Intermittent... Spending?

A round up of Saturday reading.

I found a few interesting articles and Tweets on Saturday.

First up was a lengthy article from Marketwatch about the #nospendchallenge which basically is about not spending money for some period of time. It is in some measure about having less stuff. You probably saw fair bit of this on social media in January. As I read the article, I drew a parallel to intermittent fasting or IF. IF can be many things, for me it means that on most days my "feeding window" is only 7-8 hours, usually from noon until around 7:30pm. There are many benefits to learn about, the one I am most interested in is autophagy which is a cellular detoxification. I am not sure if I eat noticeably less food than if I did not IF but maybe I do. So it can be with spending. I am not sure what the best path for this is but if you don't spend money for two days per week, would you end up spending less overall? Maybe, maybe not. What about three days of not spending money? I need to think this through more but I am convinced that intermittent spending is a path to spending less money. The path is surely different for everyone but I think there is something useful here to discover.

Barron's posted a book excerpt that it titled So, You’re Retired but Don’t Have Enough Money to Be Retired. Now What? It was about a person with a successful career that ended a little earlier than expected and the extent to which this had happened to many of her friends as well. These folks were forced to draw on their savings earlier than expected and as a result they needed to adopt a "live-low-to-the-ground mind-set," they needed to cut back on spending. As I have described this before, something had to give, these folks realized that and figured out how to make it work.

How old are you? How much do you have saved? When do you want to retire? You probably have some thoughts on how to answer those questions (obviously you know you're age and account balance) but whatever you're planning, how adaptable could you be if something went wrong? Would you be slightly inconvenienced, would it be total chaos or more likely, somewhere in between? The risk that your career ends earlier than you expect arguably increases as you get older from the standpoint of although it might be tough replace your income if you had to at 50 years old, it would be easier at 50 than it would be at 60. Put differently we have less optionality as we get older. That might be messed up but it seems like it is true. I would say that living below your means before your hand is forced as appears to have been the case for the author makes all of this much easier to cope with if it happens to you.

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