Author Topic: The frustration of waiting ...  (Read 3700 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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The frustration of waiting ...
« on: September 21, 2013, 04:55:48 PM »
Hi, this is my first post here but I have been reading MMMís blog and these forums for the past few months.

I guess I would describe myself as slightly Mustachian Ė I have a fairly high savings rate, and while I am not outrageously extravagant I donít want for anything and my savings rate is definitely driven by the fact I have a good income (which I know I am lucky to have).

Age: Almost 35
Nationality: Australian
Income: AUD$180k pa plus $25k pa superannuation. I also usually get a small bonus each year (approx. $8-$9k pa after tax).
After tax fortnightly income: $4730
Apartment (1 bedroom circa 770 square feet): $510,000
Superannuation - $230,000
Mortgage - $77,000 at 5.3%

My first focus has been paying off my mortgage - I put 60% of my after tax income into it (and usually my annual bonus also) and will have it paid within a year.  These savings will then go into investments (I havenít decided what exactly yet Ė most likely some combination of direct equities and index funds).  My superannuation is paid direct to my super fund.  I am at a point where I donít really need or want to spend any more money (and I know that on this forum my current spending of $50k pa would be considered very high), so increases in salary tend to go straight into savings.  The one thing I would probably like to increase is how much travel I do each year, but with my current budget I am still able to include a reasonable amount of travel (usually one overseas trip per year).

I am targeting financial independence in my mid-40s (on the conservative side I would say within 12 years, but am hopeful that with reasonable investment and salary growth this will be a bit sooner).  My target is to have my mortgage paid off and have a portfolio of approximately $1.7 million (in todayís dollars) which could support my current spending at a 3% withdrawal rate.  I donít know if I would actually stop work at that point (because most days I quite like my job and the people I work with), but it would be nice to at least know I have the choice.

So, with all of that, I am relatively confident that I will become financially independent within a reasonable timeframe, and that my version of financial independence will support a level of spending where I know I feel relatively unconstrained and donít feel like I really go without anything.  When I think about my overall circumstances I am very happy and optimistic about the future, and I know that I am very fortunate to be in this position. 

However, I find myself getting increasingly frustrated waiting for time to pass so I can get to financial independence.  I get paid, I pay my bills, I pay off my mortgage.  Once a month I update a spreadsheet that sets out my assets/liabilities and networth.  But I am also checking the balance of my accounts far more often than is necessary (more than daily in most cases), and feel frustrated that things arenít moving more quickly/that it isn't already a decade in the future (even though my networth is steadily climbing at more than $100k per year, even without investment returns).

I am otherwise very happy with my life Ė my girlfriend, friends, family, work etc etc are all good.  I also rationally know that I am doing fine financially (and that if I wanted to, I could cut back my spending to get to financial independence a bit sooner).  I just wanted to know if anyone else feels this sort of frustration (or would it be more appropriate to say, slight obsession) when it comes to waiting for financial independence, and how they deal with it?

Thanks for your help and all suggestions appreciated!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: The frustration of waiting ...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 09:39:18 PM »
I have certain mental rules about when I can check my accounts.  I check my checking, savings, and credit card accounts once a month on the first of the month (and also get weekly e-mails on the checking account balance so I don't bounce a check).  I check retirement and investment accounts only once every three months, however, and update a net worth spreadsheet at that three month check-in.  I don't let myself look at the retirement and investment accounts other than that.  Retirement accounts get automatic monthly contributions, and occasionally I just transfer extra money into the investment account if I have it left over, but I just log in to start the transfer and choose the fund but try not to pay attention to the overall balance.  I use (Vanguard, admiral share) mutual funds rather than ETFs or individual stocks in part because of how simple the process is with them -- no need to log in during market hours and mess with limit orders, you can just add funds with one click in your pajamas on a Sunday morning.  Once a year I do an analysis of my asset allocation and move things around if they are out of whack. 

I set up this system on purpose.  I really try to ignore the swings of the market and instead focus on the day to day battles of doing a good job at work and finding ways to consume less.  It's also exciting to do the check in and really see the big boost in progress that is usually made.  Maybe creating some sort of similar system for yourself would help? 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 09:43:41 PM by blinx7 »


  • Guest
Re: The frustration of waiting ...
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 04:57:38 AM »
I used to do something similar -- I would update our balance sheet daily. On a good day, and I didn't want to spend money because look what we have! On a bad day I didn't want to spend money because look what we lost!

As a "reformed" spender (and an obsessive personality), this worked for me. Now I do it monthly. I'm still in our bank accounts a couple of times a week, but we both get paid weekly and I like to keep Quicken up to date. And my DH's employer is weird, so I like to make sure his paycheck actually hits....

Maybe find other projects to occupy your time? Waiting is frustrating. We are waiting another 15 months or so to finish paying for the kid's college and then work on paying off our last vehicle. And I just want it all now!

[Sigh] They say patience is a virtue. Good luck to you!!


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: The frustration of waiting ...
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 07:24:38 AM »
I'm a bit confused since  you seem to be saying you can't wait for FI and therefore are impatient...but then you say you are not sure you will stop work when you get there because you like it. This seems a bit contradictory to me. How is arriving at FI going to change your life?

Once you get your spending saving stabilised, it does seem like wash, rinse ,repeat,....but don't forget to enjoy life in the meantime. When you are on the Nullabor plain you need to put some twists and turns into the journey to break the monotony.

I check my balances frequently also...but I usually try to feel good about how far I've come, or positive about the gains etc, or just plain admiring my stash. I try not to be impatient, always wanting more, but check the balance expecting nothing fabulous and feel happy whenever there is some progress.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: The frustration of waiting ...
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 04:25:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies - all very sensible advice.

Happy: In terms of what FI would change in my life, I would say that it will give me freedom to choose what I want to do. I'm fortunate that at the moment I would choose my life to be pretty much how it is now. If I am still in the place when I reach FI I think that would be a great outcome. If I want to do something different at that point (stop work, change careers, work part-time, travel etc) then I could choose to do that instead.

I also think achieving FI is important in relation to my long term feeling of security. I don't know whether I will still be employable in 10, 20 or 30 years (particularly at my current income). Achieving FI is a form of insurance against the uncertainties of life!


  • Stubble
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Re: The frustration of waiting ...
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 11:42:37 PM »
Sounds like your financial life is humming along rather well.
Perhaps you might need to use your energy to start planning how you will fill your days once you 'retire'. Investigate and develop hobbies and friendships that will tick along quietly until you stop work but will really flourish when you have time. Eg. If you want to get into gardening post retirement then start dabbling now.