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Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 08:14 AM   #1
 
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Family members coping with your ER

This has been covered in several ways (divorce and ER, spousal envy and ER, etc.) But here is our whole status
report from the John Galt family's point of view:

Parents:

Early on they were incredulous. Full of doubts. Now, they are happy as I am close by and have time to see
them and help out.

Only brother:

He was incredulous also. Not sure now as we are estranged but working to patch things up (I hope).

Children:

Oldest 2 (39 and 34) seem fine with it, Relations are
excellent all around. Youngest is not speaking as we
continue to fight over college tuition (see prior posts).
Also, she was under her mother's influence almost
completely from age 14 on. That doesn't help.

Grandchildren:

All live out of state, but I can visit any time which is nice.

Ex wife:

Still pissed.

Spouse:

She seems to have no envy issues. I have done a lot
of prep. for her ER and finances in general. She wants to keep working for now, and that is okay with me.

Spouse's relatives:

No problems, but they live out of state which is probably best for all concerned.

Aunts, uncles, cousins and etc.

I have more time for all of them now which I like. I assume most of them share the feeling

JG
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 09:30 AM   #2
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

My spouse is mostly supportive but a bit peeved that I did it before she could. I convinced her that she should only work part time and enjoy afternoons at home. Lately she's been bedridden with a slipped disc (OUCH!) and now she's very grateful that I am around to take care of her full time. She's gradually getting less and less worried about lower income, more and more confident in the future.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 09:37 AM   #3
 
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

I have gone 180 degrees on this. When I first cut back
I had a spouse who would not work. Now, I have a
spouse who will not quit Anyway, I've approached the issue from every angle I can think of. She has no problem with me taking off on adventures (leaving tomorrow for a week). So, I have decided just to wait for her to decide what to do. Wasn't quite what either of us forsaw
when we married in 2001, but you have to be flexible
to make it work

JG
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

John, interesting thread. Here's my story: I probably wouldn't have retired when I did were it not for the encouragement of my wife and adult daughters (one 28 and the other 19). My daughters liked to taunt me by making bets with each other - "Dad won't quit until he's 70", and then the other would chime in, "Nah, he'll work until he's dead" - that kind of thing. They said I'd never believe I had enough to be secure. The oldest told me I was a big wimp. My wife had been pushing me to retire for at least three years. I kept putting it off and she kept pushing. It took an early retirement package to move me, and she told me at the time that she would be seriously pissed if I passed on it. She laughed when she said it, but she was serious.

My parents knew I was planning to do it. My Dad didn't think it was a good idea. He said, "retirement really isn't what it's cracked up to be..." and I didn't really know what he meant by that, and he couldn't quite define it. He's usually right, and I've learned to take his advice very seriously, so it concerned me. He isn't as happy now that he's retired, and he thinks 51 is way too young to quit. But we're very different in many ways, and I attributed it to that. Nevertheless, he likes to tell people I'm retired and views it as a symbol of success. My Mom thinks it's terrific.

My siblings seem fine with it. My younger brothers are trying to emulate me - and they're making far more money than I ever did, so I'm sure they'll pull it off earlier - and with far more money. The brother closest in age is divorced and loves his work. He sees the appeal from my perspective, but wouldn't want it for himself.

Cousins, aunts, uncles... I don't see them very often, but when I do, I get the impression they view my situation as odd but kind of interesting. They ask what I do and I tell them that I "loaf". I say that I plan to do that until I die or until the money runs out. When they see I'm not at all pretentious, uncomfortable, or awkward about it, they ask questions. Then I steer the conversation around to talk about them.

Fortunately, I haven't had any ER related problems with family, relatives, or friends.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
Cousins, aunts, uncles... I don't see them very often, but when I do, I get the impression they view my situation as odd but kind of interesting. They ask what I do and I tell them that I "loaf". I say that I plan to do that until I die or until the money runs out.
I don't think I would ever tell people I "loaf" even if I tend to do that on occasion as do many people. The reason being is that it may give people (especially those prone to being jealous) a false impression that you don't work because you are lazy and idle.

Instead, I would rather tell people that I've planned on retiring early by careful budgeting, saving, not being wasteful, living within my means, etc.

Also, to stop working in your 30s, 40s, or 50s only to "loaf" may make it appear that you have lost interest in life. I would rather tell friends and relatives all the things that free time has allowed me to do.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 06:02 PM   #6
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Wife: *My wife has her hands in almost everything we do. *We've been married 29 & 1/2 years and she still doesn't trust me to make most decisions without her input. * :-/ *But she never showed much interest in managing our investment decisions. *She wanted me to tell her what I was doing, but never really provided any comments or direction. *So, a few years ago when I showed her that we had exceeded our retirement needs, and that she could retire at age 49, she was thrilled. *I think she considers this my greatest accomplishment in life. * *It turns out that she has never gotten completely comfortable in retirement. *She went back to work as a poorly paid park ranger for awhile. *(Her previous career was as an electrical engineer). *She still substitute teaches regularly. *She gets stir crazy and nervous if she doesn't bring in a pay check of some kind occassionaly. *But she likes the freedom of knowing she can quit. *She likes that we are able to travel so much.

Father: *I think he was worried at first about whether I could really afford to retire. *He retired after a career in the coal mines. *His pension and medical benefits are as good as they come. *He has very limited understanding of investments and safe withdrawal rates, etc. *But he retired early (age 62 is what he and my mother considered early). *My parents had several wonderful years in retirement together before cancer took my mother. *My father never questions whether he should have worked longer and he understands completely why I wanted to quit so early. *But my father's only concerns about my retirement would be concerns about my own well-being. *My parents have always been supportive of my decisions -- even when they didn't turn out so well.

Brothers: *My work status has no impact on our relationship. *I'm not sure they even notice. *I was very fortunate to grow up in a family with a strong sense of unconditional love and respect. *

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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
I don't think I would ever tell people I "loaf"...
Nah, these are people I've known all my life - they don't take that literally. You have to know who you're talking to! These people view such comments as self-deprecating. It lightens the moment and gets a laugh. I would never preach to them (or anyone) about my careful budgeting, saving, not being wasteful, or all the things my free time allows me to do, etc. That's precisely the type of pretension I try to avoid - it would annoy the hell out these people.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-15-2005, 09:55 PM   #8
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
Nah, these are people I've known all my life - they don't take that literally. You have to know who you're talking to!
I guess you have to know your audience. If I told my friends and family I was loafing I would be frowned upon.

Anyway, my approach is to avoid the subject altogether. Unless you are talking to someone who can appreciate ER, there is almost no purpose. Most people will say "good for you" only to talk behind your back in some negative way.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 04:06 AM   #9
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

My problem was always/is friends and family hitting me up for 'loans' since I obviously didn't work and 'must have plenty of money to spare'.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 05:13 AM   #10
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Re: Family members coping with your ER


Interesting topics.

I've just turned 30 and am among the 'young dreamers' on this board ... the wife and I are maybe 7-12 years from leaving the corporate world. After about 18 months of executing "the 10 year plan," I've found that when talking with family members, I never say the R-word ... "retire." The R-word is strongly associated with nursing homes, hospital bills, and trips to see aunt Millie after she broke her hip.

Today I tell them we're going to be in a position where we can do "something different" and get away from my desk. If they ask, I tell them I aspire to be a Wal-Mart greeter and pass out carts to people as they come in. ;D
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 05:34 AM   #11
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
.... I've found that when talking with family members, I never say the R-word ... "retire." The R-word is strongly associated with nursing homes, hospital bills, and trips to see aunt Millie after she broke her hip.
Agreed. I prefer the term "voluntarily unemployed".

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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 03:22 PM   #12
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
Most of my dads counterparts pretty much worked until they physically couldn't do it anymore, and didn't last very long after "retiring". "Those were the good old days"
Hi Jarhead,

I'm seeing the same with my Dad's generation. None of them really have many interests outside of work. They were outstanding workers... but they don't really enjoy not working.

What you did for your Dad was terrific. It's one thing to help, but to do it in such a way as to preserve his dignity was quite an accomplishment, and probably just as valuable as the money.
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 03:50 PM   #13
 
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:
I'm seeing the same with my Dad's generation. None of them really have many interests outside of work. They were outstanding workers... but they don't really enjoy not working.
Yup, I saw the same thing in my dad and his generation. I vowed I would not follow those paths.

I only wanted to be a Trout Bum. I have achieved my Dream
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Re: Family members coping with your ER
Old 01-16-2005, 05:01 PM   #14
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Re: Family members coping with your ER

Quote:

Yup, I saw the same thing in my dad and his generation. I vowed I would not follow those paths.

I only wanted to be a Trout Bum. I have achieved my Dream
Cutthroat: You're not even close to being a "trout bum".
There are guys up here that literally fish every day, unless they are disabled. The only interest they really have in life is fishing. Furthermore, if they aren't fishing, the only thing they will talk about is fishing.
You are a lot more well rounded than that
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