Rowe allows herself luxuries, such as first-class trips to the Amalfi Coast and a 67-inch projection TV in her living room. But she buys them one at a time, and pays cash. Savings come first: Rowe contributes the maximum to her 401(k), IRAs and other savings instruments each year, and checks her accounts often—but doesn’t panic when they go down. After her 401(k) is maxed out by June, "Whatever’s left is for me to enjoy," she says. "I love to travel. I go to Cabo San Lucas once or twice a year, and Las Vegas on the weekends." Rowe also loves to gamble, and hits the tables at the Bellagio, but she never lets herself lose more than her preset limit. "Everybody says that after 9/11—or maybe ifyou’ve been ill—well, you might not be here tomorrow," says Rowe. "But you have to live for today and tomorrow. I want to be here when I’m 90!"
The Bottom Line: While you’re saving for tomorrow, don’t forget to live for today—and vice versa.
Originally published in More magazine, October 2005