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My problem is that even if I'm not materialistic and even if I can save a lot by not spending on many useless things, I still have a lot of interests that - in my opinion - brings a lot of value to my life.

Everything listed has a monetary cost and a time cost. It may not help on financial freedom, though it helps on mental freedom and global health. Freedom is also something that we live in our mind, not only in our finances. Once we become a more accomplished person with higher wisdom, a greater sense of spirituality and a better global health, then we are truly free. I don't want to skip on all this and wait for retirement to start any of this. And I can only do 2-3 things out of my huge list.

That's the reason why I'm overwhelmed in my time management and my financial management.
As you said everything is a trade off between time, money and scope. The ability to prioritize is really important, and it doesn't mean all or nothing or all that the same time. I don't see why you could do everything of importance on your list at some point in your life. Your list is already large, which is okay, but even if you didn't have to work and had enough money that you could outsource everything you didn't see of value, you would still mostly likely run out of time to do them ALL now. Have your prioritized your list and determined what will bring you the greatest joy?

Based on your examples, here's some things to consider (just as sample on how you could achieve more).
  • Learning to play guitar, piano and drum (mental health & stimulus) - These are three totally different instruments. Do you have a goal or a reason why you are drawn to the three? My kids pay piano and guitar. When they were first learning, we paid for the lessons for one (piano because it covered theory and other things), they got okay (not great at it) and then wanted another instruments. Since they already had the basics, we were able to alternate guitar one week, piano next. The teacher moved further away so the extra 1.5 hours driving a week was no longer worth it. We dropped the lessons but my kids now found ways to do it online for almost free. In your case, you could get lessons in the beginning to get the basics, and go online. I am assuming you are not planning to be a professional.
  • Taking cooking classes (physical health, matrimonial health) - Lots of options here in my city. Make it a part of your date night. My spouse and I eat out a lot anyways. We have taken the occasional cooking class as part of a date night and to feed us. We don't do it very often. Again, what are your goals. You can cook together at home using a meal kit, do online cooking together. We have a dinner group we meet with 3 times a year, we have to try a new ethnic cuisine. We don't take a class but just plan and figure it out. Honestly, I find many of the cooking classes unless it's an ongoing session tend to be very basic.
  • Taking dancing classes (mental health & stimulus, matrimonial health) - Take a dance class, it just might not be at the same time as the cooking class. We took dance classes before we got married, went out to places to practice, and then we moved on. It took us no more than 6 months.
  • Buying a specialised gym membership (mental & physical health) - What is a specialized membership? Sure buy it but determine how often you are going to go. Does your family want to do this together? We have bought season ski passes to hills when the kids were first learning to ski and snowboard, then stopped when they took on different activities and I had take care of my elderly parents. Recently, we bought a family gym membership now that the kids are older. We go do our activities (which are different) and them meet up for a swim.
  • Taking yoga, tai chi, meditation classes (mental & physical health)- Again, can be done but do you want to do it at the same time as the gym.
  • Going back to university to learn about history, literature, art, law, psychology, sociology, physiology, etc. (mental stimulus, learning) - Learning can be done in many ways. You can go back to school for it, but I would seriously question why. Can you learn it on line? Are you looking for a degree? Will you do something with it?
  • Learning languages (mental stimulus, personal learning projects, connection to the world and cultures) - My kids have being learning German, Italian, and French since COVID and practicing their Spanish. Most of it done online through free apps. For their Spanish (they were in a Spanish school), we set up some zoom calls with other people that they can practice with.
  • Reading books (mental health & stimulus, learning, wisdom) - Read away, you can get books from the library.
  • Travelling (experiences, mental health, learning, wisdom, connection to the world and cultures) - this one is the tough one especially right now. You do need to balance priorities and costs here. My family wanted to goto a resort vacation (which I get really bored), we picked places that the kids could practice their Spanish.
My point to my post is that I don't see why you can't do everything on your list. You can't do it at the same time, but you can find ways to 'multitask' and get more out of each experience. Also, you have many things that overlap each other especially in the physical and mental health. It may be worth prioritizing which ones are most enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
As you said everything is a trade off between time, money and scope. The ability to prioritize is really important, and it doesn't mean all or nothing or all that the same time. I don't see why you could do everything of importance on your list at some point in your life. Your list is already large, which is okay, but even if you didn't have to work and had enough money that you could outsource everything you didn't see of value, you would still mostly likely run out of time to do them ALL now. Have your prioritized your list and determined what will bring you the greatest joy?

Based on your examples, here's some things to consider (just as sample on how you could achieve more).

  • Learning to play guitar, piano and drum (mental health & stimulus) - These are three totally different instruments. Do you have a goal or a reason why you are drawn to the three? My kids pay piano and guitar. When they were first learning, we paid for the lessons for one (piano because it covered theory and other things), they got okay (not great at it) and then wanted another instruments. Since they already had the basics, we were able to alternate guitar one week, piano next. The teacher moved further away so the extra 1.5 hours driving a week was no longer worth it. We dropped the lessons but my kids now found ways to do it online for almost free. In your case, you could get lessons in the beginning to get the basics, and go online. I am assuming you are not planning to be a professional.
  • Taking cooking classes (physical health, matrimonial health) - Lots of options here in my city. Make it a part of your date night. My spouse and I eat out a lot anyways. We have taken the occasional cooking class as part of a date night and to feed us. We don't do it very often. Again, what are your goals. You can cook together at home using a meal kit, do online cooking together. We have a dinner group we meet with 3 times a year, we have to try a new ethnic cuisine. We don't take a class but just plan and figure it out. Honestly, I find many of the cooking classes unless it's an ongoing session tend to be very basic.
  • Taking dancing classes (mental health & stimulus, matrimonial health) - Take a dance class, it just might not be at the same time as the cooking class. We took dance classes before we got married, went out to places to practice, and then we moved on. It took us no more than 6 months.
  • Buying a specialised gym membership (mental & physical health) - What is a specialized membership? Sure buy it but determine how often you are going to go. Does your family want to do this together? We have bought season ski passes to hills when the kids were first learning to ski and snowboard, then stopped when they took on different activities and I had take care of my elderly parents. Recently, we bought a family gym membership now that the kids are older. We go do our activities (which are different) and them meet up for a swim.
  • Taking yoga, tai chi, meditation classes (mental & physical health)- Again, can be done but do you want to do it at the same time as the gym.
  • Going back to university to learn about history, literature, art, law, psychology, sociology, physiology, etc. (mental stimulus, learning) - Learning can be done in many ways. You can go back to school for it, but I would seriously question why. Can you learn it on line? Are you looking for a degree? Will you do something with it?
  • Learning languages (mental stimulus, personal learning projects, connection to the world and cultures) - My kids have being learning German, Italian, and French since COVID and practicing their Spanish. Most of it done online through free apps. For their Spanish (they were in a Spanish school), we set up some zoom calls with other people that they can practice with.
  • Reading books (mental health & stimulus, learning, wisdom) - Read away, you can get books from the library.
  • Travelling (experiences, mental health, learning, wisdom, connection to the world and cultures) - this one is the tough one especially right now. You do need to balance priorities and costs here. My family wanted to goto a resort vacation (which I get really bored), we picked places that the kids could practice their Spanish.
My point to my post is that I don't see why you can't do everything on your list. You can't do it at the same time, but you can find ways to 'multitask' and get more out of each experience. Also, you have many things that overlap each other especially in the physical and mental health. It may be worth prioritizing which ones are most enjoyable.
Yes, totally agree. I've always said I could live 9 lives and it wouldn't be enough. It's just because I have lots of interests and I'm very too intense when I get into one of them. It's the paradox of choice, that's why I cannot prioritise.

  • Why guitar, piano and drum, why three? Music always gets me in a good mood. Playing music means developing my artistic skills. Guitar is for partying with close friends. Piano is for my lonely time playing classical music to free my mind. African drum is to play joyful rhythms with strangers in the park.
  • Cooking class is because we absolutely love food experiences. My spouse is nutritionist-dietitian. We eat so many things that most people aren't even aware of their existence. But... we are both really bad at cooking. So we have a love-hate relationship with meals, which is sad. We want to improve this.
  • Dancing classes is about how I met my spouse, so it's to get back that connection we get from dancing together and that freedom of mind we share at that moment.
  • Specialised gym is because I've always taken care of my physical health and I'm always been seeking for activities that will get my body out of its comfort zone.
  • Yoga, tai chi, meditation is again for the body and mind, but more about flexibility, stress-relief and peace of mind.
  • University is definitely not a necessity. I learn a lot on my own. But learning on my own will bring me on a path guided by my own researches and discoveries, while learning from a structured class may bring me to learn things I would've never found on my own Both methodologies have their own pros and cons.
  • Learning languages is part of my personal life goals. I also learn on my own for free using apps which is sufficient so far. I want to be fluent in 7 of the most influential languages so I can speak with local people in their own language. I'm working on my 4th at the moment. I was born knowing only 1. My spouse also and she speaks 5 at the moment because she travelled a lot when she was young. It adds so much more to the travelling experience. I'm also fascinated by languages in general, their history, construction and culture.
  • Reading books, well there's no need for explanation, it's so important.
  • Travelling, well this is my greatest passion, nothing more to say.
See how I can find a very specific reason for each and they are all very important for a balanced life, for global health and personal development.

That's more related to my discussion about time budgeting. Time budgeting
 

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The mortality rate for each 5-year range starting at 35 (35-39, 40-49, etc.) is at least 1 in 1000. Each year, 1 person out of 1000 in the 35-39 range dies. Starting at age range 60-65, it's 11 in 1000, therefore 1 in 100. There's people out there buying lottery tickets with 1 chance out of millions to win a few million dollars. Would you buy a lottery ticket that has 1 chance out of 100 to win 1M$? Most would. Why do we all think we are gonna die at 85, then?
Grant Imahara of Mythbusters died at age 49 of a brain aneurysm.

 

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Discussion Starter #24
Wow, exactly, these are the kinds that can happen to anyone. At least he lived a successful life.

Imagine saving every single dollar in order to retire early at 50 and then dying at 49.

Since my probability of living until next year is a lot higher than my probability of living until next 20 years, I better live in the present.

But that's also why I'm interested hope life insurance does their maths.

Just from a simple example, if I have 95% chance to be able to spend 5000$ this year, the expected value of this probability is 4750$. If I have 75% chance to be able to spend 6000$ in 3 years, the expected value is 4500$. So I better spend it this year.

But I know that life isn't all about rational decisions and statistics like that. To me, it's just fun to know. After all, I did a few (12) solo skydiving jumps while people are scared of dying in a tandem jump. Well, then stop driving your car, you have a much higher risk of dying...
 

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Saving every single dollar to retire at 50 and dying at 49 will not bother you at all. Obviously you will be dead. I would suspect however, NOT saving any money at all and living past age 50 and still having to work will probably bother you every single work day and every day you need to work overtime to buy the things you want...because you did not save any money when you were younger.

Don't let these silly ideas distract you.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Saving every single dollar to retire at 50 and dying at 49 will not bother you at all. Obviously you will be dead. I would suspect however, NOT saving any money at all and living past age 50 and still having to work will probably bother you every single work day and every day you need to work overtime to buy the things you want...because you did not save any money when you were younger.

Don't let these silly ideas distract you.
Most of the time, dying is not a sudden death. Just think about all the cancer cases. So if I'm on my death bed for a month (or more!) meanwhile thinking of all the things I haven't done yet and the huge pile on cash I'm sitting on, yes, it will bother me a lot. Once I'm dead, it won't bother me. While I'm dying, it will.
 

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Point taken.

All I can counter with that is the higher probability is that you will live a long natural life, long past 50.

2ndly, if it is bothering you that you saved all this money and did not get to spend it, and now you are dying at 50, how will you feel at 50 if you spent all your money and now you are going to live. Memories are nice but thinking about your trip to Jamaica 20 years ago while you are about to start a double shift at work, just to pay the bills, will be a lot less pleasant, I would imagine. Perhaps that is just me. Maybe that memory will get you through a 16 hour work day.

Anyway, there is no right or wrong answer. Just the million different ways a million different people will look at the same issue.
 

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Personally, I would rather drive new vehicles than spend on vacations......but everyone has their own priorities.

I say.......do what makes you happy and don't look back. Life is too short for could have, would have, should have..........
 

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The statistic I'd be interested in is something like: starting from something like age 18 or age 20, what is the probability that a male non-smoker survives to at least age 75 ? Does anyone know?

Or if that's too hard to find out, then what % of humans born in Canada survive to at least age 75?

This one seems similar, but one has to be very careful to interpret statistics properly so I don't want to take it too seriously without more research

This seems to show the % of newborn males who survive to age 65. Back in 1971, it was only 70%. Today it's more like 88%.

So a male born in Canada has an 88% likelihood of making it to age 65?
 

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Another thought I just had is that we (younger people) hear a lot of advice from older generations to work hard and save for our future. However, there is a big survivorship bias in this advice.

People who did not survive, perhaps who died at age 45 or 55, are not giving us their advice. So we are actually getting advice from the group of people who happened to make it to retirement age.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Probability of survival and life expectancy are statistics a bit hard to grasp at first, but it's simple.

Say you are currently 25 years old. What's the probability that you survive until 75 years old? 64.6% for men.
Say you are currently 25 years old. What's your remaining life expectancy? 52.6 years, meaning you are expected to live 52.6 more years, which would get you to 77.6 years old.

This is old data, but here's both statistics. Unfortunately, it doesn't account for smokers vs non-smokers.


The difference on how to read both tables is this :
  • Probability of survival : A 25 years old male has 64.6% chance to survive until 75 years old. Each probability of survival is for someone currently at 25 years old.
  • Life expectancy : A 25 years old male is expected to live 52.6 more years. But if he is lucky enough to live until 80 years old, then he is expected to live 7.7 more years.
Life expectancy statistics are more complete. What's interesting about that statistics is that it takes into account how blessed you are to have survived until your current age and therefore it increases your total life expectancy. At 25 years old, you were expected to live until 77. Now that your are 75, obviously it doesn't mean that you should die at any moment. In fact, you are now expected to live until 85, which is 8 more years than the first guess when you were 25. Then once you get to 85, you will be expected to live nearly 6 more years!

Also, if you want to use the "probability of survival" table with another starting point (not 25 years old), it's easy. Divide the probability to survive of your target age by the probability to survive of your current age. Say you are a male, 75. What's your probability to survive until 85? 31.0% / 64.6% = 48%. You have 48% chance to live until 85. It fits the life expectancy of 10 years for people currently 75 based on the "life expectancy" table.

This also means that from a statistical point of view, a 30 years old should plan his finances as if he were to live until 78. But once he gets to 75, he should reassess his finances as if he were to live until 85.
 

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Probability of survival and life expectancy are statistics a bit hard to grasp at first, but it's simple.
You seem to really know this stuff. Have you worked with this kind of data professionally?

Say you are currently 25 years old. What's the probability that you survive until 75 years old? 64.6% for men.
I don't know about you but I find this very sobering. The probability of making it to 75 doesn't seem that great. The probability of making it to age 80 is even odds, about 50%.

Yikes.
 

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I don't think the actual mortality numbers will adjust your savings/spending opinion much until you get much closer to the end, if then.

I just go on the idea that I will have more time to regret things if I live then if I die. If I die, and as Blackhill suggests, I have a few years of a terminal illness to ponder my life, I may distract myself from my health issues for a while by wallowing in thought about the money I did not spend. But that would be maybe a few years and I imagine I would also have other things in my life that I am piss off about (the health problem). If I live, however, and spent all my money, so that I did not die with it, I might have decades of regret while living a below average retirement/lifestyle at that time.

Even with that analogy, I doubt it would sway a spender to be more of a saver or if one disagrees with it, a saver to start to spend more. I think the basic idea of spending or saving gets ingrained in a person at a very young age. Probably in the age 5 to 12 year old range. All that advice, from others, can do after that is make small adjustments to how one manages their finances.

I suspect most of my suggestions would make very little sense to an avid spender as their behavior confuses me every day. We just look at money differently and that way of looking at it probably started and got ingrained so very long ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
You seem to really know this stuff. Have you worked with this kind of data professionally?



I don't know about you but I find this very sobering. The probability of making it to 75 doesn't seem that great. The probability of making it to age 80 is even odds, about 50%.

Yikes.
Where I work, we built simulation models and the models which are the most complete include a survival analysis. It can be about human life expectancy, but it's most likely about stuff like the survival analysis of the transformer in an electric pole, for example. I'm not an expert though, I'm just trying to recall the basis from when I was more involved into these analysis. Now I'm in a management position, so I'm a bit rusted.

Survival analysis can use a Weibull distribution for the model.

There are many ways to see survival :
  • The probability that you die at a specific age throughout your lifespan
  • The probability that you die at a specific age, given your current age
  • The probability that you live until a specific age throughout your lifespan (or the probability that you die before a specific age throughout your lifespan)
  • The probability that you live until a specific age, given your current age
  • The probability that you die this year
  • Your total lifespan expectancy given your current age (or your remaining lifespan expectancy given your current age)
And for things like transformers, it also comes with a probability of failure, which is the probability that something fails on the transformer, even though it can still survive. And there's the failure rate, which is the expected number of failures per year, given its current age. For humans, the analogy could be the probability that you catch some disease or that you must go to the hospital.

 

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Discussion Starter #35
I don't think the actual mortality numbers will adjust your savings/spending opinion much until you get much closer to the end, if then.
It was just to point out a case where somebody would have planned his finances so that he has 0$ left at 80. He should reassess when he gets close to that age. If one plans on retiring at 50, well the required amount of savings is different if he expects to live until 80 than if he ends up living until 100. Not everybody keeps their capital level through their retirement.

I just go on the idea that I will have more time to regret things if I live then if I die. If I die, and as Blackhill suggests, I have a few years of a terminal illness to ponder my life, I may distract myself from my health issues for a while by wallowing in thought about the money I did not spend. But that would be maybe a few years and I imagine I would also have other things in my life that I am piss off about (the health problem). If I live, however, and spent all my money, so that I did not die with it, I might have decades of regret while living a below average retirement/lifestyle at that time.

Even with that analogy, I doubt it would sway a spender to be more of a saver or if one disagrees with it, a saver to start to spend more. I think the basic idea of spending or saving gets ingrained in a person at a very young age. Probably in the age 5 to 12 year old range. All that advice, from others, can do after that is make small adjustments to how one manages their finances.

I suspect most of my suggestions would make very little sense to an avid spender as their behavior confuses me every day. We just look at money differently and that way of looking at it probably started and got ingrained so very long ago.
Yes, that's true, if I get the news that I'm gonna die within 1 year, I hope I have enough savings to live that year to the fulless. Still, I guess I'd sell the house, sell everything, take all my savings and go for a trip around the world for 1 year. If the prognostic was wrong and I end up living 10 more years, I'll be f***ed. So I hope that if ever a doctor tells me how many years I have left, he better not be wrong.
 

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^ Wow, there is now a survival analysis model/formulation for the existence of the human population.

Now I have the question for the expert(s)- has the above analysis and theorem been applied to the current pandemic? If so, when is it going to end? Doesn't have to be a specific date ... just nailing it as being the end of this year or next year would be good enough for me. Otherwise, I'll stick with the 6' social distancing rule, mask requirement, etc. and wait for the vaccine or the pandemic to die out eventually, whichever comes first. God (if that exists) help us.
 

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The other issue one has with life expectancy numbers is that usually they will give an age where "50%" of that age group are still alive. So then you are left with the issue of whether you feel lucky or not. Which side of that equation will you be on. You can never know that. So life expectancy numbers can't solve the retirement question completely.

My suggestion that if you are overly worried about dying before you get to spend your money, indicates that you are either a person with a spending mentality or you are worried about what other people may think of you. A saver, while not ecstatic about dying with lots of money unspent, would be less concerned about it then a spender.

You see, a saver looks at money differently. Just having money makes them feel safe, secure and gives them the ability to enjoy their life without the worry of money. Nothing in that last sentence has anything to do with spending it. A spender however, looks almost exclusively at what the money will buy them or allow them to do. I am sure they would like financial security as well, but since spending aspirations tend to come ahead of that, the only way they will ever achieve life without the worry of not having enough money, is if they are lucky enough to earn or acquire more then they can spend. Although possible, it would be much less frequent, I would think.
 

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I am hitting the big 70 this year and am starting to feel my age.

Health problems start to creep in. Aches and pains from past injuries. Hair growing everywhere but where I want it. Skin tags and peeing more.

I don't know what my life expectancy is from here........probably not a lot, and I could have done more to improve my longevity.

But then I think....would I have wanted to have given up drinking, smoking, gambling and chasing women for a couple more years while old and worn out ?

Nah.........it is what it is (which actually means absolutely nothing, but sounds intelligent and is hard to argue with).
 

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Optsy........you describe the gambler spender well.

They spend their money losing but if they gamble long enough they will win a jackpot.....guaranteed.

When they do finally "hit" the jackpot, they are ecstatic at their "good luck", even though it may have cost them $20000 to win $3000.

Point is in agreement with your assessment..........savers love to save and spenders love to spend. Life is all about the journey for both.
 

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Some people do end up dead broke, but they do have government benefits. A couple gets $3200 a month tax free.

A broke single senior are in the worst financial condition. They have to live on $1600 a month, but still can manage pretty well if their "wants" are low.

They can have a subsidized apartment. Groceries from the food bank. Dinners at the local churches. Clothing and household items from Goodwill and Sally Ann.

Their biggest problem is accommodation. If they can get into a "coop" run by a church or charity.......they are good to go.

I think some people worry too much about how much they have left over at the end, or sometimes their kids do.
 
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