Posted by Dave on November 5, 2013
I know I may come off (especially to my future self) as a petulant teenager in this post, not a 33 year-old, but I had a frustrating discussion with a family member over the weekend that I can vent a bit about in this venue.
I had invited this family member over for dinner on the weekend, as a birthday present (I had no idea what to get them, so offered dinner. They didn’t get “crap” that they didn’t need, and we got a quiet visit out of it, a win-win situation). This family member is on a countdown right now, they’re six weeks away from retiring. After dinner, we talked about the pending retirement and what the family member was going to do with all their time. The family member seemed super excited about all the free time they were going to have, and all the projects they would be able to get done that they never really had time for.
I had talked to this family member in the past about my financial plans, and explained my wife and I were about 5 months away from paying off the last part of our mortgage. We explained that we were around 10 years behind them with our retirement, as long as our investments work out at an average rate.
We answered the same questions we normally do when we tell people our future plans (which is not very often, as it’s something we prefer to talk to each other about, rather than publicize). My family member’s main concern was the length of time between our retirement date and when the pension I’ve earned will start paying. We explained we just didn’t plan to spend that much money (and currently don’t spend that much money) – we are choosing free time over “stuff”.
I think the frustrating part of the conversation was that this “awkward” discussion came after the retiree was contemplating installing a $40,000 wood shop onto their already enormous shed. There were just significantly different ways of thinking – I would prefer to have $1,000 in tools that I could use in a small wood shop or outside when the weather was nice, and invest the other $39,000 (If woodworking were something I was wanting to do seriously) rather than having a wood shop eating up a year or so of my potential retirement dollars.
My whole retirement plan comes down to spending efficiently – to get the most “bang” out of the money I do decide to spend, while maintaining a saving level that will hopefully allow me to reach my goal of retiring in 11 years. While I understand the concern, I can’t see working an extra 20 years to spend more money. We would rather spend less money, and have more time. I just move the conversation on to more neutral ground.
Has your retirement plan been called unreasonable? How do you respond?