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My Concept of Extreme Spending

Recently Physician on Fire asked the question what would you do with millions upon millions of dollars. I hastily gave an answer about having trouble visualizing expending more than $100K a year. POF suggested and I largely agree that my response perhaps deserves expounding into a post of it’s own.  So what do I view as Extreme Spending?

Living in an All Inclusive for $73K a Year, The Extreme Spending Example

You see I did not only state I could not envision spending more than $100K a year. I gave a justification. A few months ago when we were vacationing in Mexico we stayed at a mid range All Inclusive Resort. The room rate without travel hacking was 200 dollars a night for a couple. At the time this got me thinking. If you were to choose to live at this all-inclusive resort 365 days a year it would only cost you $73K a year.

The Benefits of an All Inclusive Year Round

What would you get with your $73K? A pool, beach chairs, room cleaning, all you can eat food at multiple restaurants, entertainment, etc. Now, obviously I am not recommending you live at a single all-inclusive for a year, but for a few extra K a year you could probably cover flights to other areas of the world to continually visit new all-inclusives. Add in some health care and laundry and you arrive at around $100K. Not a bad life and about as luxurious as I could potentially imagine (though perhaps I am not that imaginative). At this point I could eat well, have people wait on my every need, travel the world non stop, and someone would clean up after me daily. Not a bad life.

The Cruise Ship Retiree, a similar concept

Just how out there is this life? Well, there are a whole group of retirees that have implemented something similar. Some retirees retire to constantly travel via  cruise ship. A quick investigation shows it would be quite easy to book cruises habitually for about the same per day as the all-inclusive, $200. Then you would not need the flights between locations. You would still end up spending less than $100K a year, seeing the world with food, health, and housing included.

Not for me, but still Interesting

Now, as I denoted in my comment I would not choose this life. I prefer vacationing in off the beaten path places where there likely is no All-Inclusive. In fact some of these locations do not even have traditional hotels. I would expect parking our stuff at an AirBnB and cooking for ourselves would come in significantly less expensive. I also enjoy activities like camping and hiking which often have zero cost lodging depending on where you are. Not to mention I could see myself occasionally staying with family or friends where I would also have no housing costs.

In the real world where I traveled full-time and had unlimited funds I would stop into an all-inclusive every so often. Perhaps even a few weeks of the year. However, if I really think about it those days would be the most expensive days of the year. The rest of the time would fall into the categories I mentioned above: AirBnBs, camping, visiting family/friends, etc. Hence why I would view this as the upper end of my potential spend. The reality is it would still be lower than $100K.

Geo Diversification

One last point, some of you are probably thinking, what about Geo arbitrage? Is my comparison fair if I do not expect to spend the rest of my days in say Mexico since it is on the lower cost side of things. It would logically be cheaper than a trip to the Netherlands. In some respects you are right. An all inclusive or a cruise to certain parts of the world can cost significantly more than $200 dollars a day. You also would be correct in thinking I would want to see everything, so I would want to see both the expensive and inexpensive locations.

The thing is, there is nothing to say how you mix the locations to average out over a year time. I should set things up so there is a good mix of lower cost and higher cost locations. When combined with the alternative lodging as referenced above, I still would not expect to exceed the $100K a year mark. This does illustrate the benefits of outright Geo arbitrage, but such limitation is not necessary. Geo diversification can also help to keep costs down.

Extreme Spending has Limits

Both full time all inclusive living and full time cruise living define for me the upper end of what I would expect to spend during a normal year if I had unlimited funds. In a world where I had unlimited funds all I would ask is to travel as I please and perhaps have a one time expenditure on an expensive exotic old car to drive around. Beyond that my frugal mindset is so engrained I cannot picture what I would do with more money.  This is probably a good thing, as it also limits my lifestyle inflation outside of retirement.  After all, how could I spend more working than I could gallivanting around the world?

What would you do if you had tens of millions of dollars? Have you considered retiring to a cruise ship or all-inclusive?  What is your definition of extreme spending?


  1. Jack Catchem
    Jack Catchem August 14, 2017

    Your post reminds me of the Serious Gun Problem facing police. The problem is “seriously, brother…how many guns do you need?!” 🙂

    In the end, everyone only has two hands, eats food, and needs shelter. At some point of wealth, you are paying exorbitant costs FOR VARIATIONS OF THE SAME THINGS!

    I chuckle when millionaires answer their doors in Kirkland sweatpants. I think you are onto a deep truth FTF, at some point you really don’t have more worthwhile things to spend on.

    • fulltimefinance
      fulltimefinance August 19, 2017

      Thanks Jack, exactly my point. What does a bigger house get me? More house to clean. What does a nicer watch get me, a more expensive watch to break or lose. In some respects more money does not mean you would upgrade things just for the sake of upgrade.

  2. Turning Point Money
    Turning Point Money August 14, 2017

    LOL, I couldn’t imagine how overweight I’d be if I lived in an all inclusive full time. Endless buffet eating.

    • fulltimefinance
      fulltimefinance August 19, 2017

      Very good point….

  3. Dan
    Dan August 14, 2017

    You misspelled “arbitradge” twice. “Arbitrage” is the word I believe you are thinking of.

    I have read about people retiring to assisted living facilities. They are still healthy enough to live on their own but an assisted living facility has luxury amenities – maid service, laundry service, all you can eat food, chauffeured to medical appointments, daily activities such as shopping trips, movie night, lectures and other social activities, etc.

    Other benefits: if there is a waiting list to move in, you get in before you “need” that type of facility. You are also around people closer to your own age. The main downside is people die at a greater rate in assisted living vs the population in general. However, if your friends are people around your own age, there may be no greater incidence of death than within your social circle.

    • fulltimefinance
      fulltimefinance August 19, 2017

      Thanks for the catch, I corrected.

      Interesting twist. I’m not sure I’d want to stay put in retirement, but if traveling is not your thing it might work.

      • Dan
        Dan August 22, 2017

        It’s assisted living, not prison. Residents are free to travel. Some residents routinely spend the summer travelling. I mention it because the topic was extreme spending and some retirees have never had a maid and always performed their own housework, chores and home maintenance. Then as a retiree, they switch to a living facility that offers maid service, laundry service, limited chauffeur service, meal service, etc. So by moving there when you are still relatively healthy, it’s like living in a luxury hotel.

        At the end of his life, I was trying to convince my father to move into an assisted living facility with these amenities. I had taken over his finances so I knew he could afford it but he claimed it was too expensive. Personally, I think he was worried that if he gave up his house, he would lose his freedom. I think he also had some vision of an insane asylum that was completely inaccurate. I would tell him, “Don’t worry. If you start acting crazy, they’ll kick you out. They are not set up to handle people with mental disorders.”

        • FullTimeFinance
          FullTimeFinance August 22, 2017

          I’m afraid I’m with your father on this one. Those places do have some restrictions and I’m not sure I could personally deal with them unless I had no choice. But it might fit some.

          To be very clear, this does not mean I believe you should not check into such a facility if you need it. I just also understand the push back.

          • Dan
            Dan August 24, 2017

            I’m not sure what “restrictions” you are referring to. Some of the restrictions I think you are referring to are put in place by the family of the resident, the physician of the resident and the staff of the facility for the safety of resident. You may be confusing a nursing home or skilled nursing facility with an assisted living facility.

            The staff at the facility I was considering told me most residents were free to come and go as they pleased at the facility. Several of the residents maintained their own vehicles and there was a large parking lot for residents to park. There was no bed check for these residents meaning they could sleep anywhere they wanted including off site. Many traveled for vacation for weeks or months at a time. For residents of sound mind and body, it was no different than living in a upscale hotel. For a price and if agreed upon, restrictions such as bed checks, medication management, doctor appointment management and even GPS tracking was available but these were intended for people with some level of dementia or mental impairment.

            While researching assisted living in anticipation of getting my father into one of the facilities, I read about people who voluntarily enter the facilities before “it is necessary.” In most cases, a widow or widower doesn’t want to maintain a large house and their family lives too far away or are unwilling to put them up. They are lonely, tired of home maintenance or knees ache when they have to climb the stairs. They go into an upscale assisted living facility for the amenities and lack of homeowner responsibilities. Certainly, they could live less expensively in an apartment complex but the proximity to people their own age plus the amenities are enough to draw them in.

          • FullTimeFinance
            FullTimeFinance August 26, 2017

            I’ve been thinking on how to respond to this one, the best I’ve come come up with a metaphor of those who prefer to own a home versus those who live in an apartment. In theory there are only a few things more you can do as an owner, primarily changes of the significant variety. In reality most owners never do those things. But.. To some the lack of the ability is a big deal. Some of that group it’s real restrictions. Still more its the psychological impact of the restriction. The feeling of giving up their freedom, even if it’s corner cases they never did anyway like having a garden or cooking their own meals.

  4. Mr. Need2Save
    Mr. Need2Save August 15, 2017

    Assuming I couldn’t give the money away, I think I could come up with ways to spend a few million per year. In regards to travel, hello personal jet. No more TSA lines, cramped coach seats, etc. My nutrition would likely get better with a personal chef.

    Not that I seek those things out, but if I _had_ to spend the money, I could find ways.

    • fulltimefinance
      fulltimefinance August 19, 2017

      Too each their own. I might fly a better class then economy, but I kind of like flying with others. You meet interesting people.

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