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Friday, March 27, 2015

Ends of Frugality

Now that Mr FS and I are in our 60s, we are having lots of "what" and "when" discussions. When should we retire? What if...we retire? What if...we have to retire? And, of course, the biggies: What is it I/we really want? What's it all about?

And that brings us to "ends." Ends in the sense of "purposes." Ends in the sense of "the end." I've been thinking about endings, well, ever since I became a serious reader.  

Right now I'm thinking about the purposes of my lifelong habits of frugality. I am thankful for the example my frugal parents provided. Frugality got me through many years of panic in graduate school, more panic during a difficult job market. More panic though worries about tenure. More worries about ...well many things. I am a worrier. It must be genetic.

It occurs to me (us) that I (we) don't really need to be particularly frugal any more. We've done what we've done. What we do now won't make that much difference. This would not be the case if we hadn't saved over the years. Then it would be great to adopt frugal practices, which WOULD make a big difference in retirement. So maybe we are--or could be--at the end of frugality in that sense.

So we can keep chugging along in our frugal fashion. Or not so much.

To that end (haha, pretty obvious), we have a plan that is sort of frugal, sort of not frugal. If we do it, I'll write about it. (OK--we want to build a little guest room behind Frugal Son's New Orleans house. Where we can stay).

To that end, Mr FS does NOT want to retire any time soon. We both love teaching, in spite of living in a state that has not valued us for many years (If interested, do a google search. Too dispiriting for me to rehearse all the indignities).

To that end, I had my eyebrows tinted at the nearby beauty college.

To that end, I've redone my wardrobe via various online sites that do NOT involve auctions (more another time).

Treats are really fun when they are occasional. Ditto for vacations. Looking forward to spring break...

I was going to close with the "last words" of some piece of literature, but instead I'll end with something from the END of the FIRST ACT of Shakespeare's Henry 4, Part 1


Shelley said...

I'm looking forward to drawing my NHS pension at 60 next year. It won't pay for riotous living, but I will be able to splash out / spend some savings. I must admit, I pretty much have the life I want. I envy you still enjoying your work in spite of the environment. I left work while I still had a shred of sanity. Look forward to hearing about your trip to Paris. Our next journey is to Budapest to pick up Bill's sister & BIL and then we'll spend a week with them in Vienna.

dotsybabe said...

AS someone who is "semi-retired" I thought I ought the mention that frugality is very much rewarded as you retire. No more annual raises or COLAs, no more new jobs with higher salaries, no more "perks" like a company car or mileage reimbursements, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and the like. (Perhaps you will be lucky to have a private health insurance in retirement.)Yes, you spend less on clothes, but everything else continues to increase in price (let's forget the temporary decline in gas prices that have NOT led to cheaper air fare or cheaper chicken and milk in the grocery store). Or rising property taxes, sales taxes, and local income taxes. Being frugal at the beginning of your retirement years is a good way to prepare for the time in 20 years when that pension or SS doesn't stretch so far.

The Frugal Shrink said...

I am excited that you are allowing some treats in terms of the brow tint and new clothes! Rewards for a lifetime of smart money management. I will be interested to hear about your future/ retirement plans. As you have mentioned before, we have a lot of similarities and it's fun to see where my "future self" is headed. ;)

Gam Kau said...

Feeling financially secure is reason enough alone for us to live a frugal life. However, recently we've had a family medical crisis which involved last minute international travel as well as large sums of money prepaid for medical treatment. I told my husband THIS is why we are frugal. We were able to do what was needed without any monetary worries. Of course, I suppose others could use a credit card, but...