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Old 06-27-2007, 12:39 PM   #21
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Anyone looking for a free ride is not someone you will want to hang out with. Most of the Hummers are leased and the people leasing them have no flexibility to ER.

When people ask me questions about my life, I always respond with a big smille and ask: "Why do you need to know?"
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:40 PM   #22
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Perhaps I spend too much time trying to figure out what others are thinking...
Maybe that's a waste of time, especially in proportion to the amount of actual though occurring.

My FIL used to quote the 20:40:60 rule: "At age 20 you used to worry a lot over what other people were thinking about you. At age 40 you finally decided not to care what other people were thinking about you. At age 60 you finally realized that no one was ever thinking about you in the first place!"

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... but I still suspect that some people (relatives too) whose minivans are held together by duct tape likely see the toys as flaunting wealth.
Only way to tell would be to offer them a chance to play with you. If they agree then they don't see them as flaunting...

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I also have a hunch that they may see a 38 yr old retiree as a rich guy who could easily afford to buy lunch or drinks or pay for parking at an event or whatever, and that it should always be "my treat".
And that's how you find out who your real friends are.

OTOH if the chiselers are entertaining then "our treat" is our price of admission to the show.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:12 PM   #23
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Welcome to the board, Grizz!

Before I get into the details, better answers to your questions might be found by searching the old threads for keywords. Many of your questions have been asked months or years before by others who are now ER-hardened veterans. You could also go to the "Best of the Boards" section to read the threads on "How did you prepare for ER?" and "Handling the 'just one more year' syndrome".

Will do, thanks


The first thing to consider is why you feel that way. If you're concerned for your safety ("Ooooh, a rich American hostage!") or about being pestered for loans & charitable donations then it's probably wise to dissemble. But if you're concerned about how your relatives will gossip or what your neighbors will think then it's worth figuring out why you're not proud to be ER'd. You certainly worked hard enough for it and you shouldn't have to carry around a backpack full of survivor's guilt.

No safety concerns here, just a boat load of relatives and friends of varying closeness that can gossip with the best of 'em.

Some try a smart-aleck approach: "Now I do whatever I want, and I have a lot of catching up to do" or "I'm waiting on the biopsy results" or "I'm a salesman. I sold my company and now I'm looking for something else to sell." Others go for a diversion: "I'm between jobs right now. Say, how 'bout those Steelers!" or "Why, do you know anyone who's hiring?" Another approach is avocation: "I'm a programmer" or "I'm a property manager" or "I'm an engineer. My last project was the Space Station's computer power supply." Since you've harvested the fruits of your labors, you could say "I sold my company and now I'm trying to decide what I want to do next."

Yup, this is very much my style. That stuff is GOLD! thanks


I'm 46 years old and I've been ER'd for just over five years. When you're all caught up on your yardwork, I'll send you a plane ticket and you can help me catch up on my mine. We'll both be winners!

You're in Oahu, I'm in Canada. I've been to your neck of the woods a couple of times. You should be very careful what you offer to a man with frostbite . I'll even bring a can of gas for the lawnmower.

There are more people in their 30s & 40s hanging around than you might expect. Not everyone works 9-5 weekdays, some are unemployed, and others are at-home parents. Once you have your own time to hang out, they'll find you... especially if you're at the beach.

Oddly, not something that I had thought about. I'll bet you're right, once the weekenders clear out, it's likely much easier to find those without rigid schedules.

Seriously, your concern is one of the top three worries before ER, and afterward every ER wonders what the heck they were worried about. Remember when we were eight years old during summer vacation? Was there any trouble filling the day with activities? After a couple months of recuperating from your workplace fatigue, your interests & hobbies will resurface with a vengeance and you'll find yourself involved in new activities. You sound like you have plenty waiting for you in your garage. Take it easy and see what develops-- you have the rest of your life to decide if you want to grow up, let alone what you want to be. This is a unique chance to forget about who you "were" and to become someone new.

My dad is retired, and he always says that he is busier than ever. I always thought that he was full of it, but maybe not??

While you're taking it easy and now that you're responsible for your own entertainment, you could read Ernie Zelinski's "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free"-- especially the brainstorming exercise of his Get-A-Life tree. I've had a copy on my desk for the last three years but I've been too busy to get around to it.

As for the kids' nomadic existence, right now thousands of military parents are laughing too hard to continue reading. (We know a military couple who backpacked toddlers all over Europe from their duty station in Italy.) You could spend entire summers in a nomadic existence by renting a condo near Disneyland or in San Diego or by taking the Great American Camping Vacation. Your kids will find plenty of things for you to do at home, starting with driving them everywhere and spending all your money on them-- zoos, parks, sporting events, museums, and all the stuff you never had time to visit before. Actually they'll be thrilled to have you spending time with them and it won't really matter what the activity is-- playgrounds, camping, running errands, helping with homework-- whatever.

People already jokingly accuse me of having a premature mid life crisis. Ha! Backpacking across Europe would be the cherry on top. Although my wife would never go for some of your more adventurous suggestions, (her stability offsets my instability nicely) just simply devoting lots more time to the kids is in the plans. One of my favorite sayings is "nobody on their death bed has ever wished that they'd spent more time at the office"

One of our more senior ERs spent the first couple years of his ER keeping up pretenses for his teenage daughter. Each morning he'd dress in business attire, leave the house, drive away, and sneak back after she'd left for school. Years later when she was an adult, he mentioned the subterfuge. She pointed out that she was way too busy with being a teenager to notice, and if she had noticed then she wouldn't have cared. So don't expect your kids to take you too seriously, although they'll be thrilled to have you around. Our kid was nine years old when I retired, and she bragged to everyone that her Dad was retired and could chaperone every school field trip. (The teacher called my bluff, too.) Principals, pediatricians, & orthodontists will actually come out of their offices to meet you, saying "I've heard so much about you!"


Good luck with that. I couldn't muster the motivation for a new career either, let alone deal with the hassles of commuting, workplace attire, meetings, overtime, working weekends... you get the point.

Yes, I do. Every new job that I've ever had, I've approached with an eager, go get-em attitude. This time.... not so much.


Not me, but how'd you like to buy out GE and have Jack Welch working for you? Unless you've sold out to Warren Buffett, you're going to feel like you have people looking over both your shoulders. Nobody's going to be happy with the buyout-and-stay deal. Far better to be on call for an occasional consulting fee, where they can listen raptly to your wisdom and then ignore it.


Badly. Sometimes with insane jealousy & envy. How would you expect them to act if you're leaving their shared misery rat race? You're a traitor!!

You have to give them the chance to ignore it-- don't rub it in. I love surfing but I've learned not to drive by the school bus stop, longboard on the roof rack, smiling & waving while classic rock blares from the speakers, when my daughter is waiting to go to school. I've also learned not to greet my working friends on Thursday afternoon with "Hey, how many times have you been surfing this week? Is it gnarly or what!!"

That's exactly how I would try to work it.

If asked, make it their problem. Tell them that you've sold the company and you're taking a little time off with family to decide what to do next. Then let them drive the conversation for a while. If they keep bringing "you" up again, keep changing the subject ("How 'bout them Steelers!"). If the relatives are from your spouse's family, then tell them that she's decided to start her own career while you raise the kids.

If you get "But you're too young to retire!!" then you can respond with "I used to be too young to have alcohol or sex, and I'm glad that I didn't wait then either." Or if it's "You're too young to be put out to pasture!" you can say "Yeah, but I get to pick the pasture because we own the ranch." As for "But what will you DO all day?!?" there's "I'm still a parent", "I'm working on the house & yard", "You don't surf, do you?!?" and "I'm making it up as I go along."

More gold, thanks


Not necessarily, but you will certainly learn who your real friends are.

One day my kid looked over my shoulder at the Quicken screen and said "Holy sh cow, Dad, that's a lot of money-- we're rich!!" I gave her the Cosby answer ("No, your mother and I have money but you are broke.") and said "That looks like a lot of money now, but this has to last for the rest of our lives or we'll have to move in with you so that you can take care of us until we die." That ended the lifestyle discussion.

Great episode, on Theo being "regular people". Should be required viewing in high school.

Another response is "I have to make this money last for the next 50 years, and I'm not going back to work to give some of it to ______" or "Well, actually I was wondering if you know any place to get cheap health insurance" or "Thanks, but we're handling our giving anonymously through our donor-advised fund. What's your tax ID number?"

I'm not one to be a smart a__ when someone comes to me, hat in hand, or wanting me to fund a business venture. It's a tough one, but it's likely to pop up, and I suppose I'll have to deal with it on a case by case basis.

It's hard to figure out what you're going to do with your ER until you actually have the time to do it. So take it easy, read some of the books recommended here, and you'll [-]make it up[-/] figure it out as you go. After all, now you have the time to devote to doing it properly!
It is easy to see by your attitudes, that you are a very calm and easy going type of person. As one who is on call 24/7, and is wound pretty tight right now, I am genuinely happy for you and hope that my future can be as rewarding and relaxing as yours seems to be. BTW, the offer for free yard work still stands, but surfing lessons have to be free too!
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:43 PM   #24
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I'm not one to be a smart a__ when someone comes to me, hat in hand, or wanting me to fund a business venture. It's a tough one, but it's likely to pop up, and I suppose I'll have to deal with it on a case by case basis.
I didn't intend to come off as a smart@$$ myself. Any kid with the courage to come fundraising to our door gets a $10-$20 sale (especially for GS cookies & Zippy's chili), whether or not they have the high-school football team's defensive line hovering ominously in the background. And someone with a business plan & their lights shining brightly would fall under the investment category of "venture capital". Asking for their documents usually sorts that out pretty quickly.

We really do have a DAF and we really do give anonymously to some of the organizations that insist on pelting us with donation requests. I answer their letters with a request to make better use of our donation by not wasting their mailing budget on our address.

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It is easy to see by your attitudes, that you are a very calm and easy going type of person. As one who is on call 24/7, and is wound pretty tight right now, I am genuinely happy for you and hope that my future can be as rewarding and relaxing as yours seems to be. BTW, the offer for free yard work still stands, but surfing lessons have to be free too!
I believe that ER will facilitate that attitude in anyone, especially if you're on call now. It's especially hard to see the other side of the finish line when you're sprinting toward it.

Actually I give the surfing lessons away for free-- no yardwork required, even if it does seem to be endless in the Land of Endless Summer. The south shore surf is better in the summer, but given your climate we'll also be able to find something in the winter. If you can swim and get up from a prone position then we'll have you stand-up surfing in about 45 minutes...
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:15 PM   #25
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Surfing is something that I have always wanted to try my hand at. Sadly we have a critical shortage of waves over about 6 inches here on the prairies, and I've never really had the time or opportunity while on vacation to learn. I think that when I make my retirement "to do" list, that's going to be right up there. My niece took lessons on the west coast.

As a kid I was a skateboard nut, and spent every summer in my teen years waterskiing, Nowadays I windsurf 2 or 3 times every summer, actually thought that I was getting pretty good until we went on vacation to a funky little town in the Dominican Republic called Cabarete (pretty humbling) Also tried snowboarding once. I was told that I did fairly well for someone that had never had a lesson, but gawd was I sore afterwards.

Its been some time since I was at Oahu, but I do remember taking a trip to a place called Sunshine beach or Sunset beach. Since you're into surfing, you probably know where I'm talking about. Those waves were so huge and powerful that I'd almost have to class them as surreal. Then I saw some guys actually surfing on these things. There have got to be a ton of fatalities in that sport when you get to that level. I also remember seeing some kids that would wait on shore with these little boards and actually ride the receding water. That looked like a blast.
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:23 PM   #26
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Hey speaking of waves Nords, since you are from the Aloha state, do you happen to know if this video is real, and if real, did this guy actually live through this wave.

This blew my mind when I saw it

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Old 06-27-2007, 11:42 PM   #27
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Also, I haven't heard of anyone figuring out their retirement date based on a multiple of current expenses before, and I know that there will be lots of variables to consider but I really like the concept. Does current age, expected lifespan, and the current expenses all fit into a formula or is there a chart that one could refer to? I've got plenty of friends who are also benefiting greatly from the boom who I know would be interested in a fairly cut and dried approach.

Grizz - targetting 25x expenses is the same thing as targetting 4% SWR (1/25 = 4%). There are lots of old threads that can provide all sorts of details on the 'safety' of a 4% SWR (or you can just play around on FIRECALC to figure out what numbers you like). It's a useful rule of thumb, but you do need to do some homework at some point to figure out exactly what expenses you have, what assets you want to count, and what asset allocation and success rates you're comfortable with, among lots of other variables.

What I would tell your friends in similar situations is to do some rough math to figure out their expense multiple - if it's anywhere near 20x or higher, go to FIRECALC and use the advanced calculator to figure out, based on their current assets, what annual withdrawls they can sustain. Final step is to sit down and do a hard and honest assessment on what their annual expenses are (this was the hardest part for me). If the annual expenses are > safe withdrawl, then have FIRECALC figure out what savings are needed to support the expenses. It's probably a few hours of effort, but well worth the time invested to evaluate retirement options.

The first time I went through this exercise, I was shocked at how close I was - I'm sure there are lots of other folks out there that have no idea how realistic early retirement is for them.

In any case, sounds like you're all set - best of luck with your decision and have fun with your toys!
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Old 06-29-2007, 02:29 AM   #28
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As a kid I was a skateboard nut, and spent every summer in my teen years waterskiing, Nowadays I windsurf 2 or 3 times every summer, actually thought that I was getting pretty good until we went on vacation to a funky little town in the Dominican Republic called Cabarete (pretty humbling) Also tried snowboarding once. I was told that I did fairly well for someone that had never had a lesson, but gawd was I sore afterwards.
Well, heck, with that experience you'll be stand-up surfing in about 10 minutes. Seriously.

I've never snowboarded but I'm told that snowboarding puts the weight on the front foot and carves the edges. When you surf you'll put your weight on the rear foot and carve.

Kelly Slater credits much of his technique to crappy little Florida waves and a lot of time on a skateboard.

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Its been some time since I was at Oahu, but I do remember taking a trip to a place called Sunshine beach or Sunset beach. Since you're into surfing, you probably know where I'm talking about. Those waves were so huge and powerful that I'd almost have to class them as surreal. Then I saw some guys actually surfing on these things. There have got to be a ton of fatalities in that sport when you get to that level. I also remember seeing some kids that would wait on shore with these little boards and actually ride the receding water. That looked like a blast.
Yep, Sunset. At that wave height a lot of guys wear helmets (or should) and the lifeguards only let you in the water if they know you. It's not so much the wave as it is your head getting slammed into the reef or being held under for 2-3 minutes while you've totally lost your orientation.

The wave-height limit of paddle-in surfing is about 30 feet; a bigger wave moves too fast for a surfer to paddle fast enough to drop into it. (I think that speed is at least 35 MPH.) I think the record tow-in wave is still a 68-footer but a surfer is killed every 1-2 years in the attempt. Part of the problem is that sponsors are paying people to take these insane risks and some of it is just overconfidence.

My motto is "nothing over 16 feet". I've looked over the lip and I've seen enough...

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Hey speaking of waves Nords, since you are from the Aloha state, do you happen to know if this video is real, and if real, did this guy actually live through this wave.
This blew my mind when I saw it
It's a "typical" tow-in wave; this one looks to be be about 40 feet. He probably fought his way to the surface shortly after the video stopped. I don't know who it is, when, or where-- Ronin? JB? Anyone else know?

BTW there are also prizes for "best wipeout". It's a lot harder to survive a wipeout than it is to get through a tow-in ride when the wave overtakes you from behind. For example, here's Flea Virostko "dropping in" during the 2004 Eddie Aikau:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FleaWipeoutEddieAikau2005.jpg (49.1 KB, 26 views)
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