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January 20, 2013


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I worry about this exact issue a lot. I'm a pretty aggressive saver myself, but it would be a fair criticism to say that I save too much and that I might not be enjoying life as much as I should be.

I haven't found the exact point of balance yet, but it's something that I'm working on.

So far I have no regrets. I have been there all I can for my wife and kids and they never felt deprived. I never worked UnGodly hours of overtime and we never skimped on taking a vacation. My wife is more frugal than I am but that is a blessing. This September my wife and I will start a new chapeter in our book of life of being college empty nesters. We have worked all our lives to make our kids the most independent they could be and now it is time for the last son to test the waters.

My misistry of being a full time father has been a success.

My blessings of savings will provide what I need in the future and it is hard concept to accept when you say "God will provide"

I too was really touched by JL's profile. I try to create a life that is not living for retirement, the next job, the next bonus, or even the weekend, but it is hard.

Right now we are focused on something you have talked a lot about, and that is getting to a level of semi-retirment so we are excited about our current life and not waiting for the next big thing. Today that looks like saving a lot, and focusing on our careers, but also not taking jobs that require working 80 hours a week but pay a lot more. As we continue to save, maybe we will make additional shifts, although we are only in our 30s now so it's hard to imagine making too big of shift.

A corollary to what was mentioned in JLs story that I think about a lot as a parent is balancing spending time our kids now why they are young vs early retirement. I would hate to have my husband and I both work 60-80 hours a week now so we can save as much as possible and then retire as we become empty nesters. It's hard to find balance.

Great post FMF; very genuine and authentic. The balance you speak of is what I have dedicated my whole life to studying. I have only met a handful of people in my life who intentionally prepared well for retirement but also enjoyed life to its fullest while simultaneously helping and nurturing others along the way as well. It is possible but man that is a tall order!!! It’s hard to preach “saving and investing” on other people when they think to themselves, “well he/she doesn’t have any fun with what they saved anyways so what is the point”. It has been a journey for me to learn and demonstrate that behavior to my circle of influence. Cheers to you FMF for stopping to smell the roses along the way!!!

You don't know what to expect out of life. There has to be a balance. You should be able to save money, but enjoy life while your here on earth.

The balance of living today while also saving for tomorrow my biggest struggle. Sometimes I feel like we aren't saving enough, but on the other hand I want to experience and do with my son and husband now, not 25+ years from now. It's especially hard when "retirement" is so far away still.

Very well said FMF and Nate. I believe Zig Ziglar said it best when he said “I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles”. Same can be said in one’s financial life. You can save all the money in the world, but don’t get to enjoy it when you think you are ready. I too have decided to spend the remainder of my life living a balanced life. JL profile though was eye opening just reiterated what I had always known about saving, retirement and life. “Life is the journey and not the destination”. What memories are you building along the way? What will your future be like? I believe answering some of these questions along with having “balance” in mind will help a lot of people live a better, brighter and fuller life.

I spend less, not more, so I can enjoy life while living it. I should reach FI by 45 because of heavy saving. One of my largest expenses is travel with family, 'cause I do want to enjoy life before 45 as well.

99% of the people I hear saying "you can't take it with you" are doing it while buying something they can't take with them...99% of the people who say "you have to live (enjoy) life" are saying it while indebting them to more required hours of work in their finite life for something that gives them little/brief pleasure...99% of the people who say "its only money" never say "its only stuff"...

If I sit on my death bed tomorrow, I will regret not telling my wife I love her more often, I'm gonna regret not building more confidence/self-love in my children, I'm even gonna regret not saying something nice to that one person having a really bad day that I might not even know. I'm not gonna be crying about driving a 12 year old camry instead of a new BMW my whole life...

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