Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

There's more to wealth than money. Health and happiness are important, too.
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LifePart2
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Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:34 am

Earlier this year my wife and I got rid of practically all of our physical possessions, (house, car, furniture, A LOT OF clothes, appliances, etc., etc.) and decided to take early retirement and see the world.

A few years ago we talked about it. We had all this stuff and it wasn't bringing us anything. In fact, after scratching or heads for a bit we determined that working mainly to only get more stuff meant that we weren't working for ourselves; we were working for OUR POSSESSIONS. We didn't want that, we wanted experiences and adventure.

We are early into our experiment but so far the best move we have made is simply getting rid of and not acquiring more things. We are currently traveling the world; one country at a time, one year at a time. Now in a rented beach house in Xcalak, Mexico. We are fortunate, I was able to get a reduced pension that covers all of our GREATLY REDUCED costs. It feels good to reject the fraud of modern consumerism and live a life built on relationships and experience.

I am just wondering how many like minded folks there are out there? Am I wrong in my assessment?

Jon

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:41 am

That's awesome! May I ask how old you are and what you did before retiring?

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:58 am

I am 50. My wife Vonda is 43. I was an Air Traffic Controller in the United States.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:08 pm

That's great. We'll be retiring early as well but will be about 5 years behind you.

If I might ask, what was the hardest part to get used to?

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:28 pm

Getting used to, what do you mean? We really aren't used to anything yet! But in honestly we kind of like it that way.

If I had it to do over again I would have started downsizing earlier. It is amazing the things you can do without once you let go of the unnecessary attachment aspect.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DaveInPgh » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:44 pm

As exciting as your retirement sounds, I personally would always want a place to call home. Preferably on a Florida beach. However, I do believe I would be much happier without many of our possessions.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:47 pm

LifePart2 wrote:Getting used to, what do you mean? We really aren't used to anything yet! But in honestly we kind of like it that way.

If I had it to do over again I would have started downsizing earlier. It is amazing the things you can do without once you let go of the unnecessary attachment aspect.


We're kind of in the downsizing process now. We plan to retire to Hawaii and do/will own a house. But the prospect of moving a bunch of crap there has caused us to question everything we buy and also to start getting rid of stuff. We don't have the aversion to "stuff" that many people have so we're not doing it for that reason. But we have cleaned out a lot of stuff in the last year or so and it feels great.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:45 am

We have decided to go houseless for about 10 years. At this point we aren't sure what the fates have to show us and don't want to commit to a single area yet. After ten years we plan to pick our favorite and settle down. For now, no matter how much we love a place we plan to leave it and see some more. I definitely know this is not for everyone.

Jon

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:34 am

LifePart2 wrote:Getting used to, what do you mean? We really aren't used to anything yet! But in honestly we kind of like it that way.


What I meant was, was it difficult getting used to the transition? I'm sure the first few weeks or months is like a vacation. But after that did you start thinking about longer term planning and keeping yourself busy? Many people get very bored in retirement after a while, especially when they are very young like you are.

I guess in your case the whole moving around and exploring business keeps you active and busy. But do you ever get bored on a day-to-day basis? Do you ever have days where you just don't feel like going fishing or to the beach again? Ever wander down to the airport and watch the planes landing? You know what I mean...

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:58 am

Nope, not for a minute. I was a serious photographer before I retired and I continue to do that. I have also started writing about our experiences online. Honestly, I can't remember how I had time to work before.

There is so much to do around here and when we aren't busy with other things there is just the general learning Spanish and socializing. I think the trick is that before you retire you should develop other interests if you haven't already and nurture relationships after you retire.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:19 pm

LifePart2 wrote:I think the trick is that before you retire you should develop other interests if you haven't already and nurture relationships after you retire.


Yeah, we're kind of doing that now. I'm not particularly worried about it. But it is a common issue people run into. We are at the point where we could do it in about 2 years, but plan to do it in a little over 5 for various reasons. So, we're prepared financially, and just thinking about being prepared in other ways before pulling the trigger.

It seems like this could be a very interesting thread. There are several people on here that talk about retiring early in just a few years.

Another question I have for you - what do you do about health insurance? That seems to be one of the biggest unknowns and costs for early retirees. In our case we'll be eligible for coverage through my wife's pension. But the cost is still fairly high until medicare kicks in. But that would not be for many years and I'm not counting on that anyway.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:38 pm

Another question I have for you - what do you do about health insurance? That seems to be one of the biggest unknowns and costs for early retirees. In our case we'll be eligible for coverage through my wife's pension. But the cost is still fairly high until medicare kicks in. But that would not be for many years and I'm not counting on that anyway.


I am exceedingly lucky and I know it. I have lifetime health insurance through my pension. To me, and I know this is another subject, everyone should have access to affordable care; we are residents of supposedly one of the most caring countries on the planet yet lag far behind other industrialized nations when it comes to affordable healthcare, and politicians apparently like it that way.

Just one of the shames is that entrepreneurs are often held back going on their own because they have this healthcare affordability for their family thing keeping them from trying new businesses. Entrepreneurs in many other competing countries don't have to worry about that. How many very capable people continue to be "wage slaves" working for someone else when they could otherwise very easily be trying something on their own, fulfilling the American dream, if it weren't for family health care considerations? OK, different thread, off my soapbox.

Jon

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:51 pm

LifePart2 wrote:I am exceedingly lucky and I know it. I have lifetime health insurance through my pension. To me, and I know this is another subject, everyone should have access to affordable care; we are residents of supposedly one of the most caring countries on the planet yet lag far behind other industrialized nations when it comes to affordable healthcare, and politicians apparently like it that way.

Just one of the shames is that entrepreneurs are often held back going on their own because they have this healthcare affordability for their family thing keeping them from trying new businesses. Entrepreneurs in many other competing countries don't have to worry about that. How many very capable people continue to be "wage slaves" working for someone else when they could otherwise very easily be trying something on their own, fulfilling the American dream, if it weren't for family health care considerations? OK, different thread, off my soapbox.

Jon


It sounds like you are truly lucky. My wife's will be a state government pension but also has fairly generous health coverage, though she has to pay for it. I'm not complaining about it though because I know we are relatively lucky compared to most people. Still, it will be one of our highest costs once we retire - bigger than food and housing combined.

On the other subject you raised, I wonder why the disincentive that health care costs places on entrepreneurs has not become a rallying cry for republicans to support reform. And I wonder why democrats did not use it for their own arguments. I suspect you are right about it and I think we'd find a lot of agreement on health care in this country in general.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby stannius » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:46 pm

I hope my wife and I will retire early, but it's still a ways off. Health insurance is definitely one of the big variables affecting when it becomes possible. Actually if I had magic, free health insurance, we could quite possibly retire right now. We would have to move to a cheaper city, and make some significant lifestyle changes, but nothing as drastic as retiring overseas.

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Re: Money Only Buys Things; Things Don't Make You Happy!

Postby LifePart2 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:13 pm

We would have to move to a cheaper city, and make some significant lifestyle changes, but nothing as drastic as retiring overseas.


Actually we moved overseas as a lifestyle choice, not really for the monetary aspects. We have been told all our lives, by people that have never traveled, how great the United States is. Yes, it is great I am usually proud of my country. However, we wanted to see for ourselves how great it is by having something to contrast it with. Vonda and I have both traveled a bit but never lived outside the US. It is kind of an experiment to test that we have been taught. We want to be able to speak form experience, not just repeat uninformed rhetoric.


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