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Affect of ER on friendships
Old 04-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
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Affect of ER on friendships

I did a quick search and did not find any posts about this on this forum. What affect (if any) has your ER had on your friendships and relationships with family members? I have noticed that since I have ERd, one of my closest friends (a male) has been somewhat distant from me. Does not always return my phone calls and does not seem eager to get together. When I worked, it was me who was not good about returning his phone calls. And another friend (female) has done more things with me and even just texts just to check in on me. Another female friend keeps asking me when I'm going to look for a job. (which proves she does not know me). I'd say my relationship with family is stronger, since I have had more time for family events, etc. And surprisingly, the friendships with I had with former coworkers have so far been more stable.
Just curious what others have experienced.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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Mostly my relationships with family and friends have remained unchanged.
I don't spend a lot of time socializing, though. Never did; it's not in my nature.

I am closer to my (early retired) brother now than I was while I was working, because i have more time to e-mail and keep in touch. My romantic interest, Frank, retired three months after I did. We spend much more time together now, but that has turned out to be very nice.

I have had time to get to know some of his friends. Yesterday we went to a crawfish boil over at the house of a couple that he knows. Also I have gotten to know people at the gym, although I have not gotten together with any of them away from the gym. We have accidently run across a few of them at restaurants and so on. As a retired person, I now have time to make as many new friends as I want and they fit into my present life quite nicely.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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DH took early retirement ~5 years ago, and his best friend (both within and outside of work) took it VERY hard. My guess is he's jealous, because they spend like there's no tomorrow, and he can't believe anyone could ever retire early. For a while he took some pretty good jabs at DH (which bothered me more than it did DH), but I think the friend has finally accepted it a little better as time passed. Maybe it's the brand new Corvette he just bought that's helped his mood.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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My relationships with my family hasn't changed. At first I thought I would use some of my time to see my mother more but I haven't done it.

I see my ex-coworkers every month or so. I didn't see them outside of work socially when I was working so I see them a lot less but now I'm seeing them socially.

I see my friends about the same.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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"Hey! Why are you retiring? If you got so much money don't be a cheapskate and give me some."

Ain't family grand!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:15 PM   #6
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"Hey! Why are you retiring? If you got so much money don't be a cheapskate and give me some."

Ain't family grand!
Heck, that's going on now and I still am not retired!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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Well, I'm not ER'd but I know people who have semi-ER'd and later gone back to w*rk. I think it is a little challenging for w*rking people to understand people who ER at an early age. Now, I'm not judging (as obviously, since I'm on this forum...I would be envious more than anything else). And maybe that's it...just envy that your time is now your own and mine is not...I guess different people handle that reality in different ways. Some people will want to distance themselves from it, others will want to take advantage of your now free time. I would say, give it some time and stay consistent. Don't try and do more or less than you did with your friends/family when you ER vs. when you w*rk; over time I think it will sort itself out...one way or another...
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:01 AM   #8
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"Hey! Why are you retiring? If you got so much money don't be a cheapskate and give me some."

Ain't family grand!
+1!
And to make matters worse, while DW pays for their necessities, our personal leeches spend what little they have on $tarbuck$, massages,will only drink the highest priced bottle water, etc;

True: after arriving from a Costco trip with goods, we were met with: "Oh, we don't like xyz (generic product), we only get abc (high end)."

"...you're retiring?! what are WE going to do?"
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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this post brought back a memory worth sharing. Years ago my best friend retired and it broke up our friendship. He had enjoyed his career and we were both in the same field. He missed working and told me he enjoyed spending time with other retirees, talking more about travel, vacations, hobbies, etc. He sort of drove his wife nuts, she took up photography, his health deteriorated, then he started puttling himself back together with a new set of retired friends. So, I lost my best friend.......becasuse our lifestyles changed. Me? Not a problem......family knows better than to ask for money unless it's a true unexpected emergency......I'm busy having fun and giving back to the community......life is good.......but, I still miss my former best friend.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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It's been a mixed bag for me too.

Family hasn't changed of course, though some were surprised that I retired early (and wondered how).

Friends haven't changed much, some unchanged, some a little more distant (and also some wondering, even asking outright 'how did you do it?').

Former co-workers was the real surprise. Some folks I expected to stay in touch with drifted away completely. OTOH, some folks that I wasn't that close to, have made the effort to keep in touch/keep me in the loop (of their lives). Never would have predicted how it actually shook out.

The tough one for me is how few early retirees are out there. None of my peer age friends are even close to retiring. And I'm not ready to hang out with older retirees just yet. I knew this would happen, but the experience has been an eye opener nonetheless. I see way more old people now than I did before now that I run errands on workdays
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:43 AM   #11
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Former co-workers was the real surprise. Some folks I expected to stay in touch with drifted away completely. OTOH, some folks that I wasn't that close to, have made the effort to keep in touch/keep me in the loop (of their lives). Never would have predicted how it actually shook out.

.
Same here. A few who I thought were 'more than co-workers' never contacted me again, even after a few tries on my part. Others who I was casually connected still send me notes and emails...even after 8 years.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:13 AM   #12
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Similar to Marko and Midpack, I have also been a little disappointed with falling out of touch with a few coworkers who were either friends while we both worked together or who retired before I did and we stayed in touch. There are about 3 or 4 I stay in touch with, and only one of those more than just an occasional email. A few others retired after I did and they did not stay in touch with me (oddly, because now we have more in common than we did before LOL!). Oh well.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #13
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Similar to Marko and Midpack, I have also been a little disappointed with falling out of touch with a few coworkers who were either friends while we both worked together or who retired before I did and we stayed in touch. There are about 3 or 4 I stay in touch with, and only one of those more than just an occasional email. A few others retired after I did and they did not stay in touch with me (oddly, because now we have more in common than we did before LOL!). Oh well.
For the record, I was more surprised by the "work acquaintances" who (unexpectedly) proactively chose to stay in touch than disappointed by the "work friends" who have not. Again, I never would have guessed how either camp would develop once I left...
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:13 AM   #14
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No change with family or friends outside of work but I've only remained in contact with a few of my "work friends".
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:37 PM   #15
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Not much has changed for me. But perhaps it's because I do not call myself retired. And since DW is still working there is no question yet about where the money is coming from.

I can think of only one person for whom my not-working is not sitting well (one of DW's uncles) - He is the multi-millionaire guy who was forced into retirement at 75 when he company was bought out. But I couldn't care less about his opinion of me anyways.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:41 PM   #16
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The tough one for me is how few early retirees are out there. None of my peer age friends are even close to retiring. And I'm not ready to hang out with older retirees just yet. I knew this would happen, but the experience has been an eye opener nonetheless. I see way more old people now than I did before now that I run errands on workdays
I've noticed this too.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #17
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I can think of only one person for whom my not-working is not sitting well (one of DW's uncles) - He is the multi-millionaire guy who was forced into retirement at 75 when he company was bought out. But I couldn't care less about his opinion of me anyways.
Does he feel that you are taking advantage of his niece?

Ha
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #18
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Does he feel that you are taking advantage of his niece?

Ha
Who knows. Obviously he doesn't know anything about our finances, so he may think that I am taking advantage of DW (when in fact my personal net worth is higher than hers). But IMO, he does not like the idea that someone my age could be idle. His son-in-law is a stay at home dad and he seems fine with that. But since I have no children, he probably wonders what could be compelling me to be so unproductive. He hates to be retired (lonely and bored to death), so he probably can't figure out why someone would willingly chose this lifestyle.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #19
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Interesting thread.
Nearly a quarter century of retirement and I've gone through many changes in my approach to friendship.
Early on, most of my "w*rking friends were still engaged and did not live nearby ( greater Chicago), plus, we moved.
Since then, it's been an up and down thing. Living in an active retirement community meant being friends with just about all 400+ people. Seeing them every day, makes friendships easy. Partying and playing together makes for great familiarity.
As for old friends... after age 70, maintaining contact became more difficult, and so, other than an occasional phone call, very little closeness. Visiting and corresponding the early years 53 to 65 was very common, but we consciously drew away as we found staying in touch to be too difficult. Despite having been close in the past, after we bought in Florida, vacation "visitors" became an interruption to our life, and we discouraged this, except for lunch or an afternoon visit. We learned a lesson after some previous friends came to visit, and stayed too long.
Now, heading toward the big eight-oh we both do things on our own terms... picking and choosing what and when. The freedom that comes from independence trumps friendship obligations. Friendship is now a different animal... Casual, passing, and happy for the moment.
Our family visits are perfect and while we are "lovingly" close, that does not extend to living in each other's lives.

Another factor that has influenced our life is moving. We have moved 23 times since 1958. Counting neighbors and friends over the years, is a taxing proposition. Even recalling names becomes an effort.

Last month our high school class had a 60th reunion. We went to the 50th, but not this time. As we received a recap of those attending... 40 out of 160 graduates, it was interesting to see that 27 of the 40 were still living in or near our old home town.

I'd be interested in knowing how others have handled friendships in a "moving" society. How many moves, how many "new" social circles, how many new sets of friends?
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:43 PM   #20
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A problem for me, as a fiber artist, is that it's considered a "woman's field," and the women I socialized with (and learned from) were mostly stay-at-homes, who only wanted to meet during the work week. They didn't like to meet on weekends because that's when "hubby" and kids were home. Retirement should solve this problem.

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