Here at Retirement Starts Today, we are always looking for ways to teach you how to spend more money so that you can enjoy an even better retirement. However, many times our clients and listeners have trouble loosening their purse strings.

After years of being diligent savers, instead of enjoying the fruits of their labor, retirees reaching financial independence often find another reason to be frugal. Listen in to hear how you may be overdoing delayed gratification.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Will gratification always lead to a more fulfilling life?
  • [2:55] How to find balance
  • [4:01] Habits are hard to make and hard to break
  • [10:12] How are expense ratio fees charged?

Does it always pay to delay gratification?

Many of us have heard of the famous marshmallow experiment. Children are offered a marshmallow but promised an even greater reward if they choose not to eat it immediately. There have been many conclusions drawn from this study including the traditional belief that those who delay gratification will have better life outcomes.

However, the article questions the predictability of this experiment’s results and explores whether always delaying gratification will lead to a more fulfilling life. It highlights two contrasting perspectives: living for the present with little consideration for the future and living solely for the future while sacrificing the present. The author mentions that while planning for the future is essential, excessive focus on it may lead to missing out on the joys of the present.

The article advocates finding a balance between indulgence and abstinence. It suggests that going to extremes in either direction can be unhealthy, both physically and psychologically. Instead, a middle ground that allows for enjoying the present while also planning for the future may lead to a more satisfying and balanced life.

It is important to not take life for granted. We can do that by finding a healthy balance between immediate pleasures and long-term goals. Enjoying life with some indulgence along the way can make for a better, more meaningful existence.

How to break the frugality habit

Habits are hard to make and hard to break. If you are listening to a retirement planning podcast, chances are you have been saving money for decades. Those savings habits are pretty solidified. Now that it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor you may need to practice spending the same way you practiced saving for all those years. The more disciplined of a saver you are the more challenging it may be to start spending.

Your upbringing may also contribute to your saving habits. It is hard to break the habits stemming from the lessons learned by our parents and grandparents.

Practice by making small changes. Starting small can help you begin new habits that you can build on over time. Remember that spending doesn’t have to be frivolous; you can spend by taking trips, gifting, and making memories with loved ones.

If you are financially independent, create a balanced spending plan that allows for simple indulgences. Remember, now is the time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work. You said no in the past so you can say yes today.

Resources & People Mentioned

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