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Billions

April 14th, 2019 at 04:49 am

Sorry for the absence from the blog...life happens and nothing seemed pertinent to blog about.

I recently discovered the show Billions on Showtime. Through my cable subscription, I can marathon watch old episodes. So far, I've completed season 1 and am half way through with season 2.

While watching, I am amazed at the display of wealth in homes, cars, clothing, food, etc. Yes, I understand that this is a tv show but it must represent how the "other half live." How do people live like that?! They must be born into living those high standards.

I am, by no means, poor. I make a good salary (probably better than most of my friends) and my husband works a part time job too. We generally live below our means as I'm able to save over $1200 per month to retirement, aggressively repay the mortgage, give to charity and still save a little to our growing liquidity (emergency fund, fun fund, overspending fund, etc.) All this is to allow me to retire young enough that I can enjoy life, be available for kids’ activities, etc.

My money guy tells me that I have more than enough money saved. Through a Monte Carlo analysis, the downside analysis shows that I will have over $1 million at age 92. That's a good predictor but how true is it? The analysis is based on current spending plus escalating increase in expenses (when I retire, I carry health insurance at a reasonable rate until death). But I still wonder if I will have enough.

I've written before that I would love to have a LV Carry All bag but I can't get myself to buy it. I would love to have a Tesla but I can't get myself to buy it. I would love to have a diamond and sapphire ring but I can't get myself to buy it. What happens if I become a spendthrift? What happens if I start being comfortable with large dollar purchases? Is it true that it is highly unlikely that my frugal personality won't change?

Is anyone familiar with the Monte Carlo analysis? Should I have comfort in it? Do you think a person's personality/standard of living is generally set and doesn't really change?

Thoughts please!

3 Responses to “Billions”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Monte Carlo is a very valuable analysis. I ran one for us over ten years ago...need to do that again! I tend to think we are creatures of habit, so if you are frugal now, you are likely to stay that way.

  2. Smallsteps Says:

    I too just watched most of that whole series while entertaining the amounts thrown around seem out of reality.
    I think they like to go over the top to make it seem more extravagant. Too many things just do not add up with what they do in shows like these.

    I do not think most people who are careful about their money would end up as a spendthrift over 1 or 2 splurges. I also wonder how some start on the path down an extravagant lifestyle. Most of those free spenders are not happy people.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I don't know about the other half, but I wonder how many people overspend or go beyond their means. You sound like you are well grounded.

    As much as I enjoy HGTV I know that it often makes me compare our little house. It isn't super fancy and then it makes me wish for more. I have to step back and look at all the good things we have. I don't need a bigger or fancier house because I really don't want to clean it.

    I admire lovely jewelry, but to be honest, I don't have any place to wear it. We aren't party folks and we don't go to fancy social gatherings. Would a big honking diamond make me any happier? Probably not. The initial acquisition would probably be fun, but then there is the worry of upkeep and insurance.

    I think the thing I struggle with is finding contentment with what I have and heaven knows I have plenty.

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