I don’t seem to do all that much in retirement. I often feel like I am not accomplishing a lot. I do get all kinds of things done, and even more things started. I also LOVE my life and the activities I am doing every single day. But, I wonder, is there more, can I do more, should I do more, do I care to keep score for more?
JD Roth once made a passing comment “if it takes two hours to do, it takes 2 weeks in retirement to complete.” That sure strikes a chord with my structure.
I track items on my “Remember List.” I put tasks on my calendar (often with a ? at the end). I have a lot of notes and plenty of Apple reminders to add to my remember list. But, what do I do? Or more clearly, when?
The other day, I asked a friend if we could talk (about taxes, year-end planning, life, spending, etc). I used almost two hours of his precious time, but I came away with dozens of thoughts and insights that I’ve been thinking about for days. That was a great call for me. He ended the call by saying “every time I talk with you, I end up with action items/tasks.” Oops. That’s not my intent, but I do have ideas—ideas all the time.
When will you…?
If not now, when…? If not (starting right) now, when will you…?
If you are waiting, why? Why exactly do you think a possible future time is the correct time? How will you (feel, think, or be worth) at that time?
I ask this for myself and for others who have been smart spenders, smart savers, smart planners, risk-averse, deferred gratification-ers, and future thinkers.
I always want the bad news first. I want to know and deal with the problem. I always save the good news for later. Sometimes I never even get to the good news. Often I get consumed by the bad until I sort it out in my brain.
I think for decades my spending has been mostly the same over time. I deferred that spending to the future. I made sure I really wanted to spend on that. Sometimes, it turns out that I didn’t end up needing or wanting the item and I’ve saved myself some money.
But what about the case of dying sooner and having instituted more old age deference? Shouldn’t I realize each and every day, that I’m not getting younger or healthier? How do I know my future days, weeks, and opportunities are ahead of me? What if they’re not? (or what if they are?)
I may be at or near my last peak of wealth and physically (mental? My ability to enjoy some extra experiences or items? I know multiple older people who tell me “they missed their window” to do some things. Health, life changes, family issues, regional politics, living situations, etc. can get in the way of “opportunities.”
I know I’ve shared many of these concepts and thoughts before in different ways. It’s not that I’m forgetting I’m coming back to these, but more importantly, it’s that they are not resolved. This FIRE thing is a process. I will process many thoughts and tackle many phases throughout the remainder of my time.
I just realized that I may be lucky that I’m not struggling with “life purpose” confusion or “working desires.” I’m just thinking about “living life” in a great way. A base great life plus (or times) an amazing life far beyond the “base.”
For all the “I’d rather have experiences than ‘things’ people,” I understand. I however have been lucky enough to have been all around the world a couple of times, and while there is still more to do/see, I also want more fun at home. Much of that fun was sacrificed and delayed for decades.
I do have LOTS of little gadgets, toys, and hobby items to message around with. It’s funny that ALL of those items add up to almost no money, just the tiniest fraction of our net worth. (True, my wife’s items add up to noticeable amounts, but she deserves to enjoy all she deferred, and for putting up with me).
I’ve written about going crazy and spending $500 on a guitar because it seemed cool and it turned out to be amazing. It sounds like a buzz saw and honestly makes me not sound -horrible. That’s not a large price in the guitar world, but to me, it was a pretty big purchase.
I’ve written about my mistake of not buying a Peloton bike for my wife,( I do love how they got in trouble for the commercial of the husband buying his wife a bike for xmas…then in mid-2020 the twits were saying “how do you like that peloton now?!”)
I wrote about fixing our items only to sell them and let others enjoy the improvements when those improvements should have been completed for our enjoyment during our ownership.
What is your money (your life) for?
Shouldn’t you get a reward for the position you’ve placed yourself into?
Is now is not the deferred spending time, when should that deferred spending be used? Why?
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.