If you clicked on this title you may be wondering what a $300 gym bag has to do with retirement. Well, this podcast focuses on learning how to spend more money and pay less taxes to set yourself up for the ideal retirement. So press play to hear about the $300 gym bag.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:37] Switching our mindset about breaking the cycle of self-denial
  • [1:32] What a new gym bag can teach us about retirement
  • [4:20] The lens that you view your purchases through
  • [5:40] Converting your investments in experiences and memories
  • [6:25] A time travel thought experiment
  • [9:31] The key takeaways from this thought experiment

Can your life be improved by spending X amount of money?

We often feel the need to justify our spending to others and I saw that recently while at the gym. A Crossfit friend of mine walked in with a shiny new gym bag that kept his gear well organized and in place. When I commented on his bag he felt the need to explain his (somewhat) large purchase.

It turned out that his new gym bag had cost $300. When he commented that he wasn’t sure it was money well spent, I put him through an exercise. I asked him how often he planned to use that bag. His answer was just about every day. That means if he uses it 300 times per year he would get $1 worth of use out of it each day. I asked him if he thought that it was worth $1 per day.

A mindset shift: spending money wisely and to improve your life

Spending more money may sound easy enough, however, after decades of saving and saying “No” to spending in preparation for financial independence, it can be challenging to shift your mindset to start saying “Yes.”

It’s a time to practice spending money wisely in the same way that you practiced saving money. While Roth conversions are cool – the most valuable conversion we have in retirement is converting our savings into memories. Retirement is an opportunity to fulfill long-held desires and have experiences that were previously out of reach.

A time-travel thought experiment for your consideration

Try this thought experiment that involves traveling back in time. Imagine that you are 13, it’s your birthday, and you’re given the opportunity to spend $500 on yourself by the end of day. If you can do it, you get to keep the $500. What would your 13-year old self buy? Those may be things you should reconsider in retirement.

What did you not have the opportunity to do when you were younger because your financial resources were limited? It’s not too late to dust off those early-life dreams and give them some serious consideration now. Retirement is the ideal opportunity for self rediscovery and personal growth, so what might you do?

The key takeaway: Retirement allows you to tap into your inner desires

The key takeaway is that retirement allows us to tap into our inner desires and allocate our hard-earned savings in ways that make our lives even better. Think about the areas of your retirement plan that could be enriched by spending on things that truly matter to you.

What is your version of the $300 gym bag? Identify the experiences or items that have been on your wishlist but remained out of reach due to budget constraints, lack of time, or other obstacles. Then muster up the courage to use your retirement as the opportune moment to make those dreams a reality.

It could be the purchase of an RV, a second home, or something else that would provide some enjoyment and life experiences during your retirement. You can actually break this kind of seemingly large purchase into smaller figures based on a per-use figure, and determine whether it’s really worth it to you to have that experience. Listen to this episode and I’ll explain how the math works.

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