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No One Ever Celebrates They Are Debt Free on Their Death Bed

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May 15, 2013 – Comments (11)

Being a Toastmasters member, I remember hearing this statement in last year's championship award winning speech.  You can find it on YouTube if you are interested in the entire speech but this statement is the focus here:

"No one ever celebrates they are debt free on their death bed..."

You hear all the time about how much you should save and how you can't save enough and how more, more, more is better.  Well this would go against every other thing known to man if this was as true as it is claimed by family, friends, media, books, etc.  Too much water and you deplete the sodium in your body and get hyponatremia and die.  Too much oxygen and you get hypoxia and die.  Too much sun and you increase your chances of skin cancer and die.  So why would saving too much not be bad?

No one ever celebrates they are debt free on their death bed.  The idea is moderation.  That is the idea that 99.9999% of people in all aspects of life never understand.  They exercise too much to get in shape.  They eat too much to build muscle.  On diets, they eat too little.  In school, they study too much and wind up missing out on social events.  In their careers, they work too much and wind up missing on family events.  They wind up missing out on what life really is about - living

The same thing happens when it comes to saving.  If you save 100% and don't treat yourself on anything, is it really worth it in the end?  Can you honestly say to yourself that you will be excited to have $10,000, $100,000, or $1,000,000+ in savings as you take your last breath?  In the end, life isn't about doing one thing all the way to the left or to the right.  It is about finding the perfect medium.  When it comes to investing and saving, it is about finding that perfect ratio that allows you to live but also allows you to live right through retirement, all the way up to the last second.  At that point, if you have $0 in the bank, you may have just lived the perfect life for you.

11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM, JaysRage (88.92) wrote:

Most of the people that I know more likely to treat themselves too much and have little concept of delayed gratification.   But yes, delayed gratification doesn't get you anywhere, if you delay it until it is too late to enjoy anything.  

Being debt free long before your death bed not only provides for a relatively stress-free retirement, it allows you to have something positive to give you your children and grandchildren, instead of selfishly saddling them with your debt.   There are plenty of people who are happy that they can pass something on to the next generations, so yes, there are plenty of people that are very happy to be debt free on their death bed.  


There are a of people that would rather have a larger legacy than "lived life to the fullest", because there is so much more that can be done than that.    If you have $0 in the bank, you've passed a legacy of selfish consumption to your offspring.  

Money is just one investment I plan on making in my children and grandchildren.   The additional time that financial freedom will allow will also allow me to invest time and wisdom and training into my children and grandchildren.    

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#2) On May 15, 2013 at 12:25 PM, TheDumbMoney (42.83) wrote:

The answer lies in moderation, but also in clearly defining what gratification is.  I save 20-30% of my income.  I don't really feel like I'm missing out on anything at all.  That's because I don't need $10,000 trips, or lots of shoes, or to eat out all of the time, or a fancy car, etc.  Many things in life that are quite enjoyable are free or very cheap.  While I agree with mike's sentiment in general, the problem is as JaysRage identifies, that most people are spending way too much, on things they don't need, which they are only buying because they have been brainwashed by advertising.  Nobody needs a BMW 5-Series, and the marginal joy of owning it over owning a Honda Accord is relatively negligable after the initail euphoria while buying it.  I'll be much happier to die with savings (and pass it on to my kids and/or to charity) than I will be if I die knowning I wasted my money on things I didn't really need and that gave me far less joy than I thought they would when I was buying them.

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#3) On May 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM, L0RDZ (84.96) wrote:

THE You only  live  once

YOLO  is  something  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk2NO5No_LE

Best  not to  taunt  someone with a gun.

Wheres my  money ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyzkTflgl8Q

I  think  there would  be  some  peace  at least on  one's  death bed  knowing  that  you  have  not  screwed any  friends  over  in  obligations  as  well as  having  properly  planned things  so  as  to pass on  to others   assets  you  have  accumulated over a  life-time.

The best pleasure felt  in life  is  knowing  that  you had  made a  difference  and  that  you  have  given more  than  you  had  gotten.

Oh  the  horror  and  the  resentment  I  could  imagine  on those  who  are  burdened  with having  to  not  get  repaid  what is owed or  having to pay  to  properly  honor  someone  who has  passed from this world.

Its  kind of  selfish  to  spend  it all   or  die  not  completing  ones obligations.

I  can  relate  to  the CB4  asking  for his money...

I know many a  fools  who think themselves honest  and  honorable  men  who  are nothing  than  dead-beat  losers  who  will never pay what they owe.

A Lannister  always pays his debts.

:)

 

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#4) On May 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM, L0RDZ (84.96) wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZomwVcGt0LE

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#5) On May 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM, ryanalexanderson (< 20) wrote:

When it comes to investing and saving, it is about finding that perfect ratio that allows you to live but also allows you to live right through retirement, all the way up to the last second.  At that point, if you have $0 in the bank, you may have just lived the perfect life for you.

Maybe. But the hard part is knowing how long you'll live. If you live five years after your $0 estimate...that's not so good.

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#6) On May 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM, HarryCarysGhost (99.69) wrote:

Maybe. But the hard part is knowing how long you'll live. If you live five years after your $0 estimate...that's not so good.

BINGO!

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#7) On May 16, 2013 at 7:57 AM, mikecart1 (98.85) wrote:

JaysRage,

That is one way of looking at it.  I understand that it is people's goal of passing money to offspring but some people overdo it and wind up sacrificing some of their own enjoyment.  But I am also focused on those without offspring - those old people you hear about at work or retired that are living on a ton of money (401K and savings) that wind up going way too early and they hold out on vacations and other later-in-life dreams and never achieve them.

TheDumbMoney,

I agree about the car thing.  I like cars and all and have the so-called dream car(s) but I run my cars to the ground lol.  I'd rather see how new I can make an old car look than buy a new one.  Also buying a car is the 2nd worst investment in life (after a home - from earlier blog post last year and a speech I did).  I can't find how I can be happy knowing the thing I'm driving to work cost over $30K more than everyone else's on the road and I could have used that money instead to invest and make far more.

LORDZ,

Those are some interesting thoughts you have lol.

ryanalexanderson and HarryCarysGhost,

No one said it was easy haha. 

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#8) On May 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM, JaysRage (88.92) wrote:

From my perspective, it gets at the point that there are very few things in our lives that have returns that last longer than our own lifetime.  

Since I believe in a real heaven, I believe that faith-based investments are some of the best available, since they have eternal returns.  

If you do not, investing in people and institutions that impact people are your best opportunity.   Your friends and family are the easiest place to start, since it is where you have the most opportunity.  

Investing in yourself has the lowest return.  The enjoyment of a personal trip somewhere to experience something on your bucket list dies with you, and it's just as unavailable as a cash hoard.  

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#9) On May 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM, EnigmaDude (94.92) wrote:

Investing in yourself has the lowest return.

Wow - no wonder you have rage, Jay!  Investing in yourself is (in my opinion) the ultimate goal in life!  How you can be of service to others if you don't make yourself happy first.  Why wait for heaven to find happiness ...

Saving without sacrificing short term goals is the compromise we all must make.  And trying to live within your means is part of that.  But just like trying to time the market, trying to time your death is a bad idea, too.

Live like you will die tomorrow, but learn like you will life forever!

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#10) On May 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM, JaysRage (88.92) wrote:

I guess it depends on what you mean by investing in yourself.  If you mean self-gratification and a pursuit of happiness, it has diminishing returns in the short term and it has zero post-mordem returns.   

If you mean investing in your learning and health, as it pertains to extending the quality of your life and improving your ability to function in all ways and to interact with others, it has value....but even that has diminishing value over time and it also ends in zero if that knowledge is not passed on to someone else or used for something that has staying power.    If it is used to extend your ability to contribute to things with lasting value, then, yes, of course.  

 

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#11) On May 16, 2013 at 2:04 PM, mikecart1 (98.85) wrote:

JaysRage,

I think you and others here have slightly different definitions and meanings on some of the terms in this blog and comments.  When I think of investing in yourself, I personally don't relate that to expensive cars, jewelry, or even big houses (I mean I don't even believe in buying a house lol - at least up to this point).  When I think of investing in yourself, I think about physically, socially, and experience-wise.  Why wait until you are retired to go visit the world?  Why not do it when you are young and healthy?  Why wait until you already have physical/health problems to get in the 'best shape of your life'?  Why not try to be the best you today, not tomorrow?  Why not try new things that may be scary or new this year?  Not when you have less to lose and are elderly and old?  Many people wind up waiting and waiting and have a lot of regret when they die just because everything ended sooner than they ever expected.

EnigmaDude,

Agree on that.  Trying to time your death and trying to 'portion' 'stuff' out so you have these 'fun' times incrementally just makes no sense to me.  It reminds me of that lousy show on CNBC with Suze Orman - Can I Afford It?  Who is she to say if someone should be allowed to take a vacation to Australia or even buy the XYZ of their dreams if doing so won't make them go absolutely broke?  She has this idea to just pack and pack retirement money with no understanding that for some of her callers, she is setting them up to NEVER spend anything on themselves.

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