There is much to say about all of these strategies and what I often hear is last words on a death bed has been I wish I would have said “yes” more and worked less. There is no guarantee that we will live long enough to retire and enjoy the money we have or have not saved. While working at the courthouse a woman that I greatly admired shared her strategy. She scrimped and saved everything she could for her and her husband’s retirement so they could live the life they had always dreamed of. His was to fish fish fish and hers was to have the time to work on the crafts she loved. They were going to buy a small house by a large lake and live life to the fullest. Well life happened and within weeks after retirement she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and had weeks to live. After she passed her husband did get to enjoy the plans they had made but this lady did not.
Is there a way to achieve a balance of saving, spending, going on trips, and getting to do the stuff we have dreamed of? Are we only living for the moment and not thinking of the future? In our situation many years ago when our children were still in school we were living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes coming up short. Credit cards were almost to their limits and there came a point where life was no longer fun and we had no more credit to live on. It took several years of tightening our belts and paying off our bills before we were able to enjoy life again. We did not quit living we curtailed our fun and cut back on what we paid for. In the long run it was good for our family as our “fun” consisted of us making things fun together and often this meant a day of watching DVD movies, game marathons, or making a special meal. If we did something it was cash only because if we had to use a credit card we could not afford it.
Now years later we still follow this philosophy. I like to think we are not stuck in a rut of working and not taking time to enjoy ourselves. When a new adventure presents itself, we are able to say “yes” and then get back to work. The ability to say “yes” when an opportunity presents itself has allowed us to do some really and I mean REALLY cool things that both of us have enjoyed and will never forget. Our strong point is that we are together all of the time and can quickly adjust our business to allow us time off to do something that we have always wanted to do. Maybe someday doing the something we always have wanted to do will last longer and longer as we age and work less.
During all of this we are funding our retirement accounts and while I cannot imagine quitting what we are presently doing someday we will not have a choice. When that happens, I want to be able to live a comfortable life and look back on what we have experienced over the years and smile. This plan does not work for everyone but for us it has worked as we have been able to experience some pretty amazing things, we enjoy our jobs and cannot imagine a day not driving our truck, and hopefully we are prepared for the day when we can no longer crawl into a truck.