Author Topic: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated  (Read 129148 times)

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #350 on: July 14, 2023, 07:45:56 AM »
I had an epiphany this weekend when a forum member posted this little nugget:

https://www.madfientist.com/i-will-teach-you-to-be-rich-interview/

I also plan to read Die with Zero by Bill Perkins and am posting here to keep myself accountable.

We were quite good at accumulation, and have spent 3.5 years post FIRE keeping our expenses at an infinitely sustainable 0-1% SWR.
We have basically lived off our rental income and not spent a lot more than that due to covid slowing down our travel plans.

Two of the practices I am putting in place:

1) Spend A LOT more money on travel, hobbies, exploring interests, and having meaningful experiences.
2) Stop looking for the best deal and be more concerned with getting great quality. I do this subconsciously and need to break this habit.

Quoting myself is weird, but I decided to go back a page or two to remind myself of what was going on before the whirlwind of stuff in the past couple of months.

I have made zero progress on this goal. I need to work harder at enjoying our retirement and spending more $$.

I have been thinking about it a lot, though. Last night I realized that even though I still like my 14 year old car, we could replace both cars NOW and it wouldn't even make a dent. Then I started looking for a new EV to go with our future new hybrid, and started by googling "best value EV". I can't be like a normal person and just pick a cute car - I have to analyze, find a good deal, make sure the car qualifies for the tax credit, negotiate, etc.

I seriously need to fix this compulsive need to optimize every decision. I've improved, but it seems that I keep reverting back to this behavior. I also realized that with few exceptions our annual spend has been $40-$50k for the past 20 years. We can afford to splurge a lot more, but we just don't. So I'm re-highlighting my older post for accountability and reflection.

Edited to add:

I reread all of the great advice after that earlier post of mine and am re-inspired to make progress on my goal of living optimally instead of focusing on optimizing every financial decision.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2023, 08:08:19 AM by Omy »

FireLane

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #351 on: July 14, 2023, 09:15:13 AM »
It seems as if a lot of long-term FIREd people have this problem. MMM's newest post about buying a Tesla was about this same issue:

https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2023/04/27/why-buy-model-y/

He took a lot of heat for that one, but I think it's a real dilemma. The habit of optimizing every financial decision is tough to shake, even after you have so much money that it no longer makes sense. The idea of setting up a dedicated "splurge" account sounds like it could be a good antidote to excessively frugal habits.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #352 on: July 14, 2023, 01:21:54 PM »
Thanks for the link. I had browsed the article quickly when it first posted, but upon rereading it was as if he was speaking directly to me!

Exflyboy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #353 on: July 14, 2023, 01:22:35 PM »
@FireLane OK that article was giving me the "heebiejeebies"!

I too have been trying my best to splurge a little (New SUV in 2021, High precision lathe and milling machine at the end of last year that cost more than my first house!)

But large one time purchases has still not caused to me to not look at the menu prices, shop for the best deals on medications by shipping from overseas.. One of DW's inhalers costs $300 for a months supply in the US.. I don't freaking think so pal!.. Oh $90 for three of the same thing.. Thankyou!

Besides if our "income" rises above $32,000/year we will start to lose the $1600/month Healthcare subsidy courtesy of the US taxpayer!.. Just sub-optimal!

I am now forced to shell out over $1000 for my MIL's septic tank location and pump.. This annoys me no end partly because she is the worst narcissist on Planet Earth.. But the shitshow (hah) that will happen if we don't get the horrendously overdue tank pumped will make this expenditure pale in comparison.

And what if we BOTH need long term care?.. That will $1M+ easily... So clearly our $4M NW is nowhere near enough to start splurging..;)

Update:.. I just turned on the AC though, cus I can afford it..:)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2023, 01:25:32 PM by Exflyboy »

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #354 on: August 27, 2023, 12:35:16 PM »
Sadly, we lost our declining parent a little over a week ago. It was an amazingly peaceful passing at their home. We had the viewing and service 3 days later. I'm very happy to say I won't be posting in the "Inheritance Drama" thread. All went pretty well and while it's sad, there's also a sense of relief. We've had months to prepare emotionally for this, so I think a lot of the grief has already been processed.

Getting the rental sold and caregiving has occupied much of the last 4 months, so we made a list of all the things we've put off and are starting to check stuff off. I'm super excited about renewing our passports which expired during covid. 10-13 weeks from now (does it seriously take that long?), we'll be able to leave the country again. In the meantime, we plan to continue the car search and do some US travel.

I almost forgot to mention why I posted today:

We just passed our 4 year FIRE-versary.  It's amazing how the time has flown and the stash has grown...and how it also feels like we retired ages ago. Looking forward to year 5!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2023, 04:58:49 PM by Omy »

BicycleB

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #355 on: September 19, 2023, 04:17:41 PM »
Congratulations, @Omy! Youíre adding new meaning to the phrase ďOne More Year.Ē

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #356 on: September 19, 2023, 05:20:12 PM »
Thanks!

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #357 on: October 10, 2023, 06:30:45 AM »
Just updating to add that a new car became available 3 weeks ago and we jumped. We've already sold the car it replaced at carmax, and we just need to turn in the old tags this week.

The new car is going to work really well for us, and I came to the conclusion that I don't really want to replace the other 14 year old car yet. It's still reliable and is perfect for the times we need two cars.

I've actually wanted to see if we can live with only one car, but DH has always vetoed this idea. We live at least 15 minutes from everything, and there are occasional times when having only one car would be inconvenient. So I'm just not super motivated to have 2 new cars at the same time in case we decide we only need one car at some time in the future.

We're getting used to the new car and are planning a road trip at the end of October...which means we should get our covid and flu boosters soon.

It feels good to be working through the "to do" list that built up while we were focused on family and the sale of our rental...and exciting to finally start making travel plans again.

flyingaway

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #358 on: October 10, 2023, 09:17:28 PM »
Just updating to add that a new car became available 3 weeks ago and we jumped. We've already sold the car it replaced at carmax, and we just need to turn in the old tags this week.

The new car is going to work really well for us, and I came to the conclusion that I don't really want to replace the other 14 year old car yet. It's still reliable and is perfect for the times we need two cars.

I've actually wanted to see if we can live with only one car, but DH has always vetoed this idea. We live at least 15 minutes from everything, and there are occasional times when having only one car would be inconvenient. So I'm just not super motivated to have 2 new cars at the same time in case we decide we only need one car at some time in the future.

We're getting used to the new car and are planning a road trip at the end of October...which means we should get our covid and flu boosters soon.

It feels good to be working through the "to do" list that built up while we were focused on family and the sale of our rental...and exciting to finally start making travel plans again.

Is it a gasoline-powered car?

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #359 on: October 11, 2023, 06:48:42 AM »
I really wanted electric, but we decided on a hybrid since this is going to be our road trip car (and I didn't want to spend our trips trying to map out charging stations). We tend to drive more than 300 miles per day when trying to get to a more interesting location. If/when we replace our 14 year old hybrid, it will definitely be with an EV. Our hope is that EV range and charging infrastructure will both improve significantly in the next few years.

The good news is that we've likely just sold our last gas guzzler.

flyingaway

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #360 on: October 11, 2023, 09:54:51 AM »
I really wanted electric, but we decided on a hybrid since this is going to be our road trip car (and I didn't want to spend our trips trying to map out charging stations). We tend to drive more than 300 miles per day when trying to get to a more interesting location. If/when we replace our 14 year old hybrid, it will definitely be with an EV. Our hope is that EV range and charging infrastructure will both improve significantly in the next few years.

The good news is that we've likely just sold our last gas guzzler.

I also have a 14 years old car and is thinking to replace it. We had some unexpected repair early this year for about $5,600. Since I am retired, we need a new car for our road travels around the U.S. and Canada, I have not been able to decide what car to buy. We want to do a coast to coast road in the U.S. and drive to Alaska, although I have been to all 50 U.S. states already. Electrical cars are not good for this type of driving, but I am also worried  about the future of gas cars.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #361 on: October 21, 2023, 06:36:25 AM »
Got our Pfizer covid boosters 2 days ago and our passports came in yesterday. Off to the races!

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #362 on: December 12, 2023, 01:13:50 PM »
It's been a minute since my last update so here's a quick one.

We took a 10 day road trip with the new car in November. We did lots of socializing and had a nice mix of family and other random fun. Now we're back in town getting ready for the holidays since we'll be hosting Christmas this year.

We re-enrolled during ACA open enrollment. Our rental house sale killed our subsidies for 2023, but we will be getting a nice subsidy in 2024  (unless we impulsively sell our other rental property next year).

We've scheduled a nice 2 week vacation in January to a warm destination that requires passports (yay!) We are counting the days and trying to avoid covid before then (which will be tricky since we plan to have a lot of people in our house in late December.) Hopefully the boosters protect us because we've become very relaxed about masking and exposing ourselves to people. Life is starting to feel somewhat normal again.


Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #363 on: January 07, 2024, 07:20:43 PM »
Our Christmas plans got canceled, and we've been very low key for the past month...and DH got covid anyway. We have NO idea where because we were careful. He tested positive 2 days before our vacation, so we canceled our plans. Yay for travel insurance - I've never purchased it before, but was glad we did for this trip.

I'm starting to have symptoms but am currently negative. Here's hoping that our 6 jabs keep our cases relatively mild. 

I had such high hopes for 2024...

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #364 on: January 08, 2024, 09:30:25 PM »
Speedy recovery & restored health to you both!! Glad you had the insurance, probably a good idea in the pandemic era now that you mention it.

Rest like itís a paid gig. Apparently it really helps mitigate lingering issues.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #365 on: January 09, 2024, 01:07:45 PM »
I don't believe in travel insurance as a rule, but covid and the risk of a snowstorm screwing things up and being older in general I talked myself into it. A shocking number of people told us to put on a mask and go anyway. I'm now in the thick of it. There's no way I'd want to be in a foreign country if this goes sideways.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #366 on: February 12, 2024, 07:22:27 AM »
It's probably obvious that we survived covid. DH was through it in 10 days. I had 3 crappy days, a week of bad cold symptoms, and another 10 days of feeling run down. I'm now back to 100% (or as close as that gets in your 60s.)

We took a mini-vacation last week to have a change of view after being cooped up in the house for most of January. We weren't shy about being around people. Hopefully we don't pay for it with another virus.

Exflyboy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #367 on: February 12, 2024, 01:44:42 PM »
I don't believe in travel insurance as a rule, but covid and the risk of a snowstorm screwing things up and being older in general I talked myself into it. A shocking number of people told us to put on a mask and go anyway. I'm now in the thick of it. There's no way I'd want to be in a foreign country if this goes sideways.

Depends on the country. In the UK, emergency  and primary care is provided for visitors at no charge. In a number of Asian countries, HC is so cheap I'd argue its just not worth protecting against.

I'd be more interested in the trip protection my IHG card provides (Make sure all your travel, accommodation and car rental is paid for with the card.. I.e if you get sick and can't travel back home then in theory the IHG card will pick up the extra cost.

Up until age 60 I did buy travel insurance.. Then the rates skyrocketed, presumably due to age. Since then I have only been back to the UK and didn't bother.. At least the ambulance ride and ER (called A&E) room part is free, don't know if the subsequent stay in the ICU would be covered as it depends on what definition of "emergency" is.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #368 on: February 12, 2024, 03:11:27 PM »
I definitely need to check the small print on our credit cards regarding all of this...thanks for the info!

WayDownSouth

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #369 on: February 12, 2024, 03:47:29 PM »
Our Christmas plans got canceled, and we've been very low key for the past month...and DH got covid anyway. We have NO idea where because we were careful. He tested positive 2 days before our vacation, so we canceled our plans. Yay for travel insurance - I've never purchased it before, but was glad we did for this trip.

I'm starting to have symptoms but am currently negative. Here's hoping that our 6 jabs keep our cases relatively mild. 

I had such high hopes for 2024...

I thought if we got the jabs we were immune to it? Sounds like a big fat no.  I don't think I'll be getting those injections again.

Anyway, the reason I posted here was to encourage you, OP, to remember the fact that the whole purpose of retirement is the relief. So early retirement, is early relief (in theory). You finish sooner, and thereby massively expand your period of "doing whatever you want" while still in younger, healthier, more capable years. In short, begin TRULY enjoying life as quickly as possible, while remaining financially solvent.

If things like a 2 brand new cars wouldn't even put the tiniest dent in your income/planning, why so much anxiety? I mean, I understand WHY - but ask yourself that question.... WHY?

Are you worried you'll run out of money? Are you stuck in the mindset of minimizing all costs to such an extreme that it's become an unbreakable habit? (this happens much more than you may think)

Maybe you need to recalibrate. Pretend you never FIRED... Pretend you are a person with no job, and you are going to look for a job - but first - you're going to perform a complete audit of your finances and discover, HOLY SH!T...... I don't even need to find a job! In fact, I can live REALLY well without EVER having to work again! AS long as I'm not totally irrational and irresponsible with my spending, I can very easily have no financial worry again and never even need to consider employment for any reason whatsoever...

Could this help? Changing your mindset by starting blank and pretending to surprise yourself and then just letting things roll from that point forward? Excited, happy, finally relaxed & relieved with the absolute knowing & understanding that money is literally a non-issue for your desired lifestyle?


Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #370 on: February 12, 2024, 04:15:43 PM »
I don't have financial anxiety...just a financial optimization habit I'm trying to break.

One approach I'm going to try is to spend an additional $3k per month on discretionary spending this year. I'd love to improve our deck and landscaping and go on monthly vacations (some shorter getaways and some longer excursions.)

As for covid, I will keep taking the boosters. It kept us from getting serious cases and that's a win in my book.

WayDownSouth

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #371 on: February 12, 2024, 05:38:30 PM »
I don't have financial anxiety...just a financial optimization habit I'm trying to break.

One approach I'm going to try is to spend an additional $3k per month on discretionary spending this year. I'd love to improve our deck and landscaping and go on monthly vacations (some shorter getaways and some longer excursions.)

As for covid, I will keep taking the boosters. It kept us from getting serious cases and that's a win in my book.

Ahhh, ok. My apology for interpreting that wrong. On your first post you said:

"When I look at it objectively, I know we are FI. We've been FI for years. But pulling the trigger to RE causes me a lot of anxiety. Especially about health insurance premium costs and no clue where that mess is heading.

I came to you Post Fire experts to ask for advice on how to gain the confidence needed to pull the trigger. I know the math gives us next to zero chance of failure, but anxiety is winning over math."


I thought that was part of the issue. My bad.

On the other hand I like your approach/idea about the $3k discretionary spending and more vacations/trips. You owe it to yourself for the hard work that FIRED requires, IMHO... I see it as being the point of it all (if it's affordable and fits your plan). I also understand that some simply want to retire early and live extremely frugally, which is also fine if that's what you're after. I require a bit of both, I have a hard time being overly-frugal but I'm not definitely not a "big spender" to say the least.

I hope this year ends up being good for you guys.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #372 on: February 12, 2024, 07:42:50 PM »
That explains it...that first post was from November 2018.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #373 on: February 14, 2024, 02:41:39 AM »
I don't have financial anxiety...just a financial optimization habit I'm trying to break.

One approach I'm going to try is to spend an additional $3k per month on discretionary spending this year. I'd love to improve our deck and landscaping and go on monthly vacations (some shorter getaways and some longer excursions.)

As for covid, I will keep taking the boosters. It kept us from getting serious cases and that's a win in my book.
Iím so glad to hear you werenít hard hit. Few vaccine programs have to contend with anything that is so widespread & constant or mutates so much & so fast (because itís widespread & constant.) Given that the vaccine decreases the odds of short & long term disability as well as severity while ill, yes, itís very worthwhile.

Were you planning to see more places or revisit favorites? Some of the luxury rail is starting to look really good, frankly, if the cash isnít a hurdle. It seems like youíd be less likely to catch everyoneís diseases if youíre only sharing air with your train car vs. an entire jetliner. Driving on road trips gets old fast when itís frequent.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #374 on: February 14, 2024, 05:12:13 AM »
Completely agree that the vaccines are worth it.

I also LOVE the idea of traveling by train. I want to minimize plane travel so that's a great suggestion.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2024, 10:38:16 AM by Omy »

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #375 on: February 17, 2024, 01:55:25 PM »
Completely agree that the vaccines are worth it.

I also LOVE the idea of traveling by train. I want to minimize plane travel so that's a great suggestion.
Fru-Gal did a great thread about it too & I forgot! - https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/i-spent-a-month-traveling-america-with-the-usa-rail-pass!/

I've done some regular rail for short (10-45 minutes) & longer (6 hour) stints, plus one fancier overnight route, & it is by far my preferred way to travel - looking out over wilderness with a book & a mug of tea is very relaxing, plus at least in America, stations are calmer than the over-lit TSA nightmare of most airports. Have not yet used dining cars.

I would like to see green river cruises become an option, too, but we mostly aren't there yet. FIRE's slow travel potential was a big draw for me, swapping "hurry up & get to the fun part" for enjoying the literal journey.

LightTripper

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #376 on: February 28, 2024, 03:10:12 PM »
Another fan of train travel here.  I especially love a sleeper (though when I got the train from Washington to Chicago, it meant I did the pretty bit in darkness - oops!  Still a good trip though).  Haven't yet tried doing that with the kids but there is a sleeper from London to Scotland (which isn't really far enough to need a sleeper, but it's a very civilised way to do the trip - you basically park outside Edinburgh for a few hours so you don't arrive to early, and then on into the Highlands), so I'm keen to try them with that before too long!

Exflyboy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #377 on: March 01, 2024, 12:40:05 PM »
We did the train from Split in Croatia all the way to my Parents place in Skegness, lincs, UK.

The overnight part was from Zagreb to Munich, bit of a shame cus that was through the Alps at night. We stayed in a hotel is Paris for the second night.

It was a cool trip!

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #378 on: April 01, 2024, 05:03:50 AM »
We're mostly done with taxes and missed our estimates by about $12k (in the wrong direction). The rental sale last summer ended up having around $62k in tax and ACA consequences instead of $50k as I had guessed last year. I was almost spot on for federal, but blew it on state. Oh well.

The good news is that our net worth is currently at an all time high, so the tax bill seems inconsequential in the big picture. We invested the majority of the rental proceeds - which should net us more than the rental did annually without the headaches.

Last summer we also stopped re-investing dividends and capital gains in all of our taxable accounts...and instead send them to our checking account. It's fun to get surprise deposits quarterly (that more than cover the income lossed from selling the rental).

Selling that rental was AMAZING - no regrets. Last year I was fussing over whether or not to do a 1031 exchange and I'm perfectly fine that we chose not to the thing that would be optimal for taxes. Simplifying life was worth the cost.

We're looking forward to selling our other rental when that wonderful tenant leaves - which will likely be 2+ years from now. I could imagine doing a 1031 exchange on that one if the planets align perfectly. If we do that it would be to find our perfect downsize home, rent it out for 2 or 3 years, then move in and live there until we're wheeled out.

Omy

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Re: Serious "one more year" syndrome - advice appreciated
« Reply #379 on: May 15, 2024, 01:44:07 PM »
In the past 45 days we've gone away for two short trips and one longer trip. I feel like we're finally getting the bug to get out and explore after being somewhat home bound for the bast 4 years.

We spent the longer trip with friends who are retired with similar net worths and it's really been eye-opening to see how they spend money freely. It's inspired me to think bigger and start tackling some updates I've been thinking about.

We've also done a lot of gardening projects this spring. It's almost feeling like it has become a hobby instead of the drudge work it has felt like in the past. Since FIREing our yard has gone from one of the worst to one of the nicest in the neighborhood. The prettier it gets, the more I want to do to make it even better.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!