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Old 03-19-2013, 09:21 PM   #21
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Most of my friends are in similar careers with pensions, so despite what questions they ask me, it really boils down to personal finance. They don't like the answers I give them to get their affairs in order as it really comes down to budgeting issues not investing. The last solicited advice I gave went over real well. I told him if he would get his wife off the IPhone plan ( he had a company issued phone so no expense) and switch to basic, along with him mowing his own grass instead of paying for it, that would save over $2500 a year to help pay down debt. Ya, that advise really helped... He still hasn't mowed his grass, and now a few weeks ago I noticed he ALSO got himself an IPhone. I asked him about the phone, and he said, "its cool isn't it". I just smiled and let it go, while his debt continues....

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:52 AM   #22
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I have one sibling who asks for investment advice, another who asks for money. Ask me which I prefer...

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:15 AM   #23
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I've been pleasantly surprised by the lack of questions about "how did you do it?". I think most people who know us well know that I had a good job, LBYM'd, saved and invested for a long time.

I'm actually a bit disappointed that BILs haven't asked since they live in McMansions, drive fancier cars than I have and live larger (even though they probably make less than I did while I was working) and I have in mind a snarky response that I didn't live in a McMansion or drive a Mercedes or BMW. I probably wouldn't actually respond that way, but the idea brings a smile to my face.

I have helped one sister, a friend and DD with some retirement planning since I retired, in each case they solicited my help.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by David1961 View Post
Ever since I ER'd, family and friends have tried to talk with me privately and ask questions about investing, retirement planning, etc. It's actually a compliment, but I have had almost the exact conversation with my nephew about what an IRA is three times. It's like since I ERd, people look at me like an investment guru. (Six months before I ER'd, nobody asked me anything). I take it as a compliment, but when people ask "What should I put my money in now to get the best return in the next year", I answer that I have no idea and can actually see the disappointment in their faces . I mention the importance of AA and having a long time horizon and that seems to go over their heads. And when I say most actively managed funds underperform the indexes, they get more frustrated. Plus, I would feel bad about recommending a specific investment because if it loses, I'd feel bad. I want to help but am reluctant to give any specific advice. Plus, I feel like a Vanguard salesman, because that's the family I usually would recommend. I'm actually starting to dread Easter for this reason. Does this happen to you? Any strategies? I value their friendships and don't want to be a smart-ass.
I only rarely give financial advice to family, friends or (former) co-workers. My sister has asked me periodically all her adult life, and many co-workers asked during my first career. If it appears they're sincerely asking, I will give them concise, basic mainstream answers, but I always suggest books or other resources, and move to another topic altogether. Just give them responsibility for figuring it out, no need to be a "smart-ass."

The one time I thought a co-worker was sincerely interested, instead of giving him an answer, I laid out the options and pros & cons, and told him he'd have to decide from there what was best for him. And of course, suggested books that would be helpful.

If you think about it, people who ask are probably looking for a silver bullet, and they lose interest when they're given even the simplest lazy portfolio approach for an answer. The people who've already figured out what it takes, won't ask in to begin with, they already know there's no silver bullet. So it's somewhat inevitable you'll be confronted with questions from people who want an answer that really doesn't exist, so why bother?

I did get more questions from others once I announced I was retiring, took everyone by surprise. Fortunately, I've learned that many people ask just to make conversation, so it's pretty easy to politely move the conversation to another topic. When they hear you retired early they are surprised and don't know what to say/ask - the questions are often just a nervous response, usually well intended.

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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