Sweetest Investment ♥️

Since todays is St. Valentine’s Day, I thought I would reflect a bit on the most valuable asset in our FIRE portfolio: our marriage. We’ve been married for over 30 years, after meeting 5 years earlier in college.

Experts say strong relationships are a primary driver of lifetime happiness and one’s marriage is obviously the most important relationship that most people have. Retirement – early or otherwise – can test the strength of one’s marriage as you might suddenly have “half the money and twice the spouse”. 😉

While we have been fortunate to ‘click’ so well, we have quite a few friends that have split up over the years. Beyond the emotional toll that splitting up can cause, we’ve also seen how it can take a huge financial toll on both sides. It can be tough to see.

Still, we’ve been fortunate to avoid that. We have made a good jump to retired life – doing more things together, while also maintaining our own day-to-day interests.

I would say in many ways our 6 years of retired life feel a lot like the relaxed and fun times we had in college. When we were in college we had time to hang out, talk about life, take walks, and do things together. Those were some of the funnest times we’ve had together – and so are these!

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you are enjoying the sweet returns of a loving relationship as much as we are.

Image Credit: Pixabay

6 thoughts on “Sweetest Investment ♥️

  1. Four of the biggest ‘secrets’ to success are finishing high school or going beyond, waiting to have children until you are married, staying married, and having a spouse who is onboard with saving and investing. Doing all four of these will help one achieve a middle class or better life.

    It is sad that many political grifters are pandering to single mothers, as if this condition is the preferable situation for society. Yes indeed, marry and treat your relationship like your children’s future and both of the your emotional and financial well being depend upon it.

    A good financial situation does not guarantee a happy life, but living in poverty with bill collectors calling guarantees unhappiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I roughly paraphrased what I remembered reading somewhere, which I now know was the Brookings Institute Study. Your write-up is excellent and tells important life truths that the US needs to get back to if we are going to thrive as a nation.

    I added the bit about having a spouse who is onboard with the finances. Maybe this gets back to learning personal finance again in high school? Just because someone has gone to college and studied Accounting, Finance, or Economics, and despite having degrees in these fields their personal financial life is a hot mess. AOC would be a classic example of person who studied Economics, and yet lacks basic personal finance common sense.

    Another thought leader in this area that aligns with the Brookings Institute is Robert Woodson. “[Government] income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data, Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. ”

    The punchline is ‘helpers’ of the poor are achieving a middle class lifestyle by creating financial incentives for poor people to not follow the simple time tested plan outlined by the Brooking Institute Study to escape poverty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That 70% of every dollar of government welfare goes to the bureaucrats is particularly appalling. By comparison, Charity Navigator targets 20-25% for average administration expense. Top charities are those that hold it under 15%. The government, given its massive scale, should have even more efficiency than small NGOs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make a great point about picking Charities wisely. A friend of mine brought me into a company that provided IT consulting and other services to non-profits and I thought going in that these people would be nicer than I the people I had been dealing with the corporate world.

        I encountered a few that were great including two organizations that were chartered to spread the gospel. Their organizations were run by volunteers who had very successful careers in the corporate world and were volunteering their services because they believed in the cause and did not want to water down its efforts by taking any salary.

        Another excellent one I ran into was a Jewish organization which took care of the elderly and are known in their area of operation as having the best operation for the constituency they server. Once again, I worked with people who were doing this as their dream job in retirement and some of them were even residents, and were not in it for the money.

        And then, there were those who I called the grifter class, who were using the non-profit as a vehicle for self-enrichment and were making many times what they worth in the private for profit world. Some of the nastiest, entitled people I have ever encountered.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My experience with non-profit charities has been positive. That said, they tend to be smaller organizations, so there is a lot of variation in their cultures and sophistication.

        Like

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