This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I have a problem with being too much of a saver. I love board games and video games which require resource management, but I am constantly beaten by opponents who are willing to expend resources (for example armies in the board game Axis and Allies) while I continue to collect various items. I would much rather not expend a resource, whether it’s trivial like something from a game, or money that could be used to pay down a mortgage.
For an individual looking to accumulate assets as quickly as possible, I don’t think being a “saver” is a terrible quality to have. I think that this facet of my personality is fine for the most part, but there are some things that this doesn’t help with.
I am currently allotted 22 days of vacation each year from my job. I enjoy time off as much as the next person, but I seem to have a hard time spending this “scarce” resource. Over the past few years, I have carried over a few days per year (my company limits the ability to do this, as they attempt to keep a “work-life balance”). I have had to use the days because I needed to take time off to study for the accounting courses I was taking. I guess in the back of my mind, taking a day off to do nothing seems a little wasteful.
Having a scarce number of days available to do things, I feel the need to have to do something – a trip, a project, a golf day, or something else exciting. I do these things rather than just hanging out around home and doing “nothing” (reading, watching movies, cooking), which is what my main goal most of the time.
I realize that this is the most ridiculous “problem” I could really talk about, but it will be interesting to see how I react when it’s time to spend retirement income. I have relatives that have become really miserly post-retirement and seem to become obsessed with ensuring their retirement fund is not spent, to the detriment of any enjoyment they could be having.
I think that the resolution to my stinginess in retirement is to ensure that I budget appropriately and work with the knowledge that I’m fine as long as I stay within that amount…I don’t have to keep saving after I retire. I’m not really sure how I’ll fix the similar problems I have with getting my butt kicked at board games.
Do you over save? Do you think you’ll continue this trend in retirement?