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Hello
Old 10-04-2006, 08:22 PM   #1
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Hello

Hello,

I had an inkling there were fellow travellers out here on the net somewhere and I am glad to have found this group.

My husband and I are in our mid-40's and FIRE'd a few years ago. A combo of LBYM and inheritance. No kids, 1 elderly cat, lots of travel and some volunteer work.

It's great to have a place to ask questions



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Re: Hello
Old 10-04-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Hello

How do you care for your cat while you travel? We have two -- one arthritic and one epileptic. They both need medicine every day and I'm wondering how we will cope if we travel post retirement.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-04-2006, 08:50 PM   #3
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Re: Hello

Welcome to the board, WFL.

So, what lessons do you have to pass on to the rest of us? You seem to have solved the question of "What do you DO all day?"!!
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elderly cat care
Old 10-05-2006, 06:15 PM   #4
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elderly cat care

Our cat is 17.5, but in excellent health. However, he is very aloof and we used to hire cat sitters that never saw him.

Finally we switched to a "pro" who can handle plants, mail, etc as needed as well as the cat. She often works with older or ill cats and is very good with handling their medications, etc. She charges $15/visit. Our cat likes her; but even after 7 years, he has not let her touch him. If our cat becomes ill, we will have a tough decision on our hands. The vet has to sedate him just to examine him.

If we had known how much traveling we were going to be able to do, we would not have a cat or have bought a house. A townhouse or condo would have been fine.



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Re: Hello
Old 10-05-2006, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: Hello

WFL,

See this previous thread about issues with our cat:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=7535.0


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Lessons learned
Old 10-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #6
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Lessons learned

umm, that'a tough one.

Some of the things I have worked on, but I'm not postive I've actually figured out yet are:

1. I think that having a "cover job" is a good idea in certain situations, (salesmen, chatty airplane seatmates) but in the long run, if you are uncomfortable talking to people about being FIRE'd, it may indicate a problem you should look at (not to be too New Agey about it, but "self concept" or something like that).

If you aren't a parent, and you are not employed, it is very hard to describe what you "do" or who you "are" in a confident, truthful, succinct way. But you meet new people all time, so it is a good thing to get this figured out. I realize that people just need a label or tag or a place to start with as they get to know you. And I am happy to give them one; I'm just not sure what it is. "Gainfully unemployed" is close, but a bit flip; and I would rather not invite more questions. I don't want to discuss ROI (boring!) although I don't mind trading frugalista tips.


2. I read somewhere that lots of "mindless and unnecessary" spending comes from spending on convenience rather than pleasure. I try to keep this in mind. Spend on Pleasure!
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Re: Hello
Old 10-05-2006, 08:34 PM   #7
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Re: Hello

I would think a good "cover" job would quickly explain why you are not currently at the 9 to 5 grind, yet discourage further inquiry. Maybe these would do it.

1. Actor in adult films
2. Motivational speaker
3. Undertaker
4. Recently released from prison
5. Mohel
6. Cage fighter
7. Chess grand master
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Re: Hello
Old 10-06-2006, 07:34 AM   #8
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Re: Hello

Welcome WFL (I keep reading it as WTF for some reason...). I can't imagine fretting about what random salesmen or chatty airplane seatmates think, but you can alwasy say, "I'm a retired <impressive profession here>." I usually say that I'm a retired editor, and people assume I worked for a newspaper. Then I get to bore them by explaining what technical editors do--I get a kick out of watching their eyes glaze over . Back when I worked for Lotus Development Corp (the software company), it was fun to tell people I worked for Lotus--unless they were also in high tech, they assumed I meant the sports car company 8)
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Re: Hello
Old 10-06-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: Hello

Welcome to the forum. Lately, when people ask me what I do, I say something like:

Monday through Fridays I don't do much of anything, then I rest up on the weekends.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-08-2006, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: Hello

I think that my spouse will really like some of these suggestions - adult actor in particular! I don't think I can pull off "model" but "retired librarian" will definitely work and their eyes will glaze over nicely.

I try to fit my answer to the circumstanes so it all depends on the saleman or the length of the flight. For example, I don't want to start off with a car salesman thinking that I have wads of cash.

-WFL
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Re: Hello
Old 10-08-2006, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFL
I think that my spouse will really like some of these suggestions - adult actor in particular! I don't think I can pull off "model" but "retired librarian" will definitely work and their eyes will glaze over nicely.
I try to fit my answer to the circumstanes so it all depends on the saleman or the length of the flight. For example, I don't want to start off with a car salesman thinking that I have wads of cash.
If we're gonna retire then why should we have to hide it or, even worse, apologize for it? Being polite or avoiding offense is one thing, but making up occupations to hold up one end of the social interaction is quite another.

That's the kind of stuff we get paid to do at work. We shouldn't have to do it in retirement...
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...34271#msg34271
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Re: Hello
Old 10-13-2006, 05:54 PM   #12
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Re: Hello

Well, I hear you and I think what you are saying makes sense, but I really haven't quite figured this out yet. I think that meeting new people is stressful enough for me)and that what I don't like is the extra attention that you get when you say you are retired. As I get older and closer to "normal" retirement age, this will get easier and easier.

Here's an example of what I am talking about. A few weeks ago, we met our new neighbors' visiting in-laws, who, as it turns out, had just retired the week before. My husband answered the "What do you do" question with "We retired early" and got a very loud (but not unfriendly) "you're to young to be retired!!" It basically stopped the entire pot luck cold and was really embarassing. If he introduced himself as a photographer that would be less show-stopping. I mean, he does work as a photographer - not 9 to 5, and it is irrelevant if he makes money on his art so this seems to me to be "cover job."

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Re: Hello
Old 10-13-2006, 07:12 PM   #13
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Re: Hello

I understand.

I'll try to tread lightly here. I originate from a small, poor, rural town. Working 40-50 years and retiring at 65 or thereabouts was a badge of pride. You work years and years, and now can rest. It would seem presumptuous to say you are retired if you were in your 30s or 40s. Even if you worked your a$$ off at a job and LBYMs, so you could quit at 40, retired would not be the right word.

Not to demean anyone's success.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-13-2006, 11:19 PM   #14
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Re: Hello

I always used a cover. I live in a small community that until recently was not affluent. Everyone knew I was home most of the time, that I had kids, and that my wife didn't work.

I didn't want to be suspected of what is always the most likely explanation in a rural area when you are living and eating but not apparently working-dope dealer. I also didn't want to appear to be such a loser than someone would make a try for my wife.

I was too able bodied to try disabled, so I went with freelance editor. I am literate enough that this made sense, and it is not something interesting to people like freelance writer. Also, so I didnít feel like a liar I actually scrounged up some editing jobs.

I figured that I was different enough without adding a mystery about my source of income to the pot.

Also, I never had enough money to be retired the way people usually understand it-- rich. Phil Greenspun says to tattoo your net worth on your forehead, or people will vastly overestimate your wealth.

Only since I am SS age do I admit to being retired. And although I donít yet collect SS, I do claim SS as my income source. If I get to know someone well and think there is a point to it, I sometimes tell the whole story.

Ha
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #15
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa


Also, I never had enough money to be retired the way people usually understand it-- rich. Phil Greenspun says to tattoo your net worth on your forehead, or people will vastly overestimate your wealth.


Ha
I was surprised at how many people (going way back) thought I was rich.
It was partly the lifestyle I led (never was a LBYM type). For all I know
they still think this. I recall being told that I was "making it pretty
hard on the non-Jones." I thought that was a clever remark.

JG
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 11:15 AM   #16
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFL
My husband answered the "What do you do" question with "We retired early" and got a very loud (but not unfriendly) "you're to young to be retired!!" It basically stopped the entire pot luck cold and was really embarassing. If he introduced himself as a photographer that would be less show-stopping. I mean, he does work as a photographer - not 9 to 5, and it is irrelevant if he makes money on his art so this seems to me to be "cover job."
The implication seems to be that rude comments from loud people can make us uncomfortable in front of a crowd, so perhaps we need to hide our real lives to keep them from making us feel that way.

But maybe we just need a new set of people to hang around with.

I can understand not admitting to ER when you're knocking 'em back in a biker bar or attending a convention of annuity salesmen or strolling Bangkok's Soi Cowboy, but in everyday society maybe we just need better punchlines. For example, we volunteered at a Class of '50 reunion and got that "You're too young!" accusation a couple times. We smiled and said "I didn't realize there was a minimum age, and I'm glad I didn't wait for it!" A couple hours later we'd had three "No kidding, how'd you guys do it?" conversations. It's very illuminating (and a bit scary) to hear a 79-year old woman explain that her 80-year old husband is still working-- admittedly at a "very nice job"-- because they never bothered to save any money.

Then there's "You're too young to be put out to pasture!" The answer is "Remember how the grass is always greener? That's the pasture we're in." Then you follow up with "I didn't enjoy the job I was in and wanted to do my own thing for a few years" or "When we reached FI we decided it was time to enjoy life for a while."

I know a senior Marine Corps officer in his high 40s at an HQ staff who's averaging four or five hours a night sleep, one overnight a week in the office, and at least 12 hours each weekend. His idea of "fun" is going golfing with these same people who are running his life ragged with overwork. When my spouse told him that I'm retired, he seriously advised me to take up golf too so that I'd be able to develop the proper network to get a post-retirement job. His plan is to get his handicap down into the low teens so that he'll be able to hold up his end of the matches and impress an employer. (I should point out that if he retired next year his pension would be $55K/year with a COLA and lifetime healthcare.) With a straight face I told him that's why I surf-- and he actually thought I was serious, wanting to know how networking is done out there in the line-up. (The joke fell apart when I claimed to use waterproof business cards.) If people like this accuse us of being too young to retire, then I'd like to know when they're too old to sleep in the office.

For every loudmouth that you cheerfully engage, there will be at least two other people in the room who'll approach you later to learn how you did it. About 90% of them will be fascinated and will never get around to doing any of the things you recommended. But for the last 10%, you're passing the ER torch. There's no need to hide it.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 11:44 AM   #17
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Re: Hello

When we first moved to SC, I used to start with "We're refugees from Silicon Valley!" Most people were amused and left it at that. Those who pursued the matter learned that we were semi-retired, me working part-time and DH working as an Adjunct. Nowadays I say I'm a retired editor. To those who say, "But you're too young to be retired!" I either respond "Thanks" or "Hah!" and smile. I think it helps to have a light touch. Those who want real info will ask for it.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 11:55 AM   #18
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Even if you worked your a$$ off at a job and LBYMs, so you could quit at 40, retired would not be the right word.
This is why I never said I retired - it was more of a lifestyle choice to quit.

We are really struggling right now to decide what, if anything, to tell people when DH quits in March at 39. Like the op (who I keep wanting the think of as WTF too, what is wrong with us?) I believe that lying is bad for you in some kind of karmic way, but the truth is complicated.

I think we are going to keep it under wraps at least until DH decides that it was the right decision, then say he is on sabbatical, which is sorta true, and from there... who knows. To people who truly care about us we will tell the truth, to people who are really interested we'll tell them what they want to know, and to the chatty airplane guy - well, maybe we'll just be on a perpetual second honeymoon.
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #19
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
When we first moved to SC, I used to start with "We're refugees from Silicon Valley!" Most people were amused and left it at that. Those who pursued the matter learned that we were semi-retired, me working part-time and DH working as an Adjunct. Nowadays I say I'm a retired editor. To those who say, "But you're too young to be retired!" I either respond "Thanks" or "Hah!" and smile. I think it helps to have a light touch. Those who want real info will ask for it.
It seems to me pretty easy to hide your ER status if you want to.
I never did. I was always proud that I did it, and didn't mind all
the questions and skepticism. Anyway, it would no longer be an issue for me after all these years. I sure got a lot of questions and feedback
in 1993-94 though.

JG
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Re: Hello
Old 10-14-2006, 11:59 AM   #20
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Re: Hello

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
This is why I never said I retired - it was more of a lifestyle choice to quit.

We are really struggling right now to decide what, if anything, to tell people when DH quits in March at 39. Like the op (who I keep wanting the think of as WTF too, what is wrong with us?) I believe that lying is bad for you in some kind of karmic way, but the truth is complicated.

Stick with the truth, complicated or not.

JG
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