Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
Studies have suggested, though, that people are more satisfied after spending their money on experiences than spending them on things. That doesn't have to mean tourism, of course -- experiences could be a cooking class or concert. But tourist experiences count. And speaking from my own experience, I'm far happier, in retrospect, about the money I've spent touring the world than the money I've spent on stuff. For example, consider the difference between a $60,000 luxury vehicle and a $25,000 economy vehicle. Estimating a ten-year life for the vehicle, that's $3,500/year difference in cost. Think of the experiences that would finance!

Just to give you an example, right now you can get a 7-night Alaska cruise on a nice Holland America ship starting at $346/person, which is inclusive of all your dining and plenty of on-board entertainment. Throw in $300 of airfare per person to get there, and you could pay for two such vacations per year for two people, with almost a thousand bucks left over for shore excursions. And that's not even the cheapest cruise option. There's a south-American/Caribbean cruise departing out of Panama, for seven days, starting at $299 per person.

This is wildly off the topic, but I'm surprised people don't do cruises as an actual retirement living situation. Think about it: if you could average $299/person/7-days, 365 days would cost you less than $16,000 each, with all your food included. How many retirement communities cost that little -- much less ones with fine dining included, daily room service, a well-stocked gym, etc.

There's another cruise departing Copenhagen, which is 24 nights starting at $1999. That would be a bit pricier, working out to just over $30,000 per year. But, again, all your food is included, plus lots of entertainment, daily room service, etc. That particular cruise cruise stops in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Cherbourg, Southhampton, St. Peter Port, Edinburgh, Ivergordon, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki,k Stockholm, Warnemunde, and Kiel. Not a bad way to spend part of your retirement.
I think that may have been part of my point. I'm more satisfied these days if I have six days off and I get to spend 5.5 of them experiencing my destination because it's nearby than if I get to spend 3 of them experiencing my destination because it took a day and a half of travel in each direction.