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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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RETIREE SAYS HE SAVED TOO MUCH MONEY, SHOULD HAVE ENJOYED MORE WHEN HE WAS YOUNG

My boss (~62) is about to retire and has lamented to my colleagues about how much he saved. (He also feels tethered to work to maintain his health insurance because he and his spouse are facing some health issues.

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He’s always been very frugal and just socked away as much as he could. I’m of a similar mindset, so I was surprised to hear that he’s “saved too much.”

Unfortunately my colleagues aren’t very financially-minded, so when I asked what he could mean by that, they say something vague about him being in a higher tax bracket.

They are now all very careful not to “save too much” and warn me against my frugality and saving habits. They say that ultimately good savers get punished by the system.

I wonder if his regret is centered around making too many sacrifices throughout his life for the sake of saving, and now facing health issues, realizing he should have enjoyed life more as a younger man.

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But I was also wondering if there are real financial reasons why I shouldn’t try to max out my retirement accounts and just stick with saving ~20% (starting at age ~30).

Netizens’ comments

  1. I could definitely see regretting not doing enough with my life.
    I can’t really see it as logical to say you “saved too much” though. Spending more is easy and immediate if you want to. Or leave it to someone or a good cause.
  2. There is a balance to be had. One of the reasons I want to retire early (around age 50) is I know several people who retired and can’t travel anywhere they planned to because of mobility problems. Can’t take the hike to the scenic view because of bad knees. Things like that.
  3. Indeed there is a balance.
    I have chosen to purchase a condo and a car that weren’t the most “frugal” choices (yet still affordable). Why? Because I wake up everyday in saying “OMG I can’t believe I live here. OMG I can’t believe that’s my car!”.
    I want to be intentional about thinking long term, saving investing for the future, etc. I also want to not have to wait until I retire to enjoy life. So in my mind these were fair trade offs.
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