Last week I asked the question of whether we should go super frugal in our first year of retirement, or spend according to the normal budget we’ve allotted to each year of retirement. Aside from there being some interesting gender trends in the responses, something that jumped out at me was how many people said some variation of:
You’re obviously frugal if you got to early retirement, so just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t worry about it.
Which is probably good advice – if we were naturally frugal.
But we’re not.
We would happily spend more money than we do now. We’d travel more, travel a little nicer sometimes perhaps, we’d go out to eat more and try new cuisines every chance we got, we’d drink better wine, we’d see every great new play on Broadway (and Hamilton like five more times), but most of all we’d be more generous. We’d pay to fly friends and family to see us, like we used to. We’d take friends out to nice meals and pick up the tab. We’d donate more. We’d sponsor local kids in hard-up families and make sure they have all the things that make them feel normal, and take them out to the movies, or teach them how to ski.
I’ve heard lots of our frugal friends say things like, “I can’t imagine how we’d spend more than we do anyway.” Or, “There’s nothing else we could spend money on that would make me any happier.”
And I nod in support, because I believe them. But I have no idea what it’s like to feel that way. I can think of a few dozen things right off the top of my head that I’d do with more money.
Which is not to say that we feel like we’re