I'm actually not surprised by the author's report. I always remembered a story I read years ago, about a young widow who was struggling financially, but who did not and could not regret all the money she and her husband had spent on vacations. If they hadn't spent that money, she wouldn't be struggling--but of course she had wonderful memories of enjoying life with her husband while he was alive, and that was worth more than whatever dollar amount they had spent.
In the past, I’ve tried pointing out to my parents that all money not spent by the Greatest Generation will only be spent by their heirs — and in not-so-great ways. Sometimes, after I’ve threatened to blow the inheritance on a box at the Metropolitan Opera or nightly meals at Le Bernardin, my parents will consent to a little extravagance for themselves, and my mother will remind my father of an old proverb: “There are no pockets in shrouds.�?