“I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”
When we hit PIRE, we plan on doing a lot of world travel rather than seeing places in the United States that we haven’t seen. It’s not that we don’t think that the U.S. is a neat place or that there aren’t tons of sites to see in our own country.
We think we have a more pragmatic reason for choosing international travel.
It doesn’t have to do with cost of living arbitrage, although that’s a nice benefit about some of the places that we want to see.
It’s not because we’re worldly bon vivants.
It’s because, we figure, we’ll still be relatively young and healthy. The toll of long travel and adjusting to new climates and environments won’t be as bad when we’re in our 40s as when we’re in our 70s.
That’s not to say that older people can’t travel. They can. They do. But, it does require more planning and support. When we went to Rome, we walked all over the central section. We only rode public transport to get to and from the airport. After that, we got everywhere on our two-legged people movers. We walked most of Barcelona. We walked all of Reyjkavik (not that it’s much of an accomplishment, but it is more difficult in December).
In our 70s, it’s doubtful that we’ll be able to do that. Plus, we can still hop on an overnight flight to Europe, sleep on the plane, and, after a couple of cups of coffee, be ready to go the day that we land. Again, later on, we might not be able to do that.
Thus, while it’s difficult to face and acknowledge our own pending decline and mortality, we have tried to plan for maximizing the time that we have to be active and physically sound and can take in more leisurely activities when we’re older. It’s easy, relatively speaking, to drive through a national park. That’s why Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Arches will be itineraries later in life.
I’m starting to see a pattern with my clients that flips this paradigm on its head.
They’re working until their 60s, retiring, and traveling.
So far, so good.
Except that there’s one problem.
They overshot the mark in accumulating their wealth.
They’re at the point where they have far more money than they can ever spend in their lifetimes. Even accounting for bequest motives, they are likely to die with lots of money.
Meanwhile, in the present, they have a small and shrinking window to do all of the things that they wanted to do. They are running out of time, and will run out of time long, long before they’d run out of money.