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I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 10:22 AM   #1
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I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Before I retired and had a life, I w*rked with a guy who was on the same early retirement track (or so I thought). We are 30 days apart in age, both have two children born within a year of each other, and had roughly equal j*bs. Several years ago we began comparing notes and competing with each other to see who would retire first. He was more aggressive than I when it came to investing and took a larger hit in the dot-bomb market decline. So, I won. But that’s not the point of this story.

When I retired a year ago, I gave him my retirement countdown clock as a parting gift. He set it for the middle of next year, which would put him two years behind me. I recently learned he’s reset his clock, moving it back another two and a half years. :P Seems he got an offer he couldn’t refuse for a big promotion, decided to sell out to consumerism buy a second home and a new luxury car.

One of the reasons he always gave for retiring early was his male family history of not living beyond the early 70’s. At age 59 he already has some health problems and is on blood pressure and cholesterol medications. I sent him an email congratulating him on his promotion and chastising him for wasting the countdown clock. He responded with all sorts of excuses about why he was working a few more years. My response:

“Let's face it, some people just aren't cut out for retirement. No meetings to go to, no pressure, free time to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Some just can't handle having to manage their own time. Maybe you just need to keep working until you collapse at your desk.”

His reply: “ I think you may be jealous that I still have a purpose in life other than
to grow old and be a burden on my family.”

My response: “Translation: "I'm afraid I can't find a purpose in life other than work."

Hey, stop trying to defend yourself from the reality you are still a money whore . I'm happy for you if you are happy. Different strokes for different folks...and here's hoping you don't have one before you have a chance to stop and smell the roses (from the blooming end ).”

Wonder if he will ever speak to me again… :
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Pretty ugly little exchange. I guess I could see why your first email response to him ("Let's face it...") could be perceived as kinda harsh (though maybe he had it coming, or maybe the 'collapse at your desk' thing struck close to home?).

Raises an interesting question: why do some ERs (not referring to you personally, REWahoo) feel a need to convince others that this is the way to go? I can see educating them, discussing it openly, etc. but really, it's not a political debate.

If someone is either happier working, or meeting some neurotic needs, or maybe just fears the so-called emptiness of retirement, that's their fate, I guess. I'm glad I have headed in this direction, but wouldn't dream of trying to "convince" a colleague to do it. Maybe show them that it actually can be done, but that's about it.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Pretty ugly little exchange. I guess I could see why your first email response to him ("Let's face it...") could be perceived as kinda harsh (though maybe he had it coming, or maybe the 'collapse at your desk' thing struck close to home?).
Naaahh. We've always given each other a hard time. He gives as good as he gets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Raises an interesting question: why do some ERs (not referring to you personally, REWahoo) feel a need to convince others that this is the way to go? I can see educating them, discussing it openly, etc. but really, it's not a political debate.

If someone is either happier working, or meeting some neurotic needs, or maybe just fears the so-called emptiness of retirement, that's their fate, I guess. I'm glad I have headed in this direction, but wouldn't dream of trying to "convince" a colleague to do it. Maybe show them that it actually can be done, but that's about it.
Agreed. I wouldn't be giving this guy such a hard time if he hadn't been competing with me for the past 10 years to see who would retire first.

My point is in the thread title.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
His reply: “ I think you may be jealous that I still have a purpose in life other than
to grow old and be a burden on my family.”
Hmmm. *He must have been shooting from the hip without thinking. *

I'm semi-retired and I've actually felt better than I used to feel when I was working over 70 hours a week. *I've been eating better and taking better care of myself, so I feel like semi-retirement is allowing me to grow younger.

Also, not only am I not a burden to my family, but with all this extra time, I've been able to help my family and extended family during the work week when it would be a "burden" for other family members to help since most times they can't leave work between 9am and 5pm.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Maybe he was always just talk.

A like-minded group I worked with met daily for lunch, and at least 25% of the talk among the 7-8 people was about retirement.

The absolute most vocal and seemingly eager to retire could have left with full retirement benefits 5 years ago . . . and he is still there, despite apparently having far more than he needs to retire and live on 1-2% of his nest egg.

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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
His reply: “I think you may be jealous that I still have a purpose in life other than
to grow old and be a burden on my family.”
You'll have to ask him who's responsible for his entertainment... maybe he finds the office environment to be more supportive & comforting than anything he'd find at home.

Hey, isn't there an office building in Minneapolis that's catering to his lifestyle?
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

My "office" is "entertaining" in a "Dilbertesque" sort of way, but "supportive" and "comforting" aren't "terms" that come to "mind"... :P

With kudos to Dave "Barry"!!
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

I think Nords hit it on the head. I've seen so many guys that spend hours and hours at work often to the wee hours of the night. They were clearly hiding from something because you would go into their office and they'd be working on nothing that couldn't wait till the morning. IMHO these types don't want to quit working, usually because of a situation at home. Either their spouse is driving them nuts or the kids are going crazy. They'd rather deal with the work environment than their home environment (and get paid for it). Those types of folks wil never retire, but they'll continue to make excuses why they don't want to. But to each his own since it's their life (whatever is left).

As we say around here, "Someones has to work to pay our social security benefits." 8)
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Hey, isn't there an office building in Minneapolis that's catering to his lifestyle?
Had that very same thought while reading your post.

I had a similar conversation yesterday morning with a friend who was a coworker and a member of the same hunting group. He is sticking around for a few more years but will leave at about age 52 - so I guess that's still ER'ing (but not my version). I laughed when I asked him how work was and he replied "screw you, we're doing more with less since all of you financially independent bastards left."

In our hunting group the good natured bickering and joking around the campfire can be deadly at times. No thin skins are allowed - or can survive. When the conversation turned to hunting business it got tough. Everybody there has paired up with a partner or two and invested in some kind of trailer for lodging at camp. The choices range from my friend's $9,000 "popup" trailer (with shower) to my $500, 1972 model P.O.S. (with homemade outdoor shower).

You guys are really draggin' the class of the place down with that dump you'all are living in. It's like living with the damn Beverly Hillbillies, or Joe Dirt.

I told him that he must have never read The Millionaire Next Door.

No, I read it. I just don't live it. We've all remarked more than once how the two richest guys on the lease have the sorriest stuff.

I'm going to take him to lunch Thursday - I'm laying in wait for "the" question:

So, what do you do all day?
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 12:50 PM   #10
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

It goes back to my defective w*rk gene theory. I guess his is a lot healthier than yours. Before leaving my job, I spent close to 40 hours a week hardly w*rking for the last 5 years and with the little stress and pressure I had coupled with my 6 figure salary, I was very happy about leaving the job. My defective w*rk gene just about disintegrated by the time I left. Like Maynard G Krebs, I would find it painful to have think about or worse, to return to, what I would consider w*rk.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
I think Nords hit it on the head. I've seen so many guys that spend hours and hours at work often to the wee hours of the night. They were clearly hiding from something because you would go into their office and they'd be working on nothing that couldn't wait till the morning. IMHO these types don't want to quit working, usually because of a situation at home. Either their spouse is driving them nuts or the kids are going crazy. They'd rather deal with the work environment than their home environment (and get paid for it). Those types of folks wil never retire, but they'll continue to make excuses why they don't want to. But to each his own since it's their life (whatever is left).
Oooh, that triggered a memory.

The Naval Postgraduate School used to have student desks in the basement of Spanagel Hall. Library-size rooms would have 20-30 desks scattered in clusters for students to work group projects or do their thesis research.

Of course very little work got done. About the only people who spent any time there were the ones who didn't want to go home. They'd usually be there until 7-8-9 PM swapping sea stories and solving the nation's defense issues. I was never able to work down there because of all the bullsh!t professional seminars going on. Of course a few of them would move the discussions to the Trident Room when the bar crowd was thinning out, but very little studying got done in either place.

"Sorry I'm late, honey, but the homework was brutal today. Gee, no thanks, we ate at the Trident Room between studying sessions."

PACOM has the same problem. "Well, we want you at this meeting because you might be needed to do something at it. Besides, if you're not at the meeting then the boss might think that you don't have a dog in the fight." Apparently my spouse is one of the few commissioned officers in the building who knows how to use a network computer to access a share drive and bring up a PowerPoint brief.

Uh-hunh. And once again I'm the guy getting all the other spouses in trouble for being home before 4 PM...
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by dory36
Maybe he was always just talk.
It appears as though he was...and still is.

Here is his response to my zings: "I can promise you one thing - if I die before my retirement countdown clock gets to zero, then I am going to have it buried with me !!"

Another poor devil trying to take it with him...

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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-20-2006, 09:03 PM   #13
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

I can understand why the guy didn't retire - he wants MORE MORE MORE!!! It is a very human reaction. Even the FIRE'd here want more - they just want more of different things. In the end, it is his life to live, he should be able to live it as he sees fit.
PS ReWahoo! - I would talk to you again, I have very thick skin.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 06:38 AM   #14
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Last night my stepson stopped by for a visit, while standing in the driveway he asked when I was going to get a new car. My response was maybe next year, I still have some miles to put on this one. He kept going on about how I should get a nice car, one that I could feel good riding in since I have to drive so far, a little luxury, give up the standard shift for an automatic. He did everything short of calling me cheap.

I tried unsuccessfully to explain that the car I have is just fine, I have the luxury I need to get back and forth to work, heat, A/C, a Cd player, good gas mileage and safety. I also tried to explain that having a "nice" car would cause me to stress, I would feel like I'm using up a nice car just to commute and the cost of gas for a luxury car would drive me nuts. The added insurance and taxes aren't worth it just for a commuter car.

He just doesn't get it. Sad but chalk up another one paying for my SS checks.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 06:48 AM   #15
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Interesting story and exchange.*

He'll talk to you again.* I only worry when i win arguments very decisively.* He only got one sentence in there, but i bet you felt it a bit in the gut.* Your response told on you that you did.

The day I become FI, I will be able to become an ER any day i want.* I know I wouldnt envy anyone i could become in one day should i choose to do so.

I don't think ER's such a slam dunk unless your job just sucks and/or you work long hours.* Mine is neither.* *I work towards ER only because i dont presume my job will always be there; so as a safety precaution.* *

Once you're FI, by definition what you do beyond that is exactly what you want to do.

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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 06:56 AM   #16
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Outtahere,
when I look at your Avatar is appears that I'm staring into the face of a camel that has some purple stuff on his head. *My analyst (doctor) will need to see me soon.

But on topic, I had a friend who came to work everyday looking totally dejected, he would go sit in his car for lunch just to out of the work area. *He retired when I did and got really screwed over by his mother and sisters in SD. *Broken condo promises.

He went back to work but if you ask him, he tries to justify it by acting like he was getting board being retired and blah, blah, blah....... * When in reality he is dead broke and will work till he dies.

But those words he will never say. *So he says "what's so good about being bored, what on earth can you be doing all day, etc"

I guess it's just the basic human need to be right.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 07:48 AM   #17
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
He just doesn't get it. Sad but chalk up another one paying for my SS checks.
I see this a lot, and its probably time some of you realize that its a severely misguided statement. Do you not realize that you're just in the process of getting your money back? He's not paying your SS. You did. And its very unlikely you'll eventually get back what you put in counting interest.

There might be valid reasons to quit working. Being bothered because you're funding SS is not a very good one. That's more than offset by being eligible for things such as Roths, 401(k)s, FSAs, health plans, etc.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 08:19 AM   #18
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

I had a pal exactly like REW's. All he/we talked about was retirement. He gloated when he got to 59 as he could use his 401k and I couldn't. Last time I saw him, I went to Mega Corp, and he was there, sitting at his desk, his very very neat desk, doing nothing. He was gonna walk at 60. He's ill now, with apparently no chance of recovery. I've been out 2 1/2 years.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 11:02 AM   #19
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

I was thinking about this thread when I ran into three former co-workers yesterday.

The two ladies from the admin office didn't recognize me. Either it's been too long, or I've finally been forgiven, or they never expected to see me wearing a ponytail.

The other guy and I once calculated that we'd spent over three weeks' total time sitting next to each other in department meetings. The minute he saw me yesterday he said "Hey, where have you been surfing?" He only has eight years to go for his civil-service retirement and he's doing fine; he'll leave and never look back. In the meantime he tries to surf Ala Moana at least three times a week... He may not be FI yet but he's mentally & emotionally already ER'd.
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't
Old 06-21-2006, 11:30 AM   #20
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Re: I get it! I get it!...No I don't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
He may not be FI yet but he's mentally & emotionally already ER'd.
Lucky for him that he works for the government. I hope it is not my government. IMO, these retired-on-the-clock guys should be fired, all of them, the sooner the better.

Ha
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