A few things made my radar today.
Morgan Housel Tweeted 'what's a popular investing belief you disagree with?" I replied "pretty much anything that encourages investors with long time horizons to trade (and by trade I mean guess) about some short term and soon to be forgotten event like an earnings report." Put differently, trying to be right for two weeks when what you care about is decades is a behavior that you're better off without.
Mark Baker Tweeted "it's not abt the sum of money u make as $60k is nothing to many people I know on twitter - it's the satisfaction of living how you want, not having to commute, &the beautiful effects of uncertainty, serendipity, not having an enforced schedule or knowing where you'll be in a year." It would be weird to agree with everything someone else says and there are plenty of things I view differently than him but his comments about how much money you make versus living how you want without a daily commute is exactly how I've structured my life. It's not right for everyone, but it is right for me. The point is not that someone should copy someone else but that they figure out what is right for them, whatever that might be, and then pursue that outcome to the best of their ability.
One more from Twitter, an interesting but anonymous account that goes by the handle @orangebook_ asked "what's something you can truly understand only after you experienced it yourself?" I love how open ended the question is. You can take it anywhere to try to think about what you're doing or what you'd like to do. It also serves as a call/reminder to stay curious and try to learn new things. Not really learning something new but trying something new, the picture accompanying this post is filtered through a new app I found yesterday. I realize it is small potatoes, but it is something new to me. I had two replies to Orangebook, fighting a wildfire and how great it can be to be 50 and fit and that I hope to be able to say the same thing about 60 when I get there, I'm 54 now. How would you answer that question?
I've mentioned a couple of times over the years that Northern Exposure is one my two or three favorite TV shows of all time. Seeing Dr. Fleischman, a big city guy, living in that tiny little town was the start of my interest in living in a small town. There was one episode about the short winter days causing depression. Here's an interesting read about how that type of seasonal depression can be overcome by reframing the dynamic of how people look at the situation. Really, it is about preventing or solving your own problem which I believe is crucial to successful life outcomes.
Marketwatch looked at a psychology that we've addressed a few times before, which is the reluctance to spend from your retirement savings due to the fear of running out of money. The reality is that at a reasonable withdrawal rate and being just moderately lucky with one-off expenses, running out of money is very unlikely. It happens of course. People panic, they spend too much or have bad luck with life events. Not running out of money requires diligence and that is time well spent but it is a low probability outcome.
If you are worried about it either as a function of your numbers or your psychology, then figure out how to mitigate it ahead of time not after you retire. Ways to mitigate this concern of course include monetizing a hobby, continuing to work, transitioning to some sort of part time work, positive cash flow from something like real estate, downsizing and if you've thought about this then you might have other ideas that better tie in to your life.
I think the theme tying these things together is getting the most of your life by taking an active role in trying to determine your outcomes. You can not ensure getting the outputs you want of course but with the right inputs, your odds of success go way up.