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A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
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A Most Depressing Conversation

Ok, I had to get back to this board because people on the outside aren't sane. * Today I was in a conversation with a couple of co-workers, one a manager and one a "project coordinator" (I'm just a lowly staff nurse).* The gist was another co-worker wanted to quit the Master's program provided by our employer (I quit, it sucked, I hate people who grade APA format over content, but that's another rant) and the coord type was prodding her to continue by reminding her that she had little in her retirement account and asked her "Do you know the difference in what you get for Social Security when you are 65 compared to when you are 70?* Do you want to still be doing bedside nursing when you are 65?"* At this, once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I replied: " You're not planning to still be working at 65-70, are you?"* Non-plussed, they both looked at me and said: "We'll all be working until we're 70!" Of course, I replied loudly "I'm not!"* :P At which they shook their heads in that knowing way that people do with a child.* Oh, my, god, they were serious!!

I'm so glad to be back in the land of the sane.

Judy
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

You have some pelotas JWV. If I told people that I work with that I don't plan to be working much when I am 53, they would look at me like I was planning on dying young. They would pause, tilt their head like a beagle hearing one of those whistles that humans can't hear, and wait for me to explain my terminal illness. People who believe that they will be working until they are 65 or 70 have not seen the path to FI.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 09:04 PM   #3
 
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
We'll all be working until we're 70!" Of course, I replied loudly "I'm not!" Tongue At which they shook their heads in that knowing way that people do with a child.
Not depressing at all! - They will help us save Social Security! - They won't be drawing it and will continue to pay in. And probably even die working. Social Security will be running a surpluss for a long time!
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I very much empathize, this weekend I jumped in on a conversation about investments and financial planning, and mentioned my plans after the house is paid off. Someone said, "the house doesn't get paid off" as if handing out a commandment , and got the same head shake poor child look from the rest of DW's male relatives. Just gotta keep quiet. 20 years from now they'll all ask, "how did you do that? Boy, you're lucky!" and it will be my turn to shake my head. :P
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 09:44 PM   #5
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I very much empathize, this weekend I jumped in on a conversation about investments and financial planning, and mentioned my plans after the house is paid off. Someone said, "the house doesn't get paid off" as if handing out a commandment , and got the same head shake poor child look from the rest of DW's male relatives.
I'd be retired 10 years ago if I had a nickel for everytime someone advised me to always keep a "mortgage" for the "deduction." Used say that I guess that's OK if you're in the 100% tax bracket.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Just gotta keep quiet.* 20 years from now they'll all ask, "how did you do that? Boy, you're lucky!" and it will be my turn to shake my head.* :P
Best way to do it, Laurence ... I've never mentioned to any of the family or co-workers that we paid our house off a few years ago...

I too, get odd looks from folks when I say I plan to get out early.... my favorites though, are the co-workers who moan that they'll be working until 80, then in the next breath talk about the latest toy or pricey hobby they've picked up...
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-18-2006, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Not depressing at all! - They will help us save Social Security! - They won't be drawing it and will continue to pay in. And probably even die working. Social Security will be running a surpluss for a long time!
Excellent point, CT. Hadn't hought of it that way! Yeah, keep working you crazies!

Judy
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 01:13 AM   #8
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

John Lennon and Yoko Ono---Watching The Wheels

People say I'm crazy, doing what I'm doing
Well, they give me all kinds of warning to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm okay
Well, they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now
You no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy, dreaming my life away
Well, they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine
Watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time, boy
You're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry go round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people asking questions, lost in confusion
Well, I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
Well, they shake their heads and look at me
As if I lost my mind
I tell them there's no hurry
I'm just sitting here doing time

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry go round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Equating the desire to retire before age 70 with the desire to pay off a mortgage early seems quite a stretch to me.

Maybe they are related because both become a religion for some people.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 08:14 AM   #10
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Just Hatched, I love that song. However, we all know what happened to John Lennon.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 08:58 AM   #11
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Not depressing at all! - They will help us save Social Security! - They won't be drawing it and will continue to pay in. And probably even die working. Social Security will be running a surpluss for a long time!
Being a self-centered person, I no longer bring up ER except with working people I like (very short list). If they begin to show "any" resistance to the idea, I just back off and think to myself, "thanks to you working baby boomers for continuing to fund our future SS payments".
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 09:05 AM   #12
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Good plan MJ!

ER is a lifestyle choice.* There are lots of very legitimate reasons why someone might choose not to ER.* Perhaps they have a "challenged" child and will need all possible funds forever.* Perhaps their personality and their career and a perfect match and they'd be lost without the job.* Whatever.

You'd be more than just "self-centered" to push your lifestyle plans on others!* It's great that you don't.*
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 09:17 AM   #13
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I've learned to quit bringing up the subject of early retirement too, simply because there are too many nonbelievers who just want to argue about it. And it's not that these people have "good" reasons to keep working. They want out just as much as I do! But then they do things like cash in their 401k from their previous employer to buy a new leather living room set, do constant cash-out refinancing on their homes, or go on a month long vacation and then come back to work bitching about not having any money. And then they say I'm cheap because I don't go out for lunch, or would rather sink a few hundred bucks into my Granddad's old '85 Chevy pickup instead of running out and buying a new one.

I turned 36 a couple weeks ago, and I figure that if I really, REALLY wanted to play it risky, I could probably retire by the time I'm 40. And hey, if things got rough, I could always go back to work part time. Realistically though, I'm thinking more like 45-50. But I've learned to keep this stuff to myself. If I keep hearing "you can't do that" over and over again, I just might start to believe it.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-19-2006, 09:32 AM   #14
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I was chit-chatting at the watercooler with some work buddies about taking a year or two off (followed by a few more decades of ER ) and traveling around the world with my family in tow, putting the kids in school for 6 months here, 6 months there. For me, it could easily be a reality if I choose to do that when I ER. For them, it was a pipe dream. They are in the "I plan to work until at least 65" mindset.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I don't bring up ER out of the blue, but when people ask what I do, I tell them I'm retired. After they say, Wow, you don't look that old, I find that fear of/objection to retiring early takes different forms. With surprisingly many, it's fear of having to do without, of having to limit spending in any way. If people ask how I accompished (and stay) in ER, some stand a little taller and say, "WE don't budget! I'm never going to budget,"spitting it out like a dirty word. The funny thing is that I don't even use the word budget--I just say that since I got my first decent paying job at age 39, I save first and spend what's left. Since my mid-40s I distinguish between required expenses and nice-to-haves like eating out, concerts, travel, generous gifts for the kids. I mention that I might've retired earlier if I'd gotten a clue about investing earlier. I might mention my last cmpany and the stock options. Then it's "Ah, stock options!" People usually don't realize that their generous 401k match, large company bonuses, and/or higher income & deductions as a business owner (things I never had) add up to just as much money over the years. People want to hear that I was simply lucky, and they were simply not. A surprising number say that they plan to retire when they receive an inheritance(!). Bottom line is that most people don't relaize they can be in control--they assume that retirement is up to the gods or something.

When someone reacts with interest rather than defensiveness, they might ask if I worry about money. I respond that my only concern--along with the concerns we all share for Whirled Peas and the budget & trade deficits--is health insurance/health care expenses. But they're almost always worried about that, too. My husband is still working and our health care costs have gone up at least 10% a year for the past 5 years (up 16% this past year--just due to insurance cost, not use of medical care). IF we get this far in the conversation, people sometimes light up a little, relaizing we have more in common financially than first appeared.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 09:29 AM   #16
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I don't let it depress me anymore. I had to let it go. I work with someone who is 68 almost 69 who has no idea of how to retire. I have family members who have no idea that paying off a house early is something you can do. They are focused on the deduction. I have family members and friends who think we are cheap because we don't eat out yet say how lucky we are that we take really big trips when we do go somewhere. It isn't luck. We both worked many years and really focus on manageing our money. Of course, if we worked very low paying jobs we would not be here but I work in an industry, as does DH where we make decent money. Not spectacular but enough to live a nice middle class life and retire mid fifties.

I have given up. I just live my life, smile and don't make many comments anymore.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 09:57 AM   #17
 
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

I understand just how you feel, JWV. It's so frustrating when people don't understand how the world is, and you can't make them understand. As the ancient poem says:

"...He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him and go visit the ER forum."
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 10:07 AM   #18
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
I My husband is still working ........
How does it go when the ER discussion is with hubby who is still hitched to the plow?
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 10:15 AM   #19
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
It's so frustrating when people don't understand how the world is, and you can't make them understand.
That is not my experience. I can explain the concepts to people so that they understand them well. The frustrating part is that they refuse to give up any of their current consumption lifestyle for some future benefit. Their values are just different than mine. In my opinion they have made an idiotic choice. But who am I to judge someone else.

As Cut Throat has posted on many occasions. Let them work and pay into SS until they drop. That way the SS system just may be a little more solvent.
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation
Old 04-20-2006, 10:43 AM   #20
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Re: A Most Depressing Conversation

Quote:
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Their values are just different than mine.
Oh no! Not that!
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