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the answer of what do you do
Old 05-21-2015, 11:03 AM   #21
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the answer of what do you do

How about "Retired, because I don't need the money".
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #22
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Just tell them you are a consultant. That is so vague that it could mean almost anything. If they ask anything further, make some vague mumbles about your past profession. Most people are just making conversation and don't really care/wish to judge you. If they are obnoxious about it and you do not care about the relationship, tell them you are unemployed and ask them for a "loan."
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by LBYM View Post
I'm 40 and in a very similar situation. DW and I moved to a new area and are trying to meet people with similar likes/hobbies. I'm afraid to say we're retired since I'm worried that it could derail or distract from the relationship I'm trying start. Especially with people in the 38-50 demographic.

I have about three different answers but none of them come out real smoothly yet. My best one is a white lie that I'm "working from home" and we escaped our big city jobs to live off the land and I'm planning to do engineering consulting on the side. (I'm not really planning to do engineering consulting on the side).

Just saying that I'm working from home seems to satisfy half the folks that ask. At least those folks who don't really care and are just making small talk.
Thanks that's about it.. same situation, moved, don't know anyone and trying to meet people by going to meetups and trying to just get past the question so I can get to know people and then if we end up being friends, they will eventually figure it out. Realized "retired' is the end of most conversations because people just don't know where to go after that...it just makes it awkward but at the same token I don't really want to lie as that's just weird too and its just not me.. even just to make small talk I try not to even do it then.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:23 AM   #24
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Thanks that's about it.. same situation, moved, don't know anyone and trying to meet people by going to meetups and trying to just get past the question so I can get to know people and then if we end up being friends, they will eventually figure it out.
there are lots of young "retirees" at my golf club - you thought about joining one?
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:25 AM   #25
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there are lots of young "retirees" at my golf club - you thought about joining one?
Bad back, no swinging clubs for me.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:36 AM   #26
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well you could join a club as a social member


we moved here 4 years ago and didn't know a single person


now we know hundreds of people - several close friends among that group too
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #27
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There were a few times where I practiced for Early Retirement by saying "I'm a financial planner", but didn't get the result I wanted. The first was said, a bit condescendingly, "Oh, so you manage other people's money and get THEM rich?"

Another asked who I work for. I think I just said "Fidelity" or whatever company popped into my mind first. And, a few people have asked for financial advise, where I just get vague and tell them stuff like "live below your means, invest for the long term, don't try to time the market" etc.

Oh, as for going into the car dealership dressed down, I did a similar thing. Went with my uncle to get his truck from the service center, and I was planning on doing some yard work later that day, so I was dressed down pretty seriously. My uncle gets this bright idea of "let's go look at the new cars" while we were there, and at the end of the day I came home with a brand new car. The way I was dressed didn't even come up. Dunno if that's because I'm a guy. Or if it was because it was a Dodge/Chevy/Isuzu dealer, and not a BMW!
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:41 AM   #28
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I'm a guy and learned early to have some 'fun' with my employment status now that I'm FIRE'd. I do enjoy answering that I'm financially independent. For most people around my age, I get a blank stare and an 'oh...' From younger people, I get a 'well good for you!' (In the same way you might tell a senile old man that after he finished his peas and didn't wet his pants in the process.) It's the older people I have the most trouble with. They resent that I am retired and don't have to go to work. I get lots of 'you're too young!' comments. Lots of sneers. I've worked and saved just as long as they did, I just started when I was 18 and had 35 years worth of saving and investing by 53.
Relatives gave me a mixed reaction, most harsh were BEFORE retiring, telling me how 'lucky' I was to have a job and be able to save and how they barely get by paycheck to paycheck. (All the while touting their big dollar purchases and vacations) The kind reactions were mainly of relief that I wasn't gonna be a burden on them. My kids especially are happy for us as it means we won't be moving in with them and they won't be making decisions on our quality of life as we get older as running out of money is pretty remote of a chance.

I do get some folks who try to guilt me into doing their bidding; help them with projects and such. But I am not the guilt ridden type. A quick; "sorry but I'm booked solid for several weeks. I need to go back to work to find some free time since I've retired!"
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:13 PM   #29
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I retired at 50 from a law practice. When I get these questions, I respond with one or more of the following:
* I am teaching (true, one course a year at a community college)
* I am consulting (I talk on occasion with former law partners about ongoing cases, unpaid)
* I have given myself a sabbatical as I ponder how to spend the next 20 years of my life
* I am working with non-profits (I volunteer on a few boards)
* I am a house-husband while we focus on my (younger) spouse's new career transition
* I am retooling for a new career (learning new law stuff that I enjoy)

Funny, how you can make stuff you like to do sound like a job to other people.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:32 PM   #30
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I would probably answer that "I was previously a ___________, but I worked hard, saved smart, and now am enjoying my freedom."
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:41 PM   #31
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I just say I'm retired and then I do get the "you're too young" bit. I omit that I have a good pension and paid medical, no need to rub it in. Basically I say I wanted to enjoy my life and that life is short. They all assume I retired with lots of money which, on a City pension is not true, but I made the decision that I had enough to enjoy my life and not take orders from other people.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:58 PM   #32
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I take my cue from the younger generation. I see a lot of social media profiles that look like this: Brian Smith - entrepreneur, musician, benefactor, patron of the art. It sounds awesome but the level of entry for any of those titles is so low that almost anyone can do this! Entrepreneur = I sell rubber duckies on Etsy! Musician = I play the tambourine! Benefactor = I help at the soup kitchen once a month. Patron of the art = I give $2 a month to my favorite Youtube artist via Patreon.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:04 PM   #33
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I hardly ever get asked this question.

Most of the time one or more of my kids are around and they ask "So you take care of the kids?" My usual reply is "yep" unless I feel like explaining much more.

Since DW has been on sabbatical for 2 weeks (out of 13), I don't think anyone has asked either one of us why we're always out and about, walking around, going swimming, lounging at the park, volunteering at the kids' school together, etc. Our friends and family already know what's up, and I guess we dress down enough that it doesn't draw a lot of attention.

But if pressed, I'm a writer (that's what I told the IRS on my 1040), "doing some freelance work", running a small web site, doing some odd jobs, taking some time off from full time work, taking care of the kids, and sometimes retired. Just depends on what kind of impression I want to leave. Most of the time I'm content as just another regular guy just like everyone else.

The rare times I've mentioned I'm retired to someone who isn't part of the FIRE community, it's been a complete non-event. Maybe it's so ridiculous as to be unbelievable, or maybe there's enough tech types and artsy folks and 40-something retired LEO and government workers that it's not a big deal any more.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:06 PM   #34
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That is just sales tactics, I think, and doesn't have anything to do with what you "look like." Many years, ago, we (respectable-looking couple) bought a not-terribly-expensive new car with cash. The salespeople could not seem to stop trying to talk us into a lease, even though we made it clear we could write them a doggoned check right then and there.

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when it came time to discussing purchase, at least 3 different times it was apparent they assumed I was either leasing or financing.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:09 PM   #35
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I hear this, too, but it's always meant as a compliment and that's how I take it - just people being nice.

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I just say I'm retired and then I do get the "you're too young" bit.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:14 PM   #36
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I earn interest by loaning money to corporations and governments and am part owner of many companies.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:02 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Just tell them you are a consultant. That is so vague that it could mean almost anything. If they ask anything further, make some vague mumbles about your past profession. Most people are just making conversation and don't really care/wish to judge you. If they are obnoxious about it and you do not care about the relationship, tell them you are unemployed and ask them for a "loan."
+1

This works well for me. Seems like it's best to say right up front "I'm an XYZ consultant" where XYZ is something you've done in the past and have some knowledge of.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:45 PM   #38
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After 13 years, I have gotten good at it. Usually it is just small talk. And I return it. Often in a self-deprecating way. (I was a CEO of a small company that was taken over.)

But once in a while. people seem really interested so I tell them my story. (I wanted to ensure that I would have 30 years for myself.)
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Old 05-21-2015, 05:19 PM   #39
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I find it disappointing that so many people feel the need to fudge or stretch the truth when the question comes up. I can see doing so when you're looking to avoid moochers, but retiring early is something to be proud of.

If someone asks you for money, simply tell them that you budgeted for your retirement but not for their expenses.
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Old 05-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #40
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....Granted, I did get the test drive but when it came time to discussing purchase, at least 3 different times it was apparent they assumed I was either leasing or financing.
That is a lot better than one dealer I bought a car from. After we had agreed on the price I told them that I wanted to pay for it by check (no lease, no financing) and they had to caucus to figure out how they could do that.

The found a way..
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