Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How often does the topic of retirement come up?
Old 03-28-2018, 09:17 PM   #1
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Deep South Bay
Posts: 744
How often does the topic of retirement come up?

Not retirement talk with your family and friends, they already know that your retired, the question is about people you see on the street and just making small talk. It always seems the question asked is what do you do? I never ask it, I stay off that topic but it always seems to find me.

Just the other day on the poker table, the guy to my right and I started talking, come to find he lives just a few miles from my home, more small talk then he pops it, what do you do for work? I answer “I don’t work” and I see his head churning... is he a professional poker player? Here I am sitting here in flip flops and jeans with holes in it and I gotta go to work in 2 hours, what the heck? He then asks me - do you own a business or something? And at that point I have to explain my fire, seems to happen often, just the small talk of what do you do, does it happen to you?
__________________

97guns is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-29-2018, 12:17 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Sunset's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Spending the Kids Inheritance and living in Chicago
Posts: 7,584
Yep, I was looking at some Harley bikes, really just killing time waiting for my car to be fixed up the road. The sales guy finally popped the questions
I told him I'm retired.
He asked what I do all day.
I told him I travel a lot.
Then he gives me a high five, and tells me that's what he wants to do someday!!

Usually folks are not that happy for me, more confused or jealous.
__________________

__________________
Fortune favors the prepared mind. ... Louis Pasteur
Sunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 01:18 AM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
urn2bfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 793
It is an American thing. Very unusual in Europe where questions about what work you do are considered rude.
urn2bfree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 03:26 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 14,323
It comes up, but in many ways, and it may not be as it seems. When you look young to be retired, it’s often going to draw questions. Early retirement is uncommon, so you’re catching the other party a little off guard. Many just don’t know what to say, or they’re just awkward making conversation if retirement is not an option for them. Some may be jealous yes, but some are just puzzled or curious yet not sure what to say. I always keep it light, say retirement is good and bad much as working is, and get off the subject quickly.
__________________
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: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash - radically changed Nov 2018
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 06:55 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
when you look young to be retired, it’s often going to draw questions. Early retirement is uncommon, so you’re catching the other party a little off guard. Many just don’t know what to say, or they’re just awkward making conversation if retirement is not an option for them.
Yeah, we have friends without children. The topic of kids/grandkids comes up often and puts them in an uncomfortable position. That question can also be rude and NOYB.
brucethebroker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 534
This probably only works if you look near the age of retirement, but I've found that it rarely comes up if you seek out social situations with timeslots populated with the retired and/or 65+ agers. For instance I switched my gym time from 5am to 1pm. Same thing with grocery store and library. Bonus for me is that the entrepreneur/ flexible hours tech people also tend to pick the less-used time slots. I used to get "the question" at least once a month. Now, I think the last time was about 6 months ago.

When I used to get the "what do you do" question it never came to a good end if I only answered "retired". Intrusive money questions usually follow, and then a litany of how much the asker hates their job and will never be able to retire. Somehow that always makes me feel guilty.

Now I say, "I'm retired. I used to work as a programmer. I still do that at home but now I'm free to work on any project I want". Then either they start asking about the projects, or start telling me about what they would ideally like to do for work.

You do DO something in retirement. If you put that out right in the same sentence you have a chance of redirecting the conversation. "Look, shiny thing, over here!"
misshathaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 693
I don't understand the "not wanting to talk about it". Are ER folks ashamed? I am FI but still working. I enjoy talking to folks about FIRE. Mostly the FI part. I am unofficially mentoring a few folks on getting their financial houses in order. It feels good. Most people are fairly financially illiterate. The thanks I have received from a few folks informing them about some basic financial subjects is gratifying. I don't seek out folks to talk to. I only engage if the topic comes up.
__________________
-Big Dawg-FI since 9/2010. Failed ER in 2015. New target 2020.-

-"Blow that dough"-Robbie

" 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" -John Lennon-
Bigdawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 10:49 AM   #8
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 42
I had to pop into a bank a while back, and estimate the teller was 5-8 years older than me. While processing the transaction she made small talk "Hang in there, it's almost the weekend!". Without thinking, I trotted out my usual joke (which is a big hit with my family and friends): "I'm retired, so stick close to home on weekends because the workin' stiffs are underfoot!". Ha ha! Umm, immediately realized this joke was not a big hit with her, quite the contrary. We finished in stony silence.

Think it hit a nerve because she internalized it. She likely has no happy retirement plans or aspirations to chat about, isn't the least bit curious about it, hates her job, has a deadbeat husband, etc. etc. Is it my duty to be sensitive to that? Yeah, probably, especially if I want my jokes to work.

So, Bigdawg, I didn't feel shame about ER, but it did bring home that my situation triggers the angst already present in some.
__________________
I never said half the things the internet claims I said. --Albert Einstein
Grabberson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 10:50 AM   #9
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Deep South Bay
Posts: 744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdawg View Post
I don't understand the "not wanting to talk about it". Are ER folks ashamed?

Not ashamed but I’m not the flaunting type, I drive a VW, wear Levi’s a T shirt and sneakers, I like to play the gray man role. On the other hand my brother drives a Benz, wears a Tag Huer and is first to bring up the fact that he’s retired in conversation.
97guns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 11:23 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
Not ashamed but I’m not the flaunting type, I drive a VW, wear Levi’s a T shirt and sneakers, I like to play the gray man role. On the other hand my brother drives a Benz, wears a Tag Huer and is first to bring up the fact that he’s retired in conversation.
I'm not ashamed of my being retired, but I don't go out of my to flaunt it or make a joke which could be taken badly by someone who is still working and may be unhappy about it. People in my neighborhood I interact with often, I want to build up goodwill with them in case I ever need some little favor from them. People like the bank tellers, those who work at my favorite pizza joint, my barber, my auto mechanic, the staff at my local library, those who run the local mini-mart, to name a few.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 11:52 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 3,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
I'm not ashamed of my being retired, but I don't go out of my to flaunt it or make a joke which could be taken badly by someone who is still working and may be unhappy about it. People in my neighborhood I interact with often, I want to build up goodwill with them in case I ever need some little favor from them. People like the bank tellers, those who work at my favorite pizza joint, my barber, my auto mechanic, the staff at my local library, those who run the local mini-mart, to name a few.

This x1000. I am certainly not ashamed, but still being in my early 40's...it's quite uncommon to be retired. Being in school has been a buffer since most people assume that I will soon start a second career...but that will be over in a couple of weeks. After that, I will probably do my best to avoid the subject with "folks on the street".

I did get into a bit of a "discussion" with the school career folks. They sent out a "mandatory survey" about post-graduation employment intentions. I selected "Not Employed and Not Seeking". Of course, these numbers make the school look bad, so they were pressing me for more concrete details of my post-graduation plans. After about 3rd email, I finally said, "I am NOT w*rking, and do NOT PLAN on w*rking. I call it retirement. That selection was not available on the survey. There...it THAT good enough?" I haven't heard back from them.
__________________
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
ExFlyBoy5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 08:54 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Augusta
Posts: 326
Ha! I had a friend that was retired - every time I saw him he’d say “every day is Saturday!” Drove me nuts!
Yarnstormer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2018, 09:52 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
UnrealizedPotential's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 973
I honestly think most people assume I work somewhere because maybe I don't look old enough to be retired in their minds. So the subject doesn't really come up and I never bring it up. I prefer not to talk about it. I live in a small town and maybe people know more about me than I think they do, but either way it doesn't bother me as long as I can interact with others and not having to explain anything about my situation.

Perhaps other people are more outgoing and the conversation comes up and they talk about it. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. I just think because of my age, 48, and maybe looking a bit younger than my age, and because I tend to be an introvert , the topic isn't really an issue.
__________________
Understanding both the power of compound interest and the difficulty of getting it is the heart and soul of understanding a lot of things. Charlie Munger
UnrealizedPotential is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 06:23 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Yeah, we have friends without children. The topic of kids/grandkids comes up often and puts them in an uncomfortable position. That question can also be rude and NOYB.
DW and I are child-free and I find that the how many kids do you have question is very similar to the what kind of work do you do question. The answer seems to blow certain people away. I don’t mind either one.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 06:54 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
Dd852's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London/UK
Posts: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
DW and I are child-free and I find that the how many kids do you have question is very similar to the what kind of work do you do question. The answer seems to blow certain people away. I don’t mind either one.


Yes - both are considered “safe” but meaningless questions but in our case both the answers aren’t the expected ones and you can almost see people’s heads spinning as they figure out some mid path between saying “congratulations” and “I’m so sorry” (to both/either question !) when in fact neither is wanted or needed.
Dd852 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 08:03 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
street's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,720
When the question does come up I try to down play it. I do say a few things like "you cant buy back time" and "if I was dying I wouldn't be wishing I would of spent more time at the office".

Some times I will say I wish I would of retired sooner. I always hope that my answers have encouraged people to set some goals and get retired before it is to late.
street is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 10:22 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,190
I have a good answer to the "but what do you DO??" question:

"I've been so busy, I don't know how I ever found time to w*rk!"

Sometimes that leads to more questions, which I can dismiss by pointing out that I have an old house, AND an old boat, which keep me occupied. Sometimes it leads to stunned silence as they try to comprehend the idea of being busy in retirement. Usually it's just accepted and we move on.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 10:29 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Washington State
Posts: 978
I'm still a few years from retirement, but I'm all too familiar with the "what kind of work do you do" question. I was a stay-at-home dad in the early 90's, back before that sort of thing was common and the term "stay at home dad" wasn't really a thing (and before there were changing tables in men's restrooms!). Real mean went to work and supported the family. I remember going to the grocery store during the day with my little baby and getting odd disapproving looks from the older ladies. Other men treated me like I was some kind of deadbeat alien or something. In our case, it was the financially wise decision as my "real" job didn't pay much, had no benefits, and wasn't reliable. My wife worked for the county, good pay, good benefits, etc. We didn't want daycare raising our kid, so it was a no-brainer, even if it was a bit unconventional. We quickly learned how financially smart it was not to spend money paying others to do things I could do myself.

Once I started my own programming business, I still didn't feel comfortable talking about work. Partly because it's a low income and I guess I don't feel comparable with "real men" who's life revolves around work. Yeah, I own my own business, but I have the flexibility to take care of things whenever I need to. That saves us money, which means we don't need to earn as much.

I think most people are defined by their jobs. They don't know what else to talk about. Except for sports, which doesn't interest me either. I'm a real joy to have at any social gathering.
mountainsoft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 10:52 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,074
When I was doing a lot of home brewing during the week out in the driveway after retiring, I would get an occasional question about being home during the week. I said "Have you ever watching Breaking Bad"? There weren't many follow up questions.
copyright1997reloaded is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2018, 11:03 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 3,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by copyright1997reloaded View Post
When I was doing a lot of home brewing during the week out in the driveway after retiring, I would get an occasional question about being home during the week. I said "Have you ever watching Breaking Bad"? There weren't many follow up questions.
This is a great example of why I *hate* to be out in my front yard! Thankfully my garage is down a large hill and not really visible from the street, so the nosy neighbors stay away. Also, our backyard is heavily wooded and secluded, so no nosy neighbors there, either. This is good since hammock season is about to be in full swing!
__________________

__________________
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
ExFlyBoy5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does Capital One's Fraud Department call you too often? jphripjah Other topics 11 08-23-2008 07:54 PM
What does other topic mean? newguy88 Other topics 5 07-12-2007 09:09 AM
Where does all of the lint come from? Gonzo Other topics 10 01-25-2007 08:34 PM
How often does a 1% I-Bond beat the S&P500? intercst FIRE and Money 18 06-11-2004 11:30 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:37 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×