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    Savings Rate and feeling guilty

    I have usually measured rule of thumb our savings and never actually sat down and calculated. I finally "sat" down and calculated it via MMM. For the past 3 years it's been 38%, 42%, 44%. I was going by rough measurements of 1/3 taxes, 1/3 spend, 1/3 save. Anyway I've been listening to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) podcasts a lot and started feeling guilty. I feel guilty because we aren't saving the crazy 75%+ some people are doing. We are spending the "Ridiculous" amount of money people who FIRE used to spend and then cut back from and then call it ridiculous.

    Do you guys ever feel guilty for not saving enough? How much do you guys save? Based on 40% I believe it's 22 years to retirement which is pretty much dead on for MMM. Assuming we were 28 when we started (thank you grad school) and 22 years later puts us at 50. But in reality it's closer to probably 3-5 years now if DH stayed at his current job. Since he's not it'll be 7 years probably to FI.

    But I feel guilty. I mean we have more than most people who FIRE. We probably could FIRE if we could cut our spending by a little. But then I go back and forth with do I want to live on $30k/year? Or $60k/year? How do I know it'll be enough? Is it really enough with medical? I wonder is the 4% rule really applicable if you start at age 45 and live to 100? Chances for us both are high we'll be 90+. That means a 50 year retirement.

    Singuy wrote about working hard earlier and making sacrifices. I sort of am on the side of his employees. My DH told me he wanted a year off to transition and spend time with the kids. He said "DK2 doesn't like me. I don't spend enough time with her." So he spent a year with her and more now than before and he says it made a huge difference. He felt that working a year on the back end more important than working a year in the middle of the kids being 3 and 5. Now he wants to do a start up and expects to work a lot. But again he figures he'll work longer to make up for it if it doesn't work. So I get this stop and smell the roses.

    I was thinking okay if we cut our spending and live on 20% of our income and save 80% we could be FI in 2 years? But should we do something like that? How much will it hurt?

    How do you guys balance saving for retirement with the now?
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

    #2
    I definitely try to be conscience of the whole "save enough but don't forget to live life a little" thing.
    It is hard. Not sure if it's guilt though.
    I guess I'm "OK" with not retiring at 50 or earlier like some of the FIRE folks preach.
    I'll probably never fully retire anyway. I'll probably always do at least something, even if it's volunteer work or a part time side gig.
    So, I guess I'm content with saving and investing what I currently am, at least for now.
    Brian

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      #3
      Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
      I have usually measured rule of thumb our savings and never actually sat down and calculated. I finally "sat" down and calculated it via MMM. For the past 3 years it's been 38%, 42%, 44%. I was going by rough measurements of 1/3 taxes, 1/3 spend, 1/3 save. Anyway I've been listening to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) podcasts a lot and started feeling guilty. I feel guilty because we aren't saving the crazy 75%+ some people are doing. We are spending the "Ridiculous" amount of money people who FIRE used to spend and then cut back from and then call it ridiculous.

      Do you guys ever feel guilty for not saving enough? How much do you guys save? Based on 40% I believe it's 22 years to retirement which is pretty much dead on for MMM. Assuming we were 28 when we started (thank you grad school) and 22 years later puts us at 50. But in reality it's closer to probably 3-5 years now if DH stayed at his current job. Since he's not it'll be 7 years probably to FI.

      But I feel guilty. I mean we have more than most people who FIRE. We probably could FIRE if we could cut our spending by a little. But then I go back and forth with do I want to live on $30k/year? Or $60k/year? How do I know it'll be enough? Is it really enough with medical? I wonder is the 4% rule really applicable if you start at age 45 and live to 100? Chances for us both are high we'll be 90+. That means a 50 year retirement.

      Singuy wrote about working hard earlier and making sacrifices. I sort of am on the side of his employees. My DH told me he wanted a year off to transition and spend time with the kids. He said "DK2 doesn't like me. I don't spend enough time with her." So he spent a year with her and more now than before and he says it made a huge difference. He felt that working a year on the back end more important than working a year in the middle of the kids being 3 and 5. Now he wants to do a start up and expects to work a lot. But again he figures he'll work longer to make up for it if it doesn't work. So I get this stop and smell the roses.

      I was thinking okay if we cut our spending and live on 20% of our income and save 80% we could be FI in 2 years? But should we do something like that? How much will it hurt?

      How do you guys balance saving for retirement with the now?
      Dont feel guilty. There are people out there who spend more in a week than every single users here net worth combined. Most users here are doing better than most. But we talk about spending $90k/year in retirement, when there are people who spend that much in an afternoon of shopping.

      Comment


        #4
        I don't feel guilty at all. It's not a competition. Everyone's priorities are different. Some people want to retire when they're 35. Others are satisfied to retire at 50, or 60, or never.

        Last time I checked, we were saving 44%. That's a little higher than usual thanks to Covid (though it's very slowly returning to normal). What I think about when I see that is that 70% of Americans don't know how they'd pay an unexpected $400 bill. I'm not the least bit concerned with the folks who choose to save 75%.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
          How do you guys balance saving for retirement with the now?
          With this forum, keeping me in check and for motivation. When I had 401K match, my total savings rate was around 31% (30 was my goal), currently maybe 25ish. I'm still ok with that rate with current events and still grateful to work. Everyone has different financial goals with where they are in life. Personally I don't feel guilty about rate of saving. Besides school, my current goal is more focused on donating to others.

          If you feel guilty not saving enough, then contribute more or re-evaluate your long-term goals. Although for most of us, 38-44% rate is already great number or goal. So it sounds like an awesome first world problem to have.


          "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

          Comment


            #6
            No it feels like we should be saving "More". That why aren't we working harder to FIRE earlier. Why are we just cruising along and working and saving but not really being intense about it.
            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
              No it feels like we should be saving "More". That why aren't we working harder to FIRE earlier. Why are we just cruising along and working and saving but not really being intense about it.
              Because that isn't an priority for you, which is perfectly fine. Everyone has different goals.

              I was saying the other day that had I never gotten married or had a child, I could be retired by now, but that's not how I chose to live my life.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                No it feels like we should be saving "More". That why aren't we working harder to FIRE earlier. Why are we just cruising along and working and saving but not really being intense about it.
                It really sounds like you found a good balance of work/career + saving/investing. Which I'm sure most adults (myself included) constantly struggle with achieving for a balance.
                "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

                Comment


                  #9
                  No guilt. I lived in the 600 sq ft house and did the couponing, watered my garden with rain water, raised chickens, skipped vacations and cut expenses every way I could while working an entry level job and raising a family. I used to sit and crunch numbers several times a week and try to figure out how to get there faster, save more. I worked several side hustles for extra income (ok I still do that but more on my terms than taking every piece of business I could get). And at some point I realized that this whole time I was planning how I could be retired by the time DD graduated so that I could go travel the world, but that would mean I would have missed the opportunity to show her the world. So I cut back on saving and started more consciously spending. I would still be considered frugal by many people's standards, but I bought a home with a kitchen we could cook in together, I get my groceries delivered instead of wasting hours with coupons and in store brand comparisons, we take one big and several small trips a year, I only take on side work when she has plans to be elsewhere. Could we be saving more, ya but I'm ok with spending a little more to enjoy the now - and I feel super fortunate to be in a position to do so.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
                    No guilt. I lived in the 600 sq ft house and did the couponing, watered my garden with rain water, raised chickens, skipped vacations and cut expenses every way I could while working an entry level job and raising a family. I used to sit and crunch numbers several times a week and try to figure out how to get there faster, save more. I worked several side hustles for extra income (ok I still do that but more on my terms than taking every piece of business I could get). And at some point I realized that this whole time I was planning how I could be retired by the time DD graduated so that I could go travel the world, but that would mean I would have missed the opportunity to show her the world. So I cut back on saving and started more consciously spending. I would still be considered frugal by many people's standards, but I bought a home with a kitchen we could cook in together, I get my groceries delivered instead of wasting hours with coupons and in store brand comparisons, we take one big and several small trips a year, I only take on side work when she has plans to be elsewhere. Could we be saving more, ya but I'm ok with spending a little more to enjoy the now - and I feel super fortunate to be in a position to do so.
                    This DH feels this. He doesn't want to miss out on the kids growing up. Less stressful job because of it. I know and he knows he could be making significantly more money with his skill set. But he wants to like what he does and he wants to have time to travel and breathe with the kids. Before we moved he never was able to take a break in the middle of the day. Now he can do it all the time. Also we like where we live.I find it interesting riverwed that you have groceries delivered to save time. I have to go figure out how much i really spend.
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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