occupation, whether paid or unpaid, in retirement will sort everything else.

Congratulations on your retirement.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

Blackeagle

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 11:50:38 AM »
You're not really Scrooge McDuck until you've got enough cash that you can swim in it.

GettingClose

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 02:24:30 PM »
I don't need to have a lot of cash on hand, but I do feel the need to have 3-5 extra for all things like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, etc.  Just looking at them lined up neatly makes me feel secure, somehow.  The same with jugs of emergency water. 

This really irks my husband.

Blackeagle

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 02:55:37 PM »
I don't need to have a lot of cash on hand, but I do feel the need to have 3-5 extra for all things like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, etc.  Just looking at them lined up neatly makes me feel secure, somehow.  The same with jugs of emergency water. 

For non-perishable consumables, I always want at least two: the one I'm using now and the next one (no matter how it will take to finish the one I'm using now).

infromsea

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 07:04:55 AM »
I think this is pretty normal given the circumstances you grew up in. If a relatively small amount of cash gives you peace of mind, I think that's worth it. You can always reduce the amount you have in cash in the future when you feel more secure. It does depend on the amount though. It's sensible to have $1000 in cash, $20.000, not so much. For safety reasons as well as the fact that that cash isn't earning any money for you.

For me, I don't really stash cash money, but I do have a well-filled pantry in case I run out of food and I know the market value of everything I own, just in case I have to sell it. I think it takes a long time before the fear of being poor again leaves your thought processes. But you've done really well, coming from those circumstances and now having a 6 figure net worth and being able to retire on a pension that's only 1/3 of your former income. You have every right to be proud of your achievement.

Thanks Imma. I'm not at the 20K in cash point but I'm well over the 1K. You make a good point about recognizing the security value of things other than cash on hand, I need to remind myself of that. It's funny, our financial picture could not get too much better, our day to day lives/spending/habits would not change a bit if you gave us 10 million bucks today, we are too simple/frugal/non-materialistic to do much with that money, but the cash in the drawer, it holds a strange power.... I'm sure it will wear off as we settle into the new income levels.

What are your plans for spending your time in retirement?  It sounds to me as though you have the finances dialed down and that a few weeks or months into retirement the need to have cash in hand during a period of big change in your life will settle down.  Finding an occupation, whether paid or unpaid, in retirement will sort everything else.

Congratulations on your retirement.

Thanks Player. I have two side hustles lined up as of now (teaching part time at the com college and installing kitchen appliances part time- working as much/little as I want) and I intend to stay in motion as long as I can make it through this winter.... I'm actually looking to "work" the winters to get out of the house, and take the summers off for working on the house etc.

I don't need to have a lot of cash on hand, but I do feel the need to have 3-5 extra for all things like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, floss, etc.  Just looking at them lined up neatly makes me feel secure, somehow.  The same with jugs of emergency water. 

This really irks my husband.
I can see the security that this offers, but when does it turn into hoarding? We are in a high population area with lots of retail so we don't stress having "extra" on hand when it comes to those things (except water, we have lots of storage containers we can fill and a few extra bottles about). We have taken to buying a few things in bulk (TP/paper towels) to keep from running out at the worst time and having to pay a premium to buy them from wal-greens etc.

Have you always wanted to keep "extra" consumables on hand? Does it vary by the amount that you use? For instance, I use cocoa butter lotion daily in the winter, so I keep an extra 1-2 on hand in case I run out but that's about it when it comes to things of that nature.

Sun Hat

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 09:10:09 AM »
 
Anyone else have a similar "phase".

infromsea,
Not only have I had a similar phase, but my situation is uncannily similar. I retired from the military last February to a pension about 1/3 of my salary. I retired because of PTSD, and one of the issues that people who are recovering from trauma struggle with is security. Struggling with feelings of security when you're retiring from a field where you're trained to obsess about security seems  pretty normal to me.

In the year between my diagnosis/the determination that I'd have to medically retire, and my release, I OBSESSED about my finances. I was certain that I'd be homeless - despite owning my house outright and having a healthy stash. I assuaged my feelings of insecurity around money like Imma did and stockpiled food.

But the good news is that slowly but surely, it passes. I used to have a 60% savings rate, so it didn't take much effort to adjust to live off of 32% rather than 40%. I've been tracking my spending since retirement and have realized that not only will I not become homeless, but that I can live quite well on my 32%. Seeing it in black and white helps a lot. Math doesn't lie. When you see your bills being paid and that you're staying in the black, I think that you'll slowly feel better too.

I'm not going to lie and say that it's become easy to spend money or that I envision myself ever being able to tap in to my stash without feeling sick, but the day to day stuff gets easier.  Don't give yourself a hard time about it - your quirk is that you have a lot of cash. Mine is that I have ~35 jars of pickled beets[Edited to add: I grow & can them myself. I didn't buy a pallet of beets]. We're crazy, but fine.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 01:38:10 PM by Sun Hat »
"You need a little bit of insanity to do great things." ~ Henry Rollins

GettingClose

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 10:32:22 AM »
Quote
I can see the security that this offers, but when does it turn into hoarding? We are in a high population area with lots of retail so we don't stress having "extra" on hand when it comes to those things (except water, we have lots of storage containers we can fill and a few extra bottles about). We have taken to buying a few things in bulk (TP/paper towels) to keep from running out at the worst time and having to pay a premium to buy them from wal-greens etc.

Have you always wanted to keep "extra" consumables on hand? Does it vary by the amount that you use? For instance, I use cocoa butter lotion daily in the winter, so I keep an extra 1-2 on hand in case I run out but that's about it when it comes to things of that nature.

I think it turns into hoarding when it requires more than one small bathroom cupboard :-)  I've had to be frugal a good deal of my adult life in order to max out my 401(k), etc., and that's meant using cheap shampoo, scraps of bar soap instead of body wash, etc.  So it feels like security that I won't have to deprive myself of minor personal luxuries if our financial circumstances change, although there's no reasonable chance of that.   

Also, my parents grew up during the Depression (father, in the US) and WWII (mother, in Europe) and after growing up hearing their stories there is the underlying feeling that one can't count on the stores always having whatever you want available.

infromsea

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Re: I feel like scrooge mcduck...
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 07:36:32 AM »
Anyone else have a similar "phase".
We're crazy, but fine.

:)     Yes we are! AND, Yes we are!

Thanks for the response, loved reading your story/experience.  My wife will be happier when I reach the "chill out stage"!

Thanks again for sharing.

Also, my parents grew up during the Depression (father, in the US) and WWII (mother, in Europe) and after growing up hearing their stories there is the underlying feeling that one can't count on the stores always having whatever you want available.
My grandfather taught me the same lesson, if you pull a nail and you can straighten and re-use it, do so!

Thanks for sharing!