The Best Reasons For Saving And Investing So Diligently

Reasons For Saving And Investing So Diligently
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To keep motivation up, remind yourself about the reasons for saving and investing so diligently. Once you have clear purposes for your money, saving aggressively becomes much easier.

It's too easy to eat one more cookie and find ourselves unrecognizable 10 years later. When we live in a free and abundant country, life can get too easy. As a result, we tend to stop saving and investing for our future.

Since graduating from college in 1999, I've been motivated to max out my 401(k) and save as much as possible because I knew there was no safety net. I needed to save to have a comfortable retirement.

My parents drove an eight year old Toyota Camry to their government jobs. We lived in a cozy townhouse. We definitely weren't rich And my parents worked until their 60s. After sending my big sister to college, I wasn't sure they had much to spare if I faltered.

After saving enough money to live off ~$80,000 a year in passive income in 2012, I continued to try and save as much of my after-tax income as possible. I wasn't sure I had made the right move walking away from a six-figure salary at the age of 34.

Given I've survived more than eleven years of unemployment, there's a growing chance I'll continue to stay unemployed for the foreseeable future.

Reasons For Saving And Investing For The Future

Here are all the reasons why I'm saving and investing for the future. I'm sure many of you have similar reasons as well.

1) A family to support.

Life was relatively easy financially when it was just my wife and I. We could adjust our spending down if necessary or find freelance work if we needed extra money or excitement.

Now that we have a toddler and a baby daughter, we have fixed costs that must be spent. We also have a lot less time to do anything outside of childcare and Financial Samurai.

By 2015, my wife had also engineered her layoff. She received a severance and was also done with work for good. As a result, both of us no longer have steady paychecks. Further, we have to pay over $2,200/month in healthcare insurance.

My solemn duty as a father is to take care of my family to the best of my ability. This means keeping them safe, sheltered, fed, and loved.

Related: How To Stop Worrying About Your Child's Future In This Brutally Competitive World

2) Paying for college (and potentially private grade school)

I have no doubt by the time my son goes to college in 2035, the all-in cost will rise to $125,000+ a year. Goodness forbid he decides to take five years to graduate! To pay $500,000 – $600,000 for him to attend college in 18 years requires $28,000 – $33,000 a year in savings.

My hope is that he either gets admitted to a fantastic state school or is smart enough to get merit based scholarships. But I won't count on it given there is a decline in merit-based reward. As a result, I'm aggressively saving in two 529 accounts.

Perhaps there will be a movement by 2035 where college will either be free for everybody. With Joe Biden and the Democrats looking to forgive a lot of student loan debt, perhaps free college will be an inevitability.

Once our daughter was born at the end of 2019, our estimates for college expenses doubled. Thankfully, we've been aggressively contributing to a 529 plan that has grown. We may even use a 529 plan as a wealth transfer tool.

Related: Are You Willing To Go To Public School All Your Life For $1,000,000?

3) Affordable housing for my children.

Another great reason to save and invest is to provide affordable housing for my kids. Housing costs will only go up over time because land is fixed and demand is ever-increasing.

For example, the median house price in San Francisco will rise to $3,250,000 from ~$1,600,000 today if prices grow by just 3% a year for 24 years.

Meanwhile, if you don't have a $650,000 downpayment to buy the median $3,250,000 home in the future, it will cost you over $8,000 a month to rent the place under the same metrics. Housing affordability is a big problem that can be solved with diligent ivnesting today.

Once housing costs are squared away, it's much easier to pursue your interests. What a shame it would be to turn down a wonderful opportunity that doesn't pay the greatest due to an absurdly high cost of living.

Related: Why I Wanted To Build A Real Estate Empire

4) Car maintenance expenses and a new safe car.

Ongoing car maintenance expenses are expensive. Six months after my car warranty ran out, my radiator fan stopped working. That cost $750 to fix. Then I've got to pay $500-$1,000 at least every two years for regular maintenance on my Range Rover Sport.

The amount of parts and electronics that go into cars these days compared to 30 years ago is night and day. In the past, we could easily fix our own vehicles. Now, we've got to hook our cars up to an electronic diagnostic and then go from there.

Finally, replacing four 22″ mud + snow tires and breaks look like it will cost me $3,000. I just had to replace my front right tire for $480 because of side wall damage.

The more you drive, the more car maintenance expenses you will have. As the primary driver, I want to buy a new safe car every 10 years. Given the average new car price is about $50,000, I need to save a lot!

Related: The 1/10th Rule For Car Buying Everyone Must Follow

5) Property taxes

Although I got rid of $23,000 a year in property taxes by selling one of my properties in 2017, I've still got to pay $18,000 a year in property taxes for my primary residence, $9,600 a year for a SF rental condo, and $4,800 a year for my Lake Tahoe property. That's $30,400 a year just in property taxes.

Oh yeah, I also bought a forever home during the pandemic in 2020. That's another $31,000 a year in property taxes! Unfortunately, property taxes are a never ending expense. At least I got a good deal.

Yes, the rent I receive from my rental properties will more than cover the property taxes. However, property tax is still a never ending wealth tax that will only grow over time. Saving and investing to pay property taxes isn't very motivating. But it's a must!

My property tax bill is over $100,000 a year now. Just typing that amount now sounds sick. But at least that also means I have a large property portfolio that spits out rental income and can take care of my family.

Related: How To Reduce Your Property Taxes

6) Home maintenance expenses.

Besides property tax, there is constant home maintenance expense to deal with. The big ones include replacing a roof every 15 years for $15,000 – $20,000, painting the exterior every 10-15 years for $10,000 – $15,000, and regular upkeep of the grounds that might run $1,000 – $2,000 a year.

I've become very handy at fixing leaks, replacing caulk, and interior painting as a landlord since 2005. However, the big home maintenance expenses are unavoidable.

When you own multiple properties, something always comes up. Things get damaged by tenants and you're always itching to do some home improvements.

These constant maintenance expenses is one of the main reasons why I invested in real estate crowdfunding across the heartland of America. With real estate crowdfunding, REITs, and real estate ETFs, there are no home maintenance expenses.

My favorite real estate crowdfunding platform is Fundrise, followed by CrowdStreet. Both are free to sign up and explore. As I get older, I've begun to prefer investing in diversified funds like the ones offered by Fundrise. I'm happy to let an investment committee decide on the best deals.

I've personally invested $953,000 in private real estate since 2016.

7) The possibility of having another child.

In 2018 I wrote the following: “There's less than a 25% chance we'll have a biological second child due to our advanced ages, but there's still a chance. We are also considering adopting or fostering a child as well. If we were to have a second child, our costs will increase between $1,000 – $5,000 a month depending on the age and time the second child comes.”

The funny thing is, our 25% chance came true! We had a daughter in December 2019! Now, our expenses have definitely increased by at least $1,000 a month. Once she goes to preschool, our expenses will go up by at least $2,500 a month due to tuition.

You just never know! We love kids so much we'd love to have another. However, our chance of having a third is probably only 5% now that we're in our 40s. Therefore, saving and investing for more children is probably not a priority for us anymore.

To raise two children in expensive San Francisco and life a middle-class lifestyle costs about $300,000 a year. Here's the budget to prove it. You can click the chart to learn more.

$300,000 household budget for family of four 2023

Related: The Cost Of Raising Many Children Is Not Just The Money

8) A Hawaiian dream home.

This is our biggest future expense that doesn't have to come true. We've thought about living on a flat piece of land near the beach for a while now. Unfortunately, a four bedroom, three bathroom home on a 10,000 sqft lot within a 10 minute walk to the beach will cost around $3,500,000 – $4,500,000.

Ideally, we'd like to purchase the property by 2025, when our daughter is eligible to begin kindergarten. Sending my kids to Punahou or I'olani in Honolulu would be amazing.

One can always dream right? When you dream you tend to find ways to make things happen. There's a good chance we'll just settle for a smaller house for 30% less if it's just the three of us. Check out this sweet house with panoramic ocean views.

9) Insurance we can remain stay at home parents.

For the first year, both my wife and I were unsure whether leaving work in our 30s was a good idea. After all, I believe the ideal age to retire is between 41 – 45. That's us right now. We are saving and investing to ensure we live our ideal lives.

However, if things get tight, one or both of us may have to get a job to provide. At the minimum, we want to be stay at home parents until both our kids get to attend in-person school full-time. That means when our daughter turns five in 2025.

Kids grow up so fast. We might as well spend as much time taking care of them while they are young. Doctors also say the first five years are the most important years for development. We shall see.

10) To be able to comfortably provide for our parents for the rest of their lives.

If there is one thing we must get right, it's to be able to provide everything our parents want or need for the rest of their lives. There is no way we will ever let them live in a strange place if they don't want to. Instead, we will customize their respective houses and pay for care to come to them if that is what they prefer.

We estimate that it will cost around $15,000 – $20,000 a month per set of parents to be able to provide for such care, excluding any customization work that is required to the house e.g. building a wheel chair entrance ramp, installing an electronic chair that gets them up the stairs, installing communication devices in every room, cleaning, landscaping, and live-in care, etc. No wonder why long-term care insurance is so expensive.

We also anticipate having to pay for food delivery, transportation, and their vacations as well. If there is one area where we should spend the most money, it's on our parents.

Related: Perpetual Failure: Why I Continue To Save So Much

11) To invest more money for even more passive income.

Perhaps the best reason to save and invest is freedom. There's really nothing better than having passive investment income fund our lifestyles. It takes the stress off of hustling and making active income.

During downturns, having the cash to invest in risk assets is good. Over the long run, stocks and real estate tend to do well. With inflation so high, investing in stocks and real estate is a must for ourselves and our children.

Saving And Investing For The Unknown Future

After a while, saving and investing will become part of your DNA. You will do so unconsciously because you're unconsciously preparing for an unknown future.

The more you save, the more secure you will feel. If you end up with too much, there are plenty of people out there who could use your financial help.

Keep saving and investing diligently for an unknown future. It's always better to have a little too much than too little.

Track Your Finances Diligently

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I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying. After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms.

Invest In Real Estate More Strategically

Real estate is my favorite way to achieving financial freedom because it is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. Stocks are fine, but stock yields are low and stocks are much more volatile. 

Take a look at my two favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms. Both are free to sign up and explore.

Fundrise: A way for accredited and non-accredited investors to diversify into real estate through private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and has consistently generated steady returns, no matter what the stock market is doing. The real estate platform has over 300,000 investors and manages over $3 billion. 

CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations, higher rental yields, and potentially higher growth due to job growth and demographic trends.

I've personally invested $953,000 in real estate crowdfunding across 18 projects to take advantage of lower valuations in the heartland of America. My real estate investments account for roughly 50% of my current passive income of ~$300,000. 

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. I help people get rich and live the lifestyles they want. 

47 thoughts on “The Best Reasons For Saving And Investing So Diligently”

  1. Hi, I’m a new subscriber and love to read your blog… Wow …a 10,000 sqf house …one of my first article I could swear I read you said why I need a house so big?

  2. What’s wrong with an 8yr old Camry? :-) Really, there’s no real difference in driving 2yr old BMW or 10yr old Japanese. It’s just that 10yr old Japanese doesn’t cost anything, they don’t start breaking before 20yr old… I’m saving and investing so that I can retire in Southern Europe when I’m 55yr. Don’t even have 529 for the kids, they will need to figure that out themselves.

      1. Well, we are saving and will, of course, help them if needed, but just haven’t started that 529.. Partly ignorance (found about them maybe two years ago.. we are from Europe), part lazyness.. haven’t just opened the accounts..

  3. Brian McMan

    Mostly to avoid future pain. My plan to have a better life by investing is kinda vague, but capital ownership appears to be the best way to ensure future survival.

  4. Hey Sam-

    I’m relatively young and there a million things I could put on a list. The most simple answer though, is I am saving to get to a level of passive income that I can live off of without having to work. I figure that # is minimum 200K. I am nowhere near 200K in passive income, so I just have to keep saving. With all the uncertainty in life, I sometimes stop and wonder if it’s “worth it” to save so much (and give up consumption in the meantime, for years and years). I’m hoping to put $1m away at a relatively young age and just let it grow. I don’t want to be 55 and stressed about saving.

  5. Marie Jacob

    My biggest goal now is to make hay while the sun shines, which is farmer speak for work hard now while you can because one day soon you will not be able to. Besides everything on your list, Dementia and longevity run in my family. My Grandma has it now at 95 and the cost of decent care plus medical inflation and the many years she needs it scare me way more than the cost of college and inflation. My mother is also starting to show symptoms. Taking care of family involves time as much as money making it difficult to find time to earn more later should it be needed. I also don’t want to be a burden to my kids one day.

  6. Okay I understand if you are picking Oahu because your family and friends are there, but I don’t get paying $3M to live in a nice place that’s a 10 minute walk to a nice beach living near Honolulu when you can have an awesome place on the north shore that’s literally on the beach. (Been looking on Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island) Honolulu was the only place on the Hawaiian Islands I didn’t care for…when there is a Ruby Tuesday’s across the street from the beach next to a Starbucks that pretty much told me I never need to visit that spot again, but maybe there’s something I’m missing? Now the north shore, that’s spectacular, watching crazy surfers drop into the pipeline from your back yard I can totally understand.

    1. Hmm, Where is this ruby Tuesdays next to the beach?
      There are a lot of very quiet, amazing homes and neighborhoods near or on the beach that have no commercial outlets next to them eg Kahala, Black Point, Kailua and of course North Beach.

      1. I apologize for sounding like Debbie downer, its just that my first Hawaiian experience was Waikiki beach in Honolulu. I checked my pictures again and it wasn’t a Ruby Tuesdays, but there is a McDonalds and a Burger King right on the beach. Still very beautiful beach, but damn Hawaii has some ridiculously off the chart towns, beaches, and scenery when you venture outside of what is essentially just another crowded congested city. I’d enroll Jr. in surf school if I were you and buy a place on the north shore, there are a few places in the $2.5-$4M range that I could see being forever homes. My only advice coming from having lived on the water for over 2 decades is it is totally worth making your friends and family drive a tad farther to visit to have the Pacific Ocean be your back yard.

  7. I save for a future I don’t yet know about but one which I look forward to.
    I save to try new investment techniques to see which ones work better than others.
    I save for my kids and their future.
    I save for peace of mind. If something goes wrong I have a (financial) way to put it right.
    I save to one day be free to choose to do nothing.
    I save to be my own master :)

  8. Saving and investing for enough money to pay off my primary residence, then sprinting to the finish line of my career going on 20 years with the same company. After two decades of paying for others and myself I am now in “Crunch time” and have only myself to fund. Needless to say I am lucky to be doing well now because of the forced discipline of the past 20 years.

  9. I am an avid reader of your blog and agree with much of what you discuss. I have seen estimates for the future cost of college that are in line with the $125k you plan on needing. I feel I need to point out two problems with these college cost estimates.

    1. $89,000 in today’s money is equal to about $125k in 17 years at a 2% inflation rate. I realize that college tuition costs are rising far faster than the 2% inflation rate. My concern is who is the average person paying $89,000 a year for college today? says the average four year public college tuition was $25,290 which equates to $34,250 in 17 years. If tuition goes from $25,290 to $125,000 in 17 years no one will be in college. My conclusion is that a yearly cost of $125 for college tuition is not a realistic forecast except for maybe medical school (which is a postgrad program) and high end private schools.

    2. If college does cost $500k you should not send your son there. If you invest $500k when your son turns 18 and earn 4% above inflation (I believe a 6% return is realistic) he can retire at 67 with around $2.1 million in today’s dollars. Your college investment of $500k would be worth for the non-tangible benefits of college and/or if your son gets a high paying job like you were able to.

    These are just my opinions but I really think the college tuition inflation is economically unsupportable in the long run. I also think college tuition costs invested in a balanced portfolio will in many cases today put students financially further ahead at retirement because of the added compounding time and reduced debt early in life that can allow for more aggressive savings rates early in life.

    I hope this raises some good points. Thanks

  10. Great article Sam!

    One question for you. So one thing I am saving for right now is my emergency fund. I understand that the emergency fund should be enough to cover you for 3-6 months of living expenses should you lose your job or something like that. With that said, in what form do you recommend me storing it? Do I keep it all in cash in a savings account? Or do I put in into a lost cost/low fee bond fund that I can liquidate overnight when things go south?

    Thanks for your help!

  11. 1) Retirement / independence funding
    2) Kids college
    3) Travel and recreation
    4) Taking care of the folks — both sets are comfortable but not wealthy and there are 3 kids in each family

    We save for updating and expanding our home and refreshing our cars as well.

  12. My wife and I started aggressively saving about the age of 29. I was always a saver. I have a neurological disorder, so I knew there was a chance I would have to go in disability. This caused me to do things a bit differently. It caused me to make sure I finished school, investing in myself, and it caused me to aggressively save.

    I saw people who never saved anything, just spend spend. I even knew one person with an Accounting degree (my field) living paycheck to paycheck. I thought what is the point of going to school if you live paycheck to paycheck. That wasn’t going to be me.

    For many years we saved about 40% of our paychecks. However, the disability caused me to be more risk averse. I wish I had ventured out into more real estate. And, it caused me to stay at jobs too long. There comes a point in time where you wear out your welcome, and it’s time to find the next opportunity. I would sometimes stay at jobs too long because I felt conmfortable. Had I taken more risk, I would have increased my earnings potentials

    I am currently retired. My wife will probably work for another year. My two children are now on their own. Daughter is an RN. Luckily she was able to get into the program at her local junior college. We were looking into extremely expensive private schools, but luckily her junior college accepted her. Now she is an emergency RN, and still has to get her bachelors which is one more year, bit that’s on her now.

    My house we purchased for 121,000 dollars. The assessor has it has about 250,000 dollars. We added about 500 square feet to it, and now it’s appraised at 1,092,000 – 1,490,000 dollars. Houses in my area (40 miles south of SF) are selling 200k in excess of asking price. Who ever thought houses would sell more in the asking than the cost of my original purchase price.

    Insurance for everything seems to be a big part of everything. One insurance I pay for is earthquake insurance even though the deductible is around 40k. Do you buy earthquake insurance on your SF property?

    Car- always buy new but drive into the ground. We have two cars, both about 8 years old. Will probably buy another once wife is completely retired.

    I will always save to. My intent is to draw no more than 2% of my savings to live on. I believe I can live comfortably on that. My expenses I calculate for the first year of retirement will run about 94K a year. I get about 24K in Disability a year. So, we only need 70k a year until my wife reaches 70 when we will draw her social security.

    I want to use about 15k a year for traveling.

  13. Hi, Sam: sorry an unrelated question: i saw your 1/10th rule for buying cars, do you have similar rules for primary residence? like no more than 30% of your overall net worth or something like that? Would love to see that discussion (my apology if there’s already one). Thanks!

  14. I have a newborn – almost a month old now! – so number one (a family to support) resonates with me. I know I am going to want to spend as much time with my wife and son as possible, so I save smartly so I can do just that.

  15. Super thorough list! I save for pretty much all the same reasons. My biggest reasons are for family. Life speed really does accelerate and saving while I can for my family’s future helps me sleep at night.

  16. I am saving up for a place near the river. Not as cool as a beach but anything with a private entrance to a lake sounds amazing. But it’s just a pipe dream :) only if I could be so lucky.

    Baby #2 sounds like a wonderful idea! I want to save for my family and legacy.

  17. Sam, good article again.

    Putting millions into Hawaii real estate with rising ocean levels would worry me. I would not do it personally. I am making sure I am well above the 2050 predicted sea level in my city.

    I am retired but still saving madly for a more comfortable and free life. That’s what keeps me investing, paying attention to the stock market, and holding on to my house in my coastal city.

    Family — parents passed away and they were independent until they died. I have no children. I’ll leave my money to nieces and nephews so they get a boost. No need to support family members. They are comfortable on their own.

    Car repair expenses — my last car did not cost much in repairs and it was 28 years old when I traded it in. I did not buy a luxury car because I don’t want to face expensive repairs. Besides my Kia has all the luxury accessories that a high-end car has.

    Property taxes — we can defer them until we sell the house (if over 55 years old).

    Home Maintenance & Renovations — definitely saving big time for this one. I won’t feel comfortable updating my house until I have another $500,000 saved. The annual maintenance is not expensive, but painting and roofing will come along, but with stucco and vinyl windows, painting and roofing maybe every 20 years. The house is basically a box, so not a nightmare expense. I do want to renovate my ground floor apartment, update the heating system, and put in an automatic garden watering system. Eventually update bathrooms, and perhaps reconfigure the upper floor to take advantage of the view. But all is functional and quite nice for now.

    Home with a View — my dream is a home with gorgeous view of the ocean and mountains and city, sunrise and sunset. Maybe trade my house for a large penthouse someday.

    Travel and Lifestyle — I travel 4-6 months a year but would like to travel more. For example, a 3 month road trip through the USA not worrying about hotel costs. The ability to rent a nice house or apartment in a great city or warm country for 1-3 months at a time, maybe 3-4 times a year.

    Lifestyle — I already eat well and buy clothes as I please, but there is always more to spend there, I suppose.

    Health care — we are covered for nearly all health care expenses in Canada. I have enough to cover the extras.

    Assisted Living — selling my house should cover me for many years if this becomes necessary but I doubt it will.

  18. #8 is one of my reasons (Kauai or Maine, will decided at the time!). I would appreciate if you took the time to write a bit more about this goal. I’d be curious to know how you have the money being saved for this goal invested.

  19. I save for many things as well such as College for our nine month old. We’ll have at least one more so we’ll need to save for their College costs too. Both my wife and I received scholarships and we they will too but you can never know for sure.

    I also save so that I can reach a point that I am more free to work for myself if I choose and to make sure I’m able to provide for my family.

  20. This is an inspiring and somewhat overwhelming list! There sure are a lot of things to save for, especially when you have both children and living parents as we do as well. On days when I’m particularly annoyed with my job, I have to admit that selfishly my main motivator is still “walk away” money. :) It feels like it will be easier to find a new passion and purpose after the mandatory cubicle days are behind me. This list is a good reminder of all of the other worthy reasons to save as well though!

  21. I’m saving for freedom. I dream of using the majority my time as I wish (helping others and having fun) and not with the primary purpose of making money. Once I’m there, maybe the list will change but for now it’s, save, save, save, until I get to FI.

  22. “You will do so unconsciously because you’re unconsciously preparing for an unknown future.”

    I was just thinking about this the other day. I didn’t discover the early retirement movement until I was 37/ At that time, I had saved up $586,000 (and $150,000 in home equity). I had no idea what I was saving for. I didn’t even think about.

    Then, I discovered this movement and BOOM, I’m done! The unknown turned out to be something very good. I’m so glad I had started that egg rolling…

  23. A Recent College Grad

    1) College Loans: I had the luxury of 80k in college debt when I graduated last year. While I attribute this financial pressure to my bulldog work ethic, it has also stifled my financial and mental state of being. I just want to move forward with my life.

    2) Money In Bank: Last year I was absolutely humiliated when I could not pay a cashier. After living on financial fumes for four years, I’m relieved to have a high paying job. After the college debt is gone, my goal is 3 – 6 months of income in my savings account. I don’t know how people live pay check to pay check.

    3) Starting A Business: Again, once college is paid off, I would like to start a business. Most likely with rental properties unless a good idea comes along. Regardless, I look forward to being a leader without being told how to lead.

    4) General Investments: My company’s stock went up 40% last year. Most of the other 401k investments were +20% as well (no, we are not a tech startup). I can only imagine the older folks with 1M+ in their 401k making 200k – 800k. Money makes money, so its time to get started.

    5) High School Mentoring: Despite paying 80k for college, my high school probably had the most impact on my education career. The school supported engineering courses and activities that really shaped my mindset in life. The equipment and staff are unbelievable. I’m glad to see this level of investment into the 14yr – 18yr demographic. I’m also glad to give back my time so others can enjoy the opportunities and experience I had when I was that age.

    6) Sailboat: I love my job, but by weeks end its emotionally exhausting. I need to invest in my mental wellbeing. There is nothing more relaxing than the tranquility of open water. Just you, your boat, and the earth. Its a place of calm to meditate and reflect on life and generate both long and short term goals. I am counting down the days to when I have saved enough money to purchase one.

  24. Nice post, Sam :)

    I really like these introspective posts that you do. The ones that make people think about why they do what they do in regards to their money/spending/saving habits.

    Right now I am saving for my future family. It’s only my wife and I right now, but eventually it’s going to be more dogs and little ones. Eventually I would like to get to a point where I can work part time and live off of investments/savings/rental property/creative pursuits the rest of the time.

    Have a great day!

  25. Helping the parents is a big one. It’s even more difficult than helping the kids. At least, college is only 4-5 years. Parents may need care for much longer than that. My mom lives with us most of the time now. It doesn’t cost too much money, but it’s a bit stressful emotionally. When all 4 people needs help, it will be really tough. They’re all divorced, of course….

  26. To gain as much freedom as possible for myself and my family. I am a steward for the things that I accumulate and that have been given to me – so I can pass along to my family the ability to make meaningful choices in their life. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We offer these ideals we shouldnt settle for less.

  27. Some dire thoughts there Sam.
    Let’s add medical, healthcare.

    We know you are in San Fran, so the comment, … by 2035 where college will either be free for everybody as we move towards a more socialist regime… is understood. Remember when they want it paid for, you ARE the 1%.. any talk of socialism has to be tempered with some Iron Lady…

    “The problem with socialism is at some point, you run out of other people’s money” – Margaret Thatcher

    1. God forbid we ever “move toward a more socialist regime”.

      I assume you are just commenting that it seems like that is what is happening. I hope so. I am sure it is. You are way to intelligent to ever want to go the way of the Soviet Union, North Korea, Venezuela, etc.

      I enioy your site.

    2. We never run out of money. We just keep printing more, money out of nothing. The fed is the only one with a money tree. Now what’s wrong with that?

  28. You had to mention that cookie…it’s like working out and beer for me. I go to OTF / the gym 5 times a week and eat relatively healthy (by my standards any way). I then have 1 beer (my version of a cookie). And then a second. I then go to grab a 3rd from the fridge, but then I stop (usually). As you suggest, it’s important to maintain clarity on the long-term.

    On your question, we’re saving for various little things beyond retirement But currently a focus is saving for the unknown; the don’t know in our “mid-range” or taxable account bucket. It might be a down payment if we want to buy a place. It might be a college account for a future little BD. It could be an additional passive income stream via portfolio / paper assets.

    TBD – time will tell, but it’s better to have the option than not having anything prepared for at all.

  29. Quick comment on college merit scholarships- the most competitive academic colleges (say top 15 schools) attract enough brilliant students to fill their classes 3 times over with academic powerhouse type people. So they don’t usually give out merit scholarships: the entire class would qualify! They usually give out needs based money.

    If you are an academic super desirable candidate and hope to get some merit aide, you usually need to attend a slightly “less competitive” school. It is trade off of sorts: prestigious school no merit, slightly less prestigious school-merit. Just my 2 cents worth, having been down this road 3 times.

  30. Sam, this is very timely for me because I’ve transitioned from my old military career, started a business, and things are going very well with it. The balance between spending and saving is something that I work on very diligently, but I’ve eased up on my fear of spending now and we just remain very deliberate about spending on those things that will bring us happiness. Too much frugality leads me to get complacent about earning and too much saving defers the happiness that deliberate spending provides. Striking a balance seems to be the important thing.

  31. Saving for a form of freedom – not to be dependant or reliant on anyone or anything from a financial perspective.

    (No. 10 also love to hook up the rents too when the opportunity arises :-D)


  32. My reasons are fairly similar to yours. Providing for my family is at the top of my list. I’ve worked online full-time for almost 10 years. It’s worked out pretty well, but I’ve always felt like things could change at any time and there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to continue making the same amount of money.

    There’s no doubt that kids have a huge impact on your financial responsibilities and outlook. My kids are 5 and 2 and life with kids has been much different than life before kids.

  33. Great post Sam. I’m well-over my financial independence number, but continue to work part time and max my savings rate. I do it for some of the same reasons you listed, but #10 is a focus for me. My Mom turns 89 in a few weeks and I have a brother with type-1 diabetes. Both need some help now and it’s only going to get worse. The way I see it, you get one family in life, and if you can’t be there for your family then you’ve got some serious reflection to do on your purpose in life.

  34. Optionality, that’s my motivator. I could have chosen a more aggressive career track over the past 20 years, but I chose to do things on my terms instead. While this has not allowed me to be in a position to hang it up today if I wanted to (at least not at the level of income I want in retirement), I’m not far off (maybe 5 years), and I’ve had what appears to me to be a more enjoyable career/life than many of my peers. I never could have predicted my career to date more than about a year out, and I find that I like it this way. I may choose to work another 5 years or another 30 … depends on what I want to do and what I find fulfilling. This optionality has been made possible by responsible spending and investing (and good education and getting s**t done at work), and is more valuable to me than any specific material objective.
    I really appreciate the breadth of options presented on your site Sam. It’s really helped me to settle into a comfortable plan so we can enjoy living in the moment every day.

  35. #4: We picked up a year old Jeep Grand Cherokee for $14k under the new price. Found a forum online where a dealer in another state was selling the lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for $2800 (just over cost).

    It’s a lifetime bumper to bumper service plan with $100 copay. It runs out when a repair will cost more than the car is worth, then they just give you cash for the cars value. Plan to have the car until then.

  36. Those are pretty well thought out reasons. I’m hesitant to share mine as they’ve changed so much in just three years.

    They include at least two children, a nice house with a pool (possibly in Texas so we don’t live in a super HCOL place), simple cars, and a larger budget for food.

    I’d hope my child is bright enough to earn scholarships like we did, but I guess we can’t count on that. We’ve factored in 529 contributions to pay out current school costs (which could go so much higher)!

    I did the math a while ago and it seems better for our personal scenario to rent vacation houses around the world than buy because we’d like to try a variety. Travel hacking should cover plane costs and we’d foot the rent. Maybe we’ll like some place so much one day that we’ll settle down.

    So many thoughts!

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